We begin today with a look at American Apparel. The L.A.-based clothing company is embroiled in a rift between workers loyal to fired CEO Dov Charney and new management. Then, death rates for white women between the ages of 15 and 54 are on the rise, largely because of an increase in prescription painkiller use. We speak to the author of a new study examining the trend. Next, we check in on a high-profile Silicon Valley trial over a sexual discrimination lawsuit. And in our weekly film segment, a tribute to legendary documentarians the Maysles brothers. Albert Maysles died last night at 88. And finally, we get a primer on the strange and surprising science of tickling.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Today’s Labor Department report on the latest jobs numbers make it clear that the American workforce has changed a lot in the last 50 years. We’re now adding more service-oriented jobs, while manufacturing growth has slowed. But one company here in L.A. that straddles both is American Apparel. Now, its workers are fighting for more rights, stoked partly by ousted CEO Dov Charney. We take a look at the rift between Charney, new management, and the workers caught in the middle.
More white women between the ages of 15 and 54 are dying than they were a generation ago. The main reason is an increase in the use of prescription painkillers. Deaths from suicide and many diseases are also up. At the same time, death rates for Hispanic and African-American women have gone down. What’s behind the numbers? We talk to one of the authors of a new study that looks into the trends.
Nan Marie Astone, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
It’s a tale of two Silicon Valleys. Reddit CEO Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit against her former employer, the powerful venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, wraps up its second week in court today. Throughout the proceedings, two distinct visions of the company and the larger tech industry have emerged. Pao claims she was sexually harassed and that discrimination against female employees was routine inside Kleiner Perkins. Kleiner Perkins says Pao simply couldn’t keep up in a hyper-competitive industry. We get up to speed on the trial that’s riveting the tech world.
Elizabeth Weise, Science Reporter, USA Today
Legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles died last night at the age of 88. Maysles and his late brother, David, essentially created the verite style of documentary filmmaking: the fly-on-the-wall, non-narrated approach. Their films include the classics Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. Today, we kick off our weekly film segment with an appreciation of the Maysles before moving on to the latest box office releases.
One thing we know about tickling: It makes us laugh. But why? And what exactly is it? Is it pain? Pleasure? Aristotle wrote about tickling all the way back in 350 B.C. Darwin did too, in 1872. But, of course, tickling’s been around for as long as big brothers and sisters have needed a way to torture their younger siblings. We get a primer on the strange, ancient science of tickling.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
Taylor Mac takes on U.S. history in 246 songs, two dozen costume changes Taylor Mac will perform his “24-Decade History of Popular Music” starting Thursday in LA. It’s divided into four shows on four separate nights. It’s about this history of oppression and activism in the U.S. -- from 1776 to present day.
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