Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

Parker Miles Blohm / knkx

The 2016 presidential election transformed the political narrative across America, including Washington state. Many artists have been emboldened to create in response to this reshuffling of power and ideas. One Seattle musician was uniquely inspired by the perspective of Trump voters.

Seattle musician John Roderick is the front man for local indie rock band The Long Winters. He’s a liberal guy; you might remember his failed bid for Seattle City Council in 2015. In 2016, however, Roderick wrote an anthem for the Trump campaign called “Make America Great Again.”

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you stories of things that keep us up at night. We'll hear stories of fear and anxiety and meet people who work unusual graveyard shifts.

Radio Nightmares

Sound Effect gets a lot of inspiration from the hit radio show This American Life. So we thought we'd ask host Ira Glass what keeps him up at night. Turns out, his childhood fears were pretty dark.

The Cameraman

Brighterorange / Wikimedia Commons

Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, is headed to Seattle later this month to give a talk. We grabbed a few minutes with him to ask what it is that keeps him from sleeping.

 

As a child, Ira Glass spent nights considering his own mortality.  

“I would just lie in bed, trying to get my mind around the idea that I would be dead and everything in the world would continue without me,” remembers Glass.

Tim Durkan

The sidewalks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood are home to drug addicts, the mentally ill and kids who’ve run away from home. These are the people most of us give wide berth to as we make our way in and out of trendy restaurants and bars. We turn a blind eye to then when they are camped out in a bus shelter. The level of caution afforded to these individuals goes up significantly when it’s dark outside.

Courtesy Arrington De Dionyso

Editor's note: The audio version of this story contains language some readers may find inappropriate.

Sometimes the things that keep us up seem to come out of nowhere. Something we might never have given a second thought to all of a sudden, for reasons we can’t quite understand, become front and center in our life.

That’s what happened to Arrington De Dionyso. He’s a painter and musician from Olympia.

Jennifer Wing / knkx

Most of Kayoko Nakajima’s work takes place at night at the bedside of Japanese women giving birth. Nakajima, who operates out of Kenmore, is believed to be the only Japanese-speaking doula in the Seattle area. Many clients call her during the night—whether that’s 10 p.m. or 3 a.m.—and she sticks with the mothers and fathers until they meet their babies.

“Labor takes as long as it takes,” Nakajima said. “Once labor starts, there’s no day or night, for me, for the doula.”

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:

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Mike Sutter, food critic for the San Antonio Express-News, about his "365 days of Tacos" series, in which he eats at a different taco joint every day for a year. He's done it before, in Austin, where he ate more than 1,600 tacos in 2015. But now he's moved to San Antonio, and he's finding that the taco scene there is a bit different, and in fact is tied to a cultural identity that spans back many decades.

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:

A Jewish farming couple from Canada says it has shepherded the sheep of the bible back to the Holy Land after centuries in exile.

With donations from Jewish and Christian supporters, and some help from the Israeli government, Jenna and Gil Lewinsky have airlifted 119 furry members of the Jacob Sheep breed from their farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Israel.

Erica Abad glides down the ancient canals of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City, on her gondola-like boat. Her cousin, Efren Lopez, steers their boat — called a chalupa — by pushing against the canal floor with a long wooden pole, while Abad flips a sizzling quesadilla on a steel griddle fitted into the boat. When a group of people on a nearby barge signal to them to order some quesadillas, Lopez navigates the boat toward them. And Abad places a few more quesadillas on the griddle for their customers.

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.

It seems everything today has a flavor wheel, that color-coded, adjective-rich circle used to convey the sensory qualities of a product. There's the popular wine wheel, of course, but spices, oysters, beef, chocolate, coffee, bread and cigars also spin to their own wheels.

Now Edgar Chambers is out to rock the sensory world. What Chambers has in mind is a flavor tree.

It started with a cup of coffee, or more precisely, a hot beverage. Seven years later came fries, the now infamous eggplant and friends. Sandwich lovers waited for their time to come, while begrudgingly sending another drumstick, wishing it were barbecue.

It's 7 p.m. and the kitchen is preparing the first orders of the evening. Chef Mario Castrellón puts the finishing touches on a dumpling stuffed with a sea bass escabeche.

"Sometimes, customers get confused. They think, 'This guy [Castrellón] is nuts! I am eating a Chinese dumpling and he says it's Panamanian,' " laughs the chef and restaurateur. "But Panama's cuisine is fusion by obligation."

On my first New Year's Eve in Madrid a few years ago, we went out around 10 p.m., and found the streets deserted. The bars were closed.

It threw me for a loop: Weren't Madrileños supposed to be notorious party animals? Where were they all?

It turns out, I just went out way too early.

Spaniards often spend Nochevieja — literally, the "old night" — at home. They watch the countdown to the new year on live TV, surrounded by family. And only then do they kiss grandma goodnight and go out partying.

Credit Matthew Streib

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

Tacoma 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.

A Village Christmas Story: No Gifts But Lots Of Joy

Dec 23, 2016

Last Christmas, my daughter, Iza, and I woke up to many presents under the Christmas tree. As we enjoyed our breakfast of omelets, sausages, cheese, fresh bread and fruit salad, I thought back to my childhood Christmases. I grew up as the sixth of 10 children in a village in rural Zimbabwe. We didn't have much, but I didn't feel that I was poor. My childhood story is still typical of many rural kids living in developing countries.

There was no shortage of sad news in 2016.

And because we're a blog that covers global health and development, we covered a lot of those sobering stories: the toll of diseases like Zika, the bombing of hospitals in conflict zones, the suffering caused by poverty and by discrimination against women.

But we published a lot of hopeful stories as well. We asked our team at Goats and Soda to pick some of the stories from this year that inspired them the most. We hope you're inspired too.

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