Hella Bus Blog
Every now and again - amidst all the online noise - you find a website that makes you fall in love with Al Gore and his tubular progeny (to mix bad internet jokes) all over again. Thus, I submit to you: the National Film Board of Canada.
I'm tempted to gush about at least seven different things that I particularly enjoy about their website, but in the words of Lil Wayne, "what's the world without enigma?" (also: "swagga down pat, call my s*** Patricia). In the spirit of Weezy, I'll direct you posthaste to my most favorite discovery thus far - BlaBla.
I'm downright giddy about this interactive filmmaking project that "explores the fundamentals of human communication." I don't know about that, but I do know that clicking on a mole-ish bobblehead has never been more satisfying - and curiously poetic. Something about the blend of sound, visuals, and the unique relationship between the viewer and the film feels even a little profound.
Right next to Hugh Hef.
You've already seen the pretty pictures of our epic journey to Sasquatch. But our trip wasn't all fun (meeting rad people) and games (getting hundred of pledges to vote). Sometimes, we had to attend concerts. Rough.
A few concert highlights of the weekend, in order of appearance:
I'm not gonna lie - I'm a little obsessed with Robyn. But while she's great on CD, she's absolutely electric live. If the Bus hasn't already taught you that the dance-able can be political, let Robyn change your mind. She plays with gender in some highly entertaining ways, including wearing the West Point football jersey shown above, and pointedly eating a banana in the middle of her set. Awesome.
Sometimes, artists that make zen, beautiful recorded music can't bring that same gorgeous intensity to a live show. For Beach House, this is absolutely not the case. Lead singer Victoria Legrand's haunting voice filled the whole venue. I basically spent this show lying in the grass near the top of the amphitheater with my eyes closed in a state of bliss.
Modest Mouse closed out the main stage on Sunday night with a fantastic set heavy on their older (read: better) songs, perfect for long-time fans. Despite being exhausted from two long days of voter registration, I forgot all about my sore feet during this show and danced like a mad-woman for their entire set.
Care about Seattle? Interested in free drinks? Exhausted from trying to locate those elusive Seattle City Council Candidates?
Pow! (that's the feeling of a kick-off to the face!)
Next Thursday - June, 9th - we'll be hanging out at Havana with the Stranger and the whole mess of Seattle City Council Candidates vying to represent all you Seattle folks. We'll have some conversation starting questions on hand, but feel free to bring your own as well.
We'll be keeping things informal, no dress code here. Searsucker suit? wear it. Jorts and a cowboy hat? totes fine. The event is 21+, but expect the rest of our city council events to be all ages!
Day 1 - before we started regretting that 90% of our food was carrots
It's go time.
Sunshine, pledge to vote, happiness
Hey, we like you.
Hari and camping - never again.
Everything that can be said about Sasquatch in one photo.
Backstage as Das Racist kills it. Standing next to Bob Boilen! (for all you NPR nerds out there).
So much Bus
*no caption necessary*
Voter registrations, neon hats - just a day in the Bus life.
This did not end in disaster. Thanks Vera!
Blurry, but yes - this is a man dressed as Sasquatch communing with a bunny (alternate caption: Dinner).
TJ takes us home after a most excellent weekend.
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and the good people of Sasquatch, WA for a superb time! Doesn't get much better than beautiful vistas, good tunes, and hundreds upon hundreds of Registrations and Pledge to Vote cards!
Once a month - embrace the unique opportunity to get on the Welcome Wagon, a dinner, a party and grand overview of the work that we do at the Bus and how you can get involved. Bus stalwart? come hang, we miss you. Never been to an event, but curious? this is the event to see what all the buzz is about. The next Welcome Wagon is August, 16th.
The Welcome Wagon marks the birth of a new era of leadership at the Bus, namely, yours. This is the easiest way to see what the Bus has cooking for the next year, and your first chance to reserve a front seat in the movement driving a more inclusive, engaging, and downright enjoyable generation of politics. If you can't tell, we're a wee bit excited.
