Fox News confused a Monty Python sketch with the Seattle CHAZ activists

To be fair, it would not be wholly inaccurate to describe the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone as an autonomous anarcho-syndicalist collective. But sadly, strange women in lakes and handing out swords might in fact be a better system of government than the one we tend to see promoted on Fox News. Read the rest

Seattle activists have established a 6-block autonomous zone around an abandoned police station

On Friday, June 5, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a 30-day ban on police using tear gas. By Sunday night, the police had already broken that rule. Come Monday, the Mayor announced that police would be abandoning the city's East Precinct, including the police station, which had been cordoned off for two weeks after a man drove a car through a crowd of protestors and shot one.

As soon as the police left the area, protestors repurposed the barricades, and turned the 6-block area into a makeshift anarchist enclave they're calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. (and yes, it already has its own Wikipedia page.)

Read the rest

This 3D animation shows you what's inside Seattle's famous Space Needle

Ever wonder how the Space Needle's rotating glass floor works? CGI animator extraordinaire Jared Owen gives us an inside look at Seattle's most iconic structure.

The Space Needle is located in Seattle Washington. It was built in 1962 just in time for the World's Fair. The top looks like a Flying Saucer and is meant to inspire people to look towards the future. The Space Needle is icon to Seattle just as Eiffel Tower is to Paris, France. Around the Space Needle there plenty to see and do as well. The bottom of the building has a large spiral ramp that tourists get to climb on their way towards the elevators. The top of tower has the observation level with an outdoor deck, a service level, and The Loupe which features a revolving glass floor. The center of the tower has supports for the 3 elevators and the stairs which are mostly used for emergencies. The Skyline level is for private events at the Space Needle.

Read the rest

Amazon spent a fortune to block a socialist candidate's re-election to Seattle city council; she won anyway

Former tech worker Kshama Sawant (previously) won an unprecedented victory in 2013 by running for Seattle city council as on the Socialist Alternative ticket, raising unprecedented sums in small-money donations, and then winning the election after a last-minute surge in the polls. Read the rest

The 2019 Locus Award nominees: your guide to the best sf/f of 2018

Locus Magazine has published its annual Locus Award finalists, a shortlist of the best science fiction and fantasy of the past calendar year. I rely on this list to find the books I've overlooked (so. many. books.). This year's looks like a bumper crop. Read the rest

Seattle mainstay musician Shawn Smith of Brad, Satchel, and Pigeonhed, RIP

Shawn Smith, the soulful singer who was a legend in the Seattle music scene, died yesterday at age 53. I first encountered Shawn's voice in the early-1990s by way of Greg Dulli's bands the Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers. But Smith's influence on the Seattle music scene, and rock in general, dates back to the mid-1980s when he was part of the tight-knit community of musicians that birthed Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Eerily, April 5 was the anniversary of the deaths of Seattle singers Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Layne Staley (Alice in Chains).

My condolences to Smith's son, family, friends, and the Seattle music community that adored him. From the Seattle Times:

In recent weeks, Smith was working on a new album with the band Brad, which he founded in 1992 with Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, drummer Regan Hagar and bassist Jeremy Toback. They were recording at Studio Litho, owned by Gossard.

Born in Spokane, Smith came to Seattle in 1987, and formed a band called Malfunkshun with Hagar and Kevin and Andrew Wood (who would go on to form Mother Love Bone with Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament).

In 1992, he released his first solo album under the name Pigeonhed. That same year, Brad released its first album, “Shame” in 1993. The band would put out four albums, including “Interiors,” which features one of Smith’s best-known songs, “The Day Brings.”

He made two records with the band Satchel, and appeared on The Afghan Whigs’ album “Black Love,” as well as Whigs founder Greg Dulli’s solo album.

Read the rest

Seattle! Come see me TONIGHT at the Central Library with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Anaheim for Wondercon!

