The largest coordinated regional earthquake drill ever is happening right now, 10/18 at 10:18 a.m., which is why at this very moment I am preparing for what would happen in the event a major earthquake were to hit the aging masonry building that houses The Stranger, by simulating being crushed to death under tons of rubble.
Anchorage's Ted Stevens International Airport was shut down for three hours early Sunday morning, leaving evacuated travelers shivering outside in the cold, all because soon to be jobless hockey referee Peter Friesema of Colorado made an awkward, stupid joke:
"But my friend's bag has a bomb in it," the agent remembers him saying, according to a charging document. He recounted it to authorities slightly differently, more to the effect of "what if my friend's bag has a bomb in it?"
And so poor Mr. Friesema found himself in shackles, standing before a judge, potentially facing felony terrorism charge. And even though the FBI has determined the threat was not credible, the judge found Friesema to be a flight risk, and ordered him not to leave Alaska, likely costing him his job.
Yeah, sure, it was a stupid thing to say, particularly in this era when the flight crew or security personnel can have you arrested simply for looking at them funny, but JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, DOESN'T ANYBODY HAVE ANY COMMON SENSE ANYMORE?! Give the the guy a stern talking to, or possibly a citation if you have to, but shutting down the airport and sending him to jail for saying something that, stupid as it may have been, clearly wasn't intended as a threat?
Somewhere in Hell, Osama bin Laden is having a good laugh right about now.
I blackened some eggplant and bell peppers on the grill last night, which was apparently a violation of the outdoor burn ban Governor Gregoire extended yesterday to all 39 counties. The proclamation prohibits campfires, bonfires, debris fires, fireworks, etc., statewide through October 15. There is an exemption for backyard grills, but...
Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided that use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and is at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.
My grill is currently nestled in a foot-high stand of dead grass—one stray spark and the whole city burns! Better get out the weed wacker before I light it up again.
So, yeah, there I was, innocently flipping through yesterday's NYT, just catching up on the Dead Tree News, when I encountered this photo. No disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs... but... um... ugh.
DJ Savage vs. DJ Glass. Tomorrow night. The Showbox. Don't miss it.
Seventeen months after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, Japanese scientists have found severe genetic abnormalities in butterflies exposed to radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Lead researcher Joji Otaki of the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, told BBC News that the results were unexpected:
"It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation," said lead researcher Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa.
The only question remaining is whether the Japanese people will prove resistant to the dangerous mutant insects the radiation creates:
A drill digging part of the First Hill streetcar line has stuck a natural gas line, releasing gas and its distinct aroma to waft across the Pike/Pine neighborhood. Police have cordoned off the radial blocks around Broadway and East Pike Street, where the rupture occurred.
"Our concern is that we don't want a spark to ignite the gas," Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore tells news intern Joseph Staten. However, he adds, "the chance of that occurring is not great."
So, to be clear, there is a "not great" chance The Stranger office is about to be detonated.
Intrepid news intern Mike Gore is at the scene, inside the QFC. When he tried to leave the store, fire fighters said nobody could use the main entrance, and they set up a "barricade of shopping carts," he says. "Police are asking people to leave the area right now." From his vantage, Mike says it looks like the drill is still in the ground.
Also, he is leaving the area.
UPDATE at 1:25 PM: We're not dead yet! But it still reeks of natural gas . Puget Sound Energy personnel have arrived, and these signs are around the perimeter:
An email sent from an inflamed man in Issaquah. Enjoy! (Sic throughout.)
I am a Penn State graduate so forgive me if I am a little "sensitive" to child molesters and pedohiles these days. This has been a trying time for us all. So therefore I take great offense every time I take my family to the Park and have to see THIS damn monstrosity which is an open invitation to child molestation (just like the article says).
Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about!!! In all seriousness have you people no shame? HUH? I mean, you got your marriage, you got your "president" who says to hell with all tradition and values, nobody is bothering you, hell you're even in the **** ARMY now!!! Aren't you PROUD??? But there are LIMITS. Read the article. The "benefacotr" was "proudly gay" and wanted a statue with a naked GROWN man and a little boy, both of them showing their p*nis to denote some kind of "gay love" and "diversity". How young is enough, Dave? HUH? And don't give me any crap. YOU in the gay community are the ones who need to speak out. If you don't denounce this GARBAGE then you are endorsing it, and the overly gay tendencies of "The Stranger" (even the name is like an advertisement for "gay") show what side of things you are on. WRITE AN EDITORIAL SAYING EVEN WE HAVE SOME SHAME AND PEDO STATUES ARE TO MUCH! Or don't wonder when the local MORAL and CHRISTIAN values coalition take matters into our own hands. Your "rights" have come at a great cost. And enough children have suffered because you won't "out" gay-doms dirty little secret: half of all gays show interest in CHILDREN, and this is now when you're going to see people GET ANGRY. SINCERELY [Name redacted because this idiot asshole's relatives have clearly suffered enough.]
P.S. And what I MEANT to say was that when all values go out the window, then predators like Sandusky can feel innobled and think "well if it's ok for a could of "guys" to get married, why not me?" You need to think about what your "rights" have done t a larger population. You create a climate of perversion. "Without GOD all is permitted" remember??? You better believe I'm ticked off over this, buddy, and if you think you can just say "HATE SPEECH" and have me harass, then go for it buddy A MAN DIED ON THE CROSS 2000 YEARS AGO BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK THE TRUTH!!! I WILL DO NO LESS NO MATTER WHAT IT COST!!!!
The fact remains: Wyatt and most house pets—cats, dogs, miniature ponies—have a bone-shaking fear of fireworks. Not only are they prone to howling, hiding, and shitting all over the damn place, they're also liable to bolt like the wind if given half the chance.
So! Here's a handy list of tips on how to keep your pets as safe and calm as possible on the 4th, courtesy of Regional Animal Services of King County (RASK), along with info on who to contact should they bolt.
· Leave your dog/ferret/miniature show pony at home if you head out to a public fireworks display.
· Keep your pets crated or shut in a quiet, dark room of your house during the fireworks. Try relaxing them with some quiet Vivaldi or 15 minutes of manual stimulation (if he's into that kind of thing). Make sure they have plenty of water handy.
· If you live in an apartment/condo and are not comfortable with your pet shitting all over the damn place,
bring them to my place do not let them off leash for any reason. It doesn't matter if you think the fireworks are over and your mutt likes his privacy while he squats; some asshole will still be lighting off rogues at 3:00am. Don't risk it.
Rush Limbaugh's brother isn't afraid to be in the same room with me, so I'm not sure what Rob McKenna is wetting his pants about?
According to outsports.com (via TylerGreenDC), a Christian newspaper reader in Ohio is enraged that his beloved state tree (and football team) are represented by a tree with both male and female organs:
But it is shameful and unacceptable that a bisexual tree should represent us! We are flaunting the Holy Bible!
I urge everyone to contact their state representative and demand legislation removing the buckeye as our state tree and condemning the use of the term “buckeye” as a nickname for residents of Ohio.
Or... GO BUCKS!
Update: This is a hoax. But it's sad how believable it is.
Where there's crisis, there's opportunity:
Mobile phone operator Softbank Corp said on Tuesday it would soon begin selling smartphones with radiation detectors, tapping into concerns that atomic hotspots remain along Japan's eastern coast more than a year after the Fukushima crisis.
[...] The smartphone in the company's "Pantone" series will come in eight bright colours and include customised IC chips made by Sharp Corp (6753.T) that measure radiation levels in microsieverts per hour.
Next up, smartphones with built-in Godzilla detectors for the inevitable tragic consequence.
For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is slowing.The only thing that has slowed down this process, this transformation of the racial composition of the richest nation, is the long recession, which for many minorities is a long depression. If the economy recovers, this process will be reenergized.
New 2011 census estimates to be released Thursday highlight sweeping changes in the nation's racial makeup and the prolonged effect of a weak economy, which is resulting in fewer Latinos entering the U.S.
