I Wonder Why ... ? from KPLU

From KPLU

What sorts of things about the Northwest have you wondered about? Attributes you find endearing, odd, even irritating. That's what we explore in our weekly series, I Wonder Why...?More from I Wonder Why ... ? from KPLU »

Most Recent Episodes

Remembering True Crime Author Ann Rule

Friends and fans are remembering true-crime author Ann Rule as a prolific writer, a tireless advocate for victims and an expert about enforcement and crime investigation. Rule died Sunday at the age of 83. KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick interviewed Ann Rule three years ago about her life and career. Click on the link to hear the interview.

Why doesn't that part of Washington belong to Canada?

There's a tiny part of Washington state that is so remote you have to cross an international border twice to get there. Isolated, surrounded by water and Canadians ... why did Point Roberts become a part of Washington and not Canada? Read more on 'I Wonder Why ... ?'

Why are Seattleites averse to stepping out in style?

Do most of the clothes in your closet range from hiking fleece to dress fleece, or some variations of plaid and jeans? That's probably what has fueled Seattle's reputation as an unfashionable city. Overdressing – something that's just not possible in many American cities – can become a sort of phobia. Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

How did the 'City of Destiny' lose out to Seattle?

(This is the second installment of a 2-part series about Tacoma's designation as the City of Destiny.) Why didn't Tacoma become the premiere city on Puget Sound? How did the City of Destiny lose out to Seattle? Back in 1873, it looked like Tacoma would be graced with fame and fortune when the city beat out Seattle to become the terminus for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Read more on "I Wonder Why ... ?"

Why Tacoma owes its slogan to a 'crazy person'

Tacoma has been known as the "City of Destiny" for more than 140 years. And while the city's slogan is unique because it has lasted for so long (when was the last time you heard Seattle referred to as "Jet City?"), it also comes from a 19 Century "crazy person" who was a relentless promoter of Tacoma. Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Why does Seattle have so few kids and so many dogs?

Here's an odd fact: Seattle's dog population is estimated to be around 140,000 and climbing. The number of kids? ... 93,000 and dropping. Seattle's not such a bad place to raise kids, but based on the 2010 census, roughly 15 percent of our population is 18 or younger. And, when you compare Seattle to Boston, New York City or Chicago our share of little ones looks pretty paltry. In fact, Seattle is neck and neck with San Francisco, which has the lowest population of children of all major U.S. cities. So where did all of Seattle's kids go? Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Why is "Louie Louie" Washington's theme song?

In the 1980's, the Washington State Legislature considered making it the official state song. The measure failed, but "Louie Louie" is still listed on government websites as the "unofficial" state rock song. Sure it's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to, but is a song about a Jamaican sailor longing for his girl really the best tune to represent Washington State? How did this classic party song become so much a part of our cultural DNA, anyway? Read More on "I Wonder Why ... ?"

I Wonder Why ... Reaction to 'Why is Seattle such a white city?'

Race can be a volatile subject. Still, judging from the reaction to a recent "I Wonder Why ... ?" story, it's something people are eager to talk about. Charla Bear's story explored why Seattle is one of the whitest big cities in the country, whiter than such places as Denver, Oklahoma City, even Minneapolis. The response to the report was overwhelming. Read more on "I Wonder Why ... ?"

Why do so many park the wrong way in Seattle?

I just moved here from Chicago, and there's one thing that has been bugging me – the way people park. In some ways, Seattleites seem to really follow the rules. People don't jaywalk, for instance. So why do so many people park on the wrong side of the street? In my neighborhood in West Seattle, near Alki Beach, cars are parked higgledy-piggledy. Nose to nose, tail to tail. The streets are really narrow, and traffic runs in both directions, so I can understand the temptation to just zip into an empty spot, no matter which side of the street it's on. Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Why are there so many serial killers in the Northwest?

From Ted Bundy to Gary Ridgway, some of the most notorious murderers in our nation's history committed their crimes in the Northwest. While we may not have the most serial killers, we've certainly got that reputation. And that got us to wondering: Why are there so many serial killers in the Northwest? Read the story on "I Wonder Why ...?"

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