The Cinerama SIFF Cinema Downtown is back: I can't believe they're calling it that clunky-ass name. Oh well, it will always be the Cinerama to me. Last night, the theater reopened, showing Wonka of all things. Personally, I'll wait until the next movie to grace those halls again. Councilmember Andrew Lewis called the theater's re-opening a "holiday miracle," when really it took a lot of politicking and public money ($1 million from the King County Council, $950,000 from the Seattle City Council). Maybe every holiday miracle is just politics. 

Ceasefire protest blocks University Bridge: Protesters with the Jewish Voice for Peace, a progressive anti-Zionist group of Jewish people, blocked traffic across Seattle's University Bridge for two hours starting at around 4 pm. The demonstration intentionally coincided with the eighth night of Hanukkah. 

US and Israel discuss Gaza war "timetable:" The two countries have discussed when Israel might scale back its "intense combat operations" in the war against Hamas. The answer, predictably, is unclear. Israel leaders say "the overall fight will take months" though there will be "different phases at different times" carried out throughout that time, the Associated Press reports. Does that mean fewer civilian deaths? It's unclear. Joe Biden and the US seem to be a bit queasier about the continued carelessness with which Israel is treating civilian life, however, he is still offering full-throated support of Israel in the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The weather: Cool and cloudy in Seattle Friday. The weekend will be chillier. Wear a sweater. Don't go outside with wet hair. Didn't your mother teach you anything?

Seattle schools try to patch budget hole: Seattle Public Schools faces a $105 million deficit for the 2024-2025 school year due to federal pandemic funding coming to a halt and declining enrollment due in part to a declining birthrate. With fewer students comes less funding. To patch the big, gaping hole, Superintendent Brent Jones announced a plan that would avoid closing schools. For now. The plan would include "reducing central office staffing and expenses, making changes to transportation, cutting school staff, charging fees, leasing or selling non-school properties, adjusting and restructuring programs, delaying the repayment of the 'rainy day fund' and exploring legislative solutions," according to the Seattle Times

What's it like when we don't invest in schools? You get a school system like Idaho's. ProPublica did a deep dive into Idaho's crumbling school infrastructure.

University of Idaho plans murder house demolition: The house where four students were killed last fall will be demolished on December 28 to "decrease further impact." The trial, which was supposed to start in October, was delayed indefinitely after former Washington State University graduate student Bryan Kohberger, the primary suspect, waived his right to a speedy trial. 

Harry hacked: Britain's High Court found Prince Harry was the victim of phone hacking by Mirror Group Newspapers and was awarded the British equivalent of $180,000. The judge said Harry was only phone-hacked to a "modest extent" because only 15 out of 33 articles scrutinized in the trial were the product of phone hacking. That still seems like a lot, given the phone hacking of it all. 

Dead dog warning: An Alaska snowmobile test drive for the company Polaris ended in tragedy when the snowmobile collided with a sled dog team along a highway near Denali National Park and Preserve. The crash killed three of the competitive racing dogs. Their names were John Lennon, Buttercup, and Solo. A fourth dog, KitKat, was injured. 

Religious display vandalized: Someone vandalized the Satanic Temple's holiday display inside the Iowa State Capitol building. The display included a Baphomet statue complete with a mirrored ram's head. The vandal smashed the statue. 

Two men charged with killing 3,600 birds: The men, one from Montana, the other from Washington, allegedly went on a "killing spree" on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and other parts of the state. Their targets? Birds. Especially eagles. They killed bald and gold eagles and sold the parts on the black market. The killings started in 2015 and lasted until 2021. These guys are almost as bad for the bird population as America's outdoor cats.

UK members of extreme body modification group charged: There's a lot going on here. Did anyone ever read the book Geek Love by Katherine Dunn? Seems like the plot of that book is playing out here. Apparently, the defendants—all of whom are charged with removing other people's body parts such as testicles, legs, nipples, penises, etc.—are linked with a subculture of men who have their penises and testicles removed. They're known as "nullos," which is short for "genital nullification." In total, the case centers around "up to 29 offences of extreme body modifications on 13 victims, the removal and trade of body parts, and the uploading of videos," according to The Guardian

Climate summit president says he'll keep investing in oil: On Wednesday, Sultan Al Jaber, president of the Cop28 climate summit and also chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ national oil and gas company, Adnoc, brokered a global agreement to transition away from fossil fuels. Days later, Al Jaber said he was still planning a $150 billion investment into oil and gas with his company. 

Double-check your cans of beans: They may contain small rubber balls

A long read for the weekend: "Welcome to the extinction capital of the world."

A recommendation for your Friday: In case you aren't already hip and with it, you should be playing the New York Times' Connections. I love it. Perfect little game to scratch your brain and make you feel smart. And sometimes dumb. I know recommending Connections is basically like recommending breathing for some people, so I'm sorry if this is not groundbreaking stuff. If that wasn't a real enough suggestion, here's a song: