Category Archives: California

Guerrilla film project changes boundaries of movie-going

A Drive-By Cinema screening (courtesy of the Pacific Arts Movement)

A Drive-By Cinema screening (courtesy of the Pacific Arts Movement)

The cargo in Pacific Arts Movement’s overhauled moving truck is a motley assortment: In front, a Wi-Fi hotspot, charger, chemical compounds and grease remover, a pack of cigarettes and DVDs. In the back there are three white lab coats, a coffee table and two rugs, a small white parasol, orange safety cones, and a generator (plus a custom-made padded box to muffle the sound of the generator).

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Chinese Characters at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Jeffrey Wasserstrom and I, co-editors of  will be at the legendary Los Angeles Time Festival of Books at USC on Sunday, April 21. Come to roam the festival and find us at 3:30pm in Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 124).

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Digital Storytelling: A Symposium

I’m excited an honored to be speaking next week at UC Irvine at day-long event that is mouth-watering for anyone who loves to write. The Digital Storytelling Symposium features some of the most innovative people in long form writing today including, well, Longform folks themselves. The Atavist, Byliner, Equire, Noir Magazine, Matter and the Los Angeles Review of Books will all be represented. Here’s more information about the roundtable I am on and the whole event.

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Global and Underground

Here’s how classes work: Holakou Rahmanian turns on his computer early in the morning or late at night. He goes to a website whose address is known only to students, faculty and administrators of his university. Sometimes he’s in his pajamas when he logs in. Sometimes, he guesses, his professors are also in their pajamas. In his four years of classes, he has only seen his online teachers’ faces once or twice. The bandwidth is saved for their voices and online whiteboards.

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Haute Hijabis

Trimmings in downtown Los Angeles' fashion districtMarwa Atik needs five pieces of trim, the kind embellished with pearls and black jewels. At a store in downtown L.A.’s Fashion District, boxes of trimmings line the walls from floor to ceiling, but Atik scans quickly and zeroes in on what she wants. At her direction, a clerk climbs a tall, wooden ladder and pulls down one of the cardboard boxes. He counts out five pieces and, after 30 seconds of bargaining, Atik makes her purchase.

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Ai-jen Poo: The Rock Star of Community Organizing

At a conference about social movements in Los Angeles last month, all it took was the mention of her name and the crowd erupted in applause. In the world of community organizing, Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, is a rock star.

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April 18 at UCLA, I’ll be in coversation with Marketplace China correspondent Rob Schmitz

These days, Rob is in the news for debunking the Mike Daisey Foxconn investigation that aired on This American Life. We’ll be talking about that story and his other reporting on China for American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program at UCLA on April 17. Is there something you want me to ask? Please leave your questions in comments.

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Bollywood in L.A.

Growing up in Kashmir, Raj Singh loved going to the theater. “In Kashmir, I was watching two movies in a day,” Singh recalls. “Here, I have no time to see movies.”

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Geek Looks Like a Lady

It’s not that the PyLadies are intimidated by the men who dominate computer programmer events and workshops. It’s just that they got tired of feeling like outsiders.

Katharine Jarmul, 29, remembers the day they first identified the problem. She and three other women found themselves chatting in a circle at a meet-up in March last year. There were 30 or 40 people there, all discussing Django, a website framework built on the Python programming language. But, looking around the room, Jarmul realized that their little circle contained the only female programmers there. The few other women in attendance were recruiters or product managers, not the people who actually write code.

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Tina’s Mouth: A Graphic Novel That Gives Indian-American Stereotypes the Finger

Tina's Mouth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

"I'm an alien (but my parents are Indian.)" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Tina Malhotra’s journey through a high school existential crisis was difficult. Bringing her world to life was just as wrenching.

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