Sound Effect

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Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by knkx's Jennifer Wing. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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When Your 'Dream Come True' Keeps You Up At Night

Jan 14, 2017
Sarah Cass

 

 

What keeps a lot of kids up a night is the fear of a monster under the bed or in the closet. The sounds an old house makes can distress even the bravest child. But what if what kept you up at night was the best thing that ever happened to you? That is what happened to Sound Effect contributor Arwen Nicks. She explores her sleepless nights in this essay:

CREDIT YINAN CHEN/CREATIVE COMMONS

This week on Sound Effect, we hear about changes of scenery. We bring you stories of people who were exposed to a whole different part of the world, a culture they weren't familiar with, or a lifestyle they never imagined.

The Logging Camp

Will James / knkx

Imagine growing up in a state to total innocence and freedom.

You're a child, and you have an infinity of woods and mountains to explore. You eat fresh blackberries your mother picks in the forest. All the dangers of the modern world are miles away.

Everyone in town is like an uncle, a mother, a grandmother. They dress up as Santa Claus for Christmas and stage a big egg hunt every Easter. 

Rex Hohlbine / Facing Homelesness

 

One way to get a different view and to exit your comfort zone is to trade the warm and dry home you live in for a camper van that will take you around the country to meet and help the homeless. You'll also bring your nine-year-old along for this adventure.

 

This is what Jennifer Underwood of Seattle is doing with her daughter, Rory. They are on a national tour called, “Just Say Hello.”

 

Courtesy of Paul Wager

I have never considered myself a musician. My father paid for more weeks of piano lessons for me than I was willing to attend and my stretch as a bassist in a high school rock band lasted just long enough for me to learn the bass line to Pink Floyd’s "Money." But for some reason, after turning 33, I decided to take up the drums. I took one lesson from a friend and felt more enchanted by music than I have, well, ever.

Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Maxine Linial is a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and one of the world's leading researchers on an obscure group of microorganisms called simian foamy viruses.

She’s been at the Hutch for 40 years looking through microscopes in the lab and studying swirling cells in petri dishes. However, that changed very suddenly five years ago.

Courtesy Erika Lee Bigelow

Erika Lee Bigelow was out for St. Patrick’s Day in Portland when she saw a card advertising a contest hosted by the beer company Guinness.  You had to write a 50-word essay finishing the sentence ‘The perfect pint of Guinness ...” The grand prize was a pub in Ireland. That’s right, you could win your own pub. So she wrote her essay:

Allie Ferguson / knkx

This week on Sound Effect, we look back at our favorite stories from 2016. 

The Tree Hunter

Tacoma arborist Mik Miazio is a part of a national group of arborists and citizen scientists obsessed with finding the tallest trees of each species. He explains why he loves searching for these old growth forests.

Allie Ferguson / knkx

Tacoma arborist Mik Miazio loves trees. He has loved them since he was a kid growing up in New Jersey.

"I remember climbing my first tree when I was a kid. As soon as I was able to, I would jump right in there and disappear. I’m in my own world right there," Miazio said.

It was this love that led Miazio to discover the tallest tree in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. He noticed the giant Douglas Fir poking out of the canopy when he moved to Tacoma three years ago.

Jennifer Wing / knkx

 

If you’re lucky, you know who lives next door, and you like them. Hopefully, the feeling is mutual. In an ideal world, neighbors look out for each other. But, of course, not everyone is so fortunate.

What if you live next door to a nightmare? The place where drug deals go down? Where there always seems to be a party going on at three in the morning? The house where domestic violence happens and fights break out? The home that police visit — a lot?

Credit Matthew Streib

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories of traditions.

Tacoma Cotillion

 

It’s been months since young men showed up on the doorsteps of upstanding families in Pierce County delivering invitations and red roses to unsuspecting young ladies. Now, the event everyone has been preparing for is finally about the happen: Tacoma’s Holiday Cotillion.

 

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

Dec 24, 2016
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 24, 2016
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.

Courtesy of Diane Whalen

As a young girl in Catholic school, Diane Whalen always wanted to be close to God. She set her sights on becoming a nun, until puberty hit and her interest in boys forced her to make a course correction.

It wasn't until Whalen was in her 20s that she started hearing people advocate for women’s ordination into priesthood. The Church never did come around to this idea, but an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests began ordaining women outside of the Church institutions. In 2010, Whalen became the first female ordained priest in Washington.

Tag Brothers

There are lots of games we all played in the schoolyard when we were kids — foursquare, tetherball, maybe some capture the flag if there was  enough time before the bell rang. Some of us just can’t let go.

 

There’s a group of middle-aged men, here in the Northwest,  who play an intense game of tag for the entire month of February, every year. They’ve been playing the game for decades.

 

Animal Odd Couples by Ars Electronica LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2hGcG07 / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you stories of odd couples and the unique ways people are drawn together. 

