Nothing makes me happier than going to countries at the bottom of other people’s lists. Most recently it was Belarus. It’s a very rural country with only one big city. And yet they’ve built this amazing high-tech industry. A surprising 40 percent of the population does brain work.

Tom Lutz, professor of creative writing and the founder and editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books, on what he's reading, listening to, watching, following and where he is traveling.


Some of these reactions are natural reactions to concerns about terrorism, but our research suggests that some of this reaction may be driven more by fear than by reason

Jennifer Merolla, professor of political science, from an opinion piece that she co-wrote on how terrorist attacks influence public opinion and elections


On the one hand, we try to avoid stimuli that have negative associations. That's an argument to tear down (buildings with a painful past)...But, on the other hand, there is a thing called systematic desensitization, which is a fairly common technique to help people deal with fears and phobias. The idea ... is to expose ourselves to fear-inducing stimuli – in very small doses – until the fear dissipates.

Steven Clark, professor of psychology, on the two schools of thought about what to do with buildings where mass shootings or other tragedies have taken place


(Asian American and Pacific Islander voters') party identity is not cast in stone. There’s still potential for persuasion there.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy and political science, on Hillary Clinton's effort to court the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote


Researchers have been moving farther away from asking whether a particular behavior is based on nature or nurture. Instead, we ask how nature and nurture interact to produce a particular behavior.

Rachel Wu, professor of psychology, on the shift of the nature versus nurture debate and how it is applicable to the Star Wars franchise


The experiences behind (Karen Finley's) stories challenge our ideas about what a story is and can be. Her work is somewhere between poetry, a furious rant and a surreal dream. It's very experimental but also very accessible in the way that music can be.

Jennifer Doyle, professor of English, about her own role in curating the work of Karen Finley, performance artist


You're talking about an economy that toward the end of the year is growing at close to a 4 1/2 percent clip in terms of job growth. That's a rapid pace of growth to say the least, and of course not exactly representing what's happening in the state overall.

Christopher Thornberg, director of the School of Business Administration Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, about recent reports that show how the economy of Inland Southern California is improving steadily as a result of unemployment dropping and growth in the manufacturing sector


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