Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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."

How Hollow Earth Radio Grew Out Of One Family's Attic And Into A Community

Jul 30, 2016
Connie Jones Ostrowski

Hollow Earth Radio was founded in the bedrooms of Amber Kai Morgan and her husband Garrett Kelly almost ten years ago. They've since moved the operation to a little storefront in the Central District, but until now it’s only existed as a streaming station online. That’s about to change.

pee vee / Flickr

When Jena Lopez’s child started showing signs of having a non-traditional gender identity during the preschool years, she wasn’t sure what to do. Can a 3- or 4-year-old really know that she’s a different gender from her biological sex? And Jena knew the outlook for transgender kids was grim: Research has shown they tend to have high rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.

Courtesy Logan Hofkamp

Many teens, if not most, have fantasies of ditching their mom and dad and just parenting themselves.

In fact, there is a legal way to do that. At age 16, Logan Hofkamp became an "emancipated youth," which is, as he puts it, like "divorcing your parents and becoming your own legal guardian."

He tells us why he's glad he did it, but he also reflects what he may have missed out on. 

Courtesy Nick Morrison

KPLU's Nick Morrison has had many jobs, ranging from disc jockey to adult theater manager to music publication entrepreneur. So it might come as no surprise that he also worked in the family business.

Nick's father was in the potato business in Eastern Washington, and after some time in San Francisco, Nick returned home in need of some work.

He and his father had never really taken the time to get to know each other, and Nick, arriving back home with a pony tail and bell bottoms, was probably not going to improve things.

I can remember the weeks before starting school at Skidmore College, furiously trying to finish Gregory Howard Williams' memoir, Life on the Color Line. The book had been assigned as our freshman reading assignment — part of the First-Year Experience at the liberal arts school in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Four years later, Williams spoke at our graduation.

"If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together."

That was one piece of advice passed along at the just-concluded Democratic National Convention. The words were spoken by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who said he was quoting "an African saying."

The proverb got a lot of retweets. And some criticism. One Twitter user, Christiana A. Mbakwe, said, "If someone starts an aphorism with 'there's an African saying' it's probably a mythical quote misattributed to a whole continent."

KPLU's Community Advisory Council will be meeting on Monday, August 29 @ 2PM. If you are interested in attending as a member of the listening community, please contact the General Manager's office at (253)-535-8732 for more information. 

The road to a national vote on a new constitution took an unexpected turn in northern Thailand on Sunday, when 100 pig-tailed macaques reportedly stormed into a voting station and destroyed a section of the voter rolls and other documents.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

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.

We kick off the show with a story that aired on our very first episode of Sound Effect. Leila Mirhaydari was a healthy and active 27-year-old when she went into sudden kidney failure. She spoke with Sound Effect host, Gabriel Spitzer about what her life was like as she sought out a new kidney.

Courtesy of Leila Mirhaydari

Editor's Note: This story originally ran as part of Sound Effect's inaugural episode which aired Jan. 10, 2015.

Meet Death With Dignity Champion, Robb Miller

Jul 23, 2016
provided by Robb Miller

Robb Miller worked as executive director of Compassion and Choices of Washington (now End of Life Washington) for most of the last two decades. That organization helps people with end of life decision making as they face incurable or terminal illnesses, and they pushed for the passage of Washington’s Death with Dignity Act.

Wikimedia Commons

So most of us probably take our general baseline physical comfort for granted. But imagine if something as innocent as a friendly pat on the back caused intense pain.

So for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia, that is your daily life. It’s pain, interrupted by brief bursts of relief.

Lauren Jhanson lives with this disorder, and talked about how it’s made her feel differently about her own comfort zone, and the strides she has taken to not let it hold her back anymore in life.   

Pamela Wible

Physicians are in the business of saving lives but they have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession.  An estimated 400 doctors a year take their own lives. Pamela Wible is a physician in Eugene, Oregon and she’s devoted a big part of her career to helping doctors cope with thoughts of suicide.

Lately, it has felt like the terrible news just won't stop. As soon as you've wrapped your head around one story, you're pummeled by another — and then another.

In a "Carpool Karaoke" segment that will surely mortify her daughters, Michelle Obama drives around the White House grounds enthusiastically singing and dancing with Late Late Show host James Corden.

