The Madeleine Brand Show for December 2, 2011

Exploring Pasadena's dark past

Murders, suicides and bear attacks - Pasadena's dark history

When you think of Pasadena – you think of the Rose Parade, Colorado Boulevard or maybe little old ladies in fast cars. But like every neighborhood, Pasadena has a dark side. The Pasadena Confidential bus tour explores the grim history of this quiet suburb. The tour features bizarre crimes, strange disappearances and a rude but entertaining clown named Crimebo.

Economic roundup: Good news/bad news with employment numbers

Good news: the unemployment rate drops to the lowest level in more than two years. Bad news: the overall workforce is shrinking, and wages are failing to keep pace with inflation. Here to help us understand this, Roben Farzad, senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Why do we have power lines?

More than 200,000 people in Southern California are still without power following Thursday’s windstorm, and some school districts remain closed as crews work to repair the damage. We’ll look at L.A. County’s infrastructure and discuss improvements that could help ease the pain of future storms.
Price Of Oil Rises Amid Stock Market Volatility

Volatility means we live in a topsy-turvy world

The stock market drops hundreds of points one day, and rises hundreds of points the next. A political candidate comes out of nowhere, soars to the top of the polls and then tumbles. A movie has a big opening weekend, and then drops off charts. All common occurrences in 2011 America. And all examples of volatility. Our steady and dependable Steve Proffitt has some thoughts about it. He says fears, uncertainty and doubts have created a new normal in volatility.
Black smoke billows from the chimeny of

Climate change's consequences for the Santa Ana winds

Gusty winds the length of California have grounded aircraft and left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. It's a little less windy today than yesterday and so far, we've avoided the most feared consequence: major wildfires, which usually come with the Santa Ana winds this time of year. As Craig Miller from KQED reports, climate change may mean that Santa Ana season gets longer.

Book critic David Kipen on Santa Ana prose and an Argentinian novel

Book Critic David Kipen is back. After Thursdays windstorm, wind worn Californians may take comfort in remembering that writers Joan Didion and Raymond Chandler have done a little wind work of their own. "Red Wind," by Chandler and Didion's "The Santa Ana" face off. Also, a look at the Argentinian novel "The Secret in Their Eyes." In the book, Benjamin Chaparro is a newly retired investigator in 1999 Buenos Aires. As Chaparro begins to write a book about a past investigation, we delve into the dark history of Argentina's Dirty War. The personal story of Chaparro's suspenseful investigation into the rape and murder a young woman gives a glimpse to the larger political scene of 1970s Argentina.
FDA Considers New Restrictions On Pain Relievers Containing Acetaminophen

Weekend Alibi: Cold season edition

This week, Meghan McCarty brings us a prescription for how to spend your weekend if, like many of us, you've come down with a cold or flu. Dr. Neil Schachter at Mount Sinai Hospital wrote the book, "The Good Doctor's Guide to Cold and Flu." He recommends spending the weekend resting and taking in plenty of fluids - chicken noodle soup or tea with a squeeze of lemon and possibly some cognac.

Dinner Party: Cheese in space, "Work It," and Pong is born

Hosts of The Dinner Party, Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam, join Madeleine for their weekly booster shot of cultural news.
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