KUOW Presents

No longer on air.
Joshua McNichols

KUOW Presents connects listeners to a diversity of stories and perspectives from around the Pacific Northwest and around the world on topics that matter to our daily lives.

To find stories by KUOW Presents older than October 15, 2012, go to www2.kuow.org and select "KUOW Presents" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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1:44 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Ira Glass On David Rakoff's Posthumous Novel In Rhymed Couplets

Credit David Rakoff's book "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel"

David Rakoff's new book comes out this week. It's a novel written in rhyming couplets. In the book, the main character is dying of AIDS. Rakoff wrote it as he himself was dying of cancer. This American Life's Ira Glass was Rakoff's  friend. The two spent some of Rakoff's final days together recording the audiobook version of the novel. In the excerpts Ira plays us today, Rakoff's voice is frail. But his words still convey inexhaustible power.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 17:

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12:46 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Former High School Dropout Becomes WWU Neuroscientist In Race To Find Huntington’s Disease Cure

Jeff Carroll
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Sometimes, you’re just dealt a bad hand. Jeff Carroll was a high school dropout serving in the military when he learned his mother had Huntington's disease. It's genetic, and he soon learned he had it too. There’s no cure. So the diagnosis is a death sentence. But rather than despairing, Carroll turned his life around. And in the decade since his diagnosis, he’s become one of the most prominent researchers studying Huntington’s Disease. He’s now on staff at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 16:

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Alternative Perspectives On History
1:48 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Weenie Royale: The Impact Of The Internment On Japanese Cooking In America

"Soul Consoling Tower" at Manzanar Japanese internment camp.
Flickr Photo/jvoves

Many people have heard of the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. What’s less known is how the internment changed Japanese-American cuisine.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 15:

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Alternative Perspectives On World Events
1:32 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Revolutionary Graffiti In Egypt

A tank vs a bicycle rider with bread on his head. Later, protesters were added beneath the tank treads. The artist goes by the name Ganzeer.
Flickr photo/ ganzeer

In Cairo, there's a second revolution happening. A revolution in street art. The city's blank walls have given room for people to vent their frustration with everyone from the deposed leader Mohammed Morsi to the military, whose popular takeover has brought yet another flavor of indiscriminate violence. The complexity of the Egyptian situation is reflected in its graffiti, where ancient hieroglyphic pharaoh motifs find new meaning as inspirational symbols for ordinary people.

Today, we aired an interview with blogger Soraya Morayef, who tracks Egyptian graffiti on her blog.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 11:

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Climate Change
1:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Song For A Warming Planet

McCarty Glacier, Alaska. Left: July 30, 1909. Right: August 11, 2004.
Credit NASA

As a student at University of Minnesota, Daniel Crawford was exposed to the latest science on climate change. He learned that the planet was warming rapidly. Scientists have struggled to communicate the gravity of that discovery with others, and so, as a planet we've failed to make changes that would slow the warming trend.

But Daniel has a tool unavailable to most scientists. He plays the cello. By translating NASA's collection of historic temperature data into notes, he tells the story of Earth's climate change with a song. It's an unpleasant song. But it's also a song whose melody can't be easily forgotten.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 10:

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Puget Sound Movement
1:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ghost-Net Busters

Credit flickr photo / Jennyvids

Lost and abandoned fishing nets kill untold numbers of sea creatures around the world every year. But there's a growing global movement to remove what are known as "ghost nets" and prevent new ones. And it's starting in the Puget Sound.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 9:

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Classic Films And Design
12:37 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

99% Invisible: Movie Title Sequences

From Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Titles designed by Saul Bass.
Credit Paramount Pictures

Movie title sequences used to be boring: a mere list of movie stars and directors you had to sit through before the actual movie started.

Then, directors got smart. They started farming the work out to talented design teams. Today, we hear an episode of 99% Invisible on the unseen art of movie title sequences.

What's your favorite title sequence of all time? Listen to the staff of Seattle's Scarecrow Video describe their personal favorites:

and here's a video with a whole lot more of them to inspire you:

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 8:

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Summer Sounds
1:51 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Sounds Of The Pike Place Market

Credit flickr photo / dbaron

Seattle's Pike Place Market is over 105 years old. And it all started with a consumer revolt over the price of onions.

The market recently released plans for an expansion all the way to the waterfront. Advocates believe it could knit the city and the shore back together again. 

Today on KUOW Presents, between the news stories, you'll hear the sounds of the Pike Place Market.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents,  July 2:

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SCOTUS Response
1:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Friends Of Same Sex Marriage Toast Supreme Court, Conservatives Declare Battle Not Over

Credit flickr photo / Al404

You can bet the U.S. Supreme Court was toasted a number of times over the weekend by same-sex couples and their friends. Last Wednesday, the court overturned a key provision of the national Defense Of Marriage Act. That decision extended federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples in states like Washington where such marriages are legal. But national conservative groups aren’t calling it quits just yet. They’re working to stop the spread of same-sex marriage to other states.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 1:

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Unseen History
2:16 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

A Walk Through Seattle's LGBT History

Paris Delair with two soldiers in the Garden of Allah, ca. 1948. Paris Delair began performing as a female impersonator while still a teenager in Vancouver, British Columbia. He toured with the Jewel Box Revue and performed often at the Garden of Allah.
University of Washington Digital Collections/Unknown

Today on KUOW Presents, we hear an episode of 99% Invisible about maps. Here's the premise: for every city, there's an infinite number of possible maps that tell an infinite number of stories.

