As Oil Prices Drop, Cities Feel Financial Hit
Way before people were striking it rich in Silicon Valley, a different wave of millionaires got minted in another California industry -- oil. For a time the L.A. area was gushing with the stuff. So too the Central Valley. While output isn't nearly as much as it once was, governments in those areas still rely on oil revenue to help balance the books. But the recent plunge in oil prices means some bills might not get paid. Hear more from the California Report's Los Angeles bureau chief Steven Cuevas.
Atmospheric Rivers Hold Key to Weekend Storms
Northern Californians are excited about a rain-soaked weekend. The whole state needs every drop. Right now, though, scientists are exploring a water source that's critically important to California but that few of us even know about: Rivers in the sky. Atmospheric rivers are long, conveyer-belt-like streams of moisture carrying as much water as 15 Mississippi Rivers combined ... and flowing toward the west coast. Understanding their behavior, how air particles affect rain and snowfall, and the link between reservoir management and atmospheric rivers are all part of a project called Cal Water 2015, led by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Science Reporter Danielle Venton spent a day in a NOAA research prop plane and brings us more.
Building a Better Bionic Arm by Teaching the Brain a New Signal
Artificial limbs have improved in recent years, and scientists at UC San Francisco are trying to take them even further. Today's prosthetics include bionic hands that can pick up a quarter. But to move naturally they need both good engineering and clear communication with the brain. That's why UCSF is trying to improve how the prosthetic and the brain connect with each other. KQED Science Reporter Daniel Potter has more.
Election 2014: Money Saved and Spent Sheds Light on Races to Come
On the political front everyone's attention may have shifted away from the last election and on to 2016. But, the 2014 campaign spending reports have just rolled out and they reveal some interesting tidbits. John Myers is the Senior Editor of KQED's Politics and Government Desk. He joins us to point out details worth a second look.
Neil Young Unveils Pono Audio Player
If you caught the Tonight Show this week in Los Angeles, you may have seen host Jimmy Fallon's spot-on impersonation of Neil Young. The musician came on the show to promote his new high fidelity music player and downloading service. It's called "Pono," the Hawaiian word for "righteous." As Joanne Jennings explains, Young's ventures are making waves in the digital audio industry.