OK, So What Are We Going to Do with the Tunnel for the Next Six Months? Yeah, yeah, we'll get to the news, but we might as well think about this. The tunnel being out of commission costs us about $250k per day, Dom calculates. There's about a dozen out-of-commission metro stations in Paris, and a candidate for mayor there is "offering a vision of some proposed future uses for the ghost stations, including a theater, an art gallery, a swimming pool, a nightclub, and a restaurant." We could probably get a theater, a gallery, and a swimming pool into our tunnel. A performance space for aerialists? A skate park? Can you imagine the good will (and world-wide publicity) WSDOT would generate if they temporarily turned our tunnel into something fucking great? What should it be? Take a look at these renderings of ideas for Paris's metro tunnels and leave your ideas for Seattle in the comments. If you turn the above image into a rendering of your idea and email it to me, I'll post it on Slog tomorrow morning.
Comcast, a Company That Drives Most People Fucking Crazy, Is About to Get Waaaaaay Bigger: It's buying Time Warner for $45 billion. Jesus Christ.
Alleged "Elephant Man Bandit" Apprehended Outside Key Bank in the U-District: Authorities called him "Elephant Man Bandit" because he allegedly robbed banks with his head "with a shirt or other piece of fabric with two small eye holes." They also thought there was a "Cyborg Bandit" who robbed banks with "metallic fabric wrapped around his face, giving the appearance of science fiction cyborgs and cylons." After a while they realized they're probably the same guy. (Although good nicknames, guys!) He's allegedly robbed 30 banks in the last year, unarmed, wearing latex gloves.
Dead Newborn Baby Found Near North Bend: In the woods.
Dallas Sportscaster Defends Gay Football Player Michael Sam: You have to watch this.
It's Bright, Sunny Day in Seattle: But everywhere else is snowy and miserable. "A crippling and deadly winter storm that battered the South with a combination of sleet, snow and ice a day earlier, causing more than 500,000 power outages, moved up the East Coast overnight into Thursday and is now blanketing cities across the Northeast." At least 12 have died in the South.
Escaped Inmates from Iraqi Prisons Fueling Syrian Insurgency: "A series of daring but little noticed breakouts from Iraqi prisons has freed hundreds of hardened militants who are now among the leaders and foot soldiers of the radical Sunni groups operating in neighboring Syria and, increasingly, in Iraq itself."
Figure Skater Won't Be Figure Skating: Fancy pants men's figure skater is withdrawing from men's figure skating program because his back hurts.
Number of Americans Without Health Insurance Falls to 16 Percent: The Department of Health and Human Services released new data yesterday.
On This Day in 1945, Kurt Vonnegut Watched Dresden Go Up in Flames: As Tom Nissley writes in his wonderful new book A Reader's Book of Days.
Held in Dresden as a German prisoner during the final convulsions of World War II, Kurt Vonnegut witnessed the Allied firestorm that consumed the city beginning on this night. For twenty years he tried to turn the experience into fiction—"I came home in 1945, started writing about it, and wrote about it, and wrote about it, and WROTE ABOUT IT"—before arriving at the jumbled and fragmented form of Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel that, amid its time travel and green spacemen, returns relentlessly to the inexplicable carnage of those days, echoed in the life of a time-traveling American prisoner who knows that "I, Billy Pilgrim, will die, have died, and always will die on February thirteenth, 1976," the anniversary of the bombing.