May 2008

News Outlets Lazily Run Yet Another Eruption Anniversary Story

May 18, 2008—In a stunning display of journalistic sloth, 95% of news outlets across Western Washington headlined yesterday’s edition with yet another Mt. St. Helens eruption anniversary story.

Although nearly every possible angle on the 1980 event has been covered, re-covered, and then covered a few dozen more times for good measure, hundreds of news writers ignored the newsworthy events of the day and instead shamelessly spewed forth their own versions of the all-too-familiar tale.

Common rehashes of the anniversary story included so-called “dramatic” retellings of the events surrounding the eruption, interviews with witnesses and survivors, and collections of poetry and song written to the mountain.

Radio-Controlled Clocks Spy on Boring Happenings of Local Homes

Increasingly inexpensive and popular radio-controlled “atomic” clocks allow us to complete our meaningless daily tasks with a satisfying sense of precision, but according to a Bellevue research lab, they are also secretly broadcasting the inane details of our lives to unknown locations.

According to the researchers, the average Puget Sound household has 4.7 of the spy clocks scattered throughout their home. The secret spy cameras cleverly hidden in the clocks give a front row seat to one or more shadowy organizations every time you dance by in your underwear.

Got a Score to Settle? Think PEE.

Continuing the Seattle-area’s proud history of innovation and entrepreneurship, a pioneering new company opened its doors this week. Lynnwood-based Public Embarrassment Enterprises promises customers “a warm steaming puddle of (perfectly legal) revenge.”

When murder for hire companies fell out of favor in the late 1980s due to a series of legal challenges and negative media attention, then-student James Rodney—now the CEO of PEE—was taking notes.

I Can Eat This Entire Burger in One Bite

You see this burger? The one right here in front of me, sitting on my plate? I can eat this entire burger in one bite.

That’s right; I can just pop the whole thing right into my mouth and scarf it down all at once.

You don’t believe me? Well, that’s a crucial error on your part. I know my mouth better than I know the back of my hand, and certainly well enough to make an accurate assessment of how much food it can or cannot hold at one time.

Giving Panhandling Bums What For

As sunny weather begins to return to the Northwest, so do the problems associated with warmer temperatures, including one of our area’s most troublesome nuisances: panhandlers.

The street beggars have begun their yearly migration back to the green utopia of the greater Seattle area, and by mid-June you’ll hardly be able to drive three blocks without being accosted by dozens of their carefully crafted cardboard pleas. It used to be that they stuck to downtown street corners, but surveys in recent years have found panhandlers in over 87% of Puget Sound neighborhoods.

You’re a compassionate person, but you can’t give them money every time you drive by…

China Declares War on Tectonic Plates

In response to Monday’s devastating earthquake, the People’s Republic of China has declared war on Earth’s tectonic plates.

“Killing over 10,000 of our citizens and destroying our highways, schools, hospitals, and countless homes is clearly an act of war,” said Premier Wen Jiabao. “For too long we have allowed the brutal aggressions of the tectonic plates to go unanswered—no more.”

McCain Courts Hispanic Voters (Literally)

Senator John McCain said Monday that the Republican stance on immigration is chasing Hispanic voters away from the party, a problem that he has a plan to personally solve.

“I believe the majority of Hispanics find me to be an attractive guy, and I hope to have the opportunity to take them out and explain my policies to them over a nice bottle of wine,” the Senator said.

No Expiration Date on Good Will Toward Area Hungry

In their annual food drive Saturday, Seattle-area letter carriers collected hundreds of thousands of expired and undesirable foods donated by local households.

The food was brought to distribution centers, where it will be sorted and eventually delivered to people that are so hungry they will even happily eat French onion soup dated September 1998.

Common items picked up by the local postal drivers included canned cranberry sauce, kidney and garbanzo beans, and evaporated milk, most commonly having expired between 2003 and 2007…

Seattle Aquarium: Not Just for Marine Biologists

When you think of the Seattle Aquarium, do you think of a bunch of white-jacketed scientists sitting around a pond, obsessing over algae counts or water quality? Well, that’s because you’re not very smart, because the aquarium isn’t anything like that at all.

As it turns out, staring slack-jawed at a bunch of fish for hour after hour is not nearly as boring as you might imagine. And that’s just the beginning of the exciting possibilities available to you when you visit the very best aquarium in the entire world, right here in Seattle.