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

  • Welcome Valentine’s season with Mitch O’Connell’s array of 100 unintentionally “unerotic vintage pin-up modeling photos.” (Note: The hereby linked page is, as the kids say, “NSFW.”) Speaking of the un-erotic….
  • Emily Nussbaum at the New Yorker likes how HBO’s series Girls reinvents the late-night-cable sex scene, that most hackneyed of video tropes, into farcical pathos.
  • The John Keister/Pat Cashman “comeback” show The [206] disappeared after two episodes (which had been shot in one taping, as a pilot). But it will return in April.
  • Would you buy your coffee wherever “The Bitter Barista” works next? (He was fired after his employers found out about his blog.)
  • The Seattle Transit Blog explains when the new Car2Go company is a better value than Zipcar and vice versa.
  • It’s harder to sneak past the NY Times website’s paywall these days, but may are still trying.
  • Things people feel nostalgic for these days include VHS tapes and the manual paste-up of newspaper pages.
  • Sam Tanenhaus at the New Republic explains just how the Party of Lincoln became “the party of white people.”
  • Esquire‘s cover story about “The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden” didn’t mention that “the shooter” (the only name the article gives him) does have health care for the next five years, and would have had more benefits if he’d just retired a year and a half after he did.
  • On the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, Ashley Fetters at the Atlantic unearth’s bell hooks’s argument that the book treated the problems of white “leisure class” housewives as if they were the problems all women faced. Fetters then adds Daniel Horowitz’s 1998 snipe that Friedan, under her birth name Betty Goldstein, had been a prolific NYC radical essayist, and hence knew she was deliberately ignoring the plight of non-affluent women.
  • The Museum of Vancouver is opening an exhibit all about that city’s cultural history of sex. Yes, it includes the black-cat silhouette that signified adults-only movies in B.C.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/9/13
Jan 9th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via jim linderman on tumblr

  • Dear Bellevue Police: People have sex. Sometimes the people who have sex are co-workers. Deal with it.
  • You missed the suddenly announced closing night at Cafe Venus and the Mars Bar. It’s been around at least 16 years (the space, in a lovely old Eastlake Ave. apartment building, was the Storeroom Tavern previously). It hosted countless bands. It was cooler than all get out. Its status has been in doubt, like the statuses of so many cool spaces, for several years now.
  • C.B. Hall at Crosscut reminds us that real “bus rapid transit” isn’t like Metro’s “RapidRide.” The real thing has its own lanes, for one thing.
  • The Seattle Times couldn’t possibly be buying Seattle Weekly. That makes about as much sense as HP buying Compaq (oh wait, that actually happened).
  • Shelby Scates, 1932-2013: It’s not just that we’re losing some of the great local journalists of our time, but that there’s no means to develop worthy successors.
  • A 2007 anti-Iraq-war protest at the Port of Tacoma led to six arrests. Now the case is finally going to court.
  • As the Legislative session nears, Brendan Williams at Publicola pleads for state Democrats to stop talking like diluted Republicans.
  • We’re Number Five! (In terms of lousy traffic.)
  • How did Vancouver’s economy do during the soon-to-end Hockey Lockout II? Not that badly.
  • Newsweek refugee Andrew Sullivan’s new site won’t have ads. P-I refugee Monika Guzman agrees with the strategy. Guzman claims online ads earn too little money these days, and many sites that try too hard to attract ad revenue turn into useless “click whores.” But the problem then becomes attracting enough readers who like you enough to support your site by other means (pledge drives, merch/book sales, etc.).
  • Hamilton Nolan at Gawker insists that real journalism means writing about someone(s) other than your own narcissistic self.
  • “Intercity bus and rail ridership up, as car and air travel remain flat.”
  • Folks luuuvvv those big online college courses. As long as they don’t have to pay for ’em.
  • Frank Schaeffer isn’t the first pundit to note the geographical coincidence between today’s “red states” and yesteryear’s “slave states.” Nor will be be the last.
  • In Iceland, like in France at one time, kids can only be named from names on an approved list. One 15-year-old girl is trying to fight that.
  • The college football post-season was mostly a dud. But here’s one “highlight.” It’s the weird one-point safety Kansas State committed after blocking an Oregon point-after-touchdown.
RANDOM LINX FOR 1/2/13
Jan 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Remember, one and all: Our anual fantabulous MISCmedia In/Out List arrives later this week. Look for it.

