Samohi Presents Annual Spring Musical

The incredibly talented, extraordinarily versatile Samohi Theater students will open their production of a classic American musical, SOUTH PACIFIC, on
Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m., in Barnum Hall.

With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and book by
Hammerstein II & Joshua Logan, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel, TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, by James A. Michener, the musical has
been loved by generations of Americans.

From “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” to “Some Enchanted Evening,” Rodgers’ & Hammerstein’s classic story of love, conflict, and prejudice contains some of musical theater’s favorite songs, performed with a live orchestra! Santa Monica High School’s spring musical is an annual community event.

There will be seven performances. Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3 and 8-10, 7 p.m, and Saturday, March 3, 2 p.m.

Admission: $15 adults, $10 students. Tickets online. For directions and parking, check the Samohi Theatre website before you go. Due to construction, there is no parking on the Samohi campus. For some dates, there is a parking charge across the street and down the hill from Barnum at the Civic Auditorium.

Times Reports Rich Take Candy From Children

Once upon a time Scott Fitzgerald said to Ernest Hemingway, “The rich are
different.”
Hemingway said, “Yes. They have more money.”

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, they’re also greedier.

The rich really are different from the rest of us, scientists have found — they are more apt to commit unethical acts because they are more motivated by greed.

People driving expensive cars were more likely than other motorists to cut off drivers and pedestrians at a four-way-stop intersection in the San Francisco Bay Area, UC Berkeley researchers observed. Those findings led to a series of experiments that revealed that people of higher socioeconomic status were also more likely to cheat to win a prize, take candy from children and say they would pocket extra change handed to them in error rather than give it back.

Because rich people have more financial resources, they’re less dependent on social bonds for survival, the Berkeley researchers reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a result, their self-interest reigns and they have fewer qualms about breaking the rules.

“If you occupy a more insular world, you’re less likely to be sensitive to the needs of others,” said study lead author Paul Piff, who is studying for a doctorate in psychology.

But before those in the so-called 99% start feeling ethically superior, consider this: Piff and his colleagues also discovered that anyone’s ethical standards could be prone to slip if they suddenly won the lottery and joined the top 1%.

“There is a strong notion that when people don’t have much, they’re really looking out for themselves and they might act unethically,” said Scott Wiltermuth, who researches social status at USC’s Marshall School of Business and wasn’t involved in the study. “But actually, it’s the upper-class people that are less likely to see that people around them need help — and therefore act unethically.”

In earlier studies, Piff documented that wealthy people were less likely to act generously than relatively impoverished people. With this research, he hoped to find out whether wealthy people would also prioritize self-interest if it meant breaking the rules.

The driving experiments offered a way to test the hypothesis “naturalistically,” he said. Trained observers hid near a downtown Berkeley intersection and noted the makes, model years and conditions of bypassing cars. Then they recorded whether drivers waited their turn.

It turned out that people behind the wheels of the priciest cars were four times as likely as drivers of the least expensive cars to enter the intersection when they didn’t have the right of way. The discrepancy was even greater when it came to a pedestrian trying to exercise a right of way.

There is a significant correlation between the price of a car and the social class of its driver, Piff said. Still, how fancy a car looks isn’t a perfect indicator of wealth.

So back in the laboratory, Piff and his colleagues conducted five more tests to measure unethical behavior — and to connect that behavior to underlying attitudes toward greed.

For instance, the team used a standard questionnaire to get college students to assess their own socioeconomic status and asked how likely subjects were to behave unethically in eight different scenarios.

In one of the quandaries, students were asked to imagine that they bought coffee and a muffin with a $10 bill but were handed change for a $20. Would they keep the money?

In another hypothetical scenario, students realized their professor made a mistake in grading an exam and gave them an A instead of the B they deserved. Would they ask for a grade change?

The patterns from the road held true in the lab — those most willing to engage in unethical behavior were the ones with the highest social status.

One possible explanation was that wealthy people are simply more willing to acknowledge their selfish side. But that wasn’t the issue here. When test subjects of any status were asked to imagine themselves at a high social rank, they helped themselves to more candies from a jar they were told was meant for children in another lab.

Another experiment recruited people from Craigslist to play a “game of chance” that the researchers had rigged. People who reported higher social class were more likely to have favorable attitudes toward greed — and were more likely to cheat at the game.

“The patterns were just so consistent,” Piff said. “It was very, very compelling.”

Piff, who is writing a paper about attitudes toward the Occupy movement, said that his team had been accused of waging class warfare from time to time.

“Berkeley has a certain reputation, so yeah, we get that,” he said.

But rather than vilify the wealthy, Piff said, he hopes his work leads to policies that help bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Acts as simple as watching a movie about childhood poverty seem to encourage people of all classes to help others in need, he said.

