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RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/28/13
Jul 28th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

nextnature.net

  • While sorting my stuff for an upcoming move (more on that a little later), I’ve unearthed some pieces of almost Jurassic technology. Just the sort of things depicted in the art project “Modern Fossils.”
  • The Northwest Film Forum’s Bill Kennedy reminisces about repertory cinemas in Seattle in the 1980s (a couple of which I was involved with).
  • How to fix the Mariners fan experience (other than fielding a more competitive team)? Adjust or dump the “dynamic pricing;” put paper cups beneath the mustard dispensers; stop limiting T shirt giveaways to the first 5,000 through the gates.
  • Timothy B. Lee at the Wash. Post claims Microsoft “is doomed” in the tablet/smartphone age, but that it’ll still “make a ton of money” as Windows and Office enter their declining years.
  • A “scholarly publishing” industry analyst claims Amazon is “a great company with a bad character”—and excellent customer service.
  • We’ve already told you that many “basic cable” channels make more money off of pieces of people’s cable bills than they make from commercials. Now, industry analysts claim that if channels such as ESPN were “unbundled,” they’d have to charge $30 a month or more to those viewers who’d specifically want them.
  • Original Simpsons co-executive producer (and Playboy TV poker-show host) Sam Simon is dying of cancer, and will leave his fortune (including a hefty share of Simpsons royalties) to charity.
  • Female ex-Merrill Lynch workers claim the Wall St. giant issued them copies of a book on how to “stroke men’s egos,” and that the company reprimanded them for “not being ‘perky’ or ‘bubbly’ enough with customers and colleagues.”
  • A lawsuit claims “‘Occupy’ protesters in Minneapolis were used as ‘guinea pigs’ in a [state] government drug research program.”
  • Carl Gibson suggests “Nine Ways to Organize the Next Civil Rights Movement.” I’ve got #10: Don’t depend on, or cede control to, white alt-culture “radicals.”
  • Justifying, excusing, and even celebrating the lives of brutal homicidal dictators is a time-honored tradition. Today’s example: Robert Mugabe.
  • Great old hangouts aren’t just disappearing in Seattle. Today’s example: Tacoma’s 75-year-old Flying Boots Cafe.

tacoma news tribune

‘OREGONIAN’ SHRINKAGE WATCH
Jun 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

1950 front page via portland.daveknows.com

Imagine a Portlandia sketch about people desperately seeking newspapers.

For dog training and bird cage lining. For papier-maché school crafts projects. For kinetic art pieces and retro fashion ensembles. For Wm. Burroughs-style “cut up” wordplay. For packing objets d’art and eBay shipments.

But there aren’t any newspapers to be had.

Not in the vending boxes. Not in the stores. Not in the attics.

Not even in the landfills—they’ve been picked clean of ’em.

The citizens are outraged. They form support groups. They exchange tips on where the rare newsprint can still be had.

Of course, they do all of this online.

That’s the scenario I imagined when I heard of the Newhouse/Advance Media chain’s latest cost-cutting spree.

You remember how Advance’s newspapers in Ann Arbor MI, Birmingham AL, and (most famously) New Orleans cut back their print issues to two or three days a week.

The New Orleans operation backtracked. This week it launched a tabloid called T-P Street on the regular Times-Picayune‘s off days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday). The Street papers will be sold in stores and vending boxes, but won’t be home-delivered.

That’s the tactic Advance is taking in Portland.

First, they registered a new corporate name, “Oregonian Media Group,” replacing “Oregonian Publishing Co.”

Then they immediately posted an announcement that claimed the new entity would “expand news and information products in Oregon and Southwest Washington.”

Of course, that “expansion” is really a contraction dressed up in corporate buzz-speak.

The print Oregonian is going newsstand-only three days a week this October, with home delivery offered four days a week. (Home-delivery subscribers will get full digital access to all editions.)

And at least 45 newsroom employees are losing their jobs. That’s about 22 percent of the paper’s current editorial workforce, which in turn is a little over half of its 1990s newsroom strength. Some 50 workers are being canned in other departments.

