The Madeleine Brand Show for December 20, 2010

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Who are you calling lame ducks? Congress gets busy

Coming back to Washington after midterm elections, Congress rarely gets much accomplished. Not so this session. With extended tax cuts and unemployment benefits, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and consideration of the DREAM Act and new START treaty, this year is on its way to being the most active lame duck session in recent history. Dan Friedman joins us from National Journal.
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Senate repeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell: gays may now serve openly in the military

The Senate repealed DADT on Saturday, raising new questions about how and when the new legislation will be implemented. Should military personnel come out to their colleagues, or is the water still too hot? And what's the next step for the gay rights movement? Robert Bradley Sears, director of UCLA's Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy joins us.
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Don't let it go to your head: Parenting on the Edge tackles head lice

Creepy crawlers and tiny white eggs - are they taking over an elementary school near you? Not likely, says public health entomologist Richard Pollack. Lice spread through head-to-head contact, not brushes and combs. Are schools' head checks worth it? And how have you handled head lice?
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Comprehensive new plan shakes up earthquake readiness along San Andreas fault

Everybody in Southern California knows what the "big one" is. But are you ready for it? Government leaders say they are. Emergency management officials last week issued what they say it the most comprehensive plan ever for a giant earthquake along the infamous San Andreas fault. KPCC's Frank Stoltze joins Madeleine from downtown, to talk about it.
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Urban Dictionary's words of the year

Every year a slew of new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. This year Bromance, Chillax and Staycation made the list. But for the most cutting edge slang your best bet is the Urban Dictionary. It's an online database where people submit their own entries of new words and phrases from pop culture. They just put out their own list of the best new words of 2010. Site founder, Aaron Peckham, is in the studio.
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Saying goodbye to the Captain

Avant-garde musician, Don Van Vliet, passed away on Friday. He was better known as Captain Beefheart, a stage name he adopted because of the "beef" he had in his heart, against society. He was a longtime friend and collaborator of Frank Zappa's. His breakthrough album, "Trout Mask Replica," came out in 1969 and was produced by Zappa. Click through for the song "Veteran's Day Poppys" off of the album, "Trout Mask Replica."
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