Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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."

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. 

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.

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.

thephotographymuse via Creative Commons / Flickr

 

Today on Sound Effect we look back at looking back as we explore the theme, "Nostalgia."

Skate King has been torn down and soon there will be a Harley Davidson dealership in that lot but the ghosts of athlete's foot past and the penchant for flared pants and disco dancing on wheels lives on in our hearts and minds. Gabriel Spitzer took a spin at the rink before the lights went down for good.

Nick Morrison

We all get a free pass for the things we did in the 1970s, right? Well, we certainly think so.

In the 1970s, KPLU's Nick Morrison had a stint as a manager of a downtown Seattle strip club. And as it turns out, it was actually a lot like any other workplace.

Despite having no previous experience in management or adult theater, Nick quickly learned things many of us learn when put in charge of a group of employees. He had to make schedules, make sure people showed up to work on time, and hear the excuses from his employees when they didn't show up.

Former Seattle writer Charles D’Ambrosio reads from his recently released essay collection, "Loitering." In the piece D’Ambrosio is assigned an to write about modular "Fleetwood" homes and he explores the textures, smells and emotions of being inside a freshly manufactured prefab home. 

But D'Ambriosio gets caught up in how generic all of the "newness" is, and how detached it is from memory and nostalgia. Here he reads an excerpt from his essay, "American Newness," for KPLU's Sound Effect. 

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.

 

Great Expectations: Dickens And The Powerball

Jan 13, 2016

The Powerball bonanza, which has touched an unprecedented $1.5 billion, may be the largest jackpot in human history, but the frenzied ticket buying and wild hopes attending it are hardly new. Ask Charles Dickens.

Wikimedia Commons

 

This week on Sound Effect, "The Doctor Is In." We revisit some of our favorite stories on health, aging, things that take us to the doctor, and the toll that doctors often feel from helping others.

wiki commons

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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."

flickr

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.

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.

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.

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.

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