Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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.

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. 

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.

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."

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.

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.

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