There are two things the Bus loves above all else:
2) You driving the Bus. (we won’t expect you to do donuts in the parking lot *)
There will be a party. There will be prizes (ranging from shirts to the intangible flush of foosball victory). There will be a chance to take leadership at the Bus. There will be amazing and brilliant people. But most importantly, there will be YOU.
Put it on your calendar - like right now would work well for us.
Help us make sure we have plenty of food and drink: RSVP by sending a fun fact about yourself to nicole (at) washingtonbus (dot) org or call us at the office at 206-325-1889!
CONVENIENT INFO BOX THING:
Monthly - The next one is August, 16th
Bus HQ: 1100 E Union St, Suite 1E, Seattle, WA
To spell things out, at the Welcome Wagon any or all of this could be yours:
1) Food - yum.
2) Drinks - delectable.
3) Good company - party time, excellent.
4) Insanely sweet volunteer opportunities (perhaps at little old things like Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Candidate Survivor) - kaboom.
5) Hands-on training and networking opportunities - get it.
6) Foosball tournament - merciless.
7) An evening dedicated to empowering a new generation of leaders in our state - yes and yes.
8) For some reason, I like it when these lists end up on even numbers - illogical.
We're going to do a Welcome Wagon every single month, because we meet good folks every single day. All you have to do is show up - the rest is all smooth-like.
If you are asking yourself what the Bus can do for you (and what you can do for the Bus, natch), then you are psyched for Welcome Wagon!
*although it could be arranged**
**It probably can't be arranged
HELLO people of the Bus-world, and also random internet passersby. I’m Dan. I’ll be your Hella Bus blogger writing about biking, bussing, transportation, and anything related to that bizness. Why? We all move ourselves around the area we live in every day. And how we do it is hella interesting and important.
First, a programming note: This interesting (also, mind-numbing), very-Seattle process is happening. This Hella Bus series will ignore it. There is enough noise already. And that’s my first and last word about the tunnel.
Fortunately, the tunnel isn’t the only thing happening in transportation. The city is putting roads on diets (no, not of the roadkill variety). Metro faces some possible major cuts in service and I'll be covering all the wrangling and ins and outs that entails. The governor just signed a vulnerable road users bill (yay!). And transit oriented developments around light rail stations are getting off the ground - or should I say UNDER IT (pow! This is the sort of rapier wit you can expect on a weekly basis).
I’m not a transportation expert—I have no fancy letters after my name, nor diplomas hanging on my wall. Rather, I am a user and observer of transportation. Cars are expensive, so, like a lot of young people, I commute by bike nearly everyday (Cap Hill to Wallingford—mad love to all the drivers on Eastlake who regularly refrain from hitting me). I also take the bus frequently. My favorite routes are the 14, the 49, and, of course, my OG bus route, the 72.
There will be posts digging into substantive issues soon. In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite recent pieces on bicycling--Jim Behrle comparing NYC cyclists to glistening gazelles on The Awl.
Like nature, but hate planning/maps/making decisions? Well, my indecisive friend, the Washington Trails Association has you covered with their handy-dandy Hike Finder tool. It's hiking in Washington made easy including some crazy useful features allowing you to search for a hike by location, mileage, elevation, terrain, or even your preference of flora. Check out the easy click map to prepare yourself for that (hopefully) impending day when summer rolls around and you can bask in the (mythical?) northwest summer!
Great event coming up in Bellingham re: a rather nasty proposal to use Washington as a shipping point for millions of tons of coal on it's way to China. Check out the event details below!
Bill McKibben: "Coal, Climate Change, and Activism"
What: Bill McKibben talks about how the biggest coal company in the world wants to build North America’s biggest coal terminal in our community! Come learn more about what’s at stake, and what you can do to help.
When: Tuesday, May 31, 5p.m/ 7p.m. Information fair and entertainment with Millie and the Mentshn 5-7. Bill McKibben speaks at 7
Where: Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. Bellingham, WA.
The event is free and open to the general public.
Mr. McKibben’s visit was catalyzed by the coal terminal debate raging in Washington. In particular, plans to ship coal from Cherry Point in Ferndale, Washington which could negatively impact the County’s economic prospects, diminish quality of life, and destroy an already vulnerable food chain in addition to the national and global implications.
Attention nerds, geeks and assorted dorks of all stripes: The National Jukebox may well blow your mildly over-sized minds.
With a little bit of their library wizardry, the fine people of the National Library of Congress in Washington D.C. have posted thousands of recordings from 1900 - 1925, now available for streaming online at their website. While the majority of it is music, including some fantastic rag-time and big band recordings, you can also listen to old comedy routines and speeches.
In case you need proof of how far politics has come over the past 80+ years, check out this speech (seriously, give it a listen), designed to rally supporters for women's suffrage in 1914. If you have any idea what he's saying, you are really darn impressive - I think it's safe to say they spoke a little differently back then. But the tone hasn't really changed all that much.
And the nerd in me thinks that's REALLY COOL.
Wow, it is feeling goooood around the Bus office on this sunny Friday. Maybe it's the weather, maybe because we just successfully reassembled a file cabinet, but I'm thinking it has more to do with the majestic folks who came to last night's Welcome Wagon!
That's right, we kicked off the first installment of Welcome Wagon, the Bus' monthly volunteer orientation/dinner/happy hour yesterday evening in a packed office full of wonderful people (and Stephen Bronskill*). Suffice to say, we had an amazing time.
Admire some photos of some of the Bus rockstars who filled out their brand new pledge to vote cards at Welcome Wagon!
Nicole, just hours before winning an Xbox, speaks to the masses.
The next Welcome Wagon is going down on June, 23rd from 6-7:30pm. Everyone's welcome (wagon)!
*Just kidding, Stephen - you're amazing
A quick update to yesterday's story about Comcast defunding $18,000 from Seattle non-profit Reel Grrls' summer film camp. In keeping with their principled and classy approach to everything they do, Reel Grrls has said they will decline Comcast's offer to reinstate the funding should they continue to censor Reel Grrls' communications.
In the non-profit world it's none to easy to turn down $18,000 dollars. If you love them as much as we do, please consider donating to Reel Grrls.
Also, check out this quick video by a few Reel Grrls about the incident:
Reel Grrls supports the empowerment of hundreds of young women through media-based training, resources, and community building (check out our Hella Bus profile on Reel Grrls here). They do good stuff. They are also nice people. That's why we were a wee bit concerned to hear the news that Comcast threatened to cut $18,000 in funding for their summer film camp for teens because of a tweet (which was on point, by the way).
The tweet referred to former FCC commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker's spectacularly shady departure from the FCC to take a high-powered job at Comcast just months after approving the controversial Comcast-NBC merger. Free Press and other media watchdog organizations have been calling for an investigation into what seems to be a pretty blatant conflict of interest. Although, it seems to have been pretty much legal.
In the wake of a media-blitzing, the higher-ups at Comcast are claiming that the threat to defund the program was the work of a rogue employee and that Comcast will restore funding. “This is not the way Comcast behaves toward its nonprofit partners,” said Comcast Spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice.
However, should Comcast follow through with their threat, three Reel Grrls participants "who had signed up for the camp are planning to come in voluntarily to create a film about Comcast’s decision to pull their funding," noted the Washington Post.
If you aren't familiar with them already, please check out Reel Grrls and the excellent programs they have to offer! Seriously, they're great.
As far as legislative sessions go (a thrilling way to start any sentence), 2011 has been a doozy. Between shortfalls, loopholes, special sessions, and a whole lot of Oly, it's tough to cut through the haze and see what's actually been going down. Big thanks to Publicola for compiling this shortlist of some important legislation that successfully did that whole "bill comes a law" thing this spring/never-ending-doom-cloud-season. Turns out, the list includes new environmental protections, increased rights for same-sex couples, taking the burden of proof off domestic violence victims, foreclosure protections, and many more. Find the article by clicking.
In other news, Netflix takes up one third of the internet! Crazy!