Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The obsessive collectors of Southern California

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
David Boulé, California orange enthusiast. Photo by Gary Leonard

Sometimes collecting becomes more than a hobby. A new series of short films called Monomania L.A. profiles people who’ve obsessively collected everything related to a single aspect of Los Angeles history, from the California orange to the Santa Monica beach.

Call them “monomaniacs.” People like David Boulé, who for some reason, buy one thing, and then another thing like it.
“I have the collectors gene,” Boulé …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Psychedelic: Pakistani truck artist brightens the LA roads

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Truck artist Haider Ali and his finished product

For the last few weeks, Karachi-based artist Haider Ali been working around various spots in southern California, mostly in the parking lot of his hosts at the USC Pacific Asia Museum at Los Robles and Union in Pasadena, spiffing up a Ford cargo van.
In his native Pakistan, Ali is one of a handful of prominent truck artists who do brisk business around the country.  India, he says, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, LA Noir, News »

How Jewish émigrés impacted the birth of film noir

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Film still for Double Indemnity (1944), © Paramount Pictures. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Shown from left: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck.

In the 1930s, as the National Socialist Party gained power in Germany, people around the world did what they could to help Jews escape the Nazi threat. Jewish filmmakers and producers found refuge in Hollywood, and their contributions forever changed American cinema and culture. Those stories are told in several new museum exhibits across Los Angeles.

The 1942 classic Casablanca follows a complicated love story …

California Elections, Environment, Interviews, News, Warren Olney »

Interview with Democratic Candidate for State Controller Betty Yee

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
BettyYee_9666_082

The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer for the state of California, and is tasked with accounting for every dollar spent. Current Controller John Chiang is termed out this November, having served in the post since 2007, and Betty Yee is the Democratic Candidate for his position. She sat down with Warren Olney to talk about her campaign.
Yee claims that her more than …

Education, Interviews, LA Noir, News, Summer »

Mixer: Pushing Deasy; from iPads to iQuit

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

After more than three years heading the LA Unified School District, John Deasy stepped down from his post this week.
Howard Blume is longtime education reporter at the Los Angeles Times, and Vanessa Romo writes for the news website LA School Report. Both joined in for the Mixer.

Deasy is set to remain with the district on “special assignment” (read: a little golden parachute) through the end of …

Interviews, News, Politics »

State Senate President pro tem Kevin De Leon speaks with KCRW’s Warren Olney

Posted October 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
deleon

The incoming president pro tem of the California state Senate is usually sworn in during a quiet ceremony in Sacramento.
But, last tonight, more than 2,000 guests attended a $50,000 gala inauguration bash for Los Angeles Democrat Kevin De Leon at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
They celebrated De Leon becoming the first Latino to lead the state Senate in more than 130 years.
The California Legislative …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

HBO to offer standalone streaming service

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
hbo-go

The top premium cable TV channel in the U.S., HBO, will start selling a streaming, web-based feed of the movie channel with all its original programs starting next year, for people who do not have cable or satellite TV.
During an investors’ meeting at the New York headquarters of parent company Time Warner today, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said the move will target 80 million …

economy, Education, Health Care, Interviews, News »

‘A Path Appears’: Nicholas Kristof’s reasons for optimism

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Nicholas Kristof at KCRW. Photo by Avishay Artsy

Every attempt at making the world a better place for people, starts with – you guessed it – people. What a surprise, right? We, as human beings, affect other human beings.
But that way-oversimplified thesis means nothing if not for good deeds and philanthropy, heart, and, of course, a dose of money too. How everyday people are creating paths to a better world.
A new book …

Bad Driving, Commentary, economy, Environment, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, The New Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Is LA making traffic inroads?

Posted October 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t know where you are right now… but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re close to a web page that will show a geographic freeway map of Los Angeles.
And the 10, 110, 101 or 405 may not be cooperating with your travel plans.
But is it getting better, or are Angelenos still languishing in congested ridiculousness, with no end in sight?
Laura J. Nelson …

Interviews, News »

Translating the mysterious sound of the shofar for deaf congregants

Posted October 3, 2014 by and | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_0957

This weekend marks the culmination of the Days of Awe, a time of intense soul-searching that began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Jewish communities gather to listen to the trumpet-like blast of the shofar, a ram’s horn, to wake themselves up to the hopes and possibilities of a new year.
It’s one of Judaism’s most powerful traditions. But what happens if you can’t …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Traversing Australia with camels

