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RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/15/14
Jan 14th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

funhousedocumentary.com

  • Some folks have made a documentary about the Funhouse, that greatly-missed bastion of DIY loud n’ live music. It should screen some time this spring.
  • Buried in a list of various cineastes’ top 10s of ’13 is the announcement that SIFF will indeed return to the now-shuttered Egyptian Theater for this year’s festival, and is working to reopen the festival’s traditional “home base” for year-round screenings.
  • Norman Durkee, 1949-2014: Teatro ZinZanni’s original music director was a musical polymath. He produced early punk 45s, put out TV-advertised new age piano LPs, worked on stage musicals and dance performances, and performed recitals of jazz and modern classical tuneage.
  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was seen in an online video clip with local pompous homophobic/sexist pastor Mark Driscoll. This does not mean Wilson necessarily endorses anything Driscoll says.
  • King County will move forward with Plan C (at least) to save Metro Transit from drastic cuts, declining to wait for the professional Seattle-haters in the State Senate to become sane.
  • Meanwhile, in state-politician-friendly transportation (i.e. cars and roads only), the Waterfront tunnel project has a lot more problems than just a steel pipe in the way.
  • The long-delayed Tacoma Amtrak station now, thankfully, won’t replace half of the Freighthouse Square mini-mall.
  • Finally, a practical use for those “tiny houses” you sometimes see pictures of, cute micro-cottages usually depicted surrounded by pristine countryside with no humans or other buildings in sight. In Olympia, 30 of them are being used as transitional units for the previously homeless.
  • Misadventures in Clickbait Dept.: Two companies supply most of those often-silly “Around the Web” or “Recommended for You” link boxes on otherwise “serious” news sites.
  • Is “Net Neutrality” (the policy that service providers can’t give preferential speed/access treatment to certain websites) really “dead”? No. The FCC simply has to rewrite its rules around the technicalities of a court decision.
  • Fox News anonymously created its own pro-Fox News blog. Yes, it’s hilarious and chock full O’ stereotypes.
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 8/12/13
Aug 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

messynessychic.com

  • Be unique enough and intriguing enough and eventually you, too, could become a “meme.” Such is the case with Hilda, a “zaftig” novelty pinup character created by illustrator Duane Bryers and the topic of an online rediscovery.
  • It only produced 33 total episodes over less than three years. Very few people saw them. But the legend of Heart Attack Theater, Kelly Hughes’ local cable-access anthology drama, just keeps growing.
  • Waterfront tunnel construction has already disrupted rats’ homes, leading some to fear a coming “Ratpocalypse!”
  • Capitol Hill’s “only vegan dive bar, music and Cakeroke venue” won’t have the “vegan” part anymore (or any food service for that matter).
  • An indie, vinyl-centric record label just died after less than a year in business.
  • Teabagger bigots still find new lows in sociopathy to which to descend. The latest fad: shaming disabled people as alleged “parasites” on the public dole.
  • Women are now almost half of all video game players. Expect the gaming industry to give up its sexist-geek ways, oh, maybe one of these decades.
  • Yahoo will have a new logo. But it’s teasing its online audiences by presenting a different fake logo every day for a month. I’m sure the final one, once revealed, will suck as much as the temp ones do.
  • It’s one of the worst things with which a “progressive” commentator can be charged these days, but a former interviewee has accused Lawrence O’Donnell of “mansplaining.”
  • Two Yale law profs believe “the Internet can save journalism,” by placing voluntary donation buttons at the bottom of article pages. The money would go to some nonprofit endowment fund.
  • Note to would-be “mile high club” initiates: when having sex on a plane, try to be discreet about it, not like the Oregon couple who, er, interfaced in full view of other passengers.
  • Finally, MISCmedia is dedicated today to the memory of Karen Black, Eydie Gormé, Eileen Brennan, and Haji. (Let’s not lose any more goddesses soon; we need all of those we can have.)
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/23/13
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

city of seattle via slog.thestranger.com

  • You know that big palatial boulevard the politicians have promised to turn Seattle’s central waterfront into? It now looks like it could become something else. Like, a highway with as many lanes as the viaduct (or more!), only side by side and on ground level. (Via my ex-housemate Fnarf.)
  • The Feds want to crack down on The Art Institutes. They charge the chain of for-profit art schools (including a major Seattle branch) with…

…fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.

