Plus: How to spot fake news stories
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The Evergrey | Live Like You Live Here
Hi, Seattle. It’s Thursday, and we want to chat about a different way to visualize how Washington voted in the presidential election. Take a look at this.
(Source: "These Purple States of America")
Blue Washington is actually purple. A couple days ago, writer Emmie Mears created the map above and called it “These Purple States of America.” The goal was to show that not every state is exactly red or blue. There’s a much more honest and nuanced way to look at how people voted.

“This country is divided like the grains of sand on the beach are divided,” Emmie wrote. “Sure, some might be remnants of shells and others of quartz and others of garnet and others of slate but good luck to anybody trying to claim one of those bits doesn’t exist in any given handful… Context is important, America.”

We agree. And we think the same goes for Washington state, which is why we created our own purple map that uses shades of purple, rather than the binary of red and blue, to show how we voted:
(Source: Washington Secretary of State for counties and AP returns for states)
The point is, we live in more ideologically blended communities than we may think. Even in Seattle, where Trump is on track to get only 8 percent of the vote — a historic low for a major party presidential candidate — there are at least enough Trump supporters in the city to “fill KeyArena plus another 1,000 waiting outside,” writes Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat.

But let’s be clear. Though Seattle's a bit purple, we still act true blue. People are rushing to local immigrants rights groups and the Washington ACLU with offers to help, reports Crosscut. And local officials are saying they won’t reverse the city’s policy of not asking people about their immigration status – even if that means losing federal money for the city, reports KUOW and The Seattle Times
(Source: "Viral Fake Election News Outperformed Real News On Facebook In Final Months Of The US Election", Buzzfeed)
Think before you share. A lot of fake news has been making the rounds since the election, and with it, a debate about what big tech companies like Facebook and Google could do to make sure we’re not so easily fooled. But it’s also on each of us to be responsible about what we share. Reader Jess Estrada asked us what makes for a credible news site, and we’re glad she did. Here are some resources:
  • Poynter has a good guide on how to spot and debunk fake news.
  • A college media professor is rounding up a list of “false, misleading, clickbait-y, and/or satirical ‘news’ sources.”
  • New York Magazine just made a Chrome browser extension based on her list that flags fake news sites you visit.
  • If you don’t already know about Politifact and, they’re excellent sources for non-partisan fact checking.
Oh, and one last thing: High quality journalism is time consuming and expensive. It needs our support, especially locally. There’s a Groupon right now to get a year of The Seattle Times for just $30. That’s, like, seven venti lattes. Consider it?

We’re getting a one-of-a-kind bendy bridge. We’ll be honest: We know nothing about the kind of construction or engineering magic that makes infrastructure work. But. This. Is. Cool. We’re getting a bridge that will *hopefully* be able to withstand earthquakes just by bending a little.

Let’s back up. We’re getting rid of the Alaskan Way Viaduct – a big concrete overpass – because it might collapse in an earthquake. (That’s why we’re using a machine named Bertha to drill a new tunnel underground for cars to use instead). But the new highway will have an exit ramp bridge that could still be shaken by an earthquake. So we’re building that bridge with “memory-retaining metal rods and a bendable concrete composite.” That would make the bridge the first in the world “to sway during a strong earthquake and return to its original shape,” reports Kurt Schlosser of GeekWire. 😯 Here’s a video explaining it from WSDOT.
Today we want to give kudos to all our local teachers and professors after what must have been a really challenging week to teach. Regardless of who you voted for, going into work on Wednesday couldn’t have been easy knowing that you had to speak to all your students who may have different ideological perspectives.

Teacher Nate Bowling overcomes that challenge by teaching civility. He teaches government and politics down in Tacoma and was the 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year.

“One of the biggest problems this nation has is a decline in civil discourse,” Nate told KUOW’s Bill Radke. “When a society loses its ability to disagree civilly and loses its ability to have conversations with each other across ideological lines, then we’re headed to a dark, terrible place.”

Kudos to Nate and to all our teachers.
New to The Evergrey? Here’s every newsletter we’ve written so far. As always, feel free to send us your feedback. We read every single email and do our best to respond to each of you.

See you tomorrow. – A&M
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