Traffic: Welcome to the weekend! Hope you weren’t planning on driving anywhere. WSDOT will resume construction on I-5 today after giving us a break from the hell that is “Revive I-5” last weekend. KOMO said to expect game day traffic to be a fucking nightmare. Take the light rail! Best wishes!

It gets worse: Traffic sucks, but you know what sucks worse? Poor air quality. Weather nerds expect northeasterly winds to push low-level smoke to the Puget Sound, affecting air quality on Friday and Saturday. The smoke combined with dry heat triggered the National Weather Service to issue a “red flag warning” for the area, which basically means you shouldn’t start any fires. 

Other things to do this weekend: If you will struggle to entertain yourself now that you cannot light anything on fire, you should take a look at what the cool kids at EverOut think you should do this weekend. The Mid-Autumn Kite Festival looks pretty sweet if I say so myself. 

Did we abolish daylight saving time or? Disclaimer: I do not want to "fall back in the fall." (Also, we should shorten the work day so none of you can counter with concerns about going to your job in the dark). Anyway, I was pretty sure the Senate decided to put an end to my suffering last year. And they did! Well, at least when it comes to early sunsets. But unfortunately, as the Idaho Statesman reported, the House didn’t follow through. No one has touched the bill since March. Excuse me while I call Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

MALE BIRTH CONTROL! UW researchers want to test their new male birth control gel on your dick. If you think you can handle putting some gel on your shoulders and coming to the clinic like 30 times in two years, you could help these researchers change the game for birth control. Not only that but you’ll be compensated—up to $2,600 for males and $840 for female partners. My boyfriend said no because of the wage gap lol.

Strike update: The teachers held the line again today and public support is mounting. According to Robert Cruickshank, president of Washington’s Paramount Duty, more than 1,500 community members have signed an open letter demanding the school district meet the teachers' demands. That’s up 500 from Tuesday!

Tiffany Smiley wastes the Everett Herald’s time: Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley hopped on an interview with the Everett Herald’s editorial board and went off about the “corporate media” defending Democrats because the SMALL TOWN, LOCAL PAPER accommodated Sen. Patty Murray’s request to have separate meetings. 

To be fair, Smiley has every right to be triggered: She’s been saying for several weeks that Murray refuses to debate her. I asked Murray’s team why she’s such a flake. Here’s what the spokesperson told me in an email:

"As Senator Murray has made clear, she will absolutely debate Tiffany Smiley this fall, just like she’s debated in every general election, and she looks forward to driving a stark contrast with Tiffany Smiley, Donald Trump, and Mitch McConnell’s favorite recruit of the cycle, on the major issues at stake for Washingtonians in this race from the economy, to reproductive rights, to what our democracy could look like in the hands of extreme MAGA Republicans like Smiley who lash out when they don't get their way."

Possible monkeypox death: Monkeypox is rarely fatal, but two recent deaths of people who had contracted the virus have prompted health officials in Los Angeles and Houston to investigate if the disease played a role in those deaths. 

New emergency just dropped: Today, the Governor of New York declared a “disaster emergency” after health officials found polio in wastewater in four New York counties. Polio is a very scary disease and the governor wants all New York residents to get vaccinated. 

Fuck it, let’s talk about COVID-19: Not sure if it contributes to The Discourse, but whenever a new or re-emerging virus shows up, my brain thinks, “Well, is it going to be like COVID?” To save you a Google search, I found this handy resource that compares polio to COVID-19. You know, puts it in terms we understand. Something I’d like to highlight is that in the polio outbreak, it seems many cases were “inapparent” or asymptomatic, but, like with COVID-19, those asymptomatic carriers still spread the disease to more vulnerable populations. So take care of each other, okay?

The queen memes: Okay, we’ve already Slog’d plenty about the queen’s death, but this is a very good compilation of reactions in Ireland and I think they belong in a history book. But I don’t write history books, I write the Slog. So here it is: 

The queen did not reincarnate as Trisha Paytas’s baby: Yesterday, the internet went wild when it found out that the queen was on her death bed and infamous YouTube troll Trisha Paytas announced she was 1 centimeter dilated. After memes that the queen would wake up as the YouTuber's first-born daughter, Paytas spoiled the fun on TikTok today. She’s still pregnant, very embarrassed to trend on Twitter, and sad that her baby is the subject of memes even before she’s born.

The “Climate King:” In a long feature by Vox, experts said King Charles will likely advocate for climate issues from his throne. As you probably know, this guy doesn’t actually have political power, so it’s kinda strange to advertise him as the next Greta Thunberg when he’s just some monarchist weirdo.

Something’s going on with the moon: Tomorrow night keep your eyes peeled for the full “harvest moon” of September 2022. 

Enough from me, here’s Ari Lennox: