Arts & Life

Dinnertime With The Conversation

Aug 29, 2013
Julia Harrison

Mark Bittman On Food Politics And Julia Harrison On Sweets

Ross Reynolds talks with author Mark Bittman about food, health and politics and how they all intertwine. Also, Julia Harrison investigates the history and importance of sweets. She tells Ross about the role of sugary snacks in the Pacific Northwest.

Flickr Photo/Heath Alseike

Stephen Tobolowsky: From “Groudhog Day” To “Heroes”       

You might not recognize his name but you've seen Stephen Tobolowsky in countless Hollywood movies and television shows, from "Groundhog Day" to "Heroes." The character actor is also a popular storyteller, weaving tales for radio and podcast listeners on The Tobolowsky Files. Steve Scher talked with  Tobolowsky in 2011 live on stage at the Neptune Theater.  

Radio Retrospective: Making The First Sound Effects

It's often assumed that sound effects during radio's Golden Age were all made by a person, but that's a bit of a myth. Many were played from records to save time and space. Steve Scher talks with Producer Katy Sewall about how early sound effects were created and tips on making your own at home.

The History Of Guitars

Guitars are a powerful symbol. When lashed onto someone like Keith Richards or Jimi Hendrix, they epitomize hard-sounding, hard-living, loud rock. When plucked by a flamenco player, they can evoke sultry nights and romance. Where did the guitar come from, how has it evolved and are there any changes that we can expect to see in the future? Steve Scher talks with classical guitarist Steven Novacek; Ron Reed, instrument maker and manager of Dusty Strings Guitar Shop; Gene Nygaard, guitarist and maker of Zero Guitars; and Jay Boone, owner of Emerald City Guitars.

From Wikipedia.

In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, NPR will be airing special live coverage of the celebration starting at 11:00 a.m. PT in the nation’s Capitol.

Let's Go To The Movies!

Aug 28, 2013
Flickr Photo/m4tik

This hour on The Conversation, we leave radio for the big screen to talk to some of our favorite filmmakers. Grab some overpriced popcorn and candy and listen to interviews with the late Nora Ephron, director Guillermo del Toro, director Paul Verhoeven and film historian David Thompson.

Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest?

It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships.

But for kids whose disabilities keep them from using playgrounds, those opportunities can be lost.

Flickr Photo/Cathy Cole

Micky Dolenz On A Life In Show Biz

George Michael “Micky” Dolenz, Jr., is best known for his role in the television sitcom, “The Monkees.” He became the drummer and a lead vocalist for the band created for the show. But Micky Dolenz spent much of his life in the show biz. Back in 1993, Steve Scher talked with Micky Dolenz about his path to music and the many other projects Micky worked on over the years.

Annie Leibovitz On The Stories Behind Her Photos

Annie Leibovitz began taking photographs for Rolling Stone in 1970. By 1973, she was its chief photographer. In addition to magazine editorial work, Leibovitz has created successful advertising campaigns for American Express, Gap and the Milk Board, among others. Exhibitions of her work have appeared in museums and galleries all over the world. What are the stories behind Annie Leibovitz's iconic photos? Steve Scher talked with Annie Leibovitz in 2008 about what it’s like to photograph queens, presidents and the like.

Taylor Branch On Martin Luther King

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch has written a three-volume history of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, “America In The King Years.” Steve Scher talked with Taylor Branch in 2006 about King’s legacy, democracy and nonviolence.

Jet City Living: The Conversation On Seattle Culture

Aug 27, 2013
Flickr Photo/Lorena Cupcake and Darkain Multimedia

Being a Seattleite is a complex and oftentimes confusing experience. Does it require sitting in a coffee shop and staring out at the Space Needle on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Does it mean a uniform of flannel and REI gear? Or getting in your eco-friendly car to drive to your job at Microsoft? Or maybe it simply means you are not from Portland? This hour on The Conversation we talk about what it means to be a Seattleite.

SR 520 Floating Bridge Celebrates 50 Years

Aug 27, 2013
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

August 28, 1963 was a momentous day in American history, and it was also a pretty big day in Seattle. At the same time that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was giving his landmark “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, then-Washington governor Albert Rosellini was also addressing a crowd. But Rosellini was in the middle of Lake Washington, on a brand-new floating bridge that would eventually be known as State Route 520.

The College Kid

Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.

According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.

A storied research sub that explored and filmed the wreck of the Titanic is making an appearance in the Northwest. The deep-diving submarine "Alvin" is in Astoria this week while its support ship changes crews.

It's actually one of two well-known submersibles passing through the port town.

In addition to exploring the Titanic, the stubby three-person submarine Alvin has also found a lost H-bomb in the Mediterranean Sea and discovered dramatic hydrothermal vents. Alvin departs Astoria at the end of this week to begin sea trials to test out a $41 million upgrade.

Northwest apple growers are expecting a bumper crop this year and harvest is already beginning on some farms.

But growers are excited over an apple variety you can’t even get in stores yet.

Washington’s crop this year is going to be the second largest on record – at 4.8-billion pounds. Only last year's crop was larger.

Northwest apple expert Rebecca Lyons attributes that recent growth to newer much-denser plantings. But more and more farmers are turning toward premium, newer varieties to earn profits.

Flickr Photo/Lucina M

The Crow: A Common, Uncommon Bird

They’re big, noisy and everywhere. But crows are much more than cackling flocks. They recognize people, they mate for life and they pant like dogs when they’re hot. A commonly seen bird, maybe – but crows are not common in their abilities. Steve Scher talks with John M. Marzluff, professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, and Tony Angell, a freelance artist and writer about their collaborative book, “In the Company of Crows and Ravens” and the wonders of these mysterious birds.

Steve Earle Makes Protest Music With A 21st Century Twang

Musician Steve Earle was raised in Texas. Earle’s music isn’t afraid to take on politics, and it does so with a 21st century attitude. Steve Earle joined us in 2007.

Punk Rock Founder: Patti Smith

Two young twenty-somethings with no money and a lot of ambition moved to New York City. They wanted to be artists, but they weren't sure what kind. She was his muse. He was hers. She was Patti Smith. She went on to become one of the founders of punk rock. He was Robert Mapplethorpe. He became a famous photographer. He died of AIDS in 1989. Patti Smith tells the story of their 20-year relationship in her new book "Just Kids." Steve Scher talked with Patti Smith in 2010.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are better known for their verbal fights and occasional border clashes, but for the first time since 1976, they battled on a soccer field in Kabul.

Some 6,000 rabid Afghan fans cheered on their team, clad in red uniforms. There were horns, flags, and face paint. It looked like any soccer game in the world, except for all the riot police, snipers, and Blackhawk helicopters passing overhead periodically.

Ahmad Mirwais, a 27-year-old tailor, was one of those lucky enough to score a ticket.

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news with Joni Balter, Eli Sanders and Knute Berger. Steve Ballmer says he's stepping down. What lies ahead for Microsoft? Washington Ceasefire and Mayor Mike McGinn ask Seattle businesses to go gun-free. Will it work? Plus: arena backer Chris Hansen fesses up to an awkward political donation, state Republicans get ready to pick a new party chair and the debate over a $15-an-hour minimum wage picks up steam.

We talk about those stories and more with our panel of journalists. What stories were you following this week? What wasn’t covered enough? What’s your take on the news?

Flickr Photo/Piermario

Death is one of those subjects considered taboo in polite company. But recently a group of strangers gave up a sunny afternoon to meet in a Seattle coffee shop to talk about just that.

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