Conversation | KUOW News and Information

Conversation

No longer on air.

The Conversation covers current events in politics, public affairs, culture and science. Host Ross Reynolds opens the phone for listeners to participate in spirited discussions on the issues of the day. 

Twitter: KUOWRoss | Facebook: KUOWRoss

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

Ross Reynolds talks with Northwest novelist Jonathan Evison about how he buried his first three novels before achieving his first success. They also discuss his book, "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving." 

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Lis Ferla (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There are a lot of songs about love, but perhaps there are even more songs about loss. That raises a serious scientific question: Why are so many songs written about heartbreak, and what happens to the brains of people who are experiencing a really bad break-up?

Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher studies what happens in our brains when we are in love and when we are heart broken. She says that Tylenol is helpful, but staring at pictures of your ex and listening to a sad song when your brain is going through massive dopamine withdrawal is not.

Ross Reynolds chats with self-described digital heretic Evgeny Morozov, who is the author of "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism." Morozoy says not only are the promises of technology oversold, but Silicon Valley is trying to fix things that don’t need fixing.

The Poetry Of Rock And Roll

Dec 18, 2013
AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price

Not every rock song is poetry, but Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon argues that some are. Ross Reynolds talks with the New Yorker poetry editor and professor at Princeton about poetry, songs, his band Wayward Shrines, and his new book, "Word On The Street: Rock Lyrics."

KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

Fire, air, water and earth; or as author Michael Pollan experienced it: barbeque, bread, braise and beer. In his latest book, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” Pollan challenges himself to master the basic technologies that have allowed people to turn raw into cooked.  

The impetus of his journey was to highlight the possibility and importance of mastering the preparation of personal meals. His book explores the cultural shift of food responsibility from the home to corporation via packaged or prepared foods, and how this directly correlates with the rise in American obesity issues.

The Conversation Faces The End

Aug 30, 2013

The World Is Not Ending! But What If It Was?

Some people believed the world would end on December 21, 2012, and they were completely wrong about that. David Hyde asked listeners how they would spend their last day on earth. Thankfully, the apocalypse did not come so we can bring you the best of listeners’ plans for their final hours on earth.

Dinnertime With The Conversation

Aug 29, 2013
Julia Harrison

Mark Bittman On Food Politics And Julia Harrison On Sweets

Ross Reynolds talks with author Mark Bittman about food, health and politics and how they all intertwine. Also, Julia Harrison investigates the history and importance of sweets. She tells Ross about the role of sugary snacks in the Pacific Northwest.

Let's Go To The Movies!

Aug 28, 2013
Flickr Photo/m4tik

This hour on The Conversation, we leave radio for the big screen to talk to some of our favorite filmmakers. Grab some overpriced popcorn and candy and listen to interviews with the late Nora Ephron, director Guillermo del Toro, director Paul Verhoeven and film historian David Thompson.

Jet City Living: The Conversation On Seattle Culture

Aug 27, 2013
Flickr Photo/Lorena Cupcake and Darkain Multimedia

Being a Seattleite is a complex and oftentimes confusing experience. Does it require sitting in a coffee shop and staring out at the Space Needle on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Does it mean a uniform of flannel and REI gear? Or getting in your eco-friendly car to drive to your job at Microsoft? Or maybe it simply means you are not from Portland? This hour on The Conversation we talk about what it means to be a Seattleite.

Weird Science: The Conversation Explores The Natural World

Aug 26, 2013
David Montgomery's book "The Rocks Don't Lie"

The world is a mysterious place. In labs and observatories around the world, people are trying to make sense of nature’s secrets. This hour on The Conversation we talk to scientists and science writers about the natural world around us and what scientists are doing to harness its power.

Best Of The Conversation: Feature Interviews

Aug 23, 2013
KUOW Photo

We talk to a lot of fascinating people on The Conversation: comedians, journalists, politicians, ex-felons, librarians, writers and even pirates. Today, we rebroadcast three interviews with some amazing individuals who have overcome hard times to pursue their dreams.

