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RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/10/14
Jan 10th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

fastcoexist.com

  • The Fast Company folks seem to love Northgate’s Thornton Creek mixed use megaproject.
  • A Seattle architect has re-devoted his career toward aiding the homeless and the recently homeless.
  • One-fourth of Amazon’s Kindle ebook sales in 2012 were for books by indie and self-publishers.
  • Amazon’s warehouses, sometimes infamous for pushing workers hard, are getting robotized.
  • Meanwhile, some guy at the Atlantic’s biz-news site Quartz claims that 3D printing and robotized manufacturing, and the one-of-a-kind manufacturing they can enable, could eventually mean “the end of Walmart and mass-market retail as you know it.”
  • Students at Eastside Catholic High School will keep protesting the firing of a beloved, now gay-married, vice principal.
  • Seattle author David Shields is acting in a movie directed by James Franco.
  • City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and the Stranger writers who relentlessly pushed her candidacy, were named to the Nation‘s “2013 Progressive Honor Roll.”
  • The gang down at Three Imaginary Girls has a roundup of their favorite (mostly) local music of ’13.
  • Ani DiFranco scheduled a women’s songwriting retreat at a former slave plantation. (The place is now a museum, offering a highly sanitized account of America’s slave-owning heritage.) Some Af-Am women protested online. A smart person would have used this hubbub as a positive “teaching moment.” DiFranco and her associates essentially failed at that.
  • Where They Are Now Dept.: NY punk and underground-film bad girl Lydia Lunch now teaches women’s yoga and “empowerment” workshops in Calif.
  • Right-wing front groups, pretending to be “journalists,” have tried to obstruct investigations into right-wing financial misdealings in Wisconsin.
  • Prostitution is fully legal in Canada (including brothel-keeping and solicitation), sez their Supreme Court. It could be the start of a new (or upgraded) tourism shtick. But I’d like it to mean more respect and personal safety for sex workers, there and here.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/6/14
Jan 6th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

the columbian

  • A “lost roll of film” depicting Mt. St. Helens just weeks before its 1980 eruption, by a newspaper photographer who died while covering it, was found. The paper had to go to a Portland lab, which had to further outsource it to a freelancer, to get the b/w images processed.
  • The Illinois company now calling itself Boeing gets gazillions in Wash. state tax breaks. Workers lose pension protections. The state government’s financial/tax structure became even more un-reformable. This might have been the best we could get. (Now to get some real competition by inviting Airbus to our state.)
  • What’s been stalling the tunnel digging machine on the waterfront? As a certain French painter wouldn’t say, “This actually is a pipe.”
  • Who would pour gasoline down the stairs at Neighbours on Broadway on New Year’s, attempting to destroy Seattle’s “anchor” gay dance club and some 750 revelers? Oh yeah, some heartless bigot (not yet found) who probably thinks it was the “Christian” thing to do.
  • Longtime, legendary, local street trumpeter Richard Peterson has announced his “last day on the street.” For at least the fourth time.
  • The anonymous “trio of mouthy broads” behind local blog Seattlish offers “a retrospective on how Seattle treated Mike McGinn.” Their essential premise: we didn’t deserve him.
  • After winning RuPaul’s Drag Race and starring in a hit production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jinkx Monsoon’s next big thing will be a bio-documentary film.
  • A self described “straight male” fan of first-person-shooter video games says the term “gamer,” and the often-sexist-jerkish subculture it represents, have got to go.
  • National Political Punditry Dept.: Margaret Flowers and Kezin Zeese at Truthout claim the populist-Left movement of “winning over the hearts and minds of the American people” is progressing along just fine; Valerie Tarico at Alternet sez the to-do over a “reality” TV celeb’s homophobia/racism helps prove “religious fundamentalism is going down”; and Mary Bell Lockhart at OpEdNews deconstructs a few of the lies that “ultraconservatives think they know for sure.”
  • First Roger Ebert goes. Now one of the longtime contributors to RogerEbert.com, local film critic and all around good guy Jeff Shannon, succumbed to pneumonia following years of various illnesses. A quadraplegic for most of his life, following an accident during his younger years, he was an advocate for the disabled and once wrote that “Happiness is a choice.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/27/13
Sep 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

