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RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/9/14
Jan 8th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

cartoonbrew.com

  • DVD sales may be collapsing in the Age of Streaming, but cheap knockoff imitations of famous animated features keep showing up.
  • Has the City of Seattle finally found an effective legal weapon against notorious U District/Roosevelt slumlord Hugh Sisley?
  • The fallout of the Boeing Machinists’ vote is just going to get messier. And it’ll set lousy precedents all around.
  • Noah Smith at the Atlantic believes the years have proven the Seattle WTO protesters were right.
  • An especially gruesome local child-abuse scandal has made the UK tabloids.
  • No Country for Old Men novelist Cormac McCarthy’s ex wife was found arguing with her current boyfriend about UFOs, when she “gave birth” to a concealed gun.
  • Pundit Edgeny Morozov sees the brouhaha over Edward Snowden’s high-tech-snooping allegations not for what they say about modern governments but for what they say about modern business.
  • Fewer people are smoking (as a proportion of the world’s population). But more people are smoking (counting raw numbers).
  • Sir Run Run Shaw, 1907-2014: The king of Hong Kong commercial cinema essentially created the martial-arts action genre. The Shaw Brothers studio originally intended it as escapist entertainment for the international Chinese diaspora across the Pacific Rim. But many of these films, by Shaw’s and other studios, became a cinematic trope of global appeal. (Seattle’s own Bruce Lee worked for the Shaws’ archrivals Golden Harvest.) Raise a toast to the man while watching possibly the greatest studio-logo sequence in film history.

LOU REED, 1942-2013
Oct 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

getty images via huffington post

My first thought: How could such a still-vital part of our musical heritage, one of the original proto-punks, be gone from us so soon?

My second thought: How did the writer of “Heroin” (almost a love song to the drug), then later of “The Power of Positive Drinking,” live this long?

My third thought: Back to the first thought.

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

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/26/13
Jul 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

seattle.curbed.com

  • The Eitel Building on Second and Pike has been the topic of several aborted “restoration” and redevelopment schemes over the years. Now some new players have declared new plans for the 109-year-old Eitel, including a rooftop-deck restaurant space.
  • A “Seattle-based adult app store” has made what it claims is the first “porn film shot with Google Glass.” It’s a total meta-fictional farce, of course; but (at least in the censored version hereby linked) it’s a funny one.
  • My ex-boss Mr. Savage wants all gays and their supporters to fight the increasingly, cruelly anti-gay regime in Russia, by boycotting Stoli vodka. I presume a little more pressure than that will be required.
  • Puget Sound Business Journal headline: “Is Microsoft pulling out of Issaquah?” Make your own dirty-joke punchline here.
  • Jeff Bezos got him some engine parts from the Apollo 11 moon rocket, which fell into the ocean 44 years ago this week.
  • In other space-case news, are faster-than-light space ships really possible after all?
  • Landline phones: More than two-thirds of Wash. state people still have ‘em.
  • The UW may be doing a lousy job at attracting state funding or keeping in-state tuition anything approaching reasonable, but it’s booming as a “business incubator.”
  • Did you know that clean, green Oregon had more than a century’s worth of systematic racism in its history? (I did.)
  • Health Scare of the Day: Imported hot sauces could have traces of lead within their hotness.
  • New York mag talks to an economist who claims America’s mid-century mass prosperity was the result of historical conditions that can’t be brought back.
  • The above claim notwithstanding, some folks have a new marketing scheme for economic policies that would put middle-class workers n’ consumers first. It’s “Middle-Out.”
  • The Feds might outlaw menthol cigarettes.
  • How not to live like an “ironic hipster:” First, admit to yourself that the “ironic hipster” is a media stereotype with few, if any, actual living examples.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/2/13
Jul 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

wallyhood.org

I’ll have stuff to say about the big gay parade and the potential for NHL hockey in Seattle a little later this week. For now, some randomosis:

  • Seattle’s next potentially doomed institution: Wallingford’s infamous Chinese restaurant and un-”restored” dive bar, the Moon Temple.
  • By killing King County Metro’s chance to save itself, State Sen. Rodney Tom is not only a traitor to the Democratic Party but to the people of his own county.
  • Here’s Dan Ireland, co-founder of SIFF and the Egyptian Theater, commenting on that storied film venue’s recent demise.
  • Blistering Eastern Washington heat + booze + “rave drugs” mixed by who-knows-whom from who-knows-what = danger.
  • Seattle’s first civil-rights sit-in occurred 50 years ago this week at the old Municipal Building, protesting racial discrimination in housing and the City’s sluggish pace at doing anything about it. An anti-discrimination law still took five years after that to get enacted.
  • The NY Times (heart)s Macklemore.
  • Some guy’s list of the “100 Greatest Female Film Characters” is long on “costume” roles (such as Catwoman) from action blockbusters, crowding out more ambitious drama/comedy parts.
  • Kansas City’s all-underground office complex is only one of the “weirdest urban ecosystems on earth.”

