Editor

Machine House Brewery is opening a Central District pub.

Machine House Brewery will likely start pouring English-style beers at its new 14th and Jefferson location in June

Georgetown’s Machine House Brewery, which has cornered the Seattle market on English-style cask ale (sometimes known as “real ale” for its natural carbonation), is finishing its Central District expansion and hoping for a June opening. The new taproom at 1315 E. Jefferson, next to outstanding French-meets-Northwest restaurant and bar L’Oursin, will pour ten cask-conditioned beers from custom English beer engines alongside a small food menu, televised football (i.e. soccer) games, and a small patio.

Machine House, founded in Georgetown in 2013, has earned its place on the list of Seattle’s essential breweries for its excellent cask ales, which are naturally re-fermented in the serving vessel and therefore don’t carry the hefty artificial fizz of most modern beers. The cool “cellar temperature” they’re served at also means these beers aren’t ice-cold, which can put off unfamiliar drinkers but also allows fuller flavors and aromas to express themselves. And many are “sessionable,” with a lower-than-average alcohol by volume — they might stick close to 4 percent rather than 7 or higher — which allows a customer to drink several over a session without fear of quick intoxication. Because of the added complications of making and selling these beers, a lot of breweries and bars can’t or won’t serve them — or at least not well, which is part of the reason Machine House is expanding, as the company told the Capitol Hill Seattle blog in January.

While Machine House plans to add a couple of rotating guest taps to the new taproom, it will pour mostly house ales, like a stinging nettle amber, oyster stout, single hop Comet pale, imperial stout, and winter warmer. The food menu is still being finalized, but co-owners Alex Brenner and Bill Arnott are planning on English pub grub.

The brewery is raising money for its construction efforts via a Founder’s Club. It’s hoping to recruit 150 memberships at $400 each, which includes perks like a T-shirt, commemorative mug, $1 off pints and growlers, and access to members-only events and discounts.

 

 

 

“Ancient Pickers” is a show you have not come across in your nightly channel flipping. You may be wondering why you have never seen it on your quest for some reality TV, and the simple fact of the matter is that it was deemed too raw and controversial for broadcasting on American television. Phil Fischer, Julian Valentine, and Jefferson Elliot took on an adventure of a lifetime that turned out to be a bit too much for the television networks of the United States.


Reality TV has become a staple for the masses viewing American television. The most successful reality television shows are often focused on supposedly non-scripted life experience and moments, that tend to beget drama. It is almost impossible to flip through the channels without seeing some of this (at times cringe-worthy) reality TV. Although normally it is filled with the likes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, “Sixteen and Pregnant”, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” viewers seem to be looking for reality television of a different kind.
These shows which are supposedly not scripted - although one look and it is very evident that they are in fact scripted - are just the right amount of dramatic and overflowing with life events.Although normally it is filled with the likes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, “Sixteen and Pregnant”, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” users are looking for reality television of a different kind. “Ancient Pickers” was filled with all of that drama and more of the realistic things that happened to the team of three seeking gold and adventure. The show followed a group of three Seattle based men who carry out seemingly normal lives, with one exception: they are treasure hunters.


The team is filled with three individuals that have varying backgrounds (not at all pertaining to treasure hunting), yet come together to indulge in their treasure hunting hobby. This group consists of Phil Fischer, a software developer who spends his time devoted to spreading the gospel, Julian Valentine, an advertising executive who is always ready for an adventure, and Jefferson Elliot, the creative of the group, a painter.
Their part-time hobby of treasure hunting, an international venture, attracted television producers seeking out the opportunity to provide something new for the reality television audience. They were approached by producers of various kinds, but the three were not after fame and were hesitant. In fact, Elliot says, “we’ve turned down several seven figure offers from producers. The thing is, for Phil, Julian, and myself, it’s always been about preserving ancient artifacts that are literally being destroyed by war. If they really want to produce a reality show with us then they need to do a real show and not censor our footage to death, that’s just never gonna happen.”


