We Still Have Absolutely No Idea What Happened to the Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane: Just about every headline today has the word "confusion" in it. New York Times sums up where we are right now: "Malaysian authorities denied a variety of reports related to the jet’s disappearance and experts pored over military radar data that seemed to indicate that the flight had turned west and remained airborne long after its last contact with ground controllers." One of the theories, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, was that the plane stayed aloft for four hours after its final communication. Malaysian authorities have denied that report, although Boeing (who made the plane) and Rolls-Royce (who made the engines) declined to comment when asked to confirm that denial. And the Malaysian government does not have a ton of credibility—they have been issuing conflicting information and withholding key facts for days.
A Stanford Student Put His Theory About What Happened to the Plane on Tumblr: And it went viral. Boeing corrected him about some technical thing and he has since updated his theory. Basically he theorizes there was "some kind of decompression event [that] incapacitated the passengers and crew," possibly "caused by a rupture in the skin of the fuselage." He writes: "With incapacitated pilots, the 777 could continue to fly on Autopilot." And also: "777 Passenger Oxygen masks do not deploy until cabin altitude reaches 13,500. Passengers were likely already unconscious by then, if it was a slow decompression. Also remember that this flight was a red-eye, most passengers would be trying to sleep, masking alarming effects of oxygen deprivation." More of his thoughts here.
Photos from Austin after car plows thru crowd at #SXSW. 2 dead; 23 injured. http://t.co/u74Weojwee pic.twitter.com/kiJmKX8Ht3
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 13, 2014
Two People Are Dead and Many Others Injured After a Car Strikes a Crowd of People at South by Southwest: "The suspect, who police have declined to identify, is in custody and will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle," SeattlePI.com reports. "Legendary California-based punk rock band X was playing inside at the time of the incident. Because of the loud music, those inside the club were unaware of the disaster that occurred outside, a few feet away." The Stranger's music editor Emily Nokes is at SXSW, but she and her bandmates are just fine. Condolences to the victims.
There Is "No Compelling Medical Reason" for the U.S. Armed Forces to Prohibit Transgender Americans from Serving: It's about fucking time for a panel of medical experts to speak up on this. The conclusion is that the ban is damaging, unfair, and based on "outdated beliefs."
Sixth Woman in Recent Months Leaves Seattle Times Newsroom: Dominic Holden calls it the XX Exodus.
Hunger Strike at Tacoma Immigration Detention Center Continues: Yesterday, a judge ruled in the detainees' favor, saying "they should be allowed to post bond and be released while their deportation cases are processed."
A Proposal from the Justice Department to Reduce Drug Sentences: "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is endorsing a proposal that would reduce prison sentences for people convicted of dealing drugs."
Soccer Fans to Help Police with Staffing in Ukraine: "The most hardcore soccer fans in Ukraine will work alongside police to ensure security at stadiums when the domestic league resumes Saturday." Because "hardcore soccer fans" are always such sensible people.
Today Is Janet Flanner's Birthday: Back in the day, Flanner wrote about Europe—Paris in particular—for The New Yorker. She was the shit. Her February 29, 1936 profile of Adolf Hitler for the magazine began with this unbelievably brilliant sentence: "Dictator of a nation devoted to splendid sausages, cigars, beer, and babies, Adolf Hitler is a vegetarian, teetotaler, nonsmoker, and celibate."
Here's Jon Stewart Giving Dianne Feinstein Some Much-Needed Shit: Over her hypocrisy about government surveillance of her laptop.