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 and select "The Conversation" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

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Mayor's Race 2013
10:55 am
Mon July 15, 2013

McGinn Makes The Case For A Second Term

Mayor Mike McGinn, who is running for re-election this year.
Flickr Photo/Mayor McGinn

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn faces tough competition in his campaign for re-election. He came to office as a political outsider, championing public transit and environmental issues. But many question whether he has followed through on his campaign promises. Ross Reynolds talks with Mayor McGinn about what he would bring to a second term in office.

Pet Travel
10:52 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Flying With Fido

Flickr Photo/Mayan Explore

 During the summer travel season it can be hard to leave pets at home. But instead of having Fido miss out on a fun vacation, many animal lovers choose to bring their pets on the trip. How can you make sure your furry companion is safe and happy on the way to your destination? Ross Reynolds gets travel tips for pet owners from Dr. Karen Hoffman, a veterinarian at Maple Leaf Pet Corner.

Mediation And Dispute Resolution
10:49 am
Mon July 15, 2013

How To Settle A Dispute Without Going To Court

Flickr Photo/SalFalko

Have you ever had to deal with a difficult, noisy neighbor –  but you don’t want to call the cops? Maybe what they’re doing is not so clearly illegal, but it is making your blood boil. There’s an alternative you may not have considered: dispute resolution. Julia A. Gold is board president of the King County Dispute Resolution Center and can be reached at 206.443.9603.   She talks to Ross Reynolds about how to settle a fight without going to court.     

1:47 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Imagining The Future With Seattle Luminaries

Portrait of Maggie Wilson watching a 3-D movie.
Credit Flickr Photo/Mike Licht

When science fiction author and casual prophet Isaac Asimov wrote about his visit to the World’s Fair in New York in 1964, he imagined what the world would be like in 50 years. Almost 50 years later he seems to have gotten a few things right: “Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The IBM exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English.”

Google translate anyone?

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Internet Ownership
12:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Jaron Lanier Asks: Who Owns The Future?

Jaron Lanier's book "Who Owns the Future?"

Jaron Lanier is a pioneer in virtual reality and the Internet. But in recent years he’s become more and more skeptical of the promises of the Web.  Ross Reynolds talks to Jaron Lanier about his new book, "Who Owns the Future."

This program originally aired May 31, 2013.

11:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Julia Sweeney's Comedic Journey From Spokane To China

Julia Sweeney and Ross Reynolds.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Julia Sweeney is a comedian, actress and author. She performed four seasons on Saturday Night Live and now has a new book of memoirs titled, "If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother."

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Favorite Teacher
12:13 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Who Was Your Favorite Teacher?

Flickr Photo/Todd Petrie

School is out for the summer and for many students, teachers are the last thing on their minds. But today on The Conversation, we’re celebrating teachers that made a difference in your life. Ross Reynolds takes your calls.

12:10 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Freedom Foundation Fishing For Search Terms

The Olympia-based Freedom Foundation has filed records requests with four Washington state agencies asking for employee emails and other records containing certain words, including “tea party,” “Catholic,” “Mormon” and “redneck.” Why? Ross Reynolds talks with Glen Morgan, the property rights director with the Freedom Foundation.

12:05 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Parasites - Tales Of Real Life Body Snatchers

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus.
Flickr Photo/Penn State

Zombies. The walking dead. The slow moving but inescapable pop culture phenomenon. Even on The Conversation we’ve discussed zombies. We had on Max Brooks, author of "World War Z," now a movie in theaters with Brad Pitt. There are zombie survival guides, books about economic policy with zombies, and even "Pride and Prejudice" with zombies. We seem to be fascinated by the idea of the moving, the living dead.

Well folks, I am not sure if this is good or bad news, but I am afraid zombies are real. At least kind of. Ross Reynolds talks with professor of entomology David Hughes about parasites that can infect animals and change their behaviors, including an estimated 14 percent of Americans. 

Higher Education Costs
12:01 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Price Of Higher Education Gets Even Higher

UW students protest rising student loan costs last year.
Flickr Photo/Morgan Davis

Congressional inaction results in higher student loan interest payments. It will cost the average student $2,600. Ross Reynolds talks with Megan Davis, the senior associate director of University of Washington's Office of Student Financial Aid about what this will mean for students at the University of Washington. 

Pioneer Square Outhouses
11:56 am
Thu July 11, 2013

City Responds To Need For Potty In Pioneer Square

A Portland Loo
Flickr Photo/Ian Fisher

Earlier this week we heard from a Pioneer Square businesswoman Joanna Urrego, who built her own portapotty in an effort to keep people from doing their business in the alley. Well the city has its own plan for public restrooms in Pioneer Square using a what’s called the Portland Loo. Ross Reynolds gets the details from Gary Johnson from Seattle's Department of Planning and Development. 

Pot Vaporization
11:49 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Smokeless Pot Smoking?

Coaster 420 (public domain)

Even though marijuana is now legal here in Washington state that doesn’t mean putting smoke in your lungs is good for you. But there may be a technological solution: smokeless devices called vaporizers. Vaporizing heats the cannabis to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees Celsius. That’s just short of combustion, which occurs at 230 degrees Celsius, and at that point the vapors are released. So vaporizers can produce the same biological effect as smoking – getting high – without the smoke. Ross Reynolds talks with Danny Darko of High Times magazine about some of the smokeless and less smoking marijuana options available to consumers.  

Getting Fresh
12:01 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Your Fava-orite Bean Edition

Flickr Photo/luvjnx

This week Sheryl Wiser talks with Ross Reynolds about fava beans and radishes. She swears that both are good for more than just a creative play in Scrabble. Did you know that radishes have their own holiday in Oaxaca, Mexico? It is true  — La Noche de Los Rabanos is celebrated yearly on December 23. We learn about that and more in this week's edition of "Getting Fresh with Ross and Sheryl."

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Vigilante Sanitation
11:59 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Merchant Installs Outhouse In Pioneer Square

Seattle plans to install a Portland Loo, pictured, near Pioneer Square. One area merchant didn't wait for that to happen.
Flickr Photo/Kevin Christopher Burke

They can arrest her — but she’s not going to put up with the stink.

A Pioneer Square business owner built her own outhouses and put them up last week to cut down on restaurant goers, sports fans and homeless people urinating in the alleys.

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More from KUOW
11:57 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Yakima To Sieze Cars Of Multiple DUI Offenders

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

The "Palm Springs of Washington" is no vacation for those that have more than two DUI convictions within seven years. The assistant city attorney is behind a pilot program that will seize, store and eventually sell the car of someone that is convicted of a second DUI within seven years. Ross Reynolds gets an explanation of how the program got started. 

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