...Minorities made up roughly 2.02 million, or 50.4%, of U.S. births in the 12-month period ending July 2011. That compares with 37% in 1990.
Dangerous radicals are gathering down the street at Seattle Central Community College for a May Day protest, but don't you worry, the police are safe, having cautiously cordoned off the streets and sidewalks in a one-block radius surrounding the East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine.
Barriers are being manned at 13th to the east, Pike to the south, 11th to the west, and whatever that street is one block to the north of Pine.
The officers I questioned, all of whom say they aren't authorized to talk to the press ("That's okay," I assured them, "according to the attorney general I'm not the press." They still wouldn't talk), thought the cordon might remain for a couple hours or more... a bit of an inconvenience to the businesses in the neighborhood, not to mention the poor chumps who've parked their cars there.
In the meanwhile, if you're craving a gelato or maybe a Montreal-style wood-fired bagel, fuck you.
Before a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi facility, Japan's 54 nuclear power plants provided more than 30 percent of the nation's electricity. A little more than a year later that number will be soon be reduced to zero:
Japan will within weeks have no nuclear power for the first time in more than 40 years, after the trade minister said two reactors idled after the Fukushima disaster would not be back online before the last one currently operating is shut down.
Trade Minister Yukio Edano signalled it would take at least several weeks before the government, keen to avoid a power crunch, can give a final go-ahead to restarts, meaning Japan is set on May 6 to mark its first nuclear power-free day since 1970.
It's not good news, of course, to see Japan's nuclear power capacity replaced by carbon-emitting coal and gas. But if you had asked the Japanese before the disaster whether such a massive and sudden shift in power generation was even feasible, I'm pretty sure those in charge would have said no.
Makes me wonder how impossible it would really be for the US to shift, say, 30 percent of its own generating capacity to renewables in a decade or so? You know, if we really wanted to.
Researchers said Wednesday they can definitively show that ocean acidification is at least partly responsible for massive oyster die-offs [over the last eight years] at the hatchery in Netarts Bay, Ore.
It's the first concrete finding in North America that carbon dioxide being taken up by the oceans already is helping kill marine species.
Eat 'em while we got 'em.
Interracial marriage in the USA reached an all-time high in 2010: 8.4% of all marriages, compared with 3.2% in 1980, finds a Pew Research Center study, released today, that analyzes unions between spouses of different races or ethnic groups.
Among marriages in 2010, 15% of couples married outside their race or ethnicity.
"Interracial marriage has gone from taboo to a rarity, and with each passing year, it's less of a rarity," says Pew's Paul Taylor. Pew reviewed Census data from more than 850,000 people in the American Community Survey between 2008 and 2010.
This is also interesting:
Among blacks, 24% of newlywed men married outside their race, compared with 9% of women. Among Asians, the opposite is true: 36% of women married outside their race, compared with 17% of men.Of the 20 or so cousins I have on my mother's side of the family—the more honest, decent, and affluent side of my little world—90% percent of the men are married to women of another race, whereas 90% of the women are married to men of the same race. It's just something to think about.
Even God is not liking the austerity deal.
Almost everyone feels movement. Sleeping people are awakened. Doors swing open or close. Dishes are broken. Pictures on the wall move. Small objects move or are turned over. Trees might shake. Liquids might spill out of open containers.
Did you know that Planned Parenthood's whole thing is to use "sex education" to turn kids into sex addicts so it can make a fortune selling them birth control, STD treatments, and abortions? The American Life League dares to tell the truth (with some of the most ridiculous cherry-picking of facts and fear-mongering you ever did see). Enjoy!
Whoever applied that guy's blush is my best friend.
There's a party to celebrate music in airports on January 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the baggage claim area of Sea-Tac International Airport. It's called the "Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative PlayNetwork," and there are bands (Dusty 45’s, Fly Moon Royalty, Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers, Recess Monkey) that are totally swell. There will also be speeches from Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton and Mayor Mike McGinn. That's all well and good.
