Voices from the Seattle March for Science Protest

Amy Harris, Meghan Park, and Peja Shymko
Amy Harris, Meghan Park, and Peja Shymko AMBER CORTES

Today (coinciding with Earth Day) in Washington D.C. and across the nation, scientists, data nerds, and civic-minded citizens marched to defend science. In Seattle, several thousand people gathered at Cal Anderson Park to hear speeches from Gov. Jay Inslee, (the embattled) Mayor Ed Murray, UW physics student Tyler Valentine, and others.

What do they want? Peer-reviewed, evidence based research. When do they want it? Now. “You know things are serious,” one sign said, “when the introverts arrive.”

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On the Blabbermouth Podcast: When to Protest Incendiary College Campus Speakers, and When to Ignore Them

Episode 97: If Nazi admirer Richard Spencer is coming to campus, definitely protest.
Episode 97: If Nazi admirer Richard Spencer is coming to campus, definitely protest. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Dan Savage, Eli Sanders, and Rich Smith process the almost-but-not-quite win of John Ossoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District.

Then it's on to the next hot special election (in Montana), how last weekend's tax marches went, what Facebook's responsibility is for the live murder broadcast on its site recently, and a handy guide to when you should strongly protest your incendiary campus speaker and when you should maybe ignore your incendiary campus speaker (hint: if it's Richard Spencer, strongly protest).


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Seattle's Best Event App Just Got Even Better!

Discover all the best things to do in town all in one place. On the new and improved Stranger Things To Do app, you can browse critics' picks and other suggested events, save events to your calendar, and even buy tickets.

It's free on the App Store and Google Play—get it now!

Sampha's Debut LP, Process, Will Shred Your Heart

Sampha plays with The xx at WaMu Theater this Mon., April 24.
Sampha plays with The xx at WaMu Theater this Mon., April 24.

Known largely for his collaborations with big time hip-hop artists like Solange and Drake, London-based producer/keyboardist/singer Sampha Sisay released his disarmingly beautiful debut LP, Process, earlier this year.

This album will shred your heart. Through electro-tinged R&B, Sampha works through the death of his mother and the aftershocks of grief that still buckle him. Against a gorgeously wrought piano melody with fuzzy electronic samples and voiceovers that sound taken from an aircraft cockpit, opening track “Plastic 100°C” uses the sun as a metaphor for this overwhelming pain—he can’t yet look at it directly, but feels like plastic melting in its heat.

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Live Updates: A Scientist's Journal from the March For Science in Washington D.C.

Jeremy Yoder

Scientists and science supporters showed up in force today on the National Mall, in protest against the Trump Administration's budget and regulatory policies. The March for Science brought thousands together for a rally and teach-in at the base of the Washington Monument followed by a march down Constitution Avenue to the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

The marchers I spoke with were enthusiastic despite drizzle that turned into rain as the day went on. Many expressed relief and excitement to be among like-minded people, a sentiment reminiscent of the mood at Seattle Womxn's March in January. Asked why they chose to march, people cited concerns about cuts to research funding, relaxation of environmental regulation, and loss of economic competitiveness if the United States reduced its commitments to science.

"I came here to support science," said Jeyhan Kartaltepe, an assistant professor of Physics and Deputy Director of the Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She worried about losing scientists and their talents to other countries as a result of reduced funding opportunities in the U.S.

"We're all very concerned that the current administration wants to cut funding for research," said Amanda Jezek, the Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government at the Infectious Disease Society of America. "We need to make sure there's a next generation of scientists."

"When we don't believe in science, kids get hurt," said Mari Copeny, a nine-year-old activist for clean water in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, who spoke at the rally before the march. Copeny and Michigan State University pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, an honorary co-chair of the March, emphasized the role of scientific tools in identifying lead contamination in Flint’s drinking water and forcing state, local, and Federal officials to address the problem.

Marchers and rally speakers had mixed ideas about the connection between science and politics. One of the single most popular signs at the march might have been a blue-and-red image of a microscope with the words “No sides in science.” It was outnumbered, though, by individual signs calling out Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt.

"Some people are going to say we're politicizing science, but we're not," said environmental scientist Jonathan Foley, the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences, in his speech at the rally before the March. "We're defending science."

In his own speech at the rally, Dennis Hayes, who coordinated the first Earth Day rally 47 years ago, excoriated the current administration in distinctly partisan terms: “Donald Trump makes Richard Nixon look like Diogenes.”

There was no clear agreement about how to defend science, either. No one I spoke with seemed to think Trump was particularly persuadable, though several mentioned hopes of influencing Congress. The Infectious Disease Society has been offering its members "every possible option for interacting with their representatives," Jezek told me.

