My 2017 Seattle Arts Calendar

Jan 5 @ 6:15pm. Screening of "CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap," a new documentary about the gender gap in software engineering, at the Living Computer Museum.

Jan 16 @ 7pm. Broadcast to movie theaters (e.g. Pacific Place 11) of the season four finale of "Sherlock."

Jan 24. Registration opens for the Cascade Bicycle Club's August ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC.

Jan 26 @ noon. Beginning of the 48 hour time window for Burning Man ticket pre-sale registration. The festival itself will be held over Aug 27-Sep 4.

Feb 7. Release of Neil Gaiman's new book "Norse Mythology," a creative retelling of the original myths. Neil will also be speaking at Benaroya Hall on Apr 2 @ 7pm.

Feb 2-12. The Moore Theatre hosts the National Theatre of Scotland's presentation of "Let the Right One In" (based on the novel and film of the same name).

Feb 3-12. Pacific Northwest Ballet presents "Cendrillon," a retelling of the Cinderella story by the same choreographer who created the acclaimed Romeo et Juliette.

Feb 17 @ 7:30pm. Sherman Alexie, Jess Walter, and Karen Russell record an episode of their "A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment" podcast live at Town Hall Seattle.

Mar 7. Release of former Seattle Symphony music director Gerard Schwarz's new book "Behind the Baton." Gerard will also be speaking at Town Hall Seattle on Feb 16 @ 7:30pm.

Aug 3-6. Seattle Art Fair at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Aug 21 @ 10:18am. Total solar eclipse in Salem, Oregon.

Sep 12 @ 10am. Apple's product launch broadcast.

Sep 15 @ 4:54am. NASA's Cassini probe plunges to its destruction in Saturn's atmosphere. For a poignancy multiplier, read Ian Mcdonald's "The Falls: A Luna Story" first.

Sep 17 @ 8pm. Ken Burns' new Vietnam War documentary premieres on PBS.

Sep 21-23. Kremfest, a new electronic music festival, will be held at at Kremwerk.

Sep 24 @ 8:30pm. Premiere of "Star Trek: Discovery" on CBS.

Sep 28-30 @ 6pm and 9pm. The Blind Cafe in Fremont.

Sep 29. Release of updated "Hype!" documentary.

Oct 14. SeaCompression in Burien, beginning at 2pm.

Oct 17. Release of Walter Isaacson's new Leonardo da Vinci biography.

Oct 26 @ 7:30pm. Nathan Myhrvold introduces his new book on breadmaking at the Egyptian Theater.

Oct 27 @ 10pm. "Cat Videos Live" at the Neptune Theatre.

Oct 31. A good day to check whether SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy launch date has been set.

Dec 3 @ 2pm. Pianist Jeremy Denk performs a Mozart, Prokofiev, Beethoven, and Schumann recital at Benaroya Hall.

Feb 25, 2018. Release of O'Reilly Media's new book "Mastering Ethereum: Implementing Digital Contracts." See for background.

Feb 27, 2018. Release of Steven Pinker's new book "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress."

Mar 29 @ 7:30pm, 2018. Seattle Symphony performs the world premiere of John Luther Adams' "Become Desert," along with Beethoven's fifth piano concerto (using the same pianist who performed the Dec 3 recital listed above).

And finally, here's something beautiful for free:

My 2016 Seattle Arts Calendar

Visual Arts

The most important art exhibition in this area, by far, remains Art AIDS America at Tacoma Art Museum. It closes Jan 10, making the last free evening Dec 17. Keep in mind that you're supposed to go through the exhibit counterclockwise, so start by going up the ramp to the right of the stairs. See or for the exhibition catalogue.

