Commentaries

Rock Doc
5:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Bridging The Valley of Death

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, aka the "Rock Doc."
Credit Northwest Public Radio

A team of scientists at Washington State University is working to develop new sources for chemicals that might aid in the development of biofuel startups.  One avenue of research: poplars.  Dr. Kirsten Peters, the “Rock Doc,” takes a look.

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Rock Doc
5:00 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Will Changes To FDA's New Food Labels Help Consumers Make Healthier Choices?

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, aka the "Rock Doc."
Credit Northwest Public Radio

While I have been dinking around for months, trying to lose five pounds, two of my friends have gotten serious about weight loss. Each of them is down 50 pounds.

I’m pleased for them, of course, and truly impressed by their accomplishments. Successfully combating overweight and obesity is one of the best things people can do for their health. It can help everything from joint pain to heart function, from Type 2 diabetes to certain aspects of mental health.

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News Nuggest
12:11 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

News Nuggets: Froufrou

John Paxson, News Director
Credit Northwest Public Radio

Language is a slippery thing.  Just when you think you have it pretty much in hand, it slithers away.   

At least it has been that way for more than 200 years.

or

At least it has been that way for over 200 years.

For a very long time language purists have insisted on using more than rather than over when referring to quantity. 

Fussy news editor: More than 20 people were arrested.

The hoi polloi: Over 20 people were arrested.

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Rock Doc
3:42 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

A Brisk Walk Is Better Than A Stroll

The "Rock Doc," E. Kirsten Peters.
Credit Northwest Public Radio

Nothing could be better—or healthier—than a walk through the countryside, right?  Wrong.  New research reveals that walking briskly could be better.  "Rock Doc"  Kirsten Peters explains.

My Labrador-mix from the pound, Buster Brown by name, loves to walk with me. On the weekends we often do a six-mile walk around town or along the Snake River where Buster can be off leash (as Mother Nature intends).

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Commentaries
9:18 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Which Place Is More Sexist: The Middle East Or Latin America?

On the left: Women wearing burqas walk by the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan in 2006. Right: Women in bikinis visit a beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.
Marco Di Fabio and Nelson Almeida Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:57 pm

A semi-naked woman in a sequined Carnival costume. A veiled woman with only her eyes showing in a niqab. Two stereotypes of two vastly different regions — Latin America and the Middle East.

On the surface, these two images couldn't be more diametrically opposed. What could the two have in common, right? What a woman wears — or what she doesn't wear, in Brazil's case — is often interpreted as a sign of her emancipation. The veil, for many, is a symbol of female oppression; the right to wear a bikini, one of liberation.

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Commentaries
11:03 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Designing Better Asphalt

Bioasphalt, made from watse cooking oil, would be gray instead of black and wouldn't emit smoke in hot weather.
Credit Hitchster / flickr.com

Asphalt: It’s everywhere and it’s expensive.  And its production is tough on air quality.  But a researcher at Washington State University may have a better way: asphalt made from waste cooking oil. "Rock Doc"  Kirsten Peters explains.

Dr. Haifang Wen grew up in a rural area of Shandong province, in eastern China. In his youth there were not many paved highways in the Chinese countryside.

“Lots of the roads were gravel,” he told me recently. “They were muddy when it rained. I remember riding a cow on them, or going along in a wagon pulled by a donkey.”

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Georgia Struggle
6:31 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Georgia's Struggle During Crisis in Ukraine

Dr. Lawrence Pintak, Founding Dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

Intro:  The revolt in Ukraine is reverberating through other countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. One of those is the tiny Republic of Georgia, about one-third the size of the state of Washington.  Lawrence Pintak, a veteran foreign correspondent and dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, is there and filed this report.

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News Nuggets by John Paxson
10:45 am
Wed January 8, 2014

He, She or...Ze?

Most people speaking the English language as recently at 1980 had no notion of what lay in store for the daily vernacular.  With the digital age came swarms of neologisms: bytes, bauds, dongles, exbibytes, favicons, greps, memes….whole herds and flocks of new words and usages thundering into our peaceful linguascape.

Stay tuned.  There are more on the way.  And the driver this time is not digital but sexual.  The latest changelings are pronouns.

From the Associated Press: Nov. 30, 2013 (and picked up by newspapers around the world):

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Commentaries
1:58 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Refrain from Rinsing Raw Poultry

The "Rock Doc," Dr. Kirsten Peters.
Credit Northwest Public Radio

  Cooking is part necessity, but it’s also partly cultural. The way we cook says a lot about the societies we live in and the traditions that influence our families.  I know that a lot of what I do in the kitchen is an echo of what my mother taught me. When I crack an egg into a mixing bowl, I scoop out that last little bit of raw egg white in the shell with my finger and scrape it off on the edge of the bowl.

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Commentaries
12:36 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Rock Doc: The Longevity of Dogs

Dr. Kirsten Peters, the "Rock Doc" musing on why our beloved canine companions don't live longer.
Credit nwpr.org

If you live in the U.S. there’s a 47% chance that you have a dog.  That number goes up to 56% if you live in Canada. When your dog goes on a walk with you, snuggles up next to you on the couch or tilts her head at something you say the bond between you deepens.  Here comes the heartbreaking aspect of having a dog.  They just don’t live long enough.  Dr. Kirsten  Peters, the “Rock Doc” offers some insight into why.

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