Three seats for congress
2:10 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

With Norm Dicks out, 3 open seats put Wash. in national spotlight

With the loss of Norm Dicks, seen here in 2010 with President Barack Obama and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Washington state lost an important power broker.
The Associated Press

Now that U.S. Representative Norm Dicks has announced he’s retiring, western Washington will have three open seats for Congress in this fall’s election. That’s unusual, and it could mean a lot of national attention for those elections.

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10:45 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Minority Republicans force budget to floor of Wash. Senate

It was standing room only in the Senate galleries for the GOP take-over of the floor. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:00 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There was high drama on the floor of the Washington state Senate last Friday. Three Democrats broke ranks to join minority Republicans. It was a coup of sorts. This newly formed “philosophical majority” took control of the Senate and forced four bills to the floor -– including an alternate budget-balancing proposal.

Senate Republican leader Mike Hewitt said the GOP “unlocked the gridlock” over the budget. Senator Rodney Tom was one of the Democratic defectors.

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9:32 am
Sun March 4, 2012

NPR Science: The exquisite tilt of a spiral galaxy

The Warp in this Spiral Galaxy was probably the result of a cosmic collision with another galaxy.
Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), C. Conselice (U. Wisconsin/STScI) et al., NASA

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 9:12 am

This lovely image of the spiral galaxy ESO 510-13 was featured on Friday's Astronomy Picture of the Day.

A galaxy is a collection of billions of stars (gas and dust and lots of Dark Matter) held together by their mutual gravity. The exquisite warp seen here is likely caused by interactions with other galaxies. Collisions or "harassment" between galaxies is quite common and may be the most important process shaping galactic evolution.

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Election 2012
9:28 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Mitt Romney Tops Washington Caucuses

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 8:03 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pulled ahead of his rivals in Washington State's presidential straw poll on Saturday, with more than one-third of the votes. Romney finished well ahead of Ron Paul, who himself squeaked past Rick Santorum by just over 500 votes. Newt Gingrich had to settle for about one vote in 10.

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Jazz Northwest
6:10 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Peter Bernstein Trio on Jazz Northwest

Peter Bernstein at Egan's in Seattle
Ray Pettis

Guitarist Peter Bernstein's recent appearance at Egan's in Seattle will be featured on Jazz Northwest on Sunday March 4 at 1 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU.  Peter has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. He has played on over 60 recordings as well as festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations. His latest recording as a leader is Live At Smalls featuring Richard Wyands, John Webber, and Jimmy Cobb.

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Around the Nation
8:52 am
Sat March 3, 2012

NPR national: Deadly storms 'worst case Sscenario' in Indiana

A woman salvages belongings from her Henryville, Ind., home, which was destroyed Friday after a series of tornadoes tore through the south of the state.
Chris Bergin AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:58 am

Across the Midwest and South, residents are cleaning up from Friday's outbreak of late winter storms.

A seemingly nonstop barrage of tornadoes roared across rural farmland and cities all day and all night. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia all sustained damage. At least 28 people died, and that number is expected to rise.

Destroyed Homes

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protesting wall street
8:26 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Occupy may seem to be receding, but look closer

Occupy Wall Street protesters shout during a "Shut Down the Corporations" demonstration in New York on Wednesday.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 9:45 am

For people who watch TV news or read newspapers, the Occupy movement might seem to be in hibernation.

Most of the encampments are gone, and diminished numbers take part in protests.

But there's a lot of ferment behind the scenes — at least at Occupy Wall Street.

Check the Occupy Wall Street website and you'll see at least 15 events every day: meetings by working groups on arts and culture, alternative banking, media, security.

'Pop-Up' Protests

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Washington politics
5:36 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Rep. Norm Dicks, 18-term Democrat for Washington, is retiring 

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. speaking on Capitol Hill last year in Washington.
The Associated Press

Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks, a former college football player who cast a huge presence over state and national politics for more than 30 years, announced Friday he'll retire at the end of the year after 18 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I have been thinking about this for years. At some point you have to retire. I just decided this was the right time," Dicks told The Associated Press.

In an interview with KPLU, he  pointed out that he's been commuting to work in the other Washington for 44 years. 

"You know, eight with Senator Magnuson and 36 years in the house of representatives," Dicks said.

He said he also has a neck issue from football that's been bugging him recently. All of that added up to his conclusion that it's time to step aside and let somebody else be the Congressman from the 6th District.

"I hope a Democrat wins, but there's no guarantee. There was no guarantee that I was going to win," Dicks said.

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Boeing planes
4:27 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Boeing employees celebrate 1,000th 777

In this June 2, 2011 photo, the Boeing Co. 777 airplane assembly line is shown, in Everett, Wash.
The Associated Press

EVERETT, Wash. — Boeing employees celebrated a milestone in the 777 line on Friday, the 1,000th plane.

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NW Craft Brews
4:07 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

The Friday beer: Pike Brewing's Monk's Uncle Tripel Ale

Monk's Uncle Tripel Ale
Paul Gibson

Beer is a wonderful thing. Through taste and aroma, beer brings you flavors from around the globe. As the art of beer making has spread around that same globe, you can now find beer styles traditional to other countries made right here in our own backyard.

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The Salt
12:17 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Bloggers Replace Mom's Recipe Box As Source Of Food Knowledge

The laptop is replacing the recipe box in many American kitchens.

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 11:36 am

We're going to venture that just by nature of the fact that you're reading this blog, you count yourself as a member of the social mediarati.

If so, you, and a lot of other people, may sooner turn to Epicurious or Facebook to plan your next meal than your grandmother's recipe box or the Nestlé Toll House bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard. That's the word from the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, and Publicis Consultants USA, a marketing agency.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:13 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Enjoy Sunday, possibly glorious weather ahead

On his blog, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass writes:

Sunday should be great....sunny, much warmer air...many will see the mid-50s.   A big ridge over us....   Plan to get outdoors!


In general, warmer temperatures are in store, beginning this evening, says Mass in his weekly weather conversation with KPLU. You can expect a little of everything on Saturday, before it clears out on Sunday.

Next week, Mass says it will be cooler and wet again, fitting with the La Nina pattern that's settled in place.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Why are the odds of surviving a heart attack better in the NW?

Medic One launched in 1970 with a converted mobile-home as the rescue unit. That didn’t work out because it was unstable. The agency got it right, in the end.

In 1974, CBS’ 60 Minutes declared Seattle was the best place in the world to suffer a heart attack. Nearly forty years later, the reputation persists – and experts are still claiming Seattle is tops in saving victims of cardiac arrest.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Sports with Art Thiel
9:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Gutierrez injury hurts Mariners in many ways

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez bunts during spring training in Arizona last month.
Charlie Riedel AP Photo

"A strange episode of normalcy."

That's how KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel describes what caused the injury to Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez. It happened during a routine throw at spring training.

Gutierrez is out for at least a month - maybe longer - with a partially torn pectoral muscle. Art says it's just the latest piece of negative news for the Mariners, as the team begins its 2012 exhibition season Friday.

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5:14 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Gates Foundation calls for 'wacky' new ways to say that aid works

Gates et al. are looking for new ways to communicate.
JSmith Flickr

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation officially calls it the Grand Challenges Exploration program and it was initially launched to fund unorthodox — some might even say "wacky" — scientific research projects aimed at solving problems in global health and development.

This week, the philanthropy is asking for a new round of proposals from all you creative types. In addition to the standard calls to optimize crop yields and improve vaccines, this round adds a new not-so-technologically geeky category into the mix: Advocacy and storytelling.

Read more on Humanosphere.