Seattle's Bop Street Records is closing permanently at the end of June, reports the Seattle Times. The nationally recognized store, located in Ballard, has been a part of Seattle's music scene since 1979.
It's “Operation Warp Speed": That's what the Trump administration is apparently calling their expedited plan "to drastically cut the time needed to develop a coronavirus vaccine, with a goal of making enough doses for most Americans by year’s end," writes Bloomberg.
SCOOP: The Trump administration is spinning up what sources describe as a Manhattan Project-style effort to vastly accelerate a coronavirus vaccine.
They're calling it "Operation Warp Speed."
By @JenniferJJacobs + @ArmstrongDrew https://t.co/58GVmTczr0
— Alex Wayne (@aawayne) April 29, 2020
Or are we putting the kibosh on the warp speed? From the New York Times:
The White House has made no public announcement of the new effort, called Operation Warp Speed, and some officials are apparently trying to talk the president down, telling him that it would be more harmful to set an unreasonably short deadline that might result in a faulty vaccine than to wait for one that is proved safe and effective.
May Day is coming up: Workers across the country are reportedly planning "an unprecedented wave of strikes" on International Workers' Day, which is this Friday. "Employees of Amazon, Whole Foods, Walmart, FedEx, Target and Instacart will walk off the job demanding compensation for unpaid time off work, hazard pay, sick leave, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies at workplaces," notes Democracy Now.
Mahershala Ali is joining the cast of Ramy: Season two of the Golden Globe-winning Hulu series drops a month from today. I got a little too excited and thought it dropped today, but had to remind myself that it's April, not May.
MAHERSHALA ALI IN SEASON 2 OF RAMY.
I AM SCREAMINGGGGGGGGGG. pic.twitter.com/MsplTwCLVz
— layla, the bad bunny stan🐇 (@MindOfLayla) April 28, 2020
The coronavirus is not "the great equalizer," as Madonna mused from her bathtub filled with rose petals. In prematurely reopened Georgia, more than 80 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Georgia were black, a new study has found. "Surveying eight Georgia hospitals, researchers found that in a sample of 305 COVID-19 patients, 247 were black—more than 80 percent and more than they expected."
Zoom has a new rival: Google's Meet is now available to the public and free. I expect a lot of Zoom rivals will pop up in the next few months, with different platforms catering to different niches... some for performers, some for classes and schools, etc. More on Meet from CNET:
The free version of the product requires a Google account, and video calls have a 60-minute cap. But Google said it won't enforce that rule until after Sept. 30. The free version will also allow up to 100 participants and include features such as screen sharing and real-time captions.
It seems like everyone is getting on TikTok: How long until Boomers invade and steal it like they stole Facebook?
The only Russian consulate on the West Coast is in Madison Park: Two years ago, 60 Russian diplomats were expelled from the country. The federal government owns the land of the vacant consulate in Seattle. The Russians claim the house is theirs. They want back in. Tensions are rising.
Something to spend your stimulus check on: A $125 commemorative COVID-19 coin from the WhiteHouseGiftShop.com.
More reports coming out about COVID-19's "second-week crash": The long-lasting disease's symptoms often lessen near the end of the first week, then comes roaring back in the second week. Doctors aren't sure why. “This second-week crash has certainly been well described, but two-and-a-half months in, why it happens we’re still not entirely sure,” a doctor told the Washington Post.
Golf courses are opening up around the country: 2,500 golf courses opened up in the last week, notes Golf. Washington's courses will open up on May 5, although there will be restrictions. Golfers will have to play "twosomes for a while," Inslee said on Monday.
Most Americans are not ready to reopen the economy: A new poll from PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist showed a majority (65%) of adults polled thought it was a bad idea for people to return back to work without further testing for COVID-19. Even larger majorities thought it was a bad idea to send kids back to school, attend events with large groups, or open restaurants for people to eat in them.
Want to know what happened at today's Tax Amazon meeting? Or Jay Inslee's afternoon press conference? Check out Tax Amazon updates here. Inslee updates here.
A little mailbag update: I ordered my first round of rent-by-mail DVDs from Scarecrow Video on Sunday and they showed up by Tuesday. You can sign up to rent-by-mail, too.
I watched The Family Game for the first time last night and—being totally honest—it's one of my favorite movies. It's from director Yoshimitsu Morita and features Tampopo director Juzo Itami and hottie Yusaku Matsuda (who was the inspiration for Cowboy Bebop's protagonist, Spike Spiegal). The trailer is sexy:
Another thing in my mailbag... More poems ordered from Elliott Bay. I bought Patricia Lockwood's Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals and a few other books of poetry based on recommendations from Rich Smith. Read his daily poetry column that publishes directly after Slog PM!
Here's my desk: It's not really a desk. It's our little kitchen table that my boyfriend brought home from the antique shop he works at downtown. On it is a stack of poems that I've been reading, based on Rich's suggestions. I set a recurring timer and every 25 minutes I read a poem. Weirdly, the interruptions make me more productive. Would recommend. At the bottom of the stack is some Japanese bear porn from Gengoroh Tagame and a copy of Tekkon Kinkreet I borrowed from the library but I guess I get to keep until the pandemic is over.
What's in your book stack? Drop your list in the comments or show it off at tonight's Silent Reading Party.