Analysis of a group of Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis fossils suggest that one dino in the group was providing daycare:
A new examination of a rock slab containing fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older individual is suggestive of a group of hatchlings overseen by a caretaker, according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers.
The specimen was discovered by amateur paleontologists in China’s Liaoning Province. A 2004 paper on the specimen suggested it may be a nest, but researchers Brandon P. Hedrick and Peter Dodson suspected there might be more to it:
Given the close association of the young P. lujiatunensis with the older individual, however, Dodson, Hedrick and colleagues believe this specimen may offer evidence of post-hatchling cooperation, a behavior exhibited by some species of modern-day birds. The older juvenile may well have been a big brother or sister helping care for its younger siblings.
The researchers emphasize that they can’t definitively call this assemblage of fossils a nest, as some earlier analyses have.
Who knew there are, or were, phone apps to measure a feller's ding dong?!
The singer Chubby Checker has settled a lawsuit in which he accused Hewlett-Packard Co of using his trademarked name without permission on a software app that purported to measure the size of a man's penis.
Um, evidently "The Chubby Checker" allowed "women" (ahem, gender bias much?) to estimate the size of a man's ding-a-ling based on what size of shoe the fellow was wearing. The app was canceled in September of 2012. Duh, ITS THE NOSE? Um, FINE, I really don't know the trick, but good on Chubby Checker for taking these jerks to court; I'm glad he won. Also, HP, a "chubby" is wang NOT flaccid, yet not full-on, so calling it "chubby" seems to be a dumb way to accurately judge the size of a feller's pecker! Duh. They should'a come up with a better name?! I vote for the names "Peen Presumptor," "Wiener Wonderer," "Dick-tator," or even perhaps "Rate the Snake" if this app is ever relaunched!
A painter, a photographer, and a performer walk into a bar... and you have the Genius Art Showcase at the Frye on Wednesday. I'll be talking about C. Davida Ingram, Emily Gherard, and Glenn Rudolph with the artists themselves.
Vitally: While all the Genius showcases are technically sold-out, there’s a high chance of walk-up availability. You can arrive as early as 5:30 and join in for the pre-show reception (wander the museum! Hobnob with Genius nominees and already-elected Geniuses! Have a free drink!), then at 6:15 tickets will be issued to standbys in the order of their arrival.
Hulllooooomosexuals! As I ever-so naughtily teased your sexy butts in this week's The Homosexual Agenda, the sometimes bearded-lady freak phenom from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 (and arguably the third hottest guy on that season—after Ben and Courtney, and not necessarily in that order) who is known to the world as MILK (it does a body...oh, never mind) is tiptoeing into town tomorrow night, a full day prior to her appearance on the Islander Yacht Cruise on Sunday, to dazzle, delight and wrap us all in her sweet lactose embrace. And boy-oh-boy (boy-ON-boy?), I sure wasn't kidding! She'll be here, and she'll be at The Eagle tomorrow (where else?) for a very special early (or late?) edition of Dickslap. And also! Remember that I claimed I was going to give y'all a change to win two fee passes? Do you? Well. I'm going to do that right now. Behold...
Simply retweet the following tweet by 4 PM tonight, your name goes into the hat, and voila! More MILK than you can shoot up your nose shall be yours! Possibly. (It's all in God's hands, baby.) Gentlemos! Start your tweeting!
RT this by 4pm for a chance to win two free passes to see @bigandmilky from RuPaul's Drag Race season 6 on 8/30! http://t.co/thMHV0sgFl
— The Stranger (@strangerpromo) August 29, 2014
After reviewing 446 applications from artists across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho (a significantly smaller pool than last year), this year's Betty Bowen Award committee chose those five finalists, one of whom will get $15,000 in cash and an exhibition that opens at Seattle Art Museum on October 15. Two additional prizes of $2,500 will be awarded.
This year's list could almost be a curated exhibition called Recognizable Images, Twisted. All of the artists work in the more traditional mediums—painting, printmaking, and sculpture—but their voices do vary quite a bit.
It's nice to see women on the list; all three awards last year went to men.
Let the betting begin.
