KUOW News and Information
Oscar Pulkkinen, 4, the writer's son, asks Alexa to make an elephant sneeze. She obliged. Alexa is an artificial intelligence device from Amazon. It is voice controlled; users can turn on lights, play songs and make purchases by saying, 'Hey, Alexa.'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

‘Alexa, make a fart noise.’ (Yes, this includes audio)

I debated whether to share this fart story with you, because farts are – unfairly, in my opinion – maligned as juvenile and bad manners. But I decided in favor, because farts are one of life’s daily inevitabilities, and also because farts are hilarious.

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This year's presidential debates have no Latino moderators on the slate. So one network is taking matters into its own hands. Univision's Jorge Ramos is set to moderate discussions with each of the major party presidential candidates. He tells host Michel Martin it's time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to move into the 21st century.

Most Americans knew nothing about Innocence of Muslims. That's the film that has set the Muslim world on fire, causing protests in Egypt and Libya that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

If you didn't know that a Big Mac has 550 calories, or the Southwest Chicken Salad has 290, those numbers will be hard to miss the next time you visit McDonald's.

That's because the fast-food giant announced today that it will begin posting calories on its menu boards right above customers heads in the restaurant, and at the drive-thru starting next week.

How Cheap Can Lipitor Get? Try Free

Sep 12, 2012

Since cholesterol-fighter Lipitor went generic late last year, the price has plunged.

You can pick up atorvastatin, the generic version of Lipitor, starting at about 50 cents a pill, if you buy a month's supply at Costco. A year ago, the brand-name version went for $3.50 and up per dose. And the brand-name pills still cost around $4.28 at Costco.

Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a very special diplomat. He made a career of going to difficult places and insisting that he witness tumultuous events firsthand.

Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states — such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.

President Obama has joked that he should appoint former President Bill Clinton to a new post: "Secretary of Explaining Stuff."

That's basically the role Clinton played at the Democratic National Convention in telling Americans why — in his view — they should give Obama another four years in office.

Now Clinton is on the campaign trail in the key battleground state of Florida. He's in Orlando today after stumping for Obama in Miami on Tuesday.

As a strike by Chicago's schoolteachers enters a third day, the president of their union says negotiators are still "miles apart" from an agreement to get 350,000 students back in the classroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The talks were set to resume Wednesday morning, but Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said there had been only "centimeters" of progress and that the union and city were still "kilometers apart."

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

United States ambassadors do not always have a close connection to the countries where they serve. Sometimes, the ambassadors are friends of an American president. Sometimes, they're career diplomats who have posted to many countries over the years.

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