Writer vs. Critic 2010-2011

Patrick Goldstein, who might be the single best blogger at the LA Times, covers Hollywood, and in his case, that means interviewing influential people in Hollywood. Most of them, because they're in the Industry, cannot stand — for professional reasons — to be disliked, and will not be quoted by name. But Goldstein knows how toContinue reading “Writer vs. Critic 2010-2011”

Another gay hero saves the day

The great interviewer, reporter, and columnist Patt Morrison lays it down again, as always finding a fresh take on a big subject. Here's a taste of her newest story, to intrigue you:  A 20-year-old congressional college intern with only five days on the job saved Gabrielle Giffords’ life. Daniel Hernandez ran toward the sound ofContinue reading “Another gay hero saves the day”

The tea maker, thirty years later…and Yoko

About ten years ago, astonishingly, I got a call from Yoko Ono. I happened to have written a magazine story about the time she spent with John Lennon in the little town of Ojai, in the mid-70's, after he and Yoko were driven out of Greenwich Village by FBI and NYPD surveillance and harassment. They bought a stationContinue reading “The tea maker, thirty years later…and Yoko”

Reporters track, catch, release scientists at work in field

Not with electronic tags (though I suspect some reporters would love to do that). With their co-operation. Some great stories have resulted in just the past couple of weeks. Here's on one the wandering of a mountain lion through SoCal, as reported on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. One statistic stands out:Continue reading “Reporters track, catch, release scientists at work in field”

Scientist challenges denier: denier threatens suit

In a column this past week, George Monbiot pointed to a meticulously detailed take-down of the English Vicount Monckton's scattered attack on climate change science by an American professor specializing in heat transfer named John Abraham. Abraham went through a presentation by Monckton and surgically took it apart, point by point. It's a devastatingly convincingContinue reading “Scientist challenges denier: denier threatens suit”

Best lit journal for backpacking

Without a doubt, Threepenny. Not because they're especially interested in the mountains or the environment (they're not). Because the richness and spontaneity of the writing flows well out of doors, and because the physical form they have chosen — thick paper, broad sheets, light weight — packs well, and works well as tinder, or evenContinue reading “Best lit journal for backpacking”

The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide (Richard Alley Explains All)

For those who would like to get the Richard Alley lecture straight from the source, the American Geophysical Union, here's the video. It's forty-two minutes long, but not a bit boring. Alley has a unique ability to explain complex topics in simple language. Here's an example of his clarity, from Alley's excellent book The Two-MileContinue reading “The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide (Richard Alley Explains All)”

The Rendering of the Dogs vs. Raising Cattle Well

In a bold Swiftian essay from a non-fiction book soon to be published called Eating Animals, New York novelist Jonathan Safer Foer brings up an unpleasant fact: Rendering—the conversion of animal protein unfit for human consumption into food for livestock and pets—allows processing plants to transform useless dead dogs into productive members of the foodContinue reading “The Rendering of the Dogs vs. Raising Cattle Well”

The Fabulousness of Unemployment

As circulation continues to crater, the Los Angeles Times laid off another forty or so staffers this week, including numerous veterans who somehow survived the last two years of terror at the beleaguered newspaper. Among them was a dashing columnist named Tina Daunt, who has reacted by going (on her blog at least) with sheerContinue reading “The Fabulousness of Unemployment”

Let America Be America Again

From artist Steve Brodner's wonderful blog…by which I mean both the art and the poem by Langston Hughes he quotes… Lincoln said, “We must disenthrall Ourselves  and then we shall save our country.” Meaning, snap to, pay attention Lest you lose your moment to act. But of all the days of my life This mightContinue reading “Let America Be America Again”