Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock have creatd Spotify playlists that will reportedly "rev up Seahawks and Broncos fans before Sunday’s big game."
I don't know what game they're talking about—and let's not pretend for a second that some hip interns didn't put these lists together—but I must say that while Denver's has sass, ours has class. And better songs. Except for two of them.
Do enjoy these playlists, and read the Mayors' explanations for their song choices below.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Seahawks Playlist:
1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis made local history this week when they took home four Grammys in one night, the most ever won by an act from Seattle. This is just the beginning for these incredible talents and we couldn't be more proud of how they represent our city. We chose ‘Thrift Shop’ because we’re putting some grandpa style on the line in our Super Bowl wager with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
2. Fly Moon Royalty, "Lemonade"
An up and coming act, Fly Moon Royalty’s electro-soul sound is a 'perfectly fitting contradiction' of blues and R&B mixed with electronica and hip hop. This fun, talented duo is represented by Seattle's oldest locally owned and operated hip hop label, Sport'n Life Records and is one of Seattle's Best Local Bands as voted by local arts publication City Arts. Keep your eye out on these two.
3. The Head and The Heart, "Shake"
The Head and the Heart is a great musical offering from Seattle's Sub Pop Records. The band formed through a series of open mic nights at Conor Byrne, a popular local pub for upcoming musicians located in our Ballard neighborhood and now they're being enjoyed throughout the U.S. and beyond. We dedicate this one to CenturyLink Field which has the 12th Man to thank for all the shaking going on there when the Seahawks play at home.
4. Brandi Carlile, "Raise Hell"
You may have gotten a peek at Brandi Carlile's talent while she performed the National Anthem prior to this year's playoff game between the Seahawks and Saints, but there are few things more satisfying than watching her tear the roof off of a small local club. Her voice is huge and channels Patsy Cline, her stage energy is raucous and channels Johnny Cash. We're dedicating this track to Richard Sherman, the best corner in the league right now!
5. Allen Stone, "Celebrate Tonight"
Allen Stone is a great vocalist and socially conscious songwriter from eastern Washington with an endlessly enjoyable sound. We plan on doing a lot of celebrating Sunday night.
6. Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Posse on Broadway"
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic homage to Seattle, more specifically his homage to the Central District and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The song and accompanying video were major influences in the work we see from Macklemore today.
7. Kithkin, "Fallen Giants"
2011 graduates of the Experience Music Project's “Sound Off! Battle of the Teenage Bands,” Kithkin feature “mountainous percussion with the kind of epic presence that’s usually only found during the closing titles of Peter Jackson films,” and have a fiercely loyal local following. We'll have to dedicate this one to Peyton Manning.
8. The Flavr Blue, "Hideaway"
A synth-pop trio collaboration between Hollis Wong-Wear, who sang the hook on Macklemore's "White Walls" and produced his "Thrift Shop" video, and Seattle hip-hop scene stalwarts Parker Joe and Lace Cadence. They were just listed as Artists to Watch in 2014 in the Google Play store.
I don't want to be a panic-monger but this year's flu season isn't screwing around. Deaths in the past few days include a 13 year-old girl; a healthy, 29 year-old nursing student and mother of three; a Florida woman in her 30s; a 53 year-old Oregon woman; and a robust-looking lifeguard/paramedic.
We're still waiting on the latest data from the CDC (their most recent numbers end on Dec 28), and their spokespeople are saying it's too early to compare this season to others, but the early information isn't looking good. The only US-affiliated acreage without flu are the US Virgin Islands and Guam, flu-related hospitalizations in states like Colorado have tripled since late December, and states like North Carolina are seeing more deaths and people on life support than they had this time last year.
Which brings me to my point: Please cover your goddamned mouth.
It's like people have forgotten the simplest, lowest-maintenance, Victorian-era etiquette this year—or maybe I'm just hypersensitive. Either way, I counted a dozen people yesterday openly hacking away on sidewalks, in grocery stores, and on their way in and out of restaurants. The biggest offenders, demographically speaking, were young men. (Surprise, surprise.)
The flu isn't killing a lot of people, but it is killing some—kids, moms, otherwise healthy people without underlying conditions. The least you can do is wash your hands and try to restrain yourself from hacking your sputum all over the rest of us.
