SoundQs is a podcast fueled by listener curiosity and answers questions about Seattle and the Puget Sound region.

Why is Green Lake so darn dark at night?
Dec 26, 2019 • 1 min
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How prohibition forever changed policing in Seattle
Dec 19, 2019 • 29 min
On a recent SoundQs segment we learned about historic bootlegger Roy Olmstead. Today we do a deep dive on another larger-than-life figure from that time, black business owner Doc Hamilton. Both men dealt in illegal alcohol, but had wholly different…
How safe are the bridges in the Puget Sound region?
Dec 12, 2019 • 15 min
There are more than 8000 bridges in Washington state. How safe are they? And how will they fare in the event of a major earthquake?
Why is Seattle so geeky?
Dec 5, 2019 • 24 min
Seattle is home to some of the biggest game and comics conventions in the world. Board game cafes are scattered across the city. So what is it about Seattle that makes geek culture thrive here?
Seattle’s bootleg king
Nov 28, 2019 • 33 min
Plus lot’s of answers to your questions, on this special episode of SoundQs.
What’s with Seattle bumper stickers these days?
Nov 21, 2019 • 15 min
On this episode a listener asks us to explore the patterns and messages of bumper stickers in the Pacific Northwest. But there’s a personal reason she wants to better understand Seattle’s bumper sticker culture.
How do those holiday lights get on construction cranes?
Nov 13, 2019 • 13 min
The holidays are coming. Which means even our construction cranes start looking festive. One listener wants to know - who decorates construction cranes
Part 2: Is Seattle a target for nuclear attack?
Nov 7, 2019 • 14 min
Our region is home to global companies like Amazon and Microsoft - and it’s home to large cache of nuclear weapons and military assets.
Part 1: What should you do in the event of a nuclear attack?
Oct 31, 2019 • 19 min
If you don’t know, you’re not alone.
How is Amazon changing our lives?
Oct 24, 2019 • 26 min
Over the last year or so, the SoundQs team has gotten a lot of questions about one Seattle-based company. Amazon. Happily, KUOW’s podcast Primed is finding answers to questions about how Amazon is changing our lives. Here’s the first episode of their…
Has any city figured out public toilets?
Oct 17, 2019 • 19 min
On this episode we try and figure out if any city has figured out public toilets, and what Seattle can learn
Where has Seattle’s music scene gone?
Oct 10, 2019 • 18 min
Twenty-five years ago, Seattle was the epicenter of the popular music world. Bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana had legions of fans around the globe. But now, musicians are leaving Seattle because of rising costs. The city has a plan to change…
Why are those food safety posters smiling at me?
Oct 3, 2019 • 11 min
Those posters with smiley faces outside area restaurants are surprisingly complicated. Please consider donating to KUOW at
Finding love is hard. In Seattle it’s even harder
Sep 26, 2019 • 20 min
What makes Seattle an especially challenging place to date?
What can we do about climate change in the Puget Sound region?
Sep 19, 2019 • 16 min
SoundQs and RadioActive teamed up to answer two listener questions: How will climate change impact the Puget Sound Region, and what’s the most effective way to take action against it?
Why do Seattleites complain so much?
Sep 12, 2019 • 16 min
Over the summer, the SoundQs team has gotten some questions that double as complaints about the Seattle region. It got us thinki
More SIM swapping stories, and news from the cybersecurity underground
Sep 4, 2019 • 17 min
The hacking of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week put SIM swapping in the headlines. But it’s not just high-profile people who are being SIM swapped. We continue our conversation with one woman who recently had her social media account hacked, and we check…
How did Seattle become home to a large Sephardic Jewish community?
Aug 29, 2019 • 16 min
The answer takes us all the way back to 1492. And it features a couple of excellent mustaches.
A boat and a car arrive at a Seattle drawbridge. Who goes first?
Aug 22, 2019 • 17 min
So you’re in the car, rushing to an appointment, and suddenly traffic stops. In front of you – a drawbridge opens - and a single boat goes through. Frustrating right? Now imagine if you’re on a barge, heading towards that same bridge.
How safe is urban foraging?
Aug 15, 2019 • 10 min
On this week’s episode of SoundQs we look at the safety and etiquette of foraging in the city.
You won’t believe what’s at the bottom of Lake Washington
Aug 8, 2019 • 10 min
…planes, trains and highways.
Ruby was a typical Instagram user. Then something strange started happening…
Aug 1, 2019 • 23 min
…and she got hacked.
Is another smoky summer inevitable?
Jul 25, 2019 • 15 min
On this episode of SoundQs, we try and figure out whether smokey summers are the new normal and what this year might bring
Wild coyotes live among us — is your cat on their menu?
