Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

A Youthful Approach To Hyper-Local Journalism

Jun 3, 2017
Phoebe Flanigan

At the edges of the things we know, there are “the woods.” And so often, we find ourselves there, feeling our way, sometimes blindly, through undefined landscapes.

There’s something jarring, yet liberating, about the moment when you realize that so many of the people around you are doing the same. Parents, politicians, career “experts” — all, on some level, blazing an uncertain path through uncharted territory.

"IMG_5494" by Cindi Darling is licensed under CC 2.0 bit.ly/2rpV78K

 

David Schumer felt like the country was falling apart. Nixon had resigned, Carter was hapless and disco was everywhere he turned.

 

“We thought the only sane thing to do would be to move to a rural area, buy 30 acres of land, build a house and grow our own food,” he remembers.

 

He moved from the Detroit suburbs to rural Arkansas, deep in the Ozark Mountains, to the community of Chimes.

 

George Wing

 

In 2003, a group of four friends from various points of the country hit the trail for a bachelor party backpacking trip in the North Cascades. George Wing was the man who was getting married.

They brought all of the usual necessities for such an outing: tents, food, a first-aid kit. But George’s longtime childhood friend and master prankster, Kermit, decided to shake things up.

 

When Colby Palmer started his freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University, some students approached him in his dorm and asked whether he wanted to play quidditch.

Palmer had read all of the Harry Potter books and knew about the sport but said he felt reluctant to try it out.

"My impressions of quidditch was just that it's for nerds by nerds — that they wouldn't be like people who I would find things in common with," Palmer says.

One taco is good, but two tacos are better. By that reasoning, hundreds of tacos should be incredible.

And Mike Sutter, food critic for the San Antonio Express-News, is now about halfway through his "365 Days of Tacos" quest to eat at a different taco joint every day for a year. So far, he's consumed about 700 tacos.

In the dense megacities of East Asia, millions of people dwell in high-rises with very little green space. This isn't an ideal setting to raise big dogs or more unusual pets. Cramped quarters aren't great for domesticated pets in general.

Welcome to Invisibilia Season 3! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Shots are joining in to probe the often tenuous line between perception and reality. Here's an excerpt from Episode 1.

On a sidewalk in the Village in downtown Manhattan, an African-American woman leans on her elbows and knees, wearing only black underpants. Scrawled in black marker all over her body are the words "Ain't I a Woman?"

Across the street, another woman lies face down, sunbathing on a large sheet of tinfoil. The sentence "White Supremacy Is Terrorism" is inked across her white skin, which is turning pink under the hot sun.

Nearby, a young, black man is kneeling. His body is wrapped in duct tape inscribed with the phrase "Black People Die in Public."

It's National Spelling Bee week! That wonderful time of year when we honor young Americans' spelling prowess and admire their chutzpah for memorization and sussing out the "dreaded schwa."

Lest we get too highfalutin (boastful, bombastic, vainglorious), Google has published a map that demonstrates the opposite of spelling prowess (ineptitude, lack of skill, incompetence).

The short, but intense, growing season in Vermont might be a drawback for some, but for native son Cam MacKugler, it has turned out to be the key to developing his container garden kit startup, Seedsheet.

"Up here in Vermont," says MacKugler, "we don't have a lot of time to grow our food, so the goal is to get as much as you can as quickly as possible."

Samin Nosrat has become known as the chef who taught Michael Pollan to cook, after the famed food writer featured her in his book Cooked and his Netflix show of the same name.

Now, she's sharing her wisdom with the masses in her new, illustrated cookbook called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. The key to good cooking, she says, is learning to balance those elements and trust your instincts, rather than just follow recipes.

Credit Allie Ferguson

This week on Sound Effect, stories about the view from above.

The Best View In The City

Space Needle elevator operator B.J. Listman gets to see one of the best views in the world every single day for his job. And for B.J., the view from the top never gets old.

High-Altitude Exploration

Robert Jenkins was only 21 when he started balding. It was a condition he'd expected given that his dad had been bald for as long as he could remember. What Jenkins did not expect, however, is that he'd have to deal with hair loss at such a young age.

He wasn't prepared for it.

"I had a lot of low self-esteem, I started to get depressed," Jenkins, now 28, says. "I wouldn't go to events. I would stay in the house because I was just embarrassed."

Four decades ago Friday, The Dallas Morning News committed an error so grave, so egregious, that it long remained shrouded in silence — out of a deep sense of shame and self-recrimination that one can only imagine.

The paper called Chewbacca a "Wookie."

People often ask me: What's the best lesson you learned after almost two decades on the U.S. women's soccer team?

I'm fairly certain they want the secret formula to winning. Instead, I tell them, the best lesson I learned is actually a secret about life.

And that lesson came to me while watching my incredible teammates do their thing, on and off the field. Sure, I loved that they were amazing athletes, and we were winning World Cups and Olympics together. But I was most impressed that they were even more amazing human beings who led in a variety of ways.

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.  

Remarkable Rescue

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.

Amy van Cise

Deep down on the sea floor off the coast of Alaska, about a dozen underwater microphones sit, anchored down by big heavy wheels from old trains. They sit and listen to the world of sounds around them.

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.

These days, in-flight meal service often consists of a packet of pretzels and a can of soda. It's a far cry from the days of the Hindenburg, where the sumptuous dining options included multi-course meals served in an opulent dining room.

Before it became a byword for disaster 80 years ago this month, the Hindenburg was the state-of-the-art in ultra-luxury flight: a giant passenger airship composed of durable aluminum alloy filled with highly flammable hydrogen. (That would prove its downfall.)

The KNKX community advisory council will hold their quarterly meeting on Monday, May 22, from 2 - 3:30 p.m. at the Seattle office.

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.

In the spring of my first-year of law school, while taking an exam, I had a grand mal seizure — the type of seizures people see in the movies with spasms on the floor. My memory is fuzzy from that time. I remember a few of my classmates offering me water afterward. I was told that many stopped taking the exam to make sure that I didn't injure myself while having a seizure, sitting in my chair.

"I want you to study hard so that you can rescue our family from poverty. Your father and I are poor and the only gift we can give you is an education. You are intelligent. Rise up and make your lives meaningful. I gave birth to you and I know you have what it takes to make it in life. Work hard my children."

When I was a little girl in Kenya, hardly a day would pass without my mother repeating those words to my four siblings and me.

You don't need me to tell you how much more television there is than there used to be, or how many more places you can find it. You don't need me to tell you that its population of creatively ambitious and idiosyncratic shows has grown enormously, as has its population of cheaply made UCSs – Undiscovered Channel Shows, where you learn that a show is entering its third season and only then do you realize that (1) it exists and (2) your byzantine cable menu actually does get that channel (although perhaps not in HD).

Windy on Washington 123 by daveynin LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/2q6JjFY / Flickr

This week on Sound Effect, stories of that moment when everything changes for better or worse.

It's Showtime

Seattle television director and producer Steve Wilson saw a live broadcast of one of his favorite local kid's shows at the 1962 World's Fair when he was just 6 years old. From that point on, he knew he wanted to work in show business. Wilson talks about that day and how it changed everything for him.

O Tannenbaum

Official Washington is consumed with the firestorm that President Trump started when he fired FBI director James Comey earlier this week.

But Washington, D.C. is also an actual place where actual people live and work. Sometimes those people react to the news in very personal ways.

A grain of rice, like a grain of sand, sifts through your hands with a mysterious and lovely sameness. Mostly white or tan, hundreds or thousands of grains pour smoothly out of buckets, out of burlap, into bowls, with a sound like small waterfalls. Rice seems so simple, really. And yet, because it plays a central role in world cuisines, these modest grains can carry the weight of history. Sometimes that history is deeply surprising.

First, it was Pokémon. Then came a special trick yo-yo, Magic: The Gathering cards, and some kind of "thinking putty." Over time, my 9-year-old's obsessions have changed. But one thing has remained consistent: When he wants something, he really, really wants it — often because, in his words, "everyone else has one."

Brandon Patoc / Seattle Symphony

Finding peace of mind can be a challenge for many of us. But it can be especially difficult for inmates in prison. You’re locked away. Surrounded by hundreds of others; some of whom landed behind bars for doing some pretty bad things. There are few moments of relief.

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