Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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What is it about aging that is so hard? And what exactly is aging? Those are some of the questions that Dr. Dan Gotchling is trying to answer. 

Gotchling heads the Gotchling Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and he spoke with Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer about the biological perils of aging and what it means at the most micro level.

Meet Death With Dignity Champion, Robb Miller

Jan 9, 2016
provided by Robb Miller

Robb Miller worked as executive director of Compassion and Choices of Washington (now End of Life Washington) for most of the last two decades. That organization helps people with end of life decision making as they face incurable or terminal illnesses, and they pushed for the passage of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act.

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story


Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live.

 

For this episode, the Sound Effect team curates some of our favorite segments dealing with law and justice.

 

 

LORI EANES

Back in 2007, Jennie Grant craved fresh goat’s milk. She got a taste of it in California and was surprised it wasn’t musty. She knew goats in Seattle weren’t legal. But she got one anyway, a white Mini LaMancha.  She named her Snowflake.

“The rules said you couldn’t keep farm animals such as sheep or cows. But if you love your goat and take them on a walk periodically, aren’t they pets also?” asked Grant. She thinks of Snowflake more of a pet than livestock.

NPR

You may have dreamt of doing it yourself, but Shon Hopwood made most people's action-movie dreams his reality and it ended with a stark dose of reality.

 

In 1998, when Hopwood was 22 and living in Nebraska, he robbed a bank. The 11-bank crime spree started as a joke with his friend, but that didn't stay a joke for long.

From bank robber to jailhouse lawyer to having cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, we hear a tale of how breaking the law turned into practicing it.

Drawing Out The Green River Killer

Jan 2, 2016
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

Detective Tom Jensen spent more than 20 years looking for the Green River Killer. After Gary Ridgeway was arrested and charged, the lead detective and the murderer spent 188 days together as authorities made efforts to collect as much information as possible.   

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What do a gutter-punk and a police captain have in common? They are both keen observers.

In this segment from Sound Effect's second episode, host Gabriel Spitzer takes a tour of Westlake Park from two men on opposite sides of the law.

First we hear from a man who would only give his name as Shake and then Precinct Captain Chris Fowler

In 2014, Charlotte Wheelock and her husband, Nick Hodges, were hoping to find a new start. Struggling to raise their two young children, they left their home in Albuquerque, N.M., and struck out for Seattle to find better jobs.

But before they could get established there, Nick was hospitalized with spinal stenosis — a condition that left him temporarily paralyzed below the waist. Soon, they found themselves without a place to live.

Editor's Note: NPR opened a South Korea bureau in March. Correspondent Elise Hu takes a look at the wonder and the wackiness of life and journalism in East Asia.

KPLU’s Dick Stein and Nick Morrison are always talking about movies, and are widely considered the movie experts around the station. Recently, they both ended up revisiting a David Mamet movie that was filmed in Seattle back in the '80s. So we thought, instead of them just sharing their review with each other, why not share it with everyone? They agreed, and produced the first, and perhaps only installment of what they call "We Like To Watch."

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When Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt heard what was arguably the greatest karaoke performance of his life, he didn't shake her hand, and didn't even ask her name. He did nothing. Was she lost forever?  

In this segment from our episode Lost and Found, which originally aired in March 2015, we hear the story of Kevin's quest to find the mysterious performer and Sound Effect senior producer Arwen Nicks explains how he ruins it. 

Gabriel Spitzer

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by the wonderful Gabriel Spitzer. This week, the Sound Effect team revisits some of its favorite stories that aired over the last year.  

Matthew Streib

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by the wonderful Gabriel Spitzer. This week the Sound Effect team explores traditions and takes a look at some lesser-known and long-held practices.

The Tradition of 'Laser Floyd' At The Pacific Science Center Laser Dome

Dec 19, 2015
Warren Langford / KPLU

For most people, when they hear the words “Laser” and “Floyd” together the first thing that comes to mind is usually not “time honored tradition.” But that’s exactly what’s been happening at the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome for the last 30 years.

From Vancouver To China: The Tradition Of Reburial

Dec 19, 2015
Matthew Streib

When British Columbia joined Canada in 1871, the nation promised to build a railroad to connect Vancouver to the east. But labor was short, and white workers were costly, so railroad companies shipped in migrant labor from China.

A few days ago, we offered up some tips for playing it cool at the office holiday party. And we asked for your stories.

We got about 8,400 responses to our informal survey. It turns out, about 1 in 4 of you revelers acknowledged getting too tipsy at an office soiree — and later regretting your behavior. Perhaps not surprisingly, 80 percent of you said you've seen co-workers embarrass themselves after overimbibing.

