CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2012 |
R. Duncan Luce, a UC Irvine mathematical psychologist who received the National Medal of Science in 2005 for his pioneering scholarship in behavioral sciences, died Aug. 11 at his home in Irvine after a brief illness, the university announced. He was 87. In 1988, Luce founded and became director of UC Irvine's Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences. He was later named distinguished research professor in cognitive sciences and economics. His work, according to the university, combined formal math models with psychological experiments to try to understand and predict human behavior, including how individuals and groups make decisions.
May 27, 2012 |
Independence is a crucial part of the legend of John Cassavetes, the original Method actor turned DIY filmmaker. For that reason his early forays into studio directing - he made 1961's "Too Late Blues" for Paramount and 1963's Stanley Kramer-produced "A Child Is Waiting" for United Artists - are usually thought of as footnotes at best, or compromised failures at worst (a view that has been ascribed to Cassavetes himself). But even in these minor works, the Cassavetes touch - the delicate way of handling emotional messiness, the tough but ultimately generous view of human behavior - is unmistakable.
December 25, 2011 |
Tolstoy A Russian Life Rosamund Bartlett Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 544 pp., $35 Count Lev Tolstoy is one of those writers who was as fascinating and complex as his novels and stories. A man so awful and quarrelsome to those around him, especially his long-suffering wife, was nonetheless able to produce masterpieces of serene introspection and humane insights. How could Tolstoy, a loner, a quintessential outsider all his life, understand and evoke the glittering social whirl and intricacies of fashionable salons?
July 10, 2011 |
Anytime a VIP gets caught with his (or her) pants down — Arnold Schwarzenegger or Anthony Weiner, for example — you can almost hear the collective "huh?" around the nation's water coolers, on its Twitter feeds and shared over its backyard fences. What in the heck were those guys thinking? Where were they when John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton and so many others crashed and burned? Why wasn't the very real risk of shame and humiliation enough to stop them cold? More than 2,000 years ago Socrates asserted in Plato's "Phaedrus" that two horses contend for our souls — one, unruly, passionate and constantly pulling in the direction of pleasure, and the other restrained, dutiful, obedient and governed by a sense of shame.
June 12, 2011 |
Thanks to modern technology, peering into private lives all around the world has never been easier. When Su Lin, the San Diego-born daughter of Chinese parents Bai Yun and Gao Gao, had her first medical exam, eager viewers proclaimed that she was the cutest baby ever. When a mother of three died in an airplane accident, leaving the father to care for the family alone, thousands of people across the country mourned online. As a youngster at New York University got close to takeoff, his family's Facebook wall was crammed with notes from well-wishers.
May 29, 2011 |
What annoys you? Traffic jams, car alarms, flight delays, phone trees, junk mail? People who cut in line? People who talk loudly on cellphones? People who eat noisily and clip their nails in public? You're not alone. These are just some of the irksome things we confront daily. Since annoyances are ubiquitous, and so many people are annoyed so much of the time, you might think that science could offer some insights about why we find certain things so annoying and what we can do about them.