KPCC Blogs


The Quants: How math whizzes nearly destroyed Wall Street

The Quants: How math whizzes nearly destroyed Wall Street

Wall Street traders traditionally make decisions by following intuition and looking at the fundamentals of the market. But by the turn of the century, a group of math whizzes relied increasingly on quantitative investing- pairing complex analytical formulas with high-speed computers to predict the future of the stock market. These "quants" made billions with their [...]

Jesse Ventura’s "American Conspiracies"

Jesse Ventura’s "American Conspiracies"

Conspiracy theories are often rejected as mindless babble from the “nuts” of our nation. But some people have tried to defend their legitimacy. Former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura offers his take on some of the most talked about conspiracies of our time. From 9/11 to JFK’s assassination, Jesse tells us what he [...]

Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen

Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen

A new biography looks at the dramatic life of country music legend Tammy Wynette, including her 5 marriages, 17-number-one hits, and years of drug-addiction. Author Jimmy McDonough says the lady who crooned “Stand By Your Man” was much more complex—and independent—than people give her credit for. Read the Full Story at KPCC Blogs

Andy Garcia’s "City Island"

Andy Garcia’s "City Island"

The average American family has secrets, but nothing like those that the Rizzo family keeps. In the new movie City Island, Andy Garcia stars as Vince Rizzo a corrections officer and aspiring actor. Vince stops at nothing to cover up his evening acting classes even if it means his wife thinks he’s having an affair. [...]

The Routes of Man

The Routes of Man

Forget the station wagon—and Kerouac for that matter. Ted Conover’s road trips veer off the smooth blacktop in favor of truck convoys through Kenya, Beijing racing clubs, altitude-inducing Andean shipping routes. Conover explores how roads can bring resources, trade, and modernity to the most remote regions of the world along with disease and social strife. [...]

LA – sane and mundane?

LA – sane and mundane?

According to the Daily Beast, Los Angeles is not as crazy as we Angelenos may have thought. Lacking a slogan with the obvious appeal of Austin’s “KEEP IT WEIRD” or the eccentricity of New York City’s “Naked Cowboy” is Los Angeles the black sheep in the land of the loonies? We at Patt Morrison don’t [...]

Blockbusting: George Lucas’ guide to timeless films

Blockbusting: George Lucas’ guide to timeless films

George Lucas's latest project isn't a movie- it's a 976 page book. In "Blockbusting," Lucas surveys over 100 years of moviemaking to pick 300 films that stand the test of time. Of interest to film buffs are the shooting schedules, financial figures and trivia behind the making of each movie. The production costs and box [...]

Streamlining the three R’s—panel moves to standardize public education

Streamlining the three R’s—panel moves to standardize public education

To this day, there is no national standard of public education, state by state, but a panel of educators convened by the nation’s governors and state school superintendents is aiming to change that. Yesterday, they released a set of proposed academic standards to establish basic education guidelines that could apply to nearly every student in [...]

How are Haiti and the Dominican Republic so different? Jared Diamond’s Natural Experiments of History

How are Haiti and the Dominican Republic so different? Jared Diamond’s Natural Experiments of History

How did a single island, Hispaniola, produce nations as different as Haiti and the Dominican Republic? When scientists test theories, they do lab experiments. But what about situations where a quantifiable experiment is impossible? In Natural Experiments of History, Jared Diamond and his co-editor James A. Robinson look at different theories in the social sciences [...]

Laptops in the classroom – to ban or not to ban? That is the new question.

Laptops in the classroom – to ban or not to ban? That is the new question.

The prevalence of laptops in college classrooms has been hailed as good and bad. Students love it. They can type faster than they can write, AND they can surf the web during class! Professors across the country have figured that out and have started banning laptops in the classroom. On the flip side, smart phones [...]