seattleglobalist.com

  • The thorough folks at Seattle Globalist traced UW-licensed apparel items back to the places where they were made, to the people who made them, and to how much more the people who made them would need to earn to meet the local cost of living.
  • Speaking of apparel, BuzzFeed’s got some sorry evidence of pathetic attempts to turn punk rock nostalgia into mere fashion-fad fodder.
  • Still speaking of apparel, Sesame Street really doesn’t like unauthorized “Sexy Big Bird” Halloween costumes. (You can still get the “Pho King Hot” waitress costume, though.)
  • Why is Storyville Coffee, a single espresso and pastry boutique in the Pike Place Market, spending so much on lavish pre-opening marketing (including a month of free food and drinks for invited guests)? Because (1) it’s the first unit of a planned chain, and (2) it’s got the zillionaire behind a for-profit college backing it. (And as an aside, the owners also have ties to the “hip” but reactionary Mars Hill Church.) (And as another aside, do they even know they’ve named it after New Orleans’ old red-light district?)
  • Can the scenic, low-density office “park” that is the ex-Battelle Research campus in Laurelhurst be saved? And should it?
  • Eric Stevick at the Everett Herald has the sad life story of a woman who basically never got a break her entire life, and then died in the Snohomish County jail because they wouldn’t send for medical help.
  • Bumper salmon runs! Yay! Just, you know, keep ‘em away from the dogs.
  • Pasta-and-pride dept.: Barilla’s CEO doesn’t care much for the gays, but Bertolli (hearts) the gays. Or something like that.
  • Bono wants a more equitable tax system in Ireland, but will still keep his own millions stashed away in offshore trust accounts.
  • Could Google’s latest search-ranking changes finally kill off that bane to humanity that is “Search Engine Optimization”?
  • Ted Cruz apparently didn’t understand that Green Eggs and Ham is a liberal allegory about open mindedness. But he’s yesterday’s news. Today’s news is the conservatives’ next showdown target, the debt ceiling.
  • Do they serve Hello Kitty beer on the Hello Kitty plane?
  • Let’s leave you today with some visual inspiration, of sorts, in the form of “Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos.”

terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/17/13
Sep 17th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via washingtonpost.com

  • Our ol’ pal Lynda Barry reveals “The 20 Stages of Reading.”
  • Knute Berger sez the real issue in recent local violent crimes isn’t political “leadership,” it’s the sorry state of mental-health care.
  • We now know where Bauhaus Coffee is going, temporarily, while its building gets knocked down and replaced. It’s moving into the about-to-close Capitol Club’s space, just two blocks up East Pine.
  • Chick-Fil-A, the fast food chain with the cow commercials and the homophobic CEO, is coming to Northgate.
  • A micro-apartment developer wants Amazon to put up its short-stay employees, vendors, etc. at his buildings instead of hotels. So much for the argument that “we’re just trying to make affordable housing pencil out businesswise” etc.
  • In case you care, Bill Gates is the richest guy in the country again.
  • A Nation of Change essay comparing Libertarians’ ideological justifications for selfishness to “comic book writing” is an insult to comic book writers everywhere (yes, even at Marvel).
  • Bob Woodward describes the GOP standard operating procedure these days as “extortion and blackmail.”
  • My fellow Stranger refugee S.P. Miskowski now writes horror stories, and she’s looking for good examples of “bad woman” characters. Not daring rebel women who were really good but just called bad, mind you. She wants real (fictional) female baddies.
  • Playboy’s latest, er, re-vamp in search of lost circulation and ad bucks: “natural” glamour, instead of bleach and silicone. Also, 1 percent-y lifestyle articles.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/19/13
Aug 19th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

imagined audio-book listeners on a train, 1894

Back in the early days of telephones and phonograph records (1894 to be precise), essayist Octave Uzanne claimed “The End of Books” would soon be at hand. Uzanne predicted people would much rather listen to storytellers (with what are now called audio books) than read:

Our eyes are made to see and reflect the beauties of nature, and not to wear themselves out in the reading of texts; they have been too long abused, and I like to fancy that some one will soon discover the need there is that they should be relieved by laying a greater burden upon our ears. This will be to establish an equitable compensation in our general physical economy.

