Scientists and crew prepping the Healy for a voyage to the North Pole
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The Shell Oil rig that left Elliott Bay last week isn't the only big vessel heading to the Arctic from Seattle. A Coast Guard icebreaker heads to Alaska on Wednesday. The Seattle-based ship will help a multinational team of scientists explore pollution at the North Pole.

Climate change has fueled competition at the top of the world, where shipping and resource extraction are becoming feasible for the first time. With a tiny fleet of icebreakers (the Coast Guard has just two in operation), the U.S. lags behind other nations. At last count, Russia has 41 icebreakers.

KUOW's John Ryan reports.

How to save rhinos? By turning their dung into paper.

Mar 18, 2015
<a href="">Chirodeep Chaudhuri</a>

In a small factory in the northeastern India, a strange type of swill churns in a vat. Bits of chopped-up old hosiery swirl around in almost 200 gallons of water while, at six-second intervals, 72-year-old Mahesh Bora adds fists full of rhino dung.

Yes, you read that right.

Bora is making paper. The rhino dung adds fiber to the paper, and Bora says the whole enterprise will help save the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros.

Across the world, a child's survival is a lot like drawing a lottery ticket. Factors based purely on chance — where a child is born, how much money his or her family has and what their ethnic background is — can determine if a child lives past age 5.

Courtesy of Deepali

Living with mental illness is never easy, no matter where in the world you live. But it can be particularly hard in India, and even more so if you’re a woman.

For Deepali, a 46-year-old yoga teacher in New Delhi, the problems began about 10 or 12 years ago. “There were financial troubles, there were definite marital troubles,” she says.

'Papa, you are brown, and I am white'

Dec 26, 2014
Courtesy of Deepak Singh

I'm the father of a 5-year-old girl whose skin color is several shades lighter than my own.

Her eyes aren't black like mine; they're an icy blue. She has blond streaks in her hair. And most people say she doesn't look like me — though my mother thinks she does. Like most Indians who value light skin, my mother worries my daughter might turn dark if she plays in the sun too long.

Courtesy Shana Greene

Jeannie Yandel talks with Village Volunteers founder Shana Greene about creating biodegradable sanitary pads out of water hyacinth for women who don't have reliable access to menstrual supplies.

AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

David Hyde interviews former Washingtonian, diplomat and scholar Haroon Ullah about the recent election of  Narendra Modi to be the next prime minister of India.

It's indestructible. It's fungible. It's beautiful. And for Indians, gold – whether it's 18-, 22- or 24-carat — is semi-sacred.

The late distinguished Indian economist I.G. Patel observed, "In prosperity as in the hour of need, the thoughts of most Indians turn to gold."

No marriage takes place without gold ornaments presented to the bride. Even the poorest Indian outfits girls in the family with a simple nose ring of gold.

Courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft is celebrating a new leader: Satya Nadella is the company's third chief executive. Nadella likes cricket, and he quoted Oscar Wilde in his email to employees Tuesday. And for Seattle's Indian community, his appointment to the top job means a lot.

A Burned Baby: The Night That Changed Sister Kurien's Mission

Jan 15, 2014
From Maher's Facebook page.

Gaus Said was 6 and working as a mechanic in India when a social worker spotted him and connected him with Sister Lucy Kurien.

“Didi told me, 'You want to go to school?'” he said, using the affectionate name for an older sister in India. “And I was very happy. And I came to Maher. Didi took me with her that night.” Fourteen years later, Said said that night changed his life.

A reporter visits a pre-Diwali festival in Silicon Valley to explore the influence of Indian culture on the language used in high tech start ups.