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Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:15:30 +0000

 



Will Squid Soon Rule the Oceans?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:01:44 +0000

The future is full of tentacles.

Even now, both giant and colossal squid writhe throughout the deep, while hooked and flying squid migrate from sea to sea in swirling swarms. Otherworldly glass squid and jewel squid proliferate in the open ocean. And market and common squid blanket shorelines with their egg capsules and their own dying bodies.

Then, of course, there are the octopuses: giant and pygmy, intertidal and abyssal, deadly and benign. All kinds of cuttlefish, too, from the tiny and toxic flamboyant to the edible pharaoh.

Over the coming years, we’re likely to witness an even greater abundance of squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish—collectively known as cephalopods. Primed by 500 million years of evolution, these creatures seem to be thriving on contemporary environmental upheaval.

The apparent delicacy of a cephalopod’s body is deceiving. Unarmored, their skin is packed with sensitive nerves, and they’re easily damaged. They are in fact

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UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:01:13 +0000

Gene Block has served as UCLA chancellor since Aug. 1, 2007. He previously was vice president and provost of the University of Virginia, where he was also the Alumni Council Thomas Jefferson Professor of Biology. Chancellor Block is a distinguished professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and holds a joint faculty appointment in integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College. Before taking part in a Zócalo/UCLA panel discussion titled “How Can We Reverse the Depression Epidemic?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles, he chatted in the green room about his father’s mid-life funk, why jet lag makes you tired, and what scientists learned from people living underground.

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Depression Isn’t Just a Global Epidemic. It’s a Silent One.

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0000

Depression is still the illness that dares not speak its name. Taboos persist. Social stigmas endure. Many confounding mysteries remain about exactly what causes depression and how best to treat it—even though it affects tens of millions of people worldwide, and even as the number of suicides globally has soared to 1 million.

Those painful realities formed the backdrop to a Zócalo/UCLA event titled “How Can We Reverse the Depression Epidemic?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles. But over the course of a wide-ranging hour-long discussion, panelists pointed to several signs of progress in recognizing and dealing with depression.

Moderator Anna Gorman, senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, opened the conversation by asking panelist Gene Block, the chancellor of UCLA, about his university’s UCLA Depression Grand Challenge (DGC), a campus-wide initiative aimed at reducing depression both within the school’s community and beyond. Some

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Why Americans Insist on Putting a Price Tag on Life

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:01:13 +0000

Everything, as they say in America, has its price. It has been found that a lack of sleep costs the American economy $411 billion a year and stress another $300 billion. Countless other studies have calculated the annual cost of pain ($560 million), heart disease ($309 billion), cancer ($243 billion), and diabetes ($188 billion). Surf the web at work sometimes? That costs the American people $63 billion a year. Did you show up hungover as well? Tack on another $77 billion.

And while you may not know it, the American government has long put a price tag on Americans themselves. The Obama administration pegged the value of the average American life at $9.1 million. That was up from $6.8 million under the Bush administration.

Americans have developed the penchant for measuring nearly every aspect of their lives in dollars and cents, a process of seeing humans as assets that is

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Los Angeles Times Former Beijing Bureau Chief Julie Makinen

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:01:49 +0000

Julie Makinen is a former Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. She has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, and previously worked for The Washington Post and for what is now known as the international edition of The New York Times. She also was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Before moderating a Zòcalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event, “Is China Prepared to Lead the Global Economy?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles, she spoke in the green room about Wonder Woman, Chinese food, and the lost island of California.

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The ‘Hillbilly’ Migrants Who Made Akron, Ohio the World’s Rubber Capital

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:01:49 +0000

In the earliest decades of the 20th century, more than 28 million men and women—black and white—began “The Great Migration” north from the Deep South and Appalachia. Among those who left their homes, literally hundreds of thousands migrated to “the Rubber Capital of the World”—Akron, Ohio. With blacks barred from factory work due to the tenor of the times in Akron, Southern white males would build the tires and produce the war materials as America entered World War I.

