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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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.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

Near the coast of Washington state, on the banks of the Copalis River, lies a ghost forest -- a stand of gray, dead trees in the middle of a healthy forest.

How did it get there?

Could the key lie in another mystery, a mysterious tsunami recorded by samurai in 18th-century Japan? 

Linking these seemingly unconnected phenomena became a goal for ambitious scientists using everything at their disposal, from computer models to chainsaws.

Greg Beckelhymer

 

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

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.

 

Jennifer Wing / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

What if something was thought to be gone forever? Would you still go looking for it? There is a man named David Benscoter, who does just this.

Benscoter spends a lot if his time exploring an area of Eastern Washington known as the Palouse. He searches abandoned homesteads, looking for varieties of apples that are believed to be extinct.  

“These trees, they’re just going to go away someday. And if I don’t do it there’s no one who’s going to search for them,” says Benscoter.

Lydia Ramsey in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

To say that Seattle musician Lydia Ramsey was raised in a musical family would be kind of an understatement.

“Me and my brothers joke that, like, in order to sit down in our living room, you had to pick up an instrument because it was taking up the chair. And then you’d be like oh, well I’m holding this so I might as well play something on it,” said Ramsey.

Courtesy of Rachel Kessler

This story originally aired on October 28, 2017.

Seattle Writer Rachel Kessler started this discussion by reading a passage from an essay she wrote  that was recently anthologized in a book Ghosts of Seattle Past.

Ed Ronco / KNKX

Washington State is, of course, named after founding father George Washington. But there’s another George Washington, also a founding father, who settled in a little corner of the territory with his wife Mary Jane nearly 150 years ago. There he founded a town called Centerville, later changed to Centralia.

What makes Washington an unusual pioneer-type is that he was African-American, born in Virginia to a white woman and a black slave.

Ashley Gross

This show originally aired on October 7, 2017.

Courtesy Marin Landis

 

This story originally aired on October 7, 2017.

They say that age is nothing but a number. But for women looking to conceive, age is one of the primary factors to determines that chance at success.

That is why women hoping to have children later in life are looking at an increasingly popular method -- freezing their eggs.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

This story originally aired on October 7, 2017.

Dr. Kim Holland emerged from the locker room at a pool in West Seattle on a recent Friday morning, suited up and ready to go. But she scanned the pool with a bit of dismay – no empty lanes.  

“It’s kind of hard because I don’t like it when there’s more than one person in a lap lane because then you’ve got to pay attention,” she said. “The lanes are too narrow.”

Nevertheless, she pulled on her bathing cap and goggles, staked out a lane and climbed in.

Jackson Main

 

This story originally aired on October 7, 2017.

There is that saying that pops up in fortune cookies and is spoken often by parents of antsy kids: Good things come to those who wait.

 

Michael Jacobson of Seattle waited for something. In fact, he waited for nearly three decades to get ahold of two unusual boats that were being used as light fixtures at Ivar’s Salmon House on North Lake Union. When this eventually happened, a new door opened up in his world that he did not expect.

 

Courtesy Caprice Hollins

This story originally aired on October 7, 2017.

So, there’s this online test. The faces of people of different races flash up on your screen along with words, like good, bad, sweet and bitter. And you have to immediately click on one of the words when you see the face. It tests our implicit racial biases in a way that’s really hard to fool.

The results can be enlightening. Or horrifying, because it turns out almost all of us have implicit bias.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia

This story originally aired on October 7, 2017.

Washington State is, of course, named after founding father George Washington. But there’s another George Washington, also a founding father, who settled in a little corner of the territory with his wife Mary Jane nearly 150 years ago. There he founded a town called Centerville, later changed to Centralia.

What makes Washington an unusual pioneer-type is that he was African-American, born in Virginia to a white woman and a black slave.

NIAID / Flickr

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

Seattle Attorney Bill Marler is often thought of as a bug. An agitator. An annoyance to the beef and poultry industries, and even the companies that grow leafy greens. He’s the guy you call if you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to E. coli, salmonella, listeria or any other bacteria that somehow works their way into mass food production and into your stomach.

NIAID

This show originally aired on September 30, 2017.

Gabriel Spitzer

 

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

Museums rely on many volunteers to carry out their mission. This is quite true for the Burke Museum on the campus of the University Of Washington, in Seattle.

 

In fact, the Burke has dozens of volunteers that live in a small windowless room, not much larger than a walk in closet. These dedicated workers have been here for years. They are dermestid beetles in their larval state: hungry baby beetles.

 

Credit NIAID/Flickr

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

Seattle Attorney Bill Marler is often thought of as a bug…an agitator…an annoyance to the beef and poultry industries, and even the companies that grow leafy greens. He’s the guy you call if you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to E. coli, salmonella, listeria, or any other bacteria that somehow works its way into mass food production and into your stomach.

Worldoflucky / Wikimedia Commons

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

    

On June 10, 1999, Bellingham residents began reporting the strong smell of gasoline. Then, within minutes, 911 operators were flooded with reports of a massive explosion.  A fuel pipeline had burst, dumping nearly 300,000 gallons of gasoline into nearby creeks.  

And then it ignited.  

Black smoke rose 30,000 feet in the air and flames shot out for over a mile. It’s considered a miracle there were only three deaths.  

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

There’s Ms Nimbus, Queen of the Air, and Drake, King of the High Dive. There’s the high-wire artistry of the fabulous Dmitry and Annette.

And then, of course, there’s Marcel, the world’s only “mime flea.”

These are just a few of the cast members of a unique Seattle attraction: Professor Payne’s Phantasmagorical Flea Circus.

Steve Sheppard

 

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

Brandon Hopkins was on track to become a high school biology teacher when he was invited by one of his professors at Washington State University to work in a lab with honey bees.

“Yeah, I bought every kind of itch cream they sold in the store  because my hands were swollen and itching from all the bee stings and I soaked my hands in ice every night and questioned my decision making,” recalls Hopkins.

Courtesy of Graham Owen / Film Flies

This story originally aired on September 30, 2017.

When Hollywood needs a housefly, they call Graham Owen. The head of the company Film Flies is a specialist when it comes to creating fake insects (and spiders and centipedes) used in movies, print ads and commercials. 

 

Owen has watched his creations appear in a Spider-Man movie, alight on the lip of Adam Sandler and even the star in a Breaking Bad episode. Each bug is meticulously recreated, leading to specimens so realistic that they have fooled real bugs into trying to mate with them.  

Tim Durkan

This story originally aired on Jan. 14, 2017

“The streets start really showing their personality after dark,” said Seattle photographer Tim Durkan, on one of the coldest nights of 2016.

He’s talking about the neighborhood where he lives, and where he grew up: Capitol Hill.

Nathan Vass

 

This story originally aired on December 2, 2017.

Many of us make our way through traffic while riding on a bus.

One of the busiest bus routes in Seattle is the #7 carries more than 11,000 people every day. The #7 goes through the Rainier Valley and at night It turns into the #49 when it heads north, to the University District.

 

This is Nathan Vass’s bus route.

 

Credit Live Once Live Wild/Flickr

This week, some of our favorite stories of roundabout journeys. First, we hear the cryptic poem that serves as a map to a buried treasure. Then, the story of a teenager escaping a troubled home life, who found strength in the books of Judy Blume.

Courtesy of Forrest Fenn

This story originally aired March 26, 2016.  

Many children dream of buried treasure and fantastical adventures in search of gold and jewels. Some adventurous adults are following through on those dreams, scouring the western United States for the treasure of Forrest Fenn. 

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