Ah, the holiday season: Glad tidings. Comfort. Joy. Pranks.

Say what?

For some earlier Americans, Christmas was the yearly open season for playing practical jokes on other people — filching wagon wheels, turning road signs the wrong way, lighting firecrackers to scare animals. A sort of cold weather April Fools' Day, perhaps to make the midwinter less bleak.

Some of the gags were benign; others brutal. In any case, the tradition of holiday high jinks goes back, way back before the founding of the country. Here are the 12 Pranks of Christmas:

ohyeahtotally.com


Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme and this week we are Unplugged… kind of.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

If you’ve ever come to, as if from a blackout, realizing you’ve just spent 90 minutes in some Internet rabbit hole or other; perhaps you’ve considered just unplugging – going cold turkey from technology for a little while and just sitting in the quiet. It sounds comforting, even Zen.

Genjo Marinello is an actual Zen priest, the abbot at Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Temple in Seattle. And you might expect him to be one of those finger-waggers who advocate throwing away your cell phone and just being in the moment.

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For many, even the mention of the word unplugged conjures up memories of the the MTV series that began in 1989. So when the Sound Effect team decided to explore the theme of 'Unplugged' we knew we had to reach out to music journalist and writer, Charles R. Cross to discuss the Grammy award winning 'Unplugged' performance of Nirvana.

Cross lays out the unseen drama happening within the band and highlights some of his favorite moments of what he calls the best performance of Kurt Cobain's career.   

Bruce Hudson

 

This week on Sound Effect, Gabriel Spitzer and his team scour the archives for the show's most memorable musical segments.

We kick off with a short lesson on a tiny instrument, as Gabriel Spitzer literally tries his hands at the ukulele at the house of a renowned uke expert in Wallingford. Then, off to Vito's on First Hill with Ed Ronco to hear from the restaurant's beloved piano player, Ruby Bishop.

The Rejections' Facebook page

Who are The Rejections?

"You know the Rockbottom Remainders? Yeah. Like that," says the Seattle-based band on its Facebook page

The band consists of published authors and their "trailing spouses" who, well, know a lot about rejection. They stopped by the KPLU studios last year. Listen to their performance of the song "Men of Luggage (Travel Light)": 

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Ruby Bishop has played piano around the world. She's befriended some of the jazz world's greatest names -- including Louis Armstrong.

At 95, she's still playing Sunday nights at Vito's, on Seattle's First Hill.

In this story from the "Comfort Zone" episode of KPLU's Sound Effect, she talks about the piano, her life, her career, and feeling comfortable behind 88 keys.

And here's a video of her playing at Vito's, from The Seattle Times:

Courtesy of David Montgomery

  David Montgomery may have won a MacArthur Genius Award for his work as a geomorphologist but his love of rock(s) also bleeds into his work as a musician in the local band, Big Dirt. Montgomery sits down with Sound Effect host, Gabriel Spitzer to discuss how his day job plays into his music. 

Jaymi Britten

It's usually right about this time every year that Pacific Northwest residents have seen enough of the rain and start daydreaming about trips to the tropics. But Amanda Frazier, who was born and raised in Hawaii and still lives there, wrote a song expressing her envy of the wet climate here.

Parker Miles Blohm

Anton Schwartz abandoned his doctoral thesis on artificial intelligence in order to pursue a career in music.

Schwartz made the decision to leave academia after suffering from chronic fatigue.

This might seem like a drastic career change to most of us, but Schwartz doesn't look at it that way. The way he looks at it, he just consistently followed his passions. 

Friendship is unlike any other relationship in a person’s life. It can be difficult to define and may carry different meanings for different people. Two friends may describe the degree of their relationship in totally different ways.

While family bonds are typically considered unconditional, friendships are voluntary and thus subject to being set aside when people enter adulthood and “more important” events arise.

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What would you do if a stranger tried to throw a party at your house and invited all 700 of their Facebook friends? Sound Effect Senior Producer Arwen Nicks lays out local artist and prankster Derek Erdman’s scheme to watch "Singles", a classic grunge film from the 1990s, in the courtyard of the apartment building where it was filmed.

WSDOT

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme and this week we bring you notes from “Underground.” 

sharkhats / Flickr

Sound Effect's Gabriel Spitzer spoke with phonographer and sound artist Chris DeLaurenti about his journey into the tunnels beneath Washington's mothballed nuclear power plant.

Transcript: 

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