Taking a cruise right now seems like a nice relaxing getaway from your daily woes to spend time with a whole new set of woes
Taking a cruise right now seems like a nice, relaxing getaway from your daily woes only to spend time with a whole new set of woes. nicoletaionescu / Getty Images

The U.S. is refusing to help allies in Afghanistan. Officials trying to evacuate people from Afghanistan say that Afghans who worked for the U.S. are being turned away at the airport, putting them at risk of being captured and punished by the Taliban. For now, the State Department officially denies that it’s happening, but another source says that they’re prioritizing American citizens over Afghans. The deadline for evacuations is August 31. Here’s a list of ways you can help refugee resettlement.

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Who’s running New York today? Say hello to Kathy Hochul, a Democrat-ish politician who replaces Andrew Cuomo starting today. Hochul’s been in politics for a decade, and has gradually shifted away from her initial right-wing stances (she once had an “A” rating from the NRA) to a more centrist position likely to please no one.

A passenger on one of Carnival’s COVID cruises has died. An elderly woman has passed away after dozens of people tested positive for COVID on board a cruise ship. Passengers were not tested before boarding. The ship sailed from Texas, which bans vaccine requirements. “We never suggested our ships would be Covid free,” says a Carnival exec. Oh, okay!

The wells are running dry. Here’s a harrowing story about communities that are simply running out of water as once-green landscapes turn into desert. Residents have to carefully ration their water and take out bank loans in the hopes of digging new wells to reach what water remains for now.

Who flooded Germany? You did. Researchers say that human-caused climate change made catastrophes like this summer’s flooding in Europe nine times more likely. More rain and floods are likely in the coming years, so stock up on umbrellas.

How to aggravate your IT department. You can gain admin access on a Windows machine by plugging in a Razor mouse or keyboard and then clicking a few menus — a handy little security workaround to anyone tired of calling a helpdesk any time they need to make a change to their machine, and a nightmare to anyone who receives those calls at the helpdesk.

Great news for anyone concerned about how cheap Seattle housing is. Homes are estimated to increase in price by 18% over the next year, according to a moving and insurance company. I’m usually skeptical of any “study” conducted by a company with a financial stake in the results, but it’s clear that the housing shortage is only going to get worse.

For God’s sake, California, vote no. Do not wait. Mark your ballot and send it back now. Not voting is basically like voting yes on replacing Gavin Newsom with a conservative crackpot. Look, I’ve met Gavin. I’ve interviewed him. I’ve bothered him about how the buses never ran on time when he was in charge of San Francisco. The guy’s not perfect. But check out this bonkers profile of the guy who’s likely to replace him if not enough people vote no. It’s bad!

All hands, abandon ship. Are Jeff Bezos’s employees experiencing buyer’s remorse? As Jeff himself put it, Amazon employees are the ones who paid to send him into space, and while technically it’s not part of Amazon, his Blue Origin company seems to be shedding employees at an unusual rate. Seventeen higher-ups have walked in the last few weeks — though the company says its headcount is growing, and that it's on track to add 650 people this year. I’m sure all those people can look forward to keeping their LinkedIn up-to-date.

I want trailers of Spider-Man!!! There’s a new trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man movie, which will only be released in theaters this December, so I hope you’re prepared to decide whether it’s worth risking your life to see a movie about a sticky teenager. The movie concerns an individual named Mr. Man (first name “Spider”), but I’m mostly interested in how much J. Jonah Jameson we’re going to get.

Amazon Fresh is the latest big change to the Central District. A non-union grocery store just opened in the Central District, replacing the old Red Apple Market. Longtime residents expressed concern about the disappearance of businesses that reflect the needs of the Black community, which has been rapidly displaced from the CD.

Twitch, do better. In the last few weeks, Twitch users have noted a surge in “hate raids” — that is, groups of people who suddenly appear in livestreams to harass the streamer, usually by dumping slurs into the chat. Twitch has tools that can be used to block certain terms, but one person has put together an illustrative video about why those tools are not up to the task of dealing with hate raids: Just blocking one word, in this example, would take approximately 76 days.

Amazon was bad for bikes. Seattle bike company Pacific Northwest Components recently pulled all of their products from Amazon and is now selling through indie bike shops because Amazon was asking for too much. Shipping requirements were too fast and too expensive, and the rate of returns and fraud was too high. Other bike retailers experienced similar woes. Amazon’s probably not too worried, though — the pandemic’s been fantastic for their bottom line.

Maybe this is the universe suggesting you put off that airplane travel. A cellphone caught fire in the cabin of an Alaska Airlines flight at SeaTac Monday night. It was quickly contained, but after the cabin filled with smoke, the plane deployed evacuation slides to get everyone out, which resulted in a few bumps and scrapes. No word yet on what model phone it was, or if everyone said “wheeee” as they went down the slides.

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Do I have a cherry tree? This mystery flora has sprouted in one of my containers and I have no idea how to care for it or what it’s going to grow up to be, which I suppose is just like being a parent. The best guess I’ve seen is cherry tree, what do you think?