It's the first week of Pastor Mark Driscoll's six-week "extended leave" and things are still happening at a pretty fast clip over at Mars Hill Church. Yesterday, Warren Throckmorton published a letter from 9 current church elders asking Driscoll to agree to a "restoration plan" before he could resume his role at the church. Throckmorton also says the pastors "raised significant questions regarding the veracity of information which has come from the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability." As always, Throckmorton was all over this story, digging deeper into Mars Hill guidelines in a separate post.
Yesterday evening, Paige Cornwell at the Seattle Times says:
Pastor Mark Dunford of Mars Hill Portland was terminated on Wednesday, KING-TV reported. Dunford was one of nine pastors who expressed their concern about the state of leadership and the lack of transparency in the megachurch in the letter obtained by blogger Warren Throckmorton, who has tracked Mars Hill developments on the website Patheos.com.
So let's get this straight: Mark Driscoll claimed he was going to await judgment from Mars Hill. At the same time, a hotshot evangelical PR guy arrives on the scene, and now an elder who voiced concern that Driscoll might get off easy has reportedly been fired. If you ask me, I'd say these don't look like the actions of a church that is in the process of fundamentally changing itself.
In the meantime, Throckmorton points out that a Change.org petition has been posted asking Mars Hill's board to "listen and support" the nine elders who wrote the letter. You might want to show your support for the nine—now eight—elders for speaking out so bravely.
From Neil Steinberg's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times:
You know what I admire about bigots? And I’m not referring to the merely prejudiced, mutter-out-of-the-corner-of-their-mouth bigots, but the real wackos, the warped, scary, neo-Nazi, open Klansman, proudly sign-their-name haters.
You know what’s kinda great about them?
At least they’re candid. No pussyfooting around for them. They state their hate boldly, cast their slurs loudly and only then try to back it up with whatever false theories they believe support their irrational hatreds. For everyone else, it’s the other way around. They timidly roll out their specious argument first, as if that were the important part, the crucial logic that made up their impartial minds, and led to their subsequent negative opinion, an unfortunate by-product.
“Gosh, I’d love to end the permanent legal limbo and semi-serfdom that millions of Hispanics living in the United States endure, but gosh-darn it, their entry was ILLEGAL, so I find myself forced to insist they all be loaded onto cattle cars and sent back to what will always be their true home.”
And when you try to call them out, and ask, for instance, what other misdemeanors this laudable passion for the law forces them to view as eternally unforgiveable—Speeding? Tax evasion?—they just stare at you blankly. Because they are unable to look up at the puppeteer pulling their strings. It’s easy to view hatred as evil, but it’s really a kind of willed ignorance. Since a measure of cowardice is also involved, being bigoted requires you to advocate dumb arguments in an attempt to hide your loathsome beliefs.
Steinberg pivots from bigots who hate immigrants to bigots who hate gays to bigots who hates Jews—go read the whole thing.
Have you read Rebecca Brown's remarkable, arguably heretical essay on Angels in America yet? You really should. The Seattle production continues through September 21—here's information on that. And here are two responses to Brown's piece.
Dear Ms. Brown,
As a gay man in his 60s who has been out since 1973 and lived through the early 1980s in Seattle, I truly appreciate not only your accurate gloss of the early '80s reality, but your accurate reference to Josh Joshua being among the founding members of the Chicken Soup Brigade.
I don't know whether you were an adult in the 1980s, but if you weren't, then you are even more remarkable for having dug up accurate information, and more importantly, correctly glossing the feel of the times. Though gay people were scared and angry, they were also resilient and incredibly resourceful in finding ways to take care of their own. The lesbian contributions were particularly substantial and often under-recognized in hind-site. Your article was the first I've read that identified the missing pieces in plays like Angels or The Normal Heart. All of the large emotions were there and real at the time. But in the midst of all that, people still went about living their lives and figuring out how to help. And there were lots of gay and lesbian people who worked in not-so-public but important ways to leverage what was available to help those in need. As you so clearly describe, it was not just a story of victimhood. It was also lots of other stories of compassion, resourcefulness and activism. Thanks for getting that right.
Tim Burak was also one of those people who "made things work," and was among the group largely from the Seattle Gay Clinic who hatched the idea and founded the Chicken Soup Brigade.
