Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Courtesy Nick Morrison

KPLU's Nick Morrison has had many jobs, ranging from disc jockey to adult theater manager to music publication entrepreneur. So it might come as no surprise that he also worked in the family business.

Nick's father was in the potato business in Eastern Washington, and after some time in San Francisco, Nick returned home in need of some work.

He and his father had never really taken the time to get to know each other, and Nick, arriving back home with a pony tail and bell bottoms, was probably not going to improve things.

Courtesy Logan Hofkamp

Many teens, if not most, have fantasies of ditching their mom and dad and just parenting themselves.

In fact, there is a legal way to do that. At age 16, Logan Hofkamp became an "emancipated youth," which is, as he puts it, like "divorcing your parents and becoming your own legal guardian."

He tells us why he's glad he did it, but he also reflects what he may have missed out on. 

Julie Randolph-Habecker

Julie Randolph-Habecker followed her father's footsteps into the field of science. He was a pathologist, diagnosing patients from behind the microscope. She became a research pathologist, exploring what was behind the disease. However, when her dad fell ill with lung cancer, that meant understanding too much about what was killing him.

Julie remembers looking through a microscope at her father's cancer cells. "Everywhere I looked there were cancer cells. And they all looked bizarre and evil. I knew immediately when I looked at that slide, it was horrible."

pee vee / Flickr

When Jena Lopez’s child started showing signs of having a non-traditional gender identity during the preschool years, she wasn’t sure what to do. Can a 3- or 4-year-old really know that she’s a different gender from her biological sex? And Jena knew the outlook for transgender kids was grim: Research has shown they tend to have high rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.

How Hollow Earth Radio Grew Out Of One Family's Attic And Into A Community

Mar 5, 2016
Connie Jones Ostrowski

Hollow Earth Radio was founded in the bedrooms of Amber Kai Morgan and her husband Garrett Kelly almost ten years ago. They've since moved the operation to a little storefront in the Central District, but until now it’s only existed as a streaming station online. That’s about to change.

Denmark is once again distinguishing itself in the race against food waste — this time, with a supermarket hawking items once destined for the trash bin.

Those items might include treats for a holiday that happened last week, a ripped box of cornflakes, plain white rice mislabeled as basmati, or anything nearing its expiration date. In other words, perfectly edible items that are nonetheless considered unfit for sale by the retailers and manufacturers who donate them.

Once every four years, people born on Feb. 29 actually get to celebrate their birthday. That's right, Monday is leap day, the extra day added every fourth year to help fix the problem that while our calendar year is 365 days, the solar year — the amount of time it takes the Earth to circle the sun — is 365.24219 days.

NPR asked to hear from you leap babies about how you usually celebrate, and here's what some of you said.

Joel Strack from Orlando, Fla.

ShenandoahNPS via Creative Commons / Flickr

"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 helping hands.

Katie Sewall

Did a parent often push, grab, slap or throw something at you? Did a person five years older than you touch you in a sexual way? 

Those are just two questions from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) quiz given to students at Seattle's alternative high school, the Interagency Academy. Students at "Last-Chance High" are traumatized, reporting an average of 7 adverse experiences in their background. 

Principal Kaaren Andrews says early childhood trauma is a public health crisis leading to bad health choices and early death. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Seattle’s South Lake Union area is home to a notable retailer, but not the big online one you’re thinking about. This is a store called Shine, and it’s part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

The interior of the store looks like a regular boutique: rich, dark brown wood paneling, with focused lights that make sweaters and scarves and books pop off the shelves. But the store specializes in items that are “oncology specific.”

Alex Wolfe

Homelessness is definitely on the minds of a lot of us in the Northwest right now and its seems like there is some real urgency in trying to find the best ways to help. One group of architecture students from Washington State University are taking it further than most. Their latest class project is to design a transitional house that would sit in somebody's backyard and provide shelter for a homeless person.

