Free Forum Q&A – SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but DoesWritten on August 13th, 2013
This week we’re going to talk about happiness. So let’s start with a true-false test. I’ll tell you a supposed fact about happiness, and you decide whether you think it’s true or false.
1. Unexpected pleasures are the most rewarding. True or false?
2. Novelty in a relationship has similar effects on our brain as a high from drugs. True or false?
3. Daily hassles impact our well-being more than major life events. True or false?
4. When it comes to sex, women require more novelty than men. True or false?
5. The genes that underlie who gets divorced are passed down from parents to children. True or false?
6. A smoking habit is not a bigger risk factor for heart disease as a troubled marriage. True or false?
7. Renters are happier than homeowners. True or false?
Okay, let’s see how you did…It turns out, according to today’s guest, all seven statements are true. Yup, renters are happier and women want more novelty in sex than men. Where do I get off making those assertions? All based in science.
Today’s guest, SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, is one of the nation’s top students of happiness, and we’re going to talk today about the findings in her new book, THE MYTHS OF HAPPINESS: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t; What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does.
Originally from Russia, SONJA LYUBOMIRSKY received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Not too shabby. Her research has been awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, and a million-dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. She is author of The How of Happiness, translated and published in 19 countries, and her newest, THE MYTHS OF HAPPINESS.
Free Forum Q&A – ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, Authors of WEALTH AND POWER: China’s Long March to the 21st CenturyWritten on August 6th, 2013
Some estimate China will surpass the US to become the leading economic superpower by 2016. On the other hand, July 19th Paul Krugman wrote, “China is in big trouble. …The country’s whole way of doing business, the economic system that has driven three decades of incredible growth, has reached its limits. You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall…”
This week’s guests, ORVILLE SCHELL and JOHN DELURY, have both devoted a lot of time to studying and writing about China, including co-authoring the new book, WEALTH AND POWER: China’s long March to the 21st Century. We’ll explore China’s current story on a number of fronts.
Schell and Delury believe that China’s character has become defined by its pursuit of national greatness to reverse generations of humiliation at the hands of its neighbors and the West. This quest for wealth, power and respect remains key to understanding many of China’s actions today. We’ll talk about China’s history, character, economics, politics, and more.
James Fallows, who’s spent a lot of time in China, writes of their book, “I’d suggest you read it if you’re at all interested in China. It’s both historical and current, and it does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks…What does China want?”
Free Forum Q&A – RAFE ESQUITH Multi-award winning 29-year LA 5th grade teacher REAL TALK FOR REAL TEACHERS Advice for Teachers, From Rookies to Veterans: “No Retreat, No Surrender!”Written on July 23rd, 2013
This week we’ll spend the hour with RAFE ESQUITH, who’s been teaching fifth graders in LA’s Hobart Elementary public school for nearly thirty years. Now a teacher of teachers, he recently returned from doing that in China.
I first learned of Rafe’s work in 2005, when POV the PBS film series pitched me a documentary, THE HOBART SHAKESPEARIANS, about the full Shakespeare productions that his students – most from families where English is not the primary language – perform each year. The film was directed by MEL STUART, a wonderful director of at least two landmark films – the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder and 1973’s WATTSTAX concert film of funky music and Black Power. Mel Stuart passed away a little less than a year ago. And he is missed.
In September 2005, introducing my interview with Rafe and Mel about the film , I said this: Documentaries may be giving us what we hunger for. March of the Penguins, Mad Hot Ballroom and The Hobart Shakespeareans are documentaries about goodness, dedication, and purpose, and whether penguins or fifth graders, they’re about respect and treating others well. Each of these films made me giggle, and each brought me to tears. There’s something joyfully and painfully touching when we see the life force in action with purpose. When so much is going wrong, from Iraq to New Orleans, I think we need to see these things.
Eight years later, Rafe Esquith continues to leads fifth graders at one of the nation’s largest inner-city grade schools through an uncompromising curriculum of English, mathematics, geography and literature. His classroom mottos are “Be nice. Work hard.” and “There are no shortcuts.” Despite language barriers and poverty, many attend outstanding colleges. Esquith expects the best from these kids no matter what their backgrounds, and he backs up that expectation by giving them the educational resources to defy the odds.
Free Forum Q&A – GEORGE WOLFE of L.A. River Expeditions & THEA MERCOUFFER, filmmaker of ROCK THE BOATWritten on July 18th, 2013
How many of you know where the LA River is…where it starts, where it runs, where it ends? Okay, how many believe anyone could kayak down the entire river – all 51 miles of it – beginning in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley and finally passing the Queen Mary to enter the Pacific in the Port of Long Beach? My next guests believed it was possible, and proved it in 2008, changing the course, if you will, of the river for us all. For the first time in decades, kayaking and fishing are now legal along the waterway, and The L.A. River: used, abused and forgotten, is now at the center of a major vision to transform this concrete metropolis into a more sustainable model city for the 21st century.
My guests will be GEORGE WOLFE of LA River Expeditions and THEA MERCOUFFER producer-director of the film ROCK THE BOAT that documents the successful campaign by Wolfe and others to have the LA River declared a navigable river and open sections of it to boats and kayaks.
Our life on earth depends on a most unlikely love affair – one between flowers and the bees, butterflies, birds and bats which enable plants to reproduce. The brilliant colors and exotic perfumes of flowers are designed to lure their pollinators into an intricate dance of seduction, a dance on which more than one third of our food crops depend, a dance without which we could not survive.
If you’re lucky and observant, you’ve witnessed the visits of bees and those marvels of engineering, hummingbirds, to the plants around you. But now, for the first time, you have a chance to watch that magnificent dance of pollinators and plants in the far corners of the globe and in the darkness of night. WINGS OF LIFE, the latest documentary from remarkable cinematographer and director, LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG, is now available on DVD. More than beautiful – which it is – the film carries an important message about the threats to pollinators and in turn, the threat to life itself.
I’ll be joined by LOUIS and CHIP TAYLOR a Monarch butterfly expert.