A weekly look at Southern California life covering news, arts and culture, and more. Hosted by John Rabe

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Vivian Maier, Outsider Photog - Off-Ramp for Jan. 7, 2012

Segments From This Episode

Pacific Standard Time: Conceptual art at OCMA

Conceptual art is as much, or more, about the process of experiencing (making, looking at, thinking about, documenting) art as the art object itself. And SoCal, not weighed down by the strictures and structures of the art establishment, was a hotbed of conceptual art. It's the focus of the Orange County Museum of Art's Pacific Standard Time entry, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970. Off-Ramp host John Rabe talked with artist Al Ruppersberg, a surprise guest, and OCMA's co-curator, Karen Moss. (The exhibit closes January 22d, so go see it now!)
Vivian Maier was a nanny for most of her life in Chicago, but now after John Maloof stumbled across her negatives at auction, she's one of the world's biggest art stories.

Was Rick Perry actually drunk? A computer says it knows

Last October, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry delivered a bizarre speech in New Hampshire during which he bounced on his heels, giggled, and struggled to stay on point. Many people thought that he was drunk, and the claims became so widespread that Perry had to publicly deny them. But short of going back in time and taking a blood sample, there was no way to be sure. That is, until a team of researchers from USC came along.

Cactus County Cowboys exclusive Off-Ramp performance

Will Ryan, leader of the Cactus County Cowboys, calls their brand of music "Cowboy Skiffle." They entertained Mickey Rooney, Margaret O'Brien, Rose Marie, and the rest of the crowd at the Southern California Motion Picture Council's annual holiday banquet, but Off-Ramp host John Rabe got a special preview as they were warming up. In this iteration, Ryan -- the voice of Tigger for 16 years -- is joined by Westy Westenhofer, John "Presto" Reynolds, "Chaparall Katie" Cavera, "Buckaroo Benny" Brydern, and "Cactus Chloe" Feoranzo.
Dodgeball at Eagle Rock Yacht Club

Eagle Rock Yacht Club gives gift of dodgeball to local kids

And now, Dodgeball: the 600 year old sport so loved by elementary and middle schoolers has become not only an ironic trend for adults, but a way to do good here in Los Angeles.
Suspect Arrested In Slew Of Los Angeles Arson Fires

How does a dollar a year salary work?

When the alleged Hollywood arsonist was arrested this past Monday, the man responsible was reserve Sheriff’s deputy Shervin Lalezary. A Beverly Hills based lawyer by day who—for all his hard work for LA County, makes just one dollar a year in compensation.  That got KPCC’s Kevin Ferguson wondering: how does that work?
Actress Margaret O?Brien arrives for the

Margaret O'Brien, then and now

Margaret O'Brien -- "Journey for Margaret," "Meet Me in St Louis," "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" -- was one of the biggest stars of her time. But Hollywood didn't believe that a delightful, spunky, preternaturally talented child actor could make it as an adult. But O'Brien, who turns 75 on January 15, is still as smart, fun, and youthful (she wears diamonds in her nose piercing!) as she ever was. Off-Ramp host John Rabe spoke with her at the annual holiday banquet of the Southern California Motion Picture Council, one of O'Brien's favorite causes.
Richard Lange

LA writer Richard Lange takes us on a tour of his MacArthur Park

Richard Lange is an L.A. author who revels in the unglamorous side of the city. He's published a novel, "This Wicked World", a collection of short stories, "Dead Boys," and been published in Slake Magazine and the "Best American Mystery Stories of 2011".
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1/7/2012 UPDATE: The LA Zoo is celebrating Betty White's 90th birthday this month with a cake for the first 900 people through the gate and a special scavenger hunt. Betty won't be there; she's too busy! We taped this interview last summer. It's true, and when she's petting the tapir, she's thinking about the koala, and possibly the elephant. Betty White, America's sweetheart and author of the memoir "If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)," talks with KPCC's John Rabe about the LA Zoo (and its upcoming Beastly Ball fundraiser), acting in "Advise and Consent" under Otto Preminger, and about looking like a grandma.
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How Green Was My Valley?

UPDATE: The state of California may close Los Encinos State Historic Park, at Balboa and Ventura Blvd. in Encino, once "the hub of human habitation in the Southern San Fernando Valley," because it doesn't make enough money. No, it's not a moneymaker, but it's tranquil, fun, and rich in history. Off-Ramp talked with local historian Kevin Roderick about the park a few years ago.
At Merry Karnowsky Gallery's Vivian Maier exhibit, Off-Ramp host John Rabe ran into photographic revolutionary Chris Butler. He took Rabe's photo on an old-fashioned point-and-shoot and won't process the film for MONTHS.

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