Welcome back, panic. We've missed you since 2009, when H1N1 was declared a "national emergency," turning legions of us into the kinds of people who wash our hands raw and open bathroom doors with paper towels.
Six have died of H1N1 in Washington state in the past two weeks and an infectious disease specialist at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York would like to remind you that H1N1 can be fatal to "young adults who would not be otherwise vulnerable."
People have been killed by and hospitalized for H1N1 in Michigan, California, Texas, Oregon, Utah, and North Carolina.
If you're looking for a flu shot near you, try this vaccine finder by ZIP code. (The link is to a King County Public Health site, but the ZIP code search function connects to a national database.)
Fun fact—when it comes to swine flu, we're more dangerous to the pigs than the pigs are to us:
"Although in the early stages of the swine flu pandemic there were worries that humans would catch the virus from pigs, this has so far not been documented and pigs and other animals have not been involved in the current spread of A/H1N1 influenza in humans," said Dr Vahlenkamp, "However, with the increasing numbers of human infections, a spill over of this human virus to pigs is becoming more likely. The prevention of human-to-pig transmissions should have a high priority in order to avoid involvement of pigs in the epidemiology of this pandemic".
I've been flying a lot in the last few months, and I just wanted to take a moment to point out something that's been bothering me. It's not the airlines, really—the prices, the bogus security checks, the overstuffed cabins, or, most recently, the three hours it took to deice our plane with "just one nozzle because the other nozzle is broken," which then meant racing through the Salt Lake City airport (which is basically just one big closeted dad with perfect skin and 11 children) to make our connecting flight to Montana—no no, those things are totally bearable when compared to... THIS.
Pere Ubu this Friday at Neumos!
...but you should probably keep an eye on China, just in case. Quartz explains what's so troubling about this newest mutation, which so far has claimed seven lives:
The most worrying part is that authorities don’t know how these people were infected. There’s no evidence so far that any of the patients interacted with each other, a sign that the bird flu hasn’t mutated into a virus that can jump between humans rather than just from animal to human–the basis for a global pandemic. Yet, most of the patients were not in close contact with birds (one woman was a poultry butcher and the woman in Anhui had some contact with live chickens.) Moreover, the mysterious illnesses are being disclosed within six weeks of over 16,000 carcasses of mysteriously killed pigs and 1,000 ducks floating in waterways near Shanghai and Sichuan province.
Go read the whole thing. And, to reiterate, please don't panic. Just keep yourself informed.
(This post provided the opportunity for me to dust off the long-comatose "SNOUTBREAK" tag. The archives for that tag make for an interesting look at the last time a global pandemic struck. If this bird flu spreads, hopefully we can learn from our Snoutbreak's mistakes.)
See them here.
is this photo:
It has haunted my days (and occasional long nights) for over a year now. I love it.
Goodbye, Harborview. For now, I hope.
He might have swine flu:
Teenage girls had been planting kisses on, or hugging, the cutout of Brit heartthrob Robert Pattinson — who plays Edward in The Twilight Saga: New Moon — at the Reel Cinema, in Crewe.
But the fun is now over after a warning was slapped across Robert's face.
It reads: "Please help reduce the spread of germs by refraining from giving Edward, or any other character for that matter, a kiss or hug."
A five-month-old boy from Pasco:
Health officials confirmed Saturday that he was suffering from H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as swine flu.
Although Aaron was in and out of hospitals for most of his short life, his parents, Elizabeth and Benito Lopez, said Wednesday that they were surprised swine flu ultimately caused his death.
Aaron was born in May with two holes in his heart and had surgery on his heart when he was 6 weeks old. Complications from that procedure affected his kidneys and brain, his mother said. Other illnesses followed.
"There were serious underlying health conditions, but that does not make the loss any easier for the family or the child's loved ones," said Dr. Larry Jecha, Benton-Franklin Health District officer.
So very sad.
Thanks to Slog tipper Erica.
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Some parents—ingenious, brilliant parents—are holding swine-flu parties to expose their kids early, hoping that'll work like a vaccine. Says the good Dr. Thomas Sandora of Children's Hospital in Boston:
"Intentionally exposing your child to a potentially fatal infection is never a risk worth taking."
