DEFINITELY not in the New York sky last night. Absolutely not.
DEFINITELY not in the New York sky last night. Absolutely not. PhonlamaiPhoto/Getty Images

It's tough out there for Seattle restaurants and grocery stores: Seattle is not cheap and it's not getting any cheaper. Some restaurants and grocery stores told the Times they are feeling the crunch—or maybe it's just Taco Time. Seattle taxes are among the highest in the country, and some popular establishments (Taco Time) are threatening to set their expansion sights outside the city. Don't take away my Fit-Hit Bowl!

This seems like a good way to go about things: Love that feeling of being held hostage by my own government. The approximately 420,000 federal employees who have been forced to work without pay during the holidays love it too and so do the 380,000 furloughed employees. The government shutdown persists.

Seattle looks to Atlanta for homelessness solutions: Well, not a solution, but a glimmer of hope. Atlanta's Open Doors program, established in 2012, was founded by real-estate professionals and pairs willing landlords with riskier-than-normal tenants. There's also a fund of money to compensate for any potential damage incurred. About 35,000 units in Atlanta have been filled through Open Doors. Seattle wants to improve its Rapid Rehousing program by taking notes from Atlanta. It'll be called The Housing Resource Center. But can it work when rents are so high?

The Seattle Times broke down King County's transportation funding: Fortunately for us, some hard-working journalists figured out what agencies are spending how much on which projects to make public transit better. Unfortunately for you, it's pretty much impossible for me to break down here so you'll have to read it. What I can say is that all these agencies (there are 40) spend $2,170 per person in King County for a total of $4,746,679,273. Yowza.

Want some free money? Cool. First, you have to be a low- or middle-income student studying science, health care, or technology. Sorry, humanities folks, this one's for the STEM kids. But, you're used to that by now. Okay, now that the bullshit liberal arts assholes aren't listening anymore, here's the skinny: Apply Jan. 3 for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) and you could get $22,500 spread out over up to five years to finish your degree. WSOS is going to award 1,850 scholarships this year.

Some weather for you:

911 was down last night: CenturyLink had a nationwide outage that prevented people from calling 911. According to CenturyLink, the problem has been fixed. If you were waiting, now's an okay time to have your emergency. Go ahead.

Red panda cubs made a break for it: The two twin cubs snuck out of their enclosure Wednesday night. They were rescued by Thursday morning. But, the attentive zookeepers who kept an eye on them and lured them to safety suffered some little panda bites and scratches. A cute, but painful, occupational hazard.

Despite convincing argument and evidence, no alien activity in Manhattan: No, no, this isn't a job for the Avengers. A transformer explosion at a power company turned the sky blue. That's all. Or, that's what they want us to think.

A rollercoaster of a tweet:

Chinese schools are tracking their students with computer chips: The chips are embedded in new uniforms dubbed "smart uniforms." The chips record when students enter school and send a short video to parents that they can watch on an app. If students skip class, an alarm is triggered that informs parents and teachers. There's also facial recognition software to make sure kids don't just swap uniforms. Eleven schools have implemented the uniforms so far in China. Don't worry, the chips can withstand 500 washes.

That new Black Mirror movie is interactive: The new movie, Bandersnatch is another tech-dystopia creation from Charlie Booker & Co. But, this time, it's a choose your own adventure. It's the first-ever interactive adult content created by Netflix. That will be... unnerving.

What you should be reading: This New Yorker piece about the Apprentice. I haven't finished it but look at this excerpt.

A fun fact for your Friday: Hippopotamus sweat is pink. It's also referred to as "blood sweat," which is the most metal fucking thing I've ever heard of.