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Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

KPLU News - 1 hour 2 min ago
Forget wearables, let's talk about inflatables.

Volvo's new child safety seat concept is a fully inflatable device designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

So compact is this prototype that it goes from a stylish-looking backpack into a rear-facing car seat in less than a minute.

In Age Of Custom-Tailored Ed Tech, Teachers Shop Off The Rack

KPLU News - 1 hour 3 min ago
The big names in the growing education-technology industry gathered in Arizona this week.

The "Education Innovation Summit" styles itself the "Davos of ed-tech." Educators, philanthropists and political leaders like Jeb Bush rubbed elbows with the investors, venture capitalists, big companies like Microsoft and small companies hoping to get big.

Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'

KPLU News - 1 hour 4 min ago
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed into law a kind of Internet bill of rights on Wednesday.

As the AP reports, the law enshrines access to the Web, guarantees neutrality and "puts limits on the metadata that can be collected from Internet users in Brazil.

Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back?

KPLU News - 1 hour 4 min ago
Maybe you turn up your music when your neighbor complains about the noise.

Or maybe you curse a baby princess because you didn't get invited to her christening, as in "Sleeping Beauty" and its latest incarnation, the upcoming movie "Maleficent."

To see spite in its purest form, try brunch in New York.

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

KPLU News - 1 hour 5 min ago
President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Obama emerged with a thumbs-up review. "That's some good sushi right there," he said.

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

KPLU News - 1 hour 5 min ago
The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31.

Song Of The Day: Ingrid Jensen's 'At Sea'

KPLU News - 1 hour 17 min ago

Ingrid Jensen, one of my favorite trumpet players, has one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument today. I've described her approach to the horn as "vocal," and she's said she's just trying to sing her ideas through the instrument. This is not a new concept, but when I listen to her playing, I hear it in action.

Her technical command of trumpet is matched by her creative and emotional depth in ways that are thrilling to hear. Her compositions and improvisations take this listener on a journey, and any record with Ingrid on it is going to have moments of brilliance for sure.

Scientists: Washington's State Fish Has A Remarkable Evolutionary Past

KPLU News - 1 hour 50 min ago

It turns out the Washington state fish is a piece of evolutionary wonder. An international group of scientists sequenced the genome of the rainbow trout and found some surprises. 

About 100 million years ago, something odd happened to the ancestor of salmon and rainbow trout. Instead of inheriting two copies of chromosome sets — one from mom and one from dad, they managed to inherit four copies. In evolutionary terms, this was a recent and dramatic event.

Wash. State Sen. Ericksen: Controversial Oil Trains 'Going To Be With Us For A While'

KPLU News - 2 hours 24 min ago

Washington state environmental regulators are expecting a lively crowd in the coastal city of Hoquiam on Thursday when the public will get a chance to weigh in about increased crude oil train traffic. But one powerful state senator says the controversial oil trains are needed.

Developers are proposing side-by-side marine terminal expansions on Grays Harbor along the Washington coast. They would receive crude oil by rail from the Northern Plains and send it out by barge and tanker to West Coast refineries.

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

KPLU News - 2 hours 44 min ago
When you think about Vietnamese food, you might think of savory beef noodle soup, or endless fields of rice paddies. But chocolate?

As the world's demand for chocolate grows, Vietnam is making a bid to become one of the world's newest high quality suppliers.

Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou are two players in the country's small but growing cocoa industry.

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

KPLU News - 2 hours 58 min ago
A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

"It's a very dramatic difference," says Eric Schneider, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins and the lead author of a new study.

Boeing CEO: Moving Engineering Jobs Out Of Wash. Will 'Strengthen Our Company'

KPLU News - 5 hours 39 min ago

Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney says he understands that shifting engineering work away from Washington state may be controversial, but he says these moves “strengthen our company, strengthen our engineering capability.”

Over the past year, the Chicago-based aerospace giant has announced several transfers of engineering jobs that affect thousands of Puget Sound-area employees. Most recently, the company said earlier this month that it will move 1,000 engineering positions to southern California as it makes that region the center of customer support for airplanes currently in service.

Nancy's Whole Ham Cooked In Rye Dough, And Dick's Worth-The-Wait Roast Lamb

KPLU News - 11 hours 27 min ago

How's this for a switch: rye on ham.

It used to be a vague childhood memory for Nancy Leson's husband, Mac. 

U.S. Says It's Monitoring For Possible North Korea Nuclear Test

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 22:57
The United States is urging North Korea to refrain from a new nuclear test amid indications of "heightened activity" at Pyongyang's Punggye-ri test site.

"We have certainly seen the press reports ... regarding possible increased activity in North Korea's nuclear test site," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Missing Slide Victim's Brothers: Meeting Other Families Was Powerful, Meeting Obama Was 'Bonus'

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 22:33

For two men still waiting word on their brother missing since the March 22 mudslide, Tuesday's group meeting with President Barack Obama provided a powerful opportunity to connect with other victims, family members and first responders.

Frank and John Hadaway's brother, 53-year-old Steven Hadaway of Darrington, is one of two people still missing in the wake of the mudslide that has claimed 41 lives.

Supreme Court Gives Police New Power To Rely On Anonymous Tips

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 21:23
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 tip.

The 5-4 decision split the court's two most conservative justices, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority and Justice Antonin Scalia penning the dissent.

In August 2008, an anonymous 911 caller in California phoned in a report that a pickup truck had run her off the road.

Gregoire's Earth Day Message To College Kids: Puget Sound Health Depends On You

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 17:20

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

Wanapum Dam Fix Could Total $61 Million, Says Grant County PUD

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 16:56

The cost fixing the cracked Wanapum Dam will total $61 million, according to Grant County PUD officials.

About one-third of the cost is the result of the investigation into the crack, the guarding of the river and the loss of power production. The rest will cover the fix itself.

Online Sales Taxes Shift Consumer Behavior, Study Shows

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 15:02
Technically, consumers are supposed to pay taxes on things they buy online.

Fast-Food CEOs Earn Supersize Salaries; Workers Earn Small Potatoes

KPLU News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 15:02
At a time when fast-food workers make an average of about $9 an hour, what are the chief executives bringing home?

According to a new report, YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) compensated its CEO $22 million in 2013.

Chipotle's CEO took home $13.8 million in total compensation. And McDonald's CEO compensation totaled $7.7 million.