In other afflictions, Irish prisons are preparing for Purell parties. Prisoners don't have access to alcoholic gels now, but they will if an outbreak begins:
"Prisoners here have shown ingenuity in the past—so if and when the authorities bring the raw materials in for them, they do not pass up the opportunity," said a senior officer.
"This gel is practically pure alcohol and the rumours circulating are that it can be diluted with fruit, water and sugar to give it a reasonable taste while retaining the buzz."
The Egyptian government has ordered all schools and universities to close until October in an attempt to slow the spread of swine flu...
Restrictions have already been imposed on those wanting to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage in November. Only those between the ages of 25 and 65 will be granted the necessary visas.
Egyptian Health Minister Hatem al-Gabaly refused to rule out an all-out ban on Hajj travel if the outlook becomes worse.
After about 100 people were sicked with (possible) swine flu at the Penny Arcade Expo last weekend, the hamdemic also appears to have spread the University of Washington campus.
Early this morning, UW sent out this email to students and faculty:
While a diagnosis has not been confirmed, the first apparent cases of novel H1N1 influenza have been reported to Hall Health Center from a sorority at the University. Sorority rush is beginning and many of the houses are active with returning sorority members and new students. Two cases of probable H1N1 flu have been identified in one house. The students were advised to return home and other members who may have been exposed have been advised to take necessary precautions, which include hand washing and use of hand sanitizers. They have also been advised to watch for symptoms of the flu and report cases to Hall Health.
More information will be forthcoming in the coming week as we approach the start of the school year. This is the leading edge of what we anticipate during the fall quarter.
Jean Haulman, M.D.
Campus Health Services
C'mon, UW! Only two cases? WSU beats you guys at everything.
PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University officials say more than 2,000 students have been sickened by swine flu during the first two weeks of classes on the Pullman campus, though none have required hospitalization, according to WSU Health and Wellness Services.
Saturday's football game between Stanford and Washington State will go on as scheduled.
"Public health officials believe that attending the game and sitting in the stadium poses almost no risk to attendees," WSU said.
"We'll have hand sanitizers at all concession stands," said Bill Stevens, a spokesman for the football team, adding that 13 WSU players have shown flu symptoms at some point.
From Hampocalypse to hand sanitizer in six months.
It might be time to start again.
According to the King County Department of Health, only 11 patients being treated for swine flu worldwide have become resistant to the antiviral drug Tamiflu. However, two of those 11 patients with superpowered swine flu just so happen to be in King County.
From the the county:
The two patients, one a male teenager and the other a female in her 40’s, had no links to one another and these infections are not believed to be related. Both patients had compromised immune systems, a condition that has previously been shown to raise the risk for prolonged seasonal influenza virus infection and development of antiviral resistance during treatment. One patient is currently no longer ill from the influenza virus infection and the other has ongoing symptoms and is being treated with the antiviral medication zanamivir.
There is no evidence that health care workers or other contacts of these two people became infected with a Tamiflu-resistant virus. The risk of infection to the general population is very low from these cases, but as a precaution, local and state health officials are working in collaboration with the CDC to conduct enhanced monitoring for antiviral drug resistant influenza in the community.
Yeah, yeah. I'm being an alarmist. Whatever. We'll see who's still standing when the Hampocalypse arrives.
Now you can get your very own swine flu stuffed toy.*
Everyone's (maybe) going to be carrying it this fall!
*Other best-sellers include: the common cold, E. coli, mononucleosis, ulcer, black death, and ebola.
Thanks, Slog tipper emma's bee!
From the LA Times:
At least 1 million Americans have now contracted the novel H1N1 influenza, according to mathematical models prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while data from the field indicates that the virus is continuing to spread even though the normal flu season is over and that an increasing proportion of victims are being hospitalized...
The normal seasonal flu virus has virtually disappeared from this country, as would be expected. But the novel H1N1 virus is continuing to spread, and now accounts for 98% of all cases.
"So far, it doesn't look like transmission is declining at all," Finelli said.
The World Health Organization has (finally) declared swine flu to be a full on pandemic, raising the global pandemic alert to its highest level.