  • UW scientists recorded, then time-compressed, the sounds made by an Alaska volcano just before it blew.
  • Congrats to the local makers of the Carter Family graphic bio-novel for winning (er, co-winning) a major industry award.
  • Nice to see Seattle Weekly regaining some of its old form, even if that includes its old cranky-baby-boomer bashing of the Stranger and youth culture.
  • As expected, the living members of Nirvana played at McCartney’s Safeco Field show.
  • Alas, it’s illegal to ride down Capitol Hill streets in an office chair.
  • MillerCoors wants the Feds to investigate the Wall St. bigshots’ manipulations of aluminum prices.
  • Do you know the difference between North and South Carolina? Nike didn’t.
  • Why can’t Third World people speak for themselves on the “global stage,” instead of questionable, self-appointed spokespeople such as (the highly corporate-connected) Bono?
  • R.I.P. Helen Thomas, first lady of the White House press corps and the textbook example of a “tough dame” who speaks her mind and never gives up.
  • While (or because) nobody was looking, Yahoo quietly shut down the pioneering search engine AltaVista.
  • Business Insider posted a promo spot for a Milwaukee TV newscast circa 1980. Frenetic stock music! Jump cuts! Reporters in the field! Huge “mini” cams held by muscular cameramen! Typewriters! That’s infotainment.
  • Do you or someone you know listen to too much Coast to Coast AM? Still? Then follow this handy conspiracy theory flow chart.

the reason stick at blogspot

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/11/13
Jul 10th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Nostalgia Alert: M.J. McDermott, KCPQ’s morning weatherperson, was “Ronnie” on Roscoe and Ronnie, the last local kids’ show on commercial TV. It was axed in ’95, when KSTW’s out-of-state owners killed all that station’s local programming. Now she’s petitioning the FCC, to encourage shows like that to be brought back.
  • Roberta Byrd Barr, recently deceased at age 74, was Seattle’s first female high-school principal, and the first African-American to host local TV public-affairs shows.
  • Seattle without the original Ivar’s Acres of Clams? It could happen, for as long as nine months. It’s one of 15 waterfront businesses the City wants to pay to keep closed during tunnel construction.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: Executive editor David Boardman’s quitting after 30 years, to work at Temple U in Philly.
  • Seattle Central Community College’s health-ed programs could move into part of the old Beacon Hill hospital tower that was once Amazon’s HQ.
  • Amazon’s getting into comix publishing, specializing (at least at first) in adaptations of Nerderati-favorite novelists.
  • Edward Snowden: Courageous whistleblower or right-Libertarian Obama-basher?
  • The Beats: Daring nonconformists or sexist dweebs?
  • UK publisher Felix Dennis sold the U.S. edition of Maxim and two other “lad mags” for $250 million. Six years later, Maxim is for sale again, for a mere $20 million.
  • A federal judge has ruled against Apple and the big book publishers in that e-book price-fixing suit.
  • Health Scare of the Week: Fish oil capsules could give men cancer.
  • Just because most people who believe themselves to be MSG- or gluten-intolerant probably aren’t, it doesn’t mean they don’t get real symptoms.
  • Take away the “hipster”-bashing headline and there’s still a potential real problem with people who decide they can’t run their backyard chicken coops anymore, and who just drop off the critters at animal shelters.
  • The Quebec oil-train disaster was caused by plain ol’ crude catching on fire, just like in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Next Big (Televised) Thing, according to the Norwegians: “Slow TV.” Long-attention-span (or simply hypnotic) umpteen-hour, real-time explorations of train trips, knitting demonstrations, and salmon fishing.
  • After 40 years as everybody’s favorite “obscure music” band, the Residents deserve better than for have Ke$ha’s backup dancers to steal their trademark eyeballs-and-tuxedos look.
  • Back in the mid-’90s, Penn and Teller set out to create the world’s dullest and most infuriating video game. They probably succeeded.

