Anna

When you can’t see the top of the Eiffel tour through the thick, gray haze, it counts as a bad smog day in Paris. Bad enough for the City of Lights to experiment to try to reduce driving. This past Monday, only cars with odd numbered license plates, electric and hybrid vehicles, and cars with three passengers or more were allowed to drive. In addition, transit was free, Paris’s bike share fleet was free, and an hour of electric car share use was free. I’ll be looking for follow-up coverage to see how this went.

Ugh. Even in nursing, where women outnumber men 10 to 1, men make more than women.

And here’s another look at how our language and socialization privileges men. In fact, the twisted irony is that listener bias results in most people thinking that women are hogging the floor when men are actually dominating conversations. To combat the pattern, this author gives us 10 words every girl should learn.

Naps are even better for our brains than we realized. I wish I could take one right now!

Finally, everyone should watch this trick bike wonder from 1960s Japan. It gets better and better—and more amazing—toward the end.

Keiko

Our friends at Common Acre are putting on a bee-nefit concert for our fuzzy little pollinators at the Triple Door on April 5th at 7 pm! The event is called “A Night for the Bee: a Benefit for The Common Acre” and will feature artists Bill Frisell and Erin Corday. Get your jazz hands ready and come out to support a wonderful organization. Bee there or bee square… Find out more here!

Eric

The last couple of weeks have unleashed a torrent of evidence that the Thin Green Line is holding fast against the tsunami of fossil fuel projects aimed at the Northwest.

In Washington, staff at the Utilities and Transportation Commission, one of the few state agencies that can regulate railroads, recommended meaningful fines against BNSF Railways for failing to properly report a bevy of oil spills from oil trains, as well as other incidents. Casey Jaywork has a particularly informative account over at the Seattle Weekly.

  • Then it came out that the Washington Fire Chiefs are demanding far greater disclosure about oil trains, in language that seems increasingly frustrated about the lack of information and response-planning provided by the railroads.  Good coverage of the story by Joel Connelly, Sydney Brownstone, and Nick Abraham.

    In Oregon, the state Transportation Commission slapped down—for a second time—a request for a $2 million state grant that would fund dock work for a coal port. Rob Davis has the best coverage around, not to mention the best headline: “Zombie coal subsidy returns and gets killed again.”

    Nor was it the only bad news for Northwest coal exports. Floyd McKay broke the news at Crosscut that review of the enormous proposed coal terminal near Bellingham would be delayed. Yet again. As McKay notes, the terminal operators, “once hoped to be shipping the first of 48 million tons of coal by 2017. That date may be moving closer to 2020.”

    Meanwhile, the battle in Seattle over the port hosting Shell’s Artic drilling fleet is getting hotter. Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the Port, and a judge ruled that it can go forward. More details at The Stranger.