Yesterday, My New York Times Came with What Looked Like a Box of Checks from the Bank: But it wasn't a box of checks at all, it was a cardboard headset for holding my smartphone against and watching a story called "The Displaced," about the 30 million children who are currently displaced from their homes by war or persecution. Oleg is from Ukraine; Chuol is from South Sudan; Hana is a Syrian refugee in Lebanon.
If You Are One of Those Old-Fashioned People Who Like Your New York Times in Written Form: Here's an introduction to the project by NYT magazine editor Jake Silverstein, who explains: "By creating a 360-degree environment that encircles the viewer, virtual reality creates the experience of being present within distant worlds."
At First I Couldn't Even Get the Thing to Work: Because my tiny, outdated iPhone kept sliding around in the cardboard container, but as soon as I half-unfurled the cardboard box and just held my phone against it with my hands, it worked fine. I looked up, and watched a plane scream by overhead dropping food into the field I was in.
According to the New York Times—Yes, I Know, You Want Seattle's Morning News, You Don't Care About Any of This, But Seattle's News Is Boring Today—the Cameras Are Attached to a Tripod-Mounted Ball: "Instead of pointing a camera at something to capture a scene, The Displaced's directors would set the ball out, start filming, and hide behind a bush or some other cover watching the action from afar."
The Guy from the Film Studio that Helped the New York Times Produce this Says: "This medium doesn't just bring you closer. This medium actually brings you there and places you on the ground." Well, not actually.
Okay! Fine! Local News! Two Lumber Giants Merge: "Weyerhaeuser Co. is buying Plum Creek Timber Co. for $8.44 billion to form what is expected to be one of the world's biggest timberland and forest products companies."
Someone Dumped 50 Gallons of Cooking Oil into a City Storm System that Drains into a Pond: "The spill damaged the environment, and sickened more than 20 birds. Ducks, geese and herons who live in the pond are covered in harmful oil, and the vibrant ecosystem is now a hazardous mess."
There Have Been Three Fatal Shootings in Tacoma in a Week: The victims were all young men.
Sounders Lost Last Night: Meaning they won't advance to the Western Conference finals.
ICYMI, in Seattle City Council Races: Lisa Herbold is only 104 votes behind Shannon Braddock (and there are still 3,484 ballots to count in that race), and Tammy Morales is only 378 votes behind Bruce Harrell (and there are at least 2,606 ballots still to count in that race). The next drop is going to be released today at 4:30 pm.
Breaking: University of Missouri System President Timothy Wolfe Resigns: "After months of student protests — primarily over race relations, but also the rights of graduate students and access to health care for women."