Wait, what kind of amoeba? Brain-eating! In the tap-water! There’s a story like this about once a year it seems, and every time it still feels startling. From the Seattle Times, “Brain-eating amoebas kill Seattle woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water.” No, no, no, this story is everything I never want to read about. The scientific name for the amoeba that ultimately killed this woman is Balamuthia mandrillaris (why does such a horrible thing get such phonetically beautiful name?), and it’s the rarest of the three brain-eating amoebas out there.
Fentanyl overdoses on the rise here in Washington: And the increase is dramatic. In the first six months of 2017, according to the Seattle Times, 48 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses. In the first six months of 2018, the death toll from fentanyl-related overdoses increased to 81.
Mining next to a volcano–sounds safe! Hat tip to KING5 for picking up this story. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has approved mining exploration in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest near Mount St. Helens, reports The Columbian. The decision awards “Ascot USA two hard rock prospecting permits within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest near the headwaters of the Green River.” They will be drilling up to 63 holes in hopes to find copper, silver, gold and molybdenum. If they find substantial quantities, they would be required to go through a much more extensive review.
Beautiful weather during the work week: And then, as soon as we're ready to party. This.
Storm door opens back up Friday night as a weak system sacrifices itself to the departing ridge of high pressure! Stronger systems Sunday-next week with mountain snow too! #wawx pic.twitter.com/TpBdMUsWt7
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 6, 2018
Trade deficit hits 10-year high: But Republicans are so fiscally-minded, how could this happen on their watch? Imports of consumer goods rose, and soybean exports dropped. From Reuters, “The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade deficit increased 1.7 percent to $55.5 billion, the highest level since October 2008.”
And the stock market isn't looking so hot: Stocks fell 3 percent on Tuesday. Yesterday, the market was closed due to the country’s incapacitative mourning for the passing of 94-year-old George H.W. Bush. This morning, upon writing this, the Dow is already down another 1.8 percent.
Some of the stock market’s instability is being blamed on this: China is demanding the release of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada to be extradited to the U.S. From the BBC, “The charges remain unknown but the US has been probing Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran.” Huawei, in case you were wondering, is a Chinese multinational corporation, and the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world.
But hey, Michigan became the tenth state to legalize recreational weed! Hoorah! Smoke a joint in honor of Michigan today. At 12:01 a.m. this morning they officially became a green state. It will probably be a while until they can actually buy pot in stores, but hey, they’re on the right track!
Stolen gun 'fantastically' appears above cop's locker: A retired Seattle police officer denies knowledge of how a stolen gun wound up in a bag of guns and knives stashed above his locker—a bag that also included a pocket knife with the officer's initials on it. Honestly, this is one you've got to just read for yourselves.
Tonight's best Seattle entertainment options include: KEXP Yule Benefit: Moby with Members of the PNB Orchestra, a talk on The Life and Death of Stars with Dr. Anand Thirumalai, and the opening of Fast Forward: Skateboards and Paddles (along with other Pioneer Square Art Walk events).