Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

A piece from New York Magazine's Andrew Sullivan over the weekend ended with an old, well-worn trope: Asian-Americans, with their "solid two-parent family structures," are a shining example of how to overcome discrimination. An essay that began by imagining why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton — and then detoured to President Trump's policies — drifted to this troubling ending:

Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was compelled to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They made their new home in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.

As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century, members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to "help" them spend it.

What will our dinners look like when temperatures and sea levels rise and water floods our coastal towns and cities?

Allie Wist, 29, an associate art director at Saveur magazine, attempts to answer that question in her latest art project, "Flooded." It's a fictional photo essay (based on real scientific data) about a dinner party menu at a time when climate change has significantly altered our diets.

According to Audrey Shafer, there is something profound in the moment a patient wakes up from surgery.

She would know — she's an anesthesiologist. She's responsible for people when they are at their most vulnerable: unconscious, unable to breathe on their own or even blink their eyes.

As a result, Shafer says, a kind of intimate trust forms between her and her patients. It's this closeness that moves her to write poetry about medicine.

Michal Lebl

This week on Sound Effect, stories of time and how it rules our daily lives. 

Every Hour Injures, The Last One Kills

For centuries, sundials have inspired artists and scientists alike as a way to display the passing of time. Retired UW astrobiology professor Woody Sullivan shares how his 25-year love affair with sundials began and how he invented the first working sundial tattoo.

A Brewing War

Dennis Wise / University of Washington Photography

Retired University of Washington astrobiology professor Woody Sullivan is obsessed with the concept of time. It's apparent the instant you walk into what he call’s his “man lodge," the little study behind his North Seattle home.

It’s full of shelves of books with titles like “Empires of Time,” and “Time, The Familiar Stranger.” Plus, there are shelves of small, ornate sundials, some that can fit into the palm of your hand.

Courtesy of Port of Mokha coffee

28-year old Yemeni-American Mokhtar Alkhanshali loves coffee. In fact, he is the first Arab certified Q-grader, the coffee equivalent of a sommelier for wine.

Mokhtar grew up between the United States and Yemen. In his grandparents’ garden in Yemen, Mokhtar picked red coffee berries off the trees and laid them out on drying beds. His grandmother taught him when to harvest the berries, and later, how to brew coffee with spices like cardamom and cinnamon.

Courtesy of Marilyn Roberts

In the spring of 2014, Marilyn Roberts' son, Kevin, was 27 years old and struggling with bipolar disorder. One day, he called his mom to tell her that he was taking a bus to go to downtown Olympia, Wash., not too far from where he lived. 

"He was to a point where wasn't cognizant of what was going on, on a day to day basis," Roberts remembers.

A Kidney Dialysis Patient's Guide To Passing The Time

Apr 15, 2017
Scott Areman / Northwest Kidney Center

All of our lives are ruled by time, but some of us are more aware of it than others. 

At the Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, dialysis patients are very aware of the passing hours. They're hooked up to machines that display the elapsing time prominently on a screen. These machines filter and clean their blood, a job normally handled by healthy kidneys. 

Finding The Time To Say 'I Love You' To Your Dad

Apr 15, 2017
Courtesy of Dominic Black

When I think back on it now, when I was growing up there’s two things that were really hard for me to tell my parents. The first was: ‘Hey Mum and Dad, so we’re getting sex education at school.’

And the second was, ‘I love you.’

Stick the word "bread" behind my last name on a Google search. Go ahead. Do it.

What you'll find is a Czech food tradition rooted in Easter: a Czech Easter bread.

Mazanec is a sweet bread with rum-soaked raisins and dried fruit and topped with slivered almonds. It's round with a cross on top, to represent Christ. And it is eaten throughout the Holy Week.

Just a couple of decades ago, there might have been an ashtray on your restaurant table, while bartenders with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths poured your cocktails. However, the rise of smoke-free bars and restaurants across the U.S. means that most diners no longer have the scent or taste of tobacco mingling with their grilled salmon or crème brûlée — and many would say that's a good thing. Besides being unhealthy, smoking also appears to mess with taste perception.

Be it Easter or Eid, holidays in the Levantine region of the Middle East are incomplete without a shortbread cookie called maamoul. Stuffed with date paste or chopped walnuts or pistachios, and dusted with powdered sugar, these buttery cookies are the perfect reward after a month of fasting during Ramadan or Lent.

The dough is made with wheat flour or semolina (or a combination of the two), then pressed into special molds, traditionally carved in wood. And the fillings are fragrant with rosewater or orange blossom.

Credit Liz West/Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories of people, places and things that are right in front of us, that we may never notice. 

Courtesy of Carol Edward

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, there are more than 200,000 undocumented people living in Washington State. Seattle-based immigration attorney Carol Edward says these men, women and children come from all walks of life.

Over the course of her career, Edward has had undocumented engineers and nurses as clients. One undocumented man who hired her was a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Courtesy of Edwin Martinez

Edwin Martinez runs Onyx Coffee in Bellingham, Washington. The shop is a bit unusual. Martinez calls it "a mad scientist lab" for studying human behavior with coffee.

He sells just coffee and nothing else, not even cream.  The coffee comes straight from his family’s farm in the mountains of northwest Guatemala.

