KPCC Blogs


John Waters: Role Models

John Waters: Role Models
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An outlandish character with an affinity for the weird, extreme and shocking, John Waters is not the man you want your kids to idolize. But in his new memoir, Role Models, Waters looks at the people he finds most inspiring and influential to his life, including himself, Johnny Mathis, Charles Manson groupie Leslie Van Houten […]

Searching for baseball’s fastest pitcher

Searching for baseball’s fastest pitcher

When pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg takes the mound tonight for his major league debut with the Washington Nationals, baseball fans will be hoping to check out his 100 mph fastball. Who is the fastest pitcher ever? Baseball writer Tim Wendel tries to find out in his new book High Heat. He joins guest host David […]

This is your brain hooked on gadgets…sssssssssssssssssphht

This is your brain hooked on gadgets…sssssssssssssssssphht

Picture this: you’re at your kid’s baseball game and he’s up at bat, just as you get 15 new e-mails, a text message, and some Twitter updates. Do you watch him get a home run or do you check your iPhone? Researchers worry about this dilemma, which is plaguing millions of plugged-in gadget consumers. Though […]

Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century

Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century

The Hoover Dam was an engineering feat- a Depression-era accomplishment that harnessed the Colorado River and gave rise to cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. But the success of the project also represented a shift from the pioneer individualism of America's beginnings to a new ideal of shared enterprise. In his book Colossus, […]

Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

You may think you’re a music lover, but to a drooling fanatic, you’re simple enjoyment of Frank Sinatra or the Grateful Dead is miniscule. A “drooling fanatic,” as defined in Steve Almond’s new book <i>Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life</i>, is the wannabe rock star whose undying love for music finds solace in listening […]

Is this the World Cup when Americans learn how to dominate soccer?

Is this the World Cup when Americans learn how to dominate soccer?

It’s not very often that America and its people can assume the underdog role. In any other global affair America is the perennial powerhouse, anything from foreign affairs to entertainment, the United States is usually the catalyst. Except for every four years when the world realigns its attention to the largest sporting event on the […]

Adventures in cheese

Adventures in cheese

Cheese has been called “milk’s leap toward the immortal” and in his new book “Immortal Milk,” Eric Lemay examines the cheeses, the processes, and the people who make cheese a great culinary adventure. LeMay journeys to Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, a cheese festival in Wisconsin, braves surly cheese mongers in Paris, and dodges friendly goats […]

All eyes on South Africa: World Cup 2010

All eyes on South Africa: World Cup 2010

The tension is building to a climax as the world focuses its attention on the largest sporting event in the world. The 2010 FIFA World Cup is set to begin action this week, the storylines are unfolding as per usual any large sporting event. But the real story might be that of the host country […]

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

The 9/11 hijackers were Muslim but all of them had lived in Europe. How could such a radical group sink its roots into Western soil? Reporter Ian Johnson set out to discover the origins of this phenomenon and uncovered the story of a group of ex-Soviet Muslims who had defected to Germany during World War […]

From Basque shepherd to Bantu warrior, a journalist ventures deep into his family’s origins

From Basque shepherd to Bantu warrior, a journalist ventures deep into his family’s origins

Delving into your family origins can be exciting or even shocking. For Los Angeles Times reporter Joe Mozingo, it was the latter. He set out to trace his father’s lineage and the origin of “Mozingo” and discovered something rather surprising. Instead of the Italian or French Basque origins for his family name, intensive genealogical searches […]