State of the Union
9:51 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama, At Crossroads, Takes Different Route Than Clinton Chose In '96

In the final State of the Union address of his term, President Obama called for an economy "where everyone gets a fair shot."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 1:24 pm

As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?

He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Should you store tuna cans upside down?

I don't bother to do it but Nancy Leson does. Find out why below – along with the reason you should never use old tuna cans to cut biscuits. 

I've also posted my "Clamity Cheryl" DeGroot-approved red clam sauce recipe. You can make it in the time it takes to bring a big pot of water to boil for the spaghetti – and in these times of the Fetish for Fresh it's proud to use canned clams.

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Winter storm
6:54 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Power crews work around the clock to restore electricity

Puget Sound Energy crews worked to restore power near Dash Point Road and Redondo Way in Federal Way on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.
Paula Wissel

Puget Sound Energy  crews working to restore power say they haven't slept much.  On Tuesday afternoon, Rob Brackman, who was redirecting traffic while other workers strung new power lines near Dash Point Road and Redondo Way, said he'd  had just 15 hours of sleep since Friday morning.  But, he says he's been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.

"We get a lot of joyous people when we get into their neighborhood. They're so happy to see us. People have been bringing us coffee and donuts. It's been very nice," he said.

Ecoterrorism documentary
4:10 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Film on Earth Liberation Front up for Oscar, raises specter of UW arson and WTO

Thomas M. Hinckley, right, and an unidentified person at left, survey fire damage at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, in this May 23, 2001 file photo.
The Associated Press

A documentary on a cell of the radical environmental group that claimed responsibility for the arson that destroyed a University of Washington research facility in 2001 has been nominated for an Oscar.

The documentary’s exploration of the ideology and tactics involved in radical environmental actions and the law enforcement agencies determined to make arrests raises again the intense passions and dramatic consequences surrounding the arson at UW.

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Energy
3:52 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Wind farm developer announces layoffs

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 2:56 pm

One of the Northwest's biggest wind and solar power companies is laying off people. Tuesday, Iberdrola Renewables let go about 50 workers out of a nationwide staff of more than 900. The cuts affect 25 workers based at its North American headquarters in Portland. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

This January 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:13 pm

You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It's the biggest to hit us since 2005. You've also probably heard a few people say, "I didn't feel anything."

As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today's solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.

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Other News
3:32 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

More of the mysterious Mima Mounds slated for protection

Mima Mounds
Wash. Department of Natural Resources

The Mima Mounds Natural Area, southwest of Olympia, may soon get bigger.

Not the tell-tale mounds themselves – the part of the the geologically unique landscape that’s protected by the state. Right now, the Department of Natural Resources manages just over 600 acres of it. A private party is donating 100 more to the preserve.

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fallen trees and power outages
2:39 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Storm was last week, but still affecting daily life for many

With life returning to normal across much of Puget Sound, at least 24,000 homes were still without power as of 11 o'clock this morning. Puget Sound Energy has the largest number of outages and predicts it will have nearly all its customers restored by Wednesday evening.

The clean-up job is still daunting, and it's affecting some schools and college campuses.

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Humanosphere
12:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

PATH named world’s 6th best NGO; Gates doesn’t make the list

All those magazine rankings out there — of the best hospitals, best doctors or best sushi bars — are popular but often highly suspect if not downright absurd due to organizations manipulating the evaluation process, weird and arbitrary criteria or just plain old sloppiness.

Nevertheless, the Global Journal, a Geneva-based magazine aimed at becoming the insider’s guide to what it describes as the “global issues” scene, published its own rankings.

It says Seattle's PATH is the 6th best NGO in the world, but left the Gates Foundation off the list. What gives?

Read more on Humanosphere.

Shots - Health Blog
12:02 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

NPR science: Your brain on psilocybin might be less depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:37 am

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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Sports
9:32 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Jon Kitna hopes to coach at high school in Tacoma, Wash.

Jon Kitna talks about his life inside and outside of the NFL with his wife Jennifer in 2007.
The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — After 15 years as an NFL quarterback, Jon Kitna hopes to return to his old high school in Tacoma as a coach.

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Economy
9:20 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Laid-off, then hired back by the state of Washington

Keri-Anne Jetzer lost her job as a state researcher, but then was hired back in a different position.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama adviser Plouffe: Expect a State of the Union heavy on the economy

White House advisor David Plouffe.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:03 am

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

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Opinion
8:55 am
Tue January 24, 2012

New Republic: State of the Union listening guide

U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner, addresses a Joint Session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech Jan. 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama is expected to primarily discuss the economy in his upcoming speech.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:51 am

Jonathan Bernstein blogs at A Plain Blog About Politics.

Even with the major distraction of a Republican presidential primary, tonight's State of the Union speech will guaranteed to, however briefly, capture the undivided attention of all political junkies. They're not wrong: The annual tradition does matter. And yet the conventional wisdom about the importance of the speech tends to be almost exactly backwards.

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Author Interviews
8:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 12:09 pm

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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