Sound Effect | KNKX

Sound Effect

Saturdays at 10 AM

Sound Effect is stories inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme.

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In 1931 in the small southeast Washington town of Asotin, a 12 year old boy named Herbert Nicholls Jr. shot and killed the town sheriff. 

Nicholls was starving and abused, and had run away from home and broken into the local store to steal some food. The sheriff came in to find him, and Nicholls fired the gun with the intent to scare him away. Unfortunately, the bullet hit the sheriff in the head, killing him instantly. 

THIERRY EHRMANN VIA FLICKR

 

It all started when CeCe Moore decided to make a family tree as a wedding gift for her niece. At that point she’d had a whole career in entertainment, working as a model and television and musical theatre actress. But once she started digging into her family history, CeCe quickly realized that she couldn’t put it down.

“It just started as a hobby, but once I saw the potential of it, I kind of dropped everything else I was doing,” she said.

Credit Rob Hurson/Flickr

This week, stories of speaking out, even when it would have been easier to keep quiet. First, a climate scientist talks about her experience speaking out about sexual harassment and assault in field. Next, a doctor shares what he learned about interacting with the assertive parents of patients.

Dr. Sarah Myhre is a research associate at the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. As a paleoceanographer, she studies ancient climate fluctuations by analyzing core samples of the ocean floor.

She's become a prominant voice sounding the alarm on climate change. But it was one of her non-scientific publications that brought on a recent wave of attention, not all of it welcome.

"I get harassed all the time on the internet. I get weird emails, I get hate mail. And the majority of that is in line with what other women scientists also receive," she said.

Thierry Ehrmann via Flickr

 

It all started when CeCe Moore decided to make a family tree as a wedding gift for her niece. At that point she’d had a whole career in entertainment, working as a model and television and musical theatre actress. But once she started digging into her family history, CeCe quickly realized that she couldn’t put it down.

 

“It just started as a hobby, but once I saw the potential of it, I kind of dropped everything else I was doing,” she said.

Courtesy of Sam Blackman

Patient advocates say when you're getting medical care, it's important to be a squeaky wheel. And that goes double when you're the parent of a sick child, who may not be able to advocate for him- or herself. 

While that may be wise, it doesn't necessarily endear one to the doctor -- especially if he's been working an 18-hour shift and is trying to get some sleep. 

Sam Blackman is a cancer researcher and a former pediatric oncologist in Seattle. He shared this story of two assertive parents, and what they taught him about being a doctor. 

Maxwell Hendrix

In the small hours of April 2, 2001, a 92-foot trawler called the Arctic Rose was swallowed up by the Bering Sea. The Seattle-based crew of 15 went down with it, and it was called the deadliest fishing accident in 50 years.

There was no mayday call, no survivors and no obvious reason for this terrible tragedy.

A Coast Guard investigation came up with its most likely scenario: that the crew had mistakenly left a watertight door open, allowing waves to swamp the boat.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

The plan for Nathan Myhrvold was to go into academia. He had his Ph.D in physics, and had even done some work with Stephen Hawking.

But then he got pulled into this side project. The project turned into a company, the company got acquired by a little Redmond concern called Microsoft, and before long Nathan became the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

But Myhrvold kept his passion for science … and while he was at Microsoft -- in his abundant free time --- he started writing papers about dinosaurs.

Max Wasserman / KNKX News

 

In the world we live in today, if a toaster breaks or those comfy sweatpants you bought for cheap from the markdown rack get a rip in them, you’d probably toss them.

 

Replacing things quickly, with a tap on our phones or clicks on a keyboard, is so easy to do. This is why what’s going on at libraries across King County, Washington feels kind of radical.

 

Sara Jamshidi grew up in Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She remembers when her mother could wear sunglasses and mini-skirts on hot summer days, before the new fundamentalist government made laws about what women could and could not wear.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

 

Wes Browning has held an impressive array of jobs at Real Change, the newspaper distributed mainly by homeless vendors: He’s been a columnist, an artist, circulation specialist, public speaker, and so on.

He’s also been homeless three times and struggled with his mental health, so he understands the paper’s vendors better than most.

But go back in time in Browning’s resume, and you find an even wider range of jobs: taxi driver, teacher, theoretical mathematician.

This week, stories of career paths and their unexpected twists. First, a man finds himself lucky enough to never have to work again, and decides he’ll pivot to being a LEGO artist. Next, a career dishwasher becomes an internationally renowned artist.

Courtesy of Mark Rose

Growing up on Mercer Island, Mark Rose was captivated by rock n’ roll. And like most kids, he wanted to be a part of it. But unlike most kids, Mark did end up in the music business. He didn’t make it as a musician, but instead worked on the business side of things.

But because of his close association with the musicians, he ended up living a lifestyle very much befitting a rockstar: drugs, alcohol, incessant partying. And like a lot of rock n’ roll stories, Mark’s had a burn-out ending that left him picking up the pieces of his life.

