»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/8/13
Apr 8th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via seattle bike blog

  • Enterprising citizens calling themselves “Reasonably Polite Seattleites” took it upon themselves to install unauthorized “bicycle lane protectors” (reflective plastic pylons) along Cherry Street uphill from downtown. The city vows to remove them.
  • Seattle police chief John Diaz will retire, allowing Mike McGinn (or perhaps a successor mayor next year) to put in another figurehead for uncontrolled street-cop brutality.
  • In a Belltown where anything non-one-percenty is increasingly out of place (more about that in a day or so), Roq La Rue has been kicked out of its longtime space in the old Film Row RKO distribution offices. Fortunately, Seattle’s premier “pop surrealist” art gallery has found new quarters in Pioneer Square, effective some time this summer.
  • Meanwhile, a Crosscut contributor named Andy Fife asks whether there is a “Seattle arts aesthetic.” Actually, there are several. There’s the “world class or bust” desperate slickness of most of SAM’s big permanent displays. There’s the “rich ex-hippie” mellow slickness of Chihuly and company. There’s the “modern monumentalist” big stuff seen at the G. Gibson and William Traver galleries. There are the house styles of Cornish and Gage and their recent alums. And there’s the “let’s put on a show” urban folk/pop styling of most of my personal faves.
  • New Orleans city bosses apparently want to simultaneously (1) shut down music venues, and (2) promote their city as a live-music tourist destination.
  • NBCNews.com blogger Wilson Rothman claims Apple’s iTunes is “out of date and out of touch.” Specifically, Rothman dislikes the whole idea of having to pay for song recordings. He seems to prefer the Spotify model, in which artists make fractions of fractions of pennies. That’s supposed to be the modern way?
  • Here’s one author who hates the new economics of the book biz—Scott Turow, one of the few writers who’d thrived under the old system.
  • Joshua Macht at the Atlantic claims Time magazine has perhaps three years to live.
  • Hacked computer data shows the global one-percenters are hoarding trillions in secret overseas tax-haven accounts. Leaders of nations other than ours claim to be aghast.
  • The newspaper industry has started measuring revenue from online paywalls and ancillary products/services. The resulting figures show papers are now losing a little less money than previously thought.
  • The death last week of Spanish exploitation-film giant Jess Franco has been followed by the loss of another of that country’s great directors of sex and/or violence, Bigas Luna.
  • Annette Funicello, 1943-2013: The only original Mickey Mouse Club cast member to have a real adult showbiz career was the wholesome sex symbol in the Beach Party movies, and a pop singer of unusual clarity and panache. During her cameo in the Monkees’ film Head, she proved not afraid to parody (without breaking) her squeaky-clean image. She remained gracious and classy, even during her long slow illness.
  • We’ve also lost Les Blank, who directed 42 documentaries of varying lengths and topics (all shot on film). He’s probably best known for Burden of Dreams, the “making-of” film about Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Many critics considered Blank’s behind-the-scenes story to be more compelling than Herzog’s feature.
  • And another goodbye, this one to Hilly Krystal, influential owner of NYC punk club CBGB. While he opened it as a hippie spot dedicated to “country, blue grass, and blues,” he quickly adjusted to welcome the burgeoning Bowery underground scene. The result was what the New Yorker called “the ultimate garage—the place garage bands everywhere want to play.” (Update: This hereby-linked story is from 2007. Krystal’s still worth remembering nowadays, though.)
  • Femen and associated groups held an “international topless jihad day” across European capitals, though the slogans painted upon themselves seemed to almost all be in English.
  • Ending the drug war was never one of Obama’s top priorities. I suspect it’s because the whole bohemian-relaxation vibe clashed with the striving-for-progress zeitgeist that informed Obama’s worldview. But, as with gay marriage, he may be soon forced to act by a groundswell of popular opinion.
  • The Nielsen ratings now claim there are 5 million “zero television” households in the U.S., up from a mere 2 million in ’07. (The “kill your television” “radicals” will, naturally, completely ignore this information.)
  • Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s minions threaten to pull the Fox broadcast network off of over-the-air stations (including affiliates tied up in long-term contracts) and go cable-only, unless the courts outlaw a service to stream local over-the-air stations to local viewers via Internet connections.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/17/13
Jan 17th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

