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September 1  |  
Bears watching: The software that powers Android smartwatches can now integrate with iPhones, which previously only worked with the Apple Watch.

Soon after the announcement, top Apple executives reported an icy-cold chill in their offices, accompanied by mysterious harsh noises that made them think of when Steve Jobs would express his views on Google and the Android OS.

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August 31  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Go round and round: The Street Smarts column reminds drivers the start of the school year means an increase in traffic, adding about 14 percent more traffic to rush hour.

Of course, we could eliminate that 14 percent if young'uns walked the eight miles to school we did. In four feet of snow. In shoes with cardboard soles. Carrying our books bound with a belt. Both ways.

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August 29  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Cheaters never prosper: Following the hack that revealed the account information of millions of people using the Ashley Madison married-but-cheating website, its founder and CEO has stepped down. Previously Noel Biderman maintained he had not cheated on his own wife, but recently uncovered emails suggested otherwise.

Biderman said he was leaving so he could spend more time with his...

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August 28  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Type cast again: Robert Redford has a new buddy in his latest film, "A Walk in the Woods," based on the Bill Bryson memoir about two pals walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail.

Looking for a grizzled, unkempt, out-of-shape character to play opposite himself, Redford cast Nolte on the spot after one look at Nolte's mug shot from his 2002 drunken driving arrest.

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August 27  |  
Can't give ‘em away: Wal-Mart says it will stop stocking the AR-15 and other semi-automatic weapons because fewer people are buying them.

The Buzz assumes this means that most of the weapons' would-be buyers are either dead, in prison, or busy going to Donald Trump rallies.

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August 26  |  
What Shakespeare said: An appeals court has upheld a settlement in which Southwest Airlines passengers got free drink vouchers but the lawyers who sued the airline got a cool $1.65 million in cash.

Now, there's nothing left to do but for the passengers to go ahead and redeem their drink vouchers — and then throw their vodka tonics in the lawyers' faces.

Awww, the guy who drives the BMW is having a bad day: In an e-mail to...

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August 25  |  
Do they think money doesn't grow on trees? When it comes to back-to-school, teenagers are shopping more like their parents these days, recycling last year's clothing and looking for stuff on sale, a survey says.

The funny thing is, when The Buzz reads the words "shopping more like their parents," we can't help but visualize teens wearing Dockers and mom jeans.

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August 24  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
mericano, but just one shot of 2,3-pentanedione: A new study published in a toxicology journal found that chemicals that can cause respiratory problems are released when coffee beans are roasted and ground, posting a potential threat to anyone spending long hours in roasting plants or even cafes.

There. That ought to clear out some of those laggards who hog the comfy chairs at...

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August 22  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
We told you guys, no pets: Following a 2013 infestation, the work release section of the Snohomish County Jail is again having to deal with bed bugs, the tiny blood-sucking insects that hide in bedding and furniture and can be difficult to eradicate.

But here's an opportunity for a current inmate to write a book that Netflix can base a new series on: "Inflamed Rash is the New Black."


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August 21  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
First, they came for my Kodachrome: General Mills and other foodmakers are removing artificial colors from their foods to meet consumer demand for more natural foods. But there are trade-offs. General Mills is dropping blue and green dyes from Trix cereal and using subdued coloring made from radishes and strawberries (Page A9).

This is going to be a blow for the Trix Rabbit; not only...

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August 20  |  
Ooh, that smellOriginal scent or Mediterranean lavender? Following complaints that work to remove creosote-covered pilings in Mukilteo at the old Air Force fuel tank pier was creating a bad smell along the waterfront, the state has approved a plan to spray a fine mist to control the odor (above).The trick now is to find a large enough bottle of Febreze.

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August 19  |  
Sign of the (high) times: Tired of replacing signs stolen by stoners, Idaho is replacing 420 milepost markers with ones that read "419.9".

But the headaches may not be over for Gem State road crews, as The Buzz fully expects obsessive-compulsives to uproot the 419.9 signs and relocate them 528 feet up the highways.

Say it ain't so: The South Snohomish team lost a rematch with the team from Slater, Iowa,...

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August 18  |  
A jury of your peers ... and The Donald: Donald Trump took time out from his campaign Monday to report for jury duty. "I'm looking at him and I'm saying, ‘Are my eyes deceiving me?' " one of Trump's fellow prospective jurors said.

No, ma'am, that really is a comb over.

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August 17  |  
Ticket to ride: Everett Transit has amassed a sizable collection of foreign currency and car wash tokens, thanks to riders who figure any ol’ round object will do in the bus fare box. Meanwhile, Island Transit must decide whether restarting the express bus between Camano Island and Everett is worth breaking its tradition of not collecting fares.

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August 15  |  

30 minutes to "Femme Fatales": North Korea now has its own time zone that's 30 minutes behind the time used in South Korea and Japan.

But North Korea might come to regret the move if Supreme Leader and stuffed-crust pizza aficionado Kim Jong-un will be forced to wait an extra half-hour to catch his favorite Cinemax After Dark shows on pirated cable TV.

