Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

What Puts The Waddle In The Walk Of Moms-To-Be?

Jul 5, 2016

I was never good at strolling.

If I had a destination, I walked quickly. Not because I wanted exercise, mind you, but because it felt natural.

That all changed with my first pregnancy. The nonpregnant me bolted across a street with five seconds left on the crossing signal. The uber-pregnant me much preferred a full 30-second allotment. Anything less and I waited for the next traffic cycle.

This change of pace was entirely out of my control. As I neared my due date, my once-brisk stride was shorter, my stance wider, my torso tilted farther backward.

Robert F. Kennedy is often remembered as a liberal icon who worked to heal racial strife, decrease poverty and end the war in Vietnam. But biographer Larry Tye says the New York senator was actually a political operative whose views changed over time.

"Throughout his life, [Kennedy] paid attention to what went right and wrong," Tye tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "He grew by actually seeing things up close; he took things to heart in ways that few politicians do."

What is a queer kitchen? Is there a recognizable queer style or sensibility that can be expressed through food?

These questions and more were at the heart of a recent conversation hosted at the Williams Sonoma flagship store in San Francisco's Union Square during the city's Pride Weekend. The gathering was organized by the New York-based gay men's food magazine, Jarry, a twice-yearly print publication launched last fall.

"Knee-high by the Fourth of July" is an old favorite saying, when you'd drive past a field of corn out in the country. And many of the old favorite varieties, called heirloom corn, have lots of new friends.

In recent years, seed companies have been reporting big sales numbers for these varieties. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri says sales are "skyrocketing" — a fitting verb for the fireworks holiday.

THOMAS HAWK / FLICKR

A new program in Southwest Washington will offer job training and employment assistance to people in jail. It’s aimed at helping them land on their feet once they get out. 

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. And in the tiny wheat-farming town of Johnson, Washington, they’re getting ready for the 50th year of what some call “America’s Craziest Parade.”

Every summer, around 4,000 people from across the country flock to Johnson. Population 50.

It is April Fools Day 2011 and Jimmy Chin, the renowned adventure photographer and filmmaker, is shooting a couple of professional snowboarders in the Teton Range in Wyoming. This is one of the first really warm days of the spring season and so there is a lot of action in the snowpack. It is the kind of day where the risk of avalanche is high enough that everyone has their antennae up. But all three men are expert mountaineers who know how to read the conditions.

As Chinese, Iranian and Indonesian As Apple Pie

Jul 3, 2016

The fireworks are stacked high, the beer is on ice, and lumps of charcoal glow hot under the grill in anticipation of hot dogs and hamburgers. Fourth of July is a holiday celebrated through food. There's potato salad, popsicles, watermelon slices — and, of course, apple pie.

Wikimedia Commons

 

This week Sound Effect is all up in your brain with an encore presentation of "Mind Games."

First, Gabriel Spitzer heads out to Elbe, Washington to meet with Marc Shackman and learn about efforts being made to open a church dedicated to the imbibing of the Amazonian hallucinogenic, ayahuasca.

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.

 

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. 

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.

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

Jul 2, 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.

 

YouTube

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.

It somehow just seems right the last A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor will be heard tonight, on this weekend of flags, parades, and lemonade stands. The show was recorded last night at the Hollywood Bowl.

The first Prairie Home Companion was in 1974, and all of us who share this sliver on the radio spectrum know we wouldn't be in business if Garrison Keillor hadn't made a new thing called public radio truly sing.

"We are a very 100-percent-or-nothing culture," says Robin Ha, the author of a new graphic cookbook Cook Korean! Cold noodles may be served with ice to keep them frosty. Hot soups are served from a still flaming burner. Fish are often air dried or fermented.

So what's up with the crayons? Everywhere you go lately — the bookstore, Starbucks — even here at NPR — I see grown men and women sitting around coloring.

Every time, this takes me back to rainy childhood days on the living room floor: A robot. A mosaic of geometric houses. A flowery design pattern.

Clearly, I've stumbled upon the national craze for adult coloring books.