Thanks for getting it right,
After the jump, another perspective.
There won't be blood on the floor in the Bumbershoot art exhibitions this weekend.
The blood—actually red paint mixed with vegetable oil—flowed through disposable coffee cups that were hung from the ceiling in a storm-like formation. Each cup was inscribed with the name of one man of color shot by a police officer in recent years.
Some of the cups had holes in them where the paint mixture dripped lightly through and fell to the floor. In the midst of the "storm" was a figure dressed like a riot gear cop being bombarded by empty paper cups.
"It's an important piece, and especially with the shooting happening, it's very relevant," said Wendy Red Star in a phone conversation Thursday. "It needs to be seen."who curated Bumbershoot's first-ever all-native-contemporary-artists exhibition—was the person who ended up wiping away the paint and dismantling the piece on Thursday, it turned out.
The work of art was by Nicholas and Jerrod Galanin, two brothers born in Sitka, Alaska, working under the name Leonard Getinthecar. Nicholas, whose sharp work is currently tearing it up at the Frye in the exhibition Your Feast Has Ended, was invited to participate in the Bumbershoot exhibition by Wendy Red Star.
Red Star says the Galanins decided to pull the piece from the show. The Galanins say different.
A cyclist was killed this morning after being struck by a truck on the notoriously-dangerous-for-cyclists 2nd Avenue, confirms Seattle Police Department spokesman Sergeant Sean Whitcomb. He says he's working to get more details. I'll update this post when we have more information.
Second and Fourth Avenues are the primary downtown thoroughfares for bicycles, but the lanes are counter-intuitively on the left side of the street (because buses pull over on the right), and the traffic is all one direction. Vehicles that turn left or pull in into paring spaces can unexpectedly hit cyclists. The SPD Blotter explains this accident happened when the "driver of a large box truck was headed south on 2nd Avenue and turned left on to University Street, where he struck and fatally injured the cyclist."
#q13fox bicyclist was hit and killed on 2nd and university pic.twitter.com/6TzRM8XqqO
— Marc LeCuyer (@MlecuyerQ13FOX) August 29, 2014
The Seattle City Council has finally funded a cycle track on 2nd Avenue, a separated bicycle lane that helps prevent fatal accidents, but it has yet to be built. The cycle track should have been built years ago. It's impossible to know if the cycle track would have prevented this accident, but the reason bicycle infrastructure takes so long to build—besides the foot-dragging of our city council—is that people politicize cyclists as whipping boys and politicians like Council Member Tom Rasmussen, chair of the city's transportation committee, withhold funding for safety infrastructure.
In January 2013, I witnessed the aftermath of an accident on 2nd Avenue. I wrote this post about it titled, "This Is Why We Need Protected Bicycle Lanes in Downtown Seattle":
We need more infrastructure to delineate where cyclists have right of way, obviously, but there's a problem.
Anti-cyclists propagandists, columnists like Joni Balter, and the Seattle Times editorial board have attempted to make cycling a political act. They say cars are being "shoved aside" for the "transfer of asphalt to bicycle lanes" and all cyclists are "militant." They say a "war on cars" and "road diets" that are proven to improve cyclist safety are driving people out of the city. Riding a bike isn't a political act. It's a means of transportation. But because these people—Balter, writers in her cadre, people who call cyclists "militant," local politicians who refuse to denounce that language, and others who we wrote about last year on this issue—are making it a political issue, and they make it more difficult for elected leaders to fund bicycle infrastructure.
The city's Bicycle Master Plan, created in 2007, has barely been funded. At five years into the 10-year plan, we've paid for only $36 million of the $240 million goal. That's less than one-quarter of the funding it needs, while the council finds political unity around spending $930 million for an underperforming freeway tunnel (that contains no accommodations for bikes or transit). Meanwhile, data from the Seattle Department of Transportation and other sources show that, as more people are riding bikes in Seattle, collisions and cyclist fatalities are on the rise. This has to end.
Treating cycling like a political football has to stop. Deferring cycling investments needs to stop. People's safety and their lives are on the line—and they're not activists. They're just people, commuters. Bicycle accidents can't be eliminated entirely by protected bicycle lanes, and I don't mean to say they can, but it would have eliminated this one and countless others just like it.