kenny johnson, the atlantic via io9.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/28/13
Jun 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

io9.com

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 6/2/13
Jun 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

joshua trujillo, seattlepi.com

  • There was a remembrance in Cowen Park marking one year since the Cafe Racer tragedy.
  • Unlike some of the “radicals” fighting against low wages at fast-food joints, I actually patronize fast-food joints. And I want the fine people who prepare my meals to be properly compensated for the fine work they do.
  • The FBI investigated the song “Louie Louie” for two whole years, only to find a simple love lyric made unintelligible.
  • Will legal pot in our society lead, invariably, to corporate pot?
  • To Microsoft’s regret, it just can’t get people to say “Let’s Bing it.”
  • Our ol’ pal Gillian Gaar reports the “Welcome to Aberdeen: Come As You Are” sign might come down.
  • Who, besides “out o’ sight, out o’ mind” NIMBYs, benefits from the suburbanization of poverty?
  • A Cheerios commercial features a nice interracial family. The usual dorks and trolls respond as you’d predict.
  • Lawrence Lessig would like a Democratic Party that’s less beholden to corporate funders.
  • Texas: future Democratic stronghold?
  • Some people will miss making fun of Michelle Bachmann. I won’t.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, once billed as “Chicago’s Picture Newspaper,” is firing all its photographers.
  • No, Ms. magazine, the 10 most important things American women could not do before the 1970s wold probably really include more important things than “read Ms. magazine.”
  • Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s a battleground of democracy vs. shady dealmaking.
  • WikiLeaks dude Julian Assange sees today’s Google as an increasingly reactionary gang of government-butt kissers.
  • Let’s close with a haunting look at a run down (but still open!) tourist site, the Flintstones theme park in Arizona.

messynessychic.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/23/13
May 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

'every driver every time it ever rains ever'

  • I’m still trying to decide how I feel about When You Live In Seattle, a site of original GIF-animation “memes.”
  • What follows the XBox 360? “XBox One.” This is not to be considered a comment on the gaming platform’s market share.
  • Our ol’ pal Sean Nelson’s got his first solo CD out at long last. And, as you can here at the hereby-linked stream, it’s very much worth the wait.
  • May Day protesters say they’re not spoiled children of privilege having a lark, but people with serious grievances against the government, particularly an increasingly militarized police.
  • Amazon’s letting people sell fan-fiction ebooks for money on the Kindle platform. Just as long as the fan fictions take place in the “universes” for which Amazon’s got official licenses. And they can’t have any porn in ‘em.
  • In a rare victory for neighborhoods and small businesses, lower Queen Anne’s Tup Tim Thai restaurant won’t be rent-hiked out of existence after all.
  • Threats against reproductive rights aren’t just for red states anymore.
  • Pot: Good for pigs, bad for dogs?
  • Apple has not “cheated” on its federal taxes. It simply took advantage of every legal tax dodge its lawyers could discover (or advocate for), just like so many other corporate titans.
  • Despite what you might have read on inflammatory websites, PBS did not “kill” a documentary critical of the Koch brothers, the billionaire backers of many extreme-right-wing political endeavors (and of some major PBS affiliate stations). It was ITVS, a separate nonprofit program supplier, that declined to include Citizen Koch among the indie films it packages to the PBS network feed and to local public-TV stations. Citizen Koch still exists, and is still playing the festival circuit.
  • Actually, there are real reasons why the IRS should investigate the Kochs’ “Tea Party Patriots” and similar nonpartisan-in-name-only outfits.
  • When the Executive Branch started stalking Fox News and the AP (allegedly for those outfits’ investigations of CIA documents about North Korea), was it just a continuation of the sort of tactics played against WikiLeaks?
  • Google boss Larry Page has a plan to fix what’s wrong with the world—more anti-government, corporate Libertarianism. Exactly the direction that got the world into these (economic, ecological) messes.
  • Australian writer Elmo Keep believes free and cheap downloads are killing just about all professional media/arts endeavors.
  • Henry Grabar at the Atlantic calls the anti-flouridation movement (recently victorious in Portland and several other cities) “history’s weirdest alliance of paranoiacs.”
  • Meanwhile, NY Times essayist Maggie Koerth-Baker claims to know “why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.” Or so the Germans would have you believe….
  • A famous author’s Wikipedia page got “edit trolled” by a rival author.
  • In the countdown toward Arrested Development’s revival on Netflix streaming, NPR.org’s got a thorough chart chronicling the recurrence of more than 150 running gags through the original series.
  • Some guy on YouTube edited together Hamlet quotations and references from 198 different movies and TV shows. Not included: Chewbacca’s “Alas, poor Yorick” pantomime with C3PO’s temporarily disconnected head.
  • Yes, at one time people really wrote by hand, and did it this well. It took a lot of intense practice.