Elliot is referring to the requests made by the American television networks asking that 85% of the footage be cut and scrubbed. This version of the show would make it “clean” version of the show, defeating the purpose of it and removing the rawness of everything experienced by the team. Which was absolutely non-negotiable for the group. The footage shot for “Ancient Pickers” is often shot via GoPro cameras attached to the three treasure hunters themselves. At one point during their exploit, there was a cameraman hired by the producers of the show, and he was only able to keep up with the three men for a mere three days. Things came to an ending when the men snuck into Iraq through the Qandil Mountains, where the men encountered a native Bedouin tribe. As part of the local customs, the men partook in the skinning and gutting of a goat to assist in the meal preparation. Fischer explains “it’s customary in Syria and Iraq for a stranger entering a camp at sunset, to help in one way or another. Because they are going to take care of you all night, as is there custom, the expectation is that you pitch in. When you are outsiders in the country, there are not many options. Since we had no money, I offered to help skin this animal. Little did I did know it was going to freak out the camera guy and be the end of that.”


The scenes found in “Ancient Pickers” are often much more graphic than the gutting of a goat. They often involve the endangerment of the treasure hunters in one way or another. In one suspenseful scene, which only lasts a total of 2 minutes, Fischer and Valentine partake in a merciless gunfire exchange while attempting to flee with artifacts from Al Tanf, a border town near the Jordan and Iraqi/Syrian border. Eventually they found shelter in a desert basin, surrounded by the sounds of Arabic threats and bullets whipping past them, landing just a few miles away. Now that is one kind of reality.


Many of the scenes have also managed to maintain a certain level of emotional standards. They are packed with emotions that naturally come about from the kind of high stakes situations that these three ended up in. While trapped in the desert basin, the audience gets a view of a raw and authentic emotional moment between Fisher and Valentine. Fischer asks Valentine to look after his wife and kids if he makes it out alive. Valentine promises “of course” and viewers get to witness a genuine moment in an authentic human relationship that goes beyond the pages of a reality television script.


After the frightening entrapment, the treasure hunters were freed when an American USAF MQ-9 Reaper drone appeared in the area, dispersing the militants who followed the trio. The U.S. military did not go into detail about why the drone was flying over the area, but noted that it was a common area for routine scans. The three safely and happily made it back to their Hotel International in Jordan, shocked by both the hostile attack and the sight of the drone flying so low.


The truth is, the reality of this show may in fact be too real for the likes of American audiences. While the three miraculously managed to escape severe injury, the hunt for gold has been anything but glamorous. In one episode, we see Elliot spend 12 days in a Pakistani jail while inflicted with a bite from a saw-scaled viper. The grueling effects from the earlier bite caused Elliot to bleed from his ears. Fischer bartered with prison guards for Elliot’s release, and managed to get him to a hospital in Islamabad before any permanent damage occurred. However, the team of three clearly knew that injuries are an occupational hazard. One scene that the crew chose to cut involved Elliot and Fischer on a trip to Pakistan. Elliot was drunk and trying to mount a camel that Fischer was riding, which eventually lead to both men and the camel falling into a Bedouin tent and causing injury.


These larger than life adventures have prompted a real following in the Middle East. The first two episodes of “Ancient Pickers” were viewed by over 18 million in the Middle East. Both episodes that aired received a 12% higher rating than Al Jazeera, which is highly popular. It is safe to assume that this may suggest that audiences are seeking genuine and authentic action. The frank and sometimes unbearable moments of the show have proven to be intriguing: these are three almost normal men with one very dangerous hobby. There is no way of scripting these moments and that is what people are looking for in reality television. The raw moments often leave viewers at the edge of their seats and highly anticipating the next big moment.


Some would argue that the use of GoPro cameras adds to this level of genuinity seems to be attractive to views. There is no hair and makeup, no running of lines, no retakes, and no plan. There is no way of predicting what two episodes from now will look like. Valentine put it best when he said that “Phil and I are treasure hunters. We don’t want to film our digs. We kept attempting to try to explain to the networks that the places we were going to find 4000-year old treasure in Syria is not a place you take a film crew, if you know what I’m sayin’.”


This 4000-year old treasure has always been an object of desire for Fischer, who works as a part-time archeologist. He is rumored to spend his entire paycheck on digging up and preserving artifacts that would otherwise be destroyed by war. His constant dedication to this venture has not only led to praise within the Middle Eastern antiquities industry, but also historically significant finds. He is believed to have found ruins from the ancient palace of Sargon, a Mesopotamian ruler from the 23rd century BC.