the new yorker

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/26/13
Jun 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • As I obliquely mentioned previously, I’m in search of a new abode. The building I’ve been in for the past eight years is being upscaled out of my league. I could live, I suppose, in one of these newfangled “tiny homes.” But I’d need a place to put it, that’s not way out in the woods. I’m a “city mouse.”
  • The Pike Place Market’s powers-that-be want a fancy new structure to connect the Market to the new Seattle waterfront “improvements.” So far, the planned bazaar-food court looks exactly like you’d expect it to—”world class,” pompous, and soulless.
  • Brewster C. Denny, 1925-2013: The great-grandson of one of Seattle’s first white settlers was also one of the last people here with an “institutional memory” of the region and how it is, and has been, run. He directed the UW’s public-affairs school, then became a professional “networker,” fundraiser, and Democratic Party operative.
  • The “University of Nike” is about to get major NCAA football sanctions.
  • What happens when a respected but fiscally troubled small book publisher sells out to new guys, who want to pay a lot less to the publisher’s established authors? Said authors fight back and force an at-least-somewhat-better deal.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup with what, to my viewing history of the game, was a first—an “empty net” ploy that actually led to a tying goal, with the winning goal promptly following.
  • Eco-Scare of the Week: What if a forest fire burned the radioactive trees surrounding Chernobyl?
  • Those-Kids-Today Scare of the Week #1: “Digital Dementia,” supposedly occurring among kids who rely on electronics to remind them of everything.
  • Those-Kids-Today Scare of the Week #2: “Smoking alcohol.”
  • The Miss USA Pageant’s state/local franchisees sometimes employ some of those “model management” hustlers who demand sexual favors from young models looking for work.
  • That “Russian Tampon Commercial” viral video? It’s a fake. It’s from Movie 43, that sketch-comedy film nobody saw.
  • Finally, some handwritten outline charts for famous books.

via flavorwire.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/27/13
Feb 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via silver platters and queenanneview.com

  • First went Borders; then Swerve at First and Pine; then Easy Street Records on Mercer and Queen Anne Avenue. Now, the Silver Platters music superstore in the east lower Queen Anne district is going away. This leaves the shrunken CD selection at Barnes & Noble as the last music store in greater downtown. Silver Platters will move in June to 2930 1st Ave. S., across from Sears and near the future basketball arena.
  • It’s the end of another no-nonsense neighborhood eatery, Claire’s Pantry in Lake City.
  • Erica Barnett at Publicola believes Mercer Islanders don’t deserve endless privilege, such as the privilege of not paying future I-90 tolls.
  • Downtown merchants believe adding a kiddie play area to Westlake Park will make the retail core seem friendlier to (white upscale) families.
  • Dikla Tuchman at local site Jew-Ish offers a loving tribute to the pioneer comics artist Will Eisner, best known as the creator of The Spirit (he wasn’t responsible for the lousy movie version).
  • MOHAI has many boxes of Sonics memorabilia, including championship banners, just waiting to be transferred to a new Seattle NBA team.
  • There are huge cost overruns and design flaws on the new 520 bridge’s pontoons. Yes, I included that because I love to say the word “pontoons.”
  • There’s a newly revised waterfront park scheme. It’s better than the one originally devised by the hi-priced NYC architects. But to me it’s still too devoted to world-classness, not enough to being useful to people who live here.
  • Matt Hale, beaten a year ago by still-unidentified thugs after his shift as a Belltown condo doorman, is “still struggling.”
  • Hanford nuke-waste leaks could be as high as 1,000 gallons a year.
  • Could the making of new pinball game machines finally be on the rise?
  • Lost among all the gripes about host Seth McFarlane’s rude unfunniness, there was another controversy at the Oscars (née the Academy Awards, a name totally unuttered at this last ceremony). Rhythm & Hues, which produced the computer animation seen in the multi-award-winning Life of Pi, is bankrupt and laid off  over 200 staffers. It couldn’t compete against subsidized overseas studios. When Pi visual-effects director Bill Westenhofer gave his acceptance speech he tried to mention this, but his mic was promptly cut off when he did.
  • In less prestigious protest campaigns, some people are really upset that McDonald’s has phased out Chicken Selects, perhaps the only truly food-like thing on its regular menu.
  • James Howard Kuntsler says the “era of the giant chain stores” is over. He thinks it will lead to a resurgence of mom n’ pop retail. I see it as more like the ultimate triumph of Internet “e-tail.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/25/13
Jan 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

