life | KUOW News and Information

life

Facial recognition software has the potential to transform our surveillance ability: for better or for worse.
Flickr Photo/Sam Cox (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/S7S39Y

So you're walking down the street - probably not making eye contact with anyone, if you're from Seattle. But with Amazon's help, even if you're not looking at anyone, law enforcement might be looking at you.


Sara Rankin, director of Seattle University's Homeless Rights Advocacy Project.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

One big question people have asked in the conversation about homelessness and affordability is: can we trust the city to spend this money effectively?


Cartoonist and speaker Vishavjit Singh.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

After 9/11, Vishavjit Singh experienced an uptick in discrimination. "Al Qaeda," people hissed as he passed them on the street.

"Terrorist."

"Go back to your country."

Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

'If you can't explain the economy in a language young people can understand, you are clueless yourself.'

So says former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose book "Talking to My Daugher About the Economy" is a testament to his own mastery of the subject. 

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

It sometimes seems as if author Barbara Ehrenreich has seen it all and done it all. From “Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers” to “Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything,” the scope of her writing has been vast.

Scents and sensibility. Noses illustration.
Flickr Photo/7-3_resto-2 (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6DHoeH

Several weeks ago at KUOW, one of our colleagues placed anonymous notes in our work mailboxes. We used to have a scent-free policy, this person wrote. What would it take to bring that back?


Imani Sims is KUOW’s inaugural #NewsPoet – a program in which Pacific Northwest poets respond in verse to what the station airs. Below is an excerpt of her poem "Better than Captivity."


The DNA molecule is elegant, personal, and can give away a lot more secrets than it lets on.
Flickr Photo/Michał Kosmulski (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/BTfEMJ

The Golden State Killer’s arrest last week brought closure to victims and community members affected by a ten year spree of rapes and murder. The trail went cold in 1986, and it stayed that way until the FBI made a fake profile for the killer on a genealogy website. They used this to trace 500 partial matches, screen for 100 potential matches, and eventually narrow down to former police officer Joseph DeAngelo.

Rebecca Soffer and Gabi Birkner, cofounders of the Modern Loss website and coauthors of the eponymous book.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

How are you?

If you’ve lost a loved one, that may have conjured up memories of a heavy hand on your shoulder, a precisely angled head tilt, a Hallmark card with tulips in all white.

Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo.
Courtesy Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello

Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo’s career as a musician began at six years old, singing into the dark. 

But with her new cover of the Talking Heads’ classic album, she’s asking us all to "Remain in Light." She spoke to Bill Radke from Los Angeles to explain why she doesn’t believe in cultural appropriation – and why stupidity just might be the thing that connects us all.

Mary Ann Peters, "impossible monument (flotsam)" detail
Courtesy Mary Ann Peters

Last Saturday’s biological weapons attack in Syria set off yet another wave of involuntary migration. Lebanese-American artist Mary Ann Peters says that this water-based lingo isn’t an accident. 


The boom in Seattle's skyline has unintended consequences for the city's gender pay gap.
Flickr Photo/Michael (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/5GKvQy

April 11 was a rather unfortunate holiday: Equal Pay Day.

It's the day when a woman's salary catches up to what the average man earned in the previous calendar year. That amount of time is pretty reliably 15-16 months to a man's 12, and there are some surprising reasons for why the numbers have been so stubborn, says David Kroman in a piece for Crosscut.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, turning his back on the camera as we might wish to turn our backs on his network.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Du4fYm

#DeleteFacebook is trending right now… on Twitter. And that’s part of the problem, says Abby Ohlheiser. She reports on digital culture for the Washington Post, and says that while we wish we could kick our social network habits, the reality is much more complicated than it seems.

Coming out of the broom closet: Real life witches

Apr 5, 2018
KUOW PHOTO/Zuheera Ali

Are you a fan of "Harry Potter"? Or maybe Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Ever wonder if witchcraft actually involves a wand and broom?

Witch culture is everywhere, from 1990s sitcoms to Halloween costumes. Often, what’s left out of the equation is input from real witches.

We headed down to our local occult store, Edge of the Circle Books, to learn about actual witchcraft practices, cultural differences and witches' takes on media representation.


A woman walks past a large mural of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the side of a diner, painted by artist James Crespinel in the 1990's and later restored, along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered on a balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. Decades later, a motion passed in the King County Council to rename the county for King, rather than a slave owner from Alabama. 

Dr. Tara Westover, author of the new memoir "Educated," at the KUOW studios on April 2nd, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Your views on politics, your understanding of history, your personal identity: You feel pretty solid about them, right? But what if you didn't? 