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

amidst-the-everyday.com

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

  • I’m not disillusioned by the news of a potential sitcom that would carry the title Smells Like Teen Spirit. (The show concept sounds more like a ripoff of Family Ties, which is also something we don’t need.) However, I am at least a little disillusioned by the news of a potential Kurt and Courtney stage musical, which would be licensed by Courtney Love via Britney Spears’ estranged ex-manager.
  • Lester Smith, 1919-2012: The Mariners’ original principal owner had, in partnership with Hollywood star Danny Kaye, a number of business endeavors. They ranged from rock-concert promotion to direct-mail marketing. But Smith (or Kaye-Smith) will always be legendary for stewarding KJR-AM during its 1955-80 golden age as Seattle’s Top 40 (or “Fab 50”) powerhouse.
  • The Seattle Times‘ free ads for Rob McKenna caught the LA Times‘ attention; not to mention a less-than-kind portrayal in the SeaTimes‘ own “Truth Needle” department.
  • The next step up from bicycle lanes: physically separated “bike tracks.”
  • Knute Berger reiterates what I’ve been saying about the waterfront development scheme. Let’s not let it be “sanitized by good intentions.”
  • Dominic Holden would like you to know the biggest reason for legalizing pot. It isn’t for the stoners (and it sure ain’t to shut up the stoner evangelists, which had been my reason).
  • Joe Copeland takes up the continuing legacy of Floyd Schmoe, one of the greatest people I ever met, leader of Seattle’s Quakers and hands-on advocate for peace and reconciliation.
  • The next hurdle toward getting the NBA back in Seattle has been overcome. That hurdle is Commissioner David Stern, whose butt will be out of that particular chair by the end of next season.
  • A major casual-games convention may be leaving Seattle.
  • UK film blogger Petra Davis looks back admiringly at the still-underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 20 years old this year…
  • …and, with the winding down of the World’s Fair semi-centennial, our pal Jim Demetre has some kind words for the (mostly justifiably) forgotten It Happened at the World’s Fair.
  • In other film news, the Columbia City Cinema is being reopened (yay!). The new owner has repaired all the previous owner’s not-up-to-code “renovations.”
  • Note to Amazon Kindle users: Buy all your e-books while you’re physically in the same country, lest you be targeted as a Terms of Service violator.
  • Today’s dire-threat-to-America’s-youth story comes to you from a California high school where boys and girls alike are invited to join a “fantasy slut league.”
  • Penguin and Random House are in merger talks. This is bad news, since book publishing is one of those industries that’s too consolidated already.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of products marketed as “For Women” is brought to you by Fujitsu and its “Floral Kiss” brand laptop PC.
  • Among all the slimy, sociopathic, and bigoted things Republicans are saying and doing these days, add this overt racism by Sarah Palin.
  • Pseudonymous Daily Kos diarist “bayushisan” wishes gamer culture had fewer macho jerks in it. (The same, of course, can be said about athiests and “skeptics,” online comment threads, U.S. politics, and even atheists and “skeptics”.)
  • Paul Karr loathes the dot-commers’ worship of “disruption” as a sacred concept, and the Ayn Randian me-first-ism behind it.
  • The BBC notes that “creativity is often intertwined with mental illness“…
  • …and Simon Reynolds disses the “modern dismissal of genius” in today’s “age of the remix.”
  • Earthquakes can’t be predicted. That hasn’t stopped a court in Italy from convicting seven scientists who failed to do so.
  • Community organizer “B Loewe” believes you should not get into lefty causes to feel good about yourself, and you shouldn’t try to be your own, or your only, emotional “caregiver.” Instead, you’re to practice prosocial interdependence as both ideology and a way of life.
  • Someone says something nice about so-called “hipsters!” They’re credited with helping bring back Detroit (the place, not the car companies).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/22/12
Oct 21st, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

