Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patt Morrison for Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:30 - OPEN


1:30 – 1:39

New study of NASA data from 1976 points to possible life on Mars

According to an international team of mathematicians and scientists, there is life on Mars. The team, including University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine neurobiologist Joseph Miller, came to this conclusion after reanalyzing data from a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA’s Viking Mars robots in 1976. The study quantified the raw data and the results were checked for complexity. Key among the findings was a high degree of order which scientists believe points to biological processes. Not everyone in the scientific community agrees with the new study. Some call for caution, pointing out that the methodology is not yet effective enough to differentiate between biological and non-biological processes here on Earth. Miller is also reanalyzing the data to see if there could be variations caused by a weeks-long dust storm on Mars. Those research results are expected to be presented in August. Are you excited about the prospect of life on Mars? Do you think the methodology behind these findings should be questioned? Should NASA send another mission to Mars?



Joseph Miller, associate professor of cell and neurobiology at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine


1:41:30 – 1:58:30

Cash mobs hit L.A.

You’ve heard of flash mobs, but have you heard of cash mobs? While Republican and Democratic politicians continue to squabble over tax hikes, some Americans have chosen to show their support for the country’s small businesses the old fashioned way: by lavishing them with cash. Cash mob members pledge to spend at least twenty dollars at a local business, to be decided on by local chapter members. The call goes out, and the mob shows up…in a more or less orderly fashion, at an agreed-upon time. Stores visited by cash mobs have reported revenues  of up to $9000. About 248 so-called cash mob chapters have started across the country, mostly made up of young professionals who organize online and usually say their reasons are as much social as they are philanthropic. Andrew Samtoy, the Ohio attorney who cofounded the movement, stated that he was looking for a way to make flash mobs creative again, as well as help small, struggling businesses. Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that a cash mob spent $1200 in a few hours at the newly-opened store of the Downtown Women’s Center, Made by DWC. Have you participated in a cash mob, or do you own a store that has been visited by one? What do you think of the idea?



Andrew Samtoy (SAM-toy), Ohio attorney, San Diego native and cofounder of the worldwide cash mobs movement  

Stacy Mitchell (f), senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance


Lisa Gilmore, coordinated Los Angeles Cash Mobs on Facebook, Twitter and Meetup, and has organized four events since December


2:06 – 2:30

Voter ID wars heat up

Beneath the headlines about mommy wars and dogs tied to cars, a real debate is brewing about voter ID laws in the 2012 election. Both sides are fighting to frame the debate: Is election fraud rampant, or are Republicans colluding in a state-by-state strategy to suppress college students, women voters, and minorities from showing up at the polls? While that’s the subject of much debate, there’s no question that the laws are sweeping the nation. Different versions have passed in Pennsylvania, been struck down by the DOJ in South Carolina, and by the state court this week in Wisconsin. Most recently, an Arizona appellate court yesterday upheld a provision of state law that required voters to show a photo ID, but struck down the part requiring proof of citizenship. Plaintiffs in the case argued the law evokes fear in voters and amounts to a “poll tax,” by requiring an official photo ID, which the state charges to issue. Meanwhile, supporters of voter ID laws say they’re necessary to protect ballot security. Both sides have been vocal and the stakes are high, perhaps even as high as seeing whether 5 million voters make it to the polls, according to one study released last fall by the Brennan Center.



Richard Hasen (HA- like hat), professor specializing in election law, UC Irvine; he’s also author of the forthcoming book The Voting Wars: From Florida 200 to the Next Election Meltdown


Keesha Gaskins, Brennan Center, a non-partisan public policy institute

Kris W. Kobach (KOE-bawk), Secretary of State for Kansas, national expert on constitutional law with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and an advisor to the Mitt Romney Campaign


2:41:30 – 2:58:30
Hollywood heavyweight Lawrence Kasdan releases his latest film, “Darling Companion”

Since famously being rejected 37 times for his first script, Lawrence Kasdan has gone on to become a very well-respected name in Hollywood. Kasdan’s first major notoriety came when “Star Wars” creator George Lucas hired him to complete the script the franchise’s first sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back” – which brought some gravitas to the blockbuster sci-fi saga. Lucas then hired him to write the screenplay for the swashbuckling throwback “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” after which Kasdan set off on a unique career path that found him both writing and directing movies like “Body Heat,” “The Big Chill,” Silverado,” “The Accidental Tourist,” “Wyatt Earp” and “The Bodyguard” - the latter of which was the script turned down so many times before he became an Academy Award nominated director, producer and screenwriter. His newest film, Darling Companion, was written with his wife of 42 years, Meg Kasdan and stars Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline in a story about how a lost dog can expose the strained bonds of human relationships. What is your favorite Lawrence Kasdan movie?

Lawrence Kasdan, director, producer and co-screenwriter of the upcoming film “Darling Companion”
Meg Kasdan, co-screenwriter of the upcoming film “Darling Companion”








Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278

losen@scpr.org @Patt_Morrison


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