Ukraine-Russia war's birthday:
We're two days away from the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Both the US and Russia are marking the occasion by flexing their alliances
. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Wang Yi, China's top diplomat, at the Kremlin in Moscow. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden met in Warsaw with leaders from the eastern contingent of NATO. The significance of these meetings? Well, China could plug Russia with some weapons, and Biden's meeting with NATO countries most vulnerable to a Russian invasion shows the US will have their backs if worse comes to worst.
Sawant's caste discrimination ban passes:
On Tuesday Seattle became the first US city to add caste to the list of statuses protected under existing anti-discrimination policies. Caste refers to an old hierarchal structure in India that assigns societal status to people based on their birth. While India outlawed caste discrimination 70 years ago
, biases against lower castes still exist. Even in the US, South Asian workers, especially those in tech, say they experience caste discrimination.
supporters packed City Hall for the vote on Tuesday. It passed 6-1. Council Member Sara Nelson voted no, calling the bill "a reckless, unnecessary and harmful solution to a problem about which we have no data or research on its occurrence in Seattle," according to the Seattle Times
. Council members Andrew Lewis and Debora Juarez were absent.
Three dead in Colchuck Peak avalanche:
A New York climbing club of six people intending to summit Colchuck Peak near Leavenworth triggered an avalanche Sunday
. The slide caught four climbers. They slid 500 feet down a gulley. Three died, while the fourth suffered ankle and knee injuries. The initial avalanche then triggered three more avalanches. The group lacked formal avalanche training. It'll be a minute before rescue crews even attempt to recover the buried bodies.
Speaking of snow, what the fuck is going on in Los Angeles?
Snow warnings for LA County and Ventura County? Nearly every Californian will "be able to see snow."
Climate change is really keeping us on our toes these days. More than 65 million people across 29 states will at least get a dusting
of the white stuff over the next three days.
Foot mystery solved:
In December 2021, a foot inside a shoe washed up at the mouth of the Elwha River. Whose foot? And whose shoe? DNA evidence determined
the appendage belonged to Jerilyn Smith, 68, of Sequim. Smith went missing in January of 2018.
Flying instructor died during flight:
His co-pilot, who was qualified to fly but asked the instructor to tag along during difficult weather conditions, assumed the instructor "was just joking"
when his head slumped back during the flight. Nope. He was dead.
Getting to the innermost core of the matter:
the Earth actually has a secret, fifth layer. Inside the solid metal core is an "innermost inner core" made completely of iron. It's nice we can solve the remaining mysteries of our planet and her metal heart before we ruthlessly murder her with our negligence.
What's the mayor up to? I'll hand it off to Stranger City Hall reporter Hannah Krieg for the rundown on all things Bruce.
Yesterday, Mayor Bruce Harrell gave his annual State of the City address, where he said many words! He started by bragging about his accomplishments in his first year as Mayor: The City Council funded affordable housing, he tacked his name onto Council Member Dan Strauss’s months-long effort to continue design review exemptions, and the Seattle Department of Transportation filled a record-breaking number of potholes.
In his last State of the City address,
he said he was going to do
to make downtown less scary so tech workers come back to the office. A year into his term, he’s still planning to do
about downtown, but now it has a name: The Downtown Activation Plan, or “DAP.” He didn’t give much detail. In fact, he played defense against any “cynics” who would “immediately” ask for details about the plan. It's not like he ran on a promise to make downtown more palatable for suburbanites, or that he's already had a year as mayor to mull over specifics, or that he could have developed policy proposals to revitalize downtown at any point during his years on council. Cut him some slack!!
Harrell mostly described what his year ahead “may” include. His plan “may” mean turning office space into housing, it “may” mean changing the rules for which businesses can lease ground-level storefronts. But he did make a few clear promises. In the next few weeks, he’ll send the council a plan for a third public safety department. Next month, he will sign an executive order to crack down on fentanyl distribution. And sometime later this year, he will present the council with a suite of legislation to get more cops.
Thanks, Hannah! Now, back to whatever bullshit I feel like sharing with you.
Vanderbilt's ChatGPT snafu:
Last week, Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education issued a generic thoughts and prayers-style statement on the Michigan State University shooting written by ChatGPT
. After receiving some heat for asking an A.I. to whip up condolences to a mass shooting, the school issued an apology.
Microsoft puts its deranged Bing chatbot on phones:
Microsoft allegedly spent the last week making sure its Bing chatbot won't fantasize about New York Times
reporters or inciting global anarchy. Users can now use
the (potentially evil) chatbot on the Bing smartphone app and on the Edge internet browser. Microsoft's speedy A.I. rollout has thus far bested competitors like Google.
Are Republicans regretting the Roe v. Wade repeal yet?
A Florida inmate's unborn fetus' attorney alleged the fetus, which is "a person under the Florida Constitution," is being unlawfully detained and "having their due process rights violated." The lawyer wants the unborn fetus "immediately released."
The fetus' mother, on the hand, is in prison for second-degree murder.
Mormon church leaders green-lit shady shell companies:
According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, senior church leadership issued the orders to hide $32 billion in holdings from the public through 13 shell companies, according to Axios
. Church leaders created these shell companies so the public couldn't catch wind of the true size of the church's massive "portfolio." The church's wealth allegedly exceeds $100 billion.
If California can get snow, so can we: Well, honestly, I don't think those rules are binding. But, whatever. I'm crossing my fingers for snow because it is still a novelty to me. I'm writing this in the 6 am range so if it started snowing after I wrote this then I'm sorry.
Okay, if Bellevue gets snow we definitely deserve snow: That has to be a rule, right?
As of 7:20-something this morning—it happened! Snow in Seattle, baby. I looked out my window and it's a wintery wonderland out there. Time to drop some acid and go sledding. Or, uh, whatever it is people do on snowy days.
Fewer interactions with cops could be a boon for public safety:
At least, that's what a new bill introduced in the Washington State Legislature asserts. Introduced by Rep. Chipalo Street (D-Seattle) House Bill 1513
"would largely prevent police from stopping drivers for issues such as a broken taillight or expired tabs," according to the Seattle Times
. Officers would only stop drivers for safety issues. This could reduce the number racial disparities in traffic stops. Police could devote more of their time to stopping the drunk and distracted drivers who keep killing pedestrians.
Which genius made the trains too big?
Three years into a nearly $275 million project to modernize rail lines in two northern Spanish regions, someone realized a big problem
—the new trains didn't fit in the tunnels. They were too big. Spain's Secretary of State for Transport resigned. So did the president of Renfe, the state rail operator.