The Madeleine Brand Show for March 28, 2011

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On March 28, 1979 there was a partial meltdown at a nuclear plant in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. No one was ultimately injured and there have been no long-term ill effects from the accident, but it set off a panic that slowed and in many cases stopped the further development of nuclear power in the U.S. Mike Gray joins us with more on the fallout. He covered the Three Mile Island accident for Rolling Stone and wrote a book about it called, The Warning. He also wrote the original screenplay for the film The China Syndrome about an accident at a nuclear power plant.
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Later today the New York Times website will be a little less free. Readers will be limited to 20 articles per month, but that doesn't include front page items, or pages you visit through a Facebook or Twitter link. If that sounds confusing to you, you are not alone. We turn to BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin to explain how the pay wall will work, and how some online readers plan to get around it.
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By now you've probably heard the Friday music video by 13 year-old Rebecca Black. Her 15 minutes of fame on the internet weren't pleasant - she drew intense criticism online. A similar thing happened to Zack Freiman, who is also 13 and made a video to celebrate his bar mitzvah, drawing a smaller, but significant backlash on YouTube. As a parent, how do you handle your child's internet fame... or infamy? We talk to Zack's mom Allison Fine, who is also the author of two books on social media.
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A new book, The Longevity Project, publishes the findings of a nearly century-long study begun in 1921 by a Stanford psychologist that looked at the life choices and health records of 1,500 individuals to see what caused certain individuals to live past their 70s and what led to early disease and death in some. UC Riverside psychology professor Howard Friedman analyzed the results and co-authored the book. He shares some surprising findings about what leads to long life.
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At least one Southern California man dedicates his days to uncovering the truth behind strange LA landmarks. Last time we caught up Chris Nichols, he had been shimmying along barbed wire next to the Pasadena Freeway. This time the writer behind the Ask Chris column in Los Angeles Magazine tells us why the coyotes are looking emaciated and poses two stumpers. First, who wrote the poem that helps school kids remember the streets in Downtown Los Angeles? And what's the deal with that neon sign, "Asthma Vapineze" hanging over a vacant midcity storefront?
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