igor keller at hideousbelltown.blogspot.com

  • The Sixth Avenue Motor Inn and the King Cat (née King) Theater are coming down, in preparation for the three Amazon high rises (each of which will be as tall as the ex-Seafirst tower).
  • I’d rather be on a non smoking flight, thank you. (But in all seriousness, would the pre-McDonnell-Douglas Boeing have let planes go into service with untested battery technologies?)
  • The Queen Anne branch of Easy Street Records is still closing on Friday. But in happier news, Queen Anne Books is reopening under new management.
  • Seattle Weekly editor Mike Seely quits just as new, perhaps more competent, owners take over.
  • An Everett woman “is accused of smothering her boyfriend by lying on his face.” With her chest.
  • One reason to get an iPhone instead of something else: Facebook’s free-voice-calls app.
  • Nagisa Oshima, R.I.P.: Japan’s government should honor the filmmaker’s memory by finally allowing his masterwork, In the Realm of the Senses, to be screened uncut in his country.
  • Abigail Van Buren, R.I.P.: Pauline Phillips, one of the advice-column twins (Eppie Lederer, a.ka. “Ann Landers,” was her sister), carved out a niche in daily newspapers back when such institutions still had many such niches to be filled. Her common-sense, yet witty, responses to readers’ personal issues kept readers enthralled, and subscribed, for more than three decades. Speaking of deceased twins…
  • Conrad Bain, R.I.P.: My favorite of his performances was when Maude ran a “twins” episode, a common sitcom shtick. In the big closing reveal, both characters walked out, in front of the studio audience in an obviously unfaked shot. Turned out Bain really had a twin, Bonar Bain, who still lives. (Bonar later appeared as himself, albeit renamed “Fred Bain,” on SCTV.)
  • No, Washington Post: People’s Twitter pictures are not free for the (unpaid) republishing.
  • Markos Moulitsas claims today’s Democrats, popularity-wise, “may now be on the right side of every single relevant issue.”
  • Punch, the late beloved UK humor mag, knew the addictive power of mobile electronic-media devices before they even existed:

via kip w on flickr

THE ‘BROKEN WINDOWS’ SYNDROME
Dec 6th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

chris pirillo via google plus

In sociology, the controversial and oft-disputed “broken windows theory” claims that crime in an urban neighborhood can go up or down depending on how the locals perceive the place as a “nice” (orderly, civil) place or a “scary” (anything-goes) place.

This post is about an entirely different “broken Windows” theory.

It’s the perception, in some of the tech and business press, that Microsoft Windows is “broken.”

They’re not talking about the software itself being broken (as in inoperable), but the business model behind it.

Especially in regards to “upgrade” sales of the new Windows 8 for multi-desktop businesses.

The naysayers say Windows 8 does so many things so differently than previous versions that there’s a steep “learning curve,” and that businesses may not want that sort of disruption in their day to day operations if they don’t have to take it.

Another alleged issue: Windows 8 is supposed to provide one seamless operating environment among PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Only the tablets and the smartphones still aren’t selling all that well, compared with Apple and Android products.

What’s worse, PCs themselves (almost all of which still come with Windows preloaded) themselves aren’t selling like they used to, and might not ever do so again.

You sure don’t need me to tell you how important MS has become to the Wash. state economy, and that no number of XBox 360 Live subscriptions can make up for the value of all the new and upgraded Windows installations out there.

Oh well. There’s always the Plan B strategy of suing Android phone makers.

WHY YOU HAVEN’T HEARD MUCH FROM ME LATELY (RANDOM LINKS FOR 12/6/12)
Dec 6th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

nanowrimo.org

I participated in National Novel Writing Month again this year. Came out of it with most of the first draft of something I’m tentatively calling Horizontal Hold: A Novel About Love & Television. More details as I come closer to making it presentable.

