War is hard to describe. In his memoir, "Jarhead," Gulf War Marine Anthony Swofford writes, "This is not funny, the possibility of death, but like many combatants before us we laugh to obscure the tragedy of our cheap, squandered lives." Swofford and writers Dave Danelo and Michael Yon joined us in 2008 to discuss the challenges of war and the challenges of writing about it.
Back in 2002, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large asked his readers to share thoughts on what it’s like to be black in Seattle. In 2002, living patterns were shifting rapidly, and a few shootings put race on the public’s mind. Steve Scher talked with Large and listeners about what it was like to be black in Seattle.
Director Maggie Greenwald On Making “The Ballad of Little Jo”
Maggie Greenwald is an actress, director and screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for writing and directing “The Ballad of Little Jo,” a film based on the true story of a woman attempting to escape the stigma of having a child out of wedlock by living as a man. Marcie Sillman talked with Greenwald in 1993 about making “The Ballad of Little Jo.”
Sue Hubbell is the author of many books on entomology, including “A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them.” She wrote for The New Yorker, Smithsonian and Time. Steve Scher talked with Hubbell back in 1993 about the many reasons to appreciate bugs.
Bill Nye, forever dubbed The Science Guy, is an author, comedian, scientist and former television host. Though his Disney/PBS show, "Bill Nye The Science Guy," is long off air, his legacy as a science educator lives on. Many people can still remember this tune "Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!" Dave Beck talked with Nye in 1993, the first year his television show aired.
Flotsam With Curtis Ebbesmeyer: The Secret Life Of Ocean Debris
Oceans are full of many mysterious things, some of which make their way to shore. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks the debris that makes its way around the world. Steve Scher talked with Ebbesmeyer back in 2003 about the many objects — plastic ducks, glass balls, tires — that show up on our beaches and what that tells us about our oceans.
Steve Allen was an American television personality, musician, composer, comedian and writer. He was the first host of “The Tonight Show,” and one New York Times article dubbed him "The Father of All Talk-Show Hosts." Allen passed away in 2000. Steve Scher talked with Allen in 1993 about television, creativity and making people laugh.
As part of Weekday’s How-To series, Steve Scher sat down with two surgeons: Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, chairman of neurological surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Dr. Eric Froines, then-chief of general surgery at Capitol Hill Specialty Center Group Health Permanente. Scher asked what the life of a surgeon is like and what it feels like to repair human brains, and took a field trip to a live surgery.
In late 2002, the prospect of a war in Iraq was looming. British-Indian author and essayist Salman Rushdie sat down with Steve Scher. Rushdie discusses his concerns about the potential of a war in Iraq and his thoughts on terrorism.
Most of us have fond memories of our childhood friends, but what about our friends that weren’t real? Imaginary friends come in many shapes and sizes, and they often provide handy scapegoats. Steve Scher talked with Marjorie Taylor, professor and head of psychology at the University of Oregon and author of "Imaginary Companions." He also talked to Stephanie Carlson, professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, about where our imaginary friends come from and why they leave.
At the end of 2009, legendary Gourmet Magazine printed its last issue. Steve Scher talked with then-editor and author Ruth Reichl just four days before the announcement of the magazine’s end about how and what Americans are eating.
Robert Olen Butler On Vietnamese Expat Communities
Robert Olen Butler is the author of “A Good Scent from a Stranger Mountain,” a collection of short stories about Vietnamese expats. In his book, Butler recalls many stories from Vietnamese expats around the world and the often, as he deems them, temperamental dynamics of these communities. Steve Scher talked with Butler back in 1992.
In 2004, an 11-year-old girl in Redmond wrote a letter to Nordstrom complaining that the choice of clothing available to her was too revealing; midriff shirts, low-riding pants. Today many still worry about the revealing clothing options for young girls. KUOW’s Steve Scher talked with Dr. Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, and Laura Portolese Dias, an instructor of business administration now at Central Washington University, about where these trends come from and where to find modest clothing for children.
Frankie Avalon surfed in every beach party movie he made while Annette Funicello looked on lovingly. The movie "Blue Crush" profiled a bunch of girls who surfed competitively. Even Elvis surfed in one of his movies. But none of them surfed in the Pacific Northwest, which has the best swells in the world according to a study by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. The Pacific Northwest also has notoriously cold water, but that's not the worst of a surfer's worries compared to the strong currents and undertows. Marcie Sillman talked with Bobby Arzadon, owner and founder of the Perfect Wave Shop in Kirkland, and Eric Fleming, then middle school art teacher and longboard surfer, about surfin’ in the PNW.
