The Madeleine Brand Show for June 1, 2011

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Throughout history, no matter what political stripe, the public seems to have rallied around its collective disgust with the media. Charges of bias, shallowness and fear-mongering have been leveled at journalists since the earliest alphabets came into existence. Public radio's Brooke Gladstone, host of "On the Media," joins Madeleine to discuss her new graphic nonfiction book, "The Influencing Machine."
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In Europe, an extremely rare form of E. coli is responsible for one of the largest outbreaks of the disease ever recorded. 17 people have died in Germany and more than 1500 sickened. And there have been more cases reported in 8 other European countries. It's still a mystery exactly what caused the outbreak, but officials suspect it came from either raw lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers. What is it that makes this strain worse than normal? Madeleine speaks to Sarah Klein, a food safety attorney at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The food pyramid gets a makeover

The federal government will roll out a new version of its iconic food pyramid, Thursday. The pyramid will be replaced by a circle which will have four colored sections, for fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Next to the circle will be a smaller circle for dairy foods. Why the makeover? Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University tells us why the food pyramid has been politicized.
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Fresno investors want new nuclear power plant

Japan's continuing nuclear crisis has left the world nervous over nuclear power, just as many were touting it as a low-carbon energy source. California has a long-standing moratorium on any new nuclear power plants. But an effort to challenge that is underway in Fresno, where some investors are pressing on, in spite of the ban. KQED's Sasha Khokha reports.

My summer vacation from hell

We're kicking off a summer series this morning, and it's one you can participate in. We've collected a few stories from people who've told us about their summer vacations that have gone horribly wrong, and we'd like to hear from you too. Our first victim is Lew Schnieder, a writer and producer of the TV show Men of A Certain Age. He shares a story about the danger of being a guest in someone's home on a vacation, and then having to reciprocate.
Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam from The Dinner Party Download are back with conversation starters for your next soiree. Literally Unbelievable. That's the name of a new site that chronicles Facebook user's reactions to articles from The Onion, that they believe to be true. A list of the most dangerous cities to be a pedestrian in was recently released. Surprisingly, Los Angeles isn't number one. That honor goes to Orlando-Kissimmee, FL. And the boys take time to remember one of the darker, best selling holiday singles... White Christmas by Irving Berlin.
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