Standard Oil depicted as an octopus, parodying its status as a monopoly.
Public Domain

In 1890, the Sherman Act was passed. Its purpose was to preserve a competitive marketplace against potential consumer abuses.

But the law isn't supposed to punish "innocent monopoly," or monopoly achieved by merit alone. So the question is: how innocent is Amazon’s monopoly? 

Handing over the keys to a new rental property.
Flickr Photo/harry b (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/xSNB92

If you’ve rented a new apartment in Seattle in the last year, chances are that you ran into the first-in-time law. It required landlords to rent to the first qualified applicant. When enacted, the law was touted as a first in the nation attempt to protect tenants’ rights. Landlords argued that it overrode their property rights – and yesterday, a judge agreed. 

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner displays a pen from the signing ceremony of Washington State's Equal Pay Opportunity Act.
KUOW Photo/Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong

Starbucks claims to have solved the thorny problem of pay equity. At least in their current workforce. At least in the US. And this isn’t a final announcement, just a milestone in an ongoing endeavor…

Closeup of a dictionary page.
Flickr Photo/Marcy Leigh (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Q34Sfh

"Moist."

Did you get a little grossed out reading that? If so, you're not alone. Moist is one of the most hated words in the American English language. But why do we have such strong feelings about an ostensibly neutral word?

Which world would you rather be flying in? (The Astrovision one, clearly.)
Astrovision promotional materials

"When this movie's over, the audience will be halfway across the country."

This is not because they'll have fled the scene. Instead, it's an introduction to Astrovision, American Airlines' 1960s answer to other airlines' dominant single screen. It allowed individual film choice and a view of the skies - with consequences that ranged from the dangerous to the absurd. 

A Sony Walkman, belonging to a fictional character named Alex, holds a cassette mix tape.
GeekWire Photo/Kurt Schlosser

Let this segment take you back — WAY back.

We’re in your high school computer class. It's the 1980s: Walkmans in backpacks, satin jackets in lockers, Apple IIe computers running BASIC. Where is this nostalgic wonderland, you ask? 

The Granite Curling Club in Seattle's Bitter Lake neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

The Winter Olympics are over — but there's good news for curling fans. You don't have to wait four years to enjoy more thrilling curling action.

The Granite Curling Club in Seattle's Bitter Lake neighborhood hosts league play and will teach you how to throw stones, sweep and score like the pros.  


Portland artist Haley Heynderickx just released a new album, "I Need to Start a Garden."
Alessandra Leimer

Emily Fox talks to Jerad Walker, Music Director of Oregon Public Broadcasting, about Portland artist Haley Heynderickx. Her new album, "I Need to Start a Garden," has just been released

Check back in on Fridays as KUOW profiles new music coming out of the Northwest. 

KUOW Photo/ Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke spoke with Dyer Oxley, co-host of the NW Nerd podcast, and TyTy, a Northwest cosplayer and the creator of Lead by Example Apparel, about what goes into the creation of costumes worn in cosplay.

Tinder date sign
Flickr Photo/Chris Goldberg (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ptjdAP

Deborah Wang talks to Susie Lee, the Seattle-based founder and CEO of the online dating app Siren, about the history of computer facilitated dating. 

Concussion study testing equipment.
Flickr Photo/University of the Fraser Valley (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/fpZHqf

Football verges on being an American religion. But instead of the saints being martyred, they're getting hit. Hard. And often. The ensuing concussions can cause severe mental deterioration, erratic behavior, and even suicide.

2018 Orcas Island 100 Miler race.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Northwesterners have a reputation for loving the outdoors and tirelessly lapping urban lakes. There are a few who push the "active lifestyle" to a cold, dark extreme.

Over a February weekend, 69 runners survived macerated feet, busted knees and mild hypothermia to finish a 100-mile trail run on Orcas Island in less than 36 hours.

Mortician Caitlin Doughty, with some tools of the trade.
Photo by Jeff Minton.

Let’s talk about death.

No, seriously. It’s time we all had a conversation with our loved ones about dying.

It was the summer of 2016, and M was worried her ex-husband was stalking her. She would get out of town and stay with friends. But, as she noted in court documents, her ex seemed to know exactly where she was and whom she visited — down to the time of day and street.

M started to change the way she drove — slowing down, driving in circles — in case a private investigator was following her. She didn't see one. Then she went online and learned about GPS trackers — small devices you can slip into a car to monitor where it goes 24/7. She looked for one and couldn't find any.

Pages