Pacific Drift

Pacific Drift for June 25, 2006

When was the last time you actually felt fear... the last time you were really afraid of something? People will inevitably take this question in a number of different ways. Today on the show, master of Horror Mick Garris, a former Mexican Mafia hit man and the scariest walk home from school.

From Altar Boy to Hit Man: Ramon Mendoza grew up in East Los Angeles in the 1950s and '60s. As a juvenile, he fell in with a gang, killed a man and ended up in the California Youth Authority. He eventually became a hit man in the Mexican Mafia - where fear was his deadliest weapon. He's written a book called From Altar Boy to Hit Man.

Mick Garris: Mick Garris is the creator of the Masters of Horror series on Showtime. He has spent his career figuring out how to scare people with horror movies. He shares some tricks of the trade with Ben Adair.

Julian Hoeber, Hypochondriac: Julian Hoeber is a writer, filmmaker and hypochondriac. He lives in fear of what could go wrong with his health. But knowing it's (mostly) in his head doesn't make his body a less frightening place.

Walking Home from School: Every day, Sergio Sanchez must walk by potential gangsters and prostitutes on his way home from Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles. Queena Kim joins him on that walk, where every sight and sound is a potential threat - and people are constantly on guard.

Song Break: "The Corner"
...by Common, from his album Be

Pastor Mike at Jordan High: When the last school bell rings, Pastor Mike Cummings stands in front of Jordan High School in Watts. Jordan High is next door to the gang-ridden Jordan Downs projects, which students have to pass through to go home - sometimes with Pastor Mike at their side.

Security Guards: Private security guards are everywhere these days - guarding malls, supermarkets and other gathering places like never before. Ayala Ben-Yehuda visited security guards at Vons, the Hollywood & Highland mall and KROQ radio - and finds a mix of pride and frustration on the job.

The Birth of Surveillance: Surveillance cameras are nothing new - they've been around since the 19th century. Los Angeles filmmaker Rebecca Baron, who documents the birth of surveillance in her film How Little We Know of Our Neighbors, talks to Queena Kim on a downtown L.A. corner.

LAPD Cameras: The Los Angeles Police Department keeps an eye on crime using surveillance cameras in Hollywood, the MacArthur Park area and downtown. Ben Adair watches the action from police headquarters with Sgt. R.J. Acosta.

Bruce Schneier: Bruce Schneier has a computer security company in Silicon Valley. He's written a book called Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World. Schneier argues that some of the measures we take to improve security actually make us more vulnerable.

Clean Call: Elizabeth Wilkes is the inventor of Clean Call disposable telephone covers, which she designed and markets to protect us from the hazards of nasty, dirty phones. Her invention is included in SAFE: Design Takes on Risk, an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that presents over 300 commercially available products or prototypes designed to shield us from danger and stress. Ayala Ben-Yehuda got the story.

Sandow Birk: The artist Sandow Birk has done a series of paintings called Incarcerated: California Landscapes at the Turn of the Century. The series recreates the old sweeping, sun-drenched paintings of the California landscape, but with a 20th century addition: prisons. Laura Belous met up with Sandow Birk in front of one of his subjects in downtown Los Angeles.

Song Break: "Looking for a Way Out"
...by Uncle Tupelo, from a collected anthology called 88/93.

Deep End Dining: Balut: Eddie Lin is the creator and lead writer for Deep End Dining.com, a site dedicated to "seeking and devouring the food uncommon, the cuisine exotic and the entrees less ordered." Lin eats things like crickets and blood pudding, but even he has his fear: the Filipino dish balut, which is Tagalog for "hard-boiled duck embryo." Ben Adair met Lin at Pinoy-Pinay in Panorama City for a taste.


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