00:00:00 | 3:02:50




As Russia’s military presence continues to grow in Ukraine, we look at the mindset of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and we discuss the cultural identity of Ukrainians. Also, the death of a 27-year-old assistant camera operator working on a film in Georgia has Hollywood craftspeople up in arms. We also talk about the latest political wranglings in Sacramento, now that Democrats have lost their supermajority. We look at the idea of “peak car,” and we look at the pseudo-science you may run into at your local grocery store.

Banner Image: Euromaidan in Kiev. Institutska/Bankova streets crossing, citizens build a barricade.

The Mind of Putin 8 MIN, 17 SEC

The tensions have escalated on the Crimean Peninsula in eastern Ukraine, with a major Russian military presence strengthening in numbers and occupying the region’s capital over the weekend. But how does Vladimir Putin rationalize his occupation of Ukraine? To get inside Putin’s head, we called up Kathyrn Stoner, a political scientist at Stanford University and expert in Russian leadership.

Kathryn Stoner, Stanford University (@StonerWeiss)

Ukrainian Identity 8 MIN, 3 SEC

To put it in the broadest strokes, the conflict in the Ukrainian is being driven by the clashing views Ukrainians have of their own history and relationship with Russia. We look at the Ukrainian identity.

Robert English, University of Southern California

The Death of Sarah Jones 9 MIN, 2 SEC

Sarah Elizabeth Jones was a 27-year-old assistant camera operator and she was killed while working on a film in Georgia on February 20th. Hollywood craftspeople are angry about her death, and an online petition with something like 60-thousand signatures helped convince the academy to add her name to the Oscar memorial.

David S. Cohen, Variety (@Variety_DSCohen)

California Dems Lose Supermajority 6 MIN, 5 SEC

California Senate Democrats have, at least temporarily, lost two members to corruption charges: Ronald Calderon from Montebello and Roderick Wright from Inglewood. That means the Democrats no longer have their supermajority in the Senate, so they’ll need to get at least some Republican support in order to pass legislation. That hasn’t always been so easy.

Anthony York, Grizzly Bear Project (@anthonyyork49)

Peak Car 8 MIN, 36 SEC

Driving to work today, crawling our way along packed freeways, it’s hard to imagine that LA will ever get less congested. But according to people who follow the auto industry, it’s mega-cities like ours that are prompting a change in car culture and getting people to rethink the way they get around. In fact, industry insiders say we may be reaching what they call “Peak Car.”

Matt DeBord, Business Insider (@mattdebord)

Pseudoscience at the Grocery Store 7 MIN, 13 SEC

The same people who scoff at climate change deniers and creationism may be just as guilty of buying into pseudoscience as their conservative counterparts, according to our guest. Writer Michael Schulson says you just have to look to Whole Foods as an example. GMO-free carrots, homeopathic nasal sprays for allergy sufferers, book titles like “The Coconut Oil Miracle” - what are these based on?

Michael Schulson, The Daily Beast

Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code