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Pledge Drive
11:06 pm
Sat October 4, 2014

It’s The KPLU Fall Pledge Drive!

It's that time of the year when we ask you to consider making a give in support of the programs KPLU provides for you and your community. Our goal is to get 3,500 listeners to make a gift, in whatever amount works for you, by the end of Friday, Oct. 3. Your gift is vital in reaching that goal!

Make your gift today!

FBI
1:13 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

FBI Director Comey Says Homegrown Terrorists A Problem Everywhere

In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, FBI Director James B. Comey speaks at a news conference during a visit to Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The Pacific Northwest isn’t immune to home grown terrorists. That’s what FBI director James Comey told reporters during a stop in Seattle.

Comey, who’s been in his position for a year, is visiting all 56 FBI field offices.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Little Red Spot on a Gull's Bill

Credit Tom Murray

  In the mid-20th Century, Dutch scientist Niko Tinbergen studied nesting Herring Gulls. He noticed that newly hatched chicks were fed by their parents only after they pecked at the adults' bills. Tinbergen devised experiments that varied the shape and coloration of the adult's bill. It became clear that the red spot on the adult gull's bill was a crucial visual cue in a chick's demands to be fed, and thus its survival. Learn more about Herring Gulls and about Tinbergen's research.

Invasive Species
5:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em' Say Diners Noshing On Invasive Species

Crayfish stuffed piquillo pepper, sorrel smoked salmon puff, wild turkey terrine with blackberry mustard, dandelion spanakopita and wild boar bratwurst.
Tom Banse

It may be difficult to eat our way out of the invasive species problem, but it can be satisfying to try.

Chefs and adventurous diners converged at Zenith Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley near Salem Sunday as more than 200 people paid handsomely to nibble on course after course of invasive species like nutria, dandelion and carp.

The point of this affair was to highlight the range of edible invasive weeds, birds, fish and mammals around us. These invaders are costly to control. They crowd out native plants and animals and can change entire landscapes.

One slogan heard here: "If you can't beat 'em, eat ‘em."

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Nancy Leson Knows Her Apples, Including The Best Kind To Grow In The Northwest

Northern Spy apples and Nancy Leson's pie.
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson now knows more about apples, thanks to her friend Bill Davis, who really knows his apples. Which is way more than I knew, never having bitten into one in my whole life. But even fruitophobic me learned plenty of interesting stuff this week, including the best kind to grow in the Pacific Northwest.

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Alternative Energy
2:24 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Snohomish County PUD Cancels Tidal Power Project

A screenshot from a promotional video by OpenHydro, the manuficaturing company that was one of the partners on the project.
Courtesy of Snohomish County PUD

Snohomish County Public Utility District has pulled the plug on its high-profile research project to develop technology that harnesses the tides to generate electrical power. The utility says the U.S. Department of Energy was not willing to share in escalating costs for the project.

It was to be located in Admiralty Inlet, west of Whidbey Island.

The federal agency committed in 2006 to cover a fixed dollar amount that, at the time, covered half of the total bill for the tidal energy project. But it was not clear how to cover increased costs for materials and new mandates for studies, and the DOE said Friday it would provide no additional funding for the effort.

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Business
10:58 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Protesters Disrupt Seattle Housing Authority Hearing With Chants Of `Rent Hikes — No!'

Ashley Gross KPLU

Protesters broke out in chants and disrupted a public hearing held by the Seattle Housing Authority on Monday night. They were protesting the agency’s plan to raise rents for tenants who are deemed able to work. 

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

The Lost Bird Project

Credit The Lost Bird Project

  In a forest on Martha’s Vineyard, a Heath Hen struts through the brush. Columbus, Ohio, harbors a Passenger Pigeon. In Okeechobee, Florida, you can find a Carolina Parakeet. A Great Auk scans the Atlantic Ocean from atop a rock on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. A sea-going Labrador Duck rests near the Chemung River in New York. How is this possible? Each of these species is extinct. Sculptor Todd McGrain has created a large bronze sculpture of each of the five lost birds and placed it in a location related to the bird’s decline, or where it might have been seen last. He’s done so because, as he says, “…forgetting is another kind of extinction.”

