Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cheating Death: Sound Effect, Episode 199

Adrian Florez

This week on Sound Effect, our theme is “Cheating Death” — stories of defying the odds and living to tell the tale. First, we meet a 1920s daredevil who survived 104 vertical feet of certain death. A diver recounts her underwater brush with death. A a 92-year-old author recalls how an unlikely ally saved her from Nazi occupation. We meet a UW researcher studying how to help your dog live longer. And a local storyteller talks about his unexpected connection with a womanwho was awaiting a heart transplant. 


Guy Faussett grew up hearing about the shenanigans of his recent ancestors, the eight Faussett boys who grow up around the towns of Snoqualmie and Monroe, in the 1920s.  

Guy shares the story of one Faussett brother in particular, who was always getting into something. Al Faussett made money in a variety of ways: horse racing, logging, real estate. And then, eventually, as a daredevil. His act would center on those epic features of the Pacific Northwest: waterfalls. 


Katie Morgan, who works in corporate sponsorship here at KNKX, is a longtime scuba diver. Being underwater is normally a haven for Katie. But one dive, during a volunteer shift at the Seattle Aquarium’s underwater dome, turned into a brush with death


The fact that Laureen Nussbaum is still here at 92 years old is incredible. She recently wrote a book(in her 90s!) about exactly how incredible. 

Laureen grew up in a Jewish family in Germany and, later, Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, during World War II. The vast majority of people who fit that description did not survive.

But Laureen did, in part because of the very laws the Nazis used to decide who was worthy of extermination. Listen to her tell her story, which includes an unlikely ally who played a role in her survival. 


Researcher Matt Kaeberlein runs the Kaeberlein Lab at the University of Washington, where he and his team studies the biology of aging.

They'd like to increase the human healthspan, or the period of life spent free from disease. And, for that matter, they'd like to extend the canine healthspan, too. Listen to Kaeberlein talk about his work, discuss the ethics behind it, and share how he got inspired to work with dogs.


Of course, no one can cheat death in the long run. Sometimes, it’s about squeezing out just a little extra time — and a little more meaning — from life. 

Storyteller Obie Pressman talks about encountering someone in those late stages of life, and finding an unexpected connection. He told it at Sound Effect’s live storytelling event over the summer. 

Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.