Elsewhere in randomosity:

  • Our ol’ friend (and onetime print MISC zine contributor) Jenniffer Velasco is now designing clothes in NYC, and making a name for herself.
  • The Seattle Timesvendetta against Mayor McGinn just gets more petty.
  • Sadly, criminal attacks in and near Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill just keep occurring.
  • If you ever get a text from a number you’ve never heard of, claiming to be from a woman “naked and waiting” for you to arrive with a pizza at a UW dorm, it’s best to not believe it.
  • The UW, meanwhile, ranks #27 in some list of the world’s top 100 universities. Just think what could happen if it got the state funding it deserves.
  • Seattle is #2 in some list of top world cities for “economic development.” Number one: Ottawa.
  • Could Puget Sound’s seaports finally stop competing against one another, thus driving down revenues to all?
  • Would-be neo-Sonics owner Chris Hansen gave money to a political campaign that’s essentially trying to stop a new arena in Sacramento. His admission of this might or might not diminish his chances of eventually landing a franchise.
  • Is Forever 21 demoting full-time workers to part-time as a sick revenge against Obamacare, or just to be mean?
  • Is Walmart doing badly this year because it treats its workers badly, or just because downscale customers still haven’t got their past spending power back?
  • Would Obama’s proposed student-loan “reforms” just make ‘em more usurious?
  • Blogger Allen Clifton makes the simple, provocative claim that today’s “Republicans aren’t Christians.”
  • Orson Scott Card, the Ender’s Game novelist who wants you to be tolerant of his anti-gay intolerance, also wrote a little essay fantasizing about Obama hiring “urban gangs” into a personal army to make him dictator.
  • Sophia McDougall at the UK mag New Statesman says she hates the stereotype of the “Strong Female Character,” particularly in big-budget action movies. She’d much rather see more, more believable, and more different female characters (i.e., different from one another).
  • Vice magazine, onetime would-be darling of the fashionably decadent, is now partly owned by Fox.
  • Anti-sex-trafficking advocate Rachel Lloyd would really like all of you to cease using the terms “pimp” or “pimping” in any admiration-type context.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/30/13
Jul 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlantic.com

  • We told you previously about a 1970s Federal photography project, documenting the nation as it existed during the “energy crisis” days. Here are 30 of the project’s pix from the Northwest, including a decidedly un-built-up downtown Seattle.
  • Next time you’re at Husky Stadium, give your best Jimmy Durante It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World impression and tell your pals you’ll meet ‘em “under the Big Dubble-ye.”
  • Is the bowing out of one of the Q nightclub’s partners really evidence the Seattle dance-club scene is “in disarray”?
  • The bosses at Spokane’s Veterans Arena agreed, in order to snag a Bon Jovi concert, to temporarily rename it the “Bon Jovi Veterans Arena.” Just temporarily. Veterans’ groups still don’t like it.
  • Indie-lit publisher Dennis Johnson hates, hates Amazon, but sees its level of book-biz control as possibly peaking.
  • Should Cheryl Chow’s widow have outed a current Seattle School Board candidate as a homophobe?
  • The most heartwarming/breakng obit you’ll read this month is the one penned in advance by local writer-essayist Jane Catherine Lotter, and issued following her cancer death this month.
  • We won’t have Kirby Wilbur to kick around anymore. The state Republican party head and sometime KVI shock-talker is going to D.C.
  • Elsewhere in radioland, UFO/conspiracy promoter extraordinaire Art Bell is staging a comeback on Sirius XM satellite radio.
  • A site for teenage girls gives a big tribute to Bjo Trimble, founding queen of Star Trek fandom and instigator of the first successful “save our show” campaign.
  • Warren Buffet’s son offers a dismaying look into “the Charitable-Industrial Complex.”
  • “Four out of five adults” face unemployment and/or poverty, or the threat of same, at some point in their lives.
  • Norm Ornstein at National Journal calls the Republicans’ stubborn, unending attempts to kill Obamacare “unprecedented and contemptible.”
  • “Contemporary” and even “avant garde” art is selling for huge bucks these days to global-one-percenter art collectors. Critic Walter Robinson explains some of the effects:

