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On a typical day in L.A., Museum biologists engage in not-so-typical approaches to study the city’s incredible and ever-changing biodivesity. Camera traps in Griffith Park are photographing mountain lions and coyotes. Local residents are photo-documenting native and introduced reptiles, and volunteers are sifting through asphalt from the La Brea Tar Pits and discovering the diversity of our region's past. This season's First Fridays tours explore how Museum biologists are "Tracking and Trapping L.A.'s Wildlife."
15 person capacity per tour. Tour tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football — or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life? Everyone is fond of paleofantasies, stories about how humans lived eons ago, and we use them to explain why many elements of our lives, from the food we eat to the way we raise our children, seem very distant from what nature intended. We sometimes assume that humans in a modern society aren’t evolving any more, that we have somehow freed ourselves from evolution, or at the very least, that evolution always requires so long to act that we can’t expect to have adapted to our current circumstances. But popular theories about how our ancestors lived — and why we should emulate them — are often based on speculation, not scientific evidence, and they reflect a basic misunderstanding about how evolution works. There was never a time when everything about us — our bodies, our minds, and our behavior — was perfectly in sync with the environment. Evolution is continuous, and all organisms alive today, whether chimpanzees, modern day hunter-gatherers, or bacteria, are all equally evolved. What really matters is the rate of evolution, which is sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Instead of trying to live like cavemen, we need to understand that process.[ ]
Marlene Zuk is a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in animal behavior, especially as it pertains to sex, and in evolution, and has studied animals in many parts of the world. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and spent over twenty years on the faculty at the University of California, Riverside before coming to the Twin Cities in 2012. Her books include Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn About Sex from Animals; Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites that Make Us Who We Are; Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love, and Language from the Insect World; and Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live. She also writes for many popular outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and Natural History magazine, and has been interviewed on radio shows ranging from The Splendid Table to Fresh Air.
Mikal Cronin’s self-titled debut from 2011 was all about endings: the end of college, the end of a serious relationship, and the end of his time in Los Angeles, where he grew up. So it’s no surprise that his sophomore release MCII—and first disc for Merge Records—is all about new beginnings.
“Since the first record came out, my life has changed quite a bit,” Cronin says, referencing his move to San Francisco and tours with Ty Segall as well as with his own band. “I was presented with a whole new slew of problems and situations that I was trying to work through.” “Am I Wrong” and “Shout It Out” dissect his fears over a new relationship, while “I’m Done Running from You” and “Weight” find him freaking out about what it means to grow up in the 21st century.
Other than these few exceptions, Cronin played all of the instruments. “It all makes total sense to me, but when I step back, it sounds kind of schizophrenic,” Cronin says. “Hopefully it all sounds enough like me to make sense.”
The Tijuana Panthers got their name from the little black ceramic panther that was a present from their neighbor Max Baker—yes, the Max Baker who they named their first album after, and who deserves a bio all his own—and they got their sound from that strange place where punk bands crash into pop music and come out the other side, bristling with hooks and hitting 3-part harmonies almost by happy accident.
Even the Beach Boys were once a garage band, and after them came the waves of kids playing rock ‘n’ roll somewhere between the surf and the surface streets. Then when punk showed up in the ‘70s, it was just an adjustment in hairstyle and speed. The Buzzcocks did this a whole hemisphere away, the Real Kids and the Modern Lovers did it on the other side of the country, and the Crowd and the Simpletones did it just a few towns over. And now Tijuana Panthers come striding proudly out of their hometown of Long Beach, California.
KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez and DJ Raul Campos join us in the lounge where you can get your groove on and enjoy the dioramas of the African Mammal Hall.
Anthony Valadez is a Los Angeles based DJ/Producer and visual artist with residencies at Little Temple, Zanzibar, and previously at the legendary Temple Bar prior to its closer. His latest musical projects include remixes for David Bowie and Ozomatli. He has released two, full length albums on indie label Recordbreakin. He is a resident DJ at Dublab.com and has a regular program on 89.9 FM KCRW & KCRW.com where he mixes future beats, soulful keys, and tomorrow’s samples and sounds.
Raul Campos is a KCRW DJ who creates a mix of emerging artists and current favorites, bringing essential cuts from around the world and a little closer to home, from soulful grooves and fresh remixes to Latin rhythms and indie rock.
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