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FROM THIS EPISODE

Today, the Los Angeles City Council votes on a proposal to give South L.A. a new name: SOLA. Why, and do neighborhood name changes ever translate to real-world changes on the ground? Then, a two-part look at the power of our emotions to boost our health; specifically, mindfulness and awe. How can we cultivate these qualities and what benefits do they have for our bodies? And finally, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has turned 50. We look back at its humble beginnings.

Banner Image: The intersection of the 110 and 105 freeways in South Los Angeles; Credit: Alfred Twu

Producers:
Jolie Myers
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Christian Bordal

South Los Angeles or “SOLA?” 7 MIN, 10 SEC

We start today with a story about the power of perception. Can you change a neighborhood by changing its name? Twelve years ago, the city council tried when it rebranded South Central Los Angeles as “South L.A.” The idea was to free the community from the negative connotations of violence and crime that had become associated with “South Central.” Today, the council decides whether to create yet another name for the area. They’re scheduled to vote whether to make the acronym “SOLA” officially synonymous with “South L.A.” But why? And could it have any real-world impacts on the ground in the neighborhood?

Guests:
Jasmyne Cannick, social and political commentator (@jasmyne)

A History of L.A. Neighborhood Name Changes 7 MIN

South L.A. is only one of the city’s neighborhoods that has been branded or re-branded. Just last month, the city council approved a community petition to name the neighborhood in West LA around Sawtelle Boulevard, “Sawtelle Japantown.” What drives neighborhood re-naming campaigns, and what impacts do they have on the ground, if any?

Guests:
Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University (@LMU_CSLA)

Mindfulness for Depression 8 MIN, 11 SEC

Take a deep breath. What are you thinking about? Are you worried about something? Focus on your breathing. Be aware of how you feel. Where are you feeling tense? Breathe, release the tension… and congratulations. You just practiced mindfulness. A new study out this week finds that mindfulness -- the practice of connecting to the moment instead of thinking about the future or past -- treats depression as effectively as pills. How does it work?

Guests:
Zindel Segal, University of Toronto, Scarborough

An Awe-Inspiring Health Boost 11 MIN, 58 SEC

Taking a more Zen approach to life can help with depression, as we just heard. It can also help with diseases like cancer and heart disease, according to new research. In addition to mindfulness, cultivating the emotion of awe can also enhance good health. What is awe, and why does it work such magic? We hear from a co-author of a new study on the benefits of awe.

Guests:
Dacher Keltner, University of California, Berkeley (@GreaterGoodSC)

LACMA Turns 50 13 MIN, 57 SEC

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art launched its 50th Anniversary Celebration with a star-studded gala this past weekend. The rich and famous had a chance to wander through a new show called 50 for 50: Gifts on the Occasion of LACMA’s Anniversary. There were newly donated works by big names like Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Warhol. We take a look back at the museum’s humble beginnings.

Guests:
Suzanne Muchnic, arts reporter and critic (@smuchnic)

More:
'Which Way, LA?' on LACMA's 50th anniversary, Zumthor building

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