The World Health Organization has told its member nations it is declaring a swine flu pandemic — the first global flu epidemic in 41 years, news services reported.
The move came after an emergency meeting with flu experts here that was convened after a sharp rise in cases in Australia, which reported 1,224 cases on Wednesday, and rising numbers in Britain, Japan and elsewhere.
In a statement sent to member countries, the W.H.O. said it decided to raise the pandemic alert level from phase 5 to 6, indicating a global pandemic outbreak, The Associated Press said, attributing the information to health officials from Scotland, Indonesia and Thailand. An official announcement of the change was due at 6 p.m. Geneva time on Thursday (noon in New York).
I'll be in my bunker if anyone needs me.
The United States has surpassed Mexico as the swine-fluiest country in the world.
And this year's Pigs on Parade is going to be awkward: pigs in surgical scrubs, pigs in HAZMAT suits, snouts stuffed with tissues.
Where's your whimsy now, pigs?
...is now the #1 reason to freak out about swine flu.
Just in case there was any doubt, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed nine cases of swine flu in Washington. It's not yet clear how many samples from Washington have been tested by the CDC.
So far, the state health department lab has tested nearly 300 samples of suspected swine flu and found 45 probable cases. The state has been forwarding the suspect viral samples to the CDC in Atlanta for confirmation.
If you're still freaking out about swine flu—in spite of the fact that it appears to be a fairly mild strain—you can keep up with the state health department running case tally here.
But when, exactly, did swine flu stop being a terrifying calamity for all of humanity and turn into a much less panic-inducing (but perhaps still Purell-selling) problem?
Did you know that it was imminently played out on Wednesday, April 29, when the World Health Organization upped the global threat level to 5, declaring an imminent pandemic? Or on Thursday, April 30, when Joe Biden started telling people to stay off planes and suspected swine flu turned up in Seattle? How about Friday, May 1, when Madrona elementary was closed because of one student with suspected swine flu and the number of confirmed U.S. cases stood at 141? Or was it on Saturday, May 2, when the number of suspected cases in the Seattle area kept rising even as the WHO said there was no sign of the flu spreading outside of North America and Mexico said its number of real cases could end up being half of what had been suspected? Perhaps it was Sunday, May 3, when it was increasingly pointed out that the vast majority of cases in the U.S. are mild? Or maybe it was yesterday, Monday, May 4, when the number of probable swine flu cases in the Seattle area continued to rise somewhat but officials announced that all nine closed schools in the region would reopen? Or was it today?
Well? When did you know? Because you knew before everyone else, right?
When, exactly, did swine flu jump the pork?
(Thanks to the awesome New York Times swine flu tracker for help with the timeline.)
Last Friday, I talked to Metro general manager Kevin Desmond about how his agency plans to respond in the event of a swine flu outbreak. The answer, in short: They're putting up signs and asking people not to cough on each other. "We're following the advice of county department of health and the CDC ... and watching very carefully how things are evolving," Desmond said. "The basic recommendation from the department of health is for people to practice protective hygiene: Don’t touch your hands to your eyes, mouth, or nose and wash your hands a lot; don’t go out in public if you're sick; and cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve and not your hand." If you ride the bus, you'll probably see new signage with those recommendations sometime later this week. Desmond says Metro has no plans to step up its bus-cleaning schedule, adding that it would be a "huge undertaking" to try to sanitize every bus every day.
Desmond says Metro wouldn't shut down unless ordered to by authorities—a scenario he calls a "huge financial emergency," because Metro would still have to pay people despite drastically reduced revenues—but it might reduce service, as it did during last year's snowstorms.
As a pathogen, influenza is the cat's pajamas; influenza puts the ortho in orthomyxovirus, the segments in its RNA genome and the misery in sneeze droplets everywhere.
