1. OK, we admit it. Sometimes we love you, Bill Gates. This time, Jezebel reports, the Microsoft mogul—through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—is holding a contest that will give $100,000 to an inventor who develops "the next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure."
The goal is stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, which remains a massive global health challenge, particularly in the developing world, in large part due to inconsistent male condom use. We say: You go, boy!
But we still won't forgive you for Outlook.
2. A possibly drunk driver hit and killed at least two pedestrians yesterday, the Seattle Times reports.The question is: Why was he allowed to get his license back after two DUI arrests in less than month?
3. Here's some of the best coverage of today's Supreme Court arguments on Proposition 8, the California law that banned gay marriage.
The NYT, which also has a full transcript of the arguments, writes that several of the nine justices appear to believe they may have acted too quickly to consider the constitutionality of gay marriage—a case of "buyer's remorse."
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is expected to cast the decisive vote in the case, spoke of uncertainty about the consequences for society of allowing same-sex marriage. “We have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history or more,” he said, speaking of the long history of traditional marriage and the brief experience allowing gay men and lesbians to marry in some states.
Bloomberg News has more on Kennedy, reporting that the swing justice also
"suggested that children of same-sex couples suffer 'immediate legal injury' from California’s ban" on gay marriage—an argument that could suggest that he plans to vote against the ban.
SCOTUSBlog has a detailed account of the arguments, again focusing on Kennedy's seeming remorse at agreeing to hear the case.
Marriage is a public institution, while sex is private. That’s why homophobes try to change the topic to sex whenever the issue of same-sex marriage comes up.
Finally, at Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte makes the case that the Supremes are going to reject Prop. 8, arguing that conservatives are more obsessed with appearances than liberals—making gay marriage, for example, a much easier sell than a women's right to abortion.
Unlike marriage, which is a public affirmation of two people's relationship, "Abortion is a private medical choice, and so it’s easy enough to secretly get an abortion while publicly denouncing abortion rights," Marcotte writes.
Marriage is a public institution, while sex is private. That’s why homophobes try to change the topic to sex whenever the issue of same-sex marriage comes up; they want to get people to be mad at gay people for supposedly involving the rest of us in their 'private' issues. But marriage is about public weddings, raising children, visiting your family, and who has to take your extra bag off your hands while you try to read a map and bicker with them about the best direction to go. ...
If it was just about the closet, it would be easier for conservatives to blanch at people coming out and say, “Can’t you just keep that to yourself?” But Senator Rob Portman, for instance, is going to want to go to his son’s wedding one day, and that’s just all there is to it.
4. West Seattle Blog, following up on their coverage earlier this week, reports that Mayor Mike McGinn is proposing additional police patrols at Nickelsville, the southwest Seattle encampment that residents say has been overrun by meth dealers and violent individuals. Scott Morrow, an activist with the group that runs Nickelsville, removed the camp's portable toilets recently—their only bathroom facilities.
5. FlipTheMedia has an interview with the CTO of Car2Go, the one-way carsharing service, which it calls "revolutionary."
Car2Go just got approval to expand in Seattle, from 330 cars to as many as 500, and from the central part of the city into Southeast and West Seattle.
6. Speaking of South Lake Union: Apartment Therapy, the awesome (and aspirational) lifestyle blog, features an SLU rental. The worthy apartment includes: Exposed Edison bulbs, a giant rusty lamp rolled into a two-foot cylinder, and a shelving system from Smith and Hawken—not for sale in the store, but from a store that went out of business.
7. Just in time for the end of Women's History Month: NerdScholar reports that while women are out-achieving men in college and post-college degrees, the pay gap at the top of the income ladder is actually worse than it is at the bottom: Women who are CEOs, for example, earn an average of $76,128 a year, while their male counterparts earn an average of $110,344. So much for "the end of men."