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
When Robyn and her caravan reached the Indian Ocean nine months and 2000 arduous miles later, the camels were thunderstruck at the sight of the ocean. They had never seen so much water. They would stop, turn to stare at it, leap sideways, look at one another with their noses all pointed and ridiculous, then stare at it again, then leap forward again. Bub went straight in for a swim. He had not yet learnt what caution was.  © 2014 Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions

37 years ago, National Geographic – known for its iconic photographs of nature and its inhabitants – sent American photographer Rick Smolan on a strange and life-changing assignment.
His job was to document the travels of a 27-year-old Australian woman across the desolate outback there.
Robyn Davidson was accompanied only by four camels and a dog.
And Rick Smolan.
The 9-month, 1700-mile journey was captured in Davidson’s astonishing …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Where feminist art began: Revisiting ‘Womanhouse’

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Doesn't look historic, but the grounds on which this building sits played an important role in art history

533 N. Mariposa Avenue is an ordinary looking apartment building on a hilltop in the nether land between Koreatown and Los Feliz.  The most remarkable thing about this quiet street is its view of the Griffith Park Observatory.  But the ground on which it sits turns out to be a hallowed bit of contemporary art history.
Back in 1972, pioneering artists Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, along with 21 …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Los Angeles says bye-bye to flat-top skyscrapers

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
View of Los Angeles' downtown skyline. Photo by jondoeforty1 via Flickr/CC.

Los Angeles is home to 745 of the state’s 1,700 high-rises, and it is the only city in America that requires flat rooftop helipads. But as of today, that rule is no longer in effect.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Councilman Jose Huizar and fire Chief Ralph Terrazas at the top of the AT&T Center building to announce the changes to the 1974 rule.
The revised …

Education, Interviews, Issues, News »

Deasy under increasing scrutiny from School Board

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
DEASY

The L.A. School Board is expected to hold a closed-door meeting tomorrow. That in itself is nothing out of the ordinary.
What is unusual is that this is a specially called closed door meeting. And L.A. Times education reporter Howard Blume says the focus will almost certainly be on the future of LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.
Deasy has been under fire for issues connected to the …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Joan Rivers’ archive? The joke could be on all of us

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
joanrivers

When many of us sit down to draw up a will and think about what we might leave to our heirs, we’re looking at perhaps a home, a car, some jewelry, maybe some stocks.
But when it comes to a celebrity, there can be a lot more involved – especially memorabilia.
And that got Seth Abramovitch – a senior writer at the Hollywood Reporter – thinking. …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

What happened to ‘hidden tracks’ on albums?

Posted September 18, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
music_compact_discs

How many times has this happened to you?
You’re listening to a CD, the song fades and you think it’s over. But then – surprise!
Hidden tracks have a long tradition in recorded music, especially in the rock & roll era. And bolstered by digital recordings on compact disc.
Those hidden tracks are present on the album, but they’re not listed on the album cover.
KCRW Music Librarian …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the ‘death industry’ in America

Posted September 15, 2014 by | 4 Comments | ]
Caitlin Doughty, author of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons From the Crematory"

No one likes to talk about death. Well, almost no one.
It’s creepy, right? Scary, disturbing, uncomfortable. But one mortician and writer says it doesn’t have to be those things.
Caitlin Doughty is on a crusade to get us to look mortality straight in the eye.
She’s a licensed mortician and funeral director here in Los Angeles.
She joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis to talk about her new book, …

Interviews, News »

The vanishing neighbor and America’s changing community

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
carthay-square-house-e1391545693154

There’s been a lot of fighting lately. How about we get to know one another?
There was a time when people who lived around you, knew you.
But in today’s social media landscape, we don’t really much talk to anyone, let alone understand who they really are.
So what happened? Why aren’t Americans as neighborly as we used to be?
Marc J. Dunkelman is author of the new …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Preservationists rail against plans to ‘deforest’ Lincoln Boulevard

Posted September 11, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Some people want the mural preserved

The school that sits at the busy corner of Lincoln and Ocean Park Boulevards in Santa Monica was first built in the 1920s as an elementary school, named for environmentalist John Muir. It’s covered on two sides with a mural of the Muir Woods, painted in his honor back in 1978. For decades now, the structure has housed Olympic High School, a small city-run school for at-risk youth.
After …

Environment, Interviews, News »

The fruit flies of youth

Posted September 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The humble Drosophila melanogaster - the fruit fly.

It sounds like a miracle, but UCLA biologists say they have identified a gene that can slow the aging process when activated.
Working with fruit flies, UCLA scientists have used a gene called AMPK to increase the insects’ life spans by about 30 percent.
One of the team leaders, Associate Professor of integrative biology David Walker, says that when the gene is activated in the intestine …

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