On London’s double-decker buses, the front seat on the top level provides a panoramic view of the whole street. For tourists, at least, it’s the primo seat to get. For tourists who like to snap photos, it’s the uber-primo seat. Naturally, I made a beeline for it every time we got on a bus.

But here’s a funny story. One of the things I wanted to do was take some pictures through raindrops on the front window. You can get some interesting effects that way, and London has lots of famous sights to use for the background. Unfortunately, I bring good weather with me every place I go. Seriously, I do. And I did it again on this trip. Aside from a bit of drizzle, it barely rained at all, and never when I was on the bus. Bummer, huh? Now you’ve heard it all: someone who visited London for a month in October and complained that there wasn’t enough rain.

Anyway, this picture was taken from my usual perch on the #9 bus. We’re on Kensington High Street near Argyll Road headed west. Look at all the pretty brake lights!

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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