An Old Trick Holds New Promise For Tastier Tomatoes

Jul 20, 2016

Scott Stoddard is an expert when it comes to tomatoes. He plants rows and rows of tomatoes outdoors on farms across central California for the University of California Cooperative Extension.

They're the kind of tomatoes that "end up on sandwiches at Subway," Stoddard says. "Also, at any of your common hamburger places, In-N-Out, McDonald's, you name it."

Comic Mike Birbiglia's new film, Don't Think Twice, was inspired by an observation his wife made when she came to one of his improv shows.

"She goes, 'It's amazing that everyone is equally talented in this show, and yet this one person is on Saturday Night Live and this one person is a movie star and this one person lives on an air mattress in Queens,' " Birbiglia tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And I thought: Not only is that true and a great observation, but it's also a movie."

They call it "The Hummus Wars."

Lebanon accused the Israeli people of trying to steal hummus and make it their national dish, explains Ronit Vered, a food journalist with the newspaper Haaretz in Tel Aviv. And so hummus became a symbol, she tells us, "a symbol of all the tension in the Middle East."

The war began over a 4,532-pound plate of hummus.

When the school year ends, some kids go to camp, summer school or daycare. But a lot of these options are expensive for families who have to come up with creative, cheaper alternatives, whether that means sending kids off to the city's rec center, or to stay with grandparents.

NPR's Lynn Neary spoke about the economic hardships of summer with KJ Dell'Antonia, who's written about the topic for The New York Times.

ROSS HUGGETT / Flickr

This week's episode of Sound Effect contains adult language that, while "bleeped," 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.

Table For One

Flikr

Who do we have to thank for countless wasted hours playing Solitaire on the computer over the last twenty-five or so years? Wes Cherry didn't invent solitaire, but he did invent solitaire for the modern age.

In 1988, he was an intern for Microsoft, and on his own time he wrote code that would become Solitaire for Windows.

These days, he runs a cidery on Vashon Island with his wife and his son. Out at his orchard, he talked about his motivation for creating the game, and some of the inside stories as to why it ended up looking the way that it does. 

Sarah Brandabur

Sarah Brandabur was no stranger to hiking. Before heading out, she would read up on the trails, check the weather conditions, and have a pretty solid idea of what she was getting herself into.

Last October, her plans for a hike to Ingalls Lake in Central Washington was similarly prepared for. It was supposed to be a day hike.  The weather was beautiful, and she brought a friend along to make the trek with her.

After her friend wasn't able to continue shortly after starting the hike, Sarah decided to go the rest of the way solo.

Why Is Roger Valdez Lonely? And Is That So Bad?

Jul 16, 2016
City of Seattle

Roger Valdez is known for his work in politics and as an advocate for micro-housing with Smart Growth Seattle and he walks that walk by living in an apodment. 

Gabriel Spitzer met with Valdez at his (very small) home on Capitol Hill and the two discussed loneliness and how a divorce lead him to move out, downsize and move forward. 

provided by Paulette Perhach

The following essay contains adult language that may not be suitable for all audiences. It was originally published on Billfold (which, by the way, makes no attempt to obscure the potentially objectionable language). 
 

You’re telling your own story: You graduated college and you’re a grown-ass woman now. Tina Fey is your hero; Beyoncé, your preacher.

provided by St. Peter's Hospital

 

It has been said that when we come into this world, we come alone, and when we leave this world, we die alone. Though that sentiment may be true, some hospitals are doing what they can to make sure that anyone that wants company in their final hours, has it.

 

St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia is just one of many hospitals with a No One Dies Alone (NODA) program.

 

Don't Do What I Do: How Getting Out Of Sync Can Help Relationships

Jul 16, 2016

"Whatever! Just leave me alone!"

Tammy stomps her feet up the stairs to the bedroom. A few moments later she slams the door, leaving for work. Jack is exasperated, angry and hurt. He wanted to rush outside and demand that Tammy treat him with respect. He imagined giving her the silent treatment until she apologized. But he knew this would prolong the fight and compound the resentment.

He goes upstairs, tidies their room and does her laundry. He arranges some flowers on their nightstand and goes to work.

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