"We hope our representatives see that we do represent something more than ourselves," said Shelley Kayle, a pharmacist from northeast Ohio, who had come to the March with her husband Kevin, a fisheries biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Chemist and YouTuber Tyler DeWitt, the first speaker at the rally, laid some of the blame on scientists for failing to communicate the importance of their own work. "We can't complain about slashed funding if we can't tell taxpayers why science matters."

"I find if you have a lot of facts in your arsenal, you can counter things that are not true," said Stacy Whipple, a motorcycle shop owner with a degree in biology and animal behavior, in reference to her own experience arguing with neighbors who work in the oil industry. But, she admitted, "You have to pick your battles."

Editor's note: We sent Jeremy Yoder, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, to Washington D.C. to cover the first ever March For Science. What follows are two dispatches he sent earlier during the day.

10:00 a.m:

March for Science participants are gathering at the foot of the Washington Monument. You could spot them on the Metro, men and women in hiking boots and fleeces, or thematically appropriate tee-shirts. There's a couple of religious protesters at the entry point to the rally, holding signs that inveigh against atheism and 'profe$$ors'.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Keeping Up with “Reality Stars: The Musical”

RuPaul's Drag Race is a twee show that highlights the systematic problems the gay community must endure. This week: the Kardashians.

Well, at least it isn’t Wicked. RuPaul, increasingly more concerned about optimizing the show for search engines than creating interesting challenges, makes the girls perform a musical based on the Kardashians this week in "Reality Stars: The Musical." Musical is a generous word for the challenge, although Todrick Hall jokes that their performances deserve a Tony, which only reinforces my suspicion that all YouTube sensations have poor taste. (YouTube stars are just Disney stars, but for adults.) You know what? I take it back. I actually wish they did Wicked instead. Nina Bo’Nina Brown would totally rock it as a thic Elphaba.

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20 Essential Record Store Day 2017 Releases

Segals decades-long wait for this Holy Grail record is finally ending.
Segal's decades-long wait for this Holy Grail record is finally ending.

The most important annual ritual in music retail and vinyl-collector griping, Record Store Day, happens again this Saturday, April 22. As has become tradition on Slog, I've surveyed some of the most interesting releases coming out on this hallowed day. A casual perusal of the list reveals 2017 to be a better-than-average year for quality reissues and archival digs. Let’s hope you’ve been saving up for this. (See participating Seattle stores after the jump.)

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Last-Minute Plans: 117 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: April 21-23, 2017

Dont miss your last chance to see WE at MadArt—an immersive and interactive exhibit that features music, video, and light that visitors can interact with and influence.
Don't miss your last chance to see WE at MadArt—an immersive and interactive exhibit that features music, video, and light that visitors can interact with and influence. MadArt

Just because you haven't planned your weekend far in advance doesn't mean you can't still go out and have a great time. There are still plenty of options for last-minute entertainment that won't cost more than $10, like the grand opening of Big Mario's Frelard (the first 100 attendees will get a free slice of pizza!), the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Highlarious Comedy Festival and the DOPE Cup, and plenty of markets, including Nerd Grinder, the Northwest Film Forum Rummage Sale, and the Handmade & Homegrown Market and Plant Sale. Of course, there are also plenty of Record Store Day and Earth Day events as well, many of which also won't cost more than $10. For even more options, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

1. In my heart I built a house
The folksy relief prints in Meg O'Brien's In My Heart I Built a House contemplate the influence of the houses where we dwell on our inner and outer lives. Join the artist and gallerists for the opening reception, which features music, drinks, and a printing station where you can make your own mini-house. If you buy one of Meg O'Brien's works, the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Mary's Place.
(Belltown, free)

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Read More: 5 Articles Written by Ijeoma Oluo That Aren't About Rachel Dolezal


Now that you've read Ijeoma Oluo's interview with Rachel Dolezal (and if you haven't, do it), devote some time to reading other fine works she's produced. Here's where to start:

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Coachella Dispatch: Emily Nokes Predicts a Beyonce Cameo at Tacocat's Show This Weekend

Emily Nokes of Tacocat
Emily Nokes of Tacocat Erik Voake, courtesy of Coachella

While most of us are satisfied surviving just one weekend of Coachella and making it out of the desert without a tragic sunburn or a chronic cough from dust-filled lungs, the hundred-plus bands on the lineup have to do the whole thing twice over consecutive weekends. Among those returning for a second go around are Seattle's own Tacocat. Emily Nokes was kind enough to take some time away from the band's spring tour schedule to let us know how things went on their first Coachella weekend and what they're looking forward to heading into this next one.

First things first: were your instruments and gear sufficiently heat and dust proofed?

Our gear is pretty caked in glitter and stickers, so I think that's acted as a decent defense against the desert...

