KPCC Blogs


Vacation: we certainly don’t do it like the French

Vacation: we certainly don’t do it like the French

Are Americans afraid to take vacation? We’ve earned a global reputation as workaholics; we’re the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee paid vacation time to our workers; and now, in a recession, could it be that we’re scared of losing our jobs if we take our due time off? According to [...]

Is junk food the new tobacco?

Is junk food the new tobacco?

Less fat, less salt, more exercise, limit meat and sweets. So says the USDA committee reviewing the agency's dietary guidelines. Exhaustive research and the use of the newly minted Evidence-Based Nutrition Library has yielded… the same advice we’ve heard for 30 years? Why, then, are Americans fatter than ever? Are we obstinately overweight? Given the [...]

Hard-wired for war? Humans and chimps may have shared ancestor to thank

Hard-wired for war? Humans and chimps may have shared ancestor to thank

Probably nothing is more certain, more studied or more essentially “human” than war, but new study may change that. Dr. John Mitani of Michigan University recently completed a ten-year look at warfare among chimpanzees, finding that they cooperate to organize themselves with the intent to capture territory, their behavior is adaptive, and that natural selection [...]

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

In 1919, the US passed the Eighteenth Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol. The result: one of the worst crime sprees in US history. The rise of organized crime around Prohibition is well known, but Okrent looks at a forgotten aspect of this period: the reaction and response of ordinary citizens to this [...]

“Restrepo”: a war movie through the eyes of a soldier

“Restrepo”: a war movie through the eyes of a soldier

War is not the perfectly-edited adrenaline rush of a two-hour movie. It’s also not the three-minute summaries on the nightly news. War is a feeling and a life that only those involved can understand. That’s what filmmakers Sebastian Junger (author of <i>WAR</i> and <i>The Perfect Storm</i>) and Tim Hetherington (<i>Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia [...]

Iran, Turkey and America’s Future in the Middle East

Iran, Turkey and America’s Future in the Middle East

Will the United States ever realize its dream of a peaceful, democratic Middle East? Not without a paradigm shift in U.S. foreign policy in the region, according to Middle East expert Stephen Kinzer. Kinzer sees America’s diplomatic focus on Saudi Arabia and Israel as outdated and ineffective. Instead, he proposes a “power triangle” between the [...]

We miss you George – remembering America’s last great philosopher

We miss you George – remembering America’s last great philosopher

In the last 60 years, much like every other industry in America, stand-up comedy went through a revolution. Comics of the 30’s and 40’s were much different, clean-shaven, suit-wearing, lovers of the establishment; comics were considered hosts at an exclusive cocktail party than an artist of any kind. So if America was the hospital that [...]

“Every man in this village is a liar” – journalist Megan Stack on her time in Afghanistan, Pakistan

“Every man in this village is a liar” – journalist Megan Stack on her time in Afghanistan, Pakistan

It was a dream of an opportunity for Megan Stack. In September 2001, she was 25-years-old, vacationing in Paris and a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. After the 9/11 attacks, Stack was quickly made foreign correspondent and transported to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Her initial excitement, though, quickly turned to disgust as she learned [...]

The Rational Optimist – is that an oxymoron?

The Rational Optimist – is that an oxymoron?

If you believe author Matt Ridley, life is getting better. Not only that, but it’s getting better at an accelerating rate. There’s more food and cash – and less violence and disease. And we’re all living longer. Sure, the world isn’t perfect. But all those pessimists who dominate the public discourse, warning that all hell [...]

Toy Story 3 is buzzed

Toy Story 3 is buzzed

In Pixar’s newest film, Andy prepares to depart for college and the toys, including Woody, Jesse, and Buzz, find themselves donated to a local daycare. They soon decide that they must break out to get back to Andy….what could possibly go wrong? Read the Full Story at KPCC Blogs