Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Even in a season spiked with boozy specialties such as eggnog, glögg and hot buttered rum, a cookie dough cocktail might strike the casual drinker as ... well ... slightly gross.

"Well, it's delicious," says Paul Taylor stoutly.

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.

It has been 100 days since two baby pandas, known for three months as Cub A and Cub B, were born at Atlanta's zoo.

Today, they were officially named.

Courtesy of Jessica Sklar

JENNIFER WING: This is Sound Effect on 88.5 KNKX, I’m Jennifer Wing. Our theme today is call of duty.

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.”

This season knkx is making music, memories and merry for our community and we want you to be a part of it!

As Donald Trump continues to court controversy via Twitter, Fox News host Megyn Kelly tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the president-elect "really does need to be aware of the power that he has when he releases these tweets."

On his darkest days as an infantryman during World War II, Russ Fay found comfort in the memory of a pheasant sandwich.

Seventy-five years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, some Americans have never stopped believing that President Franklin Roosevelt let it happen in order to draw the U.S. into World War II.

"It's ridiculous," says Rob Citino, a senior researcher at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. "But it's evergreen. It never stops. My students, over 30 years — there'd always be someone in class [who'd say], 'Roosevelt knew all about it.'"

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.

Courtesy of Jessica Sklar

Updated: 11:10 p.m. PST - December 11, 2016. You can now read a full transcript of this story by clicking here.

Sometimes when we are in our darkest hour, something completely unexpected happens that can give us a little bit of hope and comfort.

 

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