Vintage T.V.: One Step Beyond

8232The Golden Age of Television is a name given to the earliest days of the medium (approximately 1949 to 1960) when American prime time television was largely comprised of dramatic anthology series, and when most Americans switched from radio and cinema to television as their primary entertainment source. Though many modern viewers may consider vintage TV programs to be technically crude and/or thematically simplistic by contemporary standards, the vast majority of shows on the air today still rely on the formulas and genres invented during that era.

Watch a complete line-up of vintage T.V. this Saturday, including:

The Executioner (4:00 PM)
Where Are They? (4:30 PM)
To Know The End (5:00 PM)
Gypsy (5:30 PM)
The Stone Cutter (6:00 PM)
The Mask (6:30 PM)
Tonight at 12:17 (7:00 PM)
The Lovers (7:30 PM)
Legacy of Love (8:00 PM)
The Trap (8:30 PM)
Front Runner (9:00 PM)
Call From Tomorrow (9:30 PM)
Ordeal on Locust Street (10:00 PM)
Midnight (10:30 PM)
Delia (11:00 PM)
Anniversary of Murder (11:30 PM)

Visit World Cinema Saturdays to learn more and see what’s playing in the weeks ahead.

Cyber Security: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

8232The first known use of the term “cyber security” was in 1994, yet 20 years later, it has become a powerful new field of academic research and public fascination.

In an era of ‘black hats’, denial-of-service attacks, worms, viruses and Edward Snowden, society is increasingly turning to computer scientists for solutions. While much of the debate has centered on cyber crime, surveillance and securing the Internet as we know it, computer scientists at UC San Diego see new threats arising as cyber security threats make their way into cyber-physical systems – those real-world systems that rely heavily on computers and networking to get things done. Like the electrical power grid, or the wireless communications infrastructure, there is growing evidence that the global transportation infrastructure faces escalating new security threats.

“…you don’t think of your car as being software version 3.1, but it is…these are fundamentally computers, it’s just that they’re computers that control a two-ton vehicle that we have hurtling forward with us in it at 75 miles an hour.”

- Stefan Savage: Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Chair of the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at UC San Diego Rajesh Gupta, an expert in cyber-physical systems, hosts two renowned cyber security experts from the computer-science faculty in UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering: Prof. Stefan Savage, and Prof. Hovav Shacham.

Since 2010, Prof. Savage and his team, including colleagues from the University of Washington, have generated controversy and debate over public policy after they demonstrated the vulnerability of modern automobiles to attack from hackers who can take advantage, directly or remotely, of internal as well as external digital components and systems in today’s cars.

Most recently, Prof. Shacham uncovered surprising security vulnerabilities involving the full-body backscatter, X-ray scanners deployed at entrances to airports, train stations and other public places.

“…passengers are going through a variety of devices…every single one of these devices…is a computer…we found the software is replaceable, our machine ran DOS, it ran Windows, it had no kind of access control on it…these were designed and evaluated in secret…either they found the same flaws we did…or in their testing they didn’t find these flaws…”

- Hovav Shacham: Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

So just how vulnerable is the global transportation infrastructure to cyber attack? Can computer science short-circuit attacks before they inconvenience or risk the lives of drivers, airline passengers and other consumers? And what can computer scientists proactively do to prevent future attacks… or will cyber security always be a reaction to new threats as they arise?

Watch Cyber Security: Planes, Trains and Automobiles to learn more, and stay tuned for more in the Computing Primetime series.


A Good Tune – SummerFest 2014

8232In past seasons the SummerFest programs aired on UCSD-TV tended to the eclectic, mixing different styles, eras and composers broadly representative of the chamber music genre. This year, we’re focusing on four great masters of the Classical style: Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, and Johannes Brahms.

Some definitions are useful here. We use the term classical music (note the small “c”) colloquially to include all Western “art music” (or “serious music”) from roughly the ninth century to the present, and especially the seventeenth century to the nineteenth. In fact, the loose term classical music encompasses a broad variety of forms, styles, genres, schools, movements, historical periods, and composers. The Classical period (note the capital “C”) highlighted in our programs was predominant from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries, and was largely developed in Germany and Austria. It derived from the Baroque period and lead to the Romantic period. The hallmarks of the Classical style include a rejection of the ornamentation of the Baroque in favor of a cleaner, simpler style, one with a lighter texture and concerned with logical development, structural balance, adherence to form, proportion, and “rightness” of phrasing. It was highly organized and melodic music, well suited to the Age of Reason. As is always the case when attempting to strictly define historical periods there was considerable overlap between the different styles, and several well-known composers are considered transitional figures – Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert, for example (though it’s been argued that Beethoven is a genre unto himself).

Each of the four composers whose works are performed in our programs made contributions to the development of Classical style. Haydn is considered the key transitional figure from Baroque to Classical; indeed, more than any other composer he may be said to have invented Classical style, and has been called the “Father of Sonata Form.” Mozart, who was a contemporary of Haydn and greatly admired the older man, worked within Classical forms and brought them to an unsurpassed degree of perfection. Schubert, an admirer of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, brought his own innovations to the style and paved the way for the Romantic era that followed. Brahms was a late Classical composer, a Keeper of the Faith who resisted the siren call of Romanticism, fighting a rearguard action against the onslaught of Richard Wagner and his acolytes.

Alas for Brahms, history was on the side of Wagner. Romanticism was followed by modernism, serialism, minimalism, aleatroricism, primitivism, Neoclassicism, New Romanticism, post-modernism, etc., etc. ad nauseam. For a time Classical style fell out of favor – with composers, that is; it never lost its allure for audiences, and by the 1970s younger composers and performers were re-discovering its charms, once again immersing themselves in study of the period and its leading figures. Perhaps they were looking for order amidst the chaos of seventy-plus years of experimentation; or perhaps the older forms were seen as a tonic against the extremely subjective and drily academic nature of much modern music, and a way to reconnect with audiences.

Or perhaps, as SummerFest Music Director Cho-Liang (Jimmy) Lin notes, it’s as simple as “a good tune is always a good tune – there’s no substitute,” and the Classical masters offered good tunes in abundance.

Watch La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2014 Season.

When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good – Three Takeaways


Recently published research in The American Journal of Psychiatry shows that steroid therapies can cause neuropsychiatric damage.

Commonly prescribed medications such as prednisone can lead to erratic and self-destructive behavior among patients. Dr. Lewis Judd and Dr. Sherwood Brown, two of the paper’s authors, sat down with Nick Binkley of the Diana Foundation to share their findings in-depth. Here are three great takeaways from their discussion:

• Glucocorticoid treatment is associated with a seven-fold increased risk of a suicide or suicide attempt.

• Women appear more likely to develop depression during glucocorticoid treatment while men may be at greater risk for mania, delirium, confusion or disorientation.

• Despite the prevalence and potential seriousness of adverse effects, patients are often not warned about the risks before starting treatment.

To learn more and find out how patients and doctors can work together to reduce risk factors, watch When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good: Adverse Effects of Glucocorticoids on the Brain.

Julia, Noel and You!

8232The authorized biographer of Julia Child shares her wonderful memories of dining, traveling and talking with the famous icon who brought French cooking to mainstream America. Prepare to get hungry as Noel Riley Fitch recalls the meals that sparked Julia’s passion for food and her lifelong pursuit of pleasure.

Watch Sharing Julia Child’s Appetite for Life with Noel Riley Fitch. Presented by The UC San Diego Library Channel.

Bon Appetit!