After hearing about the crash this morning, Slog reader Ella wrote, "As a bike commuter (work and everywhere else). I look forward to the enhancements that are proposed for 2nd and many other streets in Seattle." On Twitter, Sedge was more blunt: "Horrific cyclist fatality on 2nd ave and University this morning. How many ppl have to die before we get a barrier?"
So I posed a similar question—"How long till the bike track on 2nd is complete?"—to the mayor's office and city's transportation department. Transportation department spokeswoman Marybeth Turner estimates it will be complete in the second week of September, but adds a caveat that "it depends on how construction progresses."
Jeff Reading in the mayor's office says the cycle track will be done September 8, adding that is "a week too late—would likely have prevented the crash."
This post has been updated with comments from the mayor's office, transportation department, and SPD Blotter.
Sometimes it seems as though the default position for filmmakers putting together a horror movie these days is to go with a found footage format. And that's a shame, because found footage films only work when there's a reason for them to be found footage. As Above, So Below is a movie that makes no sense in this format; in fact, it would have been a much more tense, more dramatically satisfying film had the filmmakers gone with a more traditional narrative framework.
As it is, As Above, So Below is pretty much your standard decent low-budget horror movie with a shitty ending, the kind of thing you summon up on Netflix when you're really stoned and you want to give yourself a fright. The premise holds a lot of promise: Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is an adventurous young urban archaeologist who's trying to find the Philosopher's Stone in the catacombs below Paris. She brings along a translator/love interest (Ben Feldman) and a guy who's supposed to be making a documentary about Scarlett for some vague reason (Edwin Hodge, unfortunately forced to act out every African-American-guy-in-a-horror-movie cliche ever). Their discoveries in the catacombs are often incredibly creepy—not just those easy jump-scares everyone goes for, but a few slower, more earned psychological scares, too—and the film jogs along at a decent pace for a good portion in the middle. The sound design, too, is effective, pulling off a mostly music-free soundtrack by layering sound effects into a textured mosaic.
But, really, why the found footage? The catacombs would feel more claustrophobic if the camera were allowed to pull back a bit at times, or get up in the actors's faces in a way that forehead-mounted cameras can't. (See the opening scenes of The Descent for a good example of how to do horror-movie claustrophobia right.) By getting rid of the documentary angle entirely, As Above, So Below would have been forced to get a little smarter and a little more subtle in its plot, and maybe a little less muddled in its editing. Without the conceit to weigh it down, this could have been a surprising gem of a low-budget flick; as it is, it's just surprisingly tolerable.
A Tale of Two Nine Year Olds: The single mom in South Carolina who let her nine-year-old daughter play in a park alone while she worked at McDonalds—play "alone" in a popular park where 40 other kids were playing—was arrested, charged with felony child endangerment, and McDonalds fired her. The white parents who let their nine-year-old daughter fire an Uzi at an Arizona gun range—which lead to the death of the 39-year-old gun instructor—won't face any criminal charges. The single mom whose daughter was playing in a park is black and poor, the parents of the girl who was playing with an Uzi are white and middle class.
Insecurity States: US intelligence agencies say that a dozen Americans have "traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant group that the Obama administration says poses the greatest threat to the United States since Al Qaeda." And in the UK, which has identified hundreds of UK citizens fighting with ISIS, the government has raised its "terrorist threat level" to severe. "A terrorist attack is 'highly likely' but, based on intelligence, not necessarily 'imminent.'"
Bombs Are Flying, People Are Dying: Shit is ugly in Ukraine and getting uglier with every passing minute. But Canada and Russia demonstrate that, hey, it's still totally possible to have a sense of humor about the whole invading-and-carving-up-your-neighbor thing.
Lazy Hipster Bashing: Tom Philpott at Mother Jones has a point—almond milk is a stupid and wasteful way to consume almonds—but what's with the dumb headline? I never see hipsters buying almond milk at the store. It's always white ladies in yoga pants.
Don't worry about the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Worry about the one in Papua New Guinea: http://t.co/fi2xN04vrf— Slate (@Slate) August 29, 2014
Asshole Not Sorry: Asshole.
