NPR science
5:06 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

What drove early man across the globe? Climate change

An artist's re-creation of the first human migration to North America from across the Bering Sea.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 3:39 pm

Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.

One new explanation is climate change.

Anthropologist Anders Erikkson of Cambridge University in England says the first few hardy humans who left Africa might've gone earlier but couldn't. Northeastern Africa — the only route to Asia and beyond — was literally a no man's land.

Read more
Education
5:02 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Report: Seattle schools scandal went deeper than thought

School board member Sherry Carr called the revelation of an additional $1.3 million in misspent funds "an outrage."
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

The Washington state auditor has uncovered another batch of questionable spending by Seattle Public Schools in recent years, widening a scandal that cost a former superintendent her job. The new investigation found that former district official Silas Potter, Jr. made even more inflated payments than was previously known, spending millions of taxpayer dollars on work that was never done or grossly overpriced.

Read more
Smoking laws
1:36 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Should hookah bars remain open despite Washington's indoor smoking ban?

In this 2005 file photo Cary Wilson (right) and Lyle Klyne smoke a hookah in Fire and Earth, a former Olympia hookah lounge, days prior to the smoking ban. The business continues to sell hookahs, smoking supplies and gifts.
John Froschauer AP

Washington banned indoor smoking nearly seven years ago, but one exception survives: hookah lounges.

Local health departments have struggled to shut them down. 

The lounges say they’re private clubs, not public venues, so the law doesn’t apply. They all charge some sort of membership fee, typically about $5.

That defense doesn’t sway health officials, like Frank DiBiase of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. His office inspected three hookah bars in Tacoma last year.

Read more
Superfund Cleanup
12:22 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Companies' volunteers and Forterra helping clean up Duwamish

“Volunteers pulling invasive Himalayan Blackberry”
courtesy Forterra

People power is helping to clean up one of Seattle's most polluted rivers.  On Friday, about a hundred volunteers who work for the Boeing Employees Credit Union pitched in along the Duwamish in Tukwila. They’ve set a five-year goal of cleaning up two miles of shoreline. 

Read more
Washington wildfires
10:07 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Fires continue to burn in central Washington

Cows stand in a pasture as a wildfire burns down a hillside behind last week near Cle Elum, Wash.
The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. – Wildfires continued to burn in central Washington, aided by unseasonably warm temperatures.

Read more
Economy
6:54 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Northwest wildfires not all bad for local economies

The influx of firefighters to a wildfire can offset economic damage to tourism and natural resources. Photo courtesy US Forest Service

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 4:45 pm

Crews continue to make progress on several wildfires in central Washington. State health officials say the air is smoky enough around Wenatchee to be unhealthy for people with sensitive respiratory systems.

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Oregon have been looking into the economic impact of large wildfires. Their findings indicated that there can actually be an upside to local economies.

Read more
Politics
6:51 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Solar power advocate likely violated state ethics law

Solar power advocate MIke Nelson. Photo by Liam Moriarty via KPLU

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 4:39 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the Northwest’s leading solar power advocates likely used his state position to help a company he was working for get an unfair tax designation. That’s the conclusion of a state Ethics Board investigation released Friday.

Read more
Photography
6:40 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Re-tracing the steps of a Civil War photographer on the anniversary of Antietam

Alexander Gardner captured the Confederate dead along the Hagerstown Pike at Antietam. One hundred fifty years later, sorghum lines what is now a paved road.
Todd Harrington and Alexander Gardner Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 10:31 am

Today's 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam got us thinking: What if Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner could revisit some of the original sites he photographed? If he used his equipment today, what would the images look like? That is: How have the landscapes changed — or stayed the same?

How These Work

Read more
Meeting Notice
5:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

KPLU's Community Advisory/Advocacy Board Meeting

KPLU's Community Advisory/Advocacy Board will be meeting on Thursday, September 20, 2012 Pacific Time via a teleconference call. If you are interested in observing or listening to the meeting, please contact the office of the General Manager @ 253-535-8732 for more information.

Business
10:56 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

'Upcycling' is taking recycling to a higher level

Some of the lampshades and pendants made out of cardboard at the SODO warehouse for Gray Pants
Jennifer Wing KPLU

You already know what  recycling  is. Soon you will start hearing more about upcycling. No, it doesn’t involve going up a steep hill on a bike. Upcycling is one of the focuses of this week's Seattle Design Festival and a good example of what it is can be found in an old wooden warehouse in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. 

Read more
Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

Dena DeRose Trio from Jazz Port Townsend on Jazz Northwest

On the next Jazz Northwest from 88.5 KPLU, The Dena DeRose Trio plays a concert recorded at Jazz Port Townsend in July.  With Martin Wind on bass and Matt Wilson on drums, Dena DeRose sings from the piano, swinging hard on up tempo tunes, and deliciously slow on the ballads with fresh takes on some familiar songs. 

Read more
NPR food
11:54 am
Sun September 16, 2012

To find truly wild rice, head north to Minnesota

Joe Hoagland, left, pushes a canoe through a wild rice bed as 14-year-old Chris Salazar learns how to harvest the rice.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:43 am

Harvest season is upon us, but in the U.S.'s northern lakes, it's not just the last tomatoes and first pumpkins. Through the end of this month, canoes will glide into lakes and rivers for the annual gathering of wild rice, kick started with the popular Wild Rice Festival in Roseville, Minn., on Saturday.

Read more
Pop Culture
2:08 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Meet 'The Most Interesting Man In The World'

Jonathan Goldsmith plays "The Most Interesting Man in the World" in beer company Dos Equis' ad campaign. The audition, he says, "was a cattle call."
Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 12:50 am

Read more
Author Interviews
1:50 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Embracing diversity in a 'multi-faith world'

Adam Gryko iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Time magazine named author and pastor Brian McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

McLaren has written more than 20 books, and he is a principal figure in the Emerging Church, a Christian movement that rejects the organized and institutional church in favor of a more modern, accepting community.

McLaren's new book is called Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.

Read more
Killer whales
4:32 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Survival of male orcas depends on older females, study shows

A baby orca, sex unknown, was seen swimming between its mother and grandmother in Puget Sound in August.
James Maya Maya's Westside Charters

Researchers in the San Juan Islands say the survival of older female Orcas, after they go through menopause, helps younger males stay alive longer.

That might not surprise many humans, but scientists well-versed in the behavior of Orca whales say it’s a relatively new conclusion. And, in many species, females don’t live long after the end of their reproductive life.

Read more

Pages