slate

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/14/13
May 14th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

factmag.com

  • Somebody thought it would be cool to try to laser-etch a phonograph record onto wood. The result sounds a bit like the early, dial-up-connection versions of RealAudio.
  • Item: Indoor pot growing uses lotsa electricity. Comment: You mean stoners aren’t the purest-O-the-pure eco-saints? Next thing, you’ll be saying electric cars and wood stoves aren’t pure-green either.
  • Oh, Those Kids Today! #1: Monica Guzman insists today’s under-30 folks aren’t entitlement-obsessed narcissists, but rather are “people waking up to their own power and not being willing to compromise it.”
  • Oh, Those Kids Today! #2: Young adults are even driving less than prior generations. How un-American can ya get?
  • The Legislature’s special session could see a Dem-controlled State Senate again. Maybe.
  • Seattle teachers who refused to administer standardized tests have achieved a partial victory.
  • Just last week, we bemoaned the idiotic prose and strained “corporate hip” attitude of KOMO’s “young skewing” local website Seattle Pulp. Now the whole site’s dead, without even leaving its old posts alive.
  • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 126): No. But we should have the final, final answer (for this year at least) on Wednesday. Don’t get your hopes back up. But hold on to the love.
  • Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Plunder thought it would just be keen n’ dandy to play tracks by Sonics-purist and Seattle’s-honor-defender Macklemore in their arena. Nope, no way, uh-uh, no siree bub.
  • Might Microsoft buy Barnes & Noble’s Nook ebook hardware operation just to kill it?
  • Amazon’s fledgling in-house book publishing operations might expand to include “literary fiction,” whatever the heck that means anymore.
  • Disappeared local institution we neglected to mention earlier: the Green Lake Baskin-Robbins.
  • Weird crime story of the week: “Woman who killed ex with insecticide-laced Jågermeister pleads guilty.”
  • It’s illegal but it happens anyway: denying employment to people for the sin of being in debt due to being unemployed.
  • Katy Evans at the Tacoma group blog Post Defiance notes how indie live music has become a more complicated, bureaucratic, and problematic biz, especially in towns like hers in the shadow of bigger towns.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: The paper’s own reporters have to pay for website subscriptions to their own work. Except they can “opt out” of it if they insist.
  • You remember how the New Orleans Times-Picayune went to only three print issues a week? No more. They’re now putting out newsstand-only editions on the four non-home-delivery days, just like the Detroit papers are.
  • Talking into computers and expecting them to understand you has always been, and apparently will continue to be, little more than a screenwriters’ conceit.
  • Anthony Galluzzo at Salon wants you to stop the hipster-bashing already. He says it’s old, tired, and becoming classist.
  • Jim Tews, who describes himself as “a decent white male comic,” insists that most white guys performing standup are not sexist boors.
  • No, Rolling Stone readers, Nirvana is not the fifth worst band of the ’90s. That would actually be Sugar Ray.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/30/13
Apr 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

tom banse via kplu

networkawesome.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/26/13
Apr 26th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

