The Stranger's Crystal Ball

From Oliver Sacks to Yotam Ottolenghi: A Documentary Double Feature to Watch This Weekend

This double feature starts with neurology and ends with cakes.
This doc double feature starts with neurology and ends with cakes. Oliver Sacks: His Own Life/Bill Hayes

Documentaries can speak to the human condition in a manner no other medium can. They also can have jokes about erections and jello, so they really have something for everyone.

Two new documentaries available beginning this Friday, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life and Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles, provide exciting and distinct snapshots of artists reflecting on their respective work.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

Oliver Sacks was a prolific author who became most well known for his transgressive writing about neurology. He was also funny as hell, making him a fitting voice to tell his own story.

In Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Sacks makes use of his impeccable wit to talk through his struggles with drug addiction, mental health, and sexuality. It's heavy and heartfelt to watch Sacks reflect, captured in what he knows will be the final months of his life.

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It's Surprisingly Hard to Buy a New Xbox Without Accidentally Buying an Old One Instead

Such a lot of fuss over a few rectangles.
Such a lot of fuss over a few rectangles. Microsoft

Microsoft, a local spreadsheet manufacturer and employer of Jennifer Aniston, has a problem: They’ve named their game console so confusingly that everyone’s buying the wrong one.

An updated version of the Xbox is coming out on November 10 with completely new components and new games and even a slightly revamped controller (they discovered a new button!!!)… in fact, everything about it seems new except the name. This is the fourth generation of Xbox, and rather than calling it oh I don’t know Xbox 4, or Xboxxxx, they’ve put the word “Series” in its name along with model identifiers that are exactly the same as the previous generation’s.

The new console's name is so similar to the previous generation—the Xbox that’s been out since 2013—that this week the old version of the Xbox experienced a nearly 800% spike in sales on Amazon, presumably from people who thought they were buying the new one.

So. How can you tell Xboxes apart and make sure you’re buying the one you actually want? Well, grab a pen and paper.

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Mushrooms, CBD & Berries OH MY!

Get healthy for fall with Locally made CBD, Medicinal Mushroom & Immunity supporting products.

Everyday Natural Products mission statement is built into our brand name! We source the highest quality natural ingredients that fit specifically with the unique formulations we create. We care about our customers first & foremost, so our products have to work well for a large array of people. We use organic mushrooms, sun grown hemp & other berries & nutrients when empowering our product offerings. Our current focus is in 3 categories relating to health: Pain, Brain & Immunity. At ENP we are here to help you sort through the rapidly growing pool of products on the market. Through company transparency, product integrity and going about our family rooted business, we are creating products we love to use and share with our ever-growing family. Since we do every little bit of work that goes into creating what we sell, we are able to keep our costs down and make top notch products available to you!

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What the World Needs Now Is a New Nancy Meyers Film

Pictured: The Father of the Bride cast, and one beautiful kitchen.
Pictured: The Father of the Bride cast, and one beautiful kitchen. screenshot

Even if you’ve never heard director Nancy Meyers’ name, you are probably familiar with her oeuvre.

She’s the genius auteur behind such white-women-with-mild-personal