Dont do this!
Don't do this! Marc Dufresne/Getty
The US Census Bureau will drop their redistricting data from the 2020 Census today: The data drop—which is much later this year due to COVID—will set off a sprint for states to redraw their political maps in the next weeks and months as many approach early fall deadlines to finalize district boundaries, says Politico. And it's going to be a gerrymandering shit storm. In 2010, Republicans enacted Project REDMAP, taking control of 20 legislative bodies across the country and rigging political maps to work in their favor, details The Guardian. Today, many Republican legislators are now in power because of that gerrymandering and could potentially bend redistricting to their will, queuing up a GOP takeover of the House in 2022. Fuck.

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Anyway: The Census Bureau will hold a news conference to discuss local level results from the 2020 Census in about an hour. I'm getting a migraine already. Watch live:

This heat is serious business: There's a pretty good chance we could break today's record high of 96 degrees. Not to be your mom, but make sure to stay hydrated! And wear loose clothing! And check in on your A/C-less friends (a.k.a. most of them)! And keep your blinds down and curtains drawn to block that heat! The city has compiled a list of cooling centers should the heat get the best of you. Take care of yourself out there, and I'll see you outside once the sun has gone down.

The rent is getting to be too damn high again (but it's lowkey been too damn high): Good luck finding any of those sweet, sweet pandemic rent deals (which is how I managed to wrangle my studio apartment). Heidi Groover over at the Seattle Times reports that the median Seattle rents went up 4% over the last month as the median rent for a one-bedroom in the city is at $1,633, the highest since last June. Rents are up 7% in South Lake Union, 3% in Ballard, and 1% in the Central Area. And with the expiration of the statewide eviction moratorium, landlords are now allowed to hike up rents for most tenants, many of whom are still trying to recover from a pandemic.

Quiz time! For those of you who love testing yourselves, the New York Times just dropped their summer politics quiz. I got 11/16 ;)

Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners unveiled a new statue of baseball legend Edgar Martinez at T-Mobile Park: Sculpted by Chicago-based artist Lou Cella, the statue captures the moment on October 8, 1995 when Martinez "sent a one-strike pitch down the left field long to score both runs, giving the Mariners a 6-5 win over the Yankees and a trip to the American League Championship series," reports KOMO. Nice! Sports! You can peep this for yourself by heading over to the south side of T-Mobile Park, along Edgar Martinez Drive.

A third booster shot is potentially on its way: The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve an extra COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for immunocompromised people sometime in the next few days, reports CNN. Though the timeline of that announcement might change, the Biden administration plans to chart a vaccine booster strategy "for all vaccinated Americans in September."

New Zealand will reopen its borders in 2022: Implementing a "phased, risk-based system for travelers," starting early next year, reports Axios. The island country has some of the lowest COVID rates in the world—fewer than 2,900 infections and only 26 deaths from the virus since the panorama kicked off last March.

The Lynn Shelton Of A Certain Age grant applications are now open! If you're 39 or older, identify as a woman, non-binary and/or trans, and are working on your first narrative feature, you could win $25,000 for your project. The grant is named in honor of the late Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who got her start as an acclaimed director at the tender age of 39. Applications close on September 7—learn more about the grant over on Northwest Film Forum's website.

ICYMI: A year and a half after recording our very first case, Washington has now passed the grim milestone of 500,000 cases of coronavirus, thanks in part to the highly contagious Delta variant. The benchmark came Wednesday afternoon as the Department of Health also reported 3,095 new cases, 17 new deaths and 147 new hospitalizations, says the Seattle Times. That's the highest single-day increase in cases since January. If you haven't been vaccinated, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Grim: A California surfing school owner has been charged with killing his two children in Mexico. Federal authorities allege his belief in QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories led him to believe his wife had given their kids her "serpent DNA" and that they "were going to grow into monsters" so he had to kill them, reports NBC News.

Didn't get a text from FEMA during its Emergency Alert test yesterday? You weren't ghosted by the federal agency. Only phones that opted into the program got the test alert, reports KING 5. But when the real thing goes down, FEMA says you don't have to opt in.

16 months after the deadline, Sen. Rand Paul disclosed that in February 2020 his wife bought stock in Gilead Sciences, a company that manufactures a COVID-19 treatment, reports The Hill. That was just before coronavirus was declared a pandemic. Kelley Paul reportedly invested between $1,000 and $15,000 of her own money in the company. Apparently this disclosure came late after the senator realized "that the form disclosing his wife’s investment was not transmitted properly" and immediately corrected his error. Rand Paul's communications director notes that Kelley Paul lost money on this investment.

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In other Rand Paul news, the Republican senator from Kentucky has been banned from YouTube for one week for spreading misinformation about the effectiveness of masks. He called the suspension a "badge of honor."

🚨New exhibition alert🚨: The first major US retrospective of photographer Imogen Cunningham's work is coming to the Seattle Art Museum on November 18. It will feature 200 works from PNW-raised Cunningham's seven decade-long career including "portraits of artists, musicians, and Hollywood stars; elegant flower and plant studies; poignant street pictures; and groundbreaking nudes," says a press release from the museum. I flipped through the exhibition catalog and show will be goregeous—read more about the retrospective and take a gander at some of Cunningam's stunning work here.

For your listening pleasure: Soccer Mommy's "bloodstream" which I've been playing on repeat.

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.