Authors Terry Brooks and Greg Keyes have sold millions of copies of books. Both writers have legions of fans around the nation and the world, and both are part of a parallel universe of fantasy and science fiction: "Star Wars," "Star Trek," "The Lord of the Rings;" the list could go on and on. In 2004, Steve Scher talked with Brooks and Keyes about writing, working with George Lucas and the lasting allure of fantasy.
War is often remembered through history textbooks. Shortly before Veteran’s Day 2004, Weekday took a look at war through the eyes of soldiers and their families. Steve Scher talked with two Medal of Honor recipients: retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson and retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady.
Many of us have experienced "the wave" at a baseball game, and most of us have marveled at fish swimming in schools or starlings whirling around in the evening sky. In 2009, Steve Scher talked with Julia Parish, associate director of the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, about why animals move together.
In this past month, Washington state cut funding for the smoking cessation hotline. Humorist David Sedaris has a different approach to quit smoking. Instead of calling the hotline, Sedaris moved to Japan. His story "The Smoking Section" is just one of 17 essays in his book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames.” Steve Scher talked with David Sedaris back in 2008 about smoking and other tales.
Your Take On The News It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news. Our regular panel of journalists: Joni Balter, Knute Berger and Eli Sanders are in to talk about the news brewing inside the city and beyond. What stories caught your attention? What hasn’t been covered enough? What happened this week that made your blood boil? What’s your take on the news?
Weekend Weather Forecast Nick Bond joins us with a look at the weekend weather.
An Update From Egypt Tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets of Cairo today, following yesterday’s violent crackdown by the Egyptian military in which more than 600 people were killed. The protests come more than six weeks after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed by the military. We’ll get the very latest from journalist D. Parvaz. She’s covering the situation in Cairo for Al Jazeera English. Then Dr. Stephen Majeski, political science professor at the University of Washington, explains how President Obama’s foreign policy plan has been working in Egypt.
On the Job: Animal Eye Surgery Katy Sewall visits the Seattle Animal Eye Clinic to watch Dr. Thomas Sullivan perform a Vitreoretinal surgery on a miniature poodle.
A Visit To The Weekday Warehouse Steve Scher and Katy Sewall meet at the “Weekday Warehouse” to unearth some of the strange and wonderful interviews that were featured on Weekday.
Fed Reserve Chair This fall, President Obama will select a new chairman of the Federal Reserve to replace two-term Chairman Ben Bernanke. During a news conference on Friday, the president mentioned two candidates he’s considering: former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen, current vice-chairwoman of the Fed. Some critics are calling for the president to widen his search. Who else should be considered for the post? How big of an impact could the new Fed chairman have on the economy?
30 Years of Northwest Hip-Hop Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Blue Scholars and Shabazz Palaces. Forget grunge, Seattle’s got hip-hop. Hip-hop is as Northwest as The Wailers; as much a part of our cultural landscape as Nirvana, Soundgarden or Mudhoney. MC Geo of the Blue Scholars and Dr. Daudi Abe, author and professor at Seattle Central Community College, join us for a look back at the people, culture and industry that made three decades of local hip-hop music.
Radio Retrospective: The Alternate Lives of Sinister Hosts During radio’s Golden Age, mystery shows were often hosted by a “sinister” host. Characters like The Man in Black, The Whistler and The Mysterious Traveler. Who are the men behind these shadowy narrators, and what other roles did they play throughout their career?
Recommended Eating Food writer Sara Dickerman joins us with a lunch recommendation. Today she highlights Blind Pig Bistro. Prefer to cook for yourself? She also has a pick for a great cookbook.
Washington State Vaccination Rates During the 2008-2009 school year, Washington state kindergarteners were the least vaccinated in the United States. The opt-out rate of at least once vaccine was 7.6 percent. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, the opt-out rate has decreased to 4.6 percent. It’s a marked improvement for sure, but Washington state still has the seventh highest vaccination opt-out rate in the country. How have public health officials tackled this issue? Why is Washington state such a likely to place for parents to opt their kids out of vaccinations?
