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Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are On The Case

KPLU News - 1 hour 52 min ago
Heated tools like flat irons can make hair waterfall straight. But there's always that worry of burning the hair, or yourself.

That can make hair straightening a miserable process, as Marita Golden wrote in her essay "My Black Hair:"

For generations of young Black girls, the family kitchen was associated with pain and fear, tears and dread.

Federal Clean Power Plan Offered While Washington State Fails To Advance Its Own

KPLU News - 3 hours 26 min ago

Environmental groups are calling the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan the strongest action the U.S. has ever taken to fight climate change.

Yet in Washington State, a plan to cap-and-trade carbon emissions failed to get through the legislature – despite a Governor who won an election on the promise of a clean-energy economy.

Gov. Jay Inslee blames the legislature for the lack of a clear climate policy in the state. He acknowledges his political reputation is riding on it. But, he says, lawmakers are not cooperating with him.  

“They’ve produced zero when it comes to any meaningful carbon reduction plan," Inslee said Monday. "So now it’s time for the Executive branch to act because it is our responsibility.”

That’s why Inslee last week directed the state department of Ecology to forge ahead with the cap portion of his cap-and-trade plan.

Women, There's A Reason Why You're Shivering In The Office

KPLU News - 3 hours 31 min ago
He was probably about 40 years old, 155 pounds, white, and wearing a suit. And he's the reason why women are shivering at their desks in air-conditioned buildings.

At some point in the 1930s, someone defined "metabolic equivalents" – how much energy a body requires while sitting, walking and running.

Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

KPLU News - 3 hours 36 min ago
The relatives of 16 victims of the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., reached a proposed $1.5 million settlement Monday against the estate of the shooter's mother.

According to the Hartford Courant, each family will receive $93,750 apiece from a homeowner insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on a Newtown home she shared with her son Adam.

The lawsuits were filed by the families of 14 victims who died in the school shooting and two who survived.

On the morning of Dec.

Your Pill Is Printing: FDA Approves First 3-D-Printed Drug

KPLU News - 3 hours 55 min ago
In a first, the Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a drug that is produced on a 3-D printer. The pill, produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, treats seizures. It's expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016.

NPR's Rob Stein reports for our Newscast unit:

"The drug is called Spritam and is designed to treat seizures in people suffering from epilepsy.

The Strangest Presidential Campaign Ever

KPLU News - 4 hours 26 min ago




Did Beijing's Olympics Song Lift Parts Of 'Let It Go'?

KPLU News - 5 hours 10 min ago



In The Fight Against Tsetse Flies, Blue Is The New Black

KPLU News - 5 hours 38 min ago
Walk along one of the many streams and rivers in the West Nile region of Uganda, and you'll notice something funny. All along the riverbanks, you'll see small pieces of blue cloth, attached to wooden stakes in the ground. There's one every 50 yards or so.

No, this isn't some half-baked public art project.

Circus Tent Collapse Kills 2 During Storm In New Hampshire

KPLU News - 7 hours 21 min ago
A man and a girl were killed while watching a traveling circus show Monday evening, after a strong storm dislodged the circus tent's poles and caused a collapse. Officials are now working to find out more about what went wrong at the fairgrounds in Lancaster, N.H.

"We lost two lives — a father and a daughter — at an event that was supposed to be fun," Gov.

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

KPLU News - 7 hours 24 min ago
Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

So You Flunked A Racism Test. Now What?

KPLU News - 7 hours 49 min ago
You're probably at least a little bit racist and sexist and homophobic. Most of us are.

Before you get all indignant, try taking one of the popular implicit-association tests.

Monsoon Flooding Kills Dozens In Myanmar, Prompting Calls For Help

KPLU News - 8 hours 40 min ago
At least 46 deaths have been blamed on flooding and landslides in Myanmar, where monsoon rains have forced disaster declarations in four regions. More than 1 million acres of farmland have been flooded, the government says.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is appealing for international aid to help it cope with the flooding.

The U.S. Declared War On Veteran Homelessness — And It Actually Could Win

KPLU News - 9 hours 10 min ago
This is a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.

Under the deafening highway noise of the Pontchartrain Expressway in central city New Orleans, Ronald Engberson, 54, beds down for the night. Engberson got out of the Marines in 1979, plagued even back then by problems with drugs and alcohol. He says that's mostly the reason he's been homeless the past 10 years.

"My longest stretch sober was 14 months," he says.

How New Jersey Tamed The Wild Blueberry For Global Production

KPLU News - 9 hours 10 min ago
Nearly every plant that we now depend on for food — from wheat to beans to tomatoes — comes from ancestors that once grew wild on hills and in forests.

In most cases, we don't know who, exactly, tamed those plants. We don't know which inventive farmer, thousands of years ago, first selected seeds and planted them for food.

The blueberry, though, is different. We know exactly who brought it in from the wild, and where.

It happened in the pine barrens of New Jersey.

This land is called barren for a reason.

New Power Plant Rules Likely To Start Slow-Burning Debate, Legal Action

KPLU News - 9 hours 10 min ago
An epic legal battle is about to begin over President Obama's plan to address climate change, in which the Environmental Protection Agency is putting in place new limits on greenhouse gases from power plants.

Berlin's New Airport: Still In A Holding Pattern

KPLU News - 9 hours 10 min ago
Germany may be Europe's economic giant, but Berlin remains the lone major European capital without a proper airport. The mismanaged, roughly $6-billion project to build one became a national laughing stock that has dragged on for years.

Ground was broken on the airport in 2006 and the opening was delayed just shortly before the planned date in 2012.

Here's The Buzz On America's Forgotten Native 'Tea' Plant

KPLU News - 9 hours 10 min ago
During a severe drought in 2011, JennaDee Detro noticed that many trees on the family cattle ranch in Cat Spring, Texas, withered, but a certain evergreen holly appeared vigorous. It's called a yaupon.

"The best we can tell is that they enjoy suffering," Detro says with a laugh.

Is Obamacare's Research Institute Worth The Billions?

KPLU News - 10 hours 49 min ago
On the ninth floor of a glassy high rise in downtown Washington, partitions are coming down to make more room for workers handing out billions of dollars in Obamacare-funded research awards.

Business has been brisk at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute or, PCORI, as it is known.

Primary Election 2015: Here Is Some Last-Minute Procrastinator Help

KPLU News - 11 hours 27 min ago

So you've still not dropped off your ballot for the Seattle 2015 Primary Election? You don't know which of the 50 candidates for nine Seattle Council seats you should pick? Don't know your fire districts or local initiatives?

Don't worry. (OK, worry a little bit.) But you still have time.

Here's your quick guide on what to do:

Murders Prompt Seattle To Shut Down Hookah Lounges; Owners Say Violence Not Their Fault

KPLU News - 12 hours 29 min ago

Seattle wants to shut down all of the hookah lounges in the city because of ongoing violence near the clubs. The most recent example was the murder of Donnie Chin, a well-liked community figure in Seattle’s International District. But, club owners say it’s unfair to punish them for what happens outside their establishments.