arts & life | KUOW News and Information

arts & life

Iman Jamal Rahman's book "The Laughter of the Sufis."

Marcie Sillman talks to Imam Jamal Rahman, one of the three Interfaith Amigos, about his new book "Sacred Laughter Of The Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla's Comic Teaching Stories and Other Islamic Wisdom."

Rodney Crowell performs with the ease and swagger of a man comfortable in his ways. He carries his songs the way he carries his old guitar: out in the open, no case, almost as an extension of his body.

A rare birth defect is affecting more babies in Central Washington. After hosting a series of public hearings, regulators and health officials met Monday to talk about theirir next steps.

Since 2010, anencephaly, a rare and fatal birth defect, has shown up in Yakima, Benton, and Franklin counties at about 4 times the national average.

When babies are born are born with anencephaly their brains and skulls don’t form completely.

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But recently, one decision by Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare exploded into the public sphere.

The name John Anthony Brooks likely didn't ring a bell for many Americans before Monday.

But by minute 87 of the U.S. vs. Ghana game, John Brooks had become America's newest national hero.

She had three apartments on New York's Fifth Avenue, all filled with treasures worth millions, not to mention a mansion in Connecticut and a house in California. But the enigmatic heiress Huguette Clark lived her last 20 years in a plainly decorated hospital room — even though she wasn't sick.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Sharon Lerman, food policy advisor for the City of Seattle, about efforts to get healthy, fresh and affordable food in reach of all Seatttleites.

Flickr Photo/jonathan donavan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with Professor Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work and Family, about the importance of paternity leave for working fathers and their families.

African Americans And Native Speakers Keep Swahili Language Alive

Jun 13, 2014
KUOW Photo

RadioActive’s Leija Farr grew up celebrating Kwanzaa, the year-end celebration that started in 1966 as a way for African Americans to connect with their African heritage. The Swahili language is at the heart of the celebration. As Leija discovered, that language connects her with new immigrants from parts of Africa. Like Leija’s community, native speakers are grappling with how to keep the language going. Here’s Leija’s story, in her own words.

Sandra Tsing Loh's book "Madwoman in the Volvo."

We've all done it — that crazy RV trip to Burning Man. It leads to all sorts of problems. In hindsight, maybe not a great idea, but you make the best with what you've got, right? Well, perhaps, if you’re anything like our guest this week. Her trip proved to be the start of an arduous journey, but it makes for a great story. 

Sandra Tsing Loh’s new book is “The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones.” In it she takes on her experience of menopause.

Program Seeks To Help Men Be Good Fathers

Jun 13, 2014

Sunday is Father’s Day, and there are many men who are now fathers who did not have a dad when they were growing up — someone who might be a role model, and teach them right from wrong.

In Milwaukee, one organization is working to help dads strengthen their relationships with their kids, even after the family has broken apart.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Erin Toner of WUWM reports.

For Madison Stewart, Sharks Are Family

Jun 13, 2014

Madison Stewart is a woman on a mission — to save sharks. The 20-year-old Australian has been diving with them ever since she was a child.

“Nothing is more peaceful to me than being in the water with them. I spent more time of my childhood with them than I did with people,” she told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

The talk on the streets of Brazil is the host country's resounding victory over Croatia on the World Cup pitch. But online, debate is raging over whether or not chants directed against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the stadium where she was attending yesterday's match were sexist.

After the opening ceremony, fans briefly started jeering "Hey, Dilma, go f*** yourself in the a**! Hey, FIFA, go f*** yourself in the a**!"

Editors' Note: This post has been revised to clarify and correct reporting on the findings of the bike helmet study. The researchers looked at head injuries, not just brain injuries, so the descriptions have been changed to head injuries throughout. The lead researcher said in response to follow-up questions that the study was designed to look at the risk of head injuries as a proportion of all injuries related to bicycling, so the headline and descriptions of the work have been changed to reflect that distinction.

Seattle Symphony YouTube Video

Critics are squabbling over Seattle Symphony's latest program: teaming up with Sir Mix-A-Lot and some dancing women at Benaroya Hall in a performance of "Baby Got Back."

You don't associate orchestral music with liking big butts and not lying, but the video of the performance is a hit — more than two million views on YouTube so far. (Scroll down to watch the video.)

Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

photo by Ben Van Houten, courtesy SSO

Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky's career spanned most of the 20th century, but chances are you know him best for a piece of music he wrote when he was just starting out: "Rite of Spring."

Update at 4:31 p.m. ET

And Brazil does recover, with a goal from star Neymar a few minutes later.

Update at 4:28 p.m. ET

The beautiful game is not so beautiful for Brazil in the early moments of the game: Croatia is ahead 1-0 after an own goal by the home team. It's early, though. Plenty of time for Brazil to recover.

[A tweet from NPR's Russell Lewis in Sao Paulo.]

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET

Flickr Photo/Jeff Werner (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with University of Maryland doctoral student and National Science Foundation research fellow Jesse Harrington about a new report analyzing the "tightness" and "looseness" of American states in regards to social norms such as sneezing and talking in public places.

How Karate Helped Local Sensei Escape Abuse

Jun 11, 2014
Courtesy of Joni Sharrah

Joni Sharrah runs a dojo in Shoreline, north of Seattle. A teacher for 30 years, she knows that karate transcends punching and kicking. That's because experience has taught her that karate can save a person’s life – physically and emotionally.

Joe Cicippio was held hostage by the Islamic group Hezbollah in Lebanon for five years, often chained to a radiator in a room with blacked-out windows, cut off entirely from the outside world. Within weeks of his release in 1991, he asked if he could go back to his old job as the comptroller at the American University of Beirut.

Alex Tizon's book "Big Little Man."

Marcie Sillman talks to journalist and author Alex Tizon about his memoir about coming of age as an Asian-American in Seattle and his search for self.

Flowers at a memorial for the 2014 Seattle Pacific University shooting.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Marcie Sillman talks with Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox about crime data and why we are so quick to search for a trend in the midst of tragedy.

How The Media Can Help Prevent Mass Shootings

Jun 10, 2014
Flickr Photo/Travis S.

Forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz worries the media has encouraged copycats of mass shootings. Recently, there have been two college shootings in as many weeks.

“The longer we continue the coverage, the more colorful, emotionally-arousing and biographical about the shooter that coverage is, the more imitators we’ll attract,” Dietz told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman on The Record. Sillman spoke with Dietz on Friday, the day after a shooting at Seattle Pacific University left one dead and three wounded.

Poet Christine Deavel
Rebecca Hoogs

Poet Christine Deavel trains her empathetic eye on two familiar places: North Seattle's Thornton Creek ("In Your Care") and the grocery store checkout line ("Each Day on the Verge").  

As she transforms these places through unexpected language and imagery, she also holds open questions about what it means to be whole, to be a neighbor, to be in one another's care. 

David Sax' book "Tastemakers."

Marcie Sillman talks with food writer David Sax about the evolution of food trends in North America. Sax has written the book, "The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue," which answers such questions as: Why are kale salads on every restaurant menu? And why has bacon moved from a breakfast item to become part of every meal, even dessert?

Knowing your medical history and where your parents are from are things you might take for granted – unless you are adopted.

Marcie Sillman talks to Greg Crane, president and founder of ALICE: Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate. He explains what he believes are the best practices are for responding to an active shooting situation.

Flickr Photo/Senate Democrats (CC-BY-NC-ND)

This week on Speakers Forum, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tells the story of her life and her vision of a progressive America. Warren is known as an advocate for consumer protection. She was largely responsible for the hard-won establishment of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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