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Master David F. Leong Dragon & Lion Group members perform during the Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in the Chinatown-International District in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Large crowds gathered in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District on Sunday to welcome the year of the dog during the Lunar New Year celebration. 

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Seattle-based writer Ijeoma Oluo has been widely recognized for some time now as a person who speaks sometimes uncomfortable truths about racism in America. That recognition reached a crescendo in recent days with the release of her first book, “So You Want to Talk About Race.”

Author Ijeoma Oluo.
Photo by Nikki Closser, with permission of the author.

So, you want to talk about race.

But... do you? Reallllly? 

For most people, the real answer is no. 

Flickr Photo/Alex Holzknecht (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8E7xgJ

Seattle was recently named the most "hygge" city in the United States. Hygge is a way of life that has been imported from Denmark. It essentially means coziness.

To combat the long, dark nights of winter, a hygge practice would include lighting your fireplace, filling a room with candles, reading cuddled up in a blanket, spending time with friends, drinking lots of wine and eating lots of cake.

Aziz Ansari seen at Netflix original series "Master of None" ATAS panel at the Wolf Theater at Saban Media Center on Monday, June 05, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.
(Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images)

Recent allegations against actor Aziz Ansari have launched a thousand thinkpieces. Depending on your point of view, this is either a death knell to the #metoo movement or just another link in patriarchy's mighty armor.

When local author Katie Anthony first heard the story, her kneejerk reaction was, "Really? That's just a bad date — we've all been on them." 

It's tricky to nail down exactly what makes someone feel like a "racial impostor." For one Code Switch follower, it's the feeling she gets from whipping out "broken but strangely colloquial Arabic" in front of other Middle Easterners.

For another — a white-passing, Native American woman — it's being treated like "just another tourist" when she shows up at powwows. And one woman described watching her white, black and Korean-American toddler bump along to the new Kendrick and wondering, "Is this allowed?"

The audio link above includes an excerpt of Terry Gross' 1989 conversation with Sue Grafton.

I think the last time I reviewed one of Sue Grafton's novels was in 2009. I wrote that U is for Undertow was so good, "it makes me wish there were more than 26 letters at her disposal." Now, of course, that line falls flat.

Forget losing weight. How about a more achievable New Year's resolution, like cutting back on swearing?

People curse for a variety of reasons, including social: they want to fit in, or seem cool or accessible. "But largely, people curse for emotional reasons, when we experience strong transcient emotions: anger, fear, surprise, elation, arousal," said Benjamin Bergen, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego.

New results from an NPR survey show that large numbers of Asian-Americans experience and perceive discrimination in many areas of their daily lives. This happens despite their having average incomes that outpace other racial, ethnic and identity groups.

Keiko Green reads 'the garden at higo' at Ampersand Live
Courtesy of Forterra/Jen Au

Once a year Ampersand magazine hosts an evening of storytelling, poetry and performance that reflects upon the unique nature of life in the Northwest. The magazine comes under the umbrella of Forterra, an organization committed to making our lives here sustainable.

Courtesy of Penquin Press

Author and political commentator Lawrence O’Donnell was a teenager in 1968. He recalls the time in some detail. He was coming of age as someone drawn to politics and directly affected by the Vietnam War.

The Mystery And The Magic Of Giving Thanks

Nov 22, 2017

This Thanksgiving I will be thinking about turkey, of course.

But also about chickens and roosters.

I now live in the United States, but I grew up in Ghana, where there is no national holiday of Thanksgiving. But giving thanks is a very important part of my culture.

For the past almost-50 years, I've been sharing an old family Thanksgiving recipe with NPR listeners. Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish comes from my late mother-in-law Marjorie Stamberg, who served it in Allentown, Pa., when I was brought there to be inspected by my future in-laws.

Courtesy of Northeastern University-Seattle

The name Bill Ayers rings a bell for people of a certain age. He is one of the icons of '60s and '70s counterculture and anti-Vietnam War movements. As a young man he became a founder of the notorious leftist radical organization The Weather Underground.

One of the group's goals was to overthrow the U.S. government. They orchestrated a string of bombings of public offices. In 1970, three members were killed when a bomb they were building exploded. Ayers became a fugitive for a time after that incident.

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Comic books are more popular now than they’ve ever been. Sales have been on the rise for years and keep climbing. They are also experiencing growth in diversity. One indication is the character Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel.

