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RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/20/12
Sep 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

seattle chapter, american institute of architects via kplu.org

  • What to do with the soon-to-be former 520 floating bridge’s surplus pontoons? Several folks have ideas. One of them, above, is to build a walkway just below Lake Washington’s surface, for the ever-popular “walking on water” illusion.
  • Seattle’s own alt-country rising star Brandi Carlile has officially come out.
  • Fast Company seems to find it odd that Microsoft’s new hardware products have embraced a newly enriched design aesthetic without CEO Steve Ballmer being in hands-on charge of the initiative. A good boss knows when (and to whom) to delegate authority.
  • Amazon’s proposed three new towers won’t just be big, they’ll also be bold.
  • Earlier this year we mentioned how the Swedish Hospital system said it was losing loads of money. Similar news has now come from Group Health.
  • Private housing developers are getting tax breaks for building “affordable” housing units, without enough proof that they’re actually building ’em.
  • Meanwhile, City Councilmember Nick Licata wants you to know that more than of Seattle’s “renter” population, 20 percent spend more than half their income on rent.
  • Starbucks now has its own branded home espresso machine.
  • If there’s anybody with an apparent greater sense of L’etat, C’est Moi than Seattle police, it’s Bellevue police.
  • More first-birthday greetings to the Occupy movement: Bainbridge Island-based Yes! magazine uses a tree graphic to show how the movement has “born fruit.”
  • Who wants to keep simple majorities in the Legislature from deciding revenue bills? Big business, of course. Like duh.
  • As of Wednesday evening, HuffPost’s Electoral College map lists only one tossup state, North Carolina. Obama has taken leads (at least small ones) in all the other previously “swing” states.
  • Richard Eskow of the Campaign for America’s Future claims Romney’s “47 percent” speech reveals the combination of privilege, selfishness, and rage that defines “the radical rich.” (A certain megahome-building couple in Leschi might be considered among these.)
  • Those print-on-demand book machines are coming to lots more locations. But will the new models allow color interior pages, or be even halfway decent with photographs?
  • Jack Hitt at The New Yorker has a hi-larious “Conservative History of the United States,” based entirely on wingnut politicians’ and pundits’ actual untrue statements.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/18/12
Sep 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

seanmichaelhurley.blogspot.com

  • My ol’ pal and fellow Stranger refugee, painter/illustrator Sean Michael Hurley, worked the “safety patrol” at the Downtown Emergency Service Center for the past two years, until earlier this month. Here are his poignant reminiscences of this tough job.
  • Not since (or even including) Dukakis have I seen a Presidential campaign come apart at the rivets so thoroughly, so quickly. Having apparently abandoned even most of the remaining “swing states” (of which some polls say there are now only six), the Romneyites are retreating to their remaining hardcore base—their billionaire donors. That’s the reason for the masses-bashing speech Romney gave to some donors last week, which got leaked to Mother Jones.
  • Next, the Romney cronies will try to double down on the “culture war” nonsense, to try to keep the wingnuts interested in propping up the GOP downticket races.
  • Wall Street was re-occupied, with the expected police over-reaction.
  • Timothy Harris at Real Change, meanwhile, insists there’s life yet in the Occupy shtick.
  • Nanci Donnellan, KJR-AM’s former “Fabulous Sports Babe,” has had major health issues in recent years, but is still doing the brassy-mama act on the air in Tampa.
  • Did a European magician try to copy one of Penn and Teller’s (well, Teller’s) signature bits? Or is it all just another of the team’s elaborate hoaxes?
  • Today’s lesson in officially homophobic institutions covering up rampant child abuse comes from the Boy Scouts.
  • So the organized anti-American attacks in the Mideast aren’t really due to an awful, no-budget American movie. But if they had been, so many more cringeworthy-bad films are out there. Where’s the rioting over Manos the Hands of Fate or The Wasp Woman?
  • There are still vast places in America, nay in Wash. state, where there’s no cell phone service and previous little Internet service. Some people who don’t live in these places imagine them to be heaven. I do not.
  • A Tacoma teacher says education reform has become like the unsolvable training exercise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I think it’s more like one of those Doctor Who season finales that require a millennium or two to resolve.
  • Jen Doll at the Atlantic says the changing book biz means the end of the cloying back-cover blurb. (You’ll also enjoy the article’s stock photo of the old Elliott Bay Book Co. location.)
  • Harvard researchers claim “a wandering mind is not a happy mind.” I’d tell you more about the story, but I had these 30 other browser tabs open at the time….
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/14/12
Sep 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

