News

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Microsoft’s profit dropped 11 percent in the most recent quarter, partly due to expenses connected to layoffs after the company’s purchase of the Finnish cell phone maker Nokia. 

 

What if you were convicted of a crime 20 years ago and served your time in prison? Now, you are trying to make better choices. You go to school, you stay out of trouble and you decide you want to open your own hair salon. This will not be possible. 

Elaine Thompson / AP

A proposed law that’s making its way through the state legislature could change the way first responders are mobilized during major emergencies, such as floods and landslides. Because the slide that devastated Oso last March wasn’t a fire, state crews were slow to help local teams.

Steve Shelasky

Have you ever seen a bird out foraging in the rain and wondered why it is not soaked to the bone? While every bird wears just one feather coat, different kinds of feathers – and even different parts of the same feather – can perform different functions.

The outermost tips of the main body feathers, called the contour feathers, are built so that the feather surface forms a fine, breathable but water-resistant mesh. This water-repellent property allows the downy bases of the same contour feathers, and other completely downy feathers, to stay dry underneath, allowing them to trap warm air.

Don't you wish we had such dry, warm, light, great-looking coats?  

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

On a Saturday at the Pacific Science Center, life-size robotic dinosaurs roar. A giant video monitor shows a person sneezing as a spray of mist shoots down from the ceiling. Nearby, naked mole rats scurry blindly through a maze of tunnels.

And since it's all mud and rain outside, the place is packed with curious children and adults trying to keep up with them.

Loud noises, bright lights, crowded spaces: This is exactly the situation Mike Hiner tries to avoid with his 20-year-old son Steven, who is autistic.

Over 3 decades of jazz from the Pacific Northwest is featured on this week's Jazz Northwest Sunday, January 25 at 2 PMPacific.  An upcoming two trombone tribute to Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana will feature Rodger Fox (NZ) and David Marriott Jr (WA) at the Royal Room.  It seemed like a good excuse to listen again to the spectacular trombonists Rosolino and Fontana as they played at The Bayside in Vancouver BC in 1978.

BirdNote: Short-eared Owl

Jan 25, 2015
Gregg Thompson

Flapping with deep, slow wing-motion, a Short-eared Owl appears almost to float above the ground. This owl has an extensive world range, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Still, it's declining, due to development, agriculture, and overgrazing. American Bird Conservancy and Partners in Flight consider this bird at-risk. But the federal Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs are showing promise for Short-eared Owls, by preserving large blocks of habitat.

Let your elected representatives know that you support these programs!  

Sound Effect, Episode 3: Rain

Jan 24, 2015

"Sound Effect" is a weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place where we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer.

Each week's show will explore a different theme. In this week's show, we dive into the rain.

Courtesy of Peregrine Church

Next time you’re walking on a sidewalk in Seattle and it’s raining, look down. You just might see a message reveal itself.

At least that’s the intention of a 21-year-old magician who has created unusual sidewalk art. His stenciled messages are only visible when it’s wet outside.

Read the story and see a map of the artwork on Quirksee.org >>>

Margaret Holland

Crows and their cousins - ravens, magpies, jackdaws, rooks, jays, and others - are among the cleverest birds in the world.

Some even use tools - including a lit cigarette! A Rook, like this one, allegedly set fire to the thatched roof of Anne Hathaway’s historic cottage in England. And all because it had an itch...  

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The number of homeless people in King County continues to grow, according to this year’s One Night Count which showed a 21 percent jump from last year in the number of people without shelter. 

Volunteers found people sleeping in doorways, under overpasses, in cars and in alleys. Some were just wandering around, no place to go.

From Auburn to Woodinville, Seattle to Kirkland, 3,772 homeless people were counted this year, up from 3,123 last year.

City Of Seattle

 

 

Longtime Seattle City Councilman, Tom Rasmussen, says he is not running for reelection. Rasmussen was first elected to Seattle City Council in 2003 when he defeated Margaret Pageler. His announcement not to run again comes on the heels of councilman Nick Licata,  saying he’s not seeking reelection either.

 

Rasmussen is the chair of the city coucil's transportation committee. He was an early supporter of building the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and was a critic of former mayor Mike McGinn.

Wikimedia Commons

Anheuser-Busch says it is buying Seattle-based craft brewer Elysian Brewing Co. for an undisclosed sum.

It is the latest in a string of craft brewery acquisitions by Anheuser-Busch as it tries to counter soft sales of its own brands, such as Budweiser. 

Steve Mohundro / Flickr

Western Washington has been warmer than normal lately. People were shedding layers as the mercury hit temperatures in the 50s this week.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says that pattern will continue and intensify this weekend, especially on Sunday. Records will be broken.

Tom Munson

We've all heard that the early bird gets the worm. But research shows that birds dining early and heavily may lower their life expectancy.

Socially dominant birds stay lean (and agile at avoiding predators) during the day, and then stoke up later, before a cold night.

Subordinate birds have to look for food whenever and wherever they can find it, and carry fat on their bodies to hedge against unpredictable rations.  

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