The Madeleine Brand Show for September 21, 2011

Buildings made of human bones: exploring the world's ossuaries and charnelhouses

Never heard of an ossuary or charnelhouse? They're the final resting place for human skeletons. In religious sites - primarily churches - masses of human bones have been kept safe for centuries. Initially, the idea was to keep a body in tact on sacred soil when the rapture came. Later, cavernous rooms made of bones were erected to remind us of our mortality.
Mercer 21258

The waning political influence of Jews in California

Jewish lawmakers have been an integral part of Los Angeles and California politics for decades. Now with redistricting and retirements, Jewish representation is changing. How will the political institutions be affected and what does this mean for policies Jews care about? Here to tell us about the changing political landscape is Raphe Sonenshein.
Troy Davis

Lawyers plea for the life of Troy Davis

At 7pm eastern time, Troy Davis is set to be executed for the 1989 killing of officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. Davis' lawyers insist it's a case of mistaken identity, but yesterday, Georgia's pardons board rejected a request to spare the 42 year old man's life. Amnesty International's Death Penalty Abolition Campaigner Brian Evans discusses the case.
Irvine 11

Deliberations begin in the case of the Irvine 11

Today Jury deliberations begin in a case that has gotten quite a bit of media attention here in the Southland, the trial of the group known as the Irvine 11. There's actually only 10 defendants in the case. They're Muslim students accused of disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren during a visit to campus last year. KPCC reporter Stephanie O'Neill has been in the courtroom and she brings us the latest on this story.

The dark side of surf tourism

Surfing is a seven billion dollar industry and a lot of that money comes from tourism. Surfers from first-world countries travel to distant beaches in search of the perfect wave. These surfing safaris may stimulate the local economies of countries like Peru, Indonesia and Mexico but they can also have a devastating long-term impact. Researchers at San Diego State University have begun a new program that will study so called "surfing slums." Madeleine recently spoke about this issue with Jess Ponting, the director of new Center for Surf Research.

Hi neighbor! Anaheim is more than Disneyland and the Convention Center

Anaheim is known for its theme park and convention center. But did you know it has a number of beautiful historic homes? How about it's past as a place for wine and beer makers? What about Anaheim's own cartoon mascot Andy Anaheim? Kevin Kidney with the Anaheim Historical Society talks about the lesser known aspects of Anaheim, California.
Mercer 21255

Dinner Party Download: space junk @qwikster, and Booth's vacuum

The Dinner Party Download is back for their usual Wednesday chat. First, a 12,500 pound piece of space junk heads towards earth. Netflix's new spinoff company Qwikster is having trouble securing a twitter handle. Apparently there already was an @Qwikster and he likes to swear. And finally this week in history the vacuum cleaner was invented.
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