It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.
His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.
For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?
There is a music store for sale in Los Angeles. It has old, sagging shelves stuffed with hundreds of thousands of recordings, from wax cylinders to 8-track tapes to LPs and CDs. The man who has owned the business since 1962 is Murray Gershenz.
"I wasn't earning enough money to support my family, so I decided to get some extra income by putting my record collection up for sale," Gershenz tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I opened the store, built some shelves with the help of a rabbi friend of mine and, little by little, the music took over."
On Tuesday morning, space shuttle Discovery will become the first of NASA's three shuttles — plus a shuttle prototype — to travel to its new retirement home.
NASA flew its last shuttle flight in July. Since then, it's been prepping the spaceships to become museum displays. And even though the shuttles are headed to places like Los Angeles and New York rather than the space station, figuring out how to get them there has still been a major undertaking.