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Providence Hospital Chain: Catholic, Nonprofit...And Venture Capitalists?

KPLU News - 4 hours 3 min ago

The state’s largest nonprofit hospital chain is getting into a new line of business: venture capitalism.

Providence Health & Services, which runs 34 hospitals and hundreds of clinics, wants to be a player in the startup scene. The Catholic-affiliated chain has created a venture capital fund with about $150 million to invest in companies pioneering new health care models, especially ones focused on technology.

Last Blast Of Summer Heat This Weekend Before Fall Returns Next Week

KPLU News - 4 hours 22 min ago

Don’t put away that sunscreen just yet.

Temperatures are expected to shoot back up into the upper 70s and even 80s for the last weekend of summer, topping off what will likely go down as the warmest summer in Seattle history.

Enterovirus Confirmed In Two Kids Hospitalized In Seattle

KPLU News - 5 hours 19 min ago

Health officials have confirmed that two patients treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital have tested positive for Enterovirus D68. That puts Washington in the company of 18 other states with confirmed cases of the virus, which mainly sickens children and is especially dangerous for kids with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

The two Children’s patients were stabilized and discharged, according to a statement by the hospital. One is from King County and the other from Snohomish.

Pirates And Parrots

KPLU News - 5 hours 49 min ago

  Ahoy, Mates! September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. No doubt the most famous image of a pirate with a parrot is Long John Silver in Treasure Island. During the 1700s, pirates plied the waters of South and Central America, home to many species of parrots, including this Blue and Yellow Macaw.

Today's show's music by the Toucan Pirates. Thanks!

Sounders' Two-Tiered Success: MLS Leaders And 4-Time U.S. Open Cup Champs

KPLU News - 9 hours 49 min ago

The Seattle Sounders won their fourth U.S. Open Cup championship this week. They also have the best record in Major League Soccer right now. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders’ success has come despite several distractions.

Seattle's Erotic Bakery, A Decades-Old Institution, To Close Its Doors

KPLU News - 9 hours 49 min ago

Warning: Some of the language in this story may not be appropriate for young ears.

After 28 years of making people’s bawdy wishes come true with marzipan and cake, a Seattle institution is coming to an end. The Erotic Bakery in the city’s Wallingford neighborhood is taking down its sign and closing its doors at the end of this month.

Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:47

Most people who've grown up in the Northwest can remember walking on the beach as a kid, enjoying tide pools full of brightly-colored starfish. But beachcombing has become less joyful over the past year. An epidemic known as sea star wasting syndrome has devastated huge populations of starfish, especially on the West Coast.

Wash. Marijuana Tax Collections Starting To Roll In, Millions More Expected

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:39
In a manner of speaking, millions of dollars of "drug money" are starting to flow into Washington state coffers.

The state's chief economic forecaster updated budget writers Thursday on how much tax money they can expect from recreational marijuana now that the first state licensed stores have opened.

Look At This: Portrait Of A Homeless Veteran

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:31
A few weeks ago, photographer David Gilkey and I went to an event for homeless veterans called Stand Down. We wanted to see what homeless veterans look like, and we wanted to photograph them.

We also wondered: How do they see themselves? We asked about 20 of them — that's how many came by our pop-up portrait studio. You can hear from some of them in the audio above, or just look at this. Copyright 2014 NPR.

Chinook Salmon Head Up The Columbia In Big Numbers

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:11

Fisheries experts say the return of chinook salmon to the Columbia River may not quite break records this fall as expected.

Last year’s run of nearly 1.3 million salmon was a record, but future years may not bring those kinds of numbers.

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 16:23
Environmentalists say two major doughnut chains got a little sweeter this week.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Brands have both made new commitments to source palm oil for frying their goodies from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests.

As we reported back in June, leading doughnut retailers have been sourcing some of their palm oil from suppliers who have a history of clear-cutting rain forests and destroying wildlife habitat and carbon-rich peatlands.

The pr

UW Researchers Forecast More Crowded Planet, Warn Population Could Hit 11 Billion

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 14:49

The planet could be much more crowded by the end of the century than previously thought, according to a new report by University of Washington researchers.

That contradicts a general consensus that world population growth is likely to stabilize before long. The population has been expected to rise from the current seven billion or so to about nine billion, before leveling off and possibly declining.

But new projections, based on new statistical models, suggest the numbers will not tail off after all. Instead, statistician and sociologist Adrian Raftery said we could hit 11 billion and counting by century’s end.

A Unique Musical Blend: Pablo Menendez and Mezcla, Direct from Cuba

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:00

Guitarist Pablo Menéndez takes fusion to the next level.  His band Mezcla (meaning "mixture") blends jazz, blues, rock and several styles of Cuban and African music into one raucous, joyous expression of life.

Some Airports Have A New Security Routine: Taking Your Temperature

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:29
Airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are relying on a familiar tool to stop the spread of Ebola: the thermometer.

Airport staff are measuring the temperature of anyone trying to leave the country, looking for "unexplained febrile illness," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is advising these countries on their exit screening processes.

Other countries that are far from the infected region are screening passengers arriving from West Africa or who have a history of travel to the region.

Book News: Fiction Longlist Is Out For The National Book Awards

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:24
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • The fiction longlist for the National Book Awards was released Wednesday evening, and includes Richard Powers, who won the award in 2006; Mountain Goats vocalist John Darnielle; and Molly Antopol and Phil Klay, who were both nominated for their debut story collections.

Islamic State Seizes Villages; Australia Says It Foiled Beheading Plot

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:23
Islamic State fighters backed by tanks have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours in what is being described as a major advance for the extremist group, according to a human rights watchdog group.

The Associated Press quotes the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying there were casualties on both sides and that the takeover has pr

Apple: iOS 8 Prevents Cooperation With Police Unlocking Requests

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:23
Apple's latest mobile operating system — iOS 8 — is now available, and with it, a new technical hurdle for law enforcement. The company says it will be technologically impossible to access data on phones and iPads running iOS 8, because it won't allow user pass codes to be bypassed.

Our phones, of course, contain troves of information — contacts, messages, recordings — which can be helpful for investigative or prosecutorial purposes.

How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With Teacher

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:08
So you finally get the chance to meet one on one with your child's teacher — now what?

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

The Harvard Family Research Project's Tip Sheet for Parents suggests reviewing your child's work, grades and past teacher feedback. Ask your child about his experience at school and make a list of questions ahead of time to ask during the conference.

San Francisco Politician Goes Public With His Choice To Take Anti-HIV Drug

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:08
In an effort to combat stigma that has arisen around a treatment that prevents HIV, a San Francisco elected official announced publicly Wednesday that he is taking the medicine.

City Supervisor Scott Wiener said he is taking Truvada, a drug that dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection. He appears to be the first public official to make such an announcement.

Wiener wrote about his experience for The Huffington Post:

Each morning, I take a pill called Truvada to protect me from becoming infected with HIV.

Killing Comes Naturally To Chimps, Scientists Say

KPLU News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:07
For years, there have been two main theories about why chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, sometimes kill each other. One theory blames human encroachment on the chimpanzees' native habit in Africa. Another says that (male) chimps kill in the normal course of competition with rival groups.

A new study published in Nature appears to support the second theory.