Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

How do you move a 12,000-pound, 120-year-old lighthouse across a river? Very slowly.

For 60 years, the Port Clinton Lighthouse sat in a private marina on the Portage River, moved from its original spot on Lake Erie. One of the only remaining wooden lighthouses on the Great Lakes, the structure deteriorated over the years.

But five years ago, a group of conservationists began to restore the lighthouse. And Tuesday, it moved back across the river.

Many people lined up in this Ohio town for hours to watch the lighthouse take its place on the lakefront.

Distilling The Story Of California Wine, One Label At A Time

Aug 17, 2016

For the first half of the 20th century, nobody would have ever compared the wines of California's Napa Valley to the great wines of France.

"It's amazing when you think about it," says Amy Azzarito, online strategist at the University of California, Davis, library. "California wines were a joke for a long time. And they're not anymore."

This is the second story in a three-part series. Read Part 1 here.

For the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race in Baltimore, teams must drive, pedal and push their vehicles through 15 miles of roads, mud, sand and water.

Two-dozen students at Arbutus Middle School have been working after school for months on their entry: a huge pedal-powered sculpture called Monsters of the Middle School Brain.

Welcome to the real-life Mad Hatter's tea party: Guests eat out of spiraling ceramics from spoons as long as their arms, while waiters serve the next course with flatware fused to opera glasses.

In 1977, Deborah Barsel, a bored assistant registrar at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y., decided to try a fun side project. She would create a cookbook made up of recipes and images from famous photographers of the day. She sent letters to various artists and put an ad in the museum's magazine asking for submissions. In return, she received 120 photos, recipes and even a postcard from urban photographer John Gossage saying simply: "I eat out."

Do people think about food more in times of scarcity than in times of plenty? Married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe think so. Ziegelman and Coe are the authors of A Square Meal, which examines the impact of the country's decade-long Great Depression on American diets.

Ziegelman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Depression was one of the "most important food moments" in U.S. history. Coe agrees: "The Great Depression was a time when Americans had food front and foremost in their minds and were worrying about it every day."

Mars Hill Church Seattle / Flickr

When music writer Kathleen Tarrant moved to Seattle, she noticed a divide between two groups in the Northwest. On the one hand, you had secular alternative kids who grew up rebelling against the church and other establishments, all set to grunge and indie music. On the other hand, there were young Christians who grew up drawn to the same alternative music, but also to religious faith. In the 1990s, these two groups began to commingle with artists like Dave Bazan and Damien Jurado, faithful Christians who also played alternative music.

Andrew Becraft / Flickr

The South has its Civil War battlefields. The Northeast has colonial-era sites. But what do history nerds in the Northwest have? We have Lewis and Clark.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out in 1804 to chart their way across a great divide, the unmapped North American continent.

Credit Steven Depolo via Flickr

Editor's note: this audio contains a few censored choice words.

We all have our weaknesses. And we all have those moments where we just lose it. For former "Sound Effect" senior producer Arwen Nicks, one of her weaknesses was the need for an affordable and promptly delivered sandwich, and she lost it when the establishment she wanted it from told her no. 

Courtesy Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives

In the early 1900s, Seattle was a major stop for the vaudeville circuit, with the performances held in the city's finest downtown theaters. If you were an African-American during that time, your best chance of seeing one of these shows was from up in the balcony (an area then often referred to as the peanut gallery), if you were allowed to buy a ticket at all. And if you were a black musician who wanted to perform at a club in Seattle, you were entirely out of luck. The local music union at the time only allowed white performers to take the stage. 

Nate Stevens

What happens when you confront the gulf between life and death and, somewhat to your surprise, you choose life?

That’s what Nate Stevens faced one day on a stretch of road in Indonesia. Stevens was not the world-traveler type, but the Seattleite made the trip in part to get out of his comfort zone. That included summoning the courage to climb aboard what was the main mode of transportation in the area he was visiting: an electric scooter.

Half a century ago this summer, labor activist Cesar Chavez joined thousands of striking farmworkers in Texas as they converged on Austin, the state capital, to demand fair wages and humane working conditions.

Their march, which started from the punishing melon fields of South Texas, was his march, too. It was a deep and abiding understanding of the challenges of the farmworker's life that drove his commitment to labor rights. The life of Cesar Chavez mirrored that of the people he was trying to help. Their cause — La Causa — was his.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

(Tacoma-Seattle, WA) -- Friends of 88.5 FM, a nonprofit community organization formed to preserve local National Public Radio affiliate KPLU, announced new call letters today. The new community-owned station will be called KNKX, which stands for "Connects." The community feels connected to us and we to them.

