life | KUOW News and Information


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 80s: 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)/

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)/

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.

Courtesy of Rick Fienberg TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

2017 was a fun, rigorous, informative year for the producers, editor, and host of The Record. Here are some of the segments we couldn’t forget.

Rick Duchaine is the Seattle Seahawks' "Jersey Whisperer"
Courtesy of Seattle Seahawks/Corky Trewin

Rick Duchaine talks about chemistry – a lot.

But he’s not employed at some biotech company in South Lake Union, he’s speaking from the Seattle Seahawks’ Renton headquarters. And what he really means is detergent.

KeyArena in Seattle Center.
Flickr Photo/Doug Kerr (CC BY SA 2.0)/

Seattle is a step closer to getting a pro hockey team.

The National Hockey League has announced that they will consider a Seattle application for a professional hockey franchise.

From left, Kirubel Daniel, 8, Detective Denise "Cookie" Bouldin and Deeqo Abdullahi, 11, play a game of chess on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at the Rainier Beach Library in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin believes kids can succeed when they’re given a chance and the right tools. And for her, one of those tools is the game of chess.

For about 12 years now she’s been hosting a free drop-in chess club in South Seattle. 

Between last year's historic November supermoon and August's partial solar eclipse, a lunar event that's coming on Dec. 3 has taken a bit of a back seat. But 2017's first and only visible supermoon is nothing to sneeze at.

The term "supermoon" is popular vernacular. Its scientific name is perigee syzygy. University of Arizona professor Gurtina Besla says the phrase means two specific things in reference to the moon's placement and phase.

Douglas Ng'ang'a stands in the middle of the "slum library" he runs. Only he doesn't take credit for the 3,000 books housed in his childhood home in Nairobi's Mathare Valley.

"The books just showed up," he says.

Well, not exactly. His neighbors brought them.

Ng'ang'a funds the library by working as a driver. He started the collection with 200 of his own books. Members of the community spread the word through social media and pitched in.

In Kenya, the generosity that led to the library isn't an exception. has selected "complicit" as its word of the year for 2017, citing the term's renewed relevance in U.S. culture and politics — and noting that a refusal to be complicit has also been "a grounding force of 2017."

The website defines "complicit" as "choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity."

Astronaut Scott Kelly has been in orbit longer than any other person in history.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Astronaut Scott Kelly has been in orbit longer than any other person in history: more than 500 days in total. During that time, he stockpiled lots of interesting information and experiences, some of which are included in his book, “Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery.”

He has won the Scrabble national championship in the United Kingdom. Self-described as "the world's only scrabble consultant," he has penned or co-written a number of books on the game, including several authoritative reference works. And despite decades of high-level play, he showed few signs of slowing — maintaining a No.

A little girl looks over her father's shoulder at a smartphone.
Flickr Photo/Lynn Friedman (CC BY 2.0)/

How do old parenting dilemmas adapt to new technologies? Parents: when you’re raising kids in the technological age, how much wiggle room with screen time do you give them? How has your own tech use changed in response to what you want them to be doing? And … is it really tech time if everyone is playing with a sensor-enabled ball, but you’re all outside?

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When playwright Andrew Russell moved to Seattle in 2009, his mother came to visit. It was her first trip to the Pacific Northwest.

She told him something that he hasn’t forgotten: “Seattle is a great place to keep a secret.”

This week, an entire block in downtown Boise smells like leeks. That’s because descendants of immigrants from the Basque country are cooking mortzilla, a traditional blood sausage, for a weekend festival.

Deborah Bartlett, shown here in her kitchen with Ponch Hartley, cooks meals in her South Lake Union home so she's not tempted to patronize her neighborhod's pricey restaurants.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

What's it like to live a middle class lifestyle in Amazon's neighborhood?

Deborah Bartlett knows. She's a teacher. And like half the people in Seattle, she earned less than $50,000 last year. She works part time at a school near Amazon’s headquarters.

Amazon employees walk in front of a map highlighting 238 cities that submitted bids for Amazon's second headquarters in the lobby of the Day 1 building on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer


It’s been a little tense in Seattle since Amazon started shopping around for a new city to love.

Lindy West: 'I'm reclaiming the term witch hunt'

Oct 30, 2017
Author Lindy West lives in Seattle.
Photo by Jenny Jimenez /

Lindy West knows what she wants men to do next. And it doesn’t involve making shameful public confessions or warning about possible “witch hunts” against powerful men.

Courtesy of Morgen Schuler Photography

Ignite Seattle is a volunteer-powered event that started back in 2006. The concept is simple: Enlighten us, but make it quick! Puget Sounders of all stripes go on stage to share something that inspires them for five minutes.

A majority of whites say discrimination against them exists in America today, according to a poll released Tuesday from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

"If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it," said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, "and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you're white, you don't get it. If you're black, you get it."

Flickr Photo/Jennifer Finley

Jeannie Yandel wanted to know: Why would anyone want to scare themselves by watching horror movies? Isn’t there enough scary stuff in the real world right now?

She got answers from horror fans Amie Simon, the director of marketing at Smart House Creative and writer of the blog, I Love Splatter!, and Melanie McFarland, TV writer for Salon.

Tiffany Hicks places her hand on her newborn son Elijah as he sleeps on Sunday, September 3, 2017, in their room at Mary's Place in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tiffany Hicks rode a Greyhound bus for four and a half days to get to Seattle. Her brother had recently moved here and said there were jobs. 

Participants at UW Reads the Constitution 2017
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Twelve years ago the University of Washington Libraries staff started a tradition. They invited UW students, staff, and the general public to join them on a given day to read the U.S. Constitution.

Author Franklin Foer at The Elliott Bay Book Company
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

If you find yourself checking your phone — a lot — or feeling phantom vibrations, there’s a good reason. Big technology companies (Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook to name a few) want your attention. They want to know what you’re thinking about, what you’re doing, and what you’re likely to do next.