Courtesy of John Michael Kohler Museum 2010

 

Some people report to work purely for the paycheck. For others, the job itself plays a big part in their identity. Gregory Blackstock is a man who knows both sides of this coin.

Blackstock is autistic and for decades, he eked out a living as a dishwasher at The Washington Athletic Club. It was a place that treated Gregory very well, but he found the work difficult to get through.

 

"I just wanted to get away from drudgery," said Gregory.

 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Sara Jamshidi grew up in Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She remembers when her mother could wear sunglasses and mini-skirts on hot summer days, before the new fundamentalist government made laws about what women could and could not wear.

 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

 

Iain Heath had just caught a break. As an early employee of the data visualization at Tableau, he stood to make a bundle when the company went public in 2013.

And for the first time, Heath realized he could quit his day job to pursue his passions.

He says he asked his boss whether he was planning on leaving, too. His answer: No.

“[He said] ‘I don’t know what I would do with myself.’ I realized that a lot of people, their job defines who they are,” says Heath. “I had a list of things to do.”

TONY WEBSTER/FLICKR

This show originally aired on December 2, 2017.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

If your primary mode of transportation is riding the bus, it's likely you've seen some nice bus stops, some OK ones, probably a couple of bad ones. The website Streetsblog USA holds an annual contest where readers from around the country nominate terrible bus stops, and then vote on them. The bus stop with the most votes gets crowned The Sorriest Bus Stop In America. 

And congratulations, Seattle: The 2017 title is yours. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on December 2, 2017.

Todd Stabelfeldt drives a pretty dope ride.

Those are his words -- describing his super-high-tech, “murdered-out … completely black-on-black” vehicle.

It’s no ordinary ride: Stabelfeldt has quadriplegia, and his “whip” is a tricked-out wheelchair, an F5 Permobil equipped with a tongue-operated interface for navigating and controlling devices.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on December 2, 2017.

If you think your daliy commute is bad, please meet Daniel Bone. He maneuvers a large cement truck to the many different construction sites in the Seattle area.

A few years ago, Bone's commute from an idyllic five-acre farm in Yelm, Washington, was daunting, but doable. 

"I'm 62 miles out from our home in Yelm, to where I work in Seattle. In the mornings I could drive it, an hour and ten minutes, comfortably. Coffee in hand. Well rested," Bone said.

Ben Amstutz / Flickr

This story originally aired on December 2, 2017.

Elk meat, eagle feathers, bear gallbladder. These are just a few of the items sold by wildlife traffickers in the Pacific Northwest.

 

How bad is this black market? Washington state Fish & Wildlife detective Todd Vandivert wanted to find out.

He and partner Sergeant Jennifer Maurstad went undercover as small business owners, risking their lives to bring in some of the largest animal traffickers in the region.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on December 2, 2017.

Chief Marshal Elisa Sansalone says she finds calm in the chaos of the Municipal Court of Seattle.

That’s important for someone who leads a team tasked with transporting defendants to and from court about 15,000 times a year.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

 

When it comes to scientific arguments nowadays, there’s a good chance sooner or later someone will be compared to people who believe the earth is flat.

Most would consider that an insult, but not Mark Sargent. The Whidbey Island resident spends much of his time promoting the belief that the earth is not round or spherical but actually, definitely flat.

WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

This show originally aired on November 18, 2017.

Credit Gabriel Spitzer

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave came to learn their respective instruments after things didn't work out with their first choice.

Ed started with the trumpet, but the combination of the smaller mouthpiece and a mouth full of braced turned out to be a painful experience. So he moved to the baritone horn, which had a larger mouthpiece, and never looked back.

Will James / KNKX

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you'll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound. 

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday. 

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Meet A Leader Of The Flat Earth Movement

Aug 25, 2018
Credit Gabriel Spitzer

 

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

When it comes to scientific arguments nowadays, there’s a good chance sooner or later someone will be compared to people who believe the earth is flat.

Most would consider that an insult, but not Mark Sargent. The Whidbey Island resident spends much of his time promoting the belief that the earth is not round or spherical but actually, definitely flat.

Joel Shupack

 

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

Anyone who has ever loved a dog, and who has been on the receiving end of a dog’s unconditional affection, would agree that the grief you experience when that animal dies is deep and painful.

 

In this story, which originally aired on the podcast SquareMile, producer Joel Shupack introduces us to his friend Lela who recently said goodby to her beloved Catahoula, Coltrane.

 

Greg Beckelhymer

In the Fall of 2016, Greg Beckelhymer died after a year-long struggle with metastatic kidney cancer. He was 47 years old.

In this story, his widow, Seattle-based writer Michelle Goodman and her sister, Naomi Goodman, talk about how acute grief is often accompanied by strong denial.

CREDIT MATT CALLOW/FLICKR

This show originally aired on October 28, 2017.

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