Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Dear Friends,

 

With your help, we have raised close to $1.3 million and our campaign is in full swing. The Friends of 88-5 FM group is meeting with individual donors, planning community meetings and working with volunteers to make our goal: $7 million by June 30th.

 

YOUR PLEDGE OF SUPPORT: CREDIT CARDS NOW ACCEPTED!

 

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Though he's now a proud Washingtonian, KPLU's Ed Ronco is a Michigander by birth, and every year at this time, he goes looking for a particular Polish pastry traditionally sold in southeast Michigan on Fat Tuesday. 

Today is Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. Or, if you’re from where I grew up, in metro Detroit, today is Pączki Day.

In a prison hidden in the woods of Berlin, N.H., a group of 20 players are ready to compete for a chess tournament. They will sit in a windowless room engaged in a battle of the mind every Wednesday for five weeks — and one will be crowned the best player.

There are no prizes or trophies, merely a paper certificate for the winner, but for the inmates in this relatively isolated facility, the championship is a big deal.

Erin Hennessey / KPLU

Join us on February 18 for our first Save KPLU community meeting which is being held at Tacoma's Court House Square from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

This is great opportunity to meet other listeners who want help Save KPLU raise money to become an independent community licensee.

Kung Fu Panda slurps noodles. An ugly/cute "puppy-monkey-baby" toddles into a living room. Kevin Hart stalks his daughter and her date to an amusement park via helicopter. Just three moments that various brands paid $5 million per 30 seconds to parade in front of Super Bowl viewers Sunday night.

Victor Vardanyan, 14, isn't having any of it.

Ross Huggett via Creative Commons / Flickr

This week's episode of "Sound Effect" contains adult language that may not be suitable for all audiences.

  "Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. For this episode, the Sound Effect staff brings us stories of going solo.

provided by Paulette Perhach

The following essay contains adult language that may not be suitable for all audiences. It was originally published on Billfold (which, by the way, makes no attempt to obscure the potentially objectionable language). 
 

You’re telling your own story: You graduated college and you’re a grown-ass woman now. Tina Fey is your hero; Beyoncé, your preacher.

Flikr

Who do we have to thank for countless wasted hours playing Solitaire on the computer over the last twenty-five or so years? Wes Cherry didn't invent solitaire, but he did invent solitaire for the modern age.

In 1988, he was an intern for Microsoft, and on his own time he wrote code that would become Solitaire for Windows.

These days, he runs a cidery on Vashon Island with his wife and his son. Out at his orchard, he talked about his motivation for creating the game, and some of the inside stories as to why it ended up looking the way that it does. 

Why Is Roger Valdez Lonely? And Is That So Bad?

Feb 6, 2016
City of Seattle

Roger Valdez is known for his work in politics and as an advocate for micro-housing with Smart Growth Seattle and he walks that walk by living in an apodment. 

Gabriel Spitzer met with Valdez at his (very small) home on Capitol Hill and the two discussed loneliness and how a divorce lead him to move out, downsize and move forward. 

provided by St. Peter's Hospital

 

It has been said that when we come into this world, we come alone, and when we leave this world, we die alone. Though that sentiment may be true, some hospitals are doing what they can to make sure that anyone that wants company in their final hours, has it.

 

St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia is just one of many hospitals with a No One Dies Alone (NODA) program.

 

Sarah Brandabur

Sarah Brandabur was no stranger to hiking. Before heading out, she would read up on the trails, check the weather conditions, and have a pretty solid idea of what she was getting herself into.

Last October, her plans for a hike to Ingalls Lake in central Washington was similarly prepared for. It was supposed to be a day hike.  The weather was beautiful, and she brought a friend along to make the trek with her.

After her friend wasn't able to continue shortly after starting the hike, Sarah decided to go the rest of the way solo.

OK, Google, Where Did I Put My Thinking Cap?

Feb 5, 2016

Take a look at this question: How do modern novels represent the characteristics of humanity?

If you were tasked with answering it, what would your first step be? Would you scribble down your thoughts — or would you Google it?

Terry Heick, a former English teacher in Kentucky, had a surprising revelation when his eighth- and ninth-grade students quickly turned to Google.

"What they would do is they would start Googling the question, 'How does a novel represent humanity?' " Heick says. "That was a real eye-opener to me."

As of today, you’ve helped us raise $1.1 million! This is HUGE -- thanks for your support of an independent voice for news, information and jazz & blues. With your help, we are well on our way to purchase KPLU from Pacific Lutheran University. And if you haven’t pledged yet, please visit the Save KPLU page and show your support

Some big updates today:

Gabriel Spitzer sits down with KPLU’s General Manager Joey Cohn for an update on where KPLU stands with fundraising, but not before discovering that Joey's long broadcast career includes a stint as a "VJ" for a local MTV-wannabe TV station in Arizona. While that station is long-gone and probably little-mourned, Cohn and Spitzer talk about how KPLU is a unique asset to our community and is worth saving.