$59,365: That's how much money the Internet has raised for Daniel Pierce, the gay kid who was disowned and assaulted—on video—by his hateful family after he came out to them. That'll do, Internet. Pierce deserves sympathy and support; his family deserves scorn and infamy. But the goal of the fundraiser was to get enough money to Daniel to get him on his feet. Mission accomplished. There are lots of kids out there who have been kicked out of the house by their families and most didn't capture the event on video. They also deserve our sympathy and support. I'm going to second Joe Jervis: please consider making a donation to the Ali Forney Center, which aids homeless LGBT youth in New York City, YouthCare, which does great work with LGBT youth in Seattle, or another agency near you.
Wounded Knees: "For the second time this week, a commercial flight was forced to make an emergency landing when two passengers started to fight over the use of reclining seats."
Obama's Suit, Reagan's Sweats: Obama's alleged fashion faux pas—I thought the suit was great—can't hold a candle to St. Ronald Reagan's fashion don't.
Armpit of the Day: Why so coy?
BUMBERSHOOT! It starts tonight! Your complete guide to absolutely everything is HERE.
Sometimes No Means Yes: Last night's hilarious opening segment of the Colbert Report... after the jump...
A zipping comes across the sky.
A man named Neil Parfitt is standing in a field on a cattle ranch outside Warwick, Australia. A white vehicle appears above the trees, a tiny plane a bit bigger than a seagull. It glides towards Parfitt, pitches upwards to a vertical position, and hovers near him, a couple hundred feet in the air. From its belly, a package comes tumbling downward, connected by a thin line to the vehicle itself. Right before the delivery hits the ground, it slows, hitting the earth with a tap. The delivery slows, almost imperceptibly, just before it hits the ground, hardly kicking up any dust. A small rectangular module on the end of the line detaches the payload, and ascends back up the vehicle, locking into place beneath the nose. As the wing returns to flying posture and zips back to its launch point half a mile away, Parfitt walks over to the package, opens it up, and extracts some treats for his dogs.
The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that’s been running for two years at Google X, the company’s whoa-inducing, long-range research lab.
Google calls their drones "self-flying vehicles." The door to the workshop where they've been working on the project is called "The Hatchery." Read the whole six-page-long article here, if you like. It's peppered with sentences from a futuristic movie script, like: "Standing with Parfitt as he received dog treats from a flying robot was Nick Roy, the MIT roboticist who took a two-year sabbatical to lead Project Wing." And sentences full of gushing love for the magical dudes who conceive of such technological wonderment: "If there is one thing Google likes, it is changing the world."
Good morning, world. I hope your plans for the future included a million packages of toothpaste and novels and granola bars and condoms flying past your face on their way to instantaneously please and satisfy the people around you.
My wife and I have been married for four months. We've never been truly sexually compatible. I don't mean to sound crude or macho, but she is rather petite and I am a girthy. Added to that, she really doesn't have much of a sex drive (once a week, and with great delicacy). I love her to death. She is sweet, beautiful, intelligent, and supportive. We have had lots of talks about our differences in bed and most of them have ended with her sayomg, "You should sleep with other people—I just don't want to know about it."
Until recently I resisted temptation hoping for some sort of other option.
Two weeks ago I slept with a mutual friend who I have always liked. She is attractive, kind, knows both of us, is not interested in a strings-attached relationship, and most importantly she knows how much my wife means to me. We slept together twice. The sex was raw, experimental, and fun. It was great being appreciated sexually again and to be able to have sex without feeling like I was hurting someone. Unfortunately, my wife asked me yesterday if anything was going on. I told her the truth. She is now thinking of leaving me.
She says she is not mad at me, and that she understands, but she cannot deal with it. The anxiety is killing me. I feel like I am losing the love of my life. I feel lost. I would have never endangered our relationship had I known this would be the result. I know there is no real advise to give here except for a phat "you're going to have to just deal with it." But thank you for listening anyways.
Her Heatbroken Husband
My response after the jump...
"Just now I rode by the site of the original Red Robin," says Slog tipper DOUG. "Though it's been closed for years, the building remained. Until today. Now it's just toppled wood siding, piled like a plate of bottomless fries."