This ruler is thought to have resided in Ur, known as Ur Kasdim in the book of Genesis. This city is said to be the childhood home of Abraham and has cultural and economic value. According to an expert in the field, “if Fischer has indeed found the Temple of Sargon, which I think he has, there is definite potential of more gold that is out there and could simply be sitting against the walls in clay pots. I don’t even want to speculate how much gold there is, but there was an entire civilization of sixty thousand that lived there. Despite all the gold, there are actual artifacts out there which are so much more valuable to our progression than any gold.” The city is currently in the middle of an Iraqi war zone. Fischer may have found a room that may have been used by Enheduanna, who was Sargon’s daughter and a high priestess. By sending the artifacts to Tel Aviv since 2013, Fischer has been tracking and cataloging his finds.


Fischer’s dedication to seeking out these treasures certainly helps with the interest of many networks around. He says that for him it is simply about the history and story of what is out there which can be related to the Bible. As a highly devout Christian, he is always looking for ways to understanding and exploring more of what brings about the background of the Bible.


This show, which refuses to conform to US television standards despite the many requests, has been referred to as an “Indiana Jones meets Pawn Stars but with guns in the mix!” Many have stated that it is the hesitance of Fischer, Valentine, and Elliot’s to conform to the standards of the networks that is so appealing. Although this hesitancy has been highly appealing and intriguing to the audience, their hesitancy to negotiate with networks has caused a delay in the advancement of the show.

Because the refusal of the crew to bend to the requirements of the networks has now assured that “Ancient Pickers” has been put on hold until further notice. In additions, the national promotional trailer for the show, which had been airing in theaters has been pulled. Without a general adjustment of the United States networks policy on “real” footage, or an agreement to “water down” the existing footage, this show will not be premiering on United States primetime television anytime soon. Thes expectations and standards for “reality” television have been the roadblock for “Ancient Pickers” to make it to American networks.


If you are a bit sad and quite curious about the show, you may be able to scour the web and find a trailer or snippets of the two episodes which aired. It seem only appropriate to find these clips in such a way as it would mimic the ways of the treasure hunters themselves. There is hope that perhaps someday the show could be made famous on the internet, if there is a large enough demand by views, but the group of three is still sticking to their original statements of not wanting fame or glory. Perhaps some treasures are best left on the pages of treasure maps and marked with an “X” which will continue remaining a mystery.

Pacific Northwest Salmon

Study Reveals Decline in Pacific Northwest Salmon Population

 

Non-profit organization ‘Long Live the Kings’ is investigating the startling downfall of salmon population in Pacific Northwest recently. Salmon species are critical for maintaining biodiversity; yet, it is unknown what is causing the rapid decline in genetic diversity and population. The Salish Sea Marine Survival project has undertaken the task of tracking migration of marine species and determining the cause of decline in salmon population.

Researchers state that salmon is important for the maintenance of Northwest economy and culture. Northwest is known for its green forests and clear, blue sea waters, with salmon being the highlight of the region. Salmon has been identified as crucial to maintaining economic growth and for successful cultural integration.

The salmon population in the Northwest has been on a decline since 1980s. Currently, over 80 studies and 200 experts are trying to seek answers for the cause of decline in salmon population. Experts are looking into factors such as predatory behaviors, ocean contamination, threats to habitat and prey availability. Furthermore, researchers are working on a sophisticated, high-tech ecosystem model – Puget Sound – to solve the case. The model would be completed by next year. Experts would enter details into the database, which would then reveal a map that would guide them to solutions.

According to Schimidt, one of the answers could be found by dissecting salmon. By investigating the stomach, experts investigate what the salmon is consuming. Furthermore, they are also looking into excretion material of potential predators, such as seals, to determine whether they have been eating salmon, at what rate and what role they play in affecting the population decline.

Seals could be responsible for the population decline of salmon since the increase in man-built infrastructure on sea water, which directed seals into pathways of salmon migration. Development projects such as Hood Canal Bridge and Ballard Locks have diverted seals to the pathway of salmon, where their presence is unusual. Furthermore, conservation and fisheries’ trade-offs could play a role in population reduction.

Long Live the Kings is on board to investigate the reduction so that future generations could still consider salmon as a cultural icon, not species of the past. The organization is also conducting STEM classroom sessions for students to raise awareness about importance of salmon and what makes it vital to Northwest’s sustainability. The food chain is also affected if salmon goes extinct, particularly orcas.

