Editor Pick

KPLU diversions
12:00 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Video: Ride Seattle’s Great Wheel in under 3 minutes

The Great Wheel at night.
Dave Morrow Flickr

For those of us who have not gotten around to it, don’t want to stand in line for it or are afraid of heights, we sent our online news intern, Evan Hoover, to video his ride on Seattle’s waterfront Great ‘Ferris’ Wheel.

Here’s the the ride in under 3 minutes:

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Election 2012
8:58 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Register to vote on Facebook? Soon, says Washington

'Like' the voting app and register to do it.

As early as next week, Washington residents will be able to register to vote on Facebook.

The idea started coming to life last fall: Create a web application for voter registration. Secretary of State Sam Reed worked with Facebook and Microsoft Corporation on the app.

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NBA back to Seattle
5:43 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Seattle Council member worries arena deal could set bad precedent

The proposed site for Seattle's new NBA arena.

More questions are being asked about the proposal for a new arena in Seattle to lure back the NBA. A public hearing on the deal takes place Thursday evening and Seattle’s City Hall is expected to be packed with people giving testimony for and against it.

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protesting wall street
1:06 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Why King County nixed woman’s marriage to a corporation in Seattle

In this photo taken from Initiative 103's Facebook page, Angela Marie Vogel embraces her new "husband" or "Corporate Person."
Alex Garland www.alexgarlandphotography.com

A woman married a corporation in Seattle yesterday, and today King County says it was all a mistake.

“It was just an error,” a King County spokesperson said of why the woman was allowed to get a license and marry “Corporation Person." An error the county said it has fixed by voiding the license and returning the $64 fee.

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Washington state investments
7:37 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Washington's pension owns resort in paradise, among far-flung investments

Marlon Brando’s private atoll Tetiaroa as seen from the air. Photo courtesy of Pacific Beachcomber

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:47 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There’s a government office in Olympia where employees travel the globe and titans of Wall Street are regular visitors. The singer Bono even dropped in once, after a concert.

We’re talking about the Washington State Investment Board. Its job is to maximize returns on an $85 billion investment portfolio. To do that the Board invests in some very exotic places.

About the closest most of us will ever get to Tahiti is a Paul Gaughin painting or the beach image on our computer screensaver. But Steve Draper’s been there several times.

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Environment
7:15 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Iceberg twice the size of Manhattan breaks off glacier in Greenland

A view of the glacier taken Tuesday. Inside the square: the iceberg that broke off.
NASA Earth Observatory

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:30 am

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odd news
9:54 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Update: Bobcat that broke into Washington prison will be OK

Dr. Roger Hancock treats a bobcat at the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Monroe. The bobcat wandered onto the grounds of Washington state's largest prison and was injured when it climbed through razor wire.
Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital

The bobcat that suffered razor-wire cuts breaking into a Washington state prison at Monroe is going to be OK.

A spokeswoman for the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish says the animal has been stitched up, and the prognosis is excellent.

Spokeswoman Charlotte Graeber Compton says the bobcat has been transferred to the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington. It can recover there before being released back into the wild.

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Business and labor
2:02 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Taxis threaten to stop Sea-Tac Airport service over town cars

Taxi drivers are up in arms over town cars, but the Port of Seattle says it doesn't know of any violations by town car operators.
Thomas Hawk Flickr

Claiming town cars are breaking the rules, Seattle taxi drivers are threatening to stop taking passengers to Sea-Tac Airport.

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Comics and litigations
5:13 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

How a lawsuit over 'Oatmeal' jokes turned into $211,000 for charity

One of the images showing "mom" and the amount of money raised for charity that was published by The Oatmeal website after the lawsuit by FunnyJunk.com was dropped.
The Oatmeal

In a lawsuit centered on rude internet humor, accusations of copyright violations and a counter claim of defamation, some undeniable good has occurred:  Two national charities will split more than $211,000.

That's the amount Matthew "Oatmeal" Inman raised from fans of his Seattle-based comic website in an in-your-face game of one-upmanship against the lawyer of the collector website FunnyJunk accused of stealing his work.

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global health
6:25 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Melinda Gates claims pushing birth control isn't controversial

“We've made it controversial in the United States, and it doesn't need to be," Melinda Gates said on the Colbert Report.

Melinda Gates is promoting access to contraceptives around the world, and urging everyone to believe it's not a controversial step.

She's co-hosting a global summit on Wednesday in London, along with the British government.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to overcome religious and cultural resistance by saying birth control is simply one option that women want.

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Pollution
9:09 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Asian fires clouding Seattle's sunny skies

A MODIS satellite image that shows the smoke yesterday very clearly.
Cliff Mass KPLU

The smoky skies over Seattle are likely from Asia and not Western fires, says Cliff Mass, KPLU weather forecaster and University of Washington professor.

In his blog post on the smoke, he said the air over us can be traced back to Asia at low levels.

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odd news
12:22 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Man files $20,000 insurance claim for dead cat ... but cat wasn't dead or real

The cat that wasn't dead ... nor did it belong to the man who file a $20,000 insurance claim for it.
Washington State Insurance Commission

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A Tacoma man is facing attempted theft and insurance fraud charges after filing a $20,000 claim for a fictitious dead cat, using pet photos he lifted off the internet, according to a press release from the Washington State Insurance Commission.

“We’ve handled some pretty unusual fraud cases, but this is one of the stranger ones,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

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The Gates Foundation
12:05 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Exploring the Gates Foundation's connection to the Glaxo scandal

The former head of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation worked for Glaxo during some of its troubled times.
The Associated Press

In a "landmark" legal case, the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty last week to engaging in fraudulent, criminal behavior which included covering up adverse drug side-effects, promoting ineffective therapies and hiding unfavorable data — and will pay a record $3 billion in fines.

An aspect of the story that seems to be underreported is that one high-profile Glaxo executive alleged to have engaged in misbehavior is Tachi Yamada, former head of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who was before that head of research and development for GSK.

Read more on Humanosphere.

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Recycling
11:28 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Ready for a statewide ban on plastic bags?

The plastics industry says bag bans discourage plastic recycling, because once a store stops providing the lightweight bags, industry no longer provides the bins.
The Associated Press

If you’ve shopped in Seattle lately, you’re probably aware of the ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags that started July 1. Now, you have to bring your own re-usable tote, or pay five cents for a paper bag.

It’s the second law of its kind to take effect in Washington. And with five more recently approved in cities from Issaquah to Port Townsend, momentum is growing for a possible statewide ban.

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Science
3:24 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Video: 'We've got the Higgs,' UW and CERN scientist declares

Screen grab from the video of Gordon Watts, University of Washington physics professor who helped announce to the world that the 'God particle' has likely been found.

In this video, shot just after results of the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN were announced, University of Washington physics scientist Gordon Watts declares – "We've got the Higgs."

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