Art Of Our City Religious leaders often talk about the role of devotion in their work, but what about artists? Or just regular people? Seattle writer Rebecca Brown has invited a range of Seattle-area folks to contemplate devotion. The result is an exhibition at the Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. What does devotion mean in your life?
Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal Eight years ago the leadership changed hands at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Peter Boal came to Seattle to assume the role of PNB’s artistic director. The former New York City Ballet principal dancer was committed to PNB’s focus on the work of choreographer George Balanchine. But Boal has expanded PNB’s repertoire, bringing in much more new work and focusing on such choreographers as Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon, hot shots of contemporary dance making.
Pinball: History You Play! Everyone has played pinball, but do you remember that it was once banned? Producer Katy Sewall visits the Seattle Pinball Museum to find the stories behind the fun. Why was the “tilt” invented? What recurring themes show up year after year? How has the sound of pinball changed through the decades?
Les Layne from the Victoria Time Colonist brings us the latest news from Canada. Film critic Robert Horton joins us with a look at the movies. Then, Todd Bishop brings us the latest business and technology news.
Violence Erupts In Egypt Egyptian troops moved into Cairo to break up the anti-government protests today. The country has declared a state of emergency as violence escalates. Kristen Chick is the Cairo correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. She reports on the latest.
What's Moving Into The PacMed Building? Community college classroom space or view apartments? The public agency that owns the Pacific Medical Center atop Beacon Hill decided which one will occupy the art deco former military hospital on Tuesday night. The Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority looked at proposals from Seattle Central Community College and a Miami-based developer. We talk with PHPDA executive director Rosemary Aragon.
Re-Thinking Conservation For much of its existence The Nature Conservancy has bought acres upon acres of land to protect it from human development. Peter Kareiva, the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, believes a different philosophy is needed in order to deal with the “Age of Man.” He explains his conservation ideas and what a new study on climate change and nature can tell us about resilient environments.
Olympia And The Transportation Package When state lawmakers adjourned in June, they left a $10 billion transportation package on the table. Now, senate leaders have announced they’ll hold hearings in the fall on the state’s transportation priorities and how to pay for them. Everett Herald reporter and columnist Jerry Cornfield joins us with details.
Letters Written In Wartime Wartime letters capture a uniquely vivid history not found in text books. They place us in the author’s shoes. Take this quote from a letter written in 1941: “A man just brought us our gas masks. I don’t know why I’m writing this, because if we’re hit with a bomb they won’t find enough of me — let alone this letter. I imagine it’s to show myself that I can be calm under fire.” We experience history by reading the letters of those who lived it.
Greendays Gardening Panel Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert and vegetable gardening expert. They’re on hand to answer your gardening questions.
Metro Driver Safety Yesterday morning in downtown Seattle, a Metro bus driver was shot and wounded by a passenger. While assaults on Metro drivers have decreased overall since 2006, there were still 107 incidents last year. What is Metro doing to keep drivers safe? And what affect has ending the ride-free-zone downtown had on driver safety? Dow Constantine is the King County Executive. He joins us from the Ryerson Base in SODO.
Gay Rights In Russia According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, only 16 percent of Russians say homosexuality should be accepted by society. In another survey conducted a nonprofit Russian research center this spring, nearly 35 percent of Russians believe that homosexuality is a disease.
Recently, the Russian government has been legislating against gay rights. In June, the government passed a law that prohibits the distribution of so-called “homosexual propaganda” to minors. Protests are gaining momentum in the United States to dump Russian vodka and even boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. What are the historical and cultural factors that have influenced Russian attitudes toward homosexuality?
Interfaith Amigos Death is something we all need to grapple with. The Three Interfaith Amigos join us with a look at what religion has to say about mortality and the afterlife. They’ll also respond to the common accusation from the non-religious: That God is just a story to make people feel better about life and death.
The Weather And Hike Of The Week Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
Mapping King County’s Uninsured In 2011, more than 200,000 adults living in King County had no health insurance. Now officials are mapping where they live. Why? We talk with King County Public Health director, Dr. David Fleming.
Around The Water Cooler The sunny days are dwindling. Are you making the most of your summer? We hear attendance at Seafair was down this year. Did you go? Musicians Choklate Moore and John Roderick and The Stranger’s David Schmader join us around the Weekday water cooler to talk over these stories and more.