…The success of the avant-garde marks its failure. This is not news. We’ve been domesticated, no matter how fantastic and provocative we might be, into just one niche culture among many. We’re fun, and good, and even progressive, but all the rest of it is fantasy.

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.
THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE QUEER, WE’RE USED TO IT
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Yep, there was another Pride Parade in Belltown, heading toward another PrideFest in Seattle Center.

This year’s installment was even more festive than most, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against one specific federal anti-gay-marriage law; following the voter-approved start of gay marriages in this state late last year.

And, as always, the parade provided major companies with a chance to show off just how welcoming they are toward clean-cut, well-dressed, upper-middle-class people with good tastes in music and home decor.

But gay pride, and gaydom/queerdom in general, shouldn’t be about being the “ideal minority” for a segment of corporate America.

It shouldn’t be merely about recreation, food, drink, and other consumer practices.

For that matter, it shouldn’t be about sexuality as a consumer practice.

It shouldn’t be about an all-white “rainbow.”

And it shouldn’t be about imposing an oversimplified straight/gay social construct on top of an oversimplified female/male social construct.

It should be (and, at its best, it is) about universal inclusion. Of all gender-types, gender-roles, and consensual relations. (PrideFest’s ampersand logo this year expresses this with simple elegance.)

It should be about being who you individually are, without imposed identities (even “progressive” imposed identities).

And, of course, it should be about love.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/18/13
May 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Happy Mt. St. Helens Day!
  • Nordstrom was caught capturing and tracking the smartphone data of users who wandered through its (real-world) stores. Once the story broke out, the retail said it wasn’t doing it anymore.
  • A UW prof’s using meditation to teach students to conquer online distractions.
  • I’m still trying to determine if the Milwaukee slam poet Matt Cook, publicized in the hereby-linked page, is the same guy who was the Stranger’s first editor (and an unsung co-creator of that publication’s informal-snarkiness aesthetic).
  • Just as there are with vinyl records (and even 8-track tapes), there are people who staunchly defend VHS videocassettes and the culture they engendered. (Before VHS’s 30-year run as an active medium, the idea of “owning” your favorite movies was little more than a fantasy.) These analog nostalgists now have a documentary about them, taped in part at Seattle’s Scarecrow Video.
  • Carl Gibson at the political blog Nation of Change believes we should “move beyond ‘left vs. right,’” just before he iterates what is basically a center-left political platform.
  • Frank Zappa, as you all know, loathed drugs but loved him some hot groupie sex. His personal secretary, however, was allowed to turn him down.
  • Abstinence-only education, and the growing evidence that it’s really harmful, has proven to be one of the (many) topics that bring web comment trolls into full rabid-bigoted rage.
  • The UK’s Daily Telegraph refers to the Fast & Furious action-film series as Hollywood’s first “bisexual blockbuster.”
  • Does the still relatively little-used Google Plus have an alluring “tragic beauty” to it?
  • From all the hype you can hear about it these days, 3-D printing is either the best thing since sliced bread or the best thing since “industrial hemp.”
  • After just three weeks, the online revivals of All My Children and One Life to Live are each cutting back from four half-hour episodes a week to two.
  • Here’s a cool public art piece in Australia. It’s a hugeass hot air balloon in the form of a fantasy whale with human breast shapes stuck on, apparently just for fun.