  • There’s one of them online petition thangs out to try to persuade the CBS Radio Stations Group to keep KPTK-AM and its “Progressive Talk” format on the air.
  • Bruce Pavitt’s put out an Apple “iBook” about the Nirvana/Mudhoney/TAD tour of Europe in 1989. And he’s talking about how he sold Sub Pop as a brand signifying coolness to two continents.
  • The Seattle branch of Gilda’s Club is keeping its name. This is news because other outlets of the drop-in cancer support organization aren’t keeping the name. One reason: some young adults these days don’t remember who Gilda Radner was. That’s almost as sad as cancer itself.
  • Daily Kos contributor “MinistryOfTruth” has some advice for Republicans trying to rebuild their party: “Don’t have a base of idiots.”
  • Steve Fraser at TruthOut, meanwhile, wishes to remind you that the so-called “fiscal cliff” is, like so much else, a political invention.
  • The business-press buzzword of the month: “Insourcing.” GE’s restarting work in some previously abandoned appliance factory buildings; and Apple’s assembling some iMacs in the U.S. with plans to expand. Just don’t expect this to be the one answer to the unemployment crisis. Factory work these days is so automated, and CAD/CAM design work can make it so efficient, that there’s not that much labor in the cost of a lot of stuff, no matter where it’s made.
  • Finally, let’s all reflect (and refract) in the glory that was gay marriage license midnight madness at the Console Color TV Building (King County Admin) downtown, Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Actual gay weddings start Sunday.

kirotv.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/17/12
Oct 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via interestingengineering.com

  • Circa 1833, one W.D. Kellogg published a lithograph entitled A Map of the Open Country of Woman’s Heart. It goes, as the hereby-linked article states, “from the mole traps in the Province of Deception, to the city of Moi-meme in the Land of Selfishness, to the Plains of Susceptibility in the Region of Sentimentality.” There’s no Aorta of Righteous Disgust, though. Speaking of which….
  • Yep, it’s the meme of the day: “Binders Full of Women.”
  • You’ve heard of wanted criminals (and debtors) getting caught via phony contests and giveaways. But a chewing-gum survey?
  • The debut of Microsoft’s “Surface” tablet computer mark’s the company’s biggest effort yet to take control of its own destiny, away from the desktop/laptop PC makers. However, it doesn’t mean they’re actually making the things themselves. Speaking of which….
  • A Shanghai newspaper got a guy in to work as a Foxconn factory laborer. As it happened, he got onto the iPhone 5 assembly lines. Note: Most consumer electronics products today, no matter the brand, are made under similar conditions.
  • Paul Buchheit at AlterNet lists “Five Ways Corporate Greed Is Bankrupting America.”
  • The latest company to be bled to the point of death under Bain Capital (which Mitt Romney’s “officially” not part of anymore): Clear Channel, the owner of too many hundreds of radio stations and employer and/or syndicator of most of the worst right-wing talkers.
  • A class action lawsuit accuses Morgan Stanley of deliberately targeting Af-Am households for junk mortgages, believing them to be less knowledgable or to have less access to legal recourse.
  • An ex-American Apparel store clerk talks low pay, long hours, and being expected to laugh at non-skinny women.
  • Today’s teenage scare story is brought to you by vodka-soaked tampons.
  • The Arizona National Guard and its recruiters hunted homeless people in Phoenix with paint guns, and bribed/pressured some of them (and some of their own female members) to show their tits.
  • A guy puts a song up on the digital music services. Some other guy “samples” the entire track, dubs a few bird-chirping sound effects onto it, puts it up on the same digital music services, and way outsells the original. The maker of the original gets perturbed.
  • The ever-vigilant xkcd reminds you that every Presidential election has set one precedent or another (some more trivial than others).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/27/12
Sep 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

