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We kick off the new year with a look at two big California stories: First, a look at the status of the high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco that breaks ground tomorrow. Then, what do California’s new egg regulations mean for the farming industry and for your brunch bill? Next, in our weekly TV roundup, a slew of new shows are coming to the small screen in 2015. Moving to the big screen, Madeleine speaks with “Birdman” writer-director Alejandro González Iñárritu about the film’s critical and commercial success. And finally, how and why are two rock climbers attempting to scale a sheer, 3,000-foot granite wall in Yosemite National Park?

Banner Image: Chickens in industrial coop (USA) 

A First Step for L.A.-San Francisco High-Speed Rail 8 MIN, 4 SEC

Governor Jerry Brown was sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term this morning. One of his pet projects has been a bullet train between L.A. and San Francisco. The rail line finally breaks ground tomorrow, but considering the legal challenges and delays it’s faced and the funding that still needs to be secured, is it really on track to becoming a reality?

Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times (@RVartabedian)

California Upends Egg Farming 7 MIN, 30 SEC

As of January 1, all eggs sold in California must come from chickens that have enough room to spread their wings and move around. California is the country’s biggest egg consumer, and the new regulations are ruffling the feathers of farmers around the country who now have to renovate their coops. We look at what the law means for the industry and for consumers, who could see prices rise.

Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg News (@AlanBjerga)

California Raids the Nation's Henhouses

New Year, New TV 9 MIN

If your New Year’s resolutions include watching more TV (why not?) then you’re in luck. You have plenty to choose from in 2015. Networks are starting the year with a slew of new shows and returning old favorites. We sift through the options and other small screen news in our weekly TV roundup.

Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)
Andy Greenwald, Grantland (@andygreenwald)

“Birdman” Takes Flight 13 MIN, 25 SEC

The film Birdman tells the story of a washed-up movie superhero named Riggan Thomson trying to resurrect his career by mounting a serious Broadway play. Mexican writer and director Alejandro González Iñárritu has made many critically acclaimed movies -- his films Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, and Biutiful have been nominated for 12 Oscars between them. But Birdman, which made nearly every critics’ top 10 list for the year, might top them all in terms of praise and commercial success. We hear from the filmmaker about the inspiration behind Birdman.

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, filmmaker


Naomi Watts

Yosemite Climbers 7 MIN, 30 SEC

Right now, two climbers are, literally, hanging on the sheer face of El Capitan, a rock wall in Yosemite National Park. Their names are Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, and they are attempting one of the most difficult free climbs in the world: The Dawn Wall route up El Capitan. It requires scaling 3,000 feet of smooth granite. How are they going about the feat, and why?

Chris Parker, Rock and Ice Magazine

"Rock and Ice" the climbers magazine

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