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Infectious Diseases
9:40 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Researchers: We Shared The Flu Virus With Olympic Peninsula Sea Otters

Unfortunately, one of the few things humans share with sea otters is the flu virus.
Tania Larson U.S. Geological Survey

Humans are particularly generous with the flu, otter-wrangling scientists have found.

People shared the 2009 swine flu epidemic with ferrets, dogs, cats, raccoons and pigs, and new research shows even wild sea otters in Washington state got hit. 

"These otters, which we think were living in a relatively pristine environment off the Olympic Peninsula, were exposed to pathogens that are more commonly associated with people," said Virologist Hon Ip with the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study published in the May 2014 issue of “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

How To Be An Annoying Restaurant Patron

From Caddyshack: The chef reacts badly to Rodney Dangerfield's critique.
Caddyshack

Back in February, Nancy and I devoted a Food for Thought to annoying things restaurants do. It seems only fair that we now open the forum to restaurant workers about the annoying things customers do. 

Nancy and I have both worked in restaurants, so we had a few little items with which to scratch the surface of Annoying Customer Behavior.

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Oso Slide
9:59 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 35

Workers move debris at the scene of a deadly mudslide, torn off from the hill at upper left almost two weeks earlier, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Oso, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office says one more person has been added to the list of people killed in the Washington state mudslide.

Authorities said Tuesday afternoon that at least 35 people have died, but officials are still working to identify four of them.

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Living Wage
4:27 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

San Francisco Officials: Living Wage For Airport Workers 'Has Gone A Long Way'

A baggage handler drives a cart below a United Airlines 747-400, at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
Eric Risberg AP Photo

Since San Francisco set a higher minimum wage for its airport workers back in 2000, the city has seen a positive effect, officials from San Francisco International Airport told Port of Seattle commissioners Tuesday.

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How We Learn
1:13 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Teacher Who Collected 7,000 Nerdy Science Songs Studying Their Teaching Power

University of Washington assistant professor Greg Crowther performs in "Money 4 Drugz," a music video about funding malaria research.
Gregory Crowther

Remember that biology chapter on how muscles contract? Probably not. But what if your professor had rapped it to you, or belted out the lesson to the tune of a popular song? 

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κρυπτοσ
12:11 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Contest Challenges Northwest College Students To Break Secret Code

Here's a challenge from the 2013 competition.
Central Washington University

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest professors have launched a competition to test students’ code-breaking skills.

Called Kryptos, the competition is geared toward undergraduate students all around the Northwest. But the region’s high school students are also encouraged to try and break the codes.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
11:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Song Of The Day: Freddie Hubbard's 'Birdlike'

Freddie Hubbard was one of the most powerful and expressive trumpet players in the history of jazz. He started playing professionally in his teens, moved to New York at 20, and immediately began playing with the top jazz musicians of the day, including Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Eric Dolphy and others.

He is primarily associated with what's called "hard-bop,” a sub-genre that came after bebop and focused more on soul and blues and less on complicated chord changes. But he was at home in almost any setting, from the free jazz of Dolphy to the the big band of Jones and more.

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Oso Slide
8:41 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Obama To Visit Site Of Deadly Mudslide, Meet Families And Emergency Responders

A soccer ball sits adjacent to the Whitehorse Trail near where it landed after a deadly mudslide nearly two weeks earlier, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Oso, Wash
AP Photo

Pres. Barack Obama will visit the site of the deadly mudslide in Snohomish County and meet with family members of victims and first responders, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday.

The governor said the president will visit the community of Oso later this month, during the week of April 21.  His visit will come approximately one month after the disaster.

"This will give the president the opportunity to see firsthand the devastation wrought by the slide as well as the incredible community spirit flourishing in Oso, Arlington and Darrington," Inslee said in a statement. 

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Park Funding
4:14 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Seattle City Council Mulls Creating Park District To Fund Repairs

Matt Kowalczyk Flickr

The city of Seattle says its parks need major repairs and it doesn’t have the money to pay for them.

On Monday night, the Seattle City Council will hear from the public on the idea of creating a special park district that could levy its own taxes.

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Philanthropy
3:41 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

$20 Million Gift From Bezos Family To Support Cancer Therapies At Fred Hutch

CT scans of a patient with stage 4 lymphoma before (left) and five months after (right) treatment with T cells show how tumors melted away.
Courtesy of Dr. David Maloney Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

The family of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has given Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center its largest-ever single gift.

The $20 million donation will fund research into cancer immunotherapy, a field that uses the body’s own immune system fight tumors. Fred Hutch president Dr. Larry Corey says the line of research is making huge strides.

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Transportation
12:32 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

After Deaths Nationwide, Washington Regulators Target Party Buses

Party bus owner William Prigmore says his industry helps keep drunk drivers off the road.
Austin Jenkins

These days, an old-fashioned stretch limo can look a bit stodgy. The new rage is party buses.

The buses carry more people, and you can even stand up, dance and drink as you cruise down the road. But these parties on wheels can come at a price. Nationwide, there have been 21 deaths on these buses, including one here in the Northwest.

Now regulators in Washington state are getting ready to crack down on the industry.

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Cyber-Currency
11:27 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Central Wash. Home To Nation's Biggest Bitcoin Mine, More Coming

MegaBigPower CEO Dave Carlson inside North America's biggest bitcoin mine.
Tom Banse

Here's a surprising fact: the largest bitcoin mine in North America is located on the outskirts of Wenatchee, Washington.

It's not a mine in the traditional sense. In these mines, you won't have helmets, lamps or pickaxes, and there's no danger of cave in. In this case, the mine consists of two warehouses that have been converted into a data center.

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College Athlete Unionization
11:07 am
Mon April 7, 2014

NCAA Head Emmert: Unionization 'Grossly Inappropriate'

NCAA President Mark Emmert answers a question at a news conference Sunday, April 6, in Arlington, Texas.
David J. Phillip AP Photo

The NCAA president called an effort to unionize players a "grossly inappropriate" way to solve problems in college sports while insisting the association has plans to change the school-athlete relationship.

Mark Emmert, a former president of the University of Washington, said Sunday that the NCAA wants to allow the big conferences with moneymaking teams to write their own rules, and those changes could solve many athletes' complaints more effectively than unionization.

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Oso Slide
9:32 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Death Toll In Mudslide Rises To 33

A demolished recreational vehicle lies in a debris field at the scene of a deadly mudslide nearly two weeks earlier nearby, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Oso, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The death toll from the landslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 33.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office says it has received three more victims than previously reported. Of those, 30 have been identified.

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Jazz Appreciation Month
8:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Song Of The Day: On Her Birthday, Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'

smithsonianjazz.org

"No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music. If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all." - Billie Holiday

Today would have been the 98th birthday of Billie Holiday, so I can't think of a better person to feature.

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