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Monday, October 26, 2020

My Love Affair With RBG

Justice Ginsburg never failed to credit her mother, saying, "She made reading a delight and counseled me constantly to be independent and fend for myself." Ruth often repeated her mother's advice that getting angry was a waste of your own time. When her mom was bedridden, soon to die of ovarian cancer, "Kiki" (Ruth's childhood nickname) did her homework on her mom's bed.

A Thank-You to Bill Gates, Sr., 94: All the Things We Strive To Be.

If you admire Crosscut.com, as I do, remember that Bill Gates Sr. saved it, made it happen. He made a lot happen, particularly at his heart's desire, the University of Washington.

Big Birthdays, Memorable Ones, and The One I Barely Survived

Or maybe it was the time we drove out in two cars to a town in which we were trying to organize a plant and a hostile crowd was waiting for us -- this was no surprise; experienced organizers had told me not to wear a tie, so no one could grab it. Some young guys in that crowd threw rocks.

Washington: Where the Babies Are (and Will Be)

The Census Bureau expects annual births to increase only slightly in the U.S. over the next 20 years, and IHME expects annual births in the U.S. to fall during that time. In contrast, OFM expects births in Washington state to increase by over 20 percent between now and 2040.

Remembering The Cool Intelligence Of Slade Gorton

Gorton was often difficult to love – unless you worked for him. But respect for the man, even grudgingly given, rose over the years.

Painful, Blissful Memories of Boyhood Beaches on Puget Sound

We lumbered toward shore on a rising tide, taking forever to make any progress. Gradually we emerged, presenting the primitive spectacle of fish-things on stumpy fins dragging themselves gasping onto dry land. But not quite yet. There was still the menacing sea lettuce.

Has ‘The Great Awokening’ Gone Too Far?

There’s a way in which Critical Theory and the Movement it has spawned have become so rigid, in the name of Social Justice, that it is itself oppressive.

The Virtual Meeting: What Works, What Doesn’t

Because life is not “normal,” we don’t have to do what we’ve always done. The quarantine is an opportunity to have more intentional social gatherings, which can only enhance our interactions, regardless if they take place virtually or in-person.

Empires Won and Lost…

We are, in this new country, this America, facing our own existential question -- can we, someone wrote today, save our dysfunctional Congress, where the aim is no longer governance in the public interest, but merely retention of power and privilege?

Get Kraken: Let the Puns Begin (and other News)

Once fans tire of the puns generated by the Kraken name -- lame stuff like Krakhouse and Krakheads -- they'll get around to more substantive matters like welcoming a team mascot...

Welcome to Present Shock

The head-spinning change that seems to characterize our daily existence induces a kind of mental and emotional vertigo that imposes its own kind of stress on our systems: unable to respond in the usual ways, fight or flight, we can only try to stand upright in the moment. Welcome to Present Shock.

Crowdsourcing the Name of a New Duwamish River Park (But First, Some Context)

The whuljootseed word, TSEETS-kah-deeb, “clitoris,” names a little promontory just across on the river’s east bank that refers to a myth in which Mink, a frantically lascivious bumbler, asks his grandmother if he can use her clitoris for bait. There it is! We have the green beach grub on one side of the river and grandmother’s tumescent clitoris on the other.

Godden: Remembering A City Hall Watchdog, Fauci Bobbleheads, and AWOL Pirates

At Seattle City Hall, you could see Mr. Locke seated in a favored seat, usually in the front row of the council chamber, 10 seats from the right side. He habitually signed up to speak at committee meetings. In time, councilmembers could have written his speeches. He would tell us to "stop wasting so dang much money."

Is Despair More of a Threat Than Covid-19?

Despair is sometimes difficult to distinguish from all those other sad words that begin with a D like depression, despondency and desolation. It’s all of these and none of these, omnipresent in this doubly difficult time that stresses the physical, mental and emotional health of our institutions as well as our individual selves to their limits.

The Bra, the N95 Mask, and the Little designer who made the Connection

Rather than rail against the “Little Sara” nickname that she was tagged with thanks to her 4’11” stature, she embraced it, reversed it and turned it into Sara Little, which became her professional identity. That was an early example of the creative problem-solving style that informed her approach to everything she did.

Quantifying Our California Connection

The Seattle-California connection established in 1852 continues as strong as ever. In some ways Seattle is fated to be the eternal little sibling to the Bay Area and the Los Angeles area: smaller, less glamorous, frequently ignored, sometimes disdainful, sometimes envious.

Dear Fellow White People:

I believe it is extremely important for white people to be aware that right now is not the appropriate time to ask black people and people of color in our communities, “So… what can I do to help?”

Who Buys the Underwear: #Pandemic Highlights Housework Gender Gap

Maybe this forced awareness of housework inequality will engender greater appreciation for the unpaid labor of women and maybe men will celebrate this Father’s Day by manning up to a larger share of the unpaid work load.

Okay, Boomer: What Bugs You About Us Millennials

I’m only 30 years old and I’m about to live through my second economic collapse. Oh, and this one is paired with a global pandemic. So all you Boomers out there who love to complain about my generation need to all calm yourselves down and chill because we’re a little busy right now.

A New Marker in Human History

What is really happening is that we have been given a rare chance to experience – live, in person – a change that used to happen once in every generation or two – a massive shift in living patterns, in technology, in social life. When there is a sudden and unexpected shift in human life -- whether personal or cultural – some people choose to reflect; others choose to re-invent themselves or the institutions around them.

A Pandemic Gift: Stumbling Upon the ‘Good-Enough’ Life

My subversive thought is that large swaths of our society are not afflicted primarily by low expectations, so much as unrelenting, burdensomely high expectations.

Stuck At Home? It’s Working Out Great For This Misanthrope

"It has been a great Spring. The Mariners are enjoying their best season in 20 years. All board retreats and planning sessions are cancelled. Week after week with no flip charts, no magic markers, no breakout groups, no facilitator praising blather as great ideas."

Coronavirus Fallout: The End Of Meetings (We Hope?)

Particularly in the public sector, large and frequent and long meetings, and task forces, have become badges of pride. Enough, already!

How You Define: Being Versus Doing

Being is just that. Being here, now. Noticing our state of being, how it is with our spirit. Now, in the Great Silence or Long Emptiness, is not so great for those of us who prefer doing to being.

A Rite of Spring: How Easter Got Its Name And Its Traditions

Easter is quite similar to other major holidays like Christmas and Halloween, which have evolved over the last 200 years or so. In all of these holidays, Christian and non-Christian (pagan) elements have continued to blend together.

The Best Bro’ Show on TV for Really Trying Times

The dynamic between them fascinates me, the differences as well as the similarities, the knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses and the way that resonates in their interchanges.

Thanks, Linda Tripp!

Yes, I owe a thank you to Linda Tripp. And it has nothing to do with how...

Coronarrest: My Diet of Books and Netflix

As a pilot and lawyer, I’m accustomed to having a checklist to guide me through challenging situations. If the Pentagon has contingency plans for nuclear war, isn’t it reasonable for the federal and state governments to have contingency plans for a Black Swan health event like coronavirus?

How to Live an Interesting Life, The Freeman Dyson Story

Here’s the most important thing I learned about Freeman Dyson in the time that I knew him. Although he obviously spent a good deal of time inside his remarkable mind, he was also profoundly interested in the world around him. Nothing seemed too small or insignificant to spark his sense of wonder and amusement and empathy.

Warning: Daylight Saving Could be Hazardous to Your Health

Many experts in physiology and related fields have lately come to the alarming conclusion that our bodies never fully adjust to DST, and that it’s bad for our health.