from the book 'mail order mysteries' via laughingsquid.com

  • Oh we so wanted to believe the miracle products advertised in comic books really worked as advertised (or at least were as cool as the ads claimed).
  • I might be in the minority even among local fans, but I believe the replacement refs made the right call in awarding Monday night’s final play (and hence the game) to the Seahawks.
  • No, the Edmonton Oilers hockey team isn’t ever going to move to Seattle. The local visit by Oilers execs is only an exercise in “arena blackmail” toward Edmonton politicos.
  • David Goldstein puts the blame for Washington’s regressive tax structure on a state Supreme Court ruling back in 1933.
  • Pundits look at Washington state’s political “Cascade curtain.” Micah Cohen at the NYT‘s FiveThirtyEight sees the west/east divide in terms of women’s rights issues
  • …while Eli Sanders dissects how, in the last State Supreme Court race, an unqualified white candidate beat a highly qualified Hispanic candidate in Eastern Washington, even in 40-percent-Hispanic areas.
  • Speaking of Eastern Washington, those bigass, electricity-hungry “server farm” computer installations there might not employ very many people once they’re built, but they still demand political clout.
  • A judge refused to throw out a class-action suit by female Costco employees, alleging discrimination in promotions.
  • TV ads for the gay marriage referendum don’t show any actual gay people. I’m reminded of the 1998 initiative to end affirmative action in the state. The anti-initiative ads showed, as their examples of affirmative action’s needy beneficiaries, only white little girls. The tactic didn’t work.
  • The good folks at Seattle Indian Health Services claim the city, led by councilmember Nick Licata, is trying to take over their agency so it can sell the land on which their offices sit to a private developer.
  • A national church mag calls Seattle’s own Mars Hill Church (home of “hip” misogyny/homophobia) America’s third fastest-growing church.
  • The Northwest’s oil refining capital could also host the nation’s biggest bottled-water plant. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The airline now calling itself United (a shotgun marriage of the original UAL with Continental) has posted a nice time lapse video of a Boeing 787 being put together. It’s enough to warm this Snohomish County guy’s heart.
  • Andy Williams, 1928-2012: The seemingly ageless singer/TV host began as a child in a singing-brothers act, then jump-started the career of a similar act (the Osmonds). He was a quintessential icon of the square side of the 1960s, smooth and slick and pleasant and never ruffled. He was one of those personalities who seemed to inhabit a world of serenity that flowed all around him; which made his latter-day emergence as a right wingnut even stranger.
  • Ben Adler at the Nation says the truly crazy wingnut conspiracy theories and insult “jokes” don’t start on radio or Fox “News”, but at obscure blogs and e-mail lists.
  • Today’s Romney/Ryan bashings: Richard Eskow believes Ryan still believes his former Ayn Randian denunciations of Medicare and Social Security. Florida Republicans are up to their old voter-suppression tricks. Greg Palast claims Karl Rove’s ol’ election-stealing dirty tricks operations are still up and running. And Jonathan Chiat visits some extremely rich people who imagine themselves to be America’s most “persecuted” and overtaxed sector.
  • Economic philosopher Angus Sibley has a highly lucid, step-by-step breakdown of what’s wrong with libertarian economics.
  • If outsource manufacturers like Foxconn in China keep up their reputation for workplace horridness, western tech-hardware companies just might have to return production in-house just to avoid the bad PR.
  • Victoria’s Secret has quietly discontinued its “Sexy Little Geisha” ensemble. Anti-racist bloggers claim credit.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/21/12
Sep 20th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

