Thursday, February 25, 2010

Patt Morrison for Friday, 2/26/10


Friday, February 26, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:08 – 1:19




1:25 – 1:53     

Jared Diamond’s Natural Experiments of History

The case of Haiti and the Dominican Republic has long perplexed the world; the two countries share the island of Hispaniola, both are former colonies, and yet, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere while the D.R. is a wealthier developing nation with a growing economy.  How does one determine why a nation has evolved into its present state?  Why do two otherwise similar societies diverge radically or why do two very different societies evolve along similar lines?  These social science questions can’t be answered by controlled lab experiments because lab experiments can’t accurately account for being colonized by the Spanish versus the French, or having a country’s land entirely deforested.  That scientific shortcoming led Pulitzer-prize winning author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” Jared Diamond, in search of models complex enough to tackle these questions.  He joins Patt to talk about those findings and his latest book, “Natural Experiments in History.”



Jared Diamond, Pulitzer-prize winning author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” and is a professor of Geography at UCLA; most recently, he’s the editor of “Natural Experiments of History”




2:08 – 2:37
The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is a story about an elite bomb disarming team in Iraq. Their leader appears to have a death wish and his reckless behavior causes some turmoil for the team.  It’s intense and gritty and is tied with Avatar for the most Oscar nominations (9), including Best Picture and Best Director.  Mark Boal won the Writers Guild of America award for his screenplay. Boal is an investigative journalist who spent time following an Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit in Iraq in 2004.  He tells Patt about his experience in Iraq and how it inspired him to write the screenplay for The Hurt Locker.  

Mark Boal
(boil), screenwriter, The Hurt Locker

·        Kathryn Bigelow, the films’ director, was the first woman to ever receive the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.  She is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.  If she wins, she’ll be the first woman to receive an Oscar for directing.   Bigelow is only the fourth woman nominated for a directing Oscar, following Sofia Coppola for 2003's "Lost in Translation," Jane Campion for 1993's "The Piano" and Lena Wertmuller for 1975's "Seven Beauties."

·        Boal is teaming up with Bigelow again on a film called, “Triple Frontier” for Paramount Pictures.

·        Boal also wrote the “In the Valley of Elah”(2007) with Tommy Lee Jones. It was also based on fact. 

·        The best-picture and director categories shape up as a showdown between ex-spouses who directed films that have dominated earlier Hollywood honors. Cameron's "Avatar" won best drama and director at the Golden Globes, while Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" beat out Cameron at the Directors Guild of America Awards, whose recipient usually goes on to earn the best-director Oscar. "The Hurt Locker" also beat "Avatar" for the Producers Guild of America top prize and was chosen as last year's best film by many key critics groups.



2:40 – 2:53

5-years of the McCourt’s income: $108 million. Paying zero in taxes: Priceless

While it is gaining in the ranks of notorious divorce cases in a city full of divorce horror stories, the break up of Frank and Jamie McCourt, owners of the L.A. Dodgers, has produced all kinds of interesting subplots.  The latest comes from papers filed by Jamie McCourt’s attorneys in the couples divorce proceedings that show the McCourts made $108 million in income from 2004 – 2009, yet paid zero in federal and state income taxes during that period of time.  How, might you ask, is that legally possible?  A variety of perfectly legal, if morally questionable, tools can help multi-millionaires pay next to nothing in taxes, from claiming losses to “charitable” donations.  How can the average tax-paying Joe get out of their taxes?






Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

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