That reduction might not be the final total; at least a few new hires will replace high-senority people taking severance packages.

If you ask whether the Seattle Times could join the trend of papers only home-delivering part of the time, the answer is “maybe but it’s complicated.”

The Times took over the Everett Herald‘s home-delivery operation. If the now Sound Publishing-owned Herald wants to keep delivering every day, the Times is contractually obligated to do that delivering.

And if the Times has drivers and paperboys/girls in Snohomish and north King counties working every morning, it might as well have them in the rest of King County.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/13/13
Jun 12th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via musicruinedmylife.blogspot.ca

The Fastbacks, the “Seattle Scene’s” most enduring band (and one of its most loveable), recorded lots of great cover songs (originally by the Raspberries, the Sweet, and even Sesame Street!) in addition to their many originals. Some of these were buried on “tribute” compilation CDs. Here’s a list of 17 such tunes, and a slightly longer but still incomplete list.

Elsewhere in randomosity:

  • According to Richard Metzger, the greatest document of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles musical career is a concert doc filmed in Seattle—in the acoustically notorious Kingdome, even.
  • David Meinert’s growing restaurant empire will include the successor to Capitol Hill’s legendary dive bar the Canterbury.
  • Time to restart the neo-Sonics rumor mill again. Now, Chris Hansen and co. are reportedly negotiating for an expansion franchise.
  • The state’s thinking of authorizing private pot smoking clubs. I only ask that they be ventilated in such a way as to keep that weed stink off the streets.
  • The Republican-stalled Legislature still hasn’t saved King County Metro Transit. But, on the Seattle-only transit front, Mayor McGinn still plans to invest in a new downtown streetcar line. This probably means the mourned Waterfront Streetcar will remain dead for the foreseeable future.
  • Meanwhile, the second Monorail Initiative tell-all book is out. It’s called Rise Above It All. It’s written and self-published by Dick Falkenbury, the ultimate political outsider and co-instigator of the plan that would have had trains on grade-separated tracks, roughly where the RapidRide C/D bus goes now.
  • MTV’s playing music videos (remember them?) again. But just for half a day, on the Fourth of July.
  • A woman at the big video-game industry confab Tweeted® a complaint about the lack of female starring characters in new video games. Cue the bigoted trollbots in 5, 4, 3….
  • R.I.P. Arturo Vega, associate of the Ramones for their entire band-career and designer of the group’s “All American” logo (still worn on T shirts by people who weren’t alive when the band was together).
  • Steven Spielberg sez the reign of action mega-blockbusters (and of the big Hollywood studios!) is only a few box-office flops away from being over. Then he says audiences can expect really high prices for the privilege of seeing a movie in a theater (yes, even higher than they are now).
  • Robert Reich sez we could have full employment, even in an age of robotized manufacturing and other techno-“innovations,” if we only had the political will to make it so.
  • A UK pundit with the appropriate name of Tom Chatfield agrees with me that society, far from becoming “post literate,” is actually more dependent upon written language than ever. And he ponders whether it’s a good thing:

There is no such thing as a private language. We speak in order to be heard, we write in order to be read. But words also speak through us and, sometimes, are as much a dissolution as an assertion of our identity.

  • Turns out the heroine from Brave isn’t the only female character in cartoons (and toys) to have been “tarted up” in recent years. Just look what they’ve done to Strawberry Shortcake!

ebay photos, via thestir.cafemom.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/29/13
May 29th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlantic.com