A Seattle Police Department investigation that began last month into an officer who wrote most of the city's marijuana tickets has expanded, The Stranger has learned, and now includes another officer while officials try to determine why key information about the tickets was omitted from a report to city officials and hidden from the police chief. The case serves as a test—not of pot tickets, so much, but of the city's ability to investigate a persistent scourge of officials covering up misconduct and protecting officers from punishment.
"The piece of the investigation that continues is about who knew what and when at headquarters, and why that report went over [to the Seattle City Council] without notifying me of these facts," Chief Kathleen O'Toole explained in an interview.
Chop Suey, long a home of adventurous music and comedy shows, as well as host for the Mo’-Wave Festival and Black Weirdo parties, is for sale. According to Zillow, the current price for the business is $99,950. Monthly rent for the club on 14th Ave. and E. Madison St. runs a cool $13,000.
Chop Suey has been on the market since Aug. 3. The club’s talent buyer Jodi Ecklund, who’s consistently booked a diverse, interesting schedule there, said, “The most recent development is that the price was significantly dropped from the original asking price. The issue is the rent on the building is 13k; even with a thriving club like Chop Suey, that is not sustainable. I have heard there are some interested parties and I have been contacted by a few folks for more insight. My number one concern is that if Chop Suey is purchased, I hope it is by someone who values the local music scene.
“At this point I am just booking shows and it’s business as usual," she continued. "I hope that if someone is to take over, they would want me to stay on board. I’m just taking it as it comes and will figure out an alternate plan once I know more about the longevity.”
I've left a message for Chop Suey general manager Hisato Kawaminami.
Bumbershoot Announces a Few Music-Lineup Alterations: Here are some last-minute changes to the Bumbershoot musical lineup. First, guitarist Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine) will replace Jessica Pratt Monday at the Pavilion Stage at 4:15 pm. Second, the ensemble that will interpret Big Star’s Third is expanding to include Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, and Young Fresh Fellows/Minus 5/Baseball Project’s Scott McCaughey. They join original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills, Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey, and Mike McCready. Finally, James Brown/Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins has canceled his Bumbershoot Music Lounge set, but will still perform Sunday at 10 pm at the Fisher Green Stage.
The Stranger’s Bumbershoot coverage is here.
Wonkette Is Coming to Town! Everybody's favorite political blog is hosting a Seattle happy hour on Saturday, September 27th. They're trying to figure out where to have the happy hour; you can chime in on your favorite bar in the comments.
Your Staggering Fact of the Day: "More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average," Lyz Lenz writes at the Rumpus.
That Looks Like a Movie, All Right: Here's the trailer for Rosewater, the film that Jon Stewart took last summer off from the Daily Show to direct:
Shakespeare, with Drunks: Slog tipper Ryan says "this needs to happen here," and we tend to agree: ShakesBEER is a cross between a pub crawl and a Shakespeare festival, Drunk Shakespeare is a cross between Shakespeare and improv, and Shotspeare is a drinking game disguised as a Shakespeare production. Why not?
Who Can Write with All This Typing Going On? Slog tipper Greg sent along this NPR story: Seems that the Times of London is now broadcasting the sounds of clacking typewriters in the newsroom in an effort to increase productivity.
Boss Your Kids Around: Bruce Springsteen has apparently written a children's book.Brick Jest is a series of Lego retellings of important scenes from Infinite Jest. That's all we have to say about that.
Hands on the Tips of Your Fingers: Beloved local novelty institution Archie McPhee announced their newest product today. Finger hands are hands you put on the tips of your fingers, and they're really quite creepy. Hopefully, Archie McPhee will one day soon start selling finger hands to put on the fingers of your finger hands, so we can keep this party going.
