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RadioActive

Thick brows were not invented by your favorite Instagram star

Sep 21, 2017
KUOW PHOTO/ZEYTUN AHMED

What’s up with eyebrows?

Eyebrows take up such a small part of our bodies but hold a special place in our hearts. They also make up a multimillion dollar industry.

That shop owner you met at Pike Place Market? They've probably seen a ghost

Sep 6, 2017
Pike Place Market is notoriously, at least for people who work there, a hub of paranormal activity in Seattle. RadioActive's Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills decided to head down there to see for themselves.
FLICKR PHOTO/Joe Szilagyi (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/2xQ0kaK

Millions of people across the world believe in ghosts or have had a paranormal experience. RadioActive’s Diego Villarroel and Carlin Bills delve deep into the paranormal culture around Seattle in search of a story of their own.


Want to avoid war? Listen to my grandma’s story

Aug 30, 2017
Courtesy of Natalie Newcomb

Recently I was visiting my grandmother, Kazuko Nita, in Japan. 

Achan, as I call her, knows that I’m not good at cooking and that my knife skills are horrible, so she decided to teach me how to thinly slice cucumbers. It was very difficult to cut them thin and quickly, but as Achan says with everything, I need to do it over and over again, then I will get it.

Flickr photo / JoeinSouthernCA http://bit.ly/2wlFEJW

On the surface, the city of Seattle seems to celebrate diversity, but Seattle's Garfield High School tells a different story.

From the effects of historic housing discrimination, to the current academic tracking program that separates Advanced Placement from "regular" classes, and the drama department's production of a Latinx play with a non-Latinx cast, current and former students talk about how racism manifests at the school. 

KUOW Photo / Amina Ibrahim

The process of immigrating to the U.S. is complicated and getting harder all the time. Abdulai Yakubu immigrated from Ghana to go to Cornell University and ended up in Seattle. 

He has made it most of the way through the immigration process. Now he’s now wading through the questions of the U.S. Application for Naturalization.  Click or tap on the photos above to see his answers. 

Experimental musicians push the boundaries of music with agony and silence

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of Yiling Huang

What do you consider music? How about pieces using only one note, agonizing electronic sounds, or no music at all? Today, we challenge the constructs we have about what music should be by exploring the extremes of experimental music.

Lost in translation: growing up Latin-ish

Aug 2, 2017
KUOW photo/April Reyes

Radioactive’s Isabella Ortiz and Diego Villarroel discuss the complexities of ethnic and cultural identity, speaking from their own experiences as a part of the latinx community. Neither of them learned Spanish growing up, and they share how intimidating it can feel to discover their cultures as young adults.

Dr. Anisa Ibrahim with her two children
Courtesy of Anisa Ibrahim

My cousin Anisa Ibrahim is 30 years old. She’s funny, kind, and compassionate, and an amazing sister, mother, and doctor. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she came to America when she was 6 years old and has accomplished so much since then. 


The author (left) with her mother, Maria Espinoza, at the Womxn's March on Seattle in January 2017.
COURTESY OF MILLA ESPINOZA

When my mom, Maria Espinoza, came to the United States from Russia at age 13, it was toward the end of the Cold War, and some Americans were openly hostile to Russians. 


Emiliano with his girlfriend Trista
COURTESY OF EMILIANO ALÁRCON

It was a warm summer evening. I could feel the sun on my back. I was sitting at the edge of a highway bridge.

The sounds of cars rolled both behind and under me as I looked down at what looked like my own final resting place. 


Huyen-Tran Phung at a RadioActive event.
KUOW Photo

Before I went on this eye-opening journey, I was like any other teenager who thought they knew everything. Sometimes, we just don’t realize how much our environment shapes our beliefs. 


The author, right, with his teacher, Shawn Kamp.
Courtesy of Nate Martin

Sometimes it feels like we’re missing something in our lives. And sometimes we find what we’re looking for when we least expect it. Kind of like what happened to me.


On the first day of eighth grade, a boy walked up to me and asked if I had a bomb in my backpack.


Courtesy of Clayressa Borland

As I walked up to her house in Tacoma, Clayressa Borland met me with a tight hug. We hadn’t seen each other in two years, so we couldn’t stop smiling.

We met in a psychiatric hospital. 


Courtesy of Dylan Rae Metcalfe

Growing up, Dylan Rae Metcalfe could do whatever she wanted.  

“My mom let me do all kinds of sideways shit,” she said. “Like, if I wanted to smoke pot or drink or smoke cigarettes or have sex or whatever, my mom allowed it ‘as long as it's happening in the house.’ That was awesome to me.”