Jul 18, 2019 • 13 min
Wild carnivores live among us. We may not know the exact number of coyotes here in Seattle but we should get used to them being here because they probably won’t be leaving anytime soon.
What’s in that giant government warehouse near Sand Point?
Jul 11, 2019 • 16 min
It’s a giant, block-long building surrounded by a chain-link fence. To the neighbors in this leafy Seattle neighborhood, the place is an enigma. So what’s inside this giant US government warehouse? Is this where documents just go to die?
Why don’t longtime Seattleites jaywalk?
Jul 4, 2019 • 18 min
Yes, it’s illegal. But that doesn’t stop residents of other cities from doing it. SoundQs host Deborah Wang teamed up with Record producer Adwoa Gymiah-Brempong and sidewalk artist Peregrine Church to answer this listener question about jaywalking.
Why are dogs allowed in Seattle bars?
Jun 27, 2019 • 15 min
Unlike kids, dogs are taken nearly everywhere: restaurant patios, taprooms, even the grocery store.
Crow versus eagle, who wins? And other answers to your animal questions
Jun 20, 2019 • 24 min
Here at SoundQs, we get a lot of questions about animals. We’re talking rats, bats, squirrels, crows, opossums, you name it. On this episode, we answer a dozen of your urban wildlife questions.
What are the mental health concerns for international students?
Jun 13, 2019 • 15 min
International students face lots of pressures. They have to learn to navigate a new culture and education system, far from family and friends. That led one listener to wonder, what’s the mental health status of international students?
Why does Seattle have so many Sephardic Jews?
Jun 6, 2019 • 16 min
Seattle has the third largest Sephardic Jewish community in the United States, according to some estimates.
What is the most humane, cost effective way to end homelessness?
May 30, 2019 • 23 min
We know that homelessness is a problem. It’s hard to go anywhere around Seattle without seeing people living outside. And SoundQs listeners have been asking what the region can do better.
Why do so many people live in tents and RVs in Seattle?
May 23, 2019 • 22 min
SoundQs listeners have asked us lots of questions about homelessness. In this episode, we try to answer them.
Why is Seattle’s street grid such a disaster?
May 16, 2019 • 15 min
You can blame Doc Maynard, Arthur Denny and glaciers.
Why can you hear gunshots at this high school?
May 9, 2019 • 17 min
Issaquah High School is like hundreds of other suburban schools around the country. But unlike most of those schools, the campus rings with the sound of gunshots.
What’s life like on Lake Union’s houseboats?
May 2, 2019 • 18 min
Seattleites have been living in floating homes for more than 100 years. We visit a floating home community and hear about the excitement of life on the water in this week’s episode of SoundQs.
Seattle is among the worst cities in the U.S. for potholes
Apr 25, 2019 • 12 min
A SoundQ’s listener asked why Seattle has so many potholes. So reporter David Hyde set out to learn why. And he discovered potholes are more than a nuisance - they’re also a political talking point and a source of controversial art.
How a hot dog with cream cheese became part of Seattle’s food legacy
Apr 18, 2019 • 11 min
Seattle’s foodie reputation wasn’t exactly built on hot dogs. And yet, we still have our own spin – the Seattle dog. It’s a hot dog with grilled onions and cream cheese. The SoundQ’s team finds out how this local take on street food was born.
You have lots of questions about recycling. We have answers
Apr 11, 2019 • 10 min
We’ve gotten dozens of SoundQ’s questions about one topic - recycling. So we’re re-running this archive episode with loads of answers, on everything from how to recycle to the global waste market.
How humans and cougars live together
Apr 4, 2019 • 26 min
This week, SoundQ’s shares KUOW’s newest podcast, The Wild. Host Chris Morgan tracks down a cougar den and tries to work out how we continue to coexist with cougars.
The mysterious disappearance of the Ballard Locks sea lions
Mar 28, 2019 • 16 min
Years ago, sea lions treated the Ballard Locks like an all-you-can-eat salmon buffet. But most of those sea lions are gone now. What happened to those sea lions? The SoundQ’s team investigates.
Why does Seattle have so much public art?
Mar 21, 2019 • 12 min
A KUOW listener asked why there’s so much public art in Seattle. Reporter Marcie Sillman travels back in time nearly 50 years to tell the sometimes-fraught story.
There’s no drivers’ test for bicycling. So does anybody really know how to ride?
Mar 14, 2019 • 11 min
Does Seattle give bicyclists a free ride on following the rules of the road? SoundQs takes a look at what happens when the paths of pedestrians and cyclists cross.
What do those food safety emojis mean?
Mar 7, 2019 • 11 min
Is it safe to eat at restaurants that don’t have a perfect rating?
Will measles outbreak lead to more vaccinations?
Feb 28, 2019 • 12 min
We look at how the recent measles outbreak is changing the way people think about vaccinations.