We had a fantastic time on Tuesday at the Ft Vancouver Library Revolutionary Reads event for Radicalized, my latest sf book. Tonight, I'll be in Seattle, appearing at the the Central Library at 7PM. From there, I finish the tour with a weekend at Wondercon in Anaheim. See you there (tell your friends)! (Image: Fort Vancouver Library) Read the rest

God of Hammers cosplay with LED eyes (don't try this!)

Thor is in the house.

I'm going out on tour with my new science fiction book RADICALIZED and I hope to see you!

Radicalized is my next science fiction book, out on March 18 from Tor Books: it contains four novellas about the hope and misery of our moment, from refugees resisting life in an automated IoT hell to health care executives being targeted by suicide bombers who have been traumatized by watching their loved ones die after being denied care. Tor Books is sending me on tour with the book in the US and Canada and I hope you can make it to one of my stops! Read the rest

Amazon killed Seattle's homelessness-relief tax by threatening not to move into a massive new building, then they canceled the move anyway

Seattle's immensely popular business tax was designed to do something about the city's epidemic of desperate homelessness, but then Amazon threw its muscle around to get the tax canceled, mostly by threatening not to occupy its new offices in Ranier Square, a 30-story building currently under construction that Amazon was to be sole tenant of, with 3,500-5,000 employees working out of the building. Read the rest

Economists reverse claims that $15 Seattle minimum wage hurt workers, admit it was largely beneficial

Earlier this year, a group of business school researchers from the University of Washington and NYU, as well as Amazon, published an influential paper claiming that the rising Seattle minimum wage had decreased take-home pay for workers by 6% due to cuts to work hours -- the paper was trumpeted by right-wing ideologues as examples of how "liberal policies" hurt the workers they are meant to help. Read the rest

City of Seattle's official tow partner impounded a homeless woman's stolen car and wanted $21,634 to give it back

Update: An earlier version of this article misidentified Dick's Towing of Everett as the Dick's Towing of Seattle involved this this story. I apologize to Dick's of Everett for the error.

Seattle is in the grips of a dire housing emergency (though the city has money to burn when it comes to subsidizing multi-billion-dollar sports teams); Amanda Ogle is one of the many people in Seattle living out of a car, in her case, a 1991 Camry. Read the rest

Seattle cops announce registry for high-risk swatting targets

The Seattle Police Department, having coped with two (thankfully) nonlethal swatting incidents since June, has announced a registry where people worried they might be swatted (previously) can sign up; the registry is a modification of the existing, third-party, private-sector Smart911 system, and the SPD says that if your name is on it, they will tread extra-carefully in evaluating SWAT-like reports of hostage-taking, active shooters and other high-risk crimes at your home or office. (via /.) Read the rest

Seattle to clear past marijuana possession convictions

Judges on Seattle's municipal court have agreed to clear misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions from the era before weed was legal in their state.

Via KOMO:

Judges in Seattle have agreed to clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession that were prosecuted before marijuana was legalized in Washington state.

Read the rest

Seattle can't afford to fund arts, housing or tourism, but it can find $135 million to repair the Mariners stadium

King County Council was ambushed by a series of surprise amendments to its meeting on Monday that resulted in $135,000,000 being diverted from hotel lodging tax funds earmarked for affordable housing, arts, and tourism boosting, to effect repairs to the Mariners stadium, despite the team being valued at nearly $1.5 billion. Read the rest

Listen to Death Cab for Cutie's new album "Thank You For Today"

Death Cab for Cutie release their new album, "Thank You For Today," on Friday and right now NPR is streaming the whole thing. It's a gorgeous, cohesive, and fresh collection of soulful songs brought to life with startling arrangements and dazzling production. I'm proud of my friends. Have a listen!

"First Listen: Death Cab For Cutie, 'Thank You For Today'" (NPR)

And in case you missed it, below is the video for the first single from the album, "Gold Rush," featuring a sample of Yoko Ono's "Mindtrain."

Read the rest

Seattle passes America's most comprehensive labor protections for domestic workers

Domestic workers -- overwhelming female, overwhelmingly racialized -- have historically been exempted from traditional labor protections, from the minimum wage to workplace safety to recourse for harassment and worse. Read the rest

More posts