Although dismissively and disparagingly called “hillbillies,” these Southern whites were preferred even over locals by the rubber companies. This was because, as author John Tully noted in The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber, “they were hard workers and often individualistic in outlook, reflecting their origins as fiercely independent small-owners of farmlands.” This made them less susceptible to unionization and meant they could be easily “returned” by simply allowing

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To Be Blunt, California’s Marijuana Industry Is Stoking High Anxiety

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:01:34 +0000

California’s 2018 transition to legal marijuana contains a mind-bending paradox: Ending prohibitions on marijuana is going to require an awful lot of aggressive law enforcement.

When January 1 rolls around, California will not merely be permitting adults 21 and older to buy marijuana for recreational purposes. The state and its cities also will be scrambling to create a new and wickedly complicated regime to regulate and tax cannabis.

Coming high times will have high stakes: The legalization of cannabis in America’s largest state, if carried off well, represents an opportunity to end the war on drugs that still rages in the United States, with the cops catching far more poor people than preppies.

But if this transition turns messy, the Trump administration—which is devoted both to debasing California and promoting thoughtless “law-and-order” policies—could bogart everything by stepping up arrests and criminal penalties for drug violations.

Smoking weed is said to

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OCCUPIED

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:01:50 +0000

*****

Underneath this day, another

The way morning – shang
sits on top of afternoon

What is past is
what we see –

Speculation as to how long this war will last.
Con Cater says 3 months. Ethel Taylor says 12 months.
I say three years.

The pages fill. Each day a blank.

*****

Then, my stomach –

moldy flour,

wanting news from home, and

a body is what we bring,

what we offer. I’ve taken a strange

language into my mouth but

press gangs busy taking Chinese off streets is what

this hand writes,

records

****

Samuel Johnson said, no detail too small

Mending and tea and washing
everything on days with
blessed hot water

Christmas letters written,
then destroyed

Black houses and
streets

One day, only this –

Something to remember

Betty’s face, when she came in
with the red rose

 
 
*The above poems are

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When Alaskan and Russian Native People Thawed the Cold War’s ‘Ice Curtain’

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:01:03 +0000

As the Russian city of Provideniya’s deteriorating concrete buildings came into view below, Darlene Pungowiyi Orr felt uneasy. So did the other 81 passengers landing in that isolated far-eastern Soviet outpost in 1988.

They were aboard the first American commercial jet to land there since the United States and USSR had imposed a Cold War “Ice Curtain” across the Bering Sea some 40 years earlier. Orr, a 26-year-old Siberian Yupik Alaska Native, grew up on the tip of Alaska’s St. Lawrence Island, the mountains of Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula visible on the western horizon. Her family’s shortwave radio sometimes picked up chatter in Russian. “That was the language of spies,” recalled Orr, who imagined Soviet frogmen splashing up on her village’s gravel beach.

The Alaska Airlines’ “Friendship Flight” helped melt the Ice Curtain by reuniting Alaska and Russia Native people separated for four decades. As soon as she made her way

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Barack Obama Had an ‘Iron Will’ to Succeed—but What Was at His Core?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:00:47 +0000

Historian David J. Garrow acknowledges that he’s “cynical” about Barack Obama, a conclusion that he reached while conducting 1,000 interviews and spending nine years researching the formation and political rise of America’s 44th president.

Garrow shared some of his reasons for what he called his “huge disappointment” with the Obama presidency at a Zócalo/KCRW “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney” event, “How Did Barack Obama Create Himself?”.

Hosted by Olney, the longtime KCRW radio personality and dean of Los Angeles news broadcasters, the evening echoed many of the thematic lines—and withering criticisms—that surface in Garrow’s 1,400-page biography Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. “It’s worth reading,” Olney quipped, “but it takes a long time.” (Most reviewers agreed: The New York Times appraised Rising Star as “impressive if gratuitously snarly,” while Politico judged it to be “a masterwork of historical and journalistic research.”)

Published last spring, the book charts his

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