The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 4)—'Science' sets up a sting, Siri suffers an identity crisis, Maywood has a drinking problem, hola Walter Blanco

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1. Peer-review pressure: Fake science is being published, for a fee (NPR)

An experiment by "Science," a leading mainline journal, concluded that many online journals are ready to publish bad research in exchange for a fee. The result should trouble doctors, patients, policymakers, researchers cheated out of meaningful feedback, and anyone who has a stake in the integrity of science (read: everyone).

Deliberately faked research was submitted 305 times — more than half the journals accepted it, failing to flag the fatal flaws noticeable to "anyone with more than high-school knowledge of chemistry."

2. Latino education gap threatens California’s future (KPCC)

Despite a decade of effort, educators have failed to close the achievement gap for the state's largest minority group.

Latinos scored a hundred points less than their white counterparts, and more than 150 points below Asian students, on this year's California's Academic Performance Index. It could be years before the public knows whether Common Core will help Latinos.


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KPCC DIGEST PM (Oct. 3)—New aging, brunch as lifestyle, TWTR, Facebooktown, Capitol Hill, 69 counts of public corruption

Photo by Chase Clark/ohthecuteness via Flickr Creative Commons

1. New aging: 'Crystallized intelligence' compensates for diminished brain power (KPCC)

Unless you've already forgotten, you know that humans lose cognitive ability as we age. Now, a UC Riverside study finds that our hard-earned wisdom helps make up for that loss of brain power.

The study looks at two kinds of intelligence — "fluid intelligence," which gives us the ability to learn and process information (that's what degrades as we age), and "crystallized intelligence," or accumulated life experience, seems to pick up the slack.

2. In 1948, LA banned comic books. MEANWHILE... (KPCC)

In September 1948, the L.A. City Council passed a ban on comic books. This Sunday at El Cid, Captured Aural Phantasy Theater will present its "Night of Noir" variety show that brings some of these banned comics to life in the style of an old radio program.


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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 3)—Devil winds, secret pinball, standardized test chooses 'other,' shutdown goes down the rabbit hole

Photo by BeerNotBombs via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Weekend warriors may be battling the devil winds (KPCC)

The weather may be mild right now, but dry air coming off the desert will push the marine layer back to its watery lair on Thursday. Santa Ana gusty winds are forecast for the mountains and inland valleys, accompanied by a sharp drop in humidity levels to single digits.

The National Weather Service has issued extreme fire danger warnings for late Thursday night through Saturday, with Santa Ana winds gusting up to 55 miles an hour in local mountains. Friday's highs in the valleys are set to climb to around 90 degrees — even higher Saturday.

2. The best-kept secret of local musicians opens its doors to the public (KPCC)

RZA will headline a block party in Echo Park this weekend in celebration of Bedrock Studios — a 40,000 square-foot former jewelry factory that now operates as a rehearsal space, recording studio, and vintage pinball arcade.


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The story behind our coverage: 4 live chats with KPCC reporters

KPCC education reporter Annie Gilbertson in the studio.
Kristen Lepore


Walk in the shoes of our science reporter Sanden Totten as he takes us inside JPL and let our data journalist Chris Keller show you the massive lines of code behind our Fire Tracker.

Wednesday marks the start of our fall pledge drive. That means that over the next 10 days, we'll be introducing you to our staff, highlighting some of our favorite coverage, throwing a big bash — and hosting a slew of Twitter chats. 

Follow @KPCC on Twitter — or click here — to join chats with the following staffers: 

Sanden covers everything from advances in medical technology to dinosaur fossils and space exploration. Some recent highlights of his work include a feature on the blue-footed booby and a series on the ecology of SoCal beaches


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KPCC DIGEST AM (Oct. 2)—California copes, survey says, judge rules, strategy stalls and the next possible crisis is only 15 days away

Photo by Anna Lee (annamatic3000) via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Government shutdown: How Southern California is coping (KPCC)

Impact of the shutdown on Southern California is affecting offices and facilities overseen by federal agencies, resulting in furloughs, sending ripples through the economy, and touching the lives of ordinary people who want to renew a passport or travel.

For example: EDD reports an average of 246,217 people were employed by the federal government in California over the last 12 months; NASA celebrated its 55th birthday on the day it was forced to close, and Joshua Tree could be turning away up to 7,000 people per day.

2. California GOP Congressman disagrees with his party strategy on shutdown (KPCC)

Not all Republicans in Congress are pleased with current strategy. One California GOP member is disgusted with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party House members he blames for the impasse and for pushing the party off a cliff.


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