  • The Atlantic has unearthed a 1999 Microsoft ad, touting the e-book future that was supposed to be jump started by the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Reader software package. It’s taken a bit longer than that for events in this “Future of Reading” timeline to come about. But one thing has happened already: the luddites who’ve long dominated the book community are loudly touting the benefits of “Real Books From Real Trees for Real People.”
  • Once again, I insist that Windows 8 is not the cause of the PC sales slump. Rather, it’s the fact that everybody’s agog about phones and tablets instead. And the fact that so much PC functionality these days is based on online and “cloud”-based activity, so home users feel no need to buy new hardware.
  • Traffic on Wash. state roadways is at a 10-year low. Yet Republicans keep pushing a cars-only transportation budget.
  • Meanwhile, Knute Berger remembers the people who fought the R.H. Thompson Expressway, a freeway which would have eradicated the Central Area and ruined the Arboretum.
  • David Schoenfeld at ESPN.com says it’s time to sacrifice M’s manager Eric Wedge.
  • There’s a public school tucked away in Seattle’s residential north end. In recent years, the Indian Heritage School program was housed there. More recently, the school district’s talked about replacing the buildings on the site. That would mean destroying murals depicting local indigenous heroes. Activists have fought to keep the murals. They may succeed.
  • A cold-calling “charity” campaign, which recently phone-bombed Seattle households, may be a pure scam with little or no proceeds going to its stated cause.
  • Collector speculation pricing in music has affected the price of new vinyl editions.
  • Mothers Now Top Breadwinners in 4 of 10 U.S. Homes.”
  • Today in what you never hear about in the right-wing media, the Bush-era IRS gleefully persecuted liberal groups.
  • The Russian-owned news/opinion channel RT has hired Larry King.
  • Facebook vows to crack down on user-posted rape “jokes.”
  • Philip G. Ryken at the Gospel Coalition site has a snarky list of “How to Discourage Artists in the Church.” Some of its bullet points also apply to discouraging creative work in the larger world, such as “Treat the arts as a window dressing for the truth rather than a window into reality.”
  • PolitiFact rates at least half the things Republicans say as “false,” and employs exaggeration tricks to find at least some Democrats lying.
  • Tired of folks my age griping about how things used to be? Make up your own “meme” slogan for the face of “Old Economy Steven”!

quickmeme.com

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 1/25/13
Jan 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

the aurora kmart in 2002

  • Seattle’s last Kmart store, at 130th and Aurora, has lost its lease and is closing. It first opened in 1968 as a branch of White Front, the long-defunct California chain that begat Toys “R” Us.
  • Daniel B. Wood at the Christian Science Monitor asks whether Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is “too high-tech for its own good.”
  • Do we want the Arboretum’s “ramps to nowhere,” the only surviving legacy of the rightfully-halted R.H. Thompson Expressway project of the early 1970s, to be removed? I say no.
  • Could legal “pirate” (quasi-unlicensed) radio be coming to Seattle?
  • How to guarantee a huge turnout at a city hearing: make it about making the rules for legal pot sales.
  • R.I.P. Mary Shirley, who with her ex- Microsoft exec hubby was a major art collector and Seattle Art Museum donor.
  • Local blue-eyed-rap star Macklemore has one devout anti-fan in Brandon Sodenberg (“safe-as-fuck, liberal meme-rap”).
  • In case you’d forgotten, the Chihuly Museum people promised a kids’ playground and a gallery space for other Northwest artists, in exchange for taking up a huge chunk of Seattle Center land. Neither is anywhere in sight.
  • In “boring” news, the big waterfront tunnel digging machine got some small but significant damage during testing in Japan.
  • Janie Stilgoe at The Guardian says the days of “content” web sites scrambling to game Google’s search results through “search engine optimization” are over. Google’s revamped its algorithms specifically to discourage it. Instead, Stilgoe says web sites (including news sites) should embrace “content marketing,” whatever that is.
  • And let’s end it for today with a scenic tour past some “Faded Motels of the Rust Belt.”

via huffington post

RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/26/12
Oct 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

amidst-the-everyday.com

“Amidst the Everyday,” a project by photographers-artists Aaron Asis and Dan Hawkins, aims to reveal “elements of the unseen urban environment.” You go to places around town, scan QR codes (etched in wood!) at various buildings, and receive images of their hidden treasures. (Above, one of the unoccupied-for-decades upper floors of the Eitel Building at Second and Pike.)

