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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. 

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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.

How Do You Balance Work And Life?

Jul 31, 2013
Flickr Photo/sleepymyf

 Balancing work and the rest of your life can be incredibly hard, especially in the contemporary work environment. A recent study found that almost 40 percent of men and 25 percent of women in professional jobs work more than 50 hours a week. How do you find that perfect balance between work and life? Ross Reynolds hears from callers and talks to writer David Roberts about what he calls the “medium chill” lifestyle. Roberts is a senior staff writer at Grist.

NSA: America’s Most Secret Agency

Jul 31, 2013
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

For 31 years journalist James Bamford has been writing about the National Security Agency and the threats he sees it posing to our privacy. Even after all the recent revelations about NSA spying on citizens, the agency knows much more than you think. The NSA listens in while Ross Reynolds and Bamford discuss the role of government surveillance.

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Blueberries

Jul 31, 2013
Courtesy of Sheryl Wiser

Heading to the farmers market this week? Pick up some blueberries! They are the world’s super fruit, high in antioxidants and other nutrients. Ross Reynolds talks to Sheryl Wiser of the Puget Sound Fresh program at the Cascade Harvest Coalition about what to do with blueberries.

Scholars Want To Embargo Dissertations

Jul 31, 2013

Many Ph.D. candidates have been putting their dissertations online when they’re done. But that means academic publications are less interested in publishing their research, since it’s already out there. So some academics are embargoing their dissertations until they’re published in an academic journal, a process that can be lengthy. Is this holding back the dissemination of knowledge? Ross Reynolds talks to Lynn Thomas, the chair of the history department at the University of Washington.

Anti-Smoking Cuts Pose Risk To Public Health

Jul 31, 2013
Flickr Photo/David Grant

Washington state is cutting back funding for the smoking cessation hotline. That means some people will only be able to call once. Are stop-smoking hotlines effective? Will this cutback lead to more smoking and higher public health care costs down the line? Ross Reynolds gets the answers from Dr. Abigail Halperin of the UW Tobacco Scholars Program in the UW School of Public Health.

The Conversation Heads To Summer Camp

Jul 30, 2013
Flickr Photo/dierken

Summer camp can be a magical place for kids, full of craft time, first kisses, freedom from parents and sleeping under the stars. Of course, it can also mean snakes, mean kids and wedgies. Did you go to summer camp? Did anything memorable happen? Can you still sing your old camp song? Break out the s’mores, gather around the fire and we’ll swap stories.

Potreprenuers Get Ready For A New Kind Of Drug Deal

Jul 30, 2013
Flickr Photo/Benoit Deniaud

With recreational pot legal in Washington state, the marijuana business is moving from back alleys to storefronts. Former Silicon Valley banker Brendan Kennedy wants to lead the way in the new pot economy. He is CEO of Privateer Holdings, a cannabis-focused venture capital fund. He’ll explain to Ross Reynolds why he sees it as a $50 billion legal business.

The Dangers Of Senior Assisted Living

Jul 30, 2013
Flickr Photo/ma neeks

Seattle-based Emeritus Senior Living is the country’s largest assisted living operator, housing approximately 37,000 elderly Americans in more than 400 facilities across the country. Frontline and ProPublica teamed up to investigate reports on the failures of Emeritus. The year-long investigation resulted in a series of articles and a documentary on the dangers of senior care. Ross Reynolds hears from A.C. Wilson, a reporter at ProPublica, about the dark side of senior assisted living.

Future Of Wash. State GOP After Kirby Wilbur

Jul 30, 2013
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Kirby Wilbur, the head of the Washington state GOP, resigned on Monday and has left the party struggling to find a new leader. As chair he led the Republicans to take greater control of the state Legislature but lost key races for governor and attorney general.

Primary Election Time: How Are You Voting?

Jul 29, 2013
KUOW/Kara McDermott

Ballots are out for the August primary election. How are you voting? Seattle voters will decide on city council and school board positions, a parks levy, and which two candidates will face off in November’s mayoral race. Ballots are due back in the mail or an official ballot return box by August 6. Ross Reynolds talks to callers about what’s on the ballot and how they’ll be voting.

Reza Aslan's "Zealot" Draws Controversy And Comedy

Jul 29, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

The book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been out for less than two weeks, but it’s already created a firestorm for its author, religions scholar Reza Aslan.

The Next Little Thing: Parklets

Jul 26, 2013
Flickr Photo/Paul Krueger

Seattle has a new mini-parks program that turns parking spaces into tiny public spaces called parklets. The first few are rolling out this August. Ross Reynolds talks with the person heading up the program for the Seattle Department of Transportation, Jennifer Wieland. 

The Conversation News Quiz!

Jul 26, 2013

Would a luxury yacht by any other name not be as sweet? Ross Reynolds tests the wits and memory of a loyal listener in this week's edition of The Conversation News Quiz.

What Happens In Outer Space, Might Not Stay In Outer Space

Jul 26, 2013
Courtesy of Chris Lewicki

Last week the President’s plan to fund a mission to land on an asteroid was thwarted when the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology authorized a bill that will specifically prohibit the space agency from moving forward with the plan.

As arguments stall, funding for our government’s space programs in the private sector moves forward. Bellevue, Wash. is the home to one company that plans to not just land on an asteroid but to mine it for resources. Planetary Resources' president and chief engineer is Chris Lewicki. Ross Reynolds sits down with Lewicki to discuss his plans.

Dear Congressman McDermott, How's Work?

Jul 26, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle Democrat Jim McDermott represents Washington’s 7th congressional district. He currently serves as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for writing tax law, and he’s the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Health.  Jim McDermott is currently serving his 12th term in congress and he joins Ross Reynolds for an in-studio interview.

