Northwest News Network

Dead Stop
1:27 am
Tue August 28, 2012

On Remote Island, The Dead Are Buried Far And Wide

Tiny Grindstone Island has only one official cemetery.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 6:38 pm

Grindstone Island's lone public dock is just three miles north of the U.S. mainland, a straight shot by powerboat across the St. Lawrence River from Clayton, N.Y. Part of the Thousand Islands, Grindstone Island sits in a waterway shared by the U.S. and Canada.

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Strange News
2:46 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Newlyweds Strut Into Marriage As The 'Rock-Singers'

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:23 pm

A wedding announcement in Sunday's New York Times caught our eye. Cara Singer and Aaron Rock got married in Tarrytown, N.Y. And they have chosen to hyphenate their names, making them the Rock-Singers. We hear from both of them about how they made that bold decision.

Wildfires
9:40 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Rural Firefighting Forces Harder To Maintain

Volunteer firefighter Cheyne Anderson of Pend Oreille Fire District 4 waits beside the engine during a training exercise near Newport, Wash.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

When a wildfire breaks out in rural parts of the Northwest, the first people on the scene are often volunteer firefighters. Much of the region relies on these unpaid first responders who have day jobs of their own. But changes in rural America are conspiring to make volunteer forces harder to maintain. And that could make it more difficult for communities to respond to emergencies like wildfire.

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Strange News
4:25 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Need A Soprano? Get A Gibbon On Helium

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This just in: Gibbons on helium sing like sopranos. Wired magazine reports on a study at Kyoto University in which an ape named Fuku-chan was placed in a chamber filled with helium enriched air. This was not a party trick. Helium-rich air apparently allows scientists to more easily analyze vocalizations. Fuku-chan's bellow went from this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

SIMON: To this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

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Dead Stop
1:33 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Deaths Tell The Story Of Life In Old Hong Kong

For more than a decade, author Patricia Lim researched the 8,000 graves of the Hong Kong Cemetery, one of the city's oldest Christian cemeteries. Here, Lim stands at the grave of former Hong Kong police officer Richardson Barry Loxley Leslie. Last year, she rested on the grave while, unbeknownst to her at the time, she was having a mild heart attack.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 am

Below a noisy flyover alongside Hong Kong's Happy Valley racecourse, there's a little-noticed green oasis stretching up the hillside, punctuated by imposing Victorian chest tombs, granite obelisks and delicate angels. This is Hong Kong cemetery, the last resting place of the early settlers who colonized the island, starting in the 1840s.

For my mother, Patricia Lim, the cemetery is a repository of the island's early untold early history.

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Northwest News Network
3:45 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

County Takes Hard Line Against Leaving Fido In Hot Car

Officer Nicole Montano is the operations manager of the the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

One Northwest county is taking a hard line against dog owners who leave man’s best friend in a hot car this summer. Animal protection officers in Spokane County, Wash., say a prolonged trip to the mall could earn you criminal charges for animal cruelty – and a broken window.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:31 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dr. Seuss On Malaria: 'This is Ann ... She Drinks Blood'

During World War II, Capt. Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — created a small booklet explaining how to prevent mosquito bites.
Theodor Geisel Courtesy of USDA

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:34 am

Before he cooked up green eggs or taught us to count colorful fish, Dr. Seuss was a captain in the U.S. Army. And during World War II, the author and illustrator, whose given name was Theodor Geisel, spent a few years creating training films and pamphlets for the troops.

One of Geisel's Army cartoons was a booklet aimed at preventing malaria outbreaks among GIs by urging them to use nets and keep covered up.

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Northwest News Network
2:00 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Just Barely Survives Kittitas Wildfire

Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW exec. director Sarah Baeckler looks at the partially charred outdoor chimp enclosure.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Firefighters on the scene of a destructive wildfire in central Washington are hoping to make major progress today toward containment of the blaze. The Kittitas County sheriff's office estimates more than 70 homes and cabins have been destroyed. The fire has chased hundreds of people from their homes.  Amidst the ashes, is one unusual story of survival.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Fans Of 'The Office,' This Video's For You: Cat Drops From Ceiling

Just dropping in. A frame grab from video of what happened when a cat fell from the ceiling in a Costa Rican classroom. It appeared to be just fine afterward.
UPEACE01

Seeing this video on Gawker today of a cat causing quite a stir when it fell out of the ceiling of a classroom in Costa Rica reminded us of a scene from season five of The Office.

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Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know
3:12 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Feathers And Rubber Bands: A Golf Ball Story

A "featherie" golf ball from the 1800s.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 1:09 pm

If you're Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy teeing off in the final rounds of the 2012 PGA Championship this weekend, you're probably not thinking about the fascinating history of the golf ball. But those of us who are just spectating can take a moment to contemplate this little gem of modern engineering. From wood to feathers to tree sap, rubber bands, cork or compressed air — today's little white spheroid has had an interesting evolution.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:31 am

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

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Strange News
9:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

It's Not Gold, But Fastest US Texter Wins Big

It may not be an Olympic sport, but Wisconsin teen Austin Wierschke was just named the fastest texter in America. The texting champion was awarded $50,000. Wierschke speaks with host Michel Martin about how he keeps his thumbs in shape.

Strange News
3:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Weightlifter Keeps Calm, Sleeps In And Carries On

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a lesson on how to keep calm, sleep in and carry on.

Twenty-one-year-old Jack Oliver went to bed ready to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. That was until the weightlifter overslept by an hour on his big day. He was roused by his coach and got dressed in 30 seconds, he says, and still managed two personal bests, grabbing a fourth place finish. The sleep did me good, he said. I had less time to think about the competition.

Strange News
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Economy
12:45 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

One Job Seeker's Ruse To Check Out His Competition

Have you ever wondered who else is out there applying for the jobs you want?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:49 am

Eric Auld wants a full-time job. He completed a master's program in 2009 and has a part-time job as an adjunct lecturer, but that provides barely enough to cover the bills.

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Strange News
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Utah Town, Pop. 2 Llamas, For Sale: $3.9 Million

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This might test the strength of the real estate recovery. A town is for sale - Woodside, a ghost town, a former railroad stop outside Salt Lake City. For $3.9 million you could own a dead gold mine, a geyser, and old buildings. The town is said to be near a former hideout of Butch Cassidy's gang, not the actual hideout, but near it. The buyer even gets the town's two current residents - a pair of free-range llamas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Strange News
5:18 am
Wed August 1, 2012

London Cabbie Offers His Car As Olympics Lodging

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Rent is notoriously high in London and especially so during the Olympic Games. That's why David Weeks stuffed his cab with a mattress, radio, mini-fridge and teddy bear. The cabbie is parking it outside his flat to rent out to tourists for about 80 bucks a night, much cheaper than most hotels, but there's still rules - no smoking and no pets. The vacancy sign is still on, but he's calling it the Hail-a-Hotel. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Dead Stop
2:56 am
Wed August 1, 2012

The Ghostly Grandeur Of A Desert Graveyard

A couple celebrates Dia de los Muertos at the Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.
Stacy Kendrick Concordia Cemetery

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.

"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."

The Grave Of A Wild West Legend

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Strange News
6:04 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Police Use Their Heads To Hem In Runaway Hamster

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
5:56 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Olympic Volunteers Cash In On Ceremony Souvenirs

The Telegraph reports that props from the Olympics opening ceremony are appearing on eBay — everything from an "Industrial Revolution" costume, to pieces of confetti that erupted as Great Britain's team entered the stadium. Some of the performers are calling it "crass." But a seller pointed out it is in the spirit of the games — because it could "help me achieve my own ambitions."

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