The Pacific Northwest

Bad news for the emerging pirate taxi community in Seattle (pirate taxi is what the business of rideshare is called in Zimbabwe): The majority of Seattle City Council members said yes to capping the number of drivers who can work for Lyft, uberX, and Sidecar. The proposal, if signed by the mayor, will also require drivers to be registered and tested. It certainly looks like the end of the pioneer age of Seattle's rideshare community is near.
(Seattle Times)

Good news from the Sound Transit folks: In the last quarter for 2013, Central Link's boardings were up by 14 percent, and this was continuous with "a year-long trend of double-digit increases." The total boardings for the year almost reached 10 million, and that was up 11 percent from 2012. All other modes of public transportation offered by Sound Transit showed impressive gains. Slowly but surely, we are becoming the city we need to be.
(Sound Transit)

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The very words Bill Livingston used to ring the alarm about a very bad and backward medical cannabis bill that cleared Washington's Senate Health Care committee yesterday: "Shit is getting real, pot people."

This crime story happened in Alaska: An employee of Sitka golf course, Kevin Taranoff, decided to deal with a brown bear that was causing all sorts of problems by leaving on the course food laced with antifreeze. But the bear did not eat the food. The bear had luck on its side. This luck, unfortunately, was not on the side of two pet dogs. They saw the food, ate it, and died. Their death lead to an investigation. This investigation ended with Taranoff being sentenced to 30 days in jail, receiving a $1,000 fine, and two years probation.
(Anchorage Daily News)


The United States

When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was deciding whether or not to veto a very nutty bill (S.B. 1062) that would permit Arizona business owners to discriminate on the grounds of their religious beliefs (she eventually vetoed it), she certainly had in her mind a letter sent from business leaders and board members of big corporations (like Bank of America, Intel, and the Arizona Cardinals). This letter (please picture it in her old mind) made it very clear (it was a "stern letter") that she should strike down the bill. Even neoliberals knew it was stupid and would be bad for business.
(Politico)

Obama tries to connect with young minority men by admitting that he too took drugs when he was a young man.
(CNN)

The amount of food the US wastes annually? The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it to be about 141 trillion calories a year, which is around 1,249 calories per capita per day.
(NPR)

As you can see in this image, some of those wasted calories do at least end up in the wild animals of the city.
  • As you can see in this image, some of those wasted calories do at least end up in the wild animals of the city.

Capitalism is upset because the American economy only grew by 2.4 percent in October and not at the estimated 3.2 percent. We are slaves to growth.
(NYT)


The World

The ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych showed up in Russian and declared he was still the president of the country he fled for the purpose of preserving his life.
(CNN)


The Universe

The thing is not so much that the supernova (an exploding star) in the "cigar galaxy" was close and very bright but that it brightened much, much faster than what our current understanding of the laws of the universe would predict. What this means is a less understood physics is at work in that explosion.
(Science Daily)