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Song Of The Day: Sonny Rollins' 'Without A Song'

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:42

“I want to be connecting with the subconscious, if I can call it that, because there are not to many words to describe the real deep inner part of a human being…I want to be at that place where everything is blotted out and where creativity happens, and to get there I practice, you know I’m a prolific practicer, I still practice every day…You have to have the skills, then you want to not think when you’re playing, that’s when you let whatever deep level of creativity, spirituality, I mean, you know these words are so inadequate these days but you want to get to this place where they exi

Campaign To Get Sherman Alexie Book To Idaho Students Tops Goal

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 19:08

Two women in Washington have raised enough money to send 350 copies of a controversial book by Sherman Alexie to students in Meridian, Idaho. 

The move is in reaction to the Meridian School Board's decision to suspend use of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" after parents complained about profanity and sexual content in the novel.

Like Ham? There's A Festival For That In French Basque Country

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 18:58
In Bayonne, they take their ham very, very seriously.

This medieval fortress of a town is minutes from the French seaside ports of Barritz and St. Jean de Luz, and not far from Spain's St. Sebastian. It has reigned as a cultural and commercial center for a millennium, according to historian Mark Kurlansky in The Basque History of the World.

Its most famous item since the Middle Ages? The jambon de Bayonne.

Airbnb To Start Charging Hotel Taxes In A Handful Of Cities

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 18:57
When Regitze Visby, a tourist visiting San Francisco from Denmark, searched for accommodations for her trip and saw she could stay at one of the famed "painted ladies" on Alamo Square through Airbnb, she took it.

At $135 a night, "it was a good deal," she says.

But does she know if she's paying a transient occupancy tax or a hotel tax? "I have no idea," she says.

Visby would know if she were staying in a hotel. It's 14 percent per room.

A Love Letter To Literature: Reading Gabo In 'The Paris Review'

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 18:57
Everyone has a favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez book, and mine is Love in the Time of Cholera. It's the story of a romance that lasts decades, unwinding through the pages of the book. It's verbose, vibrant and full of love.

But that libro isn't my favorite section of the Garcia Marquez canon.

Hunting For The Tastiest Egg: Duck, Goose, Chicken Or Quail?

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:37
The chicken clearly rules the roost of American egg production. Our hens laid 95.2 billion eggs in 2013, according to government figures.

Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:49
"Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?" former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist," the Russian leader responded.

Well, as NPR's Tom Gjelten tweets<

Why Mumps And Measles Can Spread Even When We're Vaccinated

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:48
More than two months after a nasty mumps virus triggered fever, headache and painfully swollen glands among a handful of students at Ohio State University, the outbreak has ballooned to 234 cases at last count, and has spilled into the surrounding community in Columbus, Ohio.

"Columbus officials are calling it the city's biggest outbreak since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s," WOSU reporter Steve Brown tells Shots.

Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:47
After so many stories this month about accidents and disasters, we needed something completely different and hopefully cute.

This would seem to fit the bill:

"Kittens accidentally packed in box, shipped from Los Angeles to San Diego." (San Diego's ABC10 News)

"Two kittens are recovering after they were found inside a box that was shipped from the Los Angeles area to a Cox Communi

How Do We Explain The Evolution Of Religion?

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:47
Religion is a cross-cultural universal, even though not every human being professes faith in God or some other supernatural being. Those of us who are atheist or agnostic make up 6 percent of the American population. A further 14 percent say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.

But religiosity is found in every human culture and biologists, anthropologists, and psychologists keenly debate how it arose. Just like language, technology and bipedalism, religion too evolved over time.

Pot Smoke And Mirrors: Vaporizer Pens Hide Marijuana Use

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:46
It's a sunny afternoon at Kelly's Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and Nikki Esquibel is getting stoned. But you wouldn't know it.

The 19-year-old, who has a medical prescription for marijuana, is "smoking" pot with a handheld vaporizer, or a vape pen. It's sleek, black, and virtually indistinguishable from a high-end e-cigarette.

That's the point, says Esquibel. "I use it mostly around my neighborhood. It's easy to hide." The vapor coming from the device doesn't even have an odor.

Discretion, it turns out, makes for good money.

Mass: The Rain Is Back; April Showers In The Forecast With Some Sun Breaks

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:40

If you’re planning any outdoor fun this weekend, Sunday’s your best bet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The famous Puget Sound convergence zone has been dumping rain in the greater Seattle area, with some places in the foothills of the cascades getting as much as 4 inches in the space of just six hours on Thursday afternoon. Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says there will be a break from that today, but not for too long.

After Rocky Start, Sounders Captain And Rapper Dempsey Finally Finds His Groove

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 05:00

Sounders captain Clint Dempsey has made headlines recently. He scored his first-ever hat trick two weeks ago against Portland. Dempsey has scored a total of five goals in the past two games, earning back-to-back Player of The Week awards from Major League Soccer.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says things are finally coming together for Dempsey and the Sounders.

"Finally, it's happening. The investment is bearing fruit," Art said.

UW Researchers: Tiny-Brained Fruit Flies Are Top Gun Fliers

KPLU News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 05:00

New research out of the University of Washington shows that an insect with a brain smaller than a salt grain can take complex evasive action in flight. The findings could have value for engineers.

Consider the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. It’s — actually, wait. You really should click this soundtrack before you read any further.

Murray's Anti-Bullying Bill Targeting Colleges Limits Free Speech, Critics Say

KPLU News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 20:02

Washington state's senior U.S. senator is hoping to revive a push for federal anti-bullying laws aimed at preventing harassment of college students based on their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. But critics say such laws would impede on the students' First Amendment rights.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., visited the University of Washington campus Thursday to promote a bill she introduced in the Senate late last month. The measure would require any university receiving federal funds to adopt policies barring "severe, persistent or pervasive" harassment against its students.

"If ... you want to keep those federal funds, you will have an anti-bullying policy," Murray said during her visit.

Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million

KPLU News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:57
President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.

"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.

The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35.