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.

Composer ID: 
5182a719e1c89ec2617cc31f|5182a70fe1c89ec2617cc30a

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Microsoft Vs. Google
11:51 am
Wed April 10, 2013

What Is The Deal With Scroogled?

The latest campaign from Microsoft, attacking Google for how it handles user data.

Microsoft has launched a new round of ads blasting Google for sharing user’s personal information if they are using Android software to run a smartphone or a tablet. Previously Microsoft ads attacked Google for accessing Gmail users' emails to create targeted advertising. To find out more on Microsoft’s strategy with the advertising campaign Ross Reynolds talks with Michael Cusumano, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and the author of several books about Microsoft.

Rules of the Road
12:10 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Ask The Traffic Cop: Officer John Abraham

Officer John Abraham
Stacey Sanner

Are you ever driving down the street, see something happen in traffic and wonder, is that allowed? Ross Reynolds sits down with KUOW's favorite traffic cop, Officer John Abraham, and talks about the rules of the road. From four-way stops to tailgating, pedestrian rule breakers and aggressive bus drivers, The Conversation is on the road to getting your traffic questions answered.

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Financing Higher Education
12:00 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

What Happens In Washington If Student Loan Interest Rates Rise?

Will increased student loan interest rates change your views on higher education?
Flickr Photo/Dave Herholz

The interest rate on many student loans is scheduled to double on July 1, to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. That was expected to happen last year, but Congress voted to extend the lower rate. If the student loan interest rate does increase it will be way above loans for cars or even homes. Ross Reynolds talks with The Chronicle of Higher Education's chief Washington reporter, Kelly Field about the potential impacts of rising student loan interest rates. 

Ocean Misadventures
4:59 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Four Rowers Survive Boat Capsize In The Atlantic

Jordan Hanssen of OAR Northwest.
Credit Photo Credit/Erinn J Hale of OAR Northwest

Four men were attempting to set a world record by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean this weekend. Their plans were thwarted when their boat capsized. Seventy-two days of journey culminated in hours and hours of trying to right their capsized boat. 

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Language
12:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Words We Love And Words We Hate

What's your favorite word?
Flickr Photo/Ryan Basilio

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding? Nothing, but other words are hilarious! Ross Reynolds talks with language columnist Ben Zimmer about words we love, words we hate and words that simply make us laugh. 

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Trivial Interviews
11:41 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Overheard In The Green Room: Ken Jenning's Kryptonite

Ken Jennings.
Credit Flickr Photo/Phil Konstantin

In 2011, you were chosen as one of the two humans to be play against IBM's Watson supercomputer. What was it like playing against a robot?

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News Savvy
12:21 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Conversation News Quiz!

Ken Jennings at The Singularity Summit on October 15, 2011.
Flickr Photo/singularitysummit

Normally on the Conversation news quiz, we ask about things that you would have heard on our show that week. Today on our special pledge drive edition, we are going to change it up a little bit. A listener still gets to play but we won’t just be asking about this week’s news and they won’t be on their own. One lucky listener is going to have some help from trivia master Ken Jennings.

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Religion
12:20 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

The Extraordinary History Of Scientology

Cover of 'Going Clear' by Lawrence Wright.

In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard published "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" and 3 years later he founded the first church of Scientology. Ross Reynolds talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Lawrence Wright about his detailed history of Scientology, "Going Clear."

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Government News
12:08 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

This Week In Olympia With Austin Jenkins

Washington state capitol.
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

As we try and raise funds for our station, the legislators in Olympia are still at odds over their own budget. Ross Reynolds catches up on the latest news out of the state capitol with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins. 

Land Use Issues
12:08 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Big House On A Small Lot: The Land Use Debate Rises Up

A recent trend has emerged in Seattle’s single family neighborhoods: new houses, on undersized lots. The trend came about after developers discovered a loophole — or what some call an opportunity — to get exceptions for undersized lots established as separate building sites before 1957. Some of these new houses popped up in what neighbors assumed was just a backyard. Some of them are three stories high. Ross Reynolds talks with Montlake resident Erin Miller who hopes to put an end to this trend and breaks down the argument with Roger Valdez and Mark Hinshaw. 

Books
12:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Simon Winchester: SKULLS

Chinese water deer, also known as the vampire deer.
Courtesy of Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

Skulls are potent symbols of death, life and danger, and they also can tell a fascinating story about natural history. Ross Reynolds talks with writer Simon Winchester about his new book about skulls and a man that obsessively collects them.

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Savings Accounts
12:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Living Off The Banking Grid

It’s estimated that about 8.2 percent of US households don’t use bank accounts. Not only that — 20.1 percent of households are considered “underbanked,” meaning they use bank accounts but still opt for payday loans, check-cashing services and other alternatives. This is according to a recent survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

So why aren’t people using banks? Ross Reynolds talks to some of the un- and underbanked.

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Tech Fashion
10:39 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Technology You Can Wear

David Karp wearing Google Glass at the Tumblr party at SXSW.
Flickr Photo/Scott Beale

There’s been a lot of buzz about wearable technology — computing capabilities you can wear — for at least a decade. Digital wrist bands that monitor physical activity are becoming more common. Products like Google Glass, Apple iWatch and Nike+ FuelBand are in the pipeline. The problem is, in terms of fashion, wearable tech has always been a little too geeky. But that may be changing.

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Author Interview
12:00 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Revised Fundamentals Of Caregiving

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

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Brain Health
12:00 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

How To Make Your Brain Smarter

Your brain may need a new fitness plan.
Daniele Oberti Flickr

In her new book, "Make Your Brain Smarter," Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman offers tools to customize your own brain fitness plan. She talks with Ross Reynolds about strategies and exercises you can do to train your brain to think smarter.

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