North Dakota dumped a hefty toxic load in Oregon's Gorge: The big regional news today is that a landfill near Oregon's Columbia Gorge reportedly accepted "hundreds of tons of radioactive fracking waste from North Dakota in violation of Oregon regulations," reports OregonLive. The kicker here is that the company won't be fined "because state officials believe landfill operators misunderstood state guidelines"???
Happy Valentine's Day: Thousands of cockroaches named after exes to be fed to animals at zoo
The Marvel universe is getting a gay kiss: Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry plays Phastos in The Eternals, and he reportedly gets not only a gay kiss but also a gay ass husband, played by total bottom Haaz Sleiman, and a kid! Conservatives are gonna reel over a black and brown gay couple making out in their superhero film. Unfortunately, the film will probably be overshadowed by the presidential election, since it releases during that hellweek.
My mans Brian Henry is playin marvels first openly gay superhero’s with a whole husband and a child. My mans stay securing his bag. Paper boi! pic.twitter.com/sbd5RicwyO
— Roronoa Squeeks (@Squeeks4Zoro) February 14, 2020
More hullaballoo at the Justice Department: "Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned an outside prosecutor to scrutinize the criminal case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn," reports the New York Times. "The review is highly unusual and could trigger more accusations of political interference by top Justice Department officials into the work of career prosecutors."
The kids are flu bombs again: Another wave of flu is working its way through America at the moment, "turning this into one of the nastiest seasons for children in a decade," writes the Associated Press. Officials are worried that the flu could mask the spread of the new coronavirus from China since the symptoms are so similar: "If coronavirus were to begin spreading in the U.S., there could be confusion about whether people are getting sick with it or the flu, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases expert at Vanderbilt University."
More airport news: Earlier this week, we noted that Sea-Tac opened a "Capitol Hill Food Hall" near Gates A5 and A6, which features Caffe Ladro, Salt and Straw, and other Capitol Hill-area restaurants. Turns out there are more swaggy new additions coming to America's largest parking lot—this week, Nintendo announced they'll bring pop-up Nintendo Switch Lounges to four airports including Sea-Tac. The Lounges include multiple Nintendo Switches for play, in both handheld and TV modes. You can Mario Kart in Sea-Tac's Lounge starting next Monday through Sunday, March 29.
Travel, meet adventure! Beginning on February 13th at select airports in the U.S., travelers can enjoy the #NintendoSwitchOnTheGo pop-up airport lounge, featuring playable Nintendo Switch titles, giveaways, and more!https://t.co/TR3V6YJ55Q pic.twitter.com/avMIW8bCUV
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 11, 2020
What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Sound off in the comments. I wanted to go see And Then We Danced but I can't make it tonight.
Facebook has decided they will allow political campaigns to run sponsored messages through influencers: The "loophole" is troubling. From AP:
The company’s rule change comes days after Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exposed a loophole in Facebook’s political advertising guidelines by promoting his campaign through popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.
The Bloomberg posts weren’t much more than using self-deprecating humor to sell the candidate’s old guy appeal, using a tactic that until now was largely used to sell skin care products or clothing-subscription services on social media. But the lack of oversight and clear rules around influencer marketing, along with their effectiveness in reaching younger audiences, makes them ripe for misuse.
Currently, Facebook and Google have self-imposed bans on political ads in Washington state, since they haven't been able to follow Washington state's laws regarding political ad disclosure. That ban, however, hasn't been working out for anyone (except Facebook and Google, who continue to make $$$).
We'll never get proper tech regulation with hosts asking questions like these: Taylor Lorenz was brought on to MSNBC to talk about her recent New York Times article, Michael Bloomberg’s Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere, but she got stuck answering stupid questions—Does Bloomberg use GIFs? Does he have his own emojji? Does he have a Snapchat filter?! If you find yourself sidelining an interview to gawk at the phrase "organic memer," like it's some special milk at the co-op, then you shouldn't host a segment on tech. Watch:
Those Bloomberg memes are backfiring: The dude is reportedly spending "an unprecedented million dollars a day on Facebook ads alone." From Recode:
People so far have left more than 1,000 mostly scathing comments on just one of these Bloomberg-sponsored memes posted by a popular Instagram influencer, Tank.Sinatra, on Wednesday. “Fucking sellout,” one reads. “Anything, even an election, for a dollar?,” says another. “You sell out !!!!!! Have some integrity,” another user commented.
Mukilteo is getting a new ferry terminal: Seattle Times has pictures here. It will open later this year and replace the current dock and terminal.
Yesterday, a man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Napavine, Washington: It appears he and another man were trying to cross in front of it. The other man crossed, but he didn't make it. "A preliminary investigation found that the railroad crossing arms were down and the crossing lights were on as the southbound Amtrak train was approaching," reports KOMO.