Exempting bike-share programs from mandatory helmet laws? Still a great idea.

Sightline Fellow Valerie Tarico tells what getting thin taught her about being fat, and it’s amazing.

Sure wish I had read this book before raising my kids. Sorry, guys! It turns out, according Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed, that cognitive skills such as math and vocabulary are less important to personal fulfillment and success in life than character traits such as perseverance and grit. The book summarizes a flotilla of studies looking for clues to fighting poverty through better education and other youth service programs, intriguingly including chess teams. It carries the reader forward, however, on one story after another about kids and those who are figuring out how to help them through the insights of the new research. It’s the best thing I’ve read on education in years.

Another optimistic view of self-driving cars, this time with computer models and such. Fascinating! But I found Jon Geeting’s piece in Next City a more realistic appraisal, because it considered the politics, not just the tech.


I read Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent two-part New Yorker essay on our upcoming sixth mass extinction with both rapt attention and a constant pit in my stomach. Yet there’s also something eerily calming about her writing, something that lulls you into a longer-view geologic sort of perspective that for me elevates both my awe at nature and my wonder at humanity. I look forward to reading her book on the subject, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, which has already garnered plenty of attention and interviews in the media: NPR, NYT (review by Al Gore), Washington Post, Democracy Now!, and even The Daily Show.

I also just stumbled on this: what Vancouver’s Coal Harbour looked like 116 years ago.


It’s Valentine’s day. There are so many sustainable ways to show your love—many of the best of which involve buying no stuff at all (well, if you don’t count sustainable, locally-made chocolate). But if you’re buying jewelry for your sweetie, here’s a guide for steering clear of “dirty” gold.

Robert Reich talks to Bill Moyers on how the heck we’ve forgotten or ignored the 3 biggest economic lessons we’ve learned in the last 30 years.

Harvard alums bought a full page ad on fossil fuel divestment in the Crimson this week, asking the president and the Harvard Corporation to “rethink what fiduciary responsibility means” (h/t KC Golden).


After this, I promise to stop linking to stories about football, but I loved Stephen Crockett’s take on Seattle’s championship, Black Quarterback Wins the Super Bowl: Where’s the Fuss?

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  • Floyd McKay has a detailed look at what’s next for the proposed coal terminal at Longview.

    KC Golden had a refreshing take on the worrisome noises we’ve been hearing about the Keystone XL Pipeline: the State Department’s reasoning has a peculiar kind of circular and destructive logic.

    At the NYT, Andy Revkin takes up a conversation about the moral analogy between tobacco and coal exports.

    Just in time for Valentines Day, KEXP’s Marco Collins compiles his top 40 Seattle love songs.