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.

Composer ID: 
5182a71ae1c89ec2617cc332|5182a70fe1c89ec2617cc30a

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Prohibition History
2:00 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

The Great Moonshine Conspiracy

Confiscated moonshine liquor still photographed by the Internal Revenue Bureau at the Treasury Department, Washington, D.C., circa 1920s.
Credit Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

During prohibition in the early 20th century, Franklin County, Virginia was dubbed the moonshine capital of the world. In the most mountainous parts of the county, nearly every farming family was involved in the making and selling of illegal whiskey. The 1920s and 30s were difficult for small scale farmers. Producing moonshine offered extra cash and a path out of poverty.

When prohibition ended, those formerly illegal moonshiners were expected to start paying taxes. Yet they continued to operate illegally in Franklin County. The moonshine trade was an opportunity for the most powerful men in the county to get richer on the backs of poor farmers. The men overseeing the operations would charge large protection fees in exchange for looking the other way.

But in 1935, it all came to a crashing halt. Over 200 farmers testified about their role in the massive racket resulting in Virginia’s Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial. With the help of a retired World War I spy, the federal government indicted many of the racket's powerful leaders, including the state’s attorney, the sheriff, a federal agent and several deputies. Jesse Dukes of Big Shed Media brings us the story of The Great Moonshine Conspiracy, as told by writer Charlie Thompson.

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Musician Interview
2:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

John O'Regan On Becoming Diamond Rings

John O'Regan live at Radio City Music Hall.
Credit Chris La Putt

Musician John O'Regan was touring with his indie rock band when one night after a show he started having convulsions. He was rushed to the hospital where John wound up getting emergency treatment for Crohn's disease. O'Regan had to stay in the hospital for weeks. But all that time in spent recovering kick-started a surprising persona shift in his musical career.

In this excerpt from a longer interview with the CBC's Sook Yin lee, John O'Regan talked about what happened to him during his time spent healing, and what the experience helped him learn about himself and his music.

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Tech Culture
2:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

William Gibson On Coining The Word "Cyberspace"

A mosaic of William Gibson composed of his book covers.
Credit Flickr photo/Hiro Sheridan

Science Fiction Novelist William Gibson first coined the term "cyberspace” in his short story "Burning Chrome.” He then popularized the concept in his debut novel “Neuromancer” in 1984. In imagining the then new world of cyberspace, Gibson created an interpretation of a virtual world for the information age, well before the ubiquity of the Internet in the 1990s. Gibson recently talked to Wisconsin Public Radio's Jim Fleming about why he chose that word, and what it means to him today.

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Psychology
2:00 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Left Brain Vs. Right Brain

"The Master and his Emissary" by Iain McGilchrist

People often describe themselves as either left-brained — logical, analytical — or right-brained — intuitive, creative. According to psychologist Iain McGilchrist the notion of the divided brain has shaped modern history in all kinds of ways. McGilchrist explores the meaning and impact of the divided brain in his book, “The Master and His Emissary.” He talks about it with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Steve Paulson.

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Personal Stories
2:00 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Finding Love At 90

Loving partners
Credit Flickr Photo/theperpexingparadox

Nate Kalichman, who is 90, and Paula Givan, 67, are spending their first holidays as a married couple. Sit with them and it seems like they've been married for years, yet it's brand new at the same time. They share their stories of finding love late in life and making plans.

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Childhood Psychology
2:00 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

The Benefits Of Having Imaginary Friends

What did your imaginary friend look like?
Flickr Photo/Vanessa Monfreda

Lots of us had imaginary friends when we were kids. And now a psychologist at the University of Oregon is looking into how having imaginary friends, and creating an imaginary world for them, affects how you relate to real people. We’ll learn about her research. And we’ll meet Maxine, an 8-year old with a whole host of imaginary friends.

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Celebrity Culture
2:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

"Fame Junkies:" Jake Halpern Explores America's Obsession With Celebrity Fame

Cover of "Fame Junkies" by Jake Halpern.

Everywhere you look in American culture it seems there are images of fame and celebrity. When Jake Halpern set out to write his book "Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction," he wanted to answer a few questions. Why do countless Americans yearn so desperately to have entertainment-celebrity type fame? Why do others, like celebrity personal assistants, devote their entire lives to servicing these people? And why do millions of others fall into the mindless habit of watching them from afar?

