The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

'Biggest Public Toilet In The World' now good to go in Japan

The biggest public toilet in the world, officials claim. The flowers and plants will be put in the ground after the soil has settled properly, according to The Japan Times.
Ichihara City

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 5:58 am

It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.

But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."

As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.

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Politics
8:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge tax exemption stands despite internal doubts, court ruling

Families play in the wave pool at Great Wolf Lodge south Of Olympia.

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy.

These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, internal state documents question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Lessons learned from JPMorgan Chase's unexpected loss

The Chase Bank branch at New York City's Chrysler building
Michael Daddino flickr.com

JPMorgan Chase is the largest banking corporation in America. It stood out as a beacon of stability during the recent U.S. financial meltdown. But not anymore.

The bank shocked Wall Street last week with a $2 billion loss. More losses may be on the way.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at some of the lessons to be learned from this surprising development.

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Blues
12:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Stax Bassist Duck Dunn Remembered In Memphis

Donald "Duck" Dunn onstage about 1990.
David Redfern Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:49 pm

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Humanosphere
1:30 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

How a passing comment on an old medical test won a $100K grant

Gates Grand Challenges award winner Kathleen Bongiovanni demonstrates how a simple idea may save the lives of millions of premature babies.
Tom Paulson KPLU

Earlier this week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the latest 100 winners of $100,000 grants from its Grand Challenges Exploration program aimed at supporting high-risk, creative approaches to improving health and fighting poverty in poor countries.

Celebrated for funding “wild” and “wacky” ideas, this year’s batch of Gates Grand Challenge winners included proposals to develop, as the AP reported, unmanned drones to deliver vaccines, tattoos for monitoring pregnancy and a “tuberculosis breathalyzer.”

Read more on Humanosphere.org

Gay Rights
9:38 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Governor Gregoire emerging as unlikely gay rights activist

Governor Christine Gregoire raises her arms as legislators and supporters cheer behind her after she signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage Feb. 13, 2012, in Olympia.
AP

OLYMPIA - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is emerging as an unlikely gay rights activist - both at home and on the national stage. Her role in helping pass a same-sex marriage law this year has made Gregoire a sought-after spokesperson for the movement.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon May 14, 2012

May Day vandalism: Whose anarchy is this?

May Day 2012 violence in Seattle
Erin Hennessey

Weeks have passed since the May Day protests, but Seattle police are still asking for help identifying the individuals who damaged property. The violence was largely attributed to people who've been called anarchists. So what is anarchy anyway?

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Artscape
4:58 am
Mon May 14, 2012

At Seattle Opera, "Madama Butterfly" features a 39-pound non-diva

Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio San and Gabriella Mercado as her son in Seattle Opera's "Madama Butterfly."
Elise Bakketun

"Madama Butterfly” is a story about love, heartbreak and sacrifice and it’s beloved by opera fans worldwide.

It’s the current production at Seattle Opera. The cast features superstar soprano Patricia Racette, who has played the role at least 100 times, including at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

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Color Run
4:07 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Color Run: A colorful day in Seattle

Color cloud rises in front of the Space Needle.
Evan Hoover KPLU

"I was so distracted by all the happy people and color," says runner Sofia Jaramillo. "It didn't even feel like a run just an all around good time."

Thousands of excited runners and walkers gathered as a plain white canvas at the Seattle Center Sunday morning awaiting to enter a sea of color.

The first wave of 1,000 participants took off at approximately 8:30am followed by five more waves every five minutes for Seattle’s first Color Run.

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

New releases by Northwest jazz talents

Dee Daniels, who's singing at the Grand Opening of Bake's Place, Bellevue this weekend.

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with outstanding jazz talent from Portland to Vancouver, BC and this week on Jazz Northwest we'll feature some new releases by some of them.  Former Seattle resident Dee Daniels now divides her time between New York and Vancouver, BC.  This weekend she's featured at the Grand Opening of the new Bake's Place, Bellevue through Sunday.  Human Spirit, with Thomas Marriott, Mark Taylor, Matt Jorgensen and guests Orrin Evans and Essiet Essiet has a new CD recorded at Tula's during last Fall's Earshot Festival.  

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Job Market
6:13 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

High demand for women in trades

"They're actually paying you to come learn something," says Rayna Lorraine, an ironworker apprentice who earns $36/hour plus benefits after 3 years of training. A new apprentice can start at $25/ hour.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

If the skyrocketing cost of a college degree seems intimidating, you might want to consider the skilled trades as an alternative – especially if you’re female.

That was the message at the Washington Women in Trades annual career fair at Seattle Center, where dozens of employers aimed to recruit young women, enticing them with the chance to try their hand as a carpenter, painter or steelworker.

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A Blog Supreme
5:29 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Around the jazz Internet: May 11, 2012

Do conservatories produce "cookie cutter" musicians? (At least they'll be able to play a certain Jimmy Heath blues well.)
Diane Labommbarbe iStockPhoto

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 6:58 am

More links from this week:

  • Interesting discussions at George Colligan's blog this week. An informed opinion on the charge that music schools produce "cookie cutter" musicians. Some thoughts on sight reading, that misunderstood skill among the jazz community. And a low brass forum erupts.
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NW Craft Brews
4:02 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

The Friday beer (week!): Elysian Brewing’s Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout

Elysian Brewing’s Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout
Paul Gibson

The Fourth Annual Seattle Beer Week is in full swing. Events around Seattle kicked off last night at Elysian Brewing on Capitol Hill and will be running at various locations through Sunday, May 20th. Speaking of Elysian Brewing, they brewed this year's official Seattle Beer Week beer, the Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout.

How much more Seattle can you get than a beer made with coffee?

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It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Which is more addicting, politics or Twitter? #FollowFriday

Twitter keyboard.
Arda Guldogan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 12:11 pm

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Arnie Seipel (@NPRnie), a producer with NPR's elections unit.

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Obituary
11:58 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Seattle philanthropist, developer Benaroya dies

In 1993, Jack and his wife, Becky, provided the $15 million seed money to help launch the Seattle Symphony's home, Benaroya Hall.

Jack Benaroya, the philanthropist and developer for whom Seattle's symphony hall was named, has died at age 90.

Benaroya is known as a businessman with impeccable timing and a quiet generosity.

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