Seattle Art Museum's Intimate Impressionism exhibition also closes Jan 10, but frankly what I found far more inspiring than the main exhibit was the accompanying large-scale painting by Samuel F. B. Morse (the inventor of the telegraph), which you don't need a ticket to the main exhibit to see, and as such could see for free on the evening of Jan 7. See

Fathom Events has announced its art and architecture broadcasts for 2016, two of the most interesting of which may be Goya on Feb 11 @ 7pm and Da Vinci on 3/31 @ 7pm. See

There will be another Seattle Art Fair in 2016, over Aug 4-7 at CenturyLink Field Event Center. I thought the 2015 fair was outstanding. See

Local Radio

KEXP moved to its new home in Seattle Center on the morning of Dec 9, and is now broadcasting from that location. Its public grand opening will be Apr 16. See

KING 98.1 FM will broadcast the Seattle Symphony's Jun 18 performance of Mahler's Third Symphony on Jan 1 @ 9pm. See

Hollow Earth Radio is currently 27% of the way toward its funding goal for its FM hardware, with 43 days left. Basically, Hollow Earth Radio is what KEXP used to be, though that's certainly not saying anything against either. See

Live Music

Kronos Quartet performs on Feb 20 @ 8pm at the Moore Theatre. See

An Evening with Janis Joplin over Mar 25 - Apr 17 at 5th Avenue Theatre sounds promising. See

The Museum of History and Industry hosts The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop until May 1. Featuring local DJs from 1pm-4pm on second Saturdays. See

The Sasquatch Festival will be held over May 27-30. See

The Seattle Symphony's current (and first) artist in residence, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, is pretty amazing. Your last chances to hear him perform will be Jun 5 @ 2pm (Ravel's Piano Concerto in G), Jun 7 @ 7:30pm (Dvorak's Piano Quintet No. 2), and Jun 9 @ 7:30pm, Jun 10 @ noon, and Jun 11 @ 8pm (Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F). See

Adele sings Jul 25-26 @ 7:30pm at Key Arena. See


Seattle SantaCon will take place Dec 12 @ 11am, running until late. The tentative route is available here:

Burning Man will be held over Aug 28 to Sep 5, with the artistic theme "Da Vinci's Workshop." Ticket deadlines have not yet been announced. See


Uber has introduced "UberHop," which basically works like a carpool or non-stop express bus during commuting hours. Right now on my Uber app I'm seeing the following three options: [1] 1st & Seneca (Downtown) to 40th & Stone Way (Wallingford) for $5, taking 15 minutes, and leaving every 15 minutes, [2] 1st & Seneca (Downtown) to 14th & Pike (Capitol Hill) for $5, taking 10 minutes, and leaving every 15 minutes, and [3] Mercer & Terry (South Lake Union) to 15th & Market (Ballard) for $5, taking 20 minutes, and leaving every 15 minutes. The best use for this service is probably simply exploring different neighborhoods. See

New Link Light Rail stations will open during 2016 in Capitol Hill, University of Washington, and Angle Lake. The last of those is particularly intriguing, since it means you could leave your car permanently with Flightcar and take light rail to their facility whenever you actually need it. Also starting service during 2016 will be the First Hill Streetcar. See and and

Live Broadcasts

Fathom Events will broadcast the opening night of TED 2016 to the Pacific Place 11 movie theater on Feb 15 @ 5pm. This is probably a good way to soak up current Silicon Valley culture without actually having to live there. See

If you enjoy opera, then you might also enjoy the Jun 16 @ 7pm Fathom Events look behind the scenes at Teatro Alla Scala. See

Fathom Events will broadcast a live performance of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's production of Romeo and Juliet (presumably again to Pacific Place 11) on Jul 7. See

Science Fiction Cinema

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec 18. The best place to see it would probably be the Cinerama. See

A cinema presentation of "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride," starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, will be broadcast to Pacific Place 11 on Jan 5 and Jan 6 @ 7:30pm. See

On Jan 23 @ 11am, Seattle International Film Festival presents a six-hour scene by scene dissection of Blade Runner. See

Batman v. Superman opens Mar 25. See

Star Trek Beyond opens Jul 22. See


The two most interesting treatments of The Nutcracker will doubtless be the new Pacific Northwest Ballet production using the Balanchine choreography (ending Dec 28), and Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker (ending Dec 27), which probably won't use the Balanchine choreography. See and

