Tag Archives: mountains

How Seattle could lose on Sunday by winning

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh was too scared to place the traditional Super Bowl bet against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, but — have no fear! — New England managed to turn up a stand-in: Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza.

If the Patriots win, Murray will send Elorza “a package of Northwest alder-smoked salmon from Pure Food Fish Market, coffee beans from the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market and a giant bag of Marshawn Lynch’s favorite snack, Skittles.” Even if certain items are of somewhat dubious quality *cough* Starbucks *cough*, at the very least, this basket is pretty authentically Seattle.

But when the Seahawks win, here’s the dreck Murray earns in return:

Continue reading How Seattle could lose on Sunday by winning

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The curse of the Bing search screen

Local search engine Bing hosts a rotating cast of photographs, which I happen to see every day because they are featured on the search screen of my Windows Phone. The photos always feature embedded hints and teasers meant to encourage visitors to click through and google more using Bing.

I last took special note of the home page this past Mother’s Day. The photograph caught my eye today because it looked quite familiar:

Continue reading The curse of the Bing search screen

New York Times, is that the best you can do?

The New York Times loves to write about Washington State, and Seattle in particular. Don’t believe me? It reviewed Where’d You Go Bernadette? twice (exactly once more than I’ve written about it). It employs Tim Egan and lets him live there year-round. It recently devoted wall-to-wall coverage to just a single Seahawks game. And then there was the paper of record’s Pulitzer Prize-winning effort to document an avalanche near Stevens Pass (which I have also also written about). If you haven’t noticed for yourself, you will soon.*

But for all its fascination with the Pacific Northwest, the New York Times can certainly come off as rather tone-deaf to the sensitivities and realities of the region. Consider an article it published back in December about my current home, For ESPN, Millions to Remain in Connecticut. More particularly, consider this brief excerpt:

Continue reading New York Times, is that the best you can do?

Ski Free in real life

Via the AP, Bear turns heads on Lake Tahoe ski slopes:

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — An unusual sight for winter turned some skiers’ heads on the slopes at Lake Tahoe: a black bear.

What in the world was s/he doing out there?

Continue reading Ski Free in real life

Our differing reaction to these big news stories is all kinds of hypocritical

On slow days — the ones with no political scandals, salacious affairs, or bloody coups to report on — “human interest” stories [sometimes] come to dominate the news cycle and, in turn, my newsfeed.

Today proved that this can occasionally happen on fast days, as well.

On a day when over 600 people died in clashes with the Egyptian military, additional details about the NSA spying program leaked, and MLB finally decided to [somewhat] extend instant reply, the two most frequently-posted items I came across on social media were, coincidentally, both about zoos.

I’ll start off with the one from China, because I’m still not entirely sure whether the Onion managed to pull a fast one on the entire world media, Chinese zoo substitutes lion for dog:

With the sun shining and kids at home for the school holidays, many families in the eastern Chinese city of Luohe decided to pay a visit to the city’s zoo this week.

But those hoping to be thrilled by the zoo’s fearsome beasts were left disappointed by a rather tamer set of substitutes.

“One family surnamed Liu took their six-year-old son to the zoo in People’s Park,” reported the local Dahe Daily newspaper.

“On the way, Mrs Liu was teaching her son all the sounds that the different animals make. But when they arrived, her son said the lion was barking like a dog.”

Turns out, that’s no lion — that’s a space station. You can read the whole article above (if you [somehow] aren’t already familiar with the story), but the main takeaway is this: people were outraged — and the Luohe Zoo became the subject of worldwide ridicule — because of a mislabeled animal in a zoo exhibit.

Meanwhile, the second story I’ve seen shared all day comes from this very hemisphere, and concerns an astonishing story of scientific discovery, Adorable new mammal species found ‘in plain sight’: a raccoon-sized critter with teddy bear looks:

Continue reading Our differing reaction to these big news stories is all kinds of hypocritical

One questionable policy straight out of Parks & Rec

Unless you’re a Western cattle rancher or ardent conservationist, you probably haven’t been following the fight over delisting the wolf. I’m one of those two things, so I’ve been receiving emails about the issue on an almost daily basis, and will happily catch you up with some good news and some bad news.

The good news: after being driven to extinction across the continental United States, wolves were reintroduced to the Rocky Mountains during the 1990s under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. They increased in number and helped restore some of semblance of a balanced ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park and across the Mountain West.