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The Week in Weed: “Joint Session” Protestors Arrested, Hackers Break into Weed Instagram Accounts, and Washington’s Already Grown Over 150,000 Pounds of Weed

Buzzkill: Rachel Ramone Donlan, left, and Collette Cobb, are arrested after handing out joints during the 1st Annual Congressional #JointSession pot giveaway.
Buzzkill: Rachel Ramone Donlan, left, and Collette Cobb, are arrested after handing out joints during the 1st Annual Congressional #JointSession pot giveaway. TOM WILLIAMS VIA GETTY

Happy 4/20! Hopefully you were able to chillax yesterday and celebrate the unofficial holiday by sparking up, settling down, and perusing our Green Guide—chock full of stories about pricey bongs, using weed to help cope with Trump trauma, and more. If you haven't seen it yet, go give it a read. But first, catch up on this week's weed news, which includes a joint-giveaway protest going up in smoke, a remake of the infamous “This is Your brain on Drugs” PSA, and a breakdown of how much weed Washington has produced so far (more than a few bongfuls, that’s for sure!)...

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In the Ruins of Socialism: Toxic Father and Brutalist Architecture in Graduation


It's tragic that some kids don't get enough love. It's even more tragic that some don't get any at all, but Romanian master Cristian Mungiu's Graduation takes on a father whose love turns toxic when put to the test.

The shift from benevolent protector to poisonous antagonist occurs after an unknown assailant attacks Eliza (Maria Dragus from Michael Haneke's anti-fascist fable The White Ribbon). Granted, Romeo (Adrian Titieni, who recalls Belgian everydad Olivier Gourmet) is less of a model citizen than he appears. He's a control freak and an adulterer, but Eliza is one scholarship away from attending Cambridge, and she has to ace her exams, so the respected physician starts calling in favors and encouraging her to play along.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Kept in the Closet with Golden Handcuffs


My husband and I have been together 17 years, married for two. We are a pair of gay guys facing a dilemma. My husband is the primary source of our income, and he's earned a very nice company retreat through his achievements, which allowed for a spouse to attend. Since we are now married, he opted to include me. However, since this retreat will include many of his clients and coworkers, to whom he is closeted, we are both feeling nervous about how this will affect his relationships with them as he relies on commission for our financial well being.

His concerns weigh on the idea that he has allowed many of his clients to assume his wedding ring symbolizes a heterosexual marriage, and in the face of his husband, they will view his omission of the whole truth as a trust issue. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize our financial future because he is hauling income at a rate I could never hope to achieve, so I am completely willing to keep myself at a minimum, but the cat will be out of the bag, so to speak. I'm wondering if there is a better way to approach this situation. I have a great deal of social anxiety and am not sure if I can approach the people he works with as myself, or if I should adopt some kind of neutered persona, or recuse myself as much as possible. He assumes the clients attending are mostly conservative.

Sometimes Honesty Hurts

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On Sale This Week: 10 Seattle Music & Arts Events

Tickets for the Gorillaz Humans Tour went on sale this morning.
Tickets for the Gorillaz' Humans Tour went on sale this morning. Artist photo

This week, many big, upcoming Seattle events have gone on sale and are likely to sell out very quickly, so we've rounded them up below so you can plan ahead. Check out even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

AFI (Aug 5)
alt-J (Oct 12)
Gorillaz (Sept 30)
An Evening with King Crimson (June 12-13)
MXPX (July 7-8)
Simple Plan 15th Anniversary Tour (Sept 2-3)

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Ludovic Morlot to Bow Out as Music Director of Seattle Symphony in 2019

Pourquoi, Ludo?
Pourquoi, Ludo? SUSSIE AHLBURG

The guy who made people want to go to the symphony again is leaving in two years.

"The decision to step down as Music Director when my contract comes to an end in 2019 is not one I have taken lightly," Morlot said in a statement. "We are in the midst of a wonderful, stimulating and exciting artistic journey and I look forward to continuing this in the next two seasons. However, I feel that by 2019 the time will be right for me to explore new musical opportunities and for the Symphony to have the inspiration of new artistic leadership.”

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Should Police Be Able to Interrogate Detained Juveniles Without an Attorney Present? On Monday, King County Will Decide

The youth jail in Central District.
The youth jail in Central District. King County

Right now, there’s very little policy prohibiting police officers from waltzing into the youth jail in Central District and interrogating children without an attorney present. That’s terrible for a number of reasons.

Research from the 1980s shows that juveniles, whose brains typically don’t share an adult’s capacity for reason and logic, aren't always capable of understanding when a police officer reads them their Miranda rights. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. You might remember being a kid and making dumb, impulsive decisions without thinking about the consequences of your actions. Now, imagine you're a kid in jail and a police officer wants to ask you questions. How would you know that you don't have to answer?

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