Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Author Nicole Hardy told a lot of people she was a 35-year-old virgin. When her essay “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone” was published in 2011 in a New York Times Modern Love column, it sparked a lot of attention.

(Public Domain/NASA)

Soyeon Yi makes her home in Puyallup, Washington. But to get there, she had to leave home — twice. Soyeon is the first, and so far the only astronaut in the Korean space program. On April 8, 2008, she boarded a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and for about nine days, left her home planet behind. 

Spaceflight was a dream come true for her, but it came with some unexpected consequences. And those pushed her eventually to make another break with home - this time, with her country - and nearly everything she knew.

Dell Yearling Books

For some people, home is not a place of safety and comfort. When writer Anastasia Selby was growing up around the Seattle suburbs and Olympia, home was a dangerous place of neglect and abuse. As a young girl facing some tragic circumstances, Selby often ran away from home.

Selby drew the strength to do that from what might seem like an unlikely place: the novels of acclaimed author, Judy Blume.

Courtesy of Britt Marie Hermes

The first pivotal moment for Britt Marie Hermes came during a bout of psoriasis. She was a teenager at the time, and she went to the doctor to get it taken care of.

“I remember asking him about other options to treat psoriasis. And he was very cold about it. His response was, ‘This is it, kid. You’re going to have psoriasis for the rest of your life, your best treatment is steroids, and that’s that,’” Hermes said. 

Special Collections and University Archives / University of Oregon Libraries

For nearly a century, the U.S. government had a policy of pushing many Native American families to send their children to boarding schools. Away from their homes and traditions, the students were often forced to abandon their cultures and languages, and adopt English and mainstream white customs.

The hit HBO series Game of Thrones, and the book series that it's based on, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, features a sprawling cast of characters jostling for power. There are so many, in fact, that just who is the protagonist is a source of debate among GoT fans.

It sounds like a joke. A goat walked into a Starbucks ...

But it's true.

It happened a couple of days ago in Rohnert Park, Calif., when a goat whose name is Millie somehow got away from her home and ambled over to the nearby strip mall. Employees dangled a banana in front of the goat in the hope of apprehending her, but she preferred to chew on a cardboard box. Police officers took the ruminant to an animal shelter, where her owner reportedly reclaimed her.

"uncle sam wants your privacy" by jeffschuler is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/1YjnaO9

This week Sound Effect listens in on stories of eavesdropping.

The Scanner

Neighborhood news sites often make their names by being fast, thorough and hyperlocal. One of the ways Justin Carder of Capital Hill Seattle Blog keeps his ear to the ground in his neighborhood is by constantly monitoring the police scanner. Through the emergency channels, he’s often among the first to know about crimes, mayhem and often bizarre occurrences. It also gives him insights into the people who keep us safe, and into the ethics of using scanners to fuel journalism.

Allie Ferguson / KPLU

Anacortes, Washington is home to a tight-knit and lively local music scene and prolific indie musician Karl Blau has long been at the center of it. He released over 30 albums in the his nearly 20-year career.

Blau's latest project was an all-ages music venue and online radio station called the Anacortes Music Channel. He created it to highlight and support local music. The space, housed in a beautiful old brick building in downtown Anacortes, became a hub for the small town’s artists.

Facebook

Sometimes on Facebook you might read what seems like a cry for help from a friend, someone struggling to cope who might need you to intervene.

Or maybe it’s nothing -- just someone quoting song lyrics or something. It’s hard to know, and it’s often easier to just ignore it.

The suicide prevention group Forefront is helping create tools for people who notice red flags in a friend’s post.

These are tools that Stephen Paul Miller didn't have several years ago, when he saw a concerning post on by a friend on Facebook.

Amy van Cise

Deep down on the sea floor off the coast of Alaska, about a dozen underwater microphones sit, anchored down by big heavy wheels from old trains. They sit and listen to the world of sounds around them.

Courtesy of David Liston

Private investigative work is dangerous, thrilling, romantic – or at least, that’s the impression you’d get if you just hear about P.I.s from TV and movies. In reality, according to David Liston, it can be so tedious that “there has to be something kind of wrong with you in order to be able to do it.”

Photo Courtesy of Marcos Lujan

In 2001, producer Warren Langford found a toy cassette recorder at a yard sale in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This was not any old recorder. This was a Talkboy, the must-have Christmas toy from Warren’s childhood that he never received. And the 50-cent asking price was too good to pass up.

It's 9:30 on a Thursday night and Chinese and foreign jazz fans descend on the JZ Club in Shanghai's former French Concession. Glasses clink and the splashing sound of cymbals ripple through a cabaret setting bathed in soft red light.

Andrew Field, an American historian, says clubs like JZ represent a return to Shanghai's cosmopolitan past.

