Ever since the ballad of John Henry, the man who raced against a steam drill to see which could lay railroad tracks the fastest, we've had a fascination with pitting humans against machines. People like Henry lost the battle long ago, at least when it comes to labor. Next, computers outwitted us in math and then chess. The arts have held out the longest. Surely a computer couldn't replicate the unmistakably human sound of a Stradivarius violin? Think again.
Tuition-Free Washington? Oregon’s Legislature has voted to commission a study that would explore the idea of “tuition-free” college. The “Pay It Forward” idea would allow students to attend college for free and then pay for their degree based on their salary post-graduation. It has been catching on with lawmakers around the country who are looking for solutions to the high interest rates on college loans. State Representative Larry Seaquist is considering a proposal for the next legislative session. He explains what it could mean for access to higher education in our state.
Scientific Review On Menthol Cigarettes Menthol cigarettes are easier to start and harder to quit. That’s the takeaway from a new scientific review from the Food and Drug Administration. Although the FDA didn’t find evidence that menthol cigarettes are more toxic than regular cigarettes, the evidence shows that smokers of menthols develop stronger addictions and have a tougher time quitting. We hear more about the public health risk of menthol cigarettes from Sarah Ross-Viles of Public Health Seattle-King County.
Singer-Songwriter Shelby Earl Singer-songwriter Shelby Earl has just released her second album “Swift Arrows.” She’s no stranger to the music industry, having spent 10 years working in it before she left her corporate job to write and record her own album. She stopped by Weekday to talk and play some tunes.
Weekend Weather Forecast State climatologist Nick Bond brings us a weather forecast for the weekend.
Understanding The Vitamin Myth There is often contradictory information about the health benefits of vitamins and supplements: take them, don’t take them, low vitamin D is tied to aging, Omega-3 might cause cancer. So how do doctors and nutritionists cipher through the different information to provide the best advice to patients? Dr. Calvin Kwan, clinical resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and Mary Purdy, a registered dietitian with Seattle Healing Arts Center, explain when vitamins are and are not effective.
Composer Lawrence Dillion The Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival wraps up its 32nd season of performances in Benaroya Hall this week. Since 2007 the Society has premiered new pieces of chamber music through the efforts of its commissioning club. Club members pool together money to support the creation of work by leading American composers. This year’s piece, by composer Lawrence Dillon, premiered at the summer festival in Seattle on July 8. The composition “Sanctuary” is a musical musing for piano, horn and strings on the many meanings of the word. Dillon earned a doctorate in composition from Juilliard in 1985. He was the youngest composer in the school’s history ever to do so. Dillon speaks with KUOW's Dave Beck and we'll hear recorded excerpts from the premiere of “Sanctuary.”
Greendays Gardening Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert, and vegetable gardening expert. They answer your gardening questions every Tuesday.
News From D.C. We preview the week ahead in Washington, D.C. with Jill Jackson, Capitol Hill Producer for CBS News.
Ann Powers On Music Festivals Here in the Northwest, fans of live music are a bit spoiled, especially if you’re a fan of festivals. There’s Sasquatch in the spring, Capitol Hill Block Party in the summer, and Bumbershoot over Labor Day weekend. And then there are the newcomers to the festival scene: Timber, City Arts and Doe Bay Fest, just to name a few. Nationally music festivals are on the rise as well and turning huge profits. What’s behind the rise of music festivals? Which ones are worth checking out this summer? Ann Powers is a critic and correspondent for NPR Music.
A Critical Decade For A Healthy Planet People have had it pretty good on planet earth for centuries, but the world is changing. Human activities are altering the planet we live on. What are the planet’s limits before it starts to collapse? Katy Sewall talks with photographer Mattias Klum and sustainability expert Johan Rockstrom.
The News From Space NBC News Digital science editor Alan Boyle discusses the latest news in physical and space science.
20th Anniversary Of The Band, Candlebox Seattle band Candlebox made its debut in 1993, in the golden age of alternative rock in the Northwest. Now, 20 years since their first album release Candlebox is once again touring and creating new music. Lead singer Kevin Martin explains what it was like to make music in the era of Seattle alternative rock and how their music has changed over the years.