Library Cat's Job Is Saved

Jul 1, 2016

Why the city council of White Settlement, Texas, decided to fire Browser, mascot and rodent hunter of the public library is not clear, but the vote two weeks ago was 2-1 to banish Browser. Friday, under an avalanche of complaints, the council members decided unanimously that Browser could stay.

Browser got his job six years ago when the library had a problem with rodents. By all accounts, he was a big success and nestled into library-goers hearts.

Editors' note: It's Invisibilia bonus time! Sometimes we've got more wonderful stories than we can fit into the Invisibilia show and podcast. But we can't let them go. This story is being heard exclusively on NPR's Morning Edition.

At the center of Geel, a charming Belgian town less than an hour's drive from of Antwerp, is a church dedicated to Dymphna, a saint believed to have the power to cure mental disorders. It's a medieval church with stone arches, spires and a half-built bell tower, and it has inspired an unusual centuries-old practice: For over 700 years, residents of Geel have been accepting people with mental disorders, often very severe mental disorders, into their homes and caring for them.

Every place has its own sound. A small group of scientists is hard at work recording the natural sounds of national parks all across the U.S. — more than 70 soundscapes so far.

For our series on the centennial of the national parks, we traveled to Colorado, to find out how they create these portraits of sound.

First Lesson: It's Very Hard To Escape The Sound Of Humans.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

 

Editor’s note: KPLU has hired an independent editor to oversee coverage of this story.

The non-profit Friends of 88.5 FM has reached a deal with Pacific Lutheran University to purchase KPLU.

After 50 years of serving Western Washington under PLU, 88.5 is set to become an independent, community-licensed station. 

Sorry to disappoint Trekkies who still believe, but the actual USS Enterprise did not really take up much space.

That famous starship of Mr. Spock and Capt. James Tiberius Kirk in the original Star Trek TV series — which turns 50 this year — was a model. Quite a large one, to be fair: 11 feet long and about 200 pounds, made out of blow-molded plastic and wood. But not life-sized.

And for more than a decade, it hung in the gift shop of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C.

Most children in the United States do not drink enough water, and when it's hot outside, they may need to drink even more.

But getting children to drink water can be a challenge. We spoke with medical experts, coaches, camp counselors and parents to find out how much water kids should drink in the summer, and how adults can help make sure they're getting enough.

How much water should kids drink on a hot day?

Joel Tucker and Gordon Blake used to hang out at a gay-friendly bar in Roanoke, Va., called Backstreet Cafe. Tucker was there, in fact, on a night in 2000 when gunman entered the bar and opened fire.

The shooter had set out that night with the intent to kill gay people — and he did, killing one man and injuring six other people.

Barry Sweet / AP Photo

If you're in your 20s, it might be difficult to imagine, but there was a time when there was no web to browse, no Internet to access, and when few people outside of an academic setting had an email address.

This was in the early 1990s.

By the mid-90s, the internet was becoming available to the general public. There was a lot of buzz about it. On late night TV in 1995, David Letterman famously asked Microsoft founder Bill Gates about "this internet thing."

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Children who have been victimized often have to tell their stories to strangers – detectives or advocates working on their behalf, as well as attorneys working for their alleged abuser. And giving testimony in a criminal trial is stressful in the best of cases. But imagine that child could reach down and put her hand on a warm, gentle dog at her feet, to feel comforted and secure and, hopefully, composed enough to provide the facts necessary for getting justice. That’s what a foundation in Bellevue is working to provide.

Photo provided by Rhianon England

Rhianon England has NF2, a disease that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow throughout the nervous system. Recently, a tumor returned on her auditory nerve and she wants it out. If doctors remove this tumor she will lose the rest of her hearing, but if they don't she could suffer from facial paralysis.

Kenneth Piekarski

A lot of kids grow up wanting to make it in show business and Seattle filmmaker Claire Buss was no different. Buss says she was practically raised by TV and she loved every second of it. She especially loved those morning game shows. As a kid, Buss even made up elaborate games for her sisters to play inspired by shows like "The Price is Right" and "Figure It Out."

Arthur Mola / InvisionAP

This week on Sound Effect, it's earworms. We share some recent stories that we just can't get out of our head.

Homeless Internet Helpers

Pages