shewalkssoftly.com

  • Is there anything more ritualistically ridiculous than the standard commercial “sexy” Halloween costume? Speaking of which….
  • Nancy Cohen at Playboy.com warns all aficionados of porn, erotic books, birth control, and non-procreative sex in general that the extreme right wing wants to shut all that down.
  • And the neo-Riot Grrrl graffiti gang has mega-tagged one of the Aurora Ave. motels that was shut down as an alleged hooking site. Their message: Respect sex work and sex workers.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: The paper’s management would really, really like you to continue (or resume) reading and even buying the paper, despite its owners’ giving away free ad space to GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. (The Times has run “issue” advertising for gay marriage and against the estate tax, but this is the first time they’ve donated to a candidate.)
  • The under-new-management (sorta) Seattle Weekly did something the Stranger might have done. It commented on the Times bosses’ McKenna ad by running their own “independent expenditure” ad praising Google as “the most totally fucking awesome company in the history of mankind.” Let’s see if that gets the Weekly listed any higher in the ol’ search rankings.
  • Art Thiel believes the best chance of an NBA team in Seattle might not be moving an existing one, but getting a new expansion team.
  • I know you can’t get enough of those extra-unique Mormon church doctrines.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic notes how only white people get to make “jokes” about wanting to “take a swing” at a dark skinned President.
  • The BBC watches the supposedly alarming trend of “passive-aggressive Wi-Fi names.” Particularly network names aimed at other residents of the same apartment/condo complex, such as “Your Music Is Annoying” or “We Can Hear You Having Sex.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/17/12
Oct 17th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via interestingengineering.com

  • Circa 1833, one W.D. Kellogg published a lithograph entitled A Map of the Open Country of Woman’s Heart. It goes, as the hereby-linked article states, “from the mole traps in the Province of Deception, to the city of Moi-meme in the Land of Selfishness, to the Plains of Susceptibility in the Region of Sentimentality.” There’s no Aorta of Righteous Disgust, though. Speaking of which….
  • Yep, it’s the meme of the day: “Binders Full of Women.”
  • You’ve heard of wanted criminals (and debtors) getting caught via phony contests and giveaways. But a chewing-gum survey?
  • The debut of Microsoft’s “Surface” tablet computer mark’s the company’s biggest effort yet to take control of its own destiny, away from the desktop/laptop PC makers. However, it doesn’t mean they’re actually making the things themselves. Speaking of which….
  • A Shanghai newspaper got a guy in to work as a Foxconn factory laborer. As it happened, he got onto the iPhone 5 assembly lines. Note: Most consumer electronics products today, no matter the brand, are made under similar conditions.
  • Paul Buchheit at AlterNet lists “Five Ways Corporate Greed Is Bankrupting America.”
  • The latest company to be bled to the point of death under Bain Capital (which Mitt Romney’s “officially” not part of anymore): Clear Channel, the owner of too many hundreds of radio stations and employer and/or syndicator of most of the worst right-wing talkers.
  • A class action lawsuit accuses Morgan Stanley of deliberately targeting Af-Am households for junk mortgages, believing them to be less knowledgable or to have less access to legal recourse.
  • An ex-American Apparel store clerk talks low pay, long hours, and being expected to laugh at non-skinny women.
  • Today’s teenage scare story is brought to you by vodka-soaked tampons.
  • The Arizona National Guard and its recruiters hunted homeless people in Phoenix with paint guns, and bribed/pressured some of them (and some of their own female members) to show their tits.
  • A guy puts a song up on the digital music services. Some other guy “samples” the entire track, dubs a few bird-chirping sound effects onto it, puts it up on the same digital music services, and way outsells the original. The maker of the original gets perturbed.
  • The ever-vigilant xkcd reminds you that every Presidential election has set one precedent or another (some more trivial than others).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/16/12
Oct 15th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Of all the “Google doodles” over the years, this may be the search giant’s most beautiful. It’s an animated tribute to Winsor McCay’s classic comic Little Nemo in Slumberland.
  • We must say goodbye, after eight fun-filled years, to the group blog PCL LinkDump (née Pop Culture Links). Its curators brought in fab music clips, kitschy old ads and book covers, nostalgic photos, film clips, comic book panels, and other doses of delight culled from around the world.
  • The UW Daily explores the still new-n’-obscure genre of “Alt Lit,” fueled by young authors, small-press publishers, and online distro.
  • Would you like some lead in that cheap imported Halloween costume? No? How about some dorky racial-stereotype imagery, then?
  • British Columbia’s provincial government ran ads for its employment service. The ads depicted their young-adult target audience as layabouts, girls on the prowl for rich husbands, and, worst of all, as “hipsters.”
  • The utterly misnamed American “Family” Association is soft on school bullies, just as you’d expect.
  • Wal-Mart workers’ putting pressure on management just might be starting to work.
  • Economic historian Chrystina Freeland sees parallels between today’s One Percenters and the rich n’ powerful of ancient Venice. They, too, pursued an insular agenda of more for themselves and the rest be damned. It was a long-term disaster.
  • Meanwhile, the Koch Bros. (whom, by the way, you never hear about on Fox or right-wing radio, just as you never hear there about how the conservative movement really works) seem to believe themselves to be above the petty laws of puny humans.
  • Perhaps it’s not quite in time to save the timber biz from the construction and newspaper industry crashes, but a guy in Israel has invented a cardboard bicycle.
  • Some of the last images shot on Kodachrome film are still emerging into public view. Among them, Lise Sarfati’s images of would-be and former would-be actresses in L.A., now taking whatever work is to be had.

via dailymail.co.uk

RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/8/12
Oct 8th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

kurzweilai.net

  • Did the U.S. Air Force really think up plans for a supersonic flying saucer in the 1950s? And would it have been practical (i.e., would it fly)?
  • What does it mean to be “indie rock royalty” these days? It means you can play Radio City Music Hall and still have to share a studio apartment. Speaking of which….
  • KEXP’s pledge-drive playlist of the most important records of the past 40 years is essentially a canon of “indie” music classics, plus a few “mainstream” mentors. Nevermind predictably tops the listener survey. The list is top-heavy with the Pixies, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., New Order, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. The list’s only surprise is its paucity of female artists. The top woman-fronted act, the Pretenders, appears at spot #51.
  • A HuffPost blogger disparages Vancouver as “No Fun City,” a place where nightlife is essentially nonexistent. I can recall ages ago when I looked up to Van as having the bars and live-music venues Seattle could only dream of having. Since then, Seattle has vastly changed while Van has, if anything, become more moribund.
  • The Olympic Peninsula’s northwest tip has no teen vampires, but it is an ideal spot to measure climate change with solid empirical data.
  • Even “underground food market” dining operations (one-night-only food courts) have to have health permits.
  • Nintendo’s next game machine will be a tablet. It will also stream video content to TVs. It could be big.
  • Amazon’s paying a cool billion to buy the Paul Allen-owned buildings it occupies in South Lake Union.
  • Stalking and harassing apartment residents is no way to sell cable TV.
  • Seattle’s next would-be mega-developers? The Bill Pierre car-selling family.
  • Can the waterfront tunnel be built without massive city subsidies (that the city really doesn’t want to pay)?
  • Stranger staffer Kelly O tells a San Francisco website “12 Things You Should Know About Seattle.” These things include (too much) pot, (endangered) graffiti murals, and (yummy) street hot dogs.
  • White cops shooting at nonwhite civilians with little or no true justification: it’s not just happening here.
  • I had a boring and/or miserable time in the Boy Scouts. But, as we’re all learning, it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
  • CNN contributor Simon Hooper asks if we can finally get over Beatles (and James Bond) nostalgia now.
  • A self-described “middle aged punk” gives forth a back-in-my-day-sonny lament, nostalgizing about getting beaten up by jocks.
  • Don’t look now, but Walmart workers are trying to organize.
  • Having solved all of the world’s other problems, 60 Minutes sics its fangs on the designer-eyeglass-frame monopoly.
  • Today in right-wing sleaze, two GOP senators are asking defense contractors to fire thousands of people just to make Obama look bad; while Arizona is suppressing the votes of up to 200,000 Latino-descent citizens in the name of “cracking down on illegals.” Also, a Legislative candidate in Arkansas says parents should be allowed to put “rebellious children” to death.
  • The University of Idaho’s getting the world’s biggest collection of historic opium pipes. Hey, you gotta have something to do out there.
  • Forbes contributor Steve Cooper believes content-based websites could make more money by directly selling stuff on their sites, instead of running low-profit ads for other companies selling stuff. That biz model might work for sites focused on entertainment or lifestyle topics (music, food, bridal, travel, etc.). For local newspapers’ sites, it’d be a tougher fit.
  • Don’t look now, but rain (remember that?) might finally appear locally later this week.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/27/12
Sep 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

