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Have Piano, Will Travel: Mr. B's Epic Bicycle Adventure

KPLU News - 3 hours 5 min ago

Boogie-woogie and blues pianist Mark Braun (a.k.a. Mr. B) has fond memories of touring in the Pacific Northwest. KPLU has played his recordings for more than 20 years. I've followed Mr. B for some time, because there's not much I like better than his style of piano playing, the music that came up from New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.

What I didn't know about him until recently is that he's also a dedicated amateur athlete, an avid bicyclist and an advocate for getting kids active in the arts and athletics.

Book News: Born to Write? Bruce Springsteen To Publish A Children's Book

KPLU News - 3 hours 6 min ago
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Bruce Springsteen is writing a children's book about a bank-robbing baby called Outlaw Pete, based on his song of the same name. "Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins," Springsteen said in a statement. The song "Outlaw Pete" was inspired by the 1950 children's book Brave Cowboy Bill.

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

KPLU News - 3 hours 7 min ago
For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

The airline said it would lay off 6,000 employees, or about 30 percent of its 20,000-strong workforce a day after it reported a loss in the quarter ending June of $97.6 million, on top of a first-quarter loss

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

KPLU News - 3 hours 8 min ago
Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

Not Quite Bond, Pierce Brosnan Is Back In Action In 'The November Man'

KPLU News - 3 hours 9 min ago
Sean Connery was 53 when he downed his last vodka martini as James Bond (though he'd previously walked away from the role and been lured back twice). Roger Moore was 57 at the time of his last mission on Her Majesty's Secret Service (though he didn't look a day over ninety). Pierce Brosnan was a spry 49 in his final Bonding session, and his departure was bittersweet: He'd started later than he'd wanted, almost a decade after he was first announced as Moore's successor in the mid-80s.

Mass: Cooler Weekend Ahead, But Don't Give Up On Summer Just Yet

KPLU News - 3 hours 13 min ago

It won't be long now. 

Fall is just around the corner, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, and that means the holiday weekend won't be all sun. 

"We'll see a different weekend than we've been used to in the past," he said. "Temperatures are going to drop way back. No more 80s."

Solid Choices, Big Chances 'Justify' Mariners GM Contract Extension

KPLU News - 8 hours 5 min ago

The Mariners have made some solid choices and taken some big chances this year. It all appears to be paying off as they continue to be in the wild card playoff hunt.

Join KPLU On An 8-Night Adventure To Cuba

KPLU News - 13 hours 5 min ago

KPLU is going to Cuba this winter! Our previous tour was so popular we are offering two different trips, departing Jan. 24 and Feb. 7. Discover music, culture, art and dance in beautiful Cuba! Don't delay spots will fill quickly.

Click here for the full itinerary and pricing.

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:47
In my teens, I stumbled onto the wide trail of "the writer's bildungsroman," the coming-of-age stories that often gave me too much to identify with. That whispered clear messages while I slept and while I tried to imagine a life far, far outside the heat and farmlands of where I grew up.

Why I so readily identified with J.G. Ballard in a Japanese prison camp in Empire of the Sun, or A.E. Hotchner on the streets of Depression-era St. Louis in King of the Hill, I couldn't have told you at the time.

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:46
The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St.

'We Don't Have A Strategy Yet' On Islamic State, Obama Says

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:46
President Obama says the U.S. doesn't "have a strategy yet" on how to deal with Islamic State militants who now control vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria, but he added that the militant group was continuing to lose arms and equipment because of targeted U.S. strikes against its members in Iraq.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday.

NFL Lays Out New Penalty For Domestic Violence: 6-Game Suspension

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:46
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new guidelines for how the league will handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. The change in policy, explained an open letter to team owners, come a month after the NFL was criticized for how it handled player Ray Rice's arrest on domestic violence charges.

Goodell says that the new policies were developed after conversations with outside experts, team owners and the NFL Players Association.

Legal Spat Over Pot Shops In Tiny Fife Imperils Washington's Whole Marijuana Law

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:26

A court case in Pierce County Friday will decide whether the city of Fife can ban marijuana businesses. But it could have a much larger side effect, putting Washington’s entire system for regulating legal pot in peril.

A handful of pot businesses are challenging Fife’s right to keep them out. The city is presenting two defenses. First, city officials say state law lets them opt out — a point on which they have backing from Washington’s attorney general. But if that fails, they have a second argument, which raises the stakes considerably: They say federal law trumps Initiative 502, and should strike most of it down.

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:18


Inslee Declares State Of Emergency After Severe Rainstorms Hit Okanogan County

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:13

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a state of emergency proclamation for Okanogan County Thursday after severe rainstorms pounded the area earlier this month.

The rains last week ended in flash floods, mudslides and debris flows that blocked two state highways.

More Physical Than Plausible, 'Starred Up' Sharply Portrays Confinement

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:06
Within moments of arriving at an adult prison — "starred up" from a juvenile facility that couldn't handle him — Eric (Jack O'Connell) demonstrates how to use jail-issue toiletries to make a weapon. But it's not that toothbrush shiv that makes the 19-year-old deadly. It's his ferocious unpredictability, a quality mirrored by this edgy, naturalistic drama.

Starred Up was directed by Glasgow-based David Mackenzie, who's long been drawn to dangerous characters.

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:28
Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotio

Scientists Study How We Evolved To Stand On Our Own Two Fins

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:23


China Warns U.S. Over Surveillance Flights

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:23
Beijing has rejected U.S. claims that one of its fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a U.S.

Fatal Shooting At Firing Range Sparks Debate About Safety

KPLU News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:23
A 9-year-old girl in Arizona on Monday accidentally killed her firing-range instructor when she lost control of an Uzi submachine gun.

The news has ignited a debate in the country about access to guns and the wisdom of state law and parents who allow children to shoot them. It also brought up a host of questions.