Man's Best Frenemy

Knkx general manager Joey Cohn has worked hard to befriend one particular co-worker: Winston. He wonders why they just can't get along.

The Up House

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Knkx general manager Joey Cohn has a special place in his heart for one knkx employee: Winston. Despite Winston's surly attitude and manipulative behavior, Cohn is desperate for a relationship with him.

Winston is, of course, a dog. He is specifically a French bull dog owned by Justin Steyer, knkx's director of digital media and technology. Listen to Cohn explain why he loves this dog even though Winston does not return his affection. 

Courtesy of Barry Martin

When Barry Martin first met Edith Macefield in 2006, neither would have predicted the close bond they would develop or the hours they’d end up spending together. They were a very unusual pair.

Barry was the foreman of the construction that was rising around Edith’s modest cottage in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.  Edith was the woman who became renowned for turning down a million-dollar offer from the developer that was building the project. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Caros and Ben Fodor didn’t always hate each other’s guts.

“Like, at birth, when he was first adopted, we were close, because he didn’t talk,” Caros said.

The irritation is mutual.

“Caros and I really didn’t get along growing up,” Ben said. “I don’t even know how to describe that guy. He’s kind of an a------, but he’s not like your stereotypical jerk. He’s got his own little way of ruining things.”

Courtesy of Vic Vogler

Editor’s Note: The following essay contains adult language that may not be suitable for all audiences.

 

Many odd couples start off innocently enough — the regular boy meets girl scenario. But what happens when the girl reveals a much darker side? And the boy in question is left wondering just why fate brought them together?

 

Vic Vogler, a writer in Seattle, brings us this essay:
 

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

Imagine you walk into a room filled with complete strangers, but everyone’s there for the same purpose: they are there to snuggle up and to cuddle. These so-called “cuddle parties” truly do exist. Maybe this is not your thing, and maybe the thought of a snuggling with someone you don’t know makes you want to run screaming in the other direction. Well, you are not alone. It’s definitely not for 88.5’s Ariel Van Cleave. But Ariel is always up to challenging her fears, so she recently set out to take part in one of these cuddling events and shares her experience.

By National Park Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons bit.ly/2hxWrya

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories that take place underwater.

A Meal Fit For An Otter

At the Seattle Aquarium, sea otters get a diet that would make any seafood junkie jealous. Not only do they dine on restaurant grade salmon, crab, shrimp and other seafood, but they get fed up to nine times per day.  

U.S. Coast Guard photo

It was going to be an adventure.

Even before they came aboard the Holland America cruise ship Prinsendam, John Graham and his 13-year-old daughter, Malory, knew that much.

Michael J. Chen

For Tracy Rector, the water was always a scary place. She never learned to swim as a kid. At summer camp she would sit on the dock and enviously watch the other kids pass their swim tests. 

However, as Rector grew up and became a filmmaker, her relationship to water changed. Rector is a mixed race Indigenous woman, a descendant of the Seminole and Choctaw Nations, and she decided to use her films to explore the connection between native peoples in the Northwest and the environment. Here in the Northwest an essential part of that is water.

Bellamy Pailthorp / knkx

There’s a popular urban legend that a 600-pound octopus lives beneath the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Over the years, divers have alleged it dwells in the ruins of Galloping Gertie. Some speak of giant tentacles emerging from the depths.

There’s no proof to back up the stories, which have persisted much longer than the normal 4-year lifespan of a Pacific Octopus.

Jennifer Wing

It is now possible to go to a beach, scoop up a jar of water, and determine everything that’s living in the spot where that particular water sample was taken.

Usually, when scientists want to know which plants and animals live in an ocean or a lake, they have to don scuba gear, deploy nets and physically count things to create an accurate picture of that particular environment. This work can be expensive and time consuming. It also may no longer be necessary.

Courtesy of Colin McDaniel

Colin McDaniel grew up on the water. He was raised on Bainbridge Island. In the summer, Colin and his best friend Adam loved exploring the island’s coast. Adam’s father had a fleet of unloved dinghies.

“They all had those drain holes under the water line and no drain hole plugs to be found anywhere," says McDaniel. "But that didn't stop us from shoving green fir cones into the drain holes and pushing our boats into the gray water and going out for adventures anyway.”

Ron Edmonds / AP Photo

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories about the call of duty.

Wake-Up Call 

Knkx Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick wakes up in the middle of the night so that she can be on air, sharing the news at 5 every morning. We listen in to her morning routine after she gets the literal call to duty: her alarm clock. 

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

What happens when the thing you’re called to do goes against everything you believe in? And what if a life hangs in the balance?

Frank Thompson is no stranger to fighting for his beliefs. He grew up in Arkansas at the height of the civil rights movement, living just blocks away from the Little Rock Nine, who helped integrate Little Rock Central High School. Thompson, himself, fought as a student to integrate the University of Arkansas. These experiences shaped him to his very core.

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