  • I’m not disillusioned by the news of a potential sitcom that would carry the title Smells Like Teen Spirit. (The show concept sounds more like a ripoff of Family Ties, which is also something we don’t need.) However, I am at least a little disillusioned by the news of a potential Kurt and Courtney stage musical, which would be licensed by Courtney Love via Britney Spears’ estranged ex-manager.
  • Lester Smith, 1919-2012: The Mariners’ original principal owner had, in partnership with Hollywood star Danny Kaye, a number of business endeavors. They ranged from rock-concert promotion to direct-mail marketing. But Smith (or Kaye-Smith) will always be legendary for stewarding KJR-AM during its 1955-80 golden age as Seattle’s Top 40 (or “Fab 50”) powerhouse.
  • The Seattle Times‘ free ads for Rob McKenna caught the LA Times‘ attention; not to mention a less-than-kind portrayal in the SeaTimes‘ own “Truth Needle” department.
  • The next step up from bicycle lanes: physically separated “bike tracks.”
  • Knute Berger reiterates what I’ve been saying about the waterfront development scheme. Let’s not let it be “sanitized by good intentions.”
  • Dominic Holden would like you to know the biggest reason for legalizing pot. It isn’t for the stoners (and it sure ain’t to shut up the stoner evangelists, which had been my reason).
  • Joe Copeland takes up the continuing legacy of Floyd Schmoe, one of the greatest people I ever met, leader of Seattle’s Quakers and hands-on advocate for peace and reconciliation.
  • The next hurdle toward getting the NBA back in Seattle has been overcome. That hurdle is Commissioner David Stern, whose butt will be out of that particular chair by the end of next season.
  • A major casual-games convention may be leaving Seattle.
  • UK film blogger Petra Davis looks back admiringly at the still-underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 20 years old this year…
  • …and, with the winding down of the World’s Fair semi-centennial, our pal Jim Demetre has some kind words for the (mostly justifiably) forgotten It Happened at the World’s Fair.
  • In other film news, the Columbia City Cinema is being reopened (yay!). The new owner has repaired all the previous owner’s not-up-to-code “renovations.”
  • Note to Amazon Kindle users: Buy all your e-books while you’re physically in the same country, lest you be targeted as a Terms of Service violator.
  • Today’s dire-threat-to-America’s-youth story comes to you from a California high school where boys and girls alike are invited to join a “fantasy slut league.”
  • Penguin and Random House are in merger talks. This is bad news, since book publishing is one of those industries that’s too consolidated already.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of products marketed as “For Women” is brought to you by Fujitsu and its “Floral Kiss” brand laptop PC.
  • Among all the slimy, sociopathic, and bigoted things Republicans are saying and doing these days, add this overt racism by Sarah Palin.
  • Pseudonymous Daily Kos diarist “bayushisan” wishes gamer culture had fewer macho jerks in it. (The same, of course, can be said about athiests and “skeptics,” online comment threads, U.S. politics, and even atheists and “skeptics”.)
  • Paul Karr loathes the dot-commers’ worship of “disruption” as a sacred concept, and the Ayn Randian me-first-ism behind it.
  • The BBC notes that “creativity is often intertwined with mental illness“…
  • …and Simon Reynolds disses the “modern dismissal of genius” in today’s “age of the remix.”
  • Earthquakes can’t be predicted. That hasn’t stopped a court in Italy from convicting seven scientists who failed to do so.
  • Community organizer “B Loewe” believes you should not get into lefty causes to feel good about yourself, and you shouldn’t try to be your own, or your only, emotional “caregiver.” Instead, you’re to practice prosocial interdependence as both ideology and a way of life.
  • Someone says something nice about so-called “hipsters!” They’re credited with helping bring back Detroit (the place, not the car companies).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/1/12
Sep 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via fastcompany.com