Video Games

An expansion to Elite Dangerous which will allow you, among other things, to land your spacecraft and drive a landing vehicle around on NASA-identified exoplanets will launch on Dec 15 (PC only - the OS X version will arrive later). See

A new version of the classic PC game Doom is supposed to come out in the first half of 2016 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. See

New Museums

Seattle now has the first museum devoted to the Holocaust in the entire Pacific Northwest. It's open only on Wednesdays, as well as first and third Sundays, and reservations are required. I thought it was excellent. See


The McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, which opened less than two months ago, is amazing. The best way I can put it is that it's like a city within a city, and I found myself thinking it could be exactly where Burning Man enthusiasts might like to relax when they need some downtime from dust storms and welding. See it at night for best effect, and bring swimwear so you can enjoy the pool. Note that it's easily reachable by bicycle from large portions of our area via the Burke-Gilman Trail. See

Shiro Kashiba, the man who created Seattle's first sushi counter in 1970, and who trained with the legendary sushi chef in Jiro Dream of Sushi, has just opened a new restaurant in Pike Place. This would doubtless be expensive, but would certainly be memorable. See


The inexpensive paperback Tinder Nightmares (published 11/17/15) would be a genuine delight for anyone who has recently tried online dating. See

For fans of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, the brand new graphic novel which he just published in this series (published 11/10/15) would be the obvious choice. See

Classical Seattle: Maestros, Impresarios, Virtuosi, and Other Music Makers (published 10/15/15) would be the obvious choice for any Seattle resident who loves classical music. See

Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation (published 10/8/15) could be an excellent choice for anyone with a serious interest in the sciences. Think of it as a more up-to-date version of the fantastic Teaching Company lecture Big History. See

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories (published 10/6/15) offers a wealth of top-quality writing at a remarkably low price, and would be an admirably graceful gift for a relative whose actual interests you either aren't personally aware of or else don't wish to support. See

I have to admit I was very impressed with Amazon's first brick-and mortar bookstore, which opened in University Village about a month ago. I thought it was elegant, and obviously the price is right: you get the same prices you would pay on, but instead of the mere free two-day shipping which Amazon Prime subscribers get, you get free zero-day shipping whether or not you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, since you walk out of the store with the thing you purchased. See


A good bet would probably be The Book of Mormon over Dec 29 - Jan 10 at the Paramount Theatre. See

Live Theatre

Come From Away will enjoy a few more performances by popular demand, and hence will now end at Seattle Repertory Theatre on Dec 20. ACT's admirably minimalist production of Shakespeare's As You Like It also ends on Dec 20. See and

Radio Theatre

This art form yields most of the benefits of live theatre, yet can still be enjoyed from the privacy of your home. Coming up is Sandbox Radio's presentation of The Big One on Dec 28 @ 8pm, and Seattle Radio Theatre's presentation of A Christmas Peril on Dec 22 @ 7:30ppm. See and

New Podcasts

I'd like to draw your attention to Meet the Composer, hosted by Nadia Sirota. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a work of contemporary classical music should be listening to this podcast. See!/programs/meet-composer/


Psychology professor Sheldon Solomon's Jan 11 @ 7:30pm talk at Town Hall Seattle on "Overcoming Fear of Death" sounds promising. See and

Public Service

On Feb 13, and again on Apr 30, Seattle Works will host a 9am-5pm class on how to be an effective member of a non-profit organization's board of directors. See

Holiday Gifts

I've been thinking lately that high-quality playing cards can be a very elegant and tasteful gift, since at least for solitaire or social players they tangibly improve the recipient's enjoyment of an everyday activity. See for a computer programming playing card theme, or for more traditionally artistic themes.

