All the news is war, war, war: Ukraine will declare a state of emergency as the threat of Russian invasion looms, stopping just short of enacting martial law. The European Union will sanction the fuck out of Russia, specifically targeting defense minister Sergei Shoigu. Ukraine has called for its citizens to leave Russia as Russia evacuates its embassy in Kyiv. One noted narcissist called Putin "savvy" for goading the world into war. The Guardian is liveblogging all of it. Do the broad strokes of this feel familiar? You're not alone.
And as if war, pandemic, inflation, fascism, and empire weren't enough: A new United Nations report claims that the worldwide risk of wildfires "could increase by up to 57 percent by the end of the century, primarily because of climate change," reports the New York Times.
Brrrrrrrrrr: It's cold as hell outside and parts of Western Washington have already broken low temperature records. At 4 am this morning, Seattle tied the daily record of 24 degrees, with a forecasted low of 22 degrees. Today is expected to be the coldest day of the week with a possibility of snow later in the night. Here are some cold-weather shelters should you or a neighbor need one. Perfect day to have some hot chocolate and look forlorn while staring out the window! Update: We broke the record.
🥶Welcome to the coldest Feb. 23 on record! 🥶
The low temperature this morning dipped to 23°, breaking the previous daily record of 24° from 2018.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) February 23, 2022
Though I'm a little bit cold in bed, it's nothing compared to this guy: Finnish cross-country skier Remi Linholm had a frozen penis during the men's 50 km race on Sunday at the Winter Olympics. With a 28th place finish, he described the pain as "unbearable." Is there no sock of some sort for this kind of thing?
A whole wave of Gen X musicians are rolling over in their grave right now: Crosscut has an interesting feature by Alexa Peters on local musicians who have recently partnered with and benefited from corporate sponsorships. "There is no such thing as selling out," Chong the Nomad told the online publication. "Get your bag; secure your bag. I’m all about making a lot of money from companies that can spend a lot of money.”
The Wendy Williams Show is no more: As Wendy Williams continues to struggle with health issues, the talk show's time slot will be taken over by Sherri hosted by Sherri Shepherd. I will not remember The Wendy Williams Show for its content, but for its deep memeability.
Trucker convoys are on their way to Washington, D.C.: Inspired by the trucker protests in Canada, a bunch of American copycats are headed to the capital to protest pandemic restrictions with rumored plans to shut down the Beltway. According to Politico, the Pentagon has already approved the deployment of 700 unarmed troops to "assist with traffic control during demonstrations."
In November, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland formally declared the word "squaw" derogatory and kicked off a process to rename hundreds of geographic sites across the U.S. Now, federal officials have a list of names to go over, and they have launched a public comment period running through late April. A task force will "prioritize the list of replacement names" and the U.S. Geological Survey will come up with five potential names for each feature. Haaland said the department plans to have "broad engagement with tribes, stakeholders, and the general public" going forward.
Do you think Claire Denis has ever seen Jackass? Or vice versa? It's a distinct possibility.
Biden has met and interviewed at least three potential Supreme Court nominees: Sticking true to his campaign promise to elect a Black woman to the highest court in the land, CNN says the contenders are United States Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and United States district judge J. Michelle Childs. CNN's sources say that Jackson is considered the frontrunner, but Biden is expected to make his official announcement at the end of the month.
Cha-ching—cannabis consumption in Washington state went up by 43% during the pandemic: That increase amounts to $450 million, with total retail sales in 2021 reaching $1.5 billion, reports Gene Balk at the Seattle Times. The state got a big chunk of change, too, reaping $550 million in excise taxes which will go into public health programs. The data shows that rural counties saw the biggest increase in people buying bud, especially in Eastern Washington. Balk has more pleasing graphs and info here.
Fuck Greg Abbott: The Republican Texas governor directed state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for trans kids as a form of "child abuse" following an opinion written by the state's attorney general, Ken Paxton, reports the Washington Post. Though the opinion isn't legally binding, activists say it could increase false reporting, bullying, and harassment of trans youth and their families. The National Center for Transgender Equality has some resources on how Texans can support trans people in their state.
Scary: On Monday, police say that a Seattle University student got held up on campus by two suspects who demanded all the money and valuables he had on him, reports CHS Blog. When the student had nothing, the suspects "made the victim take out his cell phone and send several bank transactions to another account." Weirdly, they let the student keep his phone, but threatened to shoot up his house if he didn't complete more transactions later in the day.
Ever thought about getting into seaweed farming? Now would be the time to do it. Also you get to wear cool-ass pants.
For your listening pleasure: Girls' "Hellhole Ratrace."