 

Erin Hennessey


"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. For this episode, Sound Effect is highlighting the exceptional contributions from the newsroom.

Handout photo

The blue-haired drag queen stood in the middle of the street in a sequined dress, a quilted rainbow affixed to her bosom. She was angry. So was the protester in front of her, a smaller man carrying a megaphone and a sign reading “REPENT.”

Just before the start of Seattle’s most recent Pride Parade downtown, a group of protestors came marching down Fourth Avenue, urging the crowd to rebuke homosexuality and profess a belief in Jesus Christ.

Iqbal Osman / Flickr

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran as part of our new show, “Sound Effect,” which airs on Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Before there was a birth control pill for women, there existed a pill for men. It showed a lot of promise — until whiskey ruined everything. 

Thank you for your support! We are so incredibly close to the $1 million mark, and we’re only a few weeks into the “Save KPLU” campaign.

But time is moving fast and we now only have about 5 months to raise another $6 million. If you haven’t done so already, please go to kplu.org or click here to pledge now!

We still have lots of work to do, and we want to let you know how you can help. First, a general update on the campaign:

Jennifer Wing / KPLU

 

Sound Transit's light rail line will soon be carrying passengers to the University of Washington. The agency says service to UW and Capitol Hill will begin on Saturday, March 19.

 

Wikimedia Commons


  "Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. For this episode, Sound Effect is all up in your brain as we take on the theme of mind games.

provided by Wesley Scott

When Wesley Scott went back to school she was on the fast track to a nursing degree, but the odd sleep-related symptoms she’s had since childhood began to escalate from weird to downright scary.

 

To her surprise, Wesley was diagnosed with narcolepsy, and it was around that time a fascination with how her mind worked and the entire universe of neuroscience took over her studies.

 

Now, Wesley works as a research technologist in the the University of Washington’s Cognition and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory.

Kristin Rivas was newly married and only 21 when she started having non-neurological seizures. For months, she pursued a diagnosis as her symptoms worsened, but no doctor had an answer.

Gabriel Spitzer

The practices of fasting and cleanses have been diet and health methods for centuries.

In the early 1900s, Linda Burfield Hazzard, a.k.a. Dr. Hazzard, took these practices to an extreme in Washington state. She was basically convinced that every ailment, from baldness to cancer, could be cured through extreme fasting.

Her patients would fast for as many as 50 days, consuming nothing but a couple of cups of broth each day. In the most extreme cases, her patients weighed as little as 50 pounds, and it is assumed between 20 and 50 people died from her treatment. 

Warren Langford

Nestled in the shadow of Mt. Rainier; Elbe, Washington is home to train car hotels with signs welcoming tourists hoping to bask in the glory of the mountain.

 

But Elbe will soon become a different kind of tourist destination, one that caters to those seeking spiritual enlightenment by way of hallucinogenic substances.

 

Coin-Operated Folklore: Polybius, Portland's Mythical Arcade Game

Jan 23, 2016
provided by Joe Streckert

One of Portland's most notorious and awesome urban myths is that of a mysterious arcade game called Polybius.

 

Legend has it the machine showed up in suburban arcades sometime in the early 1980s. This was no run of the mill video game. Polybius would mess with your mind, resulting in sickness or euphoria. And If that wasn't weird enough, men in black were reportedly witnessed recording the game's data for reasons unknown.

 

Gentle warning: This is a big story about a big nation. My beloved editor, Scott, suggests it can be read as a story and/or used as a living-history resource.

Americans are doers. In the United States today, history is an action word. This is, after all, a participatory democracy, and people are participating in its history by volunteering, crafting, interpreting, re-enacting, re-creating and exploring the old — anew.

Tuesday was an important holiday in the Russian Orthodox Church: Epiphany, which celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.

Russian believers mark the event by re-enacting that baptism in ponds and rivers, and since Russia is far north of the Jordan, that means plunging into freezing water through holes cut in the ice.

Big cities like Moscow often set up elaborate stations where people can take the plunge, but people in other cities go for the do-it-yourself approach.

An Almost Obsolete Profession: The Film Cutter

Jan 16, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Gabriel Spitzer talks with Andy Pratt about the inevitable demise of his business, Deluxe Archive Solutions.

Pratt has worked for decades as a film cutter, with a hand in a few movies you may have heard of: "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" and "Dirty Harry," among many others.

DAS is one of the last big negative-cutting houses in the country, but with the industry almost completely digital now, it won't be long before Pratt's passion and livelihood are obsolete.

Art Skool Damage

 

Kathleen Wilson grew up loving gossip. Wilson would spend nights with Confidential magazine and later in her life ended up writing the column, "It’s My Party" for The Stranger.

Wilson tells Sound Effect senior producer, Arwen Nicks about what it was like to write a gossip column in a smaller and slower Seattle. And why she decided to leave gossip (mostly) for good.

 

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