junkee.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/30/13
Mar 29th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

washington dept. of natural resources via kxly-tv spokane

  • Here’s the big Whidbey Island landslide from Wednesday.
  • Apartments are expensive, hard to find in Seattle area.” Damn. I need one and soon.
  • Update #1: The Elvis statue that got stolen from Mama’s Mexican Kitchen in Belltown was found and returned.
  • Update #2: Canterbury Ale & Eats, the legendary Capitol Hill dive bar, is still scheduled to close later this year. But its landlord, the nonprofit Capitol Hill Housing, wants to replace it with another “affordable” eatery-drinkery.
  • Update #3: The sudden controversy over artist Charles Krafft’s longstanding ultra-right-wing beliefs has made the New Yorker.
  • My ol’ acquaintance, painter Billy King, would like a “1 percent for the arts” program for commercial real-estate developments, particularly the ever-enlarging Amazon campus.
  • And local sci-fi legend Neal Stephenson would like his fellow fantasists to get back to the old SF game of imagining practical, possible utopias, instead of the escapist cyberspaces and grim nightmare futures they’re mostly imagining these days.
  • Michelle Shocked shows up at clubs that canceled her gigs after her anti-gay rant, claiming to be a free-speech martyr.
  • “Shoppers tired of Walmart’s empty shelves and long lines are bolting to Costco and Target.” The empty-shelves part is only partly due to Walmart’s notoriously lousy labor policies that drive potential workers away. It’s also due to suppliers getting sick n’ tired of Walmart’s notorious “my way or the highway” stance toward them.
  • Salon asks, “Is there anything 3-D printing can’t do?” Actually, there’s a heckuva lot it can’t do. Yet.
  • Many (white female) porn stars still refuse to perform interracial sex scenes on camera. Comment #1: Yes, women (including sex workers) should be able to turn down anything they want to turn down. Comment #2: It’s still a sad sign that some performers (and, presumably, viewers), in a genre once thought to be the cutting edge of “free speech” progress, can’t get beyond one of society’s most tired old prejudices.
  • Micheal Schuman at Time sees a new relevance for that ol’ policy nerd Karl Marx, as the global one-percenters wage “class struggle” against all the rest of us. But Schuman doesn’t see, or recommend, any serious counter response.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/22/13
Mar 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • When bad covers happen to good novels….
  • The (beautiful) wooden Elvis statue outside Mama’s Mexican Kitchen was stolen. We who all adore it need it back.
  • Every now and then, civic boosters talk about bringing the Olympic Games to Seattle. Such efforts have traditionally been quashed quickly by locals worried about traffic and local-government subsidies. But this time (for the 2024 Summer Games), could the boosters have the upper hand over the NIMBYs?
  • City Councilmember Richard Conlin says housing for poor people should be kept in the south end, away from all the nice-upscale people.
  • (Meanwhile, it’s good to remember that America’s urban ghettos were the historic result of specific policy/planning decisions. Do an online search for “redlining” and “blockbusting” to learn more.)
  • “Tiny houses” are all the rage in certain circles. But wanting to plop one down inside a city, well that’s news.
  • At least one ESPN pundit predicts the Seattle Mariners will be “this year’s surprise team.” In recent years, as you know, the M’s have provided too many of the wrong kind of surprises.
  • Wash. state is Number One! (In making higher education unaffordable, that is.)
  • Seattle teachers’ protest against standardized testing has reached the eyes and ears of the New Yorker, which notes that this particular test is not used so much to evaluate students as it is to evaluate the teachers themselves.
  • The Catholic Northwest Progress, the regional archdiocese newspaper, is the latest grave in the print-media cemetery. The paper’s incessantly anti-gay-marriage stance probably didn’t help.
  • The years-in-the-promising Bell Street “boulevard park” project is finally starting construction. When it’s done, Bell will have one lane of traffic and one lane of parallel parking; the rest of the right-of-way will be extended sidewalks and planters.
  • The thing about the Vancouver BC company’s inadvertently see-thru yoga slacks: The women who attend these classes and wear these clothes are often trying to show off their figures, not to men but to other women, not to attract desire but admiration/envy. But that doesn’t work if the “exposure” is too blatant.
  • In the ten years since the Iraq War, the buildup to same, and the almost unquestioned media cheerleading for same, have we learned anything (except to distrust the media)?
  • In the Internet era, news readers have umpteen sources for big national/global stories, but far fewer people reporting local events or investigating local dirt.
  • Montana may make roadkill legal to eat: On tonight’s dessert menu, chocolate moose.
  • After testing the waters in commercial book genres (romance, mystery, etc.), Amazon’s getting into the “literary” book racket.
  • While the “people of the book” were making their usual noisy gripes that everything was going to hell, independent bookstores have staged a quiet comeback.
  • Speaking of naysaying the naysayers, Bono would like you to know that many worldwide trends (poverty, AIDS, etc.) are actually on a positive swing these days.
  • Is Jay Leno finally being pushed into retirement? For real this time?
  • Urban-planning pundit Richard Florida made big bucks from instructing cities how to pursue “the creative class.” Now he says (sort of) that that doesn’t work.
  • Following Chris Ware’s acclaimed Building Stories, local art-book press Marquand Books is putting out another “box set” graphic novel, containing objects of different sizes and shapes telling one meta-narrative. It’s The Magician, by onetime Dallas arts promoter Chris Byrne. It’s an ultra-limited-edition product. Its artistic ambitions, if anything, are greater than those of Ware’s work.

