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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Morning News: Diamond Heists, Scheming China, and 3-D Yodas

Posted by on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

The Monorail's Flaw was That It wasn't Gimmicky Enough: A few transit nerds propose building a series of gondolas connecting Capitol Hill to Belltown, and from the waterfront to the Convention Center. They've even repurposed the doomed Monorail's slogan, “Rise above it all, for real this time."

Man Allegedly Assaults Seattle Taxi Driver with Box Cutter: "A canine track led directly to the suspect who was hiding underneath a parked car," reports SPD Blotter.

10-Cent State Gas Hike? Washington State already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country, now lawmakers are considering hiking it a little higher.

Meanwhile, Obama Presses for Tax Hikes Nationally: The president is pressuring Republicans to pass tax increases on the wealthy and avoid the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to hit the government next month.

Pistorius Denies Murdering His Girlfriend: According to the track star, he heard a noise in the bathroom, grabbed his gun, and walked on his stumps—not his prosthetic legs—to the door, where he fired four rounds, thinking there was a burglar. "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated," reads his affidavit.

Precious Moments, Reborn Again: Meet the women who collect eerily lifelike newborn baby dolls, called Reborns, throw them baby showers, and take them grocery shopping and on airplanes.

China Is Scheming: Virtual espionage! Hacking attacks! Cyber warriors!

The "Witches" of Papua New Guinea: Women who have land worth stealing, women whose husbands have died or abused them, and women who live on the margins of their community are being raped, tortured, and burned as witches. The attacks are growing more common: "Ritual attacks on accused sorcerers... appear to have broken out of traditional boundaries, and now crop up in communities where they have no history," reports Australia's the Global Mail.

Can George Clooney Account for His Whereabouts? Belgian prosecutors are calling Monday's $350-million diamond heist the most brazen and valuable in a decade.

"This technology is coming whether we like it or not": Exploring the pitfalls of 3-D printers, Yoda, and intellectual property law.

Makerbot runs a website called Thingiverse where people can share their digital designs for 3-D printers. It turns out a lot of the items people are designing, copying and printing on Thingiverse — like Star Wars action figures or Pixar's famous lamp — are actually protected by copyright.


Comments (30) RSS

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My wife makes reborns. She doesn't throw them showers or anything, but she does spend a lot of time talking about how cute they are.
Posted by Donkey Face on February 19, 2013 at 7:33 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 2
Oh look! ANOTHER regressive tax hike! This time, a gas tax hike!

And people wonder why anybody votes for Eyman initiatives.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 7:36 AM · Report this
Before you totally ridicule the gondola idea you should know that they are between half and a quarter the cost of a monorail. The modern ones run at speeds two or three times as fast as the one you're thinking about at Disney Land. Because they run continuously, there is no waiting for one to arrive, just walk on. It keeps you out of the rain, some of them are heated. They're quiet. I think these are great ideas for public transit.
Posted by nomada on February 19, 2013 at 7:36 AM · Report this
The cost of the gondolas does not negate the fact that Seattle is not a ski slope.
Posted by treehugger on February 19, 2013 at 7:59 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 5
@4 Neither is Portland.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM · Report this
Jessica 6
Maybe when I'm not fresh out of the "pissed-off potato" stage of babyhood, I'll find reborns to be cute. Right now they just terrify me. WHO WANTS TO RELIVE THAT HELL?
Posted by Jessica on February 19, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 7
Noy buying Pistorius' story: You would have to be a psycho to just fire through a bathroom door when someone you do not want to shoot is behind it, just because you thought you heard a suspect noise.

Not even a "hey, get out of there, I have a gun?" Not even going to ask your girlfriend if she is ok in there?

That being said, stranger things have happened. Still don't buy it though.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 19, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
I would ride the fuck out of a gondola. As would a herd of the SLU employees this is being pitched to, so eager to live on Capitol Hill in the expensive fancy new apartments displacing so much of our existing housing stock. Is there a way to keep it from being a Tramway to Hyper-gentrification?
Posted by gloomy gus on February 19, 2013 at 8:15 AM · Report this
fletc3her 9
The problem with the monorail was that they were borrowing the money with what amounted to a sixty year mortgage.

I rode the gondola in Portland when it opened. It only has two cars that constantly go back and forth as counterbalances to each other. It goes up to their main hospital. The only drawback I could see was that the motion can be a little queasy especially right after it passes a tower.

What'd I say? Gondola! What's it called? Gondola!
Posted by fletc3her on February 19, 2013 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 10
Gondolas would be great to the islands, too. We would need fewer ferries and they would attract tourists.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@5, "Portland" is not an argument. Just because Portland did a thing doesn't mean it's a good idea or that Seattle should do it too.