The bad news: Before the keystone predators could recolonize their historic range — the level of recovery mandated by the Act —  two senators from Idaho and Montana (Tester and Simpson) managed to delist the wolf and return wolf management to the states.

Without even closely examining the issue from a scientific perspective — for instance, by noting the critical role played by wolves in maintaining healthy ecosystems — you can tell this was a horrible idea for three reasons:

One, Tester and Simpson only managed to get their proposal through Congress by attaching a rider to the 2011 federal budget. This method puts it in good company with other exemplars of good governance like this year’s Monsanto Protection Act, which conveniently granted the biotechnology giant a six-month period of immunity just before a farmer in Oregon announced he had discovered genetically-modified wheat illegally growing on his farm.

Two, you may recall from earlier in this post what happened last time wolves were not listed as an endangered species: we killed every. last. one. living in the United States, threw ecosystems out of whack, and had to undertake an expensive and still only partially-successful reintroduction program. I’m sure that if we remove that federal protection everything will go back to being perfectly fine.

Three, delisting devolved the responsibility of creating wolf management plans to the states. Here’s, for instance, what Montana came up with [click to embiggen if you have trouble reading it]:
Continue reading One questionable policy straight out of Parks & Rec

Two Alaskan volcanoes that share an unusual relationship

Alaska is amazing. I know this by reputation only — though I’m from South Alaska, I sadly have yet to venture farther north than British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. But if my lack of first-hand Alaskan experience diminishes my credibility on the subject, you’ll have a better idea of how awesome Alaska is once I tell you that it is currently home to not one but TWO active volcanoes. And active volcanoes are awesome. Ergo, Alaska is awesome. QED. Reuters has the story:

Continue reading Two Alaskan volcanoes that share an unusual relationship

Does the Creation of the world necessitate its destruction?

This is not the first time I’ve shared something I once wrote for DBH, but I’ll kick off with a short explanation of what’s about to happen for anyone unfamiliar: Over the course of a Jewish year, the entire Torah is read in sequence. Many people study the weekly portion, and sometimes relate what they have learned in the form of a Dvar Torah — literally, a word of Torah.

This post consists primarily of a Dvar Torah related to Bereishit, or Genesis (edited for having been originally written five years ago — but not for content). Those who keep track of such things will surely note that this past week’s portion was Lech Lecha, which followed Noah, which followed Genesis. In other words, this post appears to have arrived three weeks late.

Don’t worry, I have a good explanation: The week of Genesis, the YIHY (Young Israel House at Yale) listserv mistakenly announced it would read Noah. The week of Noah was Noah. And the week of Lech Lecha (i.e. this week), Manhattan pulled its best Noah (i.e. it flooded). And so, by the transitive property of weekly Torah portions, I can safely write about Genesis for another few days without incurring the Wrath of God:

Continue reading Does the Creation of the world necessitate its destruction?

Chris Hansen: beware your new neighbors

This morning, I turned on the internet to discover that Chris Hansen, multi-billionaire [I’m pretty sure] and local hero [less uncertain], reached a deal with City Council for a new arena that would allow Seattle to bring back the Sonics and possibly attract a brand new NHL franchise.* As I understand it, the announcement came as something of a surprise – people knew the parties were talking, but I don’t think anyone realized just how close the two sides really were.

*I vote Steelhead, but it will probably be Thunderbirds.

But while most of the city celebrated, not everyone is ecstatic.

You see, the new Sonics arena is likely to be built in SoDo, in close proximity to the Port of Seattle and existing stadia that currently house the Mariners and Seahawks. And some of those neighbors are on record with concerns that the Sonics might not be the best neighbors. From an article published April 3 in The Seattle Times:

In a strongly worded letter to city and county leaders, the Seattle Mariners say to find another spot for a new sports arena.

“The proposed Sodo location, in our view, simply does not work,” wrote team Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Lincoln, in a letter Tuesday to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and members of the Seattle and King County councils.

“It would bring scheduling, traffic and parking challenges that would likely require hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate.”

The Mariners brought up serious issues that seem to have been partially – though not wholly – addressed by concessions Hansen made in reaching a final deal with the City Council, and reiterated their concern in a September 12 letter to the City Council.

But while it’s cute that the Lincoln is concerned about the behavior of his new neighbors, Hansen shouldn’t let the Mariners paint him as the neighborhood bully. Indeed, another article published just two days ago in the Times serves as a timely reminder that the Mariners don’t make for such great neighbors either:

Continue reading Chris Hansen: beware your new neighbors