Over Coffee® Podcasts

Here are our current Over Coffee® podcasts!

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  • ScareLA™: New Facets of Fear–and Fun July 22, 2017
    ScareLA founder Lora Ivanova

    ScareLA founder Lora Ivanova. (photograph courtesy of ScareLA™, and used with permission.)

    Halloween is just two weeks away, and counting–courtesy of ScareLA™ founder Lora Ivanova.

    And the 2017 edition of the world’s first summertime Halloween convention is going to be dark, spooky,futuristic, and fun.  This year’s “monsters” get to creep, crawl and scream through an immersive environment, with AR and VR-enhanced haunt experiences.

    For 2017, ScareLA™: the Los Angeles Summer Halloween Convention materializes in a brand-new venue: the Los Angeles Convention Center!  The darkness descends on Saturday and Sunday, August 5th and 6th.

    Workshops with horror-industry professionals, discussion panels, horror films, a Saturday night costume party and haunts will be just a few of the features that will have you spellbound.  And, of course,  major Halloween attractions like Universal Studios will be doing “reveals” of the mazes they’ll have lying in wait for unsuspecting (or maybe anticipating!) monsters this year.

    ScareLA banner

    (Graphic courtesy of ScareLA,™ and used with permission.)

    ScareLA™ brews up a scary good time every year–but never does the same thing twice.  Their 2017 cauldron is bubbling with interactive experiences and spine-tingling ways to express your creepy creativity.  AND–this is their fifth anniversary, so it’s going to be especially goosebump-inducing!

    We’ve had the privilege of covering every show since they started, and watching them grow.  So we can’t wait to see this one.  (Incidentally, if you would like a look back, here is our 2014 interview with Lora, in which she talks about the origins of ScareLA™ and the process of creating that first 2013 show.)

    Lora talked about her experiences creating ScareLA™, offered a preview of this year’s delightfully chilling Halloween offerings and conjured up some advice for fellow creative entrepreneurs.

    In this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • What some of the major highs and lows have been, in the past five years of creating ScareLA™ differently each time;
    • How Lora and her team came up with this year’s ScareLA™ theme;
    • How ScareLA™ is supporting the National Wildlife Federation, as they work to #SaveLACougars;
    • An imaginary “tour” of the 2017 show;
    • A preview of two brand-new experiences that incorporate VR and AR;
    • Lora’s advice for keeping an annual event fresh and exciting
    • The biggest challenge with which she deals, as an artist/entrepreneur.
      “Monsters Come Together” at ScareLA™’s fifth summertime Halloween convention,  Saturday and Sunday, August 5th and 6th, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Witching hours are 11 am to 7 pm, both days.  Here’s the link for more information.
    • ScareLA "Monsters Come Together" graphic

      (Graphic courtesy of ScareLA™, and used with permission.)

  • In Search of the Human Element July 8, 2017
    Photojournalist, M.D. and filmmaker Max Aguilera-Hellweg

    (Photograph courtesy of Wayne Lawrence, and used with permission.)

    Max Aguilera-Hellweg’s new book, Humanoid, is all about robots.

    And the themes: what is our connection to them, as humans?  Where are we headed, with robots?  And, what does it mean to be human, anyway?


    In Humanoid, Max, who is a physician as well as an award-winning National Geographic photojournalist and filmmaker, incorporates his expertise and a sense of wonder.  He explores not only different types of robots from all over the world, but the ways we interact with them.   You’ll find robots designed for defense, health research, and sometimes purely for fun–as is the case with Robocup, whose stated goal is to have a fully-humanoid robotic soccer team win the World Cup by 2050!

    (While not currently practicing medicine, Max earned his M.D. in 2004–after becoming fascinated with human anatomy during a series of photo shoots.   He was struck, he says, by the beauty of human anatomy–and you’ll see a parallel to his scientific and forensic photographs in the way he’s documented his robots in Humanoid.)

    Max talked about his background as a photographer, the creation of Humanoid, which is his third book, and some of the experiences he had while photographing and documenting robots for the project.

    On this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Max was first drawn to photography;
    • How curiosity led him to become an M.D;
    • The genesis of the Humanoid project;
    • The difference between android and humanoid robots (do you know what it is?);
    • How the social robot, Bina-48, was created;
    • Max’s experiences photographing Bina-48, and a surprising conversation he heard (and recorded!)
    • His observations about humans’ response to the robots;
    • How the “fun” element entered robot innovation in the academic world;
    • Some of the considerations as we move into the issues of robots’ rights and autonomy.
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