You sang it in elementary school, summer camp or church, and you probably still remember the lyrics. Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” is arguably the most iconic American folk song, though history has glossed over the political messages hidden in some of the seldom-sung verses. Robert Santelli unravels the song in this talk recorded at the Elliott Bay Book Company on May 23, 2012.
On The Job: Bear Keeper Katy Sewall gets up close and personal with the grizzly bears at Woodland Park Zoo.
Lemolo Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox met while teaching kayaking during the summer in Poulsbo. A few years later they started the dream-pop band Lemolo and began opening for local group The Head And The Heart. In 2012 they self-released their debut album "Kaleidoscope" and have played Sasquatch, Bumbershoot, Neumos and the Showbox. They talk about their music and perform in studio.
President Obama Visits Africa President Obama is making his third and longest trip to Africa, his first visit since winning reelection. The president intends to “reinforce the US' commitment to expanding economic growth” in Africa. We talk with Witney Schneidman, nonresident fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative.
Art Of Our City: Dueling Queensrÿches Fans of the Seattle band Queensrÿche have a lot be psyched about this week: a brand new album and two live shows. Queensrÿche performed last night at The Crocodile, and they’ll perform again this Saturday night at The Moore. Problem is, it’s actually two different bands, both using the name Queensrÿche. Following a huge fight last summer, the band split in two. What’s going on here? Decibel Magazine editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian helps us sort it out.
Seattle Transgender Pride The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this week, paving the way for same-sex married couples to receive the same federal rights and protections afforded to heterosexuals. The ruling is celebrated within the LGBT community as a huge step towards equality. But for transgender people – the T in LGBT – discrimination and inequality is still a very real and pressing threat across the country.
What Is Your "Walking Into A Room" Theme? When you think of Darth Vader, you undoubtedly hear "The Imperial March" playing as he swoops in, black robes flowing behind him. His theme song is as distinct to him as his dark clothing and red light saber. It sets the mood of the room before he even enters it, and it tells you a lot about him and his personality, without having to say a word. So if a theme song played every time you walked into a room, what song would you choose? Tell us what your song is and why by leaving a message on our feedback line at 206.685.2526 or by emailing Weekday.
The New York Times and Slate Magazine journalist Jon Mooallem is the author of "Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America." Mooallem collaborated with the Portland-based band Black Prairie to create a soundtrack for the book. David Hyde talks to Mooallen about the ever-worsening fate of polar bears, and then Black Prairie provides the musical backdrop with a live, in-studio performance.
Sub Pop Records may have started small but the label has always made a big impression. Sup Pop, which began as a fanzine and evolved into a record label in the late 1980s, is considered the epicenter of the grunge movement. Megan Jasper, vice president at Sub Pop, gives Ross Reynolds a tour of the office.
There are a lot of songs about love but perhaps there are even more songs about loss and that raises a serious scientific question: Why are so many songs written about heartbreak and what happens to the brains of people who are experiencing a really bad break-up? Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher studies what happens in our brains when we are in love and when we are heart broken. She says that Tylenol is helpful but staring at pictures of your ex and listening to a sad song when your brain is essentially going through massive dopamine withdrawal, is not.
Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit first visited us in the KUOW studios just after we moved into our then new facility on University Avenue in 1999.
Public radio listeners and music lovers have followed Monheit's career for more than a decade now. She made a sensational debut recording shortly after graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in the late 1990s.
Science News: Understanding Scientific Data Earlier this year research conducted by epidemiologist Katherine Flegal suggested that people who are “overweight” might live longer than those who are considered “thin” or “obese.” Her paper angered many in the public health sector whose research has long suggested that extra weight hurts a person’s health. One in particular, Dr. Walter Willett, the head of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health, called Flegal’s study a “pile of rubbish.” Science writer Virginia Hughes explains the study and why it is being criticized.
Stone Gossard's New Album: "Moonlander" Ten weeks prior to its release date, Seattle musician Stone Gossard began releasing songs off his new album "Moonlander" one week at a time. It is his second solo album since 2001. In addition to his solo career, Gossard continues to make music with Pearl Jam. Gossard joins us to discuss music, his career and his new album.