For anyone teenage or older with an interest in either computers or mathematics, the $35 Raspberry Pi 2 is an astounding bargain, since it also comes with a free copy of Mathematica. For the device itself, a power adapter for it, a printed book on how to use it, and a printed copy of Stephen Wolfram's new book on Mathematica itself, all four of which items total just $80.56, see the following URLs:

I thought the 2015 films Mad Max: Fury Road and Inside Out were both excellent, and each is now available on Blu-ray. See and

My 2015 Seattle Arts Calendar


Dec 25 (2014). Big Eyes, Tim Burton's new film about the painter Margaret Keane, opens at Pacific Place 11.

Jan 13 @ 7pm. Matisse art museum broadcast to Pacific Place 11.

Feb 23. Blu-ray release of Mr. Turner, a film about the famous British painter J. M. W. Turner.

Feb 24 @ 7pm. Rembrandt art museum broadcast to Pacific Place 11.

Jun 23 @ 7pm. Vermeer art museum broadcast to Pacific Place 11.

Jul 14 @ 7pm. Impressionist art broadcast to Pacific Place 11.


May 29-30 and Jun 4-7. Pacific Northwest Ballet performs works choreographed to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Second Piano Concerto.


Feb 7 - May 25. The Pompeii exhibit at Pacific Science Center. Don't miss this!


Dec 25 (2014). The Imitation Game, a film about Alan Turing (the British mathematician widely considered the father of computer science), opens at SIFF Egyptian, Sundance Cinemas, and Regal Thornton Place.

Jan 20. Blu-ray release of the documentary The Green Prince, which looks pretty interesting.

May 1. Opening of the superhero film Avengers: Age of Ultron.

May 14 - Jun 7. Seattle International Film Festival.

Dec 18. Opening of the science fiction film Stars Wars: The Force Awakens.


Dec 30 @ 7:30pm (2014). The president and director of the Space Frontier Foundation speaks about the next steps for the commercial space industry (e.g. asteroid mining) at T.S. McHugh's.

Mar 5 @ 7:30pm. Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, speaks at Benaroya Hall.

Apr 2-5. George R.R. Martin, who wrote the series of books which HBO's Game of Thrones is based on, speaks at Norwescon.


Jan 20. Release of the new Sleater-Kinney album No Cities to Love.

Mar 12-28. Seattle Symphony performs each of Jean Sibelius' seven symphonies.

Mar 26 @ 7pm. The Hamsaz Ensemble performs at Town Hall Seattle. This is an opportunity to hear traditional music from various historical periods in Iran, from the 1300's to the present.

May 3 @ 11am. Live broadcast to the Guild 45th Theatre of the Royal Opera's performance of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht.


Jan 20 @ 10am. Registration opens for the Cascade Bicycle Club's ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC, which takes place over Aug 14-16.

Feb 18 @ noon. Individual ticket sales begin for Burning Man, though to purchase one you need to first register between Feb 11 @ noon and Feb 14 @ noon.

May - Sep. If you want to take an inexpensive weekend vacation on the Alaska Marine Highway System before the end of September, then this is probably the best way to do so: take the Friday 10:30am Greyhound to Bellingham, then the Friday 6pm Alaska MHS ferry to Ketchikan (note the 4pm check-in and the wisdom of claiming a deck chair as soon as you can), and finally the Sunday evening Alaska Air 64 non-stop flight back to Seattle.


Feb 3. Release of Trigger Warning, a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman.

Mar 2 @ 7pm. The book club at Ada's Technical Books will discuss Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air. A good choice if you plan to go on a balloon ride in the summer. Also timely, given Google's impending Project Loon deployment; simply put, this year balloons are HOT. and

Mar 10. Release of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.

Mar 17. Paperback release of Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik, which makes learning about science enjoyable in the same way What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions did.

Apr 28 @ 7pm. The book club at Ada's Technical Books will discuss the acclaimed work of science fiction The Martian (a film version of which opens Nov 25).

May 10 @ 7pm. The book club at Ada's Technical Books will discuss Scatter, Adapt, and Remember.

May 19. Release of Seveneves, a science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson.