andraste.com via the smoking gun

  • A Seattle fetish photographer puts up some shots taken inside a cemetery. Legal rancor ensues. Trust me on this: The dead people don’t give a darn.
  • Heather Artena Hughes, 1967-2012: The longtime local actress/singer/dancer/comedienne did everything from torch songs and burlesque bits to parody wrestling matches. She was a regular in the Match Game Belltown shows. Everyone who knew and/or worked with her called her a near-goddess of skill and verve.
  • Nordstrom is expanding into Canada. (No “designer toque” jokes from this corner.)
  • Why do the Mariners brass still oppose the Sonics arena scheme? Could it be because the M’s could conceivably want their own cable channel, and any neo-Sonics team could conceivably compete with that?
  • The city of Auburn has a “wall of shame,” decrying banks that hold on to foreclosed homes and leave them to decay.
  • A JPMorganChase analyst claims the iPhone 5 (just announced this week) “could prop up the entire U.S. economy.” Douglas Rushkoff at CNN is more than a little skeptical about this claim.
  • AT&T wants the legal right to abandon the landline-phone biz, and with it all demands for “network neutrality” that keep it from manipulating what websites its customers get to see.
  • The broadcast/cable/satellite TV industries, and their attorneys, continue to make the online streaming of “free” TV a near-impossibility.
  • It’s a little too late for the chain’s Washington locations (the regional franchisee went under a year or two back), but Hooters is trying to be more female-friendly.
  • It’s not much of a comic (just dialogue scenes), but there’s still novelty value to a lawyer making a five-page strip as a legal brief in the Apple/Amazon ebook pricing suit.
  • USA Today just brought out a massive print/online redesign. Nice to see a print paper fighting for continued relevance, instead of just fading away.
  • Amanda Palmer raised over a million bucks on Kickstarter for a new album. Not getting a slice of that: local pickup musicians on her tour stops.
  • The Pussy Riot protesters might get out of jail next month. Just might.
  • “Did the Republicans deliberately crash the U.S. economy?” Or was that merely collateral damage in the game of supplying as many favors as possible to its billionaire campaign donors?
  • How do you get and keep more women in the tech industries? One way is to not require programming experience in filling non-programming jobs (such as middle management).
  • What will it take to get more black ballet dancers?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/10/12
Sep 9th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • The first Boeing 747, the plane that saved both its maker and the state’s economy from complete ruin, sits out in the outside elements, desperately needing restoration.
  • One possible cause of the “West Seattle hum”: fish mating calls in the Stillaguamish.
  • Hunger in Washington increased more during the recession than it did in most every other state.
  • How’s private liquor sales turning out? Higher prices, smaller selections, more “moms” buying the hard stuff.
  • Teamsters may strike against a wholesaler of organic produce.
  • Washington’s most ethnically diverse place: Tukwila.
  • Eric Scigliano claims local leaders push for “trophy rail” projects, even when plain ol’ buses would be more cost effective.
  • Appropriately enough for what was founded as a railroad town, a “crazy person” and self-promoter named George Francis Train has a big role in Tacoma’s history.
  • Professional right-wing initiative maestro Tim Eyman might have broken the rules by moving money around between two of his concurrent campaigns.
  • Rachel Maddow believes Mitt Romney’s currently slim chances could be doomed by a far-right third-party candidate, who’s on the ballot only in Virginia.
  • A 71-year-old man asked Romney about Social Security. Romney’s security squad forced him to the ground. Romney joked about hoping the man had taken his blood pressure meds.
  • Laurence Lewis at Daily Kos warns that as the Republican base gets ever smaller and more X-treme, they’ll get ever more ugly and desperate:

Their last and only hope is that they can buy a last election or two, and encode into law, and legislate from the bench into the Constitution, an end to democracy itself.

