The Madeleine Brand Show for August 29, 2011

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Diving into the hidden world of "Demon Fish"

Sharks have been swimming in our planet's waters for hundreds of millions of years. They even predate dinosaurs. Despite that, little is known about them - where they swim and how they mate, for instance. Hard data might be lacking but that hasn't stopped humans from developing a deeply negative attitude towards sharks. That relationship is the topic of a new book, called "Demon Fish," by Washington Post journalist Juliet Eilperin who joins Madeleine.
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Obama nominates Alan Krueger to head White House Council of Economic Advisors

President Obama picked a Princeton labor economist - Alan Krueger - to head the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger is known as a moderate liberal economist and has support on both sides of the aisle. Congress is expected to approve the nomination. Krueger headed the Cash for Clunkers program at the Treasury Department and is known for his studies of the minimum wage. His Princeton colleague and fellow labor economist Cecilia Rouse tells us what his appointment may mean for economic policy.
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Did the media overhype Hurricane Irene danger?

Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the U.S. this weekend, causing billions of dollars in damage and claiming 20 lives. Media coverage was equally intense. While homes were destroyed and flooding continues in parts of New England, some worry that dire warnings that didn't come true in places like New York City may make residents less responsive when a true disaster approaches. LA Times On the Media columnist Jim Rainey joins us with take. He was hunkered down in a Manhattan hotel room as teh storm came through.
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Redwoods vs. red wine in Sonoma county

Two of Sonoma County's most famous attractions - redwood groves and red wine grapes - are vying for space. Two prominent wineries are trying to get permission to plant new Pinot Noir vineyards where a redwood grove now stands, against the efforts of environmentalists. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will decide the issue later this year. Supervisor Efren Carillo joins Madeleine.
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Should California release video of the Prop 8 trial?

On Monday a federal judge in San Francisco heard arguments on whether to release a videotape recording of last year’s trial on Proposition 8, which ended with a judge striking down California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage as “unconstitutional.” Prop 8’s defenders oppose any public release of the trial video.

Parenting on the Edge: getting your kid into an LA magnet school

Roughly 50,000 students attend one of LA's highly-coveted magnet schools. The magnets are designed to be the best campuses in the district. There's an application process that requires parents to be on the top of their game to ensure that their kid gets into one of these top-notch public programs. GOOD Magazine education editor Liz Dwyer joins us to explain the byzantine world of magnet school applications.
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