Some parody accounts started out with jokes but now help scientists to communicate geohazard risks and fight disinformation

Photo Illustration; Source Image: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images

If you tweet about certain volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest, don’t be surprised if the volcano responds. That’s especially true if you’ve taken the time to recognize Glacier Peak, a 10,541-foot mountain in Washington state that will likely again blow its top in a big way someday.

Glacier Peak can be hard to spot nestled among other nearby peaks in the Cascade Range. Unlike its taller, more prominent, and better known volcanic neighbor to the south, 14,411-foot Mount Rainier, Glacier Peak doesn’t get as much attention. It’s mostly out of view from the populated lowlands, including Seattle, which is about…


Mt. Shishaldin
Mt. Shishaldin
Mount Shishaldin on Alaska’s Unimak Island on July 23, 2019. (Photo by David Fee via Alaska Volcano Observatory / University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute)

If Mount Shishaldin were somewhere in the Lower 48 states, Americans would easily recognize it as one of the nation’s most identifiable mountains and examples of topographical beauty. Its striking symmetrical cone shape, with a summit that tops out at 9,372 feet above sea level, is often compared to Japan’s Mount Fuji.

But Shishaldin is in a place that few of us will ever see up close thanks to its remoteness on Alaska’s Unimak Island, about 700 miles southwest of Anchorage in the Aleutian Islands. …


The historic mission in San Juan Bautista
The historic mission in San Juan Bautista
Fans of Alfred Hitchcock might notice that something is missing from this photo. (Photo by Michael Grass)

When many travelers head south out of the Bay Area on Highway 101 beyond the point where the seemingly endless sprawl of San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy becomes more rural, they’re usually going to some scenic destination on the Central Coast, maybe Monterey, Big Sur, or San Simeon. Maybe they’re interested in John Steinbeck and are bound for the Salinas Valley. Maybe they’re going to a winery. …


The ancient grain, a staple of Ethiopian cuisine, finds footing in the U.S.

All photos by Michael Grass

Down the hall from a morning yoga class for seniors at the Ethiopian community center in South Seattle, Surafel Techane was in the commissary, setting up a food processor and assembling a handful of ingredients — almonds, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and a fragrant mix of Ethiopian spices — on a small stainless steel prep table.

Techane — a New York University undergrad studying business, home in Seattle for the summer — wasn’t there to prepare the post-yoga lunch for the seniors down the hall. He’s a budding entrepreneur producing Ethiopian-inspired energy bars to sell at farmers markets in Seattle.

The…

Michael E. Grass

A Seattle-based editor and writer fascinated by geography and the places we live; former executive editor of Route Fifty and founding co-editor of DCist.

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