Spent The Right Way, Can Money Buy Happiness?

Jul 25, 2013
Elizabeth Dunn's book "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending"

Money may not buy happiness, but can spending your money wisely make you happier? Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, say yes. She talks with Ross Reynolds about the five principles of delightful spending and her new book "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending."

How Will The President's Economic Plan Play In Washington?

Jul 25, 2013

President Obama has set off on a short trip with a few speeches discussing the long term needs of our economy, but what would these policies mean in Washington state? Ross Reynolds sits down with Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, and Paul Guppy, vice president for research at the Washington Policy Center, to find out more on what the president's goals mean for the Evergreen State.

Is Seattle Facing A Superyacht Crisis?

Jul 25, 2013
Flickr Photo/Cyr0z

Washington state is the number one producer of luxury superyachts in the United States. But the marine industry says state tax policy discourages luxury superyacht owners from spending more time and money in Washington state. What is a superyacht? Ross Reynolds finds out that and more when he talks with Peter Schrappen, director of government affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

Jul 24, 2013

What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? Those are two large questions with no right answers. Ross Reynolds sits down with former chair of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, David Allen, for a discussion on gender, sexuality, identity and pressure while listeners share their definitions of what it means to be a man.

Metro Bus Service Reductions Loom As State Drags Its Feet On Funding

Jul 24, 2013
Flickr Photo/Lightpattern Productions

The inability of the Washington Legislature to pass a transportation package this session means King County Metro Transit needs to prepare for service cuts. Metro general manager Kevin Desmond said the agency has time-sensitive funding needs; in part because an expiring $20.00 car tab fee for transit wasn’t renewed.

It May Be Legal, But Is It Healthy? Medical Consequences Of Marijuana

Jul 24, 2013

Cannabis is considered relatively benign, but that doesn’t mean there are no health concerns. Ross Reynolds talks with UW Professor Emeritus Roger Roffman about marijuana dependence. 

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Converting Squash Skeptics

Jul 24, 2013
Sheryl Wiser

Correction 7/25/2013: Sheryl provided the following correction regarding her friend Zephyr Paquette's summer squash preparation: After grating the squash, add some herbs and salt, and let sit for 10 minutes, not seconds.

Summer squash doesn't necessarily incite delight at first glance but Sheryl Wiser of the Cascade Harvest Coalition joins Ross Reynolds to destroy the myth that squash is merely a vessel for other flavors. We hear squash recipes and find out how to pick the sweetest squash at the farmers markets. Plus! Did you know it is actually a fruit? 

What Does It Mean To Be A Woman?

Jul 23, 2013

What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? Those are two large questions with no right answers. Ross Reynolds sits down with University of Washington professor Amanda Swarr for a discussion on gender, sexuality, identity and pressure while listeners share their definitions of what it means to be a woman.

Too High To Fail

Jul 23, 2013
Doug Fine's book "Too High to Fail"

What will the future of legal marijuana in Washington state look like? Ross Reynolds talks with investigative journalist Doug Fine who has studied Mendocino County California, the first county in the nation to decriminalize and regulate cannabis farming. 

Seattleites Have An Easier Time On The Economic Ladder Than Others

Jul 23, 2013

It’s much easier to climb the economic ladder in Seattle than other affluent US cities such as Atlanta. That’s according to a new study by Harvard economists. So what makes Seattle a better place to grow up if you’re born into a low-income household? Ross Reynolds talks with co-author of the study, Nathan Hendren. 

Imagining Seattle's Bike Utopia

Jul 22, 2013
bikes in Seattle
Flickr Photo/papahazama

How do you get to work: Do you drive? Do you take the bus? Perhaps you carpool. What would it take to get you to ride a bike to work? Would you ride a bike if there were more trails away from traffic? Perhaps the only thing stopping you from putting the clippy shoe on the pedal is all those pesky inclines. Ross Reynolds hears from listeners about what their bike utopia would look like and checks in with reporter Erica Barnett about what is in the Seattle Master Bike Plan (PDF)

Public Meeting
"Making the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Work for Your Business," 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Russell Investment Center (1301 Second Ave, floor 17). Host: Seattle Department of Transportation.

Who, What, When, Where And How To Get Published

Jul 22, 2013
From The Business of Books' Facebook page

Later this week in Seattle, hundreds of authors, agents and publishers will gather as part of the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and one of the most frequently asked questions will be, how do I get my book published? Ross Reynolds gets advice on what steps to take to get your book published from publishing consultants, authors and all around entertaining human beings Jen Worick and Kerry Colburn. They also blog at The Business of Books.

The Conversation News Quiz

Jul 19, 2013

We’re back again with the ever popular The Conversation News Quiz – where one lucky listener gets the chance to demonstrate his or her news knowledge. This week’s quiz covers everything from City Council races to local food. Our winner gets to wear The Conversation crown for one whole week on our Facebook page.

Yo Ho! It’s A Pirate’s Life For Me!

Jul 19, 2013
Flickr Photo/Steve Voght

It may not be international “Talk Like a Pirate” Day until September 19, but it’s “Talk To a Pirate” day on The Conversation today! The captain of the SeaFair Pirates, Rusty Harper, and his predecessor, Lance English, share with Ross Reynolds the dangers of the open seas when your ship is actually a parade float.

The Dangers Of Wandering For Dementia Patients

Jul 19, 2013

When people have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, they are at risk for wandering.  What that really means is they get lost. For an elderly person, that can sometimes lead to death. In Washington in the last five years, at least 10 people with some form of dementia have died after getting lost.

Jason Alcorn from Investigate West  has been looking into the problem in collaboration with KUOW and KCTS 9 and he tells Ross Reynolds what he’s found.

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