the aurora kmart in 2002

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

via huffington post

THE IN AND THE OUT FOR LUCKY ’13
Jan 4th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via nutshell movies

For the 27th consecutive year (really!), we proudly present the MISCmedia In/Out List, the most venerable and only accurate list of its kind in the known English-speaking world.

As always, this is a prediction of what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming year, not necessarily what’s hot and not-so-hot now. If you believe everything hot now will just keep getting hotter, I’ve got some Hostess Brands stock to sell you.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
Grilled cheese Sliders
Improving “Disrupting”
Mai Tais Infused vodka Martinis
Probable end of Community End of Dexter
Pinterest (still) Instagram
Prequels 3D remakes
Nashville 2 Broke Girls
Catherine Zeta-Jones comeback Lindsey Lohan comeback
Ghosts Zombies
“Wowsers” “Cray cray”
Popcorn Cupcakes
Mustard greens Butter lettuce
John Hawkes (The Sessions) Johnny Knoxville
Marion Cottilard Zooey Deschanel
Women’s pro soccer UFC/MMA
Bermuda shorts Fluorescent running shoes
Reality “Augmented reality”
Midnight blue Tawny brown
Soviet package design “Artisanal” graphics
Society Social media
Dyed pubic hair Mustaches
“Malarkey” “Porn” (to describe anything but actual porn)
Big love “Big Data”
Floam Lego
Rome Los Angeles
Mia Hansen-Love (Goodbye, First Love) The Farrelly Brothers
Philadelphia Austin
Soap Lake Tieton
Conservators Conservatives
Internet radio Clear Channel
Women in politics Rape “redefiners”
Cooking Channel Bravo
Empathy Calling other people “sheeple”
Sanity Hannity
THEESatisfaction One Direction
Thinkers Manipulators
Judith Krantz E.L. James
Reviving Pioneer Square Upscaling the waterfront
“Be An Elf to Yourself” “Keep Calm and Carry On”
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 10/8/12
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 9/11/12
Sep 10th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

the impossible project via engadget.com

  • Now you can turn images on your smartphone into real Polaroid®-like instant film photos! (Or you could, if the Kickstarter money gets raised.)
  • KIRO-TV has now posted the entire J.P. Patches/Chris Wedes memorial celebration, including the parts cut for time from the telecast version. And here’s the band Aaiiee’s song “Boris S. Wort,” as heard during the event.
  • Good news, sports fans: Looks like the Seattle City Council has reached a revised pact to get the Sonics arena going, with some developer-contributed cash toward transportation improvements. Now all we need is a team or two to come up for sale.
  • Meanwhile at Crosscut, longshoremen’s union leader John Persak reiterates the line that we can only have either a new arena or a working seaport. I’ve already called this BS, so I won’t do so again.
  • Rain! Eureka! The Crops Are Saaaaved! (Oops, maybe not.)
  • The Wall St. Journal has a major piece about the Hanford cleanup megaproject. The Dept. of Energy is slowing down construction, while it and various other parties argue whether the current design will work at keeping highly toxic radioactive gunk out of any potential contact with the ecosystem.
  • The Slut Walk might not be “redefining feminism” (as the hereby linked Linda Thomas story suggests), but it and similar protests are helping redefine the range of “acceptable” looks/attitudes among those trying to persuade.
  • Some parents don’t like the fact that the Seattle Public Schools are accepting advertising again. Their means of protest: an ad.
  • NIMBY-ism gone tricky: A Montlake neighborhood group doesn’t want walking/bike lanes on any new 520 bridge.
  • Digital media advertising grew in the first half of this year. But print media advertising fell more than digital grew. A lot more.
  • Toys “R” Us will sell its own branded Android tablet.
  • “We all live in a narco submarine….”
  • Third-world forced prostitution is just as tragic when it involves men.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/6/12
Sep 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