  • Dean of indie animators Bill Plympton offers a handy “Guide to Telling Animated Stories.” Lesson #1: “Having a great idea is more important than being a great artist.”
  • The New York Post doesn’t like Dina Martina. Of course, they’ve been so wrong about so much so often….
  • One reason the Republicans are running so scared this election: it could be the last election cycle to be dominated by TV ads, and hence by the megabucks they cost. Local news ratings around the country are teetering, especially among young adults. (And don’t expect 3D TV to save the business.)
  • Buried in this story about Fender Guitars’ fiscal trouble in the techno era is the info that Fender’s biggest wholesale customer, Guitar Center (the 500 lb. gorilla of music-store chains) is controlled by Mitt Romney’s ol’ pals at Bain Capital.
  • George W. Bush was kept far away from the GOP convention but is front n’ center at an “alternative investment summit” in the Cayman Islands.
  • Seattle Weekly founder David Brewster looks back at his creation, now under semi-new ownership again. Brewster still seems not to understand why the Weekly had become vulnerable to the Stranger’s early-1990s rise. For 15 years, the Weekly had operated under the unbending assumption that its original target audience, the (formerly) young urban professionals of the Sixties Generation, were the absolute only people who mattered in this town or ever would matter. By ignoring the wants (or even the existence) of people born after 1952, Brewster left a huge hole for some underfunded entrepreneurs from the Midwest to fill.
  • Jeremy M. Barker would like to remind you that, even when its performers appear nude on stage, “Contemporary Dance Is Not Stripping.” I agree. It’s infinitely sexier.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/11/12
Sep 10th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

the impossible project via engadget.com

  • Now you can turn images on your smartphone into real Polaroid®-like instant film photos! (Or you could, if the Kickstarter money gets raised.)
  • KIRO-TV has now posted the entire J.P. Patches/Chris Wedes memorial celebration, including the parts cut for time from the telecast version. And here’s the band Aaiiee’s song “Boris S. Wort,” as heard during the event.
  • Good news, sports fans: Looks like the Seattle City Council has reached a revised pact to get the Sonics arena going, with some developer-contributed cash toward transportation improvements. Now all we need is a team or two to come up for sale.
  • Meanwhile at Crosscut, longshoremen’s union leader John Persak reiterates the line that we can only have either a new arena or a working seaport. I’ve already called this BS, so I won’t do so again.
  • Rain! Eureka! The Crops Are Saaaaved! (Oops, maybe not.)
  • The Wall St. Journal has a major piece about the Hanford cleanup megaproject. The Dept. of Energy is slowing down construction, while it and various other parties argue whether the current design will work at keeping highly toxic radioactive gunk out of any potential contact with the ecosystem.
  • The Slut Walk might not be “redefining feminism” (as the hereby linked Linda Thomas story suggests), but it and similar protests are helping redefine the range of “acceptable” looks/attitudes among those trying to persuade.
  • Some parents don’t like the fact that the Seattle Public Schools are accepting advertising again. Their means of protest: an ad.
  • NIMBY-ism gone tricky: A Montlake neighborhood group doesn’t want walking/bike lanes on any new 520 bridge.
  • Digital media advertising grew in the first half of this year. But print media advertising fell more than digital grew. A lot more.
  • Toys “R” Us will sell its own branded Android tablet.
  • “We all live in a narco submarine….”
  • Third-world forced prostitution is just as tragic when it involves men.
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 7/27/12
Jul 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

1931 soviet book jacket; new york public library via allmyeyes.blogspot.com

  • Love old timey design elements in photography, fashion, furnishings, books, posters, ads, packaging, and everywhere else? Then you’ll love Linda Eckstein’s fastidiously curated site All My Eyes.
  • Conversely, Angela Riechers at Print magazine’s site disdains all this obsessive old-schooling. Riechers claims the world of graphic design, and perhaps the world as a whole, is becoming infested with “toxic nostalgia.” Among the symptoms she sites is Churchkey, the Seattle microbrew beer that comes only in cans that require an opener.
  • Amazon’s sales rose 29 percent over the same quarter last year. But the company reported almost no profits, thanks to big investments in robotic warehouse systems. (Remember what we always say when robots are in the news: “Nothing can possibly go wrong….”)
  • David Brewster found someone to take over management of the local-punditry site Crosscut. He’s a longtime functionary at the Gates Foundation. Let’s see how well he can transition from a nonprofit that doesn’t have to raise money, to one that needs to do a lot of that and soon.
  • At the end of a long rant, Paul Constant describes Mitt Romney as:

A cowering man in a suit on the screen, waving his hands in front of his face and begging Robocop not to kill him for profiting, for draining the United States dry and exploiting the pain and hard work of others, for doing what businessmen do.