Drink up: Hydration is essential for folks who maintain...

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August 14  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Can you tell me how to get ‘Sesame Street' on my TV? The makers of "Sesame Street," the children's television show that has run on PBS for 45 years, announced that it has a new deal that gives HBO initial broadcast rights for new shows, with PBS getting the shows nine months later for free. The move frees up funding for the viewer-supported public network.

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August 13  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Weed eaters: State and federal officials are to blame for an infestation of tiny beetles in a Portland neighborhood. The beetles were released to combat an invasive weed called purple loosestrife. They ate the weeds, then moved on to feast on other plants.

Portland's hipster restaurants also have been hard hit by the infestation and have removed from the specials chalkboard their...

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August 12  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Pooper Tuesday: The good news is that Washington state voters will still get to mark ballots in a presidential primary next year. The bad news is that they'll have to wait until May 24. A proposal to move the primary to March 8, a week after Super Tuesday, failed to get needed support from Democrats who didn't want the primary to overshadow their party caucuses.

The later primary could mean that the various campaigns will scale back their TV ad buys in...

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August 11  |  
Welcome our new overlords: Google is creating a new holding company called Alphabet, saying the new structure will give more independence to many of its wide-ranging and ambitious projects.

This just might give Google's World Domination Project the kick-start it needs.

The Internet wants to be free: Columbia House, the mail-order company that sold LPs and later CDs on the gullible-consumer-ensnaring "negative...

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August 10  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
We've heard that line before: Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch makes a guest appearance on the season premier of FXX's "The League."

But each time his line cue came up, all he could remember to say was, "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

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August 8  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Politically incoherent: Following a question at Thursday's GOP presidential candidate debate about having called women "fat pigs," "dogs" and "slobs," Donald Trump said Friday, "I don't recognize those words whatsoever" and "We're going to take a very serious look at it."

While Trump is looking those up in his dictionary, here's a...

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August 7  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
It's gonna be yuuuge: Following the 10-candidate Republican presidential debate last night, Democratic candidates are now preparing their debate schedule but may have trouble garnering as much interest.

Reaching across the aisle, Donald Trump has volunteered to appear in the Democratic debate, too, just to give it some star appeal.

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August 6  |  
Frank Underwood wouldn't like it: Netflix says it will give employees up to a year's paid leave after births and adoptions.

It's an extremely generous benefit that also leaves new parents plenty of time to binge-watch the new season of "House of Cards."

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August 5  |  
Better pull on those oars: A project to replace expansion joints on the bridges over Steamboat, Union and Ebey sloughs will reduce I-5 to one lane on nights and some weekend days beginning Monday.

Before long, the quickest way to travel from Everett to Marysville will be by rowboat.

Don't know much about history: On this day in 1914, the nation's first electric traffic light was installed at an intersection in...

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August 4  |  
Momma told you not to hitchhike: The creators of a hitchhiking robot say they may rebuild the peripatetic android after it made the mistake of accepting a ride from someone in Philadelphia over the weekend.

They want the robot to resume its journey across the nation, but may just buy it a Rick Steves guidebook and send it to Europe.

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August 3  |  
Hard workin' man: At 83, Dan Rather is still is on the job, having launched a production company called News & Guts.

Rather also has shut down his newsmagazine show on the obscure HDNet channel. As he might say, the audience for "Dan Rather Reports" was smaller than a Texas tick in a one-dog town.

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August 1  |  Jon Bauer, Herald writer
This may hurt a bit: Zimbabwe officials say they intend to seek the extradition of the Minneapolis dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park. The dentist has reportedly returned home but has not reopened his office.

Among patients now sitting in his waiting room are Simba, Aslan, Lambert, Alex, Leo, the MGM Lion and, most notably, the Cowardly Lion.

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July 31  |  
Beats Hellfire missiles: Facebook is working on a solar-powered drone with a 140-foot wingspan that would broadcast Internet signals to regions too remote and impoverished for conventional broadband networks (Page A9).

Unfortunately, drones can't beam down things like safe drinking water, basic health care and honest government.

Surfing the vast cultural wasteland: In the new TV series "Proof," Jennifer Beals plays a brilliant surgeon who...

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July 30  |  
Millennials, the 18-to-34-year-old generation, are increasingly living in their parents' homes, according to a new survey.

Since 2010, the percentage of millennials moving back in with their folks has increased from 24 percent to 26 percent — with a corresponding rise in the frequency of Sallie Mae student loan collection calls during the dinner hour.

Don't forget the lingonberry jam: There's big news at Ikea. Along with its...

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July 29  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Out the Windows: Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system debuts today and more closely resembles Windows 7 than its last update, Windows 8, the tile-like design of which alienated some.

And if you're wondering what happened to Windows 9, it was sent to the Isle of Misfit Microsoft Products, along with the Windows Phone, Zune, Clippy and Steve Ballmer.

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