Swifties boost bead business: Bead World in Maple Leaf told KING 5 that Taylor Swift fans making bracelets (plus TikTok videos highlighting the store) led them to record more sales last Saturday than they've ever recorded in the 34 years the store has been open. The singer from Nashville will play Lumen Field this weekend, and, yes, Hannah will be there.
Remember that Wedgwood tree Nathalie mentioned on Friday? The huge red cedar on Northeast 88th Street was set to be cut down for six new units of housing when neighborhood protesters got involved, including one person who camped out in a hammock in the tree. Now the city says the developers can't cut down the tree yet because they failed to provide the proper public notice, the Seattle Times reports. The Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement was also working to save the tree.
Six killed in Tacoma crash: Six people were killed and another person was left in critical condition Sunday after a two-car crash in the Tacoma Tideflats. Two other people were injured but in stable condition Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Times reports. Police say one driver T-boned the other, and a vehicle carrying seven people caught fire after the crash.
A fuckin' sea cougar: One of Oregon's 6,000 cougars posted up on the Goonies rock Sunday morning, prompting officials to cordon off the haystack and close Cannon Beach for a spell. "Firefighters on jet skis saw the the cougar on the north side of the rock Sunday morning, but have since lost sight of it. Just after noon, they said they are discontinuing their search," reports Fox 12 Oregon.
The weather's weird: As thunderstorms keep soaking the Northeast US, a flash flood in a north Philly suburb trapped 11 people in cars, killing five, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, this week people in the south and in the midwest will continue to sweat under an intense heat dome. A couple other continents are feeling the heat as well. Wonder what's goin' on? Anyway, things are looking okay here in Seattle for now. Today's highs will hover in the low 70s, but temperatures will climb to the 80s on Wednesday.
Take 'em for all they're worth: A growing number of artists and authors have been filing lawsuits against Open AI, Meta, and Google for allegedly violating copyright laws when they scraped books, articles, images, and videos to train their bots to replace us all. (If you're an author, consider signing this petition. You'll be in good company.) The companies argue that all their scraping falls under the fair use exemption, since they "transform" the material into something new, according to the Washington Post.
Brian Cox thinks the writers strike will last until the end of the year: The Scottish actor who played Logan Roy on HBO's Succession told the BBC that the studios are "trying to freeze us out and beat us into the ground, because there's a lot of money to be made in streaming and the desire is not to share it with the writers or the performers." Three executives told the Times that the studios have until Labor Day to reach a deal before 2024's release schedule starts seeing major delays.
Meet The Stranger's artist of the week: Presenting Koko Lee, a Taiwanese Canadian illustrator based in Seattle. She uses calligraphy brush strokes to create contemporary editorial illustrations for magazines, newspapers, books, and environmental graphics.
Happy Monday! Meet this week's artist, Koko Lee! She uses calligraphy brush strokes to create contemporary editorial illustrations.— The Stranger 🗞 (@TheStranger) July 17, 2023
Read more about her process—and her favorite true crime documentaries—here: https://t.co/XOcO7cRzZS pic.twitter.com/IYfvjFMEhb
Rep. Pramila Jayapal walks back statement calling Israel a "racist state": After pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a panel at the Netroots Nation conference Saturday, the Seattle Congresswoman told the group, “I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state, that the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy, that the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us, that it does not even feel possible,” Axios reported.
A handful of other Democrats in the House circulated a draft letter calling the comments "unacceptable." Then, Jayapal issued a statement Sunday saying she does not "believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist" but that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "extreme right-wing government has engaged in discriminatory and outright racist policies."
I, Rich Smith, a jew, would only add that Israel is without question an apartheid state, as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reported. And the two-state solution isn’t “slipping away from us,” it’s completely impossible thanks to all the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Ukraine war update: The agreement to allow Ukraine to export grain expired today, and Russia announced it would "suspend" its participation going forward. Failure to allow the grain out will lead to famine in African countries and in the Middle East and also affect global food prices. Russia's announcement came after a "predawn assault" on the big bridge connecting Crimea to Russia.
US cluster bombs will blow up innocents in Ukraine and Russia: Late last week, the US confirmed delivery of cluster bombs to Ukraine. Most countries ban cluster bombs because, like landmines, the weapons have a high dud rate and end up killing people—often children—who randomly stumble across them after the fighting ceases. We gave them to Ukraine because they said they needed more ammunition. Now Russia says it has plenty of cluster bombs it will deploy. Last month, our very own Rep. Adam Smith said, "If our cluster munitions could bring the war to a conclusion sooner, it’s something I’m open to." I have my doubts!
Jane Birkin died: One of the most beautiful women to walk the face of the earth died Sunday in Paris, according to the Associated Press. The English actor, singer, and all around genius—who our generation probably mostly associates with a giant bag—helped define 1970s French chic and used her powers to fight AIDS. Read Dave Segal's 2011 interview with the diva to get a sense of her charm, her wit, and the expanse of her graciousness.
As if I had a choice: Enjoy the rest of your morning ;)