Gun Initiatives
8:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Washington Ballot Measure Targets Online Gun Sales

Aman More takes aim with his .357 Magnum at the Poulsbo Sportsman Club. He buys and sells guns on a website called ARMSLIST and opposes efforts to regulate those sales.
Austin Jenkins

This November, Washington voters will decide whether to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales.

Initiative 594 would close what gun control advocates used to call the “gun show loophole.” But these days, much of the unregulated gun trade is happening online.

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Swimming Upstream
5:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Part 3: Ballard Locks Poses Triple Threat To Returning Chinook

Courtesy of Eric Warner

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

At the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood is one of the most unique parks in the region. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks attracts tourists and locals alike. People line up to watch boats move up and down between Puget Sound and Lake Washington in a narrow concrete and metal channel that is, in effect, a kind of marine elevator. It was built with the Ship Canal that replumbed the region at the turn of the last century. The Locks opened in 1917. Along the south side is a fish ladder that has windows where you can see salmon as they migrate through.

Read the full story on our companion site, northwestalmon.org >>>

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Aerospace
5:11 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Boeing Plans Major Shift Of Defense Work Out Of Washington, Affecting 2,000 People

Two Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor's fly over the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race before the green flag at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Talladega, Alabama.
Dan Lighton AP Photo

Boeing plans to move a large portion of its defense-related business out of Washington state, affecting about 2,000 people.

The company is shifting defense services and support work to Oklahoma City and St. Louis, as well as some additional work to Florida and Maryland. The programs affected include support work for Airborne Warning and Control Systems, Airborne Early Warning and Control as well as the F-22 Raptor.

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BirdNote
9:00 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Great Horned Owl Family VI

Credit Pamela Bell

  Compared to many birds, Great Horned Owls remain with their parents a long time. They hatched in early March, from eggs laid in late January. By April, both parents were hunting through the night to feed their young. But for the last two weeks, the adults have not fed the young. The owlets have learned the skills they need to hunt for themselves. And any night now, the young owls will strike out on their own.

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Cancer Treatment
7:35 am
Mon September 29, 2014

First In The World, Seattle Surgeon Operates On Metastatic Brain Tumor With Sound

Dr. David Newell, co-founder of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, with a machine that delivers focused ultrasound. Doctors at Swedish were the first in the world to treat a metastatic brain tumor patient with the technology last week.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Surgeons at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle treated a patient for metastatic brain cancer last week with sound in what is believed to be the first procedure of its kind in the world.

Besides drugs, there used to be basically one tool for attacking attack brain cancer: a knife. Scientists have been developing less and less invasive ways to get at brain tumors, and now an early-stage trial at Swedish Neuroscience Institute has shown surgeons can treat a metastatic tumor with high-frequency sound beamed painlessly through the skull.

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Gut Churn
5:01 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Jad Abumrad Tells Origin Story Of 'Radiolab', Learns To Embrace 'Gut Churn'

Jad Abumrad told the gut-churning tale of how Radiolab came to be.
marcoantonio.com

The public radio program "Radiolab" – part documentary, part audio art, part mad-scientist radio drama – is an experience unlike any other in the media. So what does it feel like to create something brand new like that?

"Radiolab" founder Jad Abumrad has been thinking about that question, and he said the best way to describe it is: gut churn. Abumrad will be giving a soundscaped live talk Tuesday night in Seattle called “Embracing the Gut Churn.”

“It kind of feels like you’re going to die,” Abumrad told KPLU. “And then you ask yourself, why do I feel this way on account of a radio piece or something you know is minor, And yet it triggers these deep fight-or-flight reflexes.”

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Artscape
5:00 am
Mon September 29, 2014

The Curious World Of Whidbey Island Animator Drew Christie

If you spend enough time in Drew Christie’s world, you’ll learn about everything from an invasive rodent living in Lake Washington to “holiday demons” that scare children in Europe. Christie digs deep into various subjects through short animated films that are packed with well-researched information and a heavy dose of dry humor.

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