Local Author Saves Life: Snow Falling on Cedars author David Guterson arranged to save the life of a young Ethiopian woman.
Needle Party at Bumbershoot!!! Bumbershoot has announced its 2014 offerings in Words & Ideas, Visual Arts, and Theater, and oh my there is so much good stuff coming our way. Some highlights: Smrt Talk With Writers of The Simpsons; Tu Stultus Es: The Onion Explains Why You Are Stupid; Black Weirdo, in which members of Thee Satisfaction discuss what it’s like to be Black, Queer, and in Seattle; Bumbercade, a decade-spanning (and playable!) video game retrospective curated by Sam Mackovech; and Northwest literary legend Tom Robbins reading from all 11 of his novels. And then there is Needle Party!!!:
Needle Party!!! is hosted by good friends Ken Jennings (Seattle native, 74-time Jeopardy! champion and the author of seven books) and George Meyer (who wrote for David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons and is currently writing a novel, Where Did You Park?). Here, they explore the lighter side of comedy in a safe, well-lit theater with abundant fire exits. No topic will be taboo — except religion, politics, and the craziness of modern life. Folks will emerge from the show refreshed and energized, with little memory of their experience.
We are so there.
In Visual Art Bumber-News: Bumbershoot 2014’s visual arts lineup includes art on how we relate to food, art from video goddesses Interstitial Theatre, photography of Northwest music before you-know-who (covering the years 1976-1990), art made on a boat with Clyde Peterson (so good), art you can touch but can’t see (by the marvelous Seth Friedman), and a show of 11 contemporary artists who are Native American titled Wendy Red Star’s Wild West & Congress of Rough Riders of the World.
Way to Say Nothing: I’m still reeling from this quote in Brendan’s story on 15/hour minimum wages: "Annex managing director Stephen McCandless wrote in an e-mail that the combination of a wage hike and greater access to health care, through the federal Affordable Care Act, would 'make it less suicidal to pursue art (and any other entrepreneurial attempt) in America.’” Meanwhile, I’ve reached out to all three of Seattle’s largest art museums—the Frye, the Henry, and SAM. I’m still waiting for responses from the Frye and the Henry, but SAM’s response at this point is a non-response (and no further elaboration was given): "We are tracking the issue closely and still in the process of reviewing the numbers.” That’s all I got.
Sherman Alexie Has Been Un-Banned: Here's some good news, from Joel Connelly at the PI: Two women have not only raised enough money to buy copies of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian for every student in an Idaho school district where the book was banned, they're also buying all 350 copies of the book through an independent bookstore in Boise, rather than through Amazon as they originally planned.
If You Haven't Read Gabriel García Márquez, Now's Your Chance: The New Yorker has put all of Márquez's New Yorker pieces online for free.
New Earth: Astronomers have discovered a planet, Kepler 186-f, that is “nearly the same size as Earth” and in the “habitable zone,” meaning it is: "at the right distance from its star to have liquid water on its surface.” This doesn’t mean we can move there yet, but it does mean our great-great-great-great grandchildren might be able to fuck up another ecosystem one day the way we did this one.
The Internet Is Awesome: Someone made an interactive list of all the music in all of Haruki Murakami's books.
Houses: Now in 3D! They’re building a 3D-printed house in Amsterdam! "Treacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the future of house-building, if Dus Architects have their way."
James Franco Is Terrible: He called a theater critic a "little bitch."
When Superheroes Were Weird: Remembering Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol comics.
HOLY SHIT BALLET IS HARD: Spectacular ballet moves can happen while you blink or in just a few bars of music—it sometimes takes practice as a viewer to see how difficult they are. But this quick video slows some of those moves to help you appreciate what it takes to execute them. And it’s not just the body. As one ballerina says about lifts with her partner: “I need to trust him 100 percent—not freak out, be calm."