  • King Crimson legend (and a man sometimes billed as the “smartest person in music”) Robert Fripp says he’s retiring from the music biz.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/3/12
Sep 3rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Jon Rafman finds amazing shots taken by Google Street Views’ nine-camera-equipped trucks, and collects them at his blog 9-eyes.com.
  • In one corner, street-team advertising concern Poster Giant. In the other corner, angry women, who will not go away quietly.
  • Sun Myung Moon, 1920-2012: Those who didn’t closely follow the Korean religious/political/business/publishing cult master often called him a “right wing Christian.” The “right wing” part was correct enough. The “Christian” part was misleading. Moon’s Unification Church theology and practice were really a lot more unique (i.e., weirder).
  • Local college grad Alison Sargent writes in Bitch magazine about her experiences at Mars Hill Church. She describes it as another right-wing cult (albeit more traditionally “Christian” than the Moonies), and a place where “faith and feminism don’t mix.”
  • Harvard researcher Steven Strauss ponders whether the rate of techno-progress in today’s world is actually slowing down.
  • Bigtime political campaigns are employing polling and demographic stats work so complex, even they might not know how it works or what it means.
  • Author Chuck Thompson asks why “so many Southerners think they’re the only real Americans.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/30/12
Aug 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Bic thought it would be a great marketing coup to come out with a ball point pen “For Her.” (The package says, “Easy Glide: Feel the smoothness.” The Amazon snark-comments begin in 3… 2…
  • Sony will sell home TVs with the same ultra-high-def resolution as the top digital cinema projectors. Why, tell me again, are we expected to still go to theaters?
  • “Hipster” bashing is officially passé, now that it’s being used to sell Toyotas.
  • Just as the political right seems to be collapsing into a black hole of hardcore hate, Fisher Broadcasting decides to bring right-wing talk back to KVI.
  • If you really need more anti-Republican ranting (the proverbial fish in the proverbial barrell, shot with the proverbial smoking gun), there’s some here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/26/12
Aug 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlanticwire.com

  • Microsoft’s new logo is so highly appropriate. They’re literally proclaiming themselves to be a bunch of perfect squares!
  • Parker’s Casino and Sports Bar, the legendary Aurora Avenue roadhouse (once known as the Aquarius Tavern) where everyone from Paul Revere and the Raiders to Heart got their starts, has been gutted and may be demolished.
  • Thirty-eight percent of Seattle homeowners still have “underwater” mortgages.
  • James Fogle, 1937-2012: The Drugstore Cowboy author spent three quarters of his life behind bars, for robberies fueled by a lifelong drug habit. Never learned any better way to live.
  • Beloit College’s annual list of things today’s college frosh don’t know about includes such expected fading memories as VHS tapes, film cameras, car radios, The Godfather, and printed airline tickets. SeattlePI.com’s Big Blog adds that today’s 18-year-olds never personally experienced the Frederick & Nelson department store, the career of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and The Far Side comic strip.
  • Also mostly forgotten: the fact that Belltown’s American Lung Association building, finally razed for a high-rise apartment complex following years of ownership squabbles, was once the regional office of Burroughs Computer. In honor of that connection, the tower’s topping-off ceremony ought to include a reading from Naked Lunch.
  • Today’s Scrabble-related crime story comes to you from Kamloops, B.C.
  • Item: “All nine people injured during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were wounded by gunfire from the two officers.” Comment: So much for the idea that all you need to stop people with guns is more people with guns.
  • A HuffPost blogger claims “straight identifying” guys are having more gay sex than out-gay guys.
  • The “indie” music site Pitchfork Media posted a reader poll of top all-time favorite recordings. Almost all of them were by white guys (even more predominantly so than Pitchfork’s own coverage range of acts).
  • The late founder of the San Diego ComiCon was quietly outed. Very quietly.
  • The tiny, India-designed “car that runs on compressed air” is not really pollution-free. You need energy to power air compressors. Usually electric power. Power that’s often generated from coal or oil or plutonium.
  • Only in Putin’s Russia could there be such a wholesale rehab of the Stalin legacy.
  • On a “radical left” U.S. website, a Russian writer bashes Pussy Riot for being anti-populist, anti-Christian, in it just for the money, and led by (wait for it)… a Jew.
  • The Campaign, that comedy movie previously mentioned here in regard to its stars’ Pike Place Market promo fiasco, turns out to be a bold and broad satire of today’s corporate-bully-controlled politics.
  • Today’s rant against “the Fanatical GOP” comes to you courtesy of Robert Reich.…
  • …while Lindy West thoroughly demolishes a National Review writer’s quasi-homoerotic ode to Mitt Romney’s alleged masculine prowess.
  • Carlos Castaneda: Author. Guru. New Age legend. Harem keeper. Manipulator. Liar. Fraud.
  • As I keep telling you, right-wingnuts actually do read books. They read wingnut books. A lot of wingnut books, it turns out.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/20/12
Aug 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

slate.com

  • The images used to sell prog-rock LPs are often more intriguing than the noodle-y music itself.
  • Jonah Keri at the ESPN/McSweeney’s site Grantland lists 27 notable things about Felix Hernandez’s perfect game. That’s one item for each out.
  • And here are some clips and GIFs of Hernandez’s feat, and a video compiling all his 27 consecutive outs.
  • When Metro Transit dumps the downtown “ride free area” next month, ride times and congestion could get significantly longer/worse. That’s in addition to the impact on people of all economic castes getting around in the city’s center.
  • Tuition at Washington’s major colleges and universities more than doubled over the past 20 years, while average incomes stayed flat.…
  • …while state-government employment dropped by more than 15,000 people this past year.
  • Bill Maher says outright that “voter ID laws are racist;” while a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri suggests repealing the Voter Rights Act.
  • Unknown artists spent a lot of time creating a big installation piece using stuff found inside an abandoned Detroit church.
  • Tony Scott, 1944-2012: The director of Top Gun died from a depression-inspired suicide, just like too many of our real-life troops.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/17/12
Aug 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

craig hill, tacoma news tribune

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

RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/16/12
Aug 16th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

maisonceleste.wordpress.com

  • Did Mexico’s Huichol people create what we now know as “psychedelic” art?
  • Central Washington’s bad, no-good week was caused by human carelessness. (Remember what Smokey says, everybody.)
  • Soon, you’ll be able to go to an Arco station and not be supporting BP—but only if you’re in southern California, Nevada, or Arizona. BP’s holding on to the Arco stations in the Northwest, and to the Cherry Point, WA refinery that feeds them.
  • Save the Silver Fork! It’s an indie diner! A real one, not a hip-retro pastiche! It’s the Rainier Valley’s favorite “third place,” a site of community-gathering and conviving. It’s threatened with demolition, for nothing more than a gas station.
  • As you might know, the cover model for Herb Alpert’s classic LP Whipped Cream and Other Delights is an ex-Seattleite now living in southwest Washington. And she’s still a charmer.
  • The Young Fresh Fellows, deans of Seattle power pop, have a new album coming out! And you can access an online stream if you follow the band’s clever little marketing gimmick.
  • Rep. Jim McDermott, for most of his political career, has been a man only a Republican could dislike. Until his wife became his ex-wife, that is.
  • Just as I figured would happen, a compromise with the Port of Seattle may enable the Sonics arena scheme to go forward.
  • Getty Images, Seattle’s king of stock photos, is being bought by the Carlyle Group. That’s the D.C.-based private-equity outfit with strong ties to the Bush family and to the Saudi royals.
  • During the Olympics, Nike put out a T-shirt with the slogan GOLD DIGGING. A sexist slap or just good clean fun?
  • Maria Konnikova at the Atlantic explains just how famous quotations get mixed up, rearranged, or misattributed.
  • Among the publishing old-timers trying to make sense of the Internet age: onetime Sassy editor and “perpetual teenager” Jane Pratt.
  • Angela Neustatter at the Guardian would really like married people to be a lot more accepting/forgiving of cheatin’ spouses. It’s only natural, she says. (There goes half the subject matter of classic lit and country songs….)
  • Americans are having fewer babies, too few to maintain the population size. This has been happening in Japan for a while, to the point that kids’ manga and related media are in financial freefall. But what’s bad news for the makers of baby clothes could be good news for an overextended planet.
  • PBS’s Frontline goes Jesus-freaky. In the process, a lot’s revealed about cultural cross-pollination. Long before hip white kids pretended to be Buddhists, Romans disgusted by their corrupt society embraced the simple love-and-respect teachings of a tiny Jewish splinter sect.
  • Whites are still far more likely than minorities to have home broadband connections. But Hispanics, Asian Americans, and African Americans are more likely than whites to have smartphones. This is what could be known as burrowing under the Digital Divide.
  • Cheating at tournament-level Scrabble! Is nothing pure anymore? (On the other hand, it allows me to revive the tagline from the Scrabble game show: “It’s the crossword game you’ve played all your life, but never quite like this!”)
  • When the teen offspring of the One Percent post Tweets® and photos of their obscenely opulent lifestyles, it’s all fun and snark. Until somebody figures out that potential burglars/kidnappers could be reading them.
  • As I keep telling you, if you don’t vote, you’re doing exactly what the extreme right wing wants you to do.
  • Political spending this season has been swamped by Karl Rove’s and the Koch brothers’ Super PACs, and their oh-so-anonymous donors.
  • Paul Constant describes Paul Ryan as:

A wealthy young white man who refuses to, for one second, consider what it must be like to be a woman, or a minority, or a member of the lower class, or old. A man whose words mean less than nothing.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/9/12
Aug 9th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

wikimedia commons

  • The warm weather’s speeding up the life cycle of the aphids spreading “zebra chip” disease to Washington’s potato crops, making the spuds unsalable.
  • Let’s raise a thousand guitar picks to the 10th anniversary of Seattle’s All Ages Dance Ordinance, and the repeal of the infamously restrictive “Teen Dance Ordinance” (which had banned almost all all-ages live music shows for nearly two decades). A lot of people worked a lot of years to make that happen. They can tell you that change doesn’t really happen any other way.
  • It began in ’10, took last year off due to funding problems, but is back this weekend. It’s Seattle Founders Days in Belltown, a weekend celebration of one of America’s liveliest neighborhoods, its spectacular past and its portentious future.
  • When truly affordable housing remains in short supply anywhere in Seattle, should the Seattle Housing Authority sell off huge chunks of Yesler Terrace to “market rate” developers?
  • RealNetworks, after many losses, turned a profit this past quarter. But it’s only because they sold a bunch of patents to Intel.
  • Now that the reservoirs are all lidded, your best chance for a peek at Seattle’s water supply comes with a “Tap Tour” to the Cedar River Watershed.
  • Romney outrage of the day (this will probably be a regular department for the next 90 days): Bain Capital’s original investors included figures tied to El Salvador’s murderous right-wing death squads.
  • One more reason why no state can afford a Republican one-party government: Louisiana’s set to dole out public education bucks to anti-science fundamentalist private schools.
  • The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced new national bosses, who might (just might, mind you) end the homophobia and Planned Parenthood-bashing of the group’s recent past. But it’ll probably remain an outfit less interested in health care than in big-bucks corporate sponsorships.
  • We here in BlueStateLand like to scoff at slimy voter suppression tactics elsewhere. But why aren’t Washington’s own majority-Hispanic pockets seeing more majority-Hispanic voting profiles?
  • You could live directly above the future U District light rail station, as soon as 2021.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/4/12
Aug 4th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

visual.ly

  • According to the “Geek Zodiac,” I belong to the Year of the Astronaut. (I always liked astronauts.)
  • Forbes.com freelancer Zach Slaton traces the roots of Seattle’s soccer mania back further than the 1974 NASL Sounders, to British and European immigrants who’d come here starting in the 1950s.
  • A southwest Wash. man was recently discovered attempting to pass some particularly “high quality fake money.” Who says Americans have lost their manufacturing edge?
  • More than 80 million Facebook accounts are really spambots or other varieties of fake, Facebook management admits.
  • The Seattle Times (an old-school advertising medium) disses new-school advertising medium Yelp.com. The paper alleges that the “customer review” site promises to promote positive reviews of shops and eateries that buy ads on the site, and threatens to promote negative reviews of those that don’t buy ads on the site.
  • It’s crop circle time again!
  • Frank Elaison at Social Media Today would really like Net users to “focus on being positive,” and stop brutally insulting people they’ve never even met.
  • The Onion (with which the Stranger has a shared pre-history) has found today’s third rail of bad-taste humor.
  • Back in 2005-2006, a locally-owned small town daily in eastern Idaho (an area more heavily Mormon than Utah) ran an exposé of a boy-abuser within the adult leadership of the local Boy Scouts. The local business and governmental leadership quickly jelled their outspoken support—not around the victims or their families, but around the Scout leaders who’d conspired to cover up the crimes for years. It’s news now because one of the conspiracy’s most outspoken defenders, the head of the area’s biggest company, is now on Romney’s fundraising team. And he’s doing to Romney’s critics what he did to the newspaper back then—threaten to sue them into oblivion.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/3/12
Aug 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

