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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9:30 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Phin Dauphin's "Baritone Without A Body"

A self-portrait by poet Phin Dauphin.
Credit Phin Dauphin

"I will no longer mispronounce myself," resolves Phin Dauphin in "Baritone Without a Body." 

A self-described "gender fluid person," Dauphin says the poem was written while part of a slam poetry team preparing to represent Seattle at Brave New Voices, an international poetry festival. "Baritone Without a Body" aims to document the path taken to understand Dauphin's gender, and reflects a deep regard for language rooted in the experience of growing up in a household where English, Spanish, French and Creole were spoken on a daily basis.

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Musical Stylings
2:05 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Meet The Mellotron

Flickr Photo/Tobias Akerboom

Ask most people what instrument opens the Beatles' song “Strawberry Fields Forever” and they'll tell you: it’s a flute. But it's not a flute.

Meet the Mellotron. It's an analog instrument from the 1960s that connects dozens of loops of audio tape, each with a single, pre-recorded note, to a keyboard. It was a clunky and expensive precursor to synthesizers and modern music sampling.

Its inventors intended it as a replacement for an orchestra. At that task, it failed miserably. But musicians in the 1960s and 1970s fell in love with the instrument’s odd sound. That sound defined a musical era. And today, its quirky guts full of tape and levers looks very old school. Yet it's made a comeback, and is popular with modern musicians like Arcade Fire.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 19:

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History In Seven Minutes
1:52 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

A History Of Everything

Credit NASA

Despite the complicated history of the universe, today on KUOW Presents we condense it all into seven minutes: from the dawn of time to the present day.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, June 18:

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History and Memory
1:12 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Seattle's Tiny Statue Of Liberty

Seattle's tiny Statue of Liberty stands watch over Alki Beach

Out on Alki Beach in West Seattle is a statue. It’s called the Statue Of Liberty. It's a replica of the one in New York Harbor. Only this one is tiny, about six feet tall. It was part of a national Boy Scout campaign to erect statues like this across the country: a campaign called "Strengthening The Arm Of Liberty."

The original Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor symbolized America's freedom from colonial powers and its friendship with France. Over the years immigrants passing the statue on the way to Ellis Island adopted the statue as a sort of patron saint, and the famous quote "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" was eventually added to the statue's base.

By the time Seattle's Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1952, its meaning had changed yet again. Liberty was no longer a revolutionary idea. It was something old and familiar, a sign of stability in a time of great social and political instability.

You can get a sense of that instability from this 1951 newsreel. We sampled it in today's story:

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 17:

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Children's Literature
2:33 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Maurice Sendak: The Lost Interview, And Conclusion Of Trafficking Series

In "Outside Over There," a baby is kidnapped by strange goblin-like creatures and replaced with an ice baby.
Credit Harper Collins

Children's book author Maurice Sendak is a kind of father figure for many of us. He had a profound sympathy for children and never belittled their emotions. He daylit their anxieties and coaxed them into poetic form in books like Where the Wild Things Are, In The Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There (a book that frightens many adults).

In 2009, a pair of Newsweek reporters interviewed an 81-year-old Sendak. The result was a good article. But the interview itself never aired, so we're playing it on KUOW today. There's an animated version, too:

Other Content:

  • Today, we concluded the WGBH series on Human Trafficking. Noel Gomez is a local activist trying to end sex trafficking here in Seattle. She's the founder of the Organization Of Prostitution Survivors. She told us two stories back in 2010:

Other stories on KUOW Presents, June 13:

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Internet Surveillance
2:16 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

How To Cover Your Digital Footprints

Credit Flickr Photo/rafolio

Want to evade the prying eyes of the NSA? Not that you have anything to hide; but even if you did, covering your digital footprints is complicated business. Just because you delete that racy video you uploaded to YouTube doesn't mean it's gone forever.

Realistically, no one can become a digital ghost. Your personal data is like a child you once clothed and fed; a child who has now left home and begun telling embarrassing stories about you to people you don't know.

There are methods, however, for protecting your reputation among regular people without NSA security clearance. Methods that involve obfuscating rather than obliterating your online legacy.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, June 12:

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1:45 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Inside A Toddler's Brain: "Epiphanette"

Poet Dennis Caswell.
Credit Jack Straw Productions/Sherwin Eng

In "Epiphanette," Woodinville poet Dennis Caswell speculates on what happens to the "carefree cognitive tumbleweed" of his baby daughter's mind when it "is struck by the SUV of enlightenment" in the form of a little epiphany.

Already she baby-knows:
A dance you learn; the dancer you're stuck to.
                                          from "Epiphanette"

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Government Accountability
1:07 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Vietnam-Era Whistleblower Weighs In On Snowden's Decision

Credit flickr photo/ caribbeanfreephoto

It's obvious from his interview with The Guardian newspaper that Andrew Snowden knew leaking NSA secrets would get him into hot water. But he seems to have planned for that. Somehow, he's disappeared from his Hong Kong hotel room. Some have suggested he might find refuge in Russia, on mainland China, or on some remote island in the Philippines.

Christopher Pyle knows a thing or two about blowing whistles. In 1970, while in the U.S. Army, he disclosed the extent of the military's surveillance of the protest movement. That led, in part, to the Watergate scandal. Mr. Pyle now teaches politics at Mount Holyoke College and is the author of several books on military surveillance of civilians. The CBC's Carol Off asked him for insight on Snowden's situation.

