Based on recent polling (from King 5), Publicola oddsmakers last week pretty much called Seattle’s mayor’s race a two-man contest between Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray. Publicola gave City Councilmember Bruce Harrell 10-1 odds, slightly behind former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck’s 8-1. Publicola didn't even bother to make book on Charlie Staadecker, Kate Martin and other dark horse candidates. But as Publicola itself pointed out, a lot can happen between now and the August 6th primary that will narrow the current field of nine candidates to two. Consider that a Seattle Times story this weekend questioned the efficacy of Ed Murray working part-time as a UW outreach coordinator while he was chairing the Senate Ways and Means Committee. (The Legislative Ethics Board had no problem with Murray's UW position.) And Crosscut is starting to detect a quiet, but persistent groundswell of interest in Peter Steinbrueck. Stay tuned.
It's a boy! Kate and William's first arrived safely. The Duchess of Caimbridge was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in London early this morning. She gave birth this afternoon (Seattle Time). The new prince is third in line to the throne —after grandpa Prince Charles and dad Prince William — and that would have been the case even if the prince had been a princess, thanks to recent changes in Britain’s official Succession to the Crown Act of 2013. According to The Guardian's Caroline Davies, not all the i's and t's have been dutifully dotted and crossed. The new Succession law, writes Davies, won't "come into force until all 15 other Commonwealth countries of which the Queen is head of state have also made changes to their laws." Until then, "it would be possible for a daughter to become queen of England, but a younger brother to become, say, king of Canada." (Canada has kings?) No name yet for the infant future king.
Frometh the Geekwire cometh news of a collaboration between Microsoft and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. The result: InfraStructs. Think invisible barcodes buried inside everyday objects during the fabrication process. The codes are read by scanners that operate in the largely ignored (‘til now) “terahertz” sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. (That’s the mid region part, somewhere between microwaves and infrared light.) Merging InfraStructs technology and 3D printing, say InfraStructs' inventors, promises to make life better for inventory managers and video gamers everywhere, not to mention those soon-to-be ubiquitous household robots that can use the tags to tell the difference between the TV and the fridge. And terahertz radiation is safe. (We hope.) InfraStructs will open up “new possibilities for encoding hidden information,” write research partners Karl Willis (Carnegie Mellon) and Andy Wilson (Microsoft). Just what we need.
Obama on race
President Obama shocked the White House press corps on Friday afternoon when he showed up unannounced at the daily press briefing. The president spoke for about 15 minutes, very personally, about how the George Zimmerman verdict felt to African-Americans like him, and whether we may be able to wring something good out of it. “Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama told reporters before sharing a few of his own personal experiences with racial profiling. Like being tailed by security in department stores, or crossing the street to the sound of car door locks clicking. But beyond the anger and the protests, said the president, the important question is: "Where do we take this? Are there some concrete things we might be able to do?” He offered three: better training for police, more support for young black men and a careful reconsideration of laws like Stand Your Ground. The president asked the law's most ardent supoorters to consider this: "If Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”
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