Two Would-Be Supreme Court Justices and Me

How Do You Cope When Two of Your High School Newspaper Friends Show Up on the Short Lists for the Nation's Highest Court?

The stakes of the presidential election are huge and global. The results may determine the future of public health, the republic, even the planet.

The stakes of the presidential election are also peculiar and personal, especially for me. The results may determine which of two old friends—my fellow editors on our high school newspaper—ends up being the next Californian on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mine is a strange circumstance. I spent my high school years, 1988 through 1991, at Polytechnic, a small (my graduating class had just 85 students) and academically …

Pasadena, California, Was Born in Indiana During the Cold, Damp Winter of 1872 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Pasadena, California, Was Born in Indiana During the Cold, Damp Winter of 1872

The Midwesterners Who Founded the ‘Crown City’ Were Seeking a Colony Where Their Lungs Could Heal

In May 1872, after suffering through another extremely cold, damp winter, a group of 150 middle-class neighbors from Indianapolis, Indiana, decided to leave home. The group included lawyers, doctors, journalists, …

L.A.’s Revelatory Light Rail for Nerds

The Gold Line Has Become a Brain Train, Linking Educational Institutions From Pasadena to East L.A.

My train line is smarter than your train line.

I’m a regular rider of “The Brain Train,” officially known as the Gold Line on the L.A. Metro system. The Gold …

My Hometown’s Rush to Honor Obama Says More About Us Than Him

We're Fawning Over the Outgoing President—But the Feeling Isn't Mutual

I recently learned that, in the second grade, I was part of presidential history.

Every morning during the 1980-1981 school year, I walked the five blocks between my family’s home in …

California Should Be More Like the Rose Parade

The State’s Greatest Public Event Delivers Every Year—Which Is More Than You Can Say for Sacramento

Sometimes I wish the state of California were run more like the Rose Parade.

It’s not just how nice it’d be to have all the surfaces in Capitol offices covered in …

I Dish Out the Food Your Supermarket Can’t Use

My Neighbors Were Going Hungry, So I Got My Local Trader Joe’s to Donate Carloads of Groceries

In the spring of 2009, my teenage daughter and I attended a memorial service in Pasadena, California, followed by a family-style luncheon. After the service, the retired clergyman who had …