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The Life Of De Niro, From 'Mean Streets' To 'Meet The Parents'

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 12:34
Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of all time — period, no parenthesis or qualification, the kind of actor who creates icons like Travis Bickle, Jake LaMotta and James "Jimmy the Gent" Conway.

But for younger filmgoers today, this screen acting legend may be most familiar as a daft, cranky father in the Meet the Parents movies.

Shawn Levy, former film critic of The Oregonian, and author of bestsellers on the Rat Pack and Paul Newman, has written a thick new biography of Robert De Niro that follows him from the son of an artist, to a man who defines a godfather,

Marysville-Pilchuck High Shooting Comes As Wash. Voters Decide On Gun Measures

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 12:07

The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday comes as Washington voters are about to decide two competing gun-related ballot measures.

In fact, next week two parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are scheduled to be in Seattle to campaign for Initiative 594, which would expand background checks.

Teacher Tried To Stop Gunman In Marysville-Pilchuck High Shooting

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 11:55

When a student opened fire at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday, a teacher confronted him, according to a union official. 

Marysville Education Association president Randy Davis said Saturday that first-year social studies teacher Megan Silberberger intervened in the shooting.

Detectives confirmed a school worker attempted to intervene in shooting, but provided no other details about the worker's actions.

'Beautiful You' Makes Sex And Death Boring

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:59
At first, I wanted to write this review of Chuck Palahniuk's new book, Beautiful You, as a letter. A lament, really, from a former fan and dedicated Palahniuk loyalist to the author who brought Fight Club to the page like he was writing in fire. Because I am a man, and because I was once a younger man, I loved Fight Club for its apocalyptic depiction of the wasteland of modern masculinity and its viciously smart skewering of consumer and service culture. I read Choke and liked it. Less than Fight Club, but still. Read Lullaby, too.

Health Care Worker Tests Negative For Ebola In NJ, Stays In Quarantine

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:55
A woman who was put in isolation at Newark Liberty International Airport remains under quarantine, despite a preliminary test that found she did not have the deadly Ebola virus.

The health care worker was isolated Friday as she returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa.

40 Years Later, Diane Von Furstenberg's Wrap Dress Still Wears Well

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:54
Diane von Furstenberg was a young socialite when she first started showing her designs to New York boutiques and magazine editors in the late 1960s. The dresses she created weren't very expensive and they definitely weren't couture. They were wrap dresses — made of gentle jersey, gorgeously patterned, with a deep-cut V-neck and light belt.

"It's a dress that was practical and pretty and sexy," von Furstenberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish. It's been described, she says, as "a dress that you get the men with ...

New Incan Find One-Ups Peru's Famous 12 Angle Stone

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:53
Hundreds of years after it was precisely carved and placed into a wall, a stone has been found in Peru that could undermine the country's famous 12 Angle Stone.

Researchers say the stone is part of "a hydraulic system built at the archaeological site Inkawasi in Huancavelica," hundreds of miles from the other stone that has long been revered as a paragon of the Inca's intricate masonry.

The find was announced by Peru's Ministry of Culture, which says the

'Near-Space Dive' Sets New Skydive Record, 25 Miles Above Earth

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:52


Raven, Dog, Bone

KPLU News - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 09:00

  Ravens are crafty! BirdNote listener Gary Cummins tells a story about the intelligence of ravens. When he worked at Grand Canyon National Park, Gary had a Siberian husky named Tasha. When two ravens saw her with a tasty bone, they teamed up on her. One raven acted distressed, hopping slowly, seemingly ignoring the dog. Tasha went into her wolf-like mode, stalking the raven. Just as Tasha was ready to pounce, the raven flew up into a tree. At that instant, the second raven swooped in, grabbed the bone in its beak, and flew off!

Student Dead After Opening Fire Inside Cafeteria Of Marysville-Pilchuck High

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:26

Police in Washington state say a shooter is dead after opening fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday.

Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said the shooter, who was a student at the school, opened fire inside the school cafeteria around 10:40 a.m. It was not immediately clear how many students were injured.

The shooter was fatally shot, police said, though it was not clear whether the wound was self-inflicted. 

Embrace Sunbreaks While You Can — Windy, Rainy Weekend And Wetter Days Ahead

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:33

Enjoy the sunbreaks while you can.  Heavy rain returns Friday night and we’ll return to a wetter, windier pattern, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“It’ll be basically dry, partly cloudy during the afternoon, you know, probably even some sun,” Mass said of Friday. “So, a really nice day.”

But that’s going to change rapidly, Mass says, as a warm front associated with a center of low pressure off the coast moves northward.

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:22
How does a sunset work? We love to look at them, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her 8th graders to really think about them, to wonder and question.

So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.

"I asked them: 'So what's moving? And why?'" Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas.

Dallas Nurse Nina Pham, Now 'Ebola Free,' Discharged By NIH

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:47
Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

Dallas Nurse Nina Pham, who became the first person to contract Ebola on U.S.

Boko Haram Reportedly Abducts More Girls Despite Cease-Fire Deal

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:46
As Nigeria awaits the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls under a cease-fire deal with their Boko Haram captors, reports have come in that 25 more women and girls were abducted within a day of the truce being announced Saturday.

The government in Abuja has condemned the latest reported abductions from two villages in the country's northeast Adamawa state by suspected militants from the extremist group.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton says the reported kidnappings came a day after the army claimed it had a deal with Boko Haram that included the release of more than 2

'Rebellion' Charts A Tumultuous, Formative Century

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:46
The 17th century was one of the most radical periods in all of English history. It was an era of enormous change, upheaval, debate and extreme violence, which saw the evolution of the modern British state as we know it today.

But the transition from a haphazard kingdom ruled by inconsistent medieval ideas to a modern, secular, efficient bureaucratic state wasn't easy.

VIDEO: Talking While Female

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:46


A Wisecracking Biochemist Shares Her Kitchen ABCs

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:46
Biochemists aren't really known for their sense of humor. But we recently met one who was warm, inviting and downright hilarious. "When chemists don't know what something is, they call it a substance," quips Shirley Corriher.

Corriher is perhaps best known for authoring two books, Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, which netted her a James Beard Award, and BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking.

Halloween High Jinks For Fun And Nonprofits

KPLU News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 09:45
Making costumes from secondhand stuff is a part of the Halloween scene in 2014, according to Goodwill.