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'A' Is For Apps: Teachers Share What's On Their Phone

KPLU News - 2 hours 40 min ago
Nestled between Julia Auster's fantasy football app and Facebook Messenger is a relatively new bucket of apps: the education tools she uses in the French classes she teaches at Robert Adams Middle School in Holliston, Mass.

Auster isn't alone.

With more students bringing their own tech into the classroom, teachers are finding that apps aren't just fun — they're valuable tools

Watch A Sweet Little Butterfly Nearly Crush A Woman's Hopes And Dreams

KPLU News - 3 hours 7 min ago


U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

KPLU News - 3 hours 56 min ago
The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an ISIS position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

"This is something new," Tom says. "For the first time, U.S. airstrikes have been in support of Iraqi forces."


Book News: Rankine, Glück On National Book Awards Longlist For Poetry

KPLU News - 3 hours 57 min ago
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • The poetry longlist for the 2014 National Book Awards includes collections from Claudia Rankine, Fanny Howe, Edward Hirsch and former U.S. Poet Laureates Louise Glück and Mark Strand.

Why I Used To Hit Women

KPLU News - 3 hours 57 min ago
Empty and crying, I looked into the mirror and for the first time in my life, I saw my father. I had become my worst nightmare.

But me, I wasn't the kind of abuser who hit his girl for no reason. I thought my acts were validated. I was always in the right — just like my father.

The first time I remember hitting a female, I was about 17.

She'd done nothing to offend me. It was just something about my being in control and my wanting her to understand that I was stronger than her.

Nick Cave: 'The Creative Process Is An Altered State In Itself'

KPLU News - 3 hours 58 min ago
When you've been in the music business as long as Nick Cave, inevitably someone will want to make a documentary about you. From grainy footage of his early '80s band The Birthday Party to a mid-'90s pop duet with Kylie Minogue that made him an unlikely MTV star, he's a tempting subject.

Now at 56, Cave still cuts a mean figure in his slim dark suits and crisp white shirts.

Marriott's New Envelope For Room Tips Stirs Debate

KPLU News - 4 hours 7 min ago
A new program to encourage guests to tip the housekeeping staff at Marriott hotels is meant to make it easier for people to show their gratitude to workers. But the plan, part of an initiative from Maria Shriver's group A Woman's Nation, is raising questions over how the company pays its staff — and whether guests should be expected to tip.

Marriott isn't the first hotel to use a note or an envelope to connect a name to the room's upkeep and amenities. But it seems to be the first large chain to do so.

With A Deadline Looming, Iran's Nuclear Talks Reopen In New York

KPLU News - 4 hours 7 min ago
Negotiations on limiting Iran's nuclear program resume this week in New York, but a summer of multiplying crises has world capitals distracted as the talks hit a crucial stage.

The high-profile setting for this round of talks between Iran and six world powers has raised expectations and comes at a time when world leaders are also gathering for the U.N.

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

KPLU News - 4 hours 8 min ago
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers today that while the president has ruled out "boots on the ground" as part of a campaign to destroy the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, he was prepared to recommend a combat role for U.S.

Health Law Tempers States' Insurance Mandates

KPLU News - 4 hours 8 min ago
For decades, states have set rules for health coverage through mandates.

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

KPLU News - 4 hours 9 min ago
If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

"I originally became a microbiologist because I was brewing beer in my apartment in college," says Ian Glomski of Charlottesville, Va.

Homeless Vets: They're Not Just Single Men Anymore

KPLU News - 4 hours 9 min ago
Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy.

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

KPLU News - 4 hours 9 min ago
I have fond memories of listening to NPR while lounging at the physical therapist's with a heating pad on my shoulder. Don't do that, the nation's physical therapists' association says.

Heat therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other "passive physical agents" almost never help, according to a list released Monday by the Choosing Wisely campaign.

PACs Face Quirk In Washington Law Before They Can Spend Money

KPLU News - 4 hours 28 min ago

California billionaire Tom Steyer is poised to help Democrats try to win back control of the Washington Senate. But first, his NextGen political action committee had to satisfy a quirk in the law.

Call it the ten-ten rule. In Washington, political committees have to jump a small hurdle before they can play in Washington’s political sandbox. The rule is the committee must receive $10 or more from at least 10 registered Washington voters. Now that NextGen has this bit of local skin in the game, climate activist Tom Steyer is free to start spending some serious on Washington races.

Ravens And Crows - Who Is Who

KPLU News - 5 hours 26 min ago

  Is that big black bird a crow or a raven? How can you tell? Ravens (seen right here) often travel in pairs, while crows (left) are seen in larger groups. Also, study the tail as the bird flies overhead. A crow's tail is shaped like a fan, while the raven's tail appears wedge-shaped. Another clue is to listen closely to the birds' calls. Crows give a cawing sound, but ravens produce a lower croaking sound. To learn more about crows and ravens, you can visit All About Birds. Or, get information when you take a class from your local Audubon society.

Part 1: Adult Chinook In The Pacific Ocean Prepare For Long Journey Home

KPLU News - 9 hours 26 min ago

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

King County Clinic Gets Reprieve, But Cloud Still Hangs Over Public Health Budget

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 17:55

A King County public health clinic slated for closure is getting a bailout, but three more clinics remain on the line as the health department confronts a big budget shortfall.

The public health clinic at White Center has been on borrowed time this year, along with clinics in Auburn, Bothell and Federal Way. Now the city of Seattle is proposing to kick in $400,000 to keep it open. Public Health Seattle & King County will continue providing WIC services and other support for new mothers, but will turn its family planning services there over to Planned Parenthood.

How Seattle's Mayor Plans To Enforce The Minimum Wage

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 16:59

With the passage of a complicated minimum wage law in Seattle, officials want to ensure the law is easily understood.  The mayor is proposing a new office called the Office of Labor Standards, that would serve as a clearinghouse for information and enforcement.

With Minecraft, Microsoft Buys A Doorway To Millions Of Players

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 15:11
The video game world saw a massive acquisition Monday when Microsoft confirmed it was buying Mojang, the company behind the immense world-building game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.

Now let's be clear: While the ink on the deal might say Microsoft bought Mojang, they really just bought the game franchise Minecraft.

Hockey Inquiry Turns On Whether Players Are 'Student Athletes' Or Workers

KPLU News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:13

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries says it can't disclose at this time whose complaint spurred it to open the hockey investigation. The affected teams are the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs. Their players fall between 16 and 20 years old. Labor and Industries agency spokesman Matthew Erlich says 16 and 17 year olds are covered by child labor laws.