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Strange Language
12:21 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

From Gravy To Drugs: Ben Zimmer On The Origin Of "Dope"

Flickr Photo/NCinDC

We’ve seen lots of sports scandals in the news over the years that have to do with performance-enhancing drugs, commonly referred to as doping. Dope, from the Dutch word doop, is actually a gravy or a sauce, so how did we go from gravy to drugs? Lexicographer Ben Zimmer gives KUOW's Ross Reynolds the straight dope on dope.

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Stories Of The End
6:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Conversation Faces The End

Producers David Hyde, Arwen Nicks and host Ross Reynolds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Michael Clinard

The World Is Not Ending! But What If It Was?

Some people believed the world would end on December 21, 2012, and they were completely wrong about that. David Hyde asked listeners how they would spend their last day on earth. Thankfully, the apocalypse did not come so we can bring you the best of listeners’ plans for their final hours on earth.

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Stadium Reopens
1:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Husky Stadium Has Long History Beyond Football

Husky Stadium viewed from Lake Washington
javacolleen Flickr

Early September means college football. And down along Montlake Boulevard, the University of Washington Huskies are getting ready to play in their remodeled and expanded stadium. Though most of the structure is new, there’s been a stadium on this same spot since 1920. And in nearly a century, it’s played host to a lot more than football games.

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Princess Culture
8:00 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

"Cinderella Ate My Daughter" With Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein's book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter."

Pink is no longer just a color for young girls — it’s a lifestyle. It celebrates girlhood, but more alarmingly, it fuses girlhood to an obsession with appearance, argues Peggy Orenstein.

Orenstein, an author and the mother of a young girl, was shocked by today’s “princess culture” that forces girls to value material objects and looking pretty over individuality. To research this phenomenon, Orenstein braved toddler beauty pageants, Disneyland and Miley Cyrus concerts, and her resulting book is a tough examination of the girlie-girl culture and its effect on young girls’ identities and futures.

Orenstein spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall on February 15, 2012.

March On Washington Anniversary
11:02 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Local Civil Rights Leader's Story Of Sitting Near Dr. King

Reverend Samuel McKinney ringing a bell in honor of the March on Washington's 50th anniversary.
KUOW Photo/Allie Ferguson

Local civil rights leader Reverend Samuel McKinney of Mt. Zion Baptist Church was in Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington in 1963. In fact, McKinney had one of the best seats in the house: right next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Guitar History
6:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Stephen Tobolowsky Live, Radio Retrospective And History Of Guitars

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.

Food
6:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Dinnertime With The Conversation

A sugar calavera, or skull, to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, from PW Kerr's in Seattle.
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.

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I Have A Dream
9:54 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Nation's Capitol Celebration: 50-Year Anniversary Of The March On Washington

Hundreds of thousands descended on Washington, D.C.'s, Lincoln Memorial August 28, 1963.
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.

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Movies
6:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Let's Go To The Movies!

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.

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Adaptive Playgrounds
9:17 am
Tue August 27, 2013

For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play

Brooklyn Fisher rolls down the ramp on the playground named for her in Pocatello, Idaho. The playground was built using accessible features so children of all abilities could play alongside each other.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:31 pm

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.

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Television
6:00 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Micky Dolenz, Annie Leibovitz And "America In The King Years"

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.

Seattle Culture
6:00 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Jet City Living: The Conversation On Seattle Culture

Portland's Lorena Cupcake vs Seattle's Psylocke (Brooke Clayton) ... need we say more?
Credit 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.

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World's Longest Floating Bridge
1:30 am
Tue August 27, 2013

SR 520 Floating Bridge Celebrates 50 Years

Construction of the SR 520 floating bridge.
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.

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Determining Poverty Line
9:16 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew is a home health aide supporting herself and her 17-year-old son.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:02 am

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.

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"Alvin" In Astoria
9:48 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Storied Research Subs Visit Northwest Coast

Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Upgraded minisub Alvin was loaded onto R/V Atlantis at the WHOI dock on May 13, 2013.

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 5:02 am

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.

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