capitol records via wikipedia

  • Among the stories I missed by waiting a week to post Random Links: Heart’s well-deserved induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall o’ Fame.
  • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 108): No. But at least we have a date when we might (repeat, might) find out one way or the other: May 13.
  • Seattle’s on-and-off-again Fourth of July festivities are on again.
  • Seattle’s interim police chief says he’s really, really, really sorry for the video he made mocking the homeless back in the ’80s, using police training-video production gear.
  • Is “alternative” music too female-unfriendly? Or is it just corporate “alternative” music festivals that leave the women out?
  • The SunBreak explains just why privatized liquor costs more than state-liquor-store liquor did.
  • Starbucks is among the companies asking for expanded U.S. tax breaks on overseas revenues.
  • Washington’s attorney general wants you to know that T-Mobile’s “no-contract” cell phone plans can still cost you as much as traditional ones.
  • Paul Krugman asks whether no one in power even gives a damn about the long term unemployed; while Jared Bernstein at Salon says rising income inequality can’t be fixed unless the campaign-finance system is fixed first.
  • The Boston bombing media circus was a pathetic spectacle that continues to spread misinformation.
  • Bad news everyone: Futurama is canceled, again, perhaps this time forever (but that’s what they said the last time).
  • Speaking of shows (and characters) which have come back from the dead, the once-dead online revivals of All My Children and One Life to Live have miraculously re-revived like Lazarus Dixie. Episodes stream on Hulu.com starting Monday.
  • The film itself has gone on to the big Netflix stream in the sky cloud, but the original website advertising Space Jam lives on!
  • One or more of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors had been taking female writers out of a page about “American novelists” and into a page about “American women novelists.” But people complained, and the sex-segregation has stopped. This isn’t much different from indie bookstores (like Seattle’s Left Bank Books) separating “women’s fiction” from “general fiction.”
  • Can we really blame the whole ’08 economic kablooey on a few coked-up financiers in London?
  • AlterNet reminds you that, yes, your bad memories of George W. Bush are fully justified.
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 3/19/13
Mar 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • I was at the last day of the Alki Tavern, that venerable unrepentant dive bar. So was videographer Nick Adams.
  • “Pot tourism” still has a few snags before it can become big business here.
  • The Boeing engineers’ union approved the contract proposal they’d previously rejected.
  • Post-dam Elwha River: I’m getting sedimental over you.
  • Providence’s drive toward near-monopoly status in the hospital biz of much of Wash. state hits a snag, as Olympia hospital employees go on strike. Among the issues: cuts to the employees’ own health benefits, while the CEO rakes in millions.
  • The Rev. Rich Lang, writing for Real Change, compares modern society to that once bemoaned by the Bible’s “apocalyptic” writers.
  • Apparently, indie-folk oldie act Michelle Shocked (who’d once sort-of claimed to be lesbian 22 years ago) now says she was just kidding when she made virulently anti-gay remarks on stage in San Francisco.
  • In brighter women-in-music news, meet “Laura the Luthier,” the collective name for the women who kept Gibson Guitars in production during WWII.
  • By now you’ve heard about the Steubenville OH teen-rape verdict, and about certain cable-news commentators who went all over in sympathy with the young convicted criminals while downplaying or making excuses for their crime. Mia McKenzie at the blog Black Girl Dangerous has a slightly different view. McKenzie acknowledges it’s sad that the convicts will go into the “prison industrial complex” like so many kids who aren’t white or football stars. But she still expresses more sympathy to the rape victim.
  • That widely disseminated “meme graphic” of a Swedish department store with “realistic” mannequins? The picture’s real. But it wasn’t taken in an H&M but in another store, and it was photographed three years ago.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/6/13
Mar 6th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

scarfolk.blogspot.co.uk

  • Some clever Brits have devised “Scarfolk,” a blog of made-up historical artifacts from a fictional (and dreary as hell) English town. Along the way, they have a lot of fun with ’60s-’70s UK graphic design.
  • An “alternative taxidermy” artist from Tacoma will appear on a reality-TV show on Thursday evening.
  • Also on Thursday, a Belltown boudoir-photography studio’s holding a “donate a bra” night to help clothe the needy.
  • The next big Seattle Schools scandal: alleged racial double standards in student discipline.
  • The secret ingredient of Seattle hiphop just might be Pho.
  • Local stoners might want to drag out their right-wing grandparents’ “Get US Out of the UN” signs.
  • Another year, another threat of no Fourth of July fireworks unless big donations pour in.
  • Perhaps 60 Everett Herald print/distro workers will lose their jobs as Sound Publishing (which already has its own Everett printing plant) takes over the paper.
  • The Atlantic, supposedly one of the “success stories” of legacy print media in the Internet age, is not above asking writers to work for free.
  • Staged readings from Lolita are in hot water in Russia, thanks to the Putin regime’s calculated drive to demonize liberals and Westerners “for the benefit of a poorer, older, more rural voter base.” Hmm, that sounds familiar….
  • It’s a “golden age for corporate profits.” Just not for the rest of us.
  • Get ready for North Pole ship crossings, thanks to that climate change that billionaires pay Republicans to claim doesn’t exist.
  • Australia’s “multiethnic” TV channel goes to the lands surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and finds tales of horror and survival.
  • Peggy Orenstein notes that the “Disney Princess” characters, and their counterparts in other fictional universes, aren’t really about waiting for a prince as they are about vanity and shopping:

No, today’s princess is not about romance: it’s more about entitlement. I call it “girlz power” because when you see that “z” (as in Bratz, Moxie Girlz, Ty Girlz, Disney Girlz) you know you’ve got trouble. Girlz power sells self-absorption as the equivalent of self confidence and tells girls that female empowerment, identity, independence should be expressed through narcissism and commercialism.

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