"At the bottom of our news tonight, there's been a new animal aimed at falling off the face of our Earth. Yes—young black teenagers are reported to be the oldest, and the newest, creatures added to the Endangered Species List. As of now, no efforts have been made to preserve the blacks—when asked why, a top top law official adds, 'Because they make good game.'" —Ice Cube, "Endangered Species" (1990)
According to USA Today, during a seven-year period ending in 2012, a white police officer killed a black citizen nearly twice a week in the United States. What's funny are those comment sections of articles like this—or about the Mike Brown shooting, or the murders of other blacks at the hands of the police—frothing over with people asking, "What about black-on-white murders, or even black-on-black murders?" While you'd think "Well, what about four centuries of chattel slavery followed by two centuries of socioeconomic warfare and literal state-funded terrorism?" would be a decent comeback, you'd be wrong. Do not engage. Just put your hands up like a victim, and hope this nonviolent gesture of supplication will save you when it's your turn. If not, well, maybe someone will get it all on camera, and that cop's ass will surely land in hot water then. Right?
"I have searched all night and day for new and better words that could express my feelings and fear for the people of this country. I found no new words. I have no hope-filled insight to deliver. I only have this warning to all Americans: Whatever this country is willing to do to the least of us, it will one day do to us all." —Killer Mike...
The Audacity of Taupe pic.twitter.com/3EC7NN0By8
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) August 28, 2014
My Twitter feed this afternoon was full of outrage over President Obama's sartorial choices. At a press conference today, Obama wore a suit that has alternately been described as khaki, taupe, tan, brown, and beige. The reason it's getting a lot of attention is that until now Obama has worn black or blue suits exclusively.
I'm certainly not above making fun of an ugly suit, but today's Twitter storm is pretty silly, especially since I couldn't tell from my Twitter feed what the president of the United States was saying during his press conference because everybody was too busy making fun of his suit. (If you care about non-clothing-related issues of global importance, Obama identified Russia as being "responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine," promised action on ISIS, announced that he was sending Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East, and took a moment to celebrate the surprising 4.2 percent growth rate the country enjoyed last quarter.) But nobody cares about the country potentially going to war, right? Let's focus on the important stuff!
Ethan Stowell has a new fish 'n' chips place in Ballard called Chippy's. Fish 'n' chips there cost—GASP OH MY GOD I KNOW!!!—$14 to $18. But when's the last time you went to Ivar's? The aggressive seagulls at the one on the waterfront are more gigantic and terrifying and awesome than ever, and even Ivar's rings in at $9.29 to $13.99 for fish 'n' chips these days.
I went to both to compare. The things I do for you! Here's the full Ivar's versus Chippy's report.
"Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers, instead of the other way around," Hillary Clinton said at a (presumably very white) tech conference in San Francisco today. Clinton, who has been under fire for ducking the issue of Ferguson, made a statement against the militarization of police and the institutional racism of America's criminal justice system. She also strongly supported President Obama's decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson. The phrasing of race in the speech was unfortunate—she kept referring to "us" and "we" when talking about white people, which sucks—but the words were said with passion. I can't speak for how the citizens of Ferguson will receive this speech, obviously, but as a political move, this feels like a fairly strong albeit typically cautious, statement from Clinton.
People on Lopez Island talk about Paul Allen; he just comes up in conversation. If you're a visitor and you stop at the cute little Lopez Island Historical Society & Museum, the docent might just mention that the billionaire owns a peninsula on the southern side of the island. His peninsula is Sperry Peninsula (map), and he bought it back in 1996, when he owned yet another island in the San Juans. (That one was Allan Island—no relation—and, preferring Sperry for the vacation getaway he planned to build, he finally unloaded Allan Island in 2013 for $5 million after it sat on the market for eight years with an original asking price of $25 million. Private-island real estate just isn't what it used to be.)
The chatty museum docent is how one Seattle resident, who asked to remain nameless because he doesn't want to make Paul Allen angry, found himself riding his bike full of curiosity about Sperry Peninsula on a recent visit to Lopez. Sure enough, from the public road, he could just look across the water and see Allen's compound. He took the photograph above because he couldn't help but notice the giant art on the lawn. To him, it looked for all the world like a significant work by super-sculptor Richard Serra.
So is the mysterious sculpture a Serra?
