KNKX Public Radio-logo

KNKX Public Radio

KNKX Public Radio

This show is produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle/Tacoma Washington. Thanks for listening!


Tacoma, WA


This show is produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle/Tacoma Washington. Thanks for listening!






12180 Park Ave S. Tacoma, WA 98447 253-535-7758


Virtual Reality: Sound Effect, Episode 84

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you stories of virtual reality and what happens when real life meets technology like the internet, video games, and even television.


Treating Pain With A Virtual World Of Snow And Ice

Being treated for a severe burn is one of the most physically painful things a human can experience. Dead skin has to be scrubbed away. The skin has to be stretched so that as it heals, it doesn’t get tight. If this is not done, a patient can be maimed permanently. It’s during these treatments, or wound care sessions, that the pain is often the worst. This is what 64-year-old Kathleen Linsicum from Palmer, Alaska is going through. She’s a patient at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle....


Video Game Company Aims To Enrich Players With Its 'Socially Responsible' Mission

One of the best parts about playing video games is losing yourself inside whatever world they take place in. Maybe you’re a plumber tasked with saving a princess from a great sorcerer. Or you could be an agent with the British secret service trying to save the world from Spectre. But if you’re Dima Veryovka and Sean Vesce, the objective is a little different. The games they make are all about how you connect to the world around you. These two created the gaming company Colabee Studios...


Putting The Reality In Virtual Reality Audio

Scott Colburn has basically spent his entire adult life working in the audio business. In the past he’s been a music producer for bands like Arcade Fire, Animal Collective and Mudhoney. He’s done the audio for films. His current job is a sound designer at Microsoft. Colburn is working on their virtual and augmented reality projects. His goal is to get the audio experience of virtual reality to sound just as real as the visual part of it, something that he was inspired to do after going to...


Hungry, Shivering, And Tweeting: A Homeless Man Makes His Way Via Twitter

Twitter is a place where trolls harass and gossip spreads like wildfire. Can it also be a place where a Gig Harbor salesman befriends a homeless hitchhiker? Shivering in freezing temperatures in a brittle Midwest winter, Bill Krayer was sticking his thumb out, trying in vain to get to Seattle. In between efforts to get a ride, he’d pull out his tiny phone and tweet details of his journey. One Twitter follower reached out to offer a lifeline. But could their friendship sustain in the real...


Growth In Seattle And Denver Spurs Need For Transit

In a few weeks, voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties will make a decision about Regional Proposition 1, also known as Sound Transit 3. But in 2004, voters in eight Colorado counties approved their own rail expansion called FasTracks. Census data show that both the Seattle and Denver regions were among the top five fastest growing metro areas last year. Both areas have also largely focused on rail as a solution to congestion.


Not A Kid Anymore: Sound Effect, Episode 83

This week on Sound Effect, we're brining you stories that explore that moment when you realize you are not a kid anymore. The Puberty Lady If you’re a parent in the Seattle area, chances are you’ve heard about the puberty classes that Julie Metzger created almost three decades ago. She shares the inspiration behind these popular classes and how to make awkward topics fun. The Obamacare Kid As a young boy, Marcelas Owens stood next to President Obama when the Affordable Care Act was signed...


Meet 'The Puberty Lady' Educating Seattle Tweens

If you’re a parent in the Seattle area, chances are you’ve been to, heard about, or will soon learn about the puberty classes that Julie Metzger created almost three decades ago. Metzger makes what is often a painful conversation actually kind of enjoyable. Strutting around the class with pads stuck to her shirt, she happily says out loud all of the awkward things kids and parents are thinking about puberty. Metzger came up with the idea for the class when she was getting a masters in...


The Obamacare Kid Grows Up

Sometimes what we do as children traps us in time. The rest of the world will forever equate you with what you did when you were young, even as you grow beyond whatever it was that gave you that label in the first place. This is what happened to 17-year-old Marcelas Owens of Seattle. When Marcelas was 8 years old, his mother, Tiffany Owens, died from pulmonary hypertension. This is when your lungs have high blood pressure. People can live a long time with this condition if they get the...