Chinook salmon is native to Pacific Northwest, which also houses major fisheries and tribal cultural traditions. A study revealed that two-thirds of the salmon population has already been lost during the past 7,000 years. Since salmon are part of the food chain, the loss of species would also threaten the ecosystem and raise difficulties for other species to adapt to climate change and ocean acidification. Global warming and the ever-rising carbon dioxide component in the ocean are increasingly threatening the survival of marine species.

Experts collaborated with Native American tribes to obtain access to 7000-year old salmon bones and debris. In 346 samples, mitochondrial DNA, which can be easily obtained from archaeological sites, was examined and compared with present samples of 379 Chinook salmon. Experts measured the degree to which DNA varied to ascertain lineages in species. The modern diversity of species was then compared to past lineages.

The study attributed the decline of salmon population to overfishing, habitat loss and infrastructure development projects in the Columbia River Basin. To increase the salmon population, millions of salmon are released every year from hatcheries into the coastal waters. An expert suggested that the climate change could be happening at a faster rate than the ability of the salmon to adapt.

Genetic diversity plays a significant role in enabling species to keep up with rapidly changing environmental conditions.  In the case of salmon, certain individuals may possess DNA that enables them to adapt to global warming and fight disease. Loss of diversity imposes a genetic strain on the food chain and survival of species. Data shows that between 1880s and 1920s, 11 million kilograms of Chinook salmon could be harvested every year; the figure has now plummeted to 2 million kilograms every year today. The fish released from hatcheries are identical to wild salmon species. The factors causing the decline of wild species include loss of diversity, agricultural projects and destruction of stream habitats. The construction of dams has prevented salmon from reaching their habitat.

The report also showed that there was rich genetic diversity prior to the arrival of Europeans. Nevertheless, there are no conclusive results to justify decline of salmon population. Native Americans have fished for salmon for thousands of years near waterfalls and bottlenecks. Europeans arrived in 1860s, established commercial fisheries and harvested over 24 million pounds of Chinook annually, which fell to 15 million pounds per year by 1950s. The dams built in 1941 prevented salmon for 1,000 to the upper river. 

Biodiversity is crucial to the survival of species and create a stable future for human beings. all living organisms – marine species, plantations and animals are part of the food chain that is necessary to ensure a sustainable future for human beings. Biodiversity conservation is important to maintain a balance in the ecosystem and enable adaptability of species to changing climate conditions. We have been losing species due to global warming, ocean acidification, pollution and habitat loss, which in turn threaten the survival of humans. A sustainable ecosystem plays a vital role in provision of breathable air, medicines, biological resources, food and wellbeing.  A dearth of these resources is bound to create shortages, scarcity and crises.

Today, human beings are accountable for loss of biodiversity. Species have already gone extinct and continue to be endangered. Experts predict that nearly 30 percent of species would go extinct by 2050; 25 percent mammals may die out within 20 years and one-third of global species are already threatened. Destruction of one element in the ecosystem disrupts the entire balance. If we disrupt the natural balance, we would be losing out. The threat to species would in turn only threaten our survival. 

The internet is such a relatively young industry that changes so quickly, just being a name that’s been around for the last ten years is a major stretch.

Most of the huge names on the web that we all know have barely been around that long and lasting twenty years is a rare feat, one usually only reserved for the biggest companies. Being around for almost thirty years is a singular accomplishment, something like the dot com equivalent of summiting Mount Everest or walking the Appalachian Trail. There are so few people who can brag of such a thing, it’s worth listening to the ones who do.

Seattle software developers has survived the test of time.

In the last three decades, software development firms have had to diversify what they adding web design or UI work. Gone are the days of assembling web pages together and or coding a solution and being done with it.

With apps, user interfaces, gaming and mobile development quickly moving to the forefront, only the best firms have the skills and flexibility to change with the times and Seattle Software Developers is becoming the boutique solution not only for Northwest startups but  also clients as far away as China and Taiwan.

Founded in 1989, Seattle Software Developers is smack dab in the area known as Silicon Forest and they are not just another Seattle company. Technically, the company is not even in Seattle.  

With its main office in Bellevue, Washington, this collective of former Microsoft and Google employees has branched out into offices in London, Rome and Augsburg, Germany.  Their vintage 1970's style office situated in the old historic section of Bellevue is filled with vintage movie posters and even Jimi Hendrix's 1964 Fender twin Reverb.

Launching their first website on the net on Alta vista back in 1989 in a time where most people had no idea the Internet existed, Seattle Software Developers has explored the early days venturing into advertising before focusing on coding systems. The founder of the company developed most of Alta Vista's search algorithm which became the foundation for search engines like Google and Bing.