chris lehman, npr via kplu

  • In my onetime stompin’ grounds of Corvallis OR, an Asian American businessman sponsored a downtown mural depicting tranquil nature scenes in Taiwan contrasted with police brutalizing protesters in Tibet. China’s government would like the mural gone.
  • On the 20th anniversary of the film Singles, Spin imagines the film with a modern-day soundtrack (available as a Spotify playlist). No current Seattle acts are on it (though ex-local Mark Lanegan is).
  • Most of the hereby-linked article is behind a paywall, but the gist is this: ESPN blogger Craig Custance believes Seattle’s got a great shot at a National Hockey League team, but as an expansion rather than a moved franchise. Custance agrees with similar remarks earlier this year by CBC hockey commentator Elliotte Friedman. (Nobody might have NHL hockey for perhaps a whole year, if the league continues to lock out its players.)
  • My ol’ pal James Winchell has a neat piece in the Jewish mag Tablet (no relation to the defunct local hipster rag of the same name), philosophizing on the Hebrew roots and symbolism in the works of Franz Kafka.
  • How artificial intelligence is turning out: expect more stuff like Siri, but no human-esque robots any time soon.
  • As big chain retailers abandon more and more sites around the country, some of those sites are being taken over by big chain restaurants.
  • Danny Westneat asks if Romney’s so down on those who don’t pay taxes, when’s he gonna go after the likes of Boeing? (Or, for that matter, Microsoft?)
  • Poll-analyst extraordinaire Nate Silver sees Obama doing better in polls that include real-live pollsters (instead of robocalls) and that include cell-phone-only households.
  • Today’s scathinger-than-scathing Romney rants come to you courtesy of Nicholas Kristof and Lawrence O’Donnell
  • …while Jon Stewart tears yet another righteous hole in the blatantly hypocritical Faux News partisans.
  • As for me, for now, I’ll just say Romney’s appearance on Univision should have been accompanied by one of that channel’s biggest personalities. I speak, of course, of “El Chacal de la Trompeta,” the masked trumpeter from the Gong Show-like talent segment of Sabado Gigante.

watch el chacal de la trompeta, via youtube

RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/14/12
Sep 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

andraste.com via the smoking gun

  • A Seattle fetish photographer puts up some shots taken inside a cemetery. Legal rancor ensues. Trust me on this: The dead people don’t give a darn.
  • Heather Artena Hughes, 1967-2012: The longtime local actress/singer/dancer/comedienne did everything from torch songs and burlesque bits to parody wrestling matches. She was a regular in the Match Game Belltown shows. Everyone who knew and/or worked with her called her a near-goddess of skill and verve.
  • Nordstrom is expanding into Canada. (No “designer toque” jokes from this corner.)
  • Why do the Mariners brass still oppose the Sonics arena scheme? Could it be because the M’s could conceivably want their own cable channel, and any neo-Sonics team could conceivably compete with that?
  • The city of Auburn has a “wall of shame,” decrying banks that hold on to foreclosed homes and leave them to decay.
  • A JPMorganChase analyst claims the iPhone 5 (just announced this week) “could prop up the entire U.S. economy.” Douglas Rushkoff at CNN is more than a little skeptical about this claim.
  • AT&T wants the legal right to abandon the landline-phone biz, and with it all demands for “network neutrality” that keep it from manipulating what websites its customers get to see.
  • The broadcast/cable/satellite TV industries, and their attorneys, continue to make the online streaming of “free” TV a near-impossibility.
  • It’s a little too late for the chain’s Washington locations (the regional franchisee went under a year or two back), but Hooters is trying to be more female-friendly.
  • It’s not much of a comic (just dialogue scenes), but there’s still novelty value to a lawyer making a five-page strip as a legal brief in the Apple/Amazon ebook pricing suit.
  • USA Today just brought out a massive print/online redesign. Nice to see a print paper fighting for continued relevance, instead of just fading away.
  • Amanda Palmer raised over a million bucks on Kickstarter for a new album. Not getting a slice of that: local pickup musicians on her tour stops.
  • The Pussy Riot protesters might get out of jail next month. Just might.
  • “Did the Republicans deliberately crash the U.S. economy?” Or was that merely collateral damage in the game of supplying as many favors as possible to its billionaire campaign donors?
  • How do you get and keep more women in the tech industries? One way is to not require programming experience in filling non-programming jobs (such as middle management).
  • What will it take to get more black ballet dancers?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/17/12
Aug 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