Jun 9. Release of Slow Bullets, a science fiction novel by Alastair Reynolds.

Jul 16 @ 7pm. The book club at Ada's Technical Books will discuss the heartbreaking novel Flowers for Algernon.


Jan 16 - Feb 2. Washington Ensemble Theatre presents Sprawl, representing the first opportunity to see a play in the new 12th Avenue Arts building.

Jan 20. Last day to stream the BBC's radio drama of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens.

Jun 2 @ 7:30pm. The Moth Mainstage at Benaroya Hall.

The Native American artwork which inspired the Seahawks logo

The Native American artwork which inspired the Seahawks logo

This is the Native American artwork which inspired the Seahawks logo, on loan from Maine's Hudson Museum to Seattle's Burke Museum through July 27, 2015. It was apparently made during the late 1800's, in northeast Vancouver Island, by a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe.

My apartment's work desk

My apartment's work desk

A simple way to conserve space is to get two identical 1920x1080 monitors which have DVI/DisplayPort as well as HDMI inputs (the Viewsonic VX2270Smh-LED models pictured here are a great example), hook your desktop computer up to both, and hook an Apple TV up to the second. Then you can either turn the second one toward you for a dual monitor setup (e.g. when you're working on a big computer project and want to have a bunch of windows open at the same time), or else leave the second one pointed toward wherever you like to watch movies.

Note that if you have an Apple portable device with WiFi capabilities (e.g. an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad), then you can use Apple's free Remote app in place of the physical remote which comes with your Apple TV.

My apartment

My apartment

I've always felt there was value in living an uncluttered life, so when I heard about Seattle's microhousing trend several years ago (e.g. the 150 square foot apartments offered by Calhoun Properties and the similar units offered by Footprint) the idea immediately appealed to me. Earlier this year I moved into one, and would have the following advice for anyone else planning to do so:

  1. If you can, pick a building within walking or cycling distance of your employer. This allows additional life simplification, in the same spirit as the rest of your decluttering.
  2. Replace physical books, CDs, and movies with digital versions, when possible.
  3. Replace your computer printer with a multifunction device that will perform duplex scanning through a sheet feeder (the Brother DCP-8150DN is a great example). Then, go through all of your paper files, scanning and discarding as much as possible. Note that in the case of instruction manuals you can usually download a PDF copy through the support section of that products's web site, so in those cases you wouldn't even need to bother scanning.
  4. Get free of your car, somehow. One option might be permanently parking it on private property somewhere out of town, switching its insurance policy to "storage only" (which Geico may offer for as little as $50/year), and then no longer bothering to renew its tabs.
  5. Note that most microhousing units come with a microwave and small refrigerator/freezer, so those are two other items you typically don't need to bother keeping.
  6. If you're an Amazon customer, then look into whether there's an Amazon Locker near your new apartment which you can use for deliveries; this obviously gets around any frustrating situations where a FedEx or UPS delivery signature is repeatedly required while you're not around.
  7. Particularly if your new apartment includes free high-speed internet, look into whether you can "cut the cord" by replacing your usual cable television bill with any of the popular internet streaming services.

Touring Hanford

Touring Hanford

A little while ago, I made a list of what I thought would be the best places to visit if you wanted to get a sense of Washington state's history, economy, and character:

Earlier this week I finally had the chance to take the Hanford Site tour, which I found both educational and thought-provoking. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed on our tour, so all I can offer is this picture of where it departs from.

Although only a limited number of these tours are offered every year, and they fill up quickly, according to our tour guide at least a few people typically fail to show up for each of them, and their seats can be filled by people who show up at the tour headquarters without a reservation.

Our tour guide also indicated that the companies currently handling Hanford's cleanup are looking for workers, a piece of information which I wanted to be sure to pass on; in addition to presumably being paid a premium for your labor, and in addition to enjoying more sunshine than you might in western Washington, you might also find some personal satisfaction in helping put the Cold War - obviously a very dark and fearful time in world history - away for good.