Hometown Heroes: The Conversation Talks To Notable Washingtonians

Aug 22, 2013
Wikimedia

Located in the best city in the best state, The Conversation has a lot of pride in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve got the best apples, planes, music, and yoga paddle board classes in the country.  This hour, we hear from Washingtonians who are making news and bringing fame to the Evergreen State.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: The Conversation Talks Economics

Aug 21, 2013
Paul Krugman
Center for American Progress

We discuss the economy a lot on The Conversation. From the effects of the recession to financial planning, money is always in the news. Today, we rebroadcast some of our best interviews with economists and financial reporters, including a talk with Paul Krugman in front of a live studio audience.

Seattle Rocks: The Conversation Takes A Look At Seattle Music

Aug 20, 2013
Flickr Photo/thecomeupshow

Seattle music is more than just grunge. The city is the birth place to a diverse scene and an eclectic group of musicians. From jazz to rap to indie to funk, Seattle has nurtured generations of bands and musicians. The Conversation explores the many sounds of the city’s musical history from Seattleite turned rock star, Duff McKagan, to current chart-toppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

The Conversation Goes Mental: Interviews On Psychology And Human Behavior

Aug 19, 2013

This hour on The Conversation we explore the strange and confusing behavior of humans. Why do we act the way we do? And can we change? Psychologists and science writers take us inside the brain to explain our peculiar actions. 

Bike Helmets: Love Them Or Hate Them?

Aug 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jean-Pierre Chamberland (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Seattle City Council is developing a bike-sharing program for the city. Under the current plan, around 500 seven-speed bikes and helmets will be available to rent from kiosks in parts of Seattle. 

Some bike-sharing advocates say the helmet requirement is a big problem, because nobody who rents a bike will also want to rent a helmet.  But it’s illegal to bike in King County without one. Should King County keep the helmet rule? Would you rent a bike and a helmet? Ross Reynolds hears from listeners.

Bus Driver Love Stories

Aug 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/IMLS Digital Collections and Content

The tragic news of a bus driver being shot earlier this week  in downtown Seattle inspired us to ask listeners to share their stories about bus drivers; stories about nice bus drivers just doing their jobs and stories about heroic bus drivers that went above and beyond the call of duty.  Ross Reynolds talks to listeners about their best bus drivers.

FDA Defines “Gluten Free”

Aug 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/John Fischer

The "gluten free" label is turning up in more and more products – from bread to disposable plates. But the definition of gluten free varies by manufacturer, so the Food and Drug Administration is creating a standard definition.

Ross Reynolds talks to Judy Simon, a clinical dietitian and nutritionist at UW Medical Center's Roosevelt Clinic, about the FDA decision on "gluten free" labeling.

The Conversation News Quiz

Aug 16, 2013

Once again, we play Carl Kassel’s (secret) favorite news quiz! One lucky listener gets the chance to demonstrate his or her news knowledge. This week’s quiz covers everything from Hempfest to health care. Do you have what it takes?

Rob Sheffield On The Fascinating World Of Karaoke

Aug 16, 2013
Rob Sheffield's book "Turn Around Bright Eyes."

Karaoke fascinates some and leave other baffled. Rob Sheffield is in the former category. The Rolling Stone contributing editor has written a memoir about love and karaoke and he sits down to take Ross Reynolds into the fascinating and often strange world of karaoke. 

From The Streets To The Stores: Branding And Selling Marijuana

Aug 16, 2013

Jamen Shively is the former Microsoft Corporate strategy manager who would like to establish a national quality brand of marijuana. Former Mexican president Vicente Fox came to Seattle for a press conference Shively held on his new venture, Diego Pellicer, Inc. Ross Reynolds talks with the founder and CEO about branding and selling marijuana. 

