KPCC Blogs


O that this too too solid flesh would— o look, a text!: why turning off your phone will make you smarter and happier

O that this too too solid flesh would—   o look, a text!: why turning off your phone will make you smarter and happier

If you’re dependent on your BlackBerry or iPhone, or addicted to the internet in general, join the club. In this “too-much-information age,” it seems that we are overloaded with distractions that are just one click away. In his new book, Hamlet’s Blackberry, former Washington Post staff writer William Powers warns that such “digital maximalism” not [...]

Keeping kids safe, one cancelled rave at a time—the future of raves in L.A.

Keeping kids safe, one cancelled rave at a time—the future of raves in L.A.

After the death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez at Electric Daisy Carnival in the Los Angeles Coliseum, public and political scrutiny has been shifted to raves and electronic bashes where drugs are rampant. Now HARD L.A. and Fresh Squeezed, festivals similar to EDC, have been canceled just a week after the Los Angeles County Board of [...]

Shady, sketchy creeps: what “normal” sights make your skin crawl?

Shady, sketchy creeps: what “normal” sights make your skin crawl?

Have you ever felt oddly distressed after crossing paths with a grown man in a Boy Scout uniform or a hairless cat? Does the thought of kiddie beauty pageants or lifelike baby dolls slightly disturb you? If so, there’s finally a book that celebrates these unsettling everyday experiences. David Bickel, former writer for The King [...]

Feel free to skate or die just make sure to register your prints with the Sheriff first

Feel free to skate or die just make sure to register your prints with the Sheriff first

The case has been made again and again for kids to wear elbow pads and helmets while skating at skate parks, but is requiring skaters to identify themselves with a scanned thumb print protecting them or a total violation of their privacy? The question has been raised in the city of Poway in northern San [...]

Artificial Intelligence – how smart are our machines?

Artificial Intelligence – how smart are our machines?

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence is holding its annual seminar this week in Atlanta. It’s a meeting of the best organic minds in the artificial intelligence business. And it’s a chance for scientists to compare the latest research in robotics and AI. Lately, one of the questions that scientists are exploring is [...]

The Pentagon’s survey on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ – fair or biased?

The Pentagon’s survey on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ – fair or biased?

The Pentagon issued survey about gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces has received some outcry from gay veterans groups for being biased. The groups opposed to the survey say they think the wording of many of the questions in the survey will produce negative results and could be used as reason for discriminatory [...]

Overtreated: how too much medical care is bad for your heath

Overtreated: how too much medical care is bad for your heath

Americans spend 50-percent more on health care than any other country. But if you look at the numbers, it isn’t buying us better health. Medical overtreatment isn’t new. Most people know it’s a challenge in end-of-life care, emergency room medicine, back pain and cancer treatment, where it’s especially difficult to broach with patients. And when [...]

"To Kill a Mockingbird" turns 50

"To Kill a Mockingbird" turns 50

Harper Lee’s classic about a courtroom drama in the segregated South turned fifty yesterday. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936. This gave the book an unprecedented real feel and hit very close to [...]

The age old question: Are women funny?

The age old question: Are women funny?

What makes someone funny? Is it the look? The writing? The timing? And what makes someone not funny? Well, according to a common stereotype, two ‘X’ chromosomes. The thought of women not being funny isn’t anything new – it’s a stigma many female comics consider a handicap in a male dominated industry. Even after a [...]

Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford take on the world’s oldest profession

Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford take on the world’s oldest profession

In the movie Love Ranch, Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci play a married Nevada couple running one of the first legalized brothels in the country. But their lives are complicated when the husband enters a business endeavor to revive an Argentinean boxer's career. Directed by Mirren's husband Taylor Hackford, the film is based on the [...]