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How I Became the Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By | January 16, 2017
Saul Lankster (center) with Martin Luther King’s advisor and friend Rev. Harold Middlebrook (left) and foot soldier Jimmy Webb (right). Courtesy of Saul Lankster.

A Biblical passage, Luke 12:48, states, to whom much is given much is required. That is the attitude I have taken since I learned that I was given the gift of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s voice.
It was not a skill that I developed. I woke up one day and realized I could speak in the same rich voice, with the same baritone and …

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How I Became the Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By | January 16, 2017
Saul Lankster (center) with Martin Luther King’s advisor and friend Rev. Harold Middlebrook (left) and foot soldier Jimmy Webb (right). Courtesy of Saul Lankster.

A Biblical passage, Luke 12:48, states, to whom much is given much is required. That is the attitude I have taken since I learned that I was given the gift of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s voice.
It was not a skill that I developed. I woke up one day and realized I could speak in the same rich voice, with the same baritone and …

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Good Food Host Evan Kleiman Doesn’t Go to Super Fancy Restaurants

By | January 15, 2017
Photo by Aaron Salcido.

Culinarian Evan Kleiman is the host of KCRW’s Good Food and a veteran of the Los Angeles food scene with a keen interest in food policy. In the green room before helming the panel at the Zócalo/UCLA event “What’s So Bad About GMOs?” Kleiman confessed that she isn’t all that interested in fancy meals—and that she ate a cold burrito for breakfast.
 
Q: What salad …

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Food Editor Russ Parsons Talks Citrus Season and Breakfast Foods

By | January 14, 2017
Photo by Aaron Salcido.

In more than 25 years as an award-winning food editor and columnist at the Los Angeles Times, Russ Parsons wrote about the ins and outs of food and farming. Before taking the stage at the Zócalo/UCLA event “What’s So Bad About GMOs?” Parsons sat in the green room and explained why he’s like a Green Goddess.
 
Q: What salad dressing best describes you?
A: I’m going …

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Last one out turns out the lights #poem

By | January 13, 2017
Courtesy of Sebastian Matthews.

Turn the bottle not the cork.
I want a draft on my desk by morning.
Knuckles to the blade. A quick punch
to its bottom flaps opens an empty box.
On top of the stack, a bottle twisted flowers the napkins.
Alternating the direction of the wood at its ends
keeps the pile from falling. Pat your palm
on the metal to gauge the heat.
Marry the bottles. Count the till. Spray the …

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Why America Should Be Running With the Bulls on Wall Street

By | January 13, 2017
A pack of “wolves” surround the Wall Street Bull in 2014 in a nod to the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street. Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Paramount Pictures/Associated Press.

You should be celebrating the fact that the stock market is soaring.
Yes, I’m talking to you, even if you are not a trust fund baby—make that especially if you are not a trust fund baby.
I fear that with all the politicized talk of “Wall Street” and the images that shorthand conjures up in our minds of rapacious bankers and hedge fund managers, we’ve lost track …

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What La La Land and an Acclaimed Satire Reveal About California’s Dark Heart

By | January 12, 2017
Damien Chazelle, director of La La Land, at the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 2, 2017, in Palm Springs, Calif. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Associated Press.

The brilliant new film musical La La Land is being celebrated as a love letter to Los Angeles. But the darker heart of the movie lies in a brief and devastating critique of Southern California, delivered by the jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling.
“That’s L.A.,” he tells his lover, an aspiring actress played by Emma Stone. “They worship everything and they value nothing.”
There has been …

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Helipads Never Made L.A.’s Skyscrapers Much Safer

By | January 11, 2017
Courtesy Keith Skelton/Flickr.

For 40 years, Los Angeles’ building code has required all buildings 75 feet and taller to have a rooftop emergency helicopter landing facility in a location approved by the fire chief. The idea in 1974, when the law was passed, was to make skyscrapers safer, in part as a reaction to a catastrophic fire in Brazil. But we know now there are better ways to …

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How Homesteaders Turned Fragile Arizona Savannas Into a Bare-Earth Desert

By | January 11, 2017
Courtesy of Doctress Neutopia/Flickr.

In the Santa Cruz Flats in southern Arizona, the beige of sandy plains, dunes, and clay-filled basins alternate with green swaths of irrigated cotton fields. Save for a rare jackrabbit, the only mammals are underground. Bird-watchers come to see migrating hawks perched on power poles waiting for rodents to venture forth into one of the remaining cultivated maize fields or sod farms.
To call the Santa …

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Self-Cloning Salamanders Can Tell Us a Thing or Two About Climate Change

By | January 11, 2017
Newly metamorphosed salamanders—both spotted and unisexual—getting ready to leave the vernal pool. Researchers wear gloves to prevent the spread of disease from pool to pool. Courtesy of Kristine Hoffmann.

Birds do it, bees do it, and so the song goes, even educated fleas do it. But unisexual salamanders don’t.
These all-female amphibians clone themselves to make eggs—all girls—and they’ve survived this way for five million years. A real-life lineage of Amazonian amphibians, they achieve the seemingly impossible, generation after generation. Whatever your deepest beliefs about what is natural, normal, or even conceivable with sex …

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For a Freelance Oboist, an Itinerant Life Means No Routine and No Second Chances

By | January 10, 2017
Courtesy of Francis Marciano/Flickr.

Ever since moving to Los Angeles in 2006, I’ve spent so much time in my car that I gave the car a name: Junípero for Father Junípero Serra, the Franciscan monk who created California’s mission system. Junípero has taken me to visit many of those missions and has transported me, and my oboe, to countless performances across California.
I make my living by teaching oboe …

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