UPDATE: Further explanation from the governor:
This is purely a precautionary measure. So far, we haven’t received any requests for state assistance—but we know weather conditions are rapidly changing. I want to make sure we have every resource available to ensure our communities are safe. This proclamation would allow us to activate the National Guard if we need to. It also allows state agencies to respond quickly to any storm-related requests from cities and counties for state assistance. A brief waiver of the restrictions on dairy truck drivers’ work hours is needed now to avoid shipment delays that could mean the loss of nearly $1 million a day for the state’s dairy industry.
The bottom line is that there is a serious threat on Wednesday of 8-15 inches of snow over the region, with a minimal turn over to rain. The biggest snowstorm in years. Anyway, before anyone goes out and buys a snowblower, lets see what tonight's runs show. If they continue this trend then Slushmageddon might be replaced by Snowmageddon. In almost any conceivable case, Wednesday morning is going to be very problematic for travel...I suspect there will be a lot of school cancellations and the like.
Um... these are the people we're supposed to blindly trust to bathe us in radiation?
An airport security officer confiscated a frosted cupcake amid fears its icing could be a security risk, according to reports.
Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas took her cupcake Wednesday. According to Hains, he told her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.
Hains said the agent didn't seem concerned that the red velvet cupcake, which was packaged in an 8-ounce mason jar, could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited.
"Once he had identified it as a security threat it was no longer mine and I couldn't have it back," Hains told NBC station WHDH.
Of course, as Hains points out, "It's not really about the cupcake." It's about our willingness to tolerate ever greater encroachments on our civil liberties, no matter how fucking absurd.
Right-wing blogs and pseudo-media outlets are working themselves into a frenzy over a job posting for SEIU Healthcare 775NW, the Washington state union that represents thousands of home healthcare workers. The posting for "Senior/Lead Internal Organizer, Home Care" comes with a job description that includes among other things:
· Train and lead members in non-violent civil disobedience, such as occupying state buildings and banks, and peaceful resistance.
· Plan and execute strategic direct action field plans including banner drops, bank takeovers, and capitol occupations with membership, other local unions, and coalition partners.
It's plain language that has prompted the entertainingly wacko RedState to brand SEIU a "radical and militantly Marxist union," and the objectively addlepated Objectivist Pam Geller to prattle about unions being "looters, moochers, destroyers, rapists, thieves, arsonist, killers, etc." Meanwhile, the obviously anti-labor LaborUnionReport asks:
Since the SEIU has already shown it has no respect for private property, the question that lingers is: Will 2013 be the year when a real attorney general finally begins to look at the entire SEIU structure with RICO in mind?
That's right, the stupid, fucking, crazy, paranoid, right-wing morons apparently view this job listing as reason to prosecute SEIU under racketeering laws devised to combat organized crime. What a bunch of stupid, fucking, crazy, paranoid, right-wing morons.
I'm pretty damn conscientious about only using my phone with a hands-free device when driving, and have been since before it became law in Washington state. Having driven stick-shift for years, I'm used to holding the wheel with one hand, but I've read the studies, and there's no question regarding the safety hazards. That said, I'm a little mixed on the recent National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recommendations that use of cell phones while driving be banned entirely—with or without hands-free devices.
Again, I don't doubt the data on "distracted driving," but it's not like folks don't have conversations in cars without cell phones. And if you really want to talk about distractions, the NTSB should do something about all those people driving with screaming babies or quarrelsome children in their cars.
“No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.
Really? If that were true, wouldn't we also halve the legal blood alcohol limit, or go to zero tolerance entirely? Because I'm damn sure there are many, many accidents caused by the diminished capabilities of drivers with a legal .07 percent. In fact, just getting behind the wheel of a car endangers both the driver and others. Maybe we should just ban driving while driving?
I don't mean to dis the NTSB recommendations entirely, but as a generally cautious and conscientious driver, I'd think we'd see more of a benefit from enforcing the laws we already have (like maybe, ticketing people for not using their turn signal while shifting lanes), than by launching into a long and controversial fight to ban cell phones.
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