KPCC Blogs


Who’s ready to be “Inspired”!? Al Qaeda launches its very own magazine

Who’s ready to be “Inspired”!? Al Qaeda launches its very own magazine

I know exactly what you’ve been thinking, “When is Al Qaeda going to come out with a monthly publication?” Well, the wait is over. Al Qaeda, the world’s most popular terrorist group, has unveiled its first English-language magazine to tide over supporters—and recruit new ones of the American variety—in-between jihads. The aptly named “Inspire” dishes [...]

"The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law

"The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law

Should there be a law protecting the fat, the unattractive or the short people of America? Is it prejudice to ridicule a female employee or a Supreme Court Justice nominee for being too ugly? In the age of Botox, plastic surgery gone overboard, and the undying trend of youth, professional women face a bigger obstacle [...]

DON’T rate my professors: Do student evaluations improve—or impair—education?

DON’T rate my professors: Do student evaluations improve—or impair—education?

Texas has developed a plan to implement student evaluations in public schools, allocating funding according to student satisfaction. But, students don’t consume education the way they do a hamburger, warns Stanley Fish in The New York Times. Teacher evaluations, he worries, only account for present satisfaction, but cannot possibly predict what a student will find [...]

The Beauty Bias: the injustice of appearance in life and law

The Beauty Bias: the injustice of appearance in life and law

Should there be a law protecting the fat, the unattractive or the short people of America? Is it prejudice to ridicule a female employee or a Supreme Court Justice nominee for being too ugly? In the age of Botox, plastic surgery gone overboard, and the undying trend of youth, professional women face a bigger obstacle [...]

A young girl’s death puts uncomfortable spotlight on raves & drug culture

A young girl’s death puts uncomfortable spotlight on raves & drug culture

Sasha Rodriguez was 15-years-old when she walked into the L.A. Coliseum to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival rave over the weekend—the minimum age for entrance into the dance party was 16. Sasha died yesterday after being taken off of life support, most likely due to a drug overdose, which casts serious questions over throwing these [...]

What’s your pleasure?

What’s your pleasure?

We crave food and sex like other animals. Yet humans find pleasure in an assortment of unusual ways—why do we like scary movies so much? What’s the appeal of abstract art? And, how can we explain masochism? Paul Bloom explores the ins and outs of satisfaction—sensorial and otherwise—in his book How Pleasure Works, celebrating our [...]

The conservatives’ case against Kagan

The conservatives’ case against Kagan

Some on the left aren’t ecstatic with the idea of Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court, and on the right, John Yoo, the Bush administrator who authored the so-called “torture memos,” has authored his own objections to her, in a New York Times op-ed that ran last month. Why doesn’t John Yoo heart Elena Kagan? [...]

A bigger, better fish, but is it safe?: FDA considers approval of genetically-modified salmon

A bigger, better fish, but is it safe?: FDA considers approval of genetically-modified salmon

Many people love a good slice of fresh salmon. And, they say, salmon’s good for your health. The problem: it’s expensive. And demand is just making it harder to find at a good price. AquaBounty Technologies, a bio-tech firm in Waltham, MA thinks it has the answer: a genetically engineered salmon that grows at twice [...]

San Francisco stays healthy

San Francisco stays healthy

The Supreme Court will not be hearing a challenge from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association against San Francisco’s universal health care program – Healthy San Francisco. The program is available to all San Francisco residents regardless of immigration status, employment status, or pre-existing medical conditions and has enrolled 53,000 previously uninsured people. Where does the [...]

Understanding the Hispanic electorate in America

Understanding the Hispanic electorate in America

When Latinos go to the polls, most have the same political agenda, right? Not necessarily, says CalTech’s Michael Alvarez. He’s the co-author of a new book that looks at the political identity, public opinion, turnout and voting behavior of the nation’s largest minority group. What do the data predict about Hispanic voters? Which factors most [...]