craig hill, tacoma news tribune

  • A Tacoma News Tribune writer finds a retreating glacier on Mt. Rainier looking, from one angle, like the Nike logo. Snark ensues.
  • The new Blue Scholars music video combines Sonics nostalgia with good ol’ Seattle diversity, visually expressed in the form of working-class food joints.
  • Shell’s building an oil-containment barge in Bellingham. But the thing’s leaking oil. (This is the kind of “oops!” moment anti-corporate performance artists can’t fake.)
  • The University Bridge has to be closed to cars and sprayed with water once an hour when it gets this hot.
  • Remember, boats shouldn’t get too close to whales.
  • Apple has finally responded to the federal lawsuit claiming it and five of the top six U.S. book publishers conspired to fix e-book prices. Apple alleges Amazon was the real “driving force” behind the suit, not any government concern for the book buying public.
  • Heidi Kelly at Crosscut believes “suburban women” will go for Romney/Ryan, or at least the “Generation X” women of the “Seinfeld generation” will, for reasoning I am unable to interpret/comprehend.
  • Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine. The bands’ members see Ryan as embodying the machine they’re raging against.
  • Joshua D. Foster and Ilan Shrira at Psychology Today try to explain why people can be so easily seduced by conspiracy theories, no matter how far fetched those theories can be.
  • An Oregon couple is charged with a multi-state murder and crime spree, done with the intention of racially “purifying” America.
  • Meanwhile, Juan Cole insists that terrorists are terrorists even when they’re white.
  • Mississippi’s scheme to outlaw abortion turns out to be remarkably similar to tactics the state used to use to prevent blacks from voting.
  • Lost in the “vinyl revival”: nostalgia for the first mass-market recorded sound medium, the Edison cylinder.
  • ESPN’s sports talk show Pardon the Interruption posted this mashup illo of Felix Hernandez’s perfect-game victory dance. (Wild Thing, I think I love you….)

RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/3/12
Aug 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

google earth via rhizome.org

  • Clement Valla at Rhizome.org finds beauty and “the universal texture” within the mistakes of Google Earth’s 3D geographical simulations.
  • The musicians’ union would like to create “sustainable” opportunities for local club bands (i.e., gigs with decent pay). Considering how fiscally precarious so many bars and clubs are, this may be a challenge.
  • Amy Rolph at SeattlePI.com, trolling for weird items on Amazon to laff at, found a CD of “lullaby renditions of Nirvana songs.” Rolph calls the electronically-rendered music “creepy.” I call it more like a failed attempt to update the shtick of Raymond Scott’s old Soothing Sounds for Baby LPs.
  • It’s not that “oldies” music is selling more these days. It’s that present-day music is selling less.
  • When classic films meet know-nothing online reviewers, magic happens.
  • Apple has again become the world’s #1 personal-computer maker, if you count iPads as computers.
  • At last, a new job in this town that doesn’t require programming experience. It’s the making of fake poop, to demonstrate new third-world toilet designs for the Gates Foundation.
  • Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet believes today’s Republicans are “a truly toxic aberration,” an outfit that can only win elections by voter-suppression and other dirty tricks.
  • The “future of news” gurus have long claimed that media companies only needed to hustle for all the web hits they could get, and ad revenue would naturally follow. That’s turning out to not be the case; especially with tablet and smartphone users.
  • Here’s one Russian guy’s idea of how humans could live forever, for just $50 billion in startup costs:
  1. First, invent remote-controlled, humanoid robots.
  2. The next generation of the robots would contain transplanted human brains.
  3. By the year 2045, people’s memories and personalities would be transferred as software into robotic brains. (As we always say with stories like this, “Nothing can possibly go wrong….”)
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/10/12
Jul 10th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

makela steward via rainiervalley.komo.com

Welcome to all our kind readers who still have Internet connections after “Malware Monday.” In today’s randomosity:

  • Let’s congratulate the Seattle woman who just became Ms. Plus Size America.
  • The Tacoma Art Museum is getting a big collection of “western American art,” and a big new building addition to put it in.
  • Wash. state’s wine biz has become big enough for the Gallo empire to move in on it, buying up Covey Run and Columbia Winery. I remember, of course, the late ’70s days when Gallo was radical America’s favorite brand-to-hate, a status later taken by Nike and later still by Wal-Mart.
  • Another sometimes-radical-hated company, Apple, said it will stop submitting its products for “green electronics certification.”
  • Ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow has done a lot since his last solo CD in 2004, including abandoning the States to become a free man in Paris. Now he’s finally getting another set of music out, incluidng a duet with comedian Margaret Cho. Title: Danzig in the Moonlight.
  • One fifth of all “adult fiction” physical books sold in the U.S. this past spring were Fifty Shades of Grey (the submission-porn story set in Seattle by a British author) or one of its sequels.
  • Underwater oil-exploration teams have found the lost city of Atlantis in the North Sea, if you believe the U.K. tabloid Daily Mail (which you really shouldn’t).
  • As banking-behemoth blunders spread to the Brits, one analyst notes that, within the industry, “it had become acceptable or perhaps even encouraged to provide false information.”
  • David Carr summarizes recent developments in the newspaper biz, and, as you might expect, sees a biz whose troubles just keep getting worse.
  • Romney (hearts) the Koch Bros., those campaign-funny-money far-right oil/chemical/paper-towel barons who occasionally claim to be “libertarian” (as in, you know, protecting the “freedom” of mega-corps to control everything and ruin the planet).
  • Extreme heat, like they’ve had everywhere in the contiguous states except here, is lousy for the fish.
  • And finally, local-politics site extraordinaire PubliCola is back! Yaaaayy!
RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/28/12
May 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Five days and counting until Wash. state’s booze biz goes all private. Expecting greater competition to lower the price of getting besotted? Guess again, my fun-loving friends.
  • Social media: a great way to organize group bullying episodes.
  • David Lowery has a long, detailed, snark-filled rant about how today’s music-download biz is often worse for indie musicians than the old record biz had been. It’s also got relevance for our ongoing “future of news” topic, because part of Lowery’s shtick is to dismantle the “web gurus” and their evangelical pronouncements for/defenses of today’s online content business-as-usual.
  • Yes, the Twilight series makes Emily Temple’s list of “epidemically overrated books.” But so do The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and even Finnegans Wake.
  • Arun Gupta at AlterNet ponders whether the Feds are planting violent agitators among Occupy activists in order to discredit the whole movement.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was quoted as saying that it’s harder to get a minimum-wage increase past his Legislature than gay marriage. To me that’s perfectly understandable, if the politics of gay rights are anything there like they are here (i.e., as a nice, clean, upscale, white “minority” movement).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/30/12
Apr 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

irwin allen's 'the time tunnel' (1966), via scaryfilm.blogspot.com

  • If a Seattle attorney was really involved in government time travel experiments when he was a boy, like he claims, why couldn’t he have brought back the lost episodes of the original Doctor Who?
  • Zillow.com predicts local housing prices will continue to fall for another year before they “hit bottom.”
  • The Seattle Times has a where-are-they-now piece about the former 619 Western studio artists.
  • Spokane would really like to keep its biggest employer, Fairchild AFB.
  • Marketing-trends analyst Faith Popcorn insists the economy would be a lot better off today if the big Wall Street firms had more women in power roles.
  • Koo Stark update: Prince Andrew’s actress ex-girlfriend is using the Rupert Murdoch organization in a U.S. court over phone tapping. (Her complaint is still about Murdoch’s U.K. papers, not his stateside operations.)
  • Kashi cereal eaters were shocked to learn (1) the soy in Kashi’s products uses Monsanto seeds, and (2) Kashi’s really owned by Kellogg’s.
  • The Great Vinyl Comeback isn’t just for indie pop anymore. Classical artists are now getting in on it.
  • Nick Harkaway at the Guardian sees Amazon and the other big e-book sellers as “the new gatekeepers,” steering consumers toward select choices rising from the “rabble.”
  • In terms of paying as little in taxes as legally possible, Apple turns out to be just like any other big company.
  • Longtime online analyst Dave Winer suggests there’s another Internet bubble going on, involving social-media and content-based sites. Winer says those sites’ funders are…

…building businesses whose only way of making money will be through advertising. Are there as many different ways to slice things as all the startups, collectively, would have you believe? And when they’re done, what will happen to them?