In order to get the answers he sought, Halpern talked with academics, psychologists, magazine editors and teenagers about why more Americans would rather be famous, than not. The CBC's Sook Yin Lee talked with Halpern about what he discovered.

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Women's Civil Rights
2:00 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

"The Good Girls Revolt:" Lynn Povich On How The Women Of Newsweek Changed The Workplace

Cover of 'The Good Girls Revolt,' by Lynn Povich

The 1960s was a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the help wanted ads were segregated by gender and the office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.

Author Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones; she landed a job at Newsweek. It was a top-notch job for a woman at the time, and it was an exciting place. Newsweek was renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the Swinging Sixties. Yet the organization unknowingly sat on a discriminatory powder keg of its very own making.

For women, the job was a dead end. Women researchers sometimes became reporters, but rarely writers, and never editors. Any aspiring female journalist was told, “If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else.” So the women of Newsweek decided to sue their employer.

Lynn Povich talked with the CBC's Jim Brown about what it was like for her and the women of Newsweek to fight for the right to equal treatment in their workplace.

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Literary Giants In Decline
2:00 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

How A Few Indistinct Words Burped Up By A Drunk Tennessee Williams Changed One Man's Life

A quote by Tennessee Williams found at the Southernmost Beach in Key West, Florida.
Flickr Photo/Sam Howzit

The writer Allan Gurganus admired Tennessee Williams. One day, Gurganus heard the famous playwright had read one of his stories and enjoyed it. Full of confidence, Gurganus traveled to New Orleans where some friends had arranged for him to meet Williams. But the drunken, Tabasco-stained man he met taught him a lesson he didn’t expect.

WUNC's Dick Gordon brings us Gurganus' captivating story of a literary giant in decline.

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TV Drama Science
2:00 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Donna Nelson On The Science Of "Breaking Bad"

"Breaking Bad" poster, second season

Even pop culture needs to be scientifically accurate. At least, that’s what Donna Nelson believes.

She’s a chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma, and she acts as "meth consultant" for the Emmy Award-winning show "Breaking Bad."

The show is about a high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking up crystal meth in order to pay for his cancer related medical bills. Donna Nelson says it's important to have scientific details represented as accurately as possible, especially on a fictional TV show. Not only because people are becoming more science literate, but because a failure to get details right can be distracting and misleading.

Nelson talked with the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi about how she got the job, and what she does as a science advisor for "Breaking Bad."

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Exotic Pets
2:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Chito Y Pocho: One Man’s Quest To Befriend A Crocodile

Crocodile
Flickr Photo/sabinelacombe

Chito is not your typical animal lover, he really loves a challenge. Something he always longed for was to be friends with a crocodile. So when he discovered one of the reptiles injured in a lake near his house Chito decided it was his best opportunity to get to know one. NPR's Stephanie Foo brings us the story of Chito, and probably the world’s most beloved crocodile named Pocho.

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Poetry
4:25 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Poet Alice Derry On "Fooling Around" With The Artistic Life

"Tremolo" is Alice Derry’s fourth poetry collection.
Red Hen Press

In "Fooling Around," poet and translator Alice Derry considers the implications of the artistic life — whether it is chosen, or thrust upon us.

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End Of Life Care
2:00 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

The Woman Who Guides You Through Death

Hospital bed
Flickr Photo/APM Alex

Sometimes a terminal illness can take such a toll that the person suffering from it decides to end their sickness by ending their life. Fran Schindler knows how awful and lonely that choice can be. So she sits with sick people who take their own lives so they don’t have to die alone. She calls herself a Final Exit Guide. Fran talks with WUNC’s Dick Gordon about her work.

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Personal Stories
2:00 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

A Lawyer's Redemption

Credit Flickr Photo/Dar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Canadian lawyer Kathryn Smithen is seen as a pillar of her community. In addition to practicing family law, she is a single mother. But she hasn’t always been an upstanding citizen. She has a checkered past that took her 25 years to shed. She tells the CBC’s Sook Yin Lee about her journey from convict to lawyer.

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Holocaust Music
1:31 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Commemorating The Holocaust In Music

Mina Miller is a Seattle pianist who founded Music of Remembrance 15 years ago
Credit Photo courtesy of Music of Remembrance

Mina Miller is a Seattle pianist who founded the organization Music of Remembrance 15 years ago. Her passion for the organization springs in part from her family history. Mina comes from a Holocaust family.

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