Let's unpack H1N1 and H5N1. The 'N' in both stands for neuraminidase, a fancy way for saying "snot eating enzyme." The virus needs to get to the juicy cells at the back of the throat. Our bodies pour out copious amounts of snot in defense, forming a sticky wall of doom for all manner of pathogens. Stuck on the outside of every flu virus is a sea of this neuraminidase enzyme. The enzyme gobbles up the snot, allowing the virus to reach the cells lining our throat. In comes the 'H' or hemagglutinin protein, also located on the outside of the virus. Hemagglutinin binds the salicylate receptors located on the outside of almost all cells (salicylate is a special way of saying aspirin), dragging the virus into the cells. Once inside, you're infected. Huzzah for our little virus. Go team!
Influenza has been around for a while—co-evolving with many other species beyond man. As a result, different versions of the H and N enzymes have split off over time. The numbers after H and N in a flu virus name indicate the rough genetic heritage of a given flu's enzymes. H1 and H5 are like Montagues and Capulets—alike in kind if not kin. A given H (or N) is accomplishing the same task, but in slightly different ways.
In comes the home team. If the B-cells in our immune system can make antibodies against the neuraminidase and hemagglutinin, blocking their function, we can stop the virus. Making antibodies takes time. While we're waiting, CD8 T-cells (cytotoxic T-cells) come in and kill any of our own cells that are infected with virus, a sort of controlled Kamikaze mission in defense of the Home Islands. (Dead cells can't make more copies of the virus; once you're infected, brother cell, it's too late to save you.) With each kill, the CD8 cells release a little bit of activating cytokine and become a bit more bold. This self-death is a large part of the misery of the flu. You are sore because your body is literally killing itself in battle. It takes a week or two for the B-cells to start pumping out antibodies to a new(-ish) virus, at which point the CD8 cells are told to lay off, and take a break.
What we have here is the co-evolution of a host and parasite. My favorite! This sort of host-pathogen interaction is an evolutionary saddle-point, with two possible resolutions:
Cough into your sleeves instead:
An exchange I had with Slog commenter "I Got Nuthin'" this morning (edited for space):
I boarded the 271 to Bellevue at the UW. A gentleman (25 - 30 years old) was already on the bus, sitting about half way back on the driver's side. The bus was maybe at 25% of capacity with people spread out as one would typically find on any bus in the city.
As soon as I got seated, the aforementioned gentleman immediately caught my attention because of an incessant and deep hacking cough. I estimate that he coughed—2 or 3 coughs at a time—every 30 seconds for the duration of the half hour trip that we shared. Of course, this being Seattle, everybody just sat and endured it. No eye contact, no suggesting that maybe he shouldn't be out in public, no reaction from the bus driver. At one point I did spend several seconds studying the cougher and I have to say that he looked like death. His cheeks and forehead were all rosy. He was clearly congested and appeared to be in a generally miserable condition physically.
Which leads me to my questions:
1. Would it have been appropriate for someone to suggest to this person that maybe in light of the "swine" flu pandemic and associated fears, that he shouldn't be out in public, well alone on the bus?
2. What role does the bus driver have in protecting his riders?
3. Has Metro published any guidelines regarding situations like this?
And my response:
As far as I know, Metro doesn't have any specific guidelines about people riding the buses while sick. When I talked to Metro GM Kevin Desmond last week, he said their basic policy was to advise people not to ride the buses while sick, to cover their coughs, and to be mindful of other passengers. Obviously, this guy wasn't doing that, and I'm not sure what their advice would be in that situation—I have a call in to their PR person to find out if there's any kind of actual policy.
In general, though, I think passengers would be in the right asking the coughing guy, politely, if he was OK and whether he should be out and about. Given that Metro's a public accommodation, and coughing doesn't violate the agency's code of conduct, I don't think the driver would be able to make him leave. But I'll let you (and Slog) know what I find out.
I haven't heard back from Metro yet, but I did take a closer look at the code of conduct, and it's pretty clear that you would have been in the right at least saying something to the driver or the passenger. From there, it would be the driver's call whether to ask the passenger to leave or continue to ignore him. Specifically, the code of conduct prohibits causing "safety problems," and advises passengers to call 9-1-1 if they see a medical emergency. (Hilariously, the code of conduct also prohibits both "spitting" AND "expectorating.") The bottom line is, you shouldn't have to put up with a gross hacking cougher on the bus—particularly during a possible epidemic—but there's only so much you can do. The rest depends on the driver and the consideration of the cougher.
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