How to complain like a true Seattleite
Feb 21, 2019 • 16 min
On this episode of SoundQs, we answer this question posed to us by Seattle listener Suzanne Morrison.
Yes, Seattle, you have an accent
Feb 14, 2019 • 9 min
If you grew up in the in the upper left part of the U.S., you probably don’t hear it. But it’s there: a Northwest accent.
The panhandlers dilemma: A priest, a rabbi and an advocate weigh in
Feb 7, 2019 • 12 min
To give or not to give? We tackle that dilemma with advice from a priest, a rabbi and an advocate for the homeless.
Thanks potholes! You’re why Seattle roads are some of the worst
Jan 31, 2019 • 12 min
They’re everywhere in Seattle. Whether you drive a car, bike or motorcycle you’ve probably encountered them.
Um, why does that boat get priority over Seattle drivers?
Jan 24, 2019 • 16 min
We’ll look at why boats take priority over cars when it comes to opening drawbridges.
How Seattle houseboats have managed to stay afloat
Jan 17, 2019 • 17 min
We explore the history of houseboats and what makes this community so unique.
Seattle has an over-recycling problem
Jan 10, 2019 • 10 min
We take our recycling pretty seriously here in the Pacific Northwest. But are we doing it right? This episode of SoundQs will make you a better recycler.
What will happen to all the debris from the viaduct?
Jan 3, 2019 • 12 min
The Viaduct is going to be replaced with a massive underground tunnel. The viaduct closes January 11th and eventually they are going to demolish the whole thing. Which leads us to the question that several of our listeners have asked…. Where will all that…
Are Seattle drivers so bad? Is Tacoma so beta? And are we earthquake ready?
Dec 27, 2018 • 41 min
On this episode of SoundQs, Deborah Wang is joined by Crosscut’s Knute Berger and Officer Kevin O’Neill with the Seattle Police Department.
Do you have tunnel phobia? This podcast is for you
Dec 20, 2018 • 11 min
Scared of driving through a tunnel? You’re not alone. One this episode of SoundQs, we’ll look at tunnel and traffic phobias and what can be done to overcome them.
Test drive: Does weaving through traffic get you there faster?
Dec 13, 2018 • 10 min
In our latest episode of SoundQs, we have the answer to whether weaving gets you from point A to point B faster.
This man is 180 feet off the ground and full of holiday cheer
Dec 6, 2018 • 13 min
How do they get those holiday lights on the construction cranes?
Earthquake! Quick, shelter: school or Space Needle?
Nov 29, 2018 • 13 min
When the big one finally hits Seattle, will the Space Needle topple over? And are Washington state schools ready for a massive earthquake? We’ll answer both of these questions on this week’s episode of SoundQs.
Turkey for Thanksgiving? How about a Seattle Dog instead?
Nov 20, 2018 • 11 min
Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re tired of eating that same old turkey as last year, how about biting into a classic Seattle Dog? The local culinary creation is a hot dog with grilled onions and cream cheese. On this episode of SoundQs, we’ll look at the…
A distracted driving ticket in Washington state is $136. Guess how many are issued
Nov 14, 2018 • 13 min
Meet Trooper Chuck. He’s pulled over the most distracted drivers, staring at their cellphones, than any other state trooper in Washington. 365 drivers in the course of a year. The troopers ticket more than 2000 distracted drivers every month. Please don’t…
Lake Union is busy with all those boats, so how do seaplanes land safely?
Nov 8, 2018 • 10 min
Planes, kayaks, sailboats. How do seaplane pilots find a safe place to land on Lake Union?
Q. Can that water you’re stockpiling in case of emergency go bad?
Nov 1, 2018 • 11 min
You’ve stockpiled your emergency water, but how concerned should you be about those expiration dates? And how much water do experts have in their emergency kits? You might be surprised.
Spooky campaign ads! Can’t we get rid of them?
Oct 31, 2018 • 10 min
Campaigns are spending record amounts of money on ads that border on the ghoulish.
Issaquah shooting range in crosshairs as newcomers move in
Oct 25, 2018 • 13 min
A shooting range next to a middle school? This episode will look at why some in Issaquah think that is completely normal and why others are looking to move the guns.
Death threats. Kidnapping plans. Nothing could stop Ballard’s sea lions
Oct 18, 2018 • 16 min
Douglass McCrea wonders why he is seeing fewer sea lions at the Ballard Locks. We’ll explore the mystery.
Introducing SoundQs
Oct 2, 2018 • 1 min
SoundQs is a new podcast by KUOW launching October 18. We’ll answer your questions, such as what’s the origin of the Seattle dog? Are our schools ready for an earthquake? And did you know there are nude beaches in Seattle?