Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Preventing Cancer: Does This New Report Make a Difference?


I'm sometimes easily swayed by health studies; a few years ago I completely cut out soda after reading a pretty convincing article about how terrible it was for our bodies. Meanwhile, of course we know that exercise and diet is important... and I try to jog when I can... but per the LA Times, it's now even more conclusive that we need to eat/drink less and exercise more to help precent cancer:

Roughly half of cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented or forestalled if all Americans quit smoking, cut back on drinking, maintained a healthful weight and got at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, according to a new report.

These same measures would also reduce the number of new cancer diagnoses by 40% to 70%. For men, universal embrace of this lifestyle could avert or delay 67% of cancer deaths and prevent 63% of new malignancies each year, researchers calculated. If all of the nation’s women did the same, their yearly cancer mortality rates would fall by 59% and new cancers would drop 41%.
Will this be enough to convince me to *really* start watching my diet and cutting back on all those glasses of wine? How about you?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Katie Couric on How She Hopes to Reignite the Gun Debate


A few weeks ago I had the privilege of moderating a panel with Katie Couric, who's the executive producer behind "Under the Gun," a new documentary for Epix that dives deep into the struggle for sensible gun regulations. I wrote about it for Indiewire:

It may not be possible anymore to conduct civil discourse with Americans on guns. But Katie Couric hopes to change that.

The former "CBS Evening News" and "Today" anchor, now Yahoo's global news anchor, is behind the Epix documentary "Under the Gun," which aims at combating misconceptions about responsible gun ownership and background checks.

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has its TV debut on Sunday, comes during a presidential election season in which gun control hasn't been a major campaign issue — at least, not yet. "I've interviewed a number of the candidates, all 27,000 of them initially. The gun debate wasn't a part of the conversation," Couric told us recently, on stage at a panel discussion for "Under the Gun." "We've seen Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about it, which is a welcome thing, it has its place in the conversation. It will be very interesting to see what will happen in the presidential debates. Each candidate will have to put their view on the line out there."

Couric and "Under the Gun" filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig previously collaborated on the 2014 documentary "Fed Up," about childhood obesity. Soechtig grew up near Newtown, Conn., the site of the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which inspired them to make "Under the Gun."

"I said to Stephanie, 'I just don't understand the disconnect: 90 percent of people in this country support background checks and yet when it comes to the federal level, nothing is getting done,'" Couric said. "What is happening here? Usually the question 'why' leads me on these journeys. That's how we started doing this film."

Read more here.

Friday, May 13, 2016

KCRW's The Spin-Off: "Veep" Stars Matt Walsh and Timothy Simons


On the latest edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off, Joe and I chat with "Veep" stars Matt Walsh and Timothy Simons about the Emmy-winning comedy:

Since starring in Veep on HBO, Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh have found themselves having to think before they tweet. The two actors tell us how their own take on politics has changed since they started working on the show, and Simons explains how he accidentally got roped into endorsing a political candidate because of the show.

Walsh and Simons also share how the show has evolved over the years. Season 5 brought some big changes--filming moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles and they were working with a new showrunner. They explain how scenes may change from an initial table read to the final cut, and how having Trump in the real-life race expands the options for possible gaffes in future seasons of the show.

Listen below!


Monday, May 09, 2016

Free L.A.: The Alley Project Turns "Blight into Bright"

Alley murals

If you can find parking (and it's not easy -- we had to stop in a 7-11 lot and basically take turns looking), Jason Ostro's Alley Project, is a great way to (in his words) see how artists have turned "blight into bright."

The L.A. Times has covered the Alley Project, located in Historic Filipinotown, several times; here's a dispatch from last fall:

Ostro’s the Alley Project has produced more than 75 murals by more than 50 artists, some local and some international. The side-by-side works, a mishmash of colors and styles, cover nearly every vertical surface, including garage doors, window bars, even dumpsters. Three alleys have been completed since April; production on a fourth is planned to start in about a month.

“When we first moved into the neighborhood three years ago, there was so much garbage and graffiti around here,” says Ostro, owner of the nearby Gabba Gallery. "The whole idea was: 'Turn blight into bright.'"

Some pics we managed to shoot around the 7-11 (and hopefully we'll be back soon -- and find a parking spot -- to explore more):

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals

Alley murals
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