"88.5 KNKX connects you to jazz, blues and NPR news.”

Japan is home to many local festivals, but some of the best known are the ones in which men run and jump around nearly naked — not for dirty reasons, but for ancient religious ones.

The hadaka matsuri or "naked festival" dates back centuries in Japan. Men perform in traditional fundoshi (loincloth) to purify themselves before gods, to bring luck and prosperity or to welcome new seasons.

Should We Make Room For Worms On Our Dinner Plate?

Aug 10, 2016

In southern Venezuela, the Ye'kuana people gather them from the mud around streams or dig them up from the floor of the highland forest. They're gutted and boiled and eaten — or smoked and sold at prices three times that of other smoked meats.

What is this lucrative, forageable fare?

Earthworms.

It's hard to blame the hero of Dr. Seuss' famous Green Eggs and Ham — which turns 56 this month — for being suspicious of the title dish. The illustrated lump of green meat and two eggs with alien yolks would look off-putting to the most adventurous eaters. Yet decades after Theodor Geisel's beloved children's book was first published, chefs across the United States are tickled by the idea of putting the infamous dish on their menus.

Would you eat it with some kale? Would the thought turn diners pale?

In Paris, a really old dress has sold for more than $150,000. Now, if that sounds like an unreasonably high price tag, keep this in mind: The 1730s dress is in mint condition, it might have been worn at Versailles, and it was part of a fashion revolution.

Known as a robe volante — or flying dress — the long, luscious yellow brocade gown is patterned with silver thread. It's loose-cut, with soft pleats in the rear, a deep V in front and graceful flow-y sleeves.

During the Olympics we will hear a lot about the winners. But the reality is most athletes at the games come home without a medal. Today we explore what losing does to athletes, fans and anyone who casts a vote for president.

Listen to this week's episode to hear the story of judo star Jimmy Pedro, and how he dealt with a crushing defeat in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Daniel Pink also joins Shankar for a Stopwatch Science competition on all the unintended consequences of losing.

Stopwatch Science

thephotographymuse via Creative Commons / Flickr

Today on Sound Effect we look back at looking back as we explore the theme of 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.

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.

 

An Almost Obsolete Profession: The Film Cutter

Aug 6, 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.

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. 

Cockroach Milk: Yes. You Read That Right

Aug 6, 2016

Pour out that almond milk — the new hip thing cockroach milk.

Well, kind of.

The female Pacific beetle cockroach is one of a kind. Unlike other insect species, this Hawaiian native gives birth to live young. And she feeds them a pale, yellow liquid "milk" from her brood sack.

But the craziest thing: Cut open an embryonic beetle roach, and they're guts will spill out nutrient-rich milk crystals that shimmer like glitter.

A Yemeni Mother's Plea: Don't Forget Our Children

Aug 5, 2016

When I was 5 years old, I experienced war for the very first time. It was 1986 in Aden, South Yemen, and political rivalries turned into violent conflict. One day, the house where my mom, sister and I were staying was badly damaged after a rocket hit a nearby military vehicle. I remember looking at what used to be the living room, and the wall and windows were gone. My mom picked up my little sister, grabbed my hand, and started running. There was no time to put on shoes. I stepped on glass and other sharp objects, cutting my feet.

On the final night of the Republican National Convention last month, as Donald Trump formally accepted his party's nomination for president, my Code Switch co-host Shereen Marisol Meraji fired off a tweet about how unnerved she was watching Trump's address, with its angry denunciations of Muslims and Mexican immigrants.

"This speech is difficult to listen to as a Latina and an Iranian," she wrote. "So much fear-mongering."

What do Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Albania, Germany and Ethiopia have in common?

Turns out all five countries do better than average when it comes to turning their national wealth into a better life for their citizens.

There's also a list of countries that do worse than average. Spoiler alert: The United States is one of them.

This unusual gauge of national success is the brainchild of analysts at the Boston Consulting Group.

A woman meets a mysterious stranger as she studies declassified documents about one the most polluted sites on earth.

Three generations of women are part of a family whose lives, health and even high school mascot bear markers of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington state.

The Washington State Historical Society recognizes these stories, and the entire project Daughters of Hanford, with the 2016 David Douglas Award.

A five-hour drive southwest of Madrid, I pull into a tiny town square filled with songbirds and an outsized Catholic church — where Eduardo Sousa and Diego Labourdette are waiting.

They're an odd couple. Sousa is a jovial fifth-generation Spanish farmer. Labourdette is a soft-spoken academic — an ecologist and migratory bird expert — who teaches at a university in Madrid. But they're in business together — in the foie gras business.

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."

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