  • Meanwhile, Devin Faraci at something called Badass Digest describes The Dark Knight Rises as feeling “like it is composed entirely of knee-jerk conservative nonsense.”
  • A (non-cable-dependent) TV network tells you how you, too, can cut the cable.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/25/12
Jul 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Because we need them, here are more memories of J.P. Patches from City Councilperson Jean Godden and from KING-TV’s Evening Magazine.
  • The local media were confused about the new downtown Target. It really opens on Sunday, not today (Wednesday). No, it was me who was confused by the store’s official statements. It did have a “soft” opening today.
  • Ex-mayor Charles Royer, who also co-chairs the Central Waterfront Committee, strongly disagrees with Knute Berger’s assertions about the cost of the waterfront remodel project.
  • Good news transit-wise: Third Avenue, Seattle’s primary bus street, may look a little less seedy in the months ahead.
  • Bad news transit-wise: Metro is shortchanging the Magnolia neighborhood. Under current plans, all bus service to that semi-detached area will shut down at 9:30 p.m. starting in September.
  • Chick-Fil-A’s official homophobic policy is related to its official “Christian” policy.
  • Sherman Hemsley, 1938-2012: All in the Family’s first Mr. Jefferson was Lionel, who appeared in the first episode in 1971. Lionel’s father George remained an offscreen character for more than two years. Producer Norman Lear wanted Hemsley for the role, but he was contractually tied to the Broadway play Purlie. Lear instead used Mel Stewart as George’s brother Henry until Hemsley could appear. Then in early 1975, CBS needed a rush replacement for the tanking sitcom Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers (yes, that was the show’s full title). A pilot for a Jefferson family spinoff was hurriedly prepared and aired as an All in the Family episode. The resulting series lasted eleven years, still a record for a scripted show with African-American stars. (And in a totally unrelated note, Hemsley allegedly loved prog rock.)

dangerousminds.net

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/18/12
Jun 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

ford 'seattle-ite xxi' car display at the world's fair; uw special collections via edmonds beacon

  • In the revived Baffler, self described “anthropologist and anarchist” David Graeber has a long “salvo” of an essay that starts out by asking some of the questions a lot of folks have asked during the World’s Fair semicentennial: Where the heck are the flying cars, missions to Mars, or other techno-wonders we were promised back then? Graeber smoothly segues from that into a more general modern malaise, in which nothing seems to be getting better except info-tech—and that’s turned us all into serfs to bureaucracy, even in our private lives. His answer: a more egalitarian economy. (I know, easier to say than to make.)
  • Online Media Shrinkage Watch: The combo of Crosscut and Publicola turned out to be more of a springtime fling than a marriage. Crosscut’s cutting back. Not just on its new hires (Publicola founders and city hall insider reporters Josh Feit and Erica Barnett), but the site’s existing staff and freelance budgets. Three big funding sources are expiring around the same time. Crosscut founder David Brewster says a new funding scheme (and a reorganization, with Brewster stepping back from full hands-on management of the site) is on the way. And Feit’s talking about restarting Publicola with his own new reorg. Weezell see….
  • As Wash. state’s privatized booze biz rolls on, could people actually start drinking less?
  • Attendance at Occupy Seattle’s “general assembly” meetings has plummeted. Is the organization fading away? If it does, its range of causes has not and will not go away. Tactics change. Goals remain. Eyes on the Prize and all that.
  • While the alpha-male hustlers running most all of America’s tech companies (and the equally estrogen-lacking tech journalists and bloggers) weren’t noticing, Internet usage has become majority female. So are the usages of GPS, e-book readers, Skype, text messaging, mobile-phone voice usage, and more.
  • The Waterfront Streetcar might or might not run again. If it does, it won’t be for at least seven years.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/25/12
May 24th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot.com