Seattle Software Developers have had their ranks bolstered by former members of both companies and have managed to boost their networks by meshing with the Internet icons while happily maintaining their independence in such a way that many large fortune 500 firms flock to the small boutique Bellevue firm to get some special “Mac sauce” sprinkled on their apps and developments.

That solo spirit has led to the development of dozens of websites, countless print projects, games designed from the ground up and countless apps emerging at a steady rate and two of the software developers gaming apps have hit the top ten.

According to managing partner Julian Valentine,  Seattle Software Developers’ is currently concentrating on their newest build which is going to change the pet care industry forever.

Their client BabelBark, is a unique pet application that functions as a website, an app, and a platform all in one.  BabelBark has become one of the important developments of Seattle Software Developers career and will completely change the pet care industry as we know it.

With almost 65% of families in the United States caring for pets, BabelBark keeps track of healthcare and pet management.

With the advent of big box pet stores, the pet supply industry accounts for tens of billions of dollars spent. People are spending more on their pets than ever before and that kind of money inspires people to want to shop around, ensuring that they’re getting the best for their furry family.

What BabelBark offers is the ability to keep everything your dog could ever want in one place as well as track down new options for doctors, pet food and toys all on your phone. A free mobile application, BabelBark offers an optional tracker for your dog's collar that helps you track and manage your dog’s needs by connecting your dog's information and activity with your veterinarian, local pet store, dog walker, pet sitter and kennel.  The app also offers alerts for reminders, coupons, and discounts on all the things your four-legged friend needs.

The thing that makes BabelBark so game-changing is how it connects your dog’s information with your favorite veterinarian and pet businesses to ensure scheduling check-ups and grooming appointments are easier to make and to keep. The app securely stores and shares your dog’s medical records, pet licenses, lost & found information and care details. Using the app as a tracker, you can easily collect details about your dog's diet, activity and medical dosage, making it easier to give an accurate rundown the next time your dog has to see their doctor.

Additionally, the app allows for Yelp-like browsing of pet stores, vets, groomers and other pet services in your neighborhood, using ratings to track down the best option for your dog.  The app also includes detailed nutritional information for nearly 800 dog food brands and consumer information sheets for over 2,000 medications and supplements, ensuring you’ll never wonder just what you’re putting in Fido’s bowl or what the side-effects from their medication might be. While walking the dog might be a chore at times, now you can track your route and mileage with the built-in GPS or more closely monitor your dog’s daily activity with the optional tracker. If you or your dog is a Type-A personality, you can also use the app to set goals for your dog’s daily fitness, diet and medicine intake.

The internet is awash with various apps and platforms available for all the separate aspects of dog ownership, but combining them all together ensures the human in charge of everything is able to keep it all straight. Plus, with its focus on independent services, you can feel better about supporting your community while keeping your pet happy. The founders of BabelBark believe that regional, independent businesses have an advantage over corporate giants and big box stores that may offer convenience but lack that human touch.

The sense of community that BabelBark fosters is its secret ingredient. With a reliance on local business and the opinions of fellow users, BabelBark hopes to make dog owner solidarity not just a thing that exists only in dog parks, but sits comfortably in your pocket. As it’s begun rolling out, BabelBark is connecting thousands of veterinarians and dog service providers with dog parents across the country.  Small businesses are offering deals to their local customers on the newest dog toys in stock. Dogs quality of life is improving while their humans have more time to enjoy with their fur-faced friend.

Back in the Silicon Forest, Seattle Software Developers were able to implement everything their clients had in mind to smoothly roll out BabelBark to the public. Now that it’s been stress-tested and debugged, the coders are busy making small changes to BabelBark, tweaking the platform, website and app for an even smoother experience. As more people download and use the service and as more vets and pet stores register, new adjustments become necessary to make it even easier to switch from making an appointment with the groomer down the street to checking whether there’s a better food option for Rover in the meantime.

Even as they juggle new projects coming in daily, Seattle Software Developers have had decades of time and experience on the job, making them able to easily juggle a workload that would stun most companies and make sure they get it right. As the Internet continues to shift and change, Seattle Software Developers will be around to make sure that platforms like BabelBark and their other clients are able to adjust to whatever new online innovations arrive, the same way they’ve been there to help the Internet evolve over the last thirty years.