Saying they found "a darker link between religion and the evolution of modern hierarchical societies" than has been previously suggested, a group of scientists say ritual human sacrifice promoted stratified social systems – and helped to sustain inherited class systems once they were established.

When Architect Matthias Hollwich was approaching 40, he wondered what the next 40 years of his life might look like. He looked into the architecture that serves older adults, places like retirement communities and assisted living facilities, and didn't like what he saw. But what if we changed our habits earlier in life so we could stay in the communities we already live in?

Andy Spearing / Flickr

This week Sound Effect brings us stories of people who have gone through trials and tribulations, and maybe have made a few mistakes, but have no regrets.

Stephen Brashear / AP

Last December, St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams punter Johnny Hekker, an Edmonds resident who grew up in Bothell,  did not make many new friends in the Pacific Northwest. He punted the ball to the Seahawks, and after the play was over, he came up behind Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and drilled him to the ground.

Aran Khanna

Bellevue native Aran Khanna always loved to build things. When he went off to college at Harvard, Khanna thrust himself into computer science; his love of building became a love of coding. For Khanna, the holy grail of college internships was Facebook. He dreamed of a place where it was encouraged to code first and ask questions later.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

It’s a reality of life on the Pacific Coast — occasionally, dead whales wash up on the beach. So when a deceased gray whale appeared in the surf in Long Beach, Wash., the city fathers took steps to bury it in the sand.

About a year later, they were thinking about how to observe the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s arrival at the Pacific Ocean. The explorers had written of seeing a whale skeleton on the Long Beach peninsula back in the 1800s, and so the Long Beach leaders decided to dig up their whale. They weren’t sure what they would find.

Adrien Leavitt

At age 23, Brie Ripley is certain she does not want to have her own biological children. Really, it’s something she has known since she was a teenager. She tried virtually every method of birth control available, but found she experienced side effects and bad reactions to each. So she settled on a more permanent solution: She wanted to have her tubes tied.

Lesley Reed

In 2000, Seattle lawyer Bob Dickerson was diagnosed with cancer. He was given a terminal diagnosis of 1 to 20 years. With that uncertain and gloomy future, Bob quit his job and began a life of advocacy.

Bob worked tirelessly with the charitable organization RESULTS on behalf of impoverished children across the world. He developed strong relationships with Washington state politicians and activists in order to push for global change.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Getting a tattoo can certainly be an occasion for regret. Getting a tattoo that has an intentional misspelling in it could potentially lead to more opportunity for regret. Naming your debut album after your intentionally misspelled tattoo pretty much sums up the "no regrets" attitude of the Seattle-based band Chastity Belt.

Beautifully lit, perfectly styled food photography is everywhere — in magazines, food blogs, and even Instagram, where your 10-year-old cousin is already expert at using natural light to make mom's cooking look delicious. These images are usually carefully curated to project an image of an idealized existence where the chicken never burns and everyone is always smiling, perfectly coiffed round the table.

Aubrey Fletcher knew she wanted to work on a dairy farm ever since she was a little girl.

"I do remember my mom asking, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' " Fletcher recalls. She knew the work would be tough — she grew up milking cows every day. But it's what she wanted.

So she and her husband's family collaborated to start Edgewood Creamery outside of Springfield, Mo., last August. They recently opened a storefront on the farm selling their milk and cheese.

Chinese food has become ingrained in this country's culinary landscape over the years — giving rise to some uniquely Americanized dishes like General Tsao's chicken, beef and broccoli, and of course, the ubiquitous fortune cookie.

But some of the Chinese food you'll find in and around Boston is something else altogether. Bread often comes as a standard add-on with any takeout order. There's chow mein sandwiches and Peking ravioli (aka dumplings). There's the thick, dark lobster sauce.

Beekeeper Nick French never knows what he'll find when he opens up his hives for the first spring inspections. Of the 40 hives he manages in Parker, Colo., French loses about one-quarter of his colonies every year.

"I work all summer long to raise healthy bees, but there are no guarantees they'll make it through the winter," says French, founder of Frangiosa Farm.

Organic food has gone majorly mainstream, right? Wal-Mart has been driving down the price of organic with an in-house organic line. Whole Foods has begun experimenting with cheaper stores to catch up.

You'll soon know whether many of the packaged foods you buy contain ingredients derived from genetically modified plants, such as soybeans and corn.

Over the past week or so, big companies including General Mills, Mars and Kellogg have announced plans to label such products – even though they still don't think it's a good idea.

Oliver Spitzer

This week Sound Effect brings you tales of childhood dreams, and people who have actually managed to live them out.

Claire Buss grew up bathed in the glow of daytime TV, and she dreamed of someday having her own game show. Then, in her 20s, Buss figured out that she could have one – she just needed to make one up and start doing it in her living room. She talks with Sound Effect producer Allie Ferguson about how she created “The Future Is Zero,” and why contestants keep coming back.

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