"So if you love coffee, you are just in seventh heaven." said Martinez. "But if you aren't here for the coffee, this is the most disappointing coffee house in America."

Michael Roberts

Hiding in plain sight can be a matter of course for people dealing with addictions; they tend to be really good at masking the need.

 

That was the case for Michael Roberts. He had beer for the first time when he was 15, and worked for years to keep attention away from his alcoholism. He was eventually able to get sober. His last drink was eight years ago.

 

And all those years Michael spent hiding made him an expert when it came to spotting his daughter Amber’s addiction.

 

Tiny Mazes Reveal Risk-Taking Behavior In Microworms

Apr 8, 2017
Courtesy of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

All around us, there are tiny creatures and simple organisms sharing planet Earth, including a type of worm that finds a home in rotting fruit. These microworms are about 1 millimeter long and transparent, barely visible to the human eye. 

Jihong Bai, a neurobiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, uses these microworms in his lab to study how neurons in the brain talk to each other. However, a chance observation of the worms led him to a new discovery about animal behavior.

Courtesy Jody Kuehner

Dancer Jody Kuehner didn't set out to become a female-bodied drag queen, sometimes called a "bio-queen." While collaborating with fellow dancer Ricki Mason in 2008, the two women created personas to push their work to new places and explore their own gender identities. In exploring her own femininity, Jody created her now beloved and award-winning drag persona, Cherdonna Shinatra.

Why Add A Banana To The Passover Table?

Apr 7, 2017

Next week, between 150 and 200 people will gather for a Passover seder at Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Va. When the traditional Passover question is posed — "Why is this night different from all other nights?" — there's a new answer. Guests at the Seder, co-sponsored by the refugee aid agency ReEstablish Richmond, will include about 50 locally resettled immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The Yiddish word schmaltz and its adverb cousin schmaltzy refer to two very divergent concepts: rendered chicken fat — that hard stuff on top of a cold homemade soup — and something that is overly sentimental. When it comes to the foods we love and cherish, there can be no shortage of either.

Earlier this winter, photographer Michael Furtman was driving along the North Shore of Lake Superior in search of great gray owls. Several of the giant, elusive birds had flown down from Canada looking for food.

He pulled off on a dirt road where he had seen an owl the night before. An owl was there, perched in a spruce tree, but a pair of videographers were filming it.

"I backed off; I was going to just let them have their time with the bird," Furtman says. "And then I saw them run out and put a mouse on the snow."

Viewing 3D IMAX clips by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center IS LICENSED BY CC BY-NC 2.0 bit.ly/2mQpqo4 / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, we share stories from people under the influence of mentors, substances, music, and society. 

Parker Miles Blohm

Donovan Lewis is 4 years old and has been playing the drums since before he learned how to walk. His preschool teacher says that on rainy days, Donovan taps out the beat the raindrops make on the building's metal downspouts. This should come as no surprise. His parents say that music is in their son's DNA. 

D'Vonne Lewis is Donovan's father. D'Vonne is an accomplished Seattle-based drummer. He's performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, pianist Marian McPartland and guitarist Bucky Pizzarellie, to name just a few. 

Kevin Kniestedt

When Brian McDonald, a screenwriter, teacher and author was living in Seattle in the mid-90s, he says that, while talented, he had seen about 15 years of closed doors as far as his career was concerned.

Knowing that the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson also lived in Seattle, Wilson had dreams of one day meeting him and learning from him.

Credit Marianne Spellman/Popthomology

Seattle musician and artist Shannon Perry is known for her exquisite tattoo work and incredible musical presence. But six years ago, while in rehab for Adderall abuse, she felt very alone.

Perry picked up smoking again so she could socialize with the other people, but it didn't help.  Rather than go numb from the isolation and boredom, she started to make things.

Playing the drums on the floor with her hands and singing songs in a whisper, Perry used music to fill her time and she figured out a way to record these rehab writings and songs.

Courtesy of Tim Olsen

Adults are constantly influencing the kids around them, whether it's as parents, teachers or mentors. For better and for worse, key adults can shape the trajectory of children and inspire their path as those children grow up.

Tacoma native Tim Olsen found a mentor in local guitar maker and musician Harvey Thomas. Fifty years later, Olsen still reflects on his old role model with a wry smile.

"He was a true eccentric, through and through," says Olsen.

Courtesy of Bethany Morrow and Will Taylor

The world of children’s books is lily white. The vast majority of people writing kids’ books are white and their characters are usually white, too.

 

There are more animals and trucks that appear as characters in kids books than there are African-American characters.

 

Amgad Naguib is a collector of ephemera — the fleeting, fragile and often overlooked objects of everyday life.

The old matchbooks, toothbrushes and ticket stubs — a few of the objects among hundreds of thousands in his collections — normally spill from bags and boxes in his overstuffed Cairo warehouses. But for two months, a small part of his unusual collection was exhibited at a downtown Cairo art gallery, under a title borrowed from the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk: "The Past Is Always an Invented Land."

Bubba is a tortoise when he wakes up, and he remains one when he goes to sleep. But in between, it seems, he likes nothing better than chasing a ball around, looking for all the world like an excited puppy.

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