Rules Of The Road

Aug 14, 2013
Stacey Sanner

Do pedestrians always have the right of way? Really? Always? Is it illegal to pass a city bus on the right? What is the speed limit in a neighborhood if no signs are posted? Ross Reynolds sits down with former Seattle traffic officer John Abraham to take listener questions about the rules of the road. 

Why Can't Congress Make Progress?

Aug 14, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jonathon Colman

This year’s Congress is the most unproductive in at least 60 years. In its first six months, the 113th Congress has passed only 22 bills through both the House and the Senate, and most of those were insignificant. Is the hold up just part of the democratic process? Or is it something else?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says the push for transparency in recent years is making government and lawmakers less effective. His solution? Bring back closed-door meetings and earmarks. Ross Reynolds talks with Julien Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University about why transparency and the 24-hour news cycle can fuel partisan gridlock. 

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: What A Peach!

Aug 14, 2013
Courtesy of Sheryl Wiser

This week Ross Reynolds talks with Sheryl Wiser of Cascade Harvest about the ever complicated peach. How do you find a good one? She explains and then tells us what to do with our new plump and pretty peaches! From salsa to the grill, Sheryl sets us up for peach season. 

Does Fewer Kids Mean Less Kid Friendly? Raising Children In Jet City

Aug 13, 2013
Flickr Photo/Michael Hanscom

 Seattle has one of the lowest populations of children in the United States. What does it mean when a city goes from a playground for kids to a playground for the rich? Ross Reynolds talks with Ali Modarres, professor of urban geography at California State University and co-author of a new report on the Childless City. And listeners answer the questions: Do you think is a bad place to raise kids? Did you leave the city to raise your kids in Shoreline or Bellevue? 

Humans Look Forward To Turning Into Robots

Aug 13, 2013
Tali Sharot's book "The Optimism Bias"

  Are you optimistic about the future of science? A recent Pew Survey found that 71 percent of Americans believe artificial arms and legs will perform better than natural ones by 2050, and 69 percent believe there will be a cure for most forms of cancer by then.

Will most Americans be springing for artificial limbs in 40 years? Maybe not. But we are certainly optimistic about the possibility of it all. Ross Reynolds talks with Tali Sharot, research fellow in the department of cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at University College London and the author of “The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain.”

Health Department To Teens: 'Suck On This'

Aug 13, 2013
Courtesy of Suck on This Facebook page

  If you saw a teenager walking down the street wearing a neon t-shirt with the phrase “Suck on This” printed across the chest, your mind might not automatically think that they are trying to spread a message to other teens to stay away from tobacco. Teens taking part in an awareness campaign with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department are saying "suck on this" and they aren't trying to offend anyone. Ross Reynolds talks about the new anti-tobacco campaign with a representative from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. 

Cutting Through Obamacare Rollout Confusion

Aug 13, 2013

 The pace of implementation for the Affordable Care Act, known by critics and the president himself as Obamacare, is picking up this fall. Starting October 1 you can start shopping for a health plan in Washington state's new insurance exchange called Healthplanfinder. Obamacare is supposed to be fully in place by early next year. But there’s still a lot of confusion. Ross Reynolds tries to cut through some of that confusion by talking with Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and taking listener calls.

This Week In Fish

Aug 12, 2013
Flickr Photo/Ingrid Taylar

An eight-foot-long sturgeon was found dead in Lake Washington two weeks ago. That same weekend, a fisherman caught an exotic piranha-like fish in a lake near Marysville. What do these fishy events have to do with each other? Turns out they tell a story about marine conservation. Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Essington, an associate professor in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.

So You Want To Be A Clown?

Aug 12, 2013

You don’t have to run away to join the circus – this week a camp kicks off in Seattle where kids between the ages of eight and 21 can go and train to learn how to juggle, tumble, walk a tight rope and more. But not everyone can pull off a clown nose. Would-be clown Ben Sherrill recounts the story of how he tried – and failed – to become a clown.

Pages