KPCC Blogs


Faith, Interrupted: losing your religion

Faith, Interrupted: losing your religion

As the son of an Episcopal priest, faith played an important role in writer Eric Lax's life growing up. During the Vietnam War, Lax's beliefs even moved him to become a conscientious objector. But over the years he slowly drifted away from those religious convictions, and he struggled to understand why. In his memoir Faith, [...]

Jules Feiffer’s life: Backing into Forward

Jules Feiffer’s life:  Backing into Forward

From a “smart –ass kid into an enraged satirist,” Jules Feiffer traces his personal history from the Bronx, where he grew up in the1930s, through his years of drawing the Pulitzer prize-winning comic strip that ran in the Village voice and 100 other publications for 42 years. In his usual self-deprecating humor, he narrates stops [...]

Building a green economy

Building a green economy

Politicians and media outlets of different stripes paint wildly different pictures of the effect of environmental regulation on the economy. How aggressively should policy makers regulate carbon emissions? Do climate change laws hurt the economy—or help it? Which studies of cost are being taken out of context—and by whom? New York Times columnist and economist [...]

FDA & EPA opens safety review on a ubiquitous antibacterial chemical

FDA & EPA opens safety review on a ubiquitous antibacterial chemical

Triclosan is a product that you’ve probably never heard about and yet you use every single day, dozens of times a day. The antibacterial chemical is found in thousands of household cleaning items, from soap to toothpaste and has been in use for over 30 years—it is also detected in the urine of nearly 75% [...]

Get your own damn coffee! Explosion in unpaid internships might be illegal…

Get your own damn coffee! Explosion in unpaid internships might be illegal…

It’s a long running joke that all interns do is get coffee and sort mail. Well the joke may be on the employer this time because sending interns to fetch coffee, pack boxes, or answer phones may not be kosher with the federal Labor Department. New investigations into these internships show that many companies have [...]

An O.D. on 3D movies?

An O.D. on 3D movies?

With releases in the past few months including Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and Clash of the Titans, Hollywood has increased its output of 3-D movies- as well as the ticket prices to go with them. What does this trend mean for moviegoers and the film industry? Is it a profit-driven [...]

The debatable powers of breastfeeding: will more milk save lives & money?

The debatable powers of breastfeeding: will more milk save lives & money?

It’s long been conventional wisdom that breastfeeding is the single most important thing that mothers can do for their infants, in terms of disease prevention and encouraging healthy growth—but that wisdom is fraught with anxiety and debate about how vital breastfeeding, how long it should be done and the magnitude of the promised health benefits. [...]

The Yugo: the car we love to hate

The Yugo: the car we love to hate

When the Yugo came to the United States in 1985, buyers flocked to the hatchback and its $3,990 price, making it the fastest-selling first-year European import in U.S. history. But its poor quality soon made drivers turn on the vehicle, and resulted in numerous bad-car jokes. Why does the Yugo have a rear-window defroster? So [...]

Sapphire on “Push” and “Precious”

Sapphire on “Push” and “Precious”

The film “Precious,” nominated for six Oscars and winner of “Best Adapted Screenplay” and “Best Supporting Actress,” shocked audiences with its gritty dose of realism that deals head-on with the uncomfortable subjects of incest, abuse and poverty, but the novel “Push,” upon which the film was based, is even more intense. Patt talks with the [...]

On fact and fraud in science

On fact and fraud in science

It's not easy to identify fraud in science, says CalTech physicist David Goodstein. In his book On Fact and Fraud, Goodstein examines cases of alleged scientific misconduct, such as Robert Millikan's measurement of an electron's charge; the "discovery" of cold fusion; and the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity- a feat that seemed implausible, but turned out [...]