When you edit a blog called "Goats and Soda," and you read a story about a goat locked in a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Oxford, Mass., and you learn that the goat turned on the hazard lights and wipers, pooped on the driver's seat and ... drank an old cup of soda, you have no choice.

You have to cover the story.

Wikipedia 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, we are sharing stories of discoveries. 

First, a Seattle researcher describes what it feels like to discover four new planets. Then, Seattle writer Hoai Tran goes on a long-shot quest to find lost relatives, and is rather shocked to succeed.

Courtesy Hoai Tran

Hoai Tran lives in Seattle, and she lost a chunk of her history and her identity when her family fled Vietnam in the '70s.

But she was just a little kid back then, and she very quickly adapted to life as an American.

She finally returned to Vietnam in her late 30s.  But by then, the thing that she had lost was so remote, she wasn’t even sure where to start looking.

Wikipedia Commons/European Southern Observatory

What’s, like, the most stupendous thing you could discover? A new world.

Dr. Sarah Ballard is an astrophysicist, and she has discovered four new planets. We call these exoplanets. These are planets that orbit distant stars. And the way scientists find these planets — they’re too far away and too small to see through like a regular telescope — they use this satellite-based instrument to kind of look at different stars. And when they see the star dim just a tiny bit, there’s a good chance that it’s dimming because a planet is passing in front of it. It’s like a tiny eclipse.

Credit: Flickr/Cloudzilla

If you’ve ever woken up to a mystery — maybe some kind of strange object in your yard, or an act of overnight vandalism and you don’t know how it got there — well then this story is for you.

Meet a woman in Seattle who put up some cameras to keep an eye on her cats. And the cameras run day and night. In person, her neighborhood seems quiet, but as seen on TV, we discover it is not.

Wikipedia Commons/TheAlphaWolf

"Sound Effect" took a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit Pacific Spirit Park and caught up with Professor Susan Samard. She’s a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia.

And what we could see when we went out there, were trees.  A tree here, a tree there. But what we wanted to ask her about was what we couldn’t see — below the surface.

 

Mark Arehart / KPLU

During this time of year, it gets really grey and wet. And even though the first day of spring is over a month away, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in downtown Seattle offers a glimpse of sunnier days ahead.

If you close your eyes, the first thing that hits you is the smell. It’s almost like you’re standing on a back porch in the middle of a spring bloom. There’s even the sound of chirping birds.

Natasha Schwartz says she designed her exhibit to feel like home.

“I wanted to kind of step outside the box and bring it into a backyard,” she said.

Terry Farley remembers her first boyfriend: Steve Downey. The year was 1971. She was 14, he was 16.

"He was my first love, the first boy I ever kissed, the first boy I ever held hands with and he was hard to forget," Farley tells NPR's Rachel Martin in the Valentine's Day edition of For the Record.

miss_millions via creative commons / Flickr

  "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 being locked in.

Gabriel Spitzer

Biologist Nalini Nadkarni wanted to bring nature to the people furthest from it, and she found them in solitary confinement. Her solution, the Blue Room, has the potential to enact sweeping changes in a prison system known for violence, despair and astronomic rates of recidivism. 

The Open University / Flickr

What would it be like to be trapped in your own body? Locked-in syndrome is a condition where a patient is fully aware and conscious, but almost completely paralyzed. They can’t speak or communicate.  For many, it's a nightmare.

"This is worse than solitary confinement, because in solitary confinement you can at least move and exercise, move your body about. So, in some sense, it is like living hell," says neuroscientist Christof Koch.

Wikimedia Commons

 

In mid-December of 2006, a vicious wind storm hit Western Washington. Gale-force winds knocked out power, knocked down trees and knocked Charlene Strong onto a different life path.

When Strong arrived home she found her wife, Kate, trapped inside the basement of their home.  Water was rushing in, and as each moment passed, it seemed less and less likely that Kate would survive. 

KPLU's Community Advisory Committee will be meeting on Monday, February 29 from 2 - 3:30pm.

If you re interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the general manager's office at 253-535-8732 for more information.

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.

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.

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."

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