From Child To Adult, Behind Bars

On March 10, 1994, Will Jimerson was 13 years old. He was hanging out around 23rd and Cherry in Seattle's Central District at 1 o'clock in the morning with a group of other kids. By this point in his life, he had already had a few run-ins with the law, including assault with a deadly weapon and theft. On this particular early morning, Will says he found a gun in a jacket. There are different versions of what happened next. Jimerson says he pointed the gun into the crowd, pulled the trigger...


How Art Helped Save A Young Man's Life

There is a small statue that greets people as they walk into what can be a very difficult place to visit. It’s the entrance to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit of the Seattle Children’s Hospital. John Madden, who was a patient here a few years ago, says the 10 days he spent in the unit saved his life. He made the statue as a way of saying thank you to the nurses and doctors who treated him during a dark time in his life. “It’s kind of an abstract, swooping shape with some points...


How Alzheimer's Gave This Seattle Woman The Father She Always Wanted

Even as adults, there are moments when we realize we are no longer kids. Oftentimes it hits us when the tables turn and we find ourselves looking after our aging parents.For Chris Spengler, it was when her father Henry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Ushering him from doctors' appointments to group homes around Seattle, she was certainly not a kid anymore. At the same time, her father’s disease gave her a much needed sense of closure about her childhood in Brooklyn. Her father was a tough...


Tracking Down The Homeless Man Who Was Heir To Millions

David Liston finds people who don't want to be found; that's part of the job. Liston is principal at David Liston Investigations, a private investigation firm based in University Heights. But this case was different. Liston was looking for a man believed to be homeless in the Seattle area in order to give him a message: You stand to inherit millions of dollars.


Seattle Voice Coach Helps Transgender People Sound Like Themselves

The recent public conversations about gender identity and transgender people have tended to focus on bodies: biological sex versus gender identity, the clothes people wear, what bathrooms they use. But one issue that has gotten less attention is the intersection of gender and voice. Even as trans people work to look like the person they are inside, some find that they still sound like someone else.


Face To Face With Evil: Former Investigator Remembers Time On Front Lines Of Sex Trade

A warning that this interview deals with some very difficult subject matter: the exploitation of children. It is not suitable for children and some adults may find it difficult to hear. It's heroic to dedicate your life to chasing bad guys and putting them behind bars. However, that pursuit of criminal activity can come with a lot of traumatic experiences and deep psychological wounds.


A Friend In Need: Sound Effect, Episode 82

This week on Sound Effect, we bring you a special premiere broadcast of the live event we put on in May 2016. At the time, our station was raising money to buy our independence, so the Sound Effect team brought together interesting people from around Washington state to tell stories of friends in need.


Local Photographer Captures The Pretty And The Gritty Of Seattle

Seattle photographer Tim Durkin is known for his stunning images of Seattle's skyline. However, he also documents the city's grittier side. He captures intimate images of homelessness and addiction including stark photos of Seattleites shooting up heroin. Durkin has suffered with his own addiction problems and sees these photos as an important reflection of how hard it can be to deal with dangerous habits. At Sound Effect's life event at Town Hall, he talked with Sound Effect's Gabriel...


A Live Performance From Skerik For 'A Friend In Need'

On our show, we do strive to get the complexity of this region and capture what it means to live here in all of it's contrasting glory — both the pretty and the gritty. And on our show, when we're doing our job, we're telling stories that have a lot of that. We really believe that a story can be sad and hilarious and heartbreaking and surprising all at once. It's an eclectic thing we are trying to do. When we invited Skerik and his band to perform at "Sound Effect Live: A Friend In Need," we...


Melanie McFarland Shares A Story Of Friends Lost And Found

A while back, Seattle writer Melanie McFarland reached a point where when she logged on to Facebook and realized that most of the people she was "friends" with, she wasn't all that close to. So she poured a glass of wine, turned on some quiet music, and one by one, unfriended the people that she couldn't tell you what was going on in their life, and they couldn't tell you what was going on in hers. She wanted to narrow it down to friends she could talk to and rely on, and who could rely on...


Singer-Songwriter Kimya Dawson Is Your Friend

Singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson writes intimate music that connects with her fans in a very personal way. Olympia's independent K Records wrote that "her recordings make it feel as though you have a friend there whispering in your ear. And you do because Kimya is your friend." However, Dawson's intimacy can sometimes get her into trouble. She finds herself opening her heart too much and taking in too many friends. At our live event in May, Dawson shared one of her songs and explored how she...