Good morning everyone. Wear your raincoats today because the National Weather Service says to expect rain from 11 am to 5 pm. Sunrise today comes at 7:54 am (your past, my future) and sunset is at 4:19 pm. Two more days until the Winter Solstice and honestly I'm looking forward to it more than Christmas.

Charles sits down with AI expert Blaise Agüera y Arcas: If you haven't watched Charles's interview with Agüera y Arcas yet, do yourself a favor and go watch Charles talk about wild stuff like "social biology" and who gets credit for scientific discoveries when an AI proposes the scientific experiment. People can also read about some of Charles's conversation with Agüera y Arcas. 

HUD's 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report: The US Department of Housing and Urban Development released its report on the state of homelessness in the US, and damn it's a doozy. The Seattle Times reported on some of the more Washington-centric parts of the report, such as how our state's homeless population grew "at an unprecedented rate — about 11%." Nationally, homelessness rose across multiple age groups and demographics as people face the end of American Rescue Plan benefits, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of people who became newly homeless rose by 25%, meaning they hadn't experienced homelessness before that year. The report draws a straight line between lack of affordable housing and homelessness. 

Echo Glen escape video: KIRO 7 got ahold of the video of some kids escaping from the Echo Glen's Children's Center last spring. Law enforcement agencies eventually captured all seven of the kids who escaped the youth prison. At one point the KIRO reporter starts talking about some of the security issues at the facility, and then says that residents nearby "are hopeful things will change," but then the woman says how the state needs to keep working with the kids and she hopes for rehabilitation. We love a reasonable member of the public. 

Seattle Public Schools wins vaping lawsuit: JUUL Labs and other vaping companies must pay the school district $1.75 million after the district joined a lawsuit alleging the vaping companies had deliberately marketed these nicotine products to kids, according to KUOW. The district plans to use the money to start vaping cessation programs.

Molbak's Garden and Homes to close: On Monday, Woodinville-based Molbak's announced its impending closure, though the owners haven't yet set a final date, according to KOMO. Pour one out to the store that can best be described as an upscale cross between Home Depot and a hospital gift shop. Genuinely a little sad. I remember seeing a fairly solid production of Hansel and Gretel at that store as a kid, and munching on those pasty pink frosting cookies. RIP.

Volcano erupts in Iceland: After months of bracing for volcanic activity, an eruption happened on the Icelandic Reykjanes peninsula. In 2010, a volcanic eruption in Iceland disrupted European air travel, but this one doesn't seem as bad, according to the BBC

Earthquake in China kills more than 100 people: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Gansu province of China Monday, near the Tibetan Plateau, according to NBC News. The number of casualties may rise as rescue workers attempt to reach people buried under rubble. The temperature in the area is below freezing.

Sandra Day O'Connor's funeral today: The first woman to serve on the US Supreme Court, O'Connor died on December 1. People plan to gather in D.C. today to honor her, and members of the public can watch a livestream of the event starting at 9 am PST

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott makes entering the state illegally a misdemeanor: Abbott signed a bill Monday creating a state law that allows local cops to arrest people who cross into Texas illegally. While federal law already makes it illegal to enter the US without permission, Abbott thinks the Biden Administration hasn't done enough to secure the southern border, according to NBC News. The number of illegal border crossings did surpass 2 million in 2022 and 2023, and Biden tried to crack down in the spring with harsher immigration policies. However, the mass number of people migrating to the US border is making it difficult for him to implement his plan for stricter enforcement of US immigration law, according to Reuters.

WNDR Museum's Seattle location is closed. According to GeekWire, the 13,000-square-foot interactive tech and art museum posted the news on Instagram a few days ago. A statement on the website says, "While we’ve enjoyed welcoming Seattle to experience the joy of WNDR Museum this year, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the doors of our Seattle location effective immediately." 

Best albums of 2023: The Line of Best Fit released its list of the best 50 albums of the year. Worth a perusal if you're looking for new music or creating your 2023 playlist for your New Year's Eve party. I didn't realize Amaarae basically wrote a theme song for Co-Star, and I'm really into it.