Other stories on KUOW Presents,  June 11:

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Human Trafficking
1:50 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Catching Up With Our Human Trafficking Series

Human Trafficking is not just an international problem. It happens right here in Seattle, too.
Credit flickr photo/ Randy Wick

Last week, we began running an outstanding series on human trafficking from WGBH called "The Underground Trade." We're halfway through, with more episodes scheduled through the week. If you've just tuned in, this is your chance to catch up.

A System Of Modern Slavery That Touches All Points On The Globe

Boston-based reporter Phillip Martin began with a police bust of a ring of massage parlors that offer more than massages. Many reporters would have stopped there. But Phillip started pulling on the "thread" of that story, and over his eight-part series, he's unraveled the whole sweater, tracing the route of human traffic all around the world to its roots in Southeast Asia.

It's A Local Problem, Too

Here in Seattle, we're adding local context to this story, capitalizing on the expertise of KUOW reporter Sara Lerner, who created a similar series here on KUOW a few years ago. This time around, Sara's reported on Seattle's John School and how pimps recruit women in the Puget Sound region. From the youth reporters at KUOW's RadioActive, we heard from a local woman who was enslaved in Grays Harbor County, and we ended our series with more reporting from Sara: a discussion on KUOW's Weekday about misconceptions surrounding child sex trafficking stats in the Puget Sound region. 

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 10:

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Live Performance
10:05 am
Fri June 7, 2013

On Mixing Music And Motherhood: Jazz Vocalist Jane Monheit

Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit sings at Jazz Alley in Seattle and in the KUOW performance studio this week.
Credit Jazz Alley

Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit first visited us in the KUOW studios just after we moved into our then new facility on University Avenue in 1999. 

Public radio listeners and music lovers have followed Monheit's career for more than a decade now.  She made a sensational debut recording shortly after graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in the late 1990s.

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Afghan Reaction To Plea
1:43 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Afghan Massacre Survivors React To Bales' Guilty Plea

A rural village in Afghanistan
Credit Flickr photo/ Ricardo Mangual

Yesterday US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales pleaded guilty to a brutal massacre. The night time killings took place on March 11 of last year in two small villages located near a remote military camp in Kandahar. Since the massacre Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon has spent a lot of time with the survivors and the families of the victims in Afghanistan. She describes how they've dealt with the massacre's emotional aftermath.

There's something exceptional about this interview. While it's possible to get swept up into the international drama of an event like the Bales massacre, Gannon reminds us that at the center of the media storm there are ordinary people who have suffered.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 6:

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Education Solutions
2:04 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

High Tech Solutions For Integrating Special Ed Students Into Standard Classrooms

Stephen Hawking is perhaps the most famous user of what's called "adaptive and assistive technology." He uses a speech synthesizer to communicate with others. Schools in New York City have begun using similar devices to help integrate special needs students into standard classrooms.
Credit NASA

In New York, this school year was the first year neighborhood schools were required to accept students with special needs into regular classrooms. They've made the transition with the aid of high-tech gadgets. You can hear that story online.

Michelle Buetow says we could learn something from New York's experiment. She's co-president of Seattle's Special Education PTSA. She says although Seattle is a high-tech city, its approach to special education is decidedly low-tech. She says “it’s borderline criminal that a city built on high-tech resources has chosen not to fund these kinds of gadgets for students with special needs.” But school districts strapped for cash have struggled to find money for these kinds of technologies.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 5:

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American Icons
1:28 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

The Superman Myth: Absolute Power Needn't Corrupt

Credit Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, Look Magazine, February 27,1940

There's a new Superman movie coming out this month. Why does the story of the man of steel continue to resonate with people? Perhaps he represents a myth we like to tell ourselves: that given absolute power, we would choose to use it for good.

That's right, keep telling yourself that.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 4:

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Underground Trade
1:15 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Hiding In Plain Sight: How Human Trafficking Takes Place Right Under Our Noses

Credit WGBH

Slavery. When we hear that word, we often think of it as something in the distant past. But an underground network of human cargo thrives right under our noses.

Today, we hear the first in a special series on human trafficking. We'll start small, as police bust up a prostitution ring in a small Boston town. It's a story that could have happened anywhere. Here in Seattle, police busted a similar ring two years ago.

Boston investigative reporter Phillip Martin wanted to go deeper than the breaking stories of busts and find out what's beneath the surface. As he began unraveling the story, it took him all over the globe. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll follow him from Boston to Thailand to China and back, and over that period we'll discover that these stories of prostitution rings are part of a much larger story. It's a story that links two different kinds of men: the western man who believes Asian women are more willing to please, and the kidnapper who transports young girls across Southeast Asian borders.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 3:

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8:48 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Jourdan Keith's "Traveling Seeds"

Poet, storyteller and environmental activist Jourdan Keith
Credit Brian McGuigan

Strange fruit has black seeds. Papaya pearls dropping tropics in our mouths.

from "Traveling Seeds"

Contemplating the generative power of papaya seeds led writer Jourdan Keith to write a parable about the African diaspora. Her story-poem "Traveling Seeds" is a hybrid of African folktales, Native American legend, Japanese poetic forms and also pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance.

Based in Seattle, Jourdan Keith is a poet, storyteller and environmental activist. She served as the Seattle Public Library's first Naturalist-in-Residence and is a Seattle Poet Populist Emerita.

Her essay, "Human Estuaries," which is based on her 2011 TEDxRainier talk, appeared in YES! Magazine.

She is the founder and director of Urban Wilderness Project, "providing storytelling, environmental education and wilderness service learning programs rooted in social change."

She was recorded in the KUOW Studios May 10, 2013.