google earth via rhizome.org

  • Clement Valla at Rhizome.org finds beauty and “the universal texture” within the mistakes of Google Earth’s 3D geographical simulations.
  • The musicians’ union would like to create “sustainable” opportunities for local club bands (i.e., gigs with decent pay). Considering how fiscally precarious so many bars and clubs are, this may be a challenge.
  • Amy Rolph at SeattlePI.com, trolling for weird items on Amazon to laff at, found a CD of “lullaby renditions of Nirvana songs.” Rolph calls the electronically-rendered music “creepy.” I call it more like a failed attempt to update the shtick of Raymond Scott’s old Soothing Sounds for Baby LPs.
  • It’s not that “oldies” music is selling more these days. It’s that present-day music is selling less.
  • When classic films meet know-nothing online reviewers, magic happens.
  • Apple has again become the world’s #1 personal-computer maker, if you count iPads as computers.
  • At last, a new job in this town that doesn’t require programming experience. It’s the making of fake poop, to demonstrate new third-world toilet designs for the Gates Foundation.
  • Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet believes today’s Republicans are “a truly toxic aberration,” an outfit that can only win elections by voter-suppression and other dirty tricks.
  • The “future of news” gurus have long claimed that media companies only needed to hustle for all the web hits they could get, and ad revenue would naturally follow. That’s turning out to not be the case; especially with tablet and smartphone users.
  • Here’s one Russian guy’s idea of how humans could live forever, for just $50 billion in startup costs:
  1. First, invent remote-controlled, humanoid robots.
  2. The next generation of the robots would contain transplanted human brains.
  3. By the year 2045, people’s memories and personalities would be transferred as software into robotic brains. (As we always say with stories like this, “Nothing can possibly go wrong….”)
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/2/12
Aug 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

perfect sound forever, via furious.com

  • It was my first real lesson in how to make a print periodical that was neither a corporate “slick” nor an amateur “zine.” It was my entree into several musical worlds, most importantly that of U.S. indie pop/rock. Let us remember the brief, glorious life of New York Rocker.
  • Can Washington’s state parks really survive if they have to become self supporting?
  • Correction of the day (NY Times):

An earlier version misstated the term Mr. Vidal called William F. Buckley Jr. in a debate. It was crypto-Nazi, not crypto-fascist.

  • In the Matrix movies, identity is easily transmutable and fluid. Think about that when you learn that director Larry Wachowski now wants to be known as Lana.
  • How do all those “rugged individualist,” “rebel” Tea Party operatives act and sound so much alike? They get special training in exactly what to say, do, and believe.
  • Meanwhile, “Conservative Movement” operatives are finally starting to turn against one another, using the same tactics of loud lies they’ve always used against progressives and centrists.
  • The latest winner of one of those dumb magazine declarations about “America’s coolest city”? Houston.
  • If a Waterworld dystopia ever comes to be, expect the One Percenters to hole themselves up in fancy-as-all-heck “floating cities of the future.”
  • Human waste off the Northwest coast, now with extra caffeine.
  • The anti-“social media” backlash is fully underway. One disgruntled Facebook advertiser says it was charged for “clicks” on its ads that turned out to have been mostly generated by “bot” programs. And Ewan Morrison at the Guardian implores self-publishing authors to spend less time incessantly hawking their “brands” on Twitter, Facebook, et al., and more time actually, you know, writing.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/29/12
Jul 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

The Burke Museum has posted a lovely You Tube video showing how the Pioneer Square area was not only settled by Seattle’s founders but altered, filled in, and transformed from a little isthmus into the historic district it is today.

  • A B.C.-based blogger about classic cartoons offers his own tribute to J.P. Patches, on whose show he first saw many of those shorts.
  • Meanwhile, sometime Seattle musician (and this year’s Seafair grand marshal) Duff McKagan cites the Patches show as exemplifying/promoting a quirky, particularly “Seattle” sense of humor.
  • Paul Constant believes the Seattle library levy would stand a better chance of passage if its promoters expressed more appreciation toward librarians, not just toward buildings and acquisitions.
  • The Dept. of Justice deal with the Seattle Police includes a court appointed monitor and strict reporting of “uses of force.”
  • You’ve got about a month to get your needles together for the big quilters’ convention.
  • A Florida renegade Republican claims his state party has deliberately tried to suppress the black vote.
  • Paul Krugman suggests Mitt Romney’s wealth, and the insularity that goes with it, is his potential undoing.
  • If you don’t have health insurance, today’s Republican Party officially doesn’t give a flying frack about you.
  • The number of “swing states” in this Presidential election: 8. That’s it.
  • Pat Buchanan really needn’t worry about the Republicans facing long-term oblivion as America becomes steadily less white. Some future generation of GOP operatives could easily dump the racism (disguised and otherwise), and instead proclaim that passive-aggressive fealty to Big Money is for everyone.
  • Roger Rosenblatt wants writers to “write great;” that is, to go beyond the merely personal and embrace reality’s greater issues.
  • In the opposite direction from “writing great,” there’s now an online Fifty Shades of Grey-esque cliché generator.
  • And finally, this day’s most incisive, most informative piece of Seattle Times reportage:

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