Crosscurrents

Monday-Thursday at 5pm

Crosscurrents is the award-winning daily news magazine from KALW Public Radio. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the divides in our community - economic, social, and cultural.

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Got a comment, tip, or a story we should cover? Email news@kalw.org or give us a call at (415) 264-7106.

Get inside the mind of an amateur comic

Nov 24, 2011

It makes sense why comedy flourishes in the Bay Area. To a lot of people, the region itself is a kind of joke. On the right, we’ve got  Bill O'Reilly calling us a modern day Gomorrah –

BILL O’REILLY: As we reported, the far left is emboldened now that Barack Obama has been elected president, and nowhere is the far left government more on display than in the city of San Francisco. Once a working class town blessed with natural beauty, San Francisco has embraced a secular liberal culture that is now dominant in city government.

Who would have thought that Borders, the corporate bookselling behemoth that had stores in practically every mini mall across America, would now be shutting its doors? Some blame the Borders breakdown on the end of books as we know them. The cause? Technology.

Back in the ‘50s, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” challenged how people thought a poem should sound. Recently, e-books challenged how we think a book should feel. And now, the Twitter Novel is challenging how a novel should be written.

The true art of storytelling is in bringing stories to life, either as comedy, a compelling radio piece, or a movie. But what happens when what you want to bring to life is a piece of art in itself? Like making a movie about a poem?

Compared with the rest of the nation, the Bay Area is an easy place to go green – many restaurants will give you take-out with biodegradable containers and silverware, trash cans have a section for recyclables, and San Francisco, along with other Bay Area cities, even offers compost collection

San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood is the focus of a lot of attention these days. The long rundown area has become a canvas of urban planning: local art and mural projects fill the sidewalks, and big businesses like Twitter have decided to locate there because of generous civic tax breaks.

DIY: How to recycle water in your home

Nov 22, 2011
Patrick Smith

Think about the parts of your home where you can conserve water: there’s the shower, the sink, the toilet, and if you’ve got them, maybe a dishwasher or washing machine. You can reduce the amount of water you use, but what about reusing it? KALW’s Thea Chroman decided to learn how to reuse water spent on cleaning herself – and stuff – in a segment called D.I.Y.

Smartphones bring us streaming audio, directions to where we're going, instant connections with our friends and family. But an increasing number of experts are sounding an alarm that smartphones may as well be called spyphones.

California is one of many states that bans talking or texting on a handheld device while driving. It's a national problem. In 2009, more than 5,000 people were killed on U.S. roads and about 450,000 were injured due because of so-called "distracted" driving.

As many San Franciscans know, dropped calls are such a common problem with cell phones that in 2002, Verizon Wireless launched a commercial empire based on that now-famous tagline:

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