Twenty years ago, Danny Bland was a Seattle musician, porn shop clerk and heroin addict. These days, Bland is clean and sober. He road manages rock bands and writes in his free time. Bland's first novel, "In Case We Die" follows protagonist Charlie Hyatt, a character modeled on Bland's own life. Hyatt works the graveyard shift at a downtown porn emporium and spends his money on his next drug fix. Marcie Sillman talks with Danny Bland on what it was like to revisit his past through fiction.
It might seem that tools like Google Translate make the ability to speak different languages less valuable to employers. But Michael Erard, author of “Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners,” says that being bilingual or multilingual is still important.
All kinds of organizations from Starbucks to the World Health Organization seek out people who are proficient in multiple languages. Erard calls them the "staff hyperpolyglot." Marcie Sillman talks with Erard about multilingualism in the workplace.
Seattle cinephiles have known about director Lynn Shelton for years, starting with her 2004 film, "We Go Way Back" to her 2009 hit, "Humpday." Shelton's newest film, "Touchy Feely" is, at its heart, a story about love. And "Touchy Feely" is once again deeply entrenched in Shelton's home the Northwest. Marcie Sillman talks with the filmmaker about her latest project.
Master Algebra in 90 Minutes: KUOW's Ross Reynolds interviews Zoran Popović from the UW Center for Game Design
The University of Washington's Center for Game Science has an outrageous claim: By playing a computer game called DragonBox Adaptive for 90 minutes, 92 percent of first graders can master algebraic linear equations.
But that's not just an untested claim — it's the result of tests done in Washington state's public schools. Amazingly, that statistic also held for the few kindergarten classes that have tested the game. Most school districts don't introduce this material until middle school. Today, Ross Reynolds speaks with the Center for Game Science's director, Zoran Popović.
In 1993 Seattle was famous for Nirvana, the internet and Tom Hanks' insomnia. But two woman decided that the city was missing something, something they believed there was a need and market for — the city's first women-friendly sex shop. Co-owners Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning launched Babeland (originally Toys in Babeland) 20 years ago this month and Cavanah spoke with Ross Reynolds about the many ways the industry of selling 'sexcessories' has changed.
Author Nicole Hardy was a virgin until she was 36 years old. Hardy wanted to be a good Mormon, but eventually left the church. That journey is chronicled in her new book, "Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin: A Memoir". Ross Reynolds talks with Hardy about growing up in the church and leaving it behind.
We’ve all seen them: cute baby pictures in our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds. For many parents, it’s hard to resist the temptation to share just how adorable their kid looks in their first rain boots or winter hat. But some are saying parents should pause before hitting that "share" button. Marcie Sillman talks with Amy Webb about why she doesn’t post anything about her daughter online.
Author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang has spent years studying people, technology and how devices have invaded our lives. In his book, "The Distraction Addiction," he explains how overusing technology is "destroying our souls." Ross Reynolds talks with Pang about how people can be more mindful with their technology.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:28 am
Lots of us play with our food. But for photographer Christopher Boffoli, it's become a full-time career.
Boffoli rose to fame a couple of years ago. You may have seen some of his photographs — amusing dioramas featuring miniature plastic figurines in dramatic settings crafted from food — when they went viral back in 2011. More than 200 such images — at least half of which, Boffoli says, have not been previously published — are collected in a new book, Big Appetites.
Jamie Ford’s debut novel was a sensation: "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” was the story of a Chinese-American boy who falls for a Japanese-American girl. Unfortunately, their love affair was stymied by World War II and the girl’s internment in Minidoka, Idaho.
Ford follows his bestselling novel with another book that comes out of Asian-American history. “Songs of Willow Frost” is the story of a Chinese-American girl forced to give up her young son to an orphanage when the Depression hits. Ford says the book was inspired by his own family history. He spoke with Marcie Sillman today.
Seattle is a city full of icons. Visitors stop to gawk at the Space Needle. They marvel as Pike Place Market fishmongers blithely toss a fresh salmon to one another as the crowd cheers them on. And they trek to a dead end street in the Fremont neighborhood to pay homage to a homely gray cement sculpture.
This is the Fremont Troll, and he's been a hulking presence under Highway 99 for the past 23 years. Co-creator Steve Badanes, a University of Washington architecture professor, and two of his students submitted the idea for the troll in 1990. The Fremont Arts Council was holding a contest to create an artwork for this street end. A panel of judges would pick three finalists, then the public would vote at a booth at that year's Fremont Solstice Festival.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but how are you supposed to eat cake you don’t have? Language guru Ben Zimmer is back today and he explains the whole having, eating and not having cake thing. And what that has to do with how the Unabomber was captured. Really.
Jay Boone owns Emerald City Guitars in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. If Jimmy Paige or Keith Richards come through Seattle and are on the hunt for a new guitar to shred on, it is not out of the question to find them at Jay's guitar shop.
Ross Reynolds ventured down to Pioneer Square to talk to Jay Boone about the neighborhood he has been running his business from for the last 18 years.