life | KUOW News and Information

life

Sail Like a Girl heads off into the sunset.
Photo by Katrina Zoë Norbom.

It's an 1,110 mile drive from Port Townsend up to Ketchikan, Alaska. There's a way to shave 350 miles off the trip, but there's a catch. You have to sail.

Last week, a Puget Sound-area team called Sail Like a Girl won Race to Alaska, the 750-mile adventure race where the only constraint is that vessels must be human-propelled. Some teams opted for rowboats. Others even recruited standup paddleboards.

Academic researchers will soon have access to a vast amount of Facebook's user data.
Flickr Photo/Andrew Feinberg (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4xvBtj

Facebook is sharing its user data with an external research group, which will mine it for details about how people use the site.

Sound familiar?


Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not here for your interrupting nonsense.
Flickr Photo/Stanford Law (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/fYkEXZ

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known for her fiery written dissents. But she might have honed that talent, in part, because she couldn't get a word in edgewise.


Single use plastic straws are optional to many, but can be critical for people with certain disabilities.
Flickr Photo/Horia Varlan (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7vEzW1

Seattle's straw ban has coincided with hometown coffee chain Starbucks' decision to phase out all single-use plastic straws by 2020. The new sippy cup-esque lid is recyclable - but what it's not is accessible to folks with disabilities who rely on single use plastic straws.


A clutch of barnacles waits to allure you this summer.
Flickr Photo/NOAA Photo Library (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/fUQNZx

Welcome to the beginning of Seattle summer! Don't worry if you didn't make trail and camping reservations months ago - Seattle has a lot to offer procrastinators.


Terrance Hayes.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

"In a second I'll tell you how little writing rescues." That promise, from the opening poem of Terrance Hayes' "American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin", is only partially kept. 

The poems in the book are in constant motion. They shuttle back and forth between Emmett Till and Maxine Waters, slavery and hip hop, the nation's future and the past it can't bear to look at. 

Mintwab Zemeadim, Rohena Khan, and Kamari Bright.
KUOW Photo/Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong

Now more than ever, many people's relationship with America is... complicated.

Three Seattle artists want to hear more about your relationship status with America. How would you describe it to your friends? (How do you describe it to yourself?)

One of these sustainable straws might be in your future.
KUOW Photo/Brie Ripley

Nothing is more satisfying than the sweet sound of a straw - a pointy, plastic straw - piercing the seal on a tall cup of bubble tea. But after this weekend, that sound might be harder to come by. Seattle's ban on single use plastics goes into effect on July 1st.

Why the prohibition? How will it be implemented? And most importantly: what about the tea?? Kevin Kelly, general manager of Recology Cleanscapes in Georgetown, came by to help Bill Radke and producer Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong cope with change.

I don't know anyone who looks like me.

I used to stare at family photos and search my parents' faces for any hint of resemblance to mine.

But there is none. I'm adopted, and my white American parents with their German-English-Scottish-Irish ancestry do not have my almond-shaped brown eyes, high cheekbones, dark brown silky hair or typical flat, round Filipino nose.

Ichiro Suzuki, special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, donned a Bobby Valentine-style disguise and sneaked into the Seattle dugout to watch a bit of the action at Yankee Stadium.
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Ichiro Suzuki, the Carmen Sandiego of the Mariners, was spotted last week in the Seattle dugout serving a Super Mario Bros. inspired lewk. Fooling no one, the disguise raised more questions than it answered.


Flickr Photo/SP8254 (CC BY-NC-ND)

In light of this month’s finding in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, Supreme Court watchers anticipated a similar decision in the case of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland.

That expectation was dashed, as the court declined to rule on the case. Instead, they sent it back to the Washington State Supreme Court to reconsider.

Flickr Photo/Howard Ignatius (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/nZ4Mz1

In honor of the summer solstice, we asked listeners about their favorite summer songs. You came through with the nostalgic, the playful, and some truly excellent 80s throwbacks. 