Khan is a Pakistani-American teenager, a shapeshifter and a Muslim. One of her primary creators is the Seattle-based author Willow Wilson. (The G is silent.)

Courtesy of Julian Johnson

Author Amy Tan is known for her portrayals of Chinese and Chinese-American lives, especially mother-daughter bonds. Her relationship with her own mother Daisy was fraught to say the least, but it also inspired her writing.

Model airplanes are stored at the Boeing Historical Archives on Friday, September 15, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Jeannie Yandel talks with Marcie Sillman about Bill Boeing, Nellie Cornish and other innovators who had a lasting impact on Seattle. 

KUOW's new project City of Dreams explores the key figures who shaped the Puget Sound region and highlights the work of today's innovators who are shaping the future.

Call it a comeback. After years of absence from the spotlight, Eminem returned to relevance last night with a fierce lyrical condemnation of President Trump.

It's not often you'll find these 24 names in the same place. They are historians and musicians, computer scientists and social activists, writers and architects. But whatever it may read on their business cards (if they've even got business cards), they now all have a single title in common: 2017 MacArthur Fellow.

'Weird' food? More like weirdly good food!

Aug 15, 2017
KUOW photo

Food can be such a mystery to young and old. RadioActive's Abay Estifanos and Jessie Nguyen lead their audience through the unknowns of food, and discuss how it relates to who we are as people.

Lost in translation: growing up Latin-ish

Aug 2, 2017
KUOW photo/April Reyes

Radioactive’s Isabella Ortiz and Diego Villarroel discuss the complexities of ethnic and cultural identity, speaking from their own experiences as a part of the latinx community. Neither of them learned Spanish growing up, and they share how intimidating it can feel to discover their cultures as young adults.

Reusing (@AndreaReusing) is the James Beard award-winning chef at Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Novel and thrilling in earlier days, today's farm-to-table restaurant menus have scaled new heights of supposed transparency. The specificity can be weirdly opaque, much like an actual menu item that recently made the rounds: Quail Egg Coated in the Ashes of Dried Sheep's S***. Farm-to-table fatigue is most evident in those of us who cook in farm-to-table restaurants — Even We Are Sick of Us.

What local chefs think about food appropriation

Jun 27, 2017
Chefs Edouardo Jordan and Rachel Yang
KUOW Photo/Shane Mehling

Bill Radke speaks with Edouardo Jordan and Rachel Yang, chefs and Seattle restaurant owners. In light of two Portland women shutting down a burrito cart after being accused of food appropriation, Jordan and Yang discuss how they view culture and the sanctity of food. They also explain how they have been inspired by other cultures to create their signature dishes. 

Barbie's one-time blue-eyed boyfriend is getting a makeover. Toymaker Mattel is giving its Ken doll a variety of new looks in hopes the makeovers will move the toys into the modern era.

On Tuesday, the company rolled out 15 new Ken dolls with three body types: "slim, broad and original." They have seven skin tones, nine hairstyles — including cornrows and "man buns" — and an array of sartorial styles from business casual to athletic-chic.

President Trump has often accused the news media of not covering terrorist attacks adequately. In a speech in February he said, "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino [...] It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported."

Editor's Note: This piece contains language that some may find offensive.

It's Flag Day! On this week's podcast, we explore the ways that communities of color in the United States relate to the Stars and Stripes.

And we thought it worth a few moments to celebrate a flag created nearly a century ago for black Americans.

On the first day of eighth grade, a boy walked up to me and asked if I had a bomb in my backpack.


Twitter War vets Lindy West and Scaachi Koul at SPL
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Scaachi Koul, a Toronto-based writer, didn’t hold back when speaking in Seattle recently.

For starters, she thinks all non-savory pies are gross — especially America’s beloved apple pie.

“Hot stewed fruit? Bad. Bad. I don’t get it,” Koul said.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET

Denis Johnson, the author behind the seminal collection Jesus' Son, has died at the age of 67. A protean stylist who made a career of defying readers' expectations, he crafted fiction, poetry and reportage that was often as unsparing as it was unconventional.

As I hurry home battling the rush hour traffic in the evening, I see a queue in front of the gates of the local mosque. Men in white skull caps, women clad in saris and burkas, young children with school bags on their backs — all are waiting with containers in their hands for a share of the nombu kanji. Mosques in the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala distribute the kanji, a lightly spiced rice and lentil porridge, before the sunset prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan, which starts Friday evening.

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