(Showbox at the Market) Little Dragon began as a classily louche, luxuriously low-key electro-lounge act, with singer Yukimi Nagano's breathy voice cooing sweet anythings over retro-futurist triphop beats. They've since started to explore a more diverse range of influences, with 2011's Ritual Union embracing bleep techno and abstracted exotica, as Nagano stepped aside for long stretches and let the swirling soundscape speak for itself. Though I've yet to hear the group's most recent album, Nabuma Rubberband, reports indicate it’s even more sonically out-there and all-encompassing, which bodes well for the longevity of Little Dragon beyond their blog-hyped peers. Pop music's like a shark: It needs to keep moving to stay alive. With Dam-Funk. KYLE FLECK
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(Barboza) There are four great reasons to attend this show: 1) NighTrain are a badass rock foursome who sing songs about how being a girl band and not giving a fuck what you think. 2) Austin’s Tele Novella play slinky and cool ’60s-inspired psych pop that Quentin Tarantino should probably use in his next film. 3) Pony Time are a buzzy garage-rock duo with a sonic love letter to Kathleen Hanna. But the reason that has me most excited is because 4) Lisa Prank, the one-woman new-wave pop-punk dance party, is opening. If someone handed me Prank’s Crush on the World cassette and whispered, “This is Belinda Carlisle's first Go-Go’s demo, shhhhh!” I’d believe them and then wonder how the fuck the lo-fi pop jam “Why Can’t We (Just Dance)” was never turned into a gold-selling single. I want to write Lisa Prank’s name on my binder and doodle hearts and paisley all around it. MEGAN SELING
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It took many by surprise that civilian police at protests in Ferguson, Missouri, outfitted in camouflage and carrying assault rifles, looked like stormtroopers. Here in Seattle, in 2012, the public was surprised and dismayed by the Seattle Police Department's quiet acquisition of two drones through a Homeland Security grant. After an outcry, the department decommissioned the drones and, earlier this year, sent them to Los Angeles police.
Here's another surprise (woohoo!) from police in Tacoma: They've been using a suitcase-sized device called a Stingray that pretends to be a cell phone tower and sucks up data from surrounding cell phones.
In a June exposé, USA Today explained what the hell a Stingray does and called its use "a method from the NSA's playbook."
Did Tacoma police decide that the public deserves more transparency? Did they disclose their use of this technology voluntarily? Haha. Good one! No—instead, Phil Mocek, a co-founder of the Seattle Privacy Coalition, filed a slew of Freedom of Information Act requests and obtained documents earlier this month, some of which are redacted, showing that the department acquired the device in 2009 and has used it 179 times since then.
Tacoma's City Council, much like our own city council's experience with SPD's drones, had no clue, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.
In 2012, then-Iowa Republican State Senator Kent Sorenson switched his support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul just before the Iowa caucuses. Yesterday, Sorenson pled guilty on charges that someone paid him $73,000 in laundered money for his endorsement of Ron Paul, and on charges that Sorenson lied about the money when asked by an ethics commission. NPR's Peter Overby says a sentencing date has not yet been set.
The big question, Overby writes, is where the money came from: "Since Sorenson says he was paid $73,000 by the Paul campaign, somebody presumably was paying him. Is the Justice Department investigating?" This is important, because the Rand Paul political machine is mostly made up of tired old parts of the Ron Paul machine. Did the Ron Paul campaign pay Sorenson to switch sides? If so, did they pay anyone else for their endorsement? And if someone in the Paul campaign did pay off Sorenson, where does that person work now? We know that Rand Paul worked with white supremacists; is it possible that he works with money-laundering endorsement-buyers, too?
I was on vacation the last three weeks—life is hard (see: Exhibit A below)—so I missed all sorts of awful news: Michael Brown, James Foley, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall.
But I also missed one piece of excellent news.
Harry Bailey—the interim police chief appointed by Mayor Ed Murray who played a role in fucking up the SPD harder than any one person has fucked up the SPD in contemporary times while sending reform backwards by years, making statements that appeared to misrepresent the facts, and exonerating officers for misconduct while also making a mockery of the department's accountability program and scandalizing City Hall officials responsible for him—has officially retired. (See Exhibit B.)
Chief Kathleen O'Toole announced Bailey retirement in a warm, fuzzy blog post. But Seattle should not have warm and fuzzy memories.
Bailey was a civic embarrassment. Full stop. It's nice to return to a city that's better than when I left.
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