Hydroplane racer and stunt pilot Mira Slovak drives the Miss Bardahl.
Flickr Photo/Insomnia Cured Here (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/3aZ9C1

"In America, freedom is like air," said Czech daredevil Mira Slovak. That air was his element - he used it for work, for play, and to make his escape across the Iron Curtain to freedom.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Trump administration officials recently retreated on a policy to separate families at the border. Some have blamed past administrations for the stories of chaotic separations and traumatized children; others have pointed to Congress. And then one official claimed divine authority on the matter.


Cartoonist Ellen Forney.
Photo by Jacob Peter Fennell.

When cartoonist Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the 90s, she knew she wanted to use her art to make sense of her new reality.

This resulted in a graphic memoir called "Marbles" that told the story of her experience and linked it to other creators. Her new book, "Rock Steady", offers advice gleaned from the lessons she's learned along the way.

Ben Zimmerman lives in a suburb of Chicago. Like a lot of 9-year-olds, he's fond of YouTube, Roblox, and Minecraft.

And, like a lot of parents, his mom and dad wanted to make sure Ben wasn't spending too much time on those activities. They tried to use Google's "Family Link" parental control software to limit screen time for Ben and his older sister, Claudia.

The starting gun fires bright and early Thursday morning for the fourth annual running of the maritime Race to Alaska. The 750-mile adventure marathon has been compared to the Iditarod but with a chance of drowning, being run down by a freighter, or getting eaten by a grizzly bear.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, with a united bid from North America winning the right to host soccer's showcase event, the sport's world governing body decided on Wednesday.

Clara Berg, Dana Landon, and Andrew Hoge.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Here we are in balmy June-uary, still clad in waterproof — and arguably unstylish — garb. With our tendency to dress like a "hiking emergency" could break out at any moment (as one listener put it): Is Seattle a fashionable city?

Wellll... it depends on how you define fashionable, said our panel. But Seattle does have something special that's all its own. 

Three generations of Garbes women: Angela, Josie, and baby Ligaya.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Seattle writer Angela Garbes first became a mom, she wrote a piece on breastfeeding that went viral. It remains the most-read article The Stranger has ever published. The hunger for knowledge behind that response was part of what fueled Garbes to write the new book "Like a Mother." She joined Bill Radke in the studio to discuss it, along with her mom Josie Garbes and three-month-old daughter Ligaya.

Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi and Gyasi Ross.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

You know the drainage pipes you sometimes see sticking out from underneath a road? They're called culverts. And they're creating a division between Washington tribes and state attorney general Bob Ferguson. The sovereign nations claim that Ferguson is failing to uphold their treaty rights; in response, he's escalated the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Arguably, these eyebrows are on fleek.
Public Domain

We all have those words. The ones you hesitate to say because you've only ever seen them written (which have a large overlap with the ones you realize you've been using wrong for your entire life). Where do you go to be enlightened? To the dictionary, of course.

Merriam-Webster editor-in-chief Peter Sokolowski says the data from those lookups can move words onto a list of ones to watch - a status recently achieved by "thirst trap." 

New biometric technology will match your face with your passport photo at airport customs. Is this a cause for celebration or concern?
Flickr Photo/Kat (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/6gTcVm

Assumptions about which passport line you belong in, the president's so-called Muslim ban, "random" screening that seems to target certain populations - airports are increasingly a frontier of ethnic and religious bias. Could we bypass some of those problems by taking the human element out of screening?

In the wake of outrage over the April arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store, Starbucks has closed 8,000 US stores for racial bias training.
Flickr Photo/Iain Farrell (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/dVJijp

If you went in search of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, you may have come up empty-handed. Across the nation, Starbucks stores closed for a 4 hour training session on racial bias. 


Filmmaker, photographer, and King County Metro Transit bus driver Nathan Vass.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Nathan Vass is an 11-year veteran of King County Metro Transit - no small feat at 32. Even more impressive is his ability to stay engaged and delighted by his job over all those years. He's been called 'the only happy bus driver in Seattle', which he's quick to dispute on behalf of other equally cheerful colleagues. But he's pretty stoked to be here.


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.

Pages