UCLA In the News October 8, 2018

UCLA In the News lists selected mentions of UCLA in the world’s news media. See more UCLA In the News.

NBC’s sitcom ‘The Good Place’ is a profound work of philosophy | New York Times Magazine

One day out of the blue, Pamela Hieronymi, a professor at UCLA, got an email from Schur, asking if she would speak to him about ethics. Hieronymi is not a TV watcher and had no idea who Schur was, but she agreed, and they ended up talking for three hours, largely about whether it is possible to become a good person by trying — about how intention and motivation color our moral behavior…. Watching at home, Hieronymi was pleased with the show’s evolution. “What’s going to save the characters is the relationships they have with one another,” she said. “That seems exactly right to me.”

How do you find an alien ocean? UCLA’s Margaret Kivelson figured it out | New York Times

Dr. [Margaret] Kivelson, who will turn 90 this month, is professor emerita of space physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. For forty years she has been an active part of almost every major NASA voyage beyond the asteroid belt. She has a wry sense of humor, and her modesty belies the magnitude of her scientific achievements. Her team transformed the way magnetometers are used on space missions, making them an essential tool of discovery. Having established, essentially, the art of ocean detection, the outer solar system is now a hot zone in the search for habitability.

White women, come get your people | New York Times Opinion

During the 2016 presidential election, did white women really vote with their whiteness in mind? Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, a political scientist at UCLA, recently measured the effect of racial identity on white women’s willingness to support Trump in 2016 and found a positive and statistically significant relationship. So white women who voted for him did so to prop up their whiteness.

Five myths about the 2016 election | Washington Post Opinion

(Commentary co-written by UCLA’s Lynn Vavreck) All elections generate narratives that try to explain the outcome, but often those do not square with polling and other political science data. This conflict is remarkably sharp in the case of the 2016 election, in part because of the unusual nature of Trump’s candidacy. Here are five of the most prevalent myths.

Victor Hugo’s rarely seen art is as intimate and innovative as his famous books | Los Angeles Times

“One of the things I find most extraordinary about them was how incredibly innovative they were for the time,” says co-curator Cynthia Burlingham, who is also director of the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. “He uses fingerprints, he splatters ink on paper and lets it pool and change … he used the nib of a quill pen, but he would also draw the feather across the ink to make waves.”

Prop. 10 has landlords and tenants facing off in California rent control battle | Orange County Register

“We’re facing a huge affordability crisis in the rental market,” said economist Paul Ong, a UCLA professor emeritus of urban planning and social welfare. “Over the past few years, rents have been growing faster than incomes.”

Why a small Jewish group is supporting a German party with anti-Semitic ties | The Atlantic

Rogers Brubaker, a sociology professor at UCLA and an expert in European nationalism and populism, told me he wasn’t surprised to see a small number of German Jews supporting the AfD: He considers it part of a larger pattern. “Anti-Muslimism has become a very successful master frame for radical-right, anti-immigrant parties throughout Europe in the last 15 years,” he said. “The logic is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

A law professor’s case in support of Justice Kavanaugh | NPR’s “All Things Considered”

“And I think if you’re asking about judicial temperament, a much better guide for judicial temperament is how Judge Kavanaugh behaved in about 10 years, more than 10 years on the D.C. Circuit bench. And everybody seems to say that his temperament has been excellent there,” said UCLA’s Eugene Volokh.

Congo’s conflict makes fighting Ebola, sexual violence risky | Associated Press

Some suspected of having contact with Ebola victims have fled. The World Health Organization worries openly about the virus spreading into “red zones” where the rebel threat is so high that carrying out health work is almost impossible. “It’s a totally unprecedented situation ... potentially explosive,” said Anne Rimoin, an associate professor of epidemiology at UCLA who directs teams of researchers in the Ebola outbreak zone. One team member was slightly injured by people throwing stones, she said.

A UCLA dean talks to Santa Clarita teens | Santa Clarita Valley Signal

West Ranch High School hosted representatives from UCLA on Wednesday to speak about admissions, potential majors and what mathematicians and scientists are really working on at UCLA. The Inspired and Connected by Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or I.C.STEM club, invited Lauren Na, UCLA’s assistant dean of academic and staff personnel, and Barbara Van Nostrand, a director of student affairs and initiatives, to campus so the pair could share how graduate students in math- and science-related fields were helping prominent companies.

Cassini’s death dive into Saturn reveals weird ring ‘rain’ and other surprises | Space.com

The result that Cassini measured is an electric current as strong as 20 large terrestrial power plants combined. As a side effect, that current also produces heat in the atmosphere around it, which may help explain a long-standing mystery about Saturn. “One of the enigmas of Saturn’s thermosphere is, it’s hotter than expected,” Krishan Khurana, a magnetosphere scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author on the paper, told Space.com. “This provides a part of the answer.”

State violence and racial justice: ‘The Hate U Give’ could sear on screens | Christian Science Monitor

Starr’s story resonates with young people in a way that few books do, says Carol Jago, associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. Part of its appeal is its ability to bring the reader into Starr’s world, looking out from her vantage point as she navigates the aftermath of her friend’s death. “Good stories don’t take a side. They show you a slice of life and then invite you to say, well what do you think? Where do you stand?” Ms. Jago says.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brett Kavanaugh, and imperial feminism | Al Jazeera Opinion

And jihad is not holy war — the concept of holy war being, as UCLA law professor Khaled Abou El Fadl notes, “the unique product of European Christian culture.… Islamic theology does not recognize the idea of a sacred or consecrated war.”

Four inches of rain is all L.A. got last year | LAist

But climate change is complex. Warmer air, and warmer oceans, can also have the REVERSE effect: intensifying storms. Extremely wet years, like the winter of 2016-2017, are also going to be more likely in the future, according to a study published earlier this year by UCLA. “In a warmer climate, there is more water vapor in the atmosphere,” said David Neelin, a climate scientist at UCLA. “When a storm gets going, air converges at low levels carrying more water vapor with it. With more vapor to dump out, the result is more rainfall.” (UCLA’s Neil Berg is also quoted, and he is also interviewed on KPCC-FM – audio download)

Can Kavanaugh overcome the hearings? | Christian Science Monitor

If Kavanaugh becomes part of a conservative majority in a controversial 5-to-4 decision, that could further damage the court’s reputation, says Jon Michaels, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. “Every time [a 5-to-4 decision] comes up we’re going to revisit those moments” from the hearing, he adds. “That’s going to reinforce concerns that the court is entirely political, and for some it will say this is a further reason why it’s not a legitimate body.”

Landlords are threatening rent hikes if Proposition 10 passes, activists say | Curbed LA

Zev Yaroslavsky, a senior fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a former Los Angeles County Supervisor, calls rent hikes in advance of the election “raw, ugly, and unethical.” But he also says he’s seen these tactics before. In 1978, when Yaroslavsky sat on the Los Angeles City Council, many local apartment owners reportedly promised to lower rental prices following passage of Proposition 13, a ballot measure that slashed California’s property tax rates.

New technology may detect early-stage lung cancer | Indo-Asian News Service

The new technology tests blood or saliva of early-stage lung cancer patients to identify two cancer-linked mutations suggests a study published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. “The revolutionary EFIRM technology is the most exciting development in the noninvasive liquid biopsy in recent years,” said co-author Charles M. Strom from the University of California, Los Angeles. “The potential to detect early-stage lung cancer patients with an affordable blood or saliva test could save thousands to tens of thousands of lives annually worldwide,” Strom added.

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