  • What’s the world’s most prolific retail brand today? 7-Eleven! And, after a few years of retreating from parts of the U.S., it’s expanding like mad.
  • Coming next month and tons more exciting than any ol’ glass gallery, it’s Seattle Center’s first Seattle Science Festival! Hear Steven Hawking’s voice box live and in person!
  • Nearly 40 percent of Puget Sound homeowners owe more money on their homes than the homes are now worth. Nearly nine percent owe twice as much money as their homes are worth (twice the national average).
  • Anthony Robinson explains “how to talk politics with religious voters.”
  • How does the Seattle LGBTQLSMFT pride parade thank the politicians who helped pass marriage equality in Wash. state? By charging them almost twice as much money to appear in the parade as it charges corporate entrants.
  • Amazon’s quitting the virulently far-right lobbying group ALEC, and will make its warehouses more hospitable workplaces.
  • Oregon native nations say they don’t mind high schools using Indian sports-team names, and that they do mind when PC whites try to ban such names.
  • Comcast/NBC Universal might buy up all of MSNBC.com. The web site is still half owned by Microsoft (and still has a major editorial presence in Bellevue), even after NBC took full ownership of the same-named cable channel.
  • The TV networks would really, really like Dish Network to not offer an “ad skipping” feature on its DVRs.
  • Jonathan Chiat parses the “conservative fantasy history of civil rights,” in which the likes of Ronald Reagan and Strom Thurmond were supposedly not the racists they really were.
  • Yes, a sexually demeaning image of a woman is still wrong even if the woman being insulted is anti-choice.
  • Single-load “laundry pods,” delicious but deadly.
  • The province of Quebec now demands that all political protests get official police approval first. Protesters immediately protested the law, in a big way.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/24/12
May 23rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

This is the Great Wheel, now taking shape at Pier 57 on the waterfront. It is already the greatest addition to Seattle public architecture since the Koohaas downtown library. The rest of the waterfront should be redeveloped around it.

  • Is Mike McGinn becoming just like all Seattle’s other recent mayors, a “progressive” who totally sucks up to the real estate developers?
  • The state liquor stores won’t all close on May 31. Most will close one to four days earlier. A few have already closed. The stores that are still open have dwindling inventory. Since the supermarkets don’t start selling booze ’til June 1, consider stocking up for the Memorial Day weekend now.
  • Getty Images, the Seattle-based king of stock photo licensing, may be up for sale (again).
  • The Chicago head office of the company now calling itself Boeing got shut down by anti-NATO protesters. That almost certainly wouldn’t have happened if they’d stayed in Seattle Tukwila.
  • South Lake Union is finally getting something useful (besides the Ace Hardware franchise): a Goodwill store!
  • The proposed new basketball/hockey arena will work out just fine traffic-wise.
  • Breaking news: people like to get stuff if they don’t have to pay for it.
  • Hewlett-Packard announces huge layoffs; blames declining demand for PCs in favor of other digital-media devices.
  • Paul Krugman, seemingly effortlessly, totally dismantles the Romney economic platform….
  • …while author Charles Ferguson explains how “Wall Street became criminalized.” (As if it hadn’t always been so.)
  • Unlike author Patricia Williams, I don’t blame book bannings and other assaults against public education on an “anti-intellectual” American people, but on the right-wing politicians who actually committed the assaults. Just as I don’t blame the megabanks’ crimes on their depositors.
  • Knute Berger offers some “Simple Rules for Staying Sane in Seattle.” My own first rule: make sure you were already sane before you got here.
  • The company whose merged predecessors gave us such great product names as Cheez Whiz, Cool Whip, and Chicken in a Biskit announced it’s de-merging. The spinoff company’s new name: “Mondelez.” Doesn’t quite fall trippingly off the tongue.
  • In science fiction and astrology, “Planet X” (as in the Roman numeral for 10) is a hypothetical tenth planet orbiting out beyond Pluto. Now, some astronomer says he’s found it, and it’s three times the size of Earth. No word yet on whether it holds massive deposits of illudium phosdex, the shaving cream atom.
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