  • Lindy West’s recent putdown of “hipster racism” reminded Channing Kennedy at the Colorlines site of a similar rant, given in 1979 by the late great rock critic Lester Bangs.
  • Alas, we’re not really going to be rid of Newt Gingrich; only of his Presidential campaign.
  • Noted author E.L. Doctorow traces how 12 years of right-wing power grabbing has left America an “unexceptional” nation.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/28/12
Apr 28th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

joybra.com, via seattlepi.com

  • Dept. of Things You Never Knew You Needed: UW business students have designed a bra with a pocket for an iPhone.
  • Seattle’s (the nation’s? the world’s?) longest running serialized stage play, the Asian American-centric Sex in Seattle series, ends after 12 years with episode 20, opening this weekend.
  • Amazon’s quarterly profits are 35 percent lower than a year ago. To Wall Street, that’s seen as good news somehow.
  • The Sacramento Kings’ arena deal is apparently dead. The team might or might not be put up for sale any week now. Seattle has a wannabe majority owner, a perfectly functional arena, and the land and initial plans for a new arena.
  • Vancouver punk legend Joey “Shithead” Kiethley sez he’ll run next year for a seat in B.C.’s provincial legislature. He’s done this twice before, on Green Party tickets. But this time he’ll run on the ticket of the New Democrats (Canada’s official national “opposition” party). He’s putting into practice his old motto, “Talk – Action = Zero.”
  • Gay Divorcee Dept.: A B.C. judge has ruled that a split-up lesbian couple has to split their jointly owned sperm-bank deposit.
  • Are outspoken homophobes really gay but suppressing it? All I know is for me, other men’s bodies are like eggplant casseroles. I don’t wanna eat ’em but I don’t mind if you do.
  • Will the Arab world need a full-scale “cultural revolution” before women have rights there?
  • Nutella: not as “healthy” as some consumers apparently thought.
  • The story about Egypt legalizing sex between widowers and their dead wives? A complete hoax.
  • In an interview promoting her new film Hysteria (about the first electric sex tools for women and the “medical” excuses advertised for them), Maggie Gyllenhaal talks about why there are so few emotionally powerful sex scenes in U.S. movies. My theory: Most sex scenes in mainstream films are escapist in nature. Many serve as breaks from the plot, like the songs in many musicals. These include scenes choreographed to emphasize the woman’s responses. To use such a scene to reveal a character’s personality, emotions, and vulnerabilities, to show a female character with her sense of public decorum stripped away, is a rare feat.
  • Did Romney only tell 10 major lies last week?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/23/12
Apr 22nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

will deluxe junk's giant plastic hot dog become homeless?

  • On the heels of the development threat against the Bauhaus block on Capitol Hill, now comes another funky institution in danger. Deluxe Junk, a second hand furnishings and curios store, is the heart n’ soul of the Fremont district. It was just given an eviction notice by its landlords of 34 years, the Doric Masonic lodge upstairs from it.
  • Is it the name? The phallic symbolism? Or just the taste? Whatever the reason, China (heart)s our geoducks!
  • Seth Kolloen at The SunBreak analyzes local sports marketing: “The Sounders are a Mac, the Mariners are a PC.”
  • C’mon guys! Somebody’s gotta want Beacon Hill’s PacMed building!
  • What could be Puget Sound’s third major “economic cluster“? How about novelty gifts? Fringe theatre? Heck, let’s take over the music and film industries from their respective obsolete old guards?
  • Today we might learn who won the auctions for the state liquor stores.
  • One of the last remnants of Regrade Park’s pre-dog-park incarnation, the “Gyro Jack” sculpture, is under attack by some park users.
  • While the media weren’t looking (or were obsessed with their own declines), arts employment in the U.S. has taken a severe nosedive.
  • Update #1: The U.S. nuns whom the Vatican wants to censure or even disband because they spend their time caring about poor people instead of hating gays? They refuse to be shut up.
  • Update #2: A few days ago we discussed the studio-imposed need for all movie theaters to acquire costly digital projection gear, and the trouble smaller operators might have affording it. Here’s one way they could. Fans of one mom-and-pop theater in little Harmony, Minn. organized a big $75,000 fund drive so their beloved local cinema could go digital. (The author of the above piece also has a long background article about the rise of digital cinema after almost two decades of hype.)
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).