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 3/14/13
Mar 14th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 65): No. But the would-be team buyers and arena developers have posted conceptual art of the proposed arena’s interior. It’s got a steep seating bowl and three “Sonics Rings” around the upper levels. Yes, it’s intended to be loud.
  • Damning With Faint Praise Dept.: The Financial Times claims Boeing investors are not as “narrow-minded” as the company itself “(mostly) is.”
  • I won’t be the new Seattle Weekly editor. (They didn’t even email me back.) Instead, they’re poaching Mark Baumgarten from CityArts.
  • Meanwhile, John Roderick’s Weekly manifesto, “Punk Rock Is Bullshit,” has drawn national attention. Blogger Marianne Spellman calls Roderick’s piece an example of “how to get everything spectacularly wrong.”
  • The latest gravestone in the print-media cemetery belongs to an “alt-weekly” pioneer, the venerable Boston Phoenix.
  • You know the new Pope is just as anti-gay and anti-contraception as his predecessors. You might not know he was a serious collaborator with Argentina’s ruthlessly homicidal former junta.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of marketing products “For Women” is brought to you by a Dubai computer company. It’s selling a tablet device called the Femme, pre-loaded with shopping and dieting apps.
  • 3D printing, that latest tech craze, isn’t quite up to the hype. Yet.
  • Hostess snacks may again be made soon. Probably not in Seattle, though. That property’s just too developer-lucrative now.
  • Three devoted fans have a dream, to rebuild the bridge set from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even though they don’t have a place to put it.
  • Bob Woodward’s John Belushi bio, according to a guy who re-tracked-down its sources, got most of its facts right but still got the bigger picture all wrong.
  • In the Japanese tsunami of 2011, an historic forest on the country’s coastline fell—except for a single tall, thin tree. That tree eventually succumbed a year later, because its ground water had become too saline. But it’s remembered in a monumental plastic-and-metal sculpture, “Miracle Pine.” (The scaffolding in this image will be removed before the official unveiling.)

architizer.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/5/13
Feb 4th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

seattlestairwaywalks.com

  • You know I love walking and Seattle and Walking Seattle. So I support “Stairway Walks Day” this Saturday.
  • There’s something called “The HUB in Seattle.” It’s a new corporate meeting center in the old Masins furniture store in Pioneer Square. Whoever gave it that name can’t possibly be a UW alum.
  • It is possible for a downtown parking garage to lose money. Especially, apparently, when it’s City-owned.
  • Reviews of the Super Blackout Bowl range from the usual rants by sports-hating hippies to the usual highlight-hype. Will Leitch, though, has a good piece about CBS’s announcers and their failure in the face of daunting circumstances.
  • Was Ed Koch gay? We still don’t know for sure.
  • Mother Jones has a vast, yet probably still incomplete, chart of looney Obama conspiracy theories.
  • “Freaky” body modifications should not be done without sterile instruments and the supervision of trained professionals. This includes implanting dice in one’s penis, an apparent fad among Australian prisoners.
  • MySpace’s latest site redesign seems to have evaporated members’ fan lists. The company’s final, fatal mistake?
  • Imagine “Super WiFi,” available nationwide (even in Eastern Washington?), offering beyond-broadband speeds and fancy new services, open to the general public, for free. Some Federal officials believe this is possible, for a modest investment, over existing FCC-controlled bandwidth.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/30/13
Jan 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

