KPCC Blogs


Is Facebook making us unhappy?

Is Facebook making us unhappy?

In a virtual world where you can filter and sculpt your public persona, sociologists are increasingly finding that hours spent viewing our peers’ polished lives—their awesome vacations; their nights out partying; their above-average-children—is making us unhappy. Are they Just Like Us? Or are they happier and framed in better lighting? Recent studies say Facebook makes […]

Sundance 2011 buzz update

Sundance 2011 buzz update

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend. Which films are getting the buzz? There’s the science fiction piece Another Earth, directed by Mike Cahill, about a parallel alien world. Then there’s Kevin Smith’s Red State, a film that was panned by many critics, with Smith promising to self-distribute. There was Higher Ground, about […]

Homelessness in Los Angeles—Part Two: from Safer City to Home for Good

Homelessness in Los Angeles—Part Two: from Safer City to Home for Good

With over 40,000 homeless living on its streets, Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country. Over the past decade, cities like Denver, New York and San Francisco have all dramatically reduced their homeless populations by building permanent housing. But here, homelessness has grown faster than the national rate and not enough housing has […]

Is overdiagnosis the biggest problem posed by modern medicine?

Is overdiagnosis the biggest problem posed by modern medicine?

Doctors joke that healthy people, are simply folks who haven't gone through enough medical testing. Patients who visit doctors often, get poked, prodded, x-rayed, tested and re-tested. What starts out as a mild burning sensation from drinking apple cider, leads to a diagnosis of acid reflux disease. Cold hands on the ski slope? Reynaud’s Disease. […]

Down and out (and depressed about it) in LA County

Down and out (and depressed about it) in LA County

Diagnosed cases of depression rose by almost 50% over the last decade in LA County. Is the traffic, smog, isolation, lack of health care and jobs to blame? We don’t know what accounted for the sharp increase, but a new study by the LA County Department of Public Health showed that cases of depression rose […]

This is your brain – without fear

This is your brain – without fear

Snakes, spiders, heights, enclosed spaces, or a suspicious-looking character lurking in a dark alley, we all experience fear. But what is fear? For that matter, what is courage? Is it a lack of fear, or an ability to overcome it? Researchers at the University of Iowa, the California Institute of Technology and the University of […]

Why is Los Angeles still the “homeless capital of America?”—Part One: the Safer City Initiative

Why is Los Angeles still the “homeless capital of America?”—Part One: the Safer City Initiative

With over 40,000 homeless living on its streets, Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country. The largest cluster of those homeless men and women—nearly four thousand—lives on Skid Row, just in the shadow of city hall, where city and county government make policy decisions about the issue. Nearly five years after Mayor Villaraigosa's […]

Are humans getting dumber?

Are humans getting dumber?

The human race is losing weight. Unfortunately, it’s in the wrong place. 20,000 years ago, the average human brain was 1,500 cubic centimeters. Now it’s more like 1,350—it’s lost the volume of a tennis ball’s worth of neural matter. What’s the cause of the shrinkage? Scientists are divided, but some think civilization itself permits weaker-minded […]

Does self-awareness or self-delusion equal happiness?

Does self-awareness or self-delusion equal happiness?

If we obtain a deeper understanding of our psychological issues will that awareness bring change and ultimately a happier more well-adjusted life? Will the new awaking render us impervious to the grip of dysfunctional people and make our relationships with our family, friends and co-workers more fulfilling? What if we come to understand illusive parts […]

Today’s “blue” blooded elite drifts to the left

Today’s “blue” blooded elite drifts to the left

In his new book, “Fortunes of Change,” author David Callahan argues that liberal views are gaining currency among America’s new upper-class, signaling a continental drift that will topple long-held beliefs about the super-rich. While “old money” tends to back the GOP and its pro-business, anti-government stances, today’s super-educated, nouveau riche professionals and entrepreneurs lean towards […]