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FROM THIS EPISODE

The latest round of Oscar nominations were announced today, and the lack of diversity in the acting categories is getting a lot of attention. We talk about that and we look at the snubs and surprises. Then, one iconic L.A. structure is in peril this week while another’s been destroyed; should the city doesn’t do a better job of preserving its architecture? Next, in our weekly Internet roundup, why a French comedian found himself behind bars for a Facebook post. After that, one Silicon Valley investment firm has made a big gamble on pot. What could the deal mean for the industry, and what are the implications of a legal case in Northern California to reclassify pot as a less dangerous drug? And finally, how is tech changing the restaurant industry? New smartphone apps allow users to pay to skip the reservation line, while other innovations let chefs market themselves in whole new ways.

Banner Image: OSCARS statuettes by Prayitno

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Oscar’s Diversity Problem 8 MIN, 43 SEC

Oscar nominations came out this morning, and it turns out that 2014 was a great year for men at the movies -- especially white men. Perhaps not so good for everyone else. There were no people of color nominated in the acting categories, and no women were nominated as best director or in any of the writing categories. We look at the lack of diversity, plus snubs and surprises.

Guests:
Kyle Buchanan, Editor (@kylebuchanan)

L.A.’s Historic Preservation Casualties 6 MIN, 28 SEC

Norms Restaurant on LaCienega Boulevard has stood as an increasingly rare example of space-age Googie architecture since 1956. But maybe no more. Last week, L.A.’s Department of Building and Safety gave the diner’s owners permission to raze it. This same week, we found out that sci-fi author Ray Bradbury’s home in Cheviot Hills, where he lived for more than 50 years, has been knocked down by new owner and celebrity architect Thom Mayne. Why isn’t L.A. more stringent about preserving its iconic buildings?

Guests:
Linda Dishman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy

French Comedian Arrested for Facebook Post (And Other Web News) 8 MIN, 52 SEC

It’s been just over a week since the deadly shooting at France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine. Hundreds of thousands have been gathering daily in Paris to mourn the killings and applaud the magazine’s brave stance on free speech. But now, French authorities have arrested a controversial comedian named Dieudonne, who violated the country’s strict laws against racist speech with an apparently anti-Semitic Facebook post. We talk about that and other web news in our weekly Internet roundup.

Guests:
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

“Ganjapreneurs” and the Case to Reclassify Pot 13 MIN, 30 SEC

These seem to be booming days for the marijuana industry, as more states move to decriminalize it. Legal pot businesses raised more than $100 million last year, according to one research firm. Even Silicon Valley is getting into the game: A prominent venture capital firm run by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel recently became pot’s first major investor, putting millions into a cannabis company. So is pot the next big moneymaker? Also, a federal judge in Northern California has agreed to hear arguments to reclassify pot so it’s no longer a Schedule I drug. What are the implications of the case?

Guests:
Jeffrey Miron, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Harvard University
Alex Kreit, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (@alexkreit)

Paying for Your Restaurant Reservations 8 MIN, 19 SEC

Your chances of getting a dinner reservation at Republique at 7:30 this Saturday night are somewhere between slim and none, unless your name is George Clooney. Or, unless you’re willing to pay up. New smartphone apps will take your money in exchange for hard-to-get seats at some of L.A.’s top restaurants. And that’s not the only way technology is changing the restaurant business. We get up to speed on all the latest innovations.

Guests:
Evan Kleiman, host 'Good Food' (@evankleiman)

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