KPCC Blogs


Spiders! They’re creepy and crawly but are they dangerous?

Spiders! They’re creepy and crawly but are they dangerous?

A spider is just one of those creatures greeted with an automatic “ick” from humans. They jump, they crawl, the hang from webs, and, most importantly, they have fangs. Nonetheless, they’re here to stay. Some are poisonous, but many are harmless. So which spiders really warrant a scream and squish? Patt talks to an expert [...]

Pam Grier lets her hair down

Pam Grier lets her hair down

Larry talks with actress Pam Grier about her candid new memoir detailing her life and career. She shares her thoughts on being a “Blaxploitation” star, (describing herself as “Chekhov in a wet T-shirt!”), working with Roger Corman and Quentin Tarantino, remembers her relationships with Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and talks openly about [...]

Los Tigres Del Norte at Disney Hall

Los Tigres Del Norte at Disney Hall

From a small farming town in Mexico to the top of Latin music charts, Los Tigres del Norte have come a long way over their three-decade career. The norteño-ensemble of brothers and cousins are fixtures in the Latin music scene, with more than 55 albums under their belt and five Latin Grammy Awards. Their corridos [...]

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 [...]