KUOW Presents

No longer on air.
Joshua McNichols

KUOW Presents connects listeners to a diversity of stories and perspectives from around the Pacific Northwest and around the world on topics that matter to our daily lives.

To find stories by KUOW Presents older than October 15, 2012, go to www2.kuow.org and select "KUOW Presents" from the show dropdown menu in the search function.

Composer ID: 
5182a71ae1c89ec2617cc332|5182a70fe1c89ec2617cc30a

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Books
2:00 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle Artist Ellen Forney Finds Balance In New Graphic Memoir

Excerpt from "Marbles" by Ellen Forney.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Ellen Forney. Reprinted by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

When Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago, her first concern was for her creative future. The award-winning cartoonist prided herself on the artwork and stories she'd come up with during periods she described as manic. Right after her diagnosis, Forney was reluctant to try the drug treatments her psychiatrist prescribed for her. Would she lose her creative edge on lithium? But after a serious period of depression, Forney set out on the ongoing journey to achieve and maintain a state of mental balance.

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Surveillance
12:18 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

How J. Edgar Hoover Set The Stage For NSA Surveillance

J. Edgar Hoover in 1916. Eight years later, Hoover would revolutionize surveillance using new techniques learned at the Library of Congress, where systems similar to the Dewey Decimal system were creating a revolution in data management.
Credit Courtesy of FBI

Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of US government surveillance programs took many people by surprise. But the federal government has been tracking people's personal information for a long time.

Surveillance really took off in 1919. That's when a young Department of Defense lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover was tapped to head a brand new division of the department: the Radical Division. Hoover was only 24 years old at the time.

Historian Beverly Gage is writing a biography of Hoover. Today on KUOW Presents Brian Balogh asks her: Why Hoover? What qualified this young upstart to take over the government surveillance of radicals?

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 8:

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Privacy
1:41 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Biographies In The Age Of Email

Credit Flickr Photo/pennstatenews

For centuries, biographers relied on handwritten letters to bring historical figures to life, from Ghandi to Catherine The Great. But email, texts and Outlook have changed how historians work. For example, we know from emails how Microsoft executives reacted to Apple’s early success with iTunes: “We were smoked.”

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, August 7:

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Gender
12:30 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

The End Of Men And The Rise Of Women

Credit Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk

Women now comprise 50 percent of the workforce. But for the most part, they’re not running big companies or Congress and they’re still getting paid less.

Looking at the statistics, Hanna Rosin sees big changes coming. She documents these changes in her book, "The End Of Men: And The Rise Of Women." With universities now dominated by women, Rosin sees men struggling to adapt to a changing economy. Meanwhile, she says women, accustomed to being more flexible, are on the ascent.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 6:

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Poetry
9:37 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem's "Where I'm From"

A self-portrait of poet Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem.
Credit Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem

Like thousands of other local students, Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem has had the benefit of working with a professional writer in the classroom through Writers in the Schools, a program from Seattle Arts and Lectures

But for Barzallo Sockemtickem, now 17, that "classroom" happened to be her room at Seattle Children's Hospital. She has spent many months at Children's, being treated for cancer and working with WITS poet Sierra Nelson.

Barzallo Sockemtickem's poem "Where I'm From" is defiant and tender, and challenges her listener to understand that she won't let her disease define her: "I am from stubbornness / and spitfire. / I am from refuse to give up. / I am not just cancerous." 

Her poem was awarded the "Origins" prize from Seattle Arts and Lectures.

Barzallo Sockemtickem was recorded in the KUOW Studios on August 2.

Detroit Bankruptcy
2:08 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Creditors Eye Detroit Museum's Art Collection

"The Thinker" outside the Detroit Institute of Art.
Flickr Photo/Andrew Horne

Detroit has filed for bankruptcy and the city's creditors have suddenly developed an appetite for fine art.

Many cities don't own art collections outright: exhibitions pass through, pieces are borrowed. But Detroit's most significant pieces of art could fetch $2.5 billion according to an estimate by the Detroit Free Press. That's a big chunk of the city's $18 billion debt.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 5:

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Jazz Legend
10:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The Pizzarelli Patriarch Still Swings At 87

Jazz musician Bucky Pizzarelli.
Flickr Photo/Eduardo Loureiro

Bucky Pizzarelli is the patriarch of one of America’s great jazz families.  His talented offspring include guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli and bassist Martin Pizzarelli.  The Pizzarellis often perform standards from the Great American Songbook together at jazz clubs and music festivals around the world. 

Prior to a weekend of performances with the family band at Jazz Alley in Seattle last weekend, Bucky Pizzarelli brought in his signature seven-string guitar and played live music in the KUOW Performance Studio.