Arvie Lynn Cabral with her son Riley
Courtesy of Riley Collins

My mom and I are kind of the same person. Look at our muddy little eyes and how they crinkle when we smile. And our thick black hair, which we keep tied on top of our round heads. And our freckles, scattered on our wide cheeks.  


My mom knew she was going to lose her hair when she went to chemotherapy, so she got it cut and made into this wig.
Courtesy of Jad Vianu

My mom’s hair has always been a source of pride for her.

KUOW photos

Innovative ideas. Relentless reporting. Heart-tugging moments.

These are central elements in the KUOW stories that won critical acclaim this week, including five awards in the Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Courtesy of Maya Konz

When I was younger I was open about being adopted.

During show-and-tell in preschool, I shared moon cakes with my classmates to celebrate Chinese New Year. My parents were with me to explain to everyone that I was born in China and adopted at 10 months old.


My dad's Cinderella story: Finding love in Somalia

Sep 28, 2016
Courtesy of Zubeyda Ahmed

My dad's life story is kind of like Cinderella’s. 

My dad, Abdul-Basit Hassan, grew up without a mom, worked for an evil relative and found his princess in the least expected way. 


Surya Hendry

Meet Grace Zheng.

She's a 16-year-old volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium, where she chatters away to visitors about the scientific exhibits: "This is a jaw from a sixgill shark," she says, noting, "You can see how its teeth are serrated."


RadioActive producer Jad Vianu with his father Alec Vianu
Courtesy of Jad Vianu

When I was growing up, I always had a vague idea of where he had come from. But as I got older and was able to understand more, I realized that my dad's story was absolutely incredible.


Courtesy of Hanad Jama

Who are helpers? Often it's people who know how much it means to be helped.

Like my mother, Nimo Husien. She runs a daycare from our house for single mothers and immigrant families. Why? Because she was once a single mother and a refugee. It was hard for her, but now she wants to give back.


A pep talk from a recovering 'lazy' teen

Jun 20, 2016
Diana Nguyen used to be lazy. Then she got on a bike.
KUOW Photo/Melissa Takai

Meet Diana Nguyen. She's 17-years-old, she's a proud Asian-American, and she can't go anywhere without her best friend, Gertrude. Gertrude is the name of her bike.

Leija Farr, Seattle's new youth poet laureate, calls poetry a form of "self-healing."
KUOW photo/RadioActive staff

Seattleites love their poetry. The city is home to one of the nation's few poetry-only bookstores, Open Books, in the Wallingford neighborhood.

The Washington state poet laureate, Elizabeth Austen, is a Seattle resident. And the city recently decided to create a Seattle poet laureate position.

Krubel Amare shows off a head spin in the KUOW studio.
KUOW Photo / Sanda Htyte

When I’m break dancing, I feel free. That is the best feeling, when you don’t care what others think. You don’t care what you even think at that moment in time.

The League of Legends World Championship in 2012. In 2014, the World Championship attracted 27 million viewers.
Flickr Photo/Chris Yunker (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Click. Click. Clickclickclick. Click.

This is the sound of practice to Robert Chung. He’s moving a character around with a mouse, trying to kill minions for gold while avoiding his opponent.

He is part of a new generation of enthusiasts who play a new type of sport: competitive video gaming. Competitions are massive, filling up sports arenas and drawing millions more spectators online.  

Mack has lived on a houseboat in Seattle's Portage Bay since 1968.
KUOW Photo / Aubrey Gelpieryn

Around Mack's home, tulips are blooming and seagulls are flying. People kayak past his window.

Mack lives on a houseboat. Now 83, he has been floating on Seattle's Portage Bay since the Beatles released "Yellow Submarine."

Making Seattle Beats Since He Was 8 Years Old

Jun 1, 2015
Upendo Moore makes beats.
Courtesy of Upendo Moore

"Music is my life."

Upendo Moore finds it hard to go a day without wearing his headphones. He'll often put them on and make beats in class at Garfield High School, where he's a junior. 

Don't be fooled, though - Moore gets A's and B's. He is a very dedicated person, especially when it comes to music. "I wouldn't be able to live without it," he explained.

Welcome KUOW's Spring 2014 RadioActive Youth Producers

Mar 6, 2014
Leija Farr, Seattle's new youth poet laureate, calls poetry a form of "self-healing."
KUOW photo/RadioActive staff

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media is proud to offer our spring radio journalism workshop for youth ages 16-18. Six students will spend 11 weeks learning what it means to be a journalist. During that time, they'll gain the skills to create radio stories. Each of them will do all of the research, interviews, writing, voicing and editing to produce their own feature story for KUOW.org.

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