A glorious February sunset from a southbound Line 1 train.
A glorious February sunset from a southbound Line 1 train. Charles Mudede

Have you noticed the recent series of beautiful sunsets and gorgeous sunrises? This is not supposed to happen yet. We are still in the cold heart of a winter month. February is only supposed to be a little bit brighter because its days are getting longer. But what's happening instead? Spring is really in the air.

Joe Zagrodnik, a blogger and young atmospheric scientist, writes: "Here we are, one week into February, and the PNW is experiencing an early spring. Lowland temperatures are in the 50s, the sun has been making more frequent appearances, and there is no sign of winter returning in the 1-2 week forecasts." And why? Because of a hyperobject called "west coast ridging." It first appeared in the middle of January and wasn't supposed to stick around. But it did. And so the Pacific Northwest didn't return (at least right away) to "the chilly and wet weather that La Niña winters are often known for."

Man accused of entering a Fred Meyer in Richland, Washington and killing one person and injuring another with his Second Amendment right has been arrested. His name is Aaron Christopher Kelly. He was taken "into custody without incident."

The breach of WA state's licensing agency database might have, according to the Seattle Times, sent a whole bunch of personal information into the depths of the "dark web." Already "two individuals who previously had a business license in Washington learned recently that their personal information was detected on Jan. 24 on the dark web, an anonymized section of the World Wide Web accessed through special software." You might be next. Yes. You. If you have a license for something other than driving in WA. But maybe this poem by Augustus De Morgan might console you.

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.

According to Puget Sound Business Journal, "Sea-Tac Airport's $968M international facility" will open some time in March, a month that's not far from now.

Guess who is not happy with Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler? Yes, it's people who already have money and want to make more of it in what Hegel once called a "bad infinity." The right-leaning MyNorthwest.com reports that a "local trade group" is 100% certain that the "ban on credit scores for insurance premiums 'dumbs down' the process." Basically they are calling the idea that there is no direct correlation between the price of, say, car insurance and your credit score, dumb. I hate car insurance because I hate cars, but I'm not that much of a dummy.

Further evidence that we live in the future:

No surprises in this year's Oscar nominations. The full list, which is here, will bore you.

Fine, fine, I won't be such a hater. I will give Oscar nominations a little credit for this and only this.

It's for the documentary Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

The feeling among Lady Gaga fans is that she was "robbed" of an Oscar nomination for her role in House of Gucci. Variety:

Gaga was viewed as a frontrunner to land an Oscar nomination this year after landing in the lead actress category at the Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and BAFTA Film Awards. These four ceremonies are the biggest precursors to the Oscars, so it’s shocking that Gaga landed a nomination at all four and still missed out at the Oscars.

What must be seen as the first big clue in the insane and very noisy (honking all of the time) trucker occupation of Ottawa? The Confederate flags. The next clue is Trump's support of this white supremacist movement. "A week ago," reports Vancouver Sun, "police in Ottawa said they were working with the FBI and had voiced concerns that there was a hefty U.S.presence in the funding of the trucker protest ensconced in Ottawa."

Where is Washougal? And why is this story about high school students protesting Washougal's mask mandate (they want the right to choose only for themselves) a story at all?

According to the New York Times, CVS and Walgreens have brought to an end all limits pertaining to at-home COVID-19 tests. You take home as many of these things as you want—that is, if they have as many as you want.

Now that he's had a taste of corporate blood, the old rocker Neil Young is going all the way and "calling on baby boomers to 'ditch the companies contributing to the mass fossil fuel destruction of Earth' and proceeded to encourage people take their money from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co." Bloomberg has the story about the second movement in the political reawakening of a white Canadian pop star who, back in the 1960s, actually shared an apartment with Rick "Super Freak" James. Not kidding. The apartment was in Toronto. The sharing period did not last long. But still, there is an excellent movie to be made about this peculiar moment in pop history. I would recommend shooting it in a style that's similar to Gus Van Sant's tribute to Kurt Cobain, Last Days.

I did not know frogs could be so American, so individualistic, so socially cold.

I will end this AM with the greatest sunrise ever captured by a piece of music, "Suite No. 2" of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe.

This is how I described the work in a 2014 article:

This is the glorious "Suite No. 2": It opens with the rays of light (piccolo, harp, flute) on a dark horizon. The sky is still sprinkled with cold and wandering stars, but the melody (all strings), which is the sun itself, is quickly brightening. The melody begins small, but as it rises higher and higher in the sky of this music, it becomes larger and larger. We see birds coming alive in the darkling trees, we see threads of smoke above the shadows of huts, we see a young woman (the first human in this world) milking a cow. Finally, the sun is fully in the sky, which is blue and almost cloudless. The melody is just radiant, spreading its golden light across a verdant valley. Day has broken, it's time to live, to get out of bed, to walk to the fields, and to gossip about our darkest dreams. Thank God for this piece of music.