The coalescence of yesterday's Supreme Court decision overturning DOMA and Seattle's Pride parade this weekend inspired University of Washington map specialist Matthew Parsons to describe for us a historical map showing LGBT-friendly establishments in Seattle from the 1950s to the 2000s. The map shows that, prior to the 1970s, Seattle's LGBT culture was centered not on Capitol Hill, but in Pioneer Square.

One colorful bar from Seattle's past was called The Garden of Allah (1946-1956), at 1299 First Avenue. Seattle's first gay-owned gay bar, it was frequented by men and women and featured female impersonators and vaudeville entertainment. The photos in the slideshow above give a glimpse of that scene.

The Double Header at 407 Second Ave S (1934-present) is listed as the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the country. From online reviews, it's unclear its current patrons recognize it as anything more than a sports bar.

The Casino at 172 S Washington St (1930-1946) was nicknamed "Madame Peabody's Dancing Academy for Young Ladies" and was one of the few places on the West Coast where same-sex dancing was allowed.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 27:

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2:05 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Peter Munro On "Reading My Father's Bible"

Poet and fisheries scientist Peter Munro
Credit John Rand

Poet Peter Munro recounts the complex mix of blessing and burden in caring for a dying parent in his multi-part poem, "Ketogenesis Apocalypse."  In this section, "Reading My Father's Bible," Munro finds a metaphor for his preacher father's decline in the image of his Bible worn to the point of falling apart.

Munro spends much of his time in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska, working as a fisheries scientist. His poems have been featured in Poetry magazine and the Beloit Poetry Journal.  He lives in Seattle, and is a frequent reader at the open mics hosted by the North End Forum.

Munro's reading was recorded by Jack Straw Productions, as part of the 2013 Jack Straw Writers Program.

Same Sex Rights
3:05 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pushing Same-Sex Rights From The Right: A History Of The Log Cabin Republicans

Credit flickr photo / Jose and Roxanne

This week, we've been airing DecodeDC's excellent interview with Log Cabin Republican founder Rich Tafel. Tafel makes the case that progress on big issues can only occur when there are parallel movements in both the Republican and Democratic parties. He says that explains why same-sex rights have advanced so rapidly lately, whereas the environmental movement has largely failed to escape its self-imposed ghetto within the Democratic party.

Tafel's uniquely post-partisan approach isn't confined to national politics. Washington state has its own chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans. Republican and former Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed says they haven't been a major force in this state. But they're doing important work in making friends with Republicans. And it's Republicans with gay and lesbian friends who are changing the Republican party.

Here are a few interviews KUOW's Joshua McNichols conducted with Troy Bodnar, vice president of Washington state's chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans:

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 26:

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Parenting In China
1:16 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

China's One Child Policy: Couples Struggle To Find The Loopholes

Credit Flickr Photo/kattebelletje

In China, couples can't have more than one child. But when grandparents pressure them to have more kids, or to have a boy, sometimes enterprising couples will bend the rules. And by "bend," we mean weave a complex web of subterfuge involving temporary divorce, pretend marriages and hired surrogate dads.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, June 25:

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Summer Activity
1:52 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Tales Of Summer Camp

Credit flickr photo / Ted of DGAR

School's out! For many children in the Northwest, that means the beginning of summer camp. In cities, these tend to be little more than daycare with more field trips and longer recesses.

But many adults here will remember camp as something more expansive, where kids were issued bows and arrows and allowed to experiment with Darwinian forms of social organization. This producer's memories include a horrifying Lord Of The Flies moment when a boy was hung upside down from a tree and poked with sticks until the counselors found out and shut down a midnight capture-the-flag game that had spiraled out of control.

Nestled in between news stories this week you'll discover stories of summer camp. Here's hoping they bring back some lanyard-making, upside-down-milk-drinking, first-kissing, skit-performing, canoe-tipping, snipe-hunting memories.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents,  June 24:

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Russian Political Trials
1:29 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

For Mother Of Russian Billionaire, It's A Lonely Train Ride To Arctic Prison To Visit Her Son

Russian Plains
Credit Flickr Photo/giocomai

In the last 12 months there has been a series of political trials in Russia. First there was the punk rock group Pussy Riot. Then, demonstrators from the anti-Putin protest movement faced the court followed by the rising star of the opposition, Alexei Navalny. Some say Putin is using the justice system to shut down their political rivals and that this kind of injustice is accelerating.

When This Whole Thing Started

It began ten years ago with the arrest of the oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He has been in prison ever since. First, he was in Siberia. Now, he's at the edge of the Arctic. His mother travels vast distances to visit him.

Today on KUOW Presents, we join her on that long, cold train ride.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents,  June 20:

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