ap via nwcn.com

  • Just like at the Ballard Locks, Oregon’s Willamette Falls is plagued by salmon-hungry sea lions. Local officials’ answer? “A boat crew armed with seal bombs and shotguns loaded with firecrackers.”
  • Seattle Times headline labels “art” as a waste of state taxpayer money, right up there with legislators’ dry-cleaning bills. This is not the sort of objective reporting of which the Times claims to be a last bastion.
  • You want real spending waste, in a project about, well, waste? Then look no further than Seattle Public Utilities’ new south end transfer station, still not ready months after its ribbon cutting.
  • Another stupid shooting in another local nightspot. How utterly gross. (Here’s news of the benefit for the bar bouncer’s recovery.)
  • I seem to have found out about this story in progress, but the UW’s Women’s Action Commission has created its own theater piece in the tradition of The Vagina Monologues. Only this all-new work is called The ___ Monologues. The title is apparently an attempt to make the work “more trans-friendly.”
  • The Yankees don’t like A-Rod anymore.
  • Marijuana industry trade associations are now a thing.
  • The Wall St. Journal says Microsoft wouldn’t have to take a majority stake in Dell in order to have  a pivotal degree of influence in the beleagured PC maker.
  • The newest version of MS Office comes in a “cloud based” subscription version, which seems to essentially require you to have a never-interrupted Net connection (and, of course, to keep paying).
  • Boeing’s global-outsourcing craze is now, more or less officially, a “disaster.”
  • We must say goodbye to Regretsy, the site that pokes gentle fun at kooky craft products. Its operator April Winchell (yes, Dick Dastardly’s daughter) said the site’s concept had run its course (“now we’re just Bedazzling a dead horse”).
  • Last week, Twitter launched a new streaming-video site called Vine. The premise is people posting six-second, repeating GIF videos. Yes, it’s already been used for porn, and for people taping themselves taking bong hits.
  • Barnes & Noble plans to close perhaps 20 percent of its stores over the next decade. So much for the guys who were supposed to be taking over the industry and driving all the indie quirkiness out of the book biz.
  • Someone’s written a long, detailed critique of the cinematography in Les Miserables—in the character of the Incredible Hulk.
  • “Rei” at Daily Kos wants you to reconsider the Fox News story from last week about Iceland’s official baby-names list.
  • Speaking of which, while my masses-bashing “radical” leftist friends like to imagine Fox News as “the most popular TV channel,” its ratings among adults under 55 are the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade.
  • Jeb Boniakowski at The Awl would like a mega-McDonald’s in NYC’s Times Square, that would serve everything the chain serves everywhere else but not in this country.
  • Public radio’s idea of “humor,” at once bland and cloying, reaches a new nadir in a Chicago station’s make-believe plea for its listeners to breed more public-radio-listening babies.
  • Headline: “Ex-NFL player charged with beating boyfriend.” Comment: Yes, this is still what it takes to acknowledge the existence of gay athletes.
  • Jim Nabors had been rumored to be gay ever since his days of sitcom stardom. Now he’s finally publicly proclaimed it, by getting married in Seattle.
  • The NY Times has discovered something that’s been going on around here for some time—the “permanent temp” economy.
  • One of the last of its kind in the region, the Valley 6 Drive-In Theater in Auburn, will not reopen after its most recent seasonal shutdown. Even sadder, its longtime manager Kieth Kiehl passed on shortly after the decision to close was made. Both will be missed.

beth dorenkamp via grindhouse theater tacoma

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