degenerateartstream.blogspot.com

  • Enjoy some understated, occasionally creepy photos by Ms. Rinko Kawauchi.
  • Get ready for cool public art coming to a civic infrastructure project near you.
  • Metro’s Ride Free Area is still set to end later this month, with no replacement service finalized. The transition’s probably gonna be rough.
  • Contract talks between Boeing and the engineers’ union are going un-smoothly.
  • There will be a 24-hour diner on Capitol Hill next spring, on 10th Ave. where the gay bathhouse Basic Plumbing used to be.
  • The Stranger asked local artists to fantasize how they’d remake the waterfront. Their various suggestions, together or alone, are infinitely cooler than the official plans.
  • Catholic bishops claim the existence of gay marriage would victimize them. Really?
  • How does a young person get into a journalism career if she can’t afford to take a long-term, unpaid internship? She hopes for an inheritance.
  • The owners of the New Orleans Times-Picayune won’t sell the paper, and they won’t back off their decision to cut it back to three days a week.
  • Folks love them some sad songs these days.
  • The company behind some of those infamous Facebook games (and their annoying ads and plugs) is fiscally stumbling.
  • Harold Meyerson at the American Prospect says the Democrats recognize people’s “interdependence,” instead of the GOP’s Ayn Randian “noble selfishness.”
  • Here’s the Bill Clinton barnburner speech. And here are the local-interest convention speeches by Patty Murray and ex-Costco boss Jim Sinegal.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/1/12
Aug 1st, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

If you’re going art-crawling this next First Thursday, be sure to see a mini version of the digging machine that will create the Viaduct-replacement tunnel. Go see it even if you normally find such things to be, er, boring.

  • Geoff Tate and the other members of local hard-rock legends Queensryche aren’t making up any time soon.
  • The City Council thinks it might be a good idea to use part of any new-basketball-arena revenues to help fix traffic in the area; thereby agreeing with what I wrote here weeks ago. Would-be arena developer Chris Hansen doesn’t wanna pay for road-building himself, though. And I agree with that too; the Port of Seattle’s traffic woes in the area already exist, and would continue to exist with an arena or not. The trick is to channel some of the revenue the arena will earn to the city and state (via sales and admissions taxes mostly) into road improvements.
  • There’s a “Support the Sisters” march here on Aug. 12, backing activist nuns who’ve run afoul of Vatican dictates.
  • Today’s headline-O-the-day, from the Oregonian: “Car thief who was high on drugs and masturbating when he plowed into Portland crime scene will not have to register as a sex offender.” (I’m sure the headline was shorter in the print version.)
  • Conor Kilpatrick basts modern libertarianism as being, in part, an effort to make rapacious corporate greed seem “hip” and “cool.”
  • If your call to a U.S. company’s call center didn’t go through today, it could be due to the severe power outage in India.
  • Seattle law firm Perkins Coie’s major corporate clients include the officially nonprofit Craigslist, which sends lawyers regularly to crack down on “add-on” sites.
  • Chris Marker, 1921-2012: The great French maker of philosophical films did a lot more than just “influence” Anglophone productions such as 12 Monkeys. His works are worthy in and of themselves, using sci-fi memes not as a premise for action-adventure but to meditate on the human condition.
  • Gore Vidal, 1925-2012: The prolific novelist, essayist, playwright/screenwriter, film/TV cameo actor, Al Gore cousin, sometime failed political candidate, and ever-lucid critic of the American political-industrial complex (“a society that bores and appalls me”) always seemed to glide from highbrow to low; from serious historical works (Burr, 1876, Lincoln) to utter farce (Myra Breckenridge); from major cultural contributions (The City and the Pillar, one of the first U.S. mainstream novels with gay-male protagonists) to for-the-money tripe (co-writing the Caligula screenplay). To the end he remained “complacently positive that there is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/25/12
Jul 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

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

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