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Musical Invention
1:44 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

A Symphony Of Sirens

Avraamov conducting the "Symphony of Sirens" in Moscow, November 7, 1923.
Andrey Smirnov, courtesy of PRX

What is the sound of Seattle? Metro buses? Drum circles? Every city has distinctive sounds, and collectively, they form a kind of soundtrack beneath the "movie" of your life.

Arseny Avraamov was interested in the sounds of his hometown Moscow. He thought of those sounds as instruments, and he used those instruments to conduct a live symphony called “The Symphony of Sirens.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, August 1:

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Humans vs. Computers
1:53 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Elusive Digital Stradivarius

Data from 12 different locations let violin maker Joseph Curtin digitize a violin's sonic fingerprint.
Credit David Schulman, courtesy of PRX

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.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 31:

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Amazing People
2:13 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

How A Blind Person Can "See" Using Echolocation

Bats use echolocation to "see." So does Brian Bushway.
Credit Flickr Photo/rogerwshaw

Brian Bushway is blind, but he says he can "see" just as well as anyone else using a technique called echolocation. Like a bat, he makes sounds with his mouth to locate and identify cars, bushes, walls and chain link fences. He can even ride a bicycle.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 30:

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Poetry
8:00 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Marjorie Manwaring's "Church Camp-Out, 1978"

Credit Marjorie Manwaring's first full-length poetry collection "Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape."

"Summer hearts buzz like sapphire dragonflies," writes Marjorie Manwaring in "Church Camp-out, 1978," a poem that captures the particularly adolescent ability to conflate the sexual and the spiritual. The poem is part of Manwaring's collection, "Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape."

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Dangerous Media
1:15 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Diary of A Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma

Correspondent Kelly McEvers.
Credit Glen Carey, courtesy of PRX

Kelly McEvers covers wars for NPR. She's driven partly by altruism, and partly by a feeling much less noble. There's something intoxicating about finding oneself in life-and-death situations. It's not something McEvers is proud of, especially when she thinks of her young child at home. Today, we begin a journey with McEvers - an introspective journey in which the war correspondent examines herself. 

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 29:

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Nostalgic Jingles
2:23 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

An Earworm For Mad Men

KUOW's Amanda Wilde cues up the vinyl recording of the 1965 Diet Pepsi jingle called "Music to Watch Girls By."
Credit Photo by Jenna Montgomery

My KUOW colleague Amanda Wilde, host of The Swing Years and Beyond, regularly shares music that sounds familiar. The tune that Amanda brought in this month is music that I can easily imagine Don Draper and other Mad Men giving a big thumbs up. 

In order for Amanda to share the music with me, she first had to dust off one of our old KUOW studio turntables. Then she could play the music on a 7-inch vinyl record she had recently tracked down.

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Language And Peace
2:19 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Invented Language Esperanto Not Quite Dead Yet

The flag of Esperanto
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Friday, July 26, is World Esperanto Day.

Today on KUOW Presents, producer Roman Mars told us about the history of the invented language Esperanto.

Esperanto's a language born out of the dream that if we all spoke the same language, we wouldn't have wars. That might sound a little naïve, when you consider how divided we can be even within the United States - where many people do speak the same language. Still, one can't help thinking: If we could turn on the television and see the personal stories of Iraqis, would the United States have gone to war with that nation?

Some would argue we are starting to understand each other, through English language reporting from news organizations like Al Jazeera, and CNN, which has an Arabic language channel. It's too early to say whether that programming will smooth out the differences between American and Middle Eastern cultures. But even with cable news going international, those broadcasts are just cultural diplomacy for nations that still think in different languages. And the idea of Esperanto still has power.

The Local Esperanto Connection

Seattle has an Esperanto club (it has several, actually). KUOW's Joshua McNichols called up club member Leland Ross to get a local perspective on the international language of Esperanto.

Seattle's Leland Ross on how he'll celebrate World Esperanto Day.

Leland says Esperanto isn't dead. In fact, it's doing better than ever before, thanks to the Internet. He says in the past, an Esperanto speaker would send off letters to an Esperanto-speaking pen pal and would have to wait for a response, but today, you can hop online and immediately chat with someone anywhere in the world.

Leland says one local group of Esperanto enthusiasts have a regular poker night conducted entirely in Esperanto. It isn't world peace, but you've got to start somewhere.

KUOW Presents is going on vacation next week. We'll be back July 29!

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 18:

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Poetry
11:59 am
Thu July 18, 2013

David Wagoner And "Their Bodies"

Poet David Wagoner
Credit Courtesy of David Wagoner, Photo by Robin Seyfried

One of the most profound duties of child to parent is to honor their last wishes, as best we can. In "Their Bodies," poet David Wagoner addresses the students of the anatomy lab at Indiana University, where his parents donated their bodies.

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