10 things you don't know if you didn't read Crosscut

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We totally get denial as a life strategy. But we also believe that being informed is a good thing. Help us banish ignorance by making a (tax deductible) donation and becoming a Crosscut member. Membership does have its privileges. If you weren’t following Crosscut in 2013, then you’re in the dark about, well, so many things.

For example (and in no particular order):

1. Seattle loves country music. In terms of market share, country station KKWF (The Wolf) is in fifth place with public radio’s KUOW, and country's KMPS owns the number nine spot, well ahead of public radio’s KPLU (at 13). Seattle, concludes country star Blake Shelton, has “a hillbilly bone down deep inside."

2. The state of Washington is one of only 17 states in the country that doesn't, by law, pay for or guarantee legal representation for children. Not good if you’re, say, a foster child trying to be reunited with your little brother? (Last year, State Rep. Roger Goodman tried to provide lawyers for youngsters whose parents had relinquished their parental rights, but the Senate stripped the mandatory language out of Goodman’s bill.)

3. Nell Pickerel, Seattle’s first cross-dressing, bike-riding, bar-brawling roué, broke a lot of hearts and laws when, dressed as a man, she romanced a slew of Seattle ladies, circa 1900. Unlike the cops, the ladies didn’t seem to mind.

4. Guess where Tim Burgess, Seattle's new City Council president, took his wife on their first date? A murder scene. Burgess was a Seattle Police detective at the time — he did buy her lunch afterward.

5. If you carry an ORCA card, we know where you've been lately. The ubiquitous blue card contains an unencrypted record of your last 10 public transit trips, and thanks to two Seattle developers, there’s an app (Farebot) for accessing that data.

6. Bellevue is more racially and ethnically diverse than Seattle. Propelled by immigration, which began in the 1990s, the 98007 zip code is now on a diversity par with Seattle’s South Beacon Hill and Georgetown. Bellevue ain’t Blandview anymore.

7. Lake Washington Boulevard began as a bike path. The curving, tree-lined arteriole was part of a 25-mile network within the city, a network built entirely for bicycles in the early 1900s.

8. One more bike fact: Unlike Seattle — and the rest of the U.S. — many European countries regulate the brightness of bicycle lights. A good thing when you consider that some fancy schmancy bike lights can throw out a retina-blistering 7,600 lumens of light. Your standard car headlight emits 700 lumens on low beam and 1,200 on high. What’s a lumen? it’s a “unit of luminous flux equal to the light emitted in a unit solid angle by a uniform point source of one candle intensity.” Aren’t you glad we cleared that up?

9. You can savor the best cup of coffee — "third-wave" — in the world in Bellingham. Look for a little shop on a rehabilitated lot next to derelict railroad tracks at the edge of town. It's called the Onyx Coffee Bar.

10. Seattle visual artist Kathy Liao, whose enormous "Family Pool" portrait (below) just makes you wanna backstroke — and donate.

We could go on, but you get the point: Please make a tax deductible gift to Crosscut this holiday season. Thank you.

Mary Bruno is the Editor-in-Chief of Crosscut.

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