From the Los Angeles Times

THE SCOOP ON FRESH & EASY

There will be a meeting tonight at 6:30 in the clubhouse in Douglas Park to discuss Tesco’s plans to open one of its Fresh and Easy grocery stores in the former Magnolia Video site on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Tesco has dominated the UK grocery business for some years.

As it happens, Robert Gottlieb, who lives near the site Fresh and Easy would like to occupy, is a principal in the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. In 2007, he and his colleagues did a report about Tesco’s entry into the U.S., its relationship with their workers, the food industry, and the communities they want to be part of.

The link to the Institute’s study is
http://departments.oxy.edu/uepi/publications/tesco_report.pdf.

MARCH IS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

The Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) will celebrate March as Women’s History Month and the 2012 National Women’s History Month theme of “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment” with a series of events throughout the City designed to support and spotlight women’s achievements, courage and creativity.

Kicking off the month will be an opening reception hosted by the COSW on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:00 p.m., in the foyer of Santa Monica City Hall, prior to the Santa Monica City Council meeting. Following the closed session, commissioners will receive a proclamation from the Council and provide a brief update on the Santa Monica Commission of Women’s plans. Launching simultaneously will be a photography exhibit of Santa Monica women throughout history in the City Hall Foyer before it moves to the Santa Monica History Museum, where it will hang for the month.

During the month, the Commission will collaborate with a variety of City and local organizations to present a range of programming celebrating women’s achievements, including lectures, exhibitions, panel discussions and film screenings.

Among the collaborators is the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, whose CEO Laurel Rosen said, “Santa Monica is a first class city filled with exceptional and visionary women in our community who are leading the way. The Santa Monica Chamber is thrilled to partner with the Commission on the Status of Women to honor our local leaders.”

For more information on the schedule of events, visit COSW’s website at www.smgov.net/cosw or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smcosw for details, or call (310) 458-8701.

ON THE NOIR SIDE: TWO LECTURES

The Santa Monica Conservancy is presenting two free lectures during NoirFest Santa Monica, which began earlier this month and will run through March.

Saturday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m., writer/historian Ernest Marquez will talk about his new book, “Noir Afloat: Tony Cornero and the Notorious Gambling Ships of Southern California,” and sign books in the Community Room, 3rd level, Santa Monica Place (behind Ozumo restaurant).

Monday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m., writer Judith Freeman will present a slide lecture, “A Walk on Raymond Chandler’s Westside.” Beach=Culture at the Annenberg Community Beach House is co-sponsor with the Conservancy.

The true story of the notorious gambling ships anchored in Santa Monica Bay in the 1920s and 30s, “Noir Afloat,” might have been a Warner Brothers’ film, circa the 1930s. In fact, longtime resident Sharon Gilpin made a film about them some years ago.

Marquez, descendent of a Mexican land grant family and author of “Santa Monica Beach,” has chronicled the remarkable stories of the gangsters who loaded their ships with booze, and glitz, and anchored them just beyond the three-mile limit, beyond the reach of the law in “Noir Afloat.” Tony Cornero was king of the rumrunners and mastermind of the regal Rex.

Marquez’s remarkable collection of images and memorabilia is showcased in “Noir Afloat.” The book will be available for sale at the lecture.

Reservations are recommended: click here, send email to rsvp@smconservancy.org or leave a message at 310-496-3146.

Judith Freeman, author of “The Long Embrance: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved,” has delved into another intriguing aspect of the famous author in her slide lecture, “A Walk on Raymond Chandler’s Westside.” He was not only a brilliant mystery writer, the author who put the city of Los Angeles on the literary map, he was also one of the city’s finest social historians. During the years he lived in Southern California from 1912 to 1946, he moved over three dozen times in and around L.A., enabling him to write intimately about many different neighborhoods, including those the Westside of Los Angeles – and Santa Monica, which became “Bay City” in his novels. In a lecture and slide presentation, Freeman will lead a virtual tour of many Westside places that Chandler used in his fiction, as well as the neighborhoods where he once lived with his wife Cissy.

Reservations for Freeman’s slide lecture are required and must be made directly with the Beach House, not through the Conservancy: go to www.annenbergbeachhouse.com/beachculture for the reservation link.

Lectures, films and discussions centered around the Santa Monica Public Library’s selection of Raymond Chandler’s fourth novel, “The Lady in the Lake” for its annual Citywide Reads program can be found on the library website. NoirFest Santa Monica adds to the celebration with an art exhibition, films, and lectures, with the Santa Monica Conservancy as a participant; additional events are listed at www.noirfestsm.com.

Conservancy annual memberships support its work to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of our city. Members receive its informative quarterly newsletter and discounts on tours and events.
You may join online as an Individual or Household Member or as a Business/Corporate Member. Or send a check to the address below.

Call 310-496-3146 or email info@smconservancy.org.
Mailing Address: Santa Monica Conservancy, PO BOX 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406 US