The Portland tram serves a single customer, OHSU, at terrific expense. It also runs over mostly open waste ground, a freeway and so on; the route from Cap Hill to Belltown is through a congested area. What are the right-of-way concerns in this area? What if someone wants to put up a building on the tram route? Are there any obstacles already existing? It's not like you can draw a straight line between the two places and not hit anything in between. Belltown is a high-rise district, not an area of single-story houses or an industrial wasteland full of parking lots. As near as I can tell, the Portland tram is an extension of OHSU's park-n-ride lot; it doesn't genuinely connect two living neighborhoods.

It seems to me that Seattle already has plenty disconnected gee-whiz transit bubbles that don't really relate to the city.
Posted by Fnarf on February 19, 2013 at 8:31 AM · Report this
True or false, you can get gonohrrea from riding the gondola?
Posted by Foonken2 on February 19, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 13
@11 I didn't say it was an argument for it. I simply replied to a stupid fucking criticism with a simple answer.

On the other hand, I'd love a gondola that went from Cap Hill to Queen Anne and Belltown. Because Denny Way is the suck.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 14
Normally I dislike regressive taxes. But one of the best things we could do for the environment is double the gas tax. It wasn't any government policy that doomed the sale of Hummers and large SUVs; it was the price of gas.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 19, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 15
The gondola is an awesome idea. I've thought so since PDL pulled this hoax way back in 2008. Visionary!
Posted by kitschnsync on February 19, 2013 at 9:09 AM · Report this
yelahneb 16
"It would be such a huge structure, it might look like something out of ‘War of the Worlds,’ " Rasmussen said. "Holy fuck, I am so high right now."
Posted by yelahneb on February 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Wandergeist 17
Headline of the day:
"Brothers celebrate lottery win by blowing up house"

Needless to say, the celebrations involved meth, bongs...and butane.
Posted by Wandergeist on February 19, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 18
@2: and in doing to, they painted the legislature into a corner, where regressive gas taxes are one of the few options to maintain revenue.

Posted by Max Solomon on February 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 19
@15 I had missed that. Excellent.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on February 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
The term "3-D Printer" is unfortunate.

It isn't a printer, it's a fabricator. The only reason it's referred to as a "printer" is because one of the first practical ones was created using parts from an inkjet printer.

It would be like calling all modern airplanes "flying bicycles" because the first one was built using bicycle parts.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
Gondola's across Lake Washington would be a much better idea.
Posted by tkc on February 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 22
@18 The last time Eyman's initiatives lapsed, we got a whole hell of a lot of regressive tax hikes. Can you say Sin taxes?

Olympia has a record for going regressive, hard. And, this is doing nothing to persuade me they'd do otherwise.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
zachd 23
@22 That's in large part because he and that ilk have made it generally politically impossible to be anything other than a deadbeat politician. "No new taxes" was the beginning of some truly blighted and blighting ideologies.
Posted by zachd on February 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
treacle 24
Gondolas? Yum! I like cheese!

Gas tax? Fuck you, Legislature!
How 'bout raising the cost of tabs on cars that cost over $50k? or similar. Or, you know, institute a non-regressive tax structure.

Couldn't Obama go after all those tax under-paying corporations? I mean, soak the rich, please, but aren't corporations avoiding paying tons of taxes already?

I'm with Gorath on the Pistorus thing. (Not that our opinion counts for jack sh@t.) But if you are awoken in the middle of the night by a noise, you don't notice that your loved one is not lying in bed next to you? And then realize that it's probably her in the bathroom? Yet you have the wherewithall to get your gun?
That whole scene is fucking tragic.
Posted by treacle on February 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 25
@15 Visionary nothing. Here's something from 6 months before that link (4th comment down, by yours truly).
Posted by Matt the Engineer on February 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 26
@23 Saying that its politically impossible to make or even PROPOSE a progressive tax makes voting and sending politicians a useless task, and we might as well dissolve the whole government.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Fnarf 27
@26, did you miss the voting figures on the income tax that last six times it's been proposed? Even low-income people oppose it, even though it would help them. And it wasn't even close. Your desired progressive taxation is not possible AT ALL.

The will of the people has been heard, loud and clear, over and over and over: we want services, but we don't want to pay for them. Make them happen anyways.
Posted by Fnarf on February 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 28
@25, You win! (Besides, you've already done way more work on this than some one-day installation.)
Posted by kitschnsync on February 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 29
@27 I only saw the last single time it was proposed. People feared it because it was a tax hike that didn't come with any relief for the bottom sector. The scare tactics of the anti-income tax propaganda were actually correct in saying that as soon as the 3 year time limit had passed, Olympia would pass on the hike to everybody without reducing any of our other taxes.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 30

I honestly don't understand how people find newborns to be cute. Their faces are scrunched up and creepy looking. And I swear their bodies look like plucked chickens, big torso, tiny arms and legs. I still occasionally get mildly freaked out whenever I'm trussing a whole chicken.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 19, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this

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