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

  • Oh we so wanted to believe the miracle products advertised in comic books really worked as advertised (or at least were as cool as the ads claimed).
  • I might be in the minority even among local fans, but I believe the replacement refs made the right call in awarding Monday night’s final play (and hence the game) to the Seahawks.
  • No, the Edmonton Oilers hockey team isn’t ever going to move to Seattle. The local visit by Oilers execs is only an exercise in “arena blackmail” toward Edmonton politicos.
  • David Goldstein puts the blame for Washington’s regressive tax structure on a state Supreme Court ruling back in 1933.
  • Pundits look at Washington state’s political “Cascade curtain.” Micah Cohen at the NYT‘s FiveThirtyEight sees the west/east divide in terms of women’s rights issues
  • …while Eli Sanders dissects how, in the last State Supreme Court race, an unqualified white candidate beat a highly qualified Hispanic candidate in Eastern Washington, even in 40-percent-Hispanic areas.
  • Speaking of Eastern Washington, those bigass, electricity-hungry “server farm” computer installations there might not employ very many people once they’re built, but they still demand political clout.
  • A judge refused to throw out a class-action suit by female Costco employees, alleging discrimination in promotions.
  • TV ads for the gay marriage referendum don’t show any actual gay people. I’m reminded of the 1998 initiative to end affirmative action in the state. The anti-initiative ads showed, as their examples of affirmative action’s needy beneficiaries, only white little girls. The tactic didn’t work.
  • The good folks at Seattle Indian Health Services claim the city, led by councilmember Nick Licata, is trying to take over their agency so it can sell the land on which their offices sit to a private developer.
  • A national church mag calls Seattle’s own Mars Hill Church (home of “hip” misogyny/homophobia) America’s third fastest-growing church.
  • The Northwest’s oil refining capital could also host the nation’s biggest bottled-water plant. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The airline now calling itself United (a shotgun marriage of the original UAL with Continental) has posted a nice time lapse video of a Boeing 787 being put together. It’s enough to warm this Snohomish County guy’s heart.
  • Andy Williams, 1928-2012: The seemingly ageless singer/TV host began as a child in a singing-brothers act, then jump-started the career of a similar act (the Osmonds). He was a quintessential icon of the square side of the 1960s, smooth and slick and pleasant and never ruffled. He was one of those personalities who seemed to inhabit a world of serenity that flowed all around him; which made his latter-day emergence as a right wingnut even stranger.
  • Ben Adler at the Nation says the truly crazy wingnut conspiracy theories and insult “jokes” don’t start on radio or Fox “News”, but at obscure blogs and e-mail lists.
  • Today’s Romney/Ryan bashings: Richard Eskow believes Ryan still believes his former Ayn Randian denunciations of Medicare and Social Security. Florida Republicans are up to their old voter-suppression tricks. Greg Palast claims Karl Rove’s ol’ election-stealing dirty tricks operations are still up and running. And Jonathan Chiat visits some extremely rich people who imagine themselves to be America’s most “persecuted” and overtaxed sector.
  • Economic philosopher Angus Sibley has a highly lucid, step-by-step breakdown of what’s wrong with libertarian economics.
  • If outsource manufacturers like Foxconn in China keep up their reputation for workplace horridness, western tech-hardware companies just might have to return production in-house just to avoid the bad PR.
  • Victoria’s Secret has quietly discontinued its “Sexy Little Geisha” ensemble. Anti-racist bloggers claim credit.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/14/12
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 9/2/12
Sep 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Clint Eastwood’s invisible-Obama-in-a-chair stunt took place during the 60th anniversary week of Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison’s allegorical novel about the black struggle in the face of social “invisibility.”
  • Robert Reich’s message for an election-year Labor Day: “It’s the inequality, stupid.”
  • Romney’s “533 lies in 30 weeks:” Now THAT’s an achievement!
  • One of our favorite watering holes and DJ clubs, Olive Way’s The Living Room, is no longer living.
  • There’s a “Seattle” restaurant (really on Bainbridge) with a most un-NorWestern strict reservations policy.
  • The anti-gay-marriage campaign is engaging in potentially illegal fundraising solicitations toward area churches.
  • An abandoned Ballard church that became an art gallery briefly in 2009 is now set to be razed for townhomes.
  • The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull almost got his own wings when his small plane crashed in the San Juans.
  • An outfit that ran some of those big motivational seminars (that were really fronts for selling questionable investment schemes) has collapsed.
  • Faye Anderson, 1950-2012: The owner of the New Orleans restaurant/bar in Pioneer Square hosted, and supported, jazz and other musics for more than a quarter century. Whether the club will survive is for her heirs to announce, and they haven’t yet.
  • Hal David, 1921-2012: The acclaimed lyricist was already pushing 40 when he first teamed up with composer Burt Bacharach. For 14 years they (with singer Dionne Warwick as their mouthpiece) were an unstoppable team, with David’s deceptively simple wordplay leading listeners through Bacharach’s often complicated melodies, until the musical version of Lost Horizon blew up in their faces. What the world needs now is more expressive minds like him (and love, of course).
  • As all good NorWesterners know, it doesn’t really rain here more than other parts of the U.S. Especially not in the past 42 days (and 42 nights).
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 8/16/12
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 8/10/12
Aug 9th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • To be celebrated this weekend: one hundred years of Volunteer Park.
  • Paul Constant attends an “American Idol for Startups.” He finds a bunch of hopeful entrepreneurs showing off gimmicky little smartphone apps based on “tiny little ideas, ideas that are almost petty in their inconsequentiality,” and promoted using jargon “as tepid and lifeless and dumb as any language that ever existed.”
  • Now that all companies, nonprofits, and individuals in the western world have been exhorted to revamp their entire existences around the Web, they’re about to be exhorted to forget all that and re-revamp their entire existences around “mobile media.”
  • We knew it was coming (it’s in the way of Amazon’s TriTowers HQ project), but it’s still sad to see the King Cat Theater closed for good.
  • The “24 hour news cycle” is sooooo day-before-yesterday. But it does make for a lot of fun reporting mistakes.
  • Meet this election’s top right wing attack groups (or at least as much about them as has been uncovered to date, which isn’t much).
  • A Portland motivational blogger meets one of the original computing pioneers, and gets, well, motivated.
  • Media reports about Olympic champion Gabby Douglas have been loaded with racial dog-whistle jargon.
  • A self-professed “skeptic” and “rationalist” claims to be more skeptical and rational than other self-professed “skeptics” and “rationalists”:

Let’s admit it, skepticism does have a way to make us feel intellectually superior to others. They are the ones believing in absurd notions like UFOs, ghosts, and the like! We are on the side of science and reason. Except when we aren’t, which ought to at least give us pause and enroll in the nearest hubris-reducing ten-step program.

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