Amanda's View: Colosseum and memoriam

By Amanda Knox

Approaching Century Link Field in a throng of green-and-blue people, flanked by an ecstatic marching band, I couldn’t help but think about the Roman Colosseum, and how sporting events have been experienced by humans in the exact same way for as long as civilization has existed. The same spirit of adrenaline-spiked tribalism that motivates Seattlites to show up in droves to watch grown men skillfully kick a ball around motivated the Romans to show up in droves to observe the clashing of gladiator against gladiator, Christian slave against starved lion.

We are the same. As Tim Urban wrote recently on Wait But Why, if you were to swap a newborn from a Medieval farming village with a newborn New Yorker today, no one would know the difference. That’s because the modern human brain hasn’t evolved in over 10,000 years. Some evolutionary psychologists think our brains are the same as those belonging to humans from as far back as 50,000 years. For context, that’s the stone age, around about the time humans invented the needle.

More ›

Jean's View: Crazy place to build a city

By Jean Godden

I won't ever look at Seattle the same way again -- not after reading "Too High & Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography," a book that's just now available in paperback.

What I had not realized before stumbling onto this remarkable volume was how much Seattle's features have been changed. No other major city in the world has had such extensive man-made remakes in a comparatively short history. The city we see today looks vastly different from the one that Midwestern settlers found when they landed at Alki Point 165 years ago.

The author, geologist David B. Williams, chronicles Seattle's amazing transformation. He begins with a quick thumbnail account of the region's geology, taking us back 17 thousand years when glacier-driven forces carved the troughs we call Hood Canal, Lake Washington and Puget Sound.

More ›

Ken's View: Parking is an issue; Space in the paper is at a premium too

By Ken Robinson

The Junction parking story
The story by Patrick Robinson about the free parking lots in the West Seattle Junction is long. But it is emblematic of a city-wide problem that has been looming for years: parking.

The social engineering at play with the Seattle City Council that would have us all ride the bus or bike to do our shopping means an undercurrent of interest in getting us to eschew the automobile. Like smoking cigarettes, people will quit when they really want to do so. Still, this city and others have successfully limited where you can smoke. And they are doing that with where you can park.

One of the great off-putting reasons to stay on our side of the bridge is the dearth of parking to be found in Seattle, that other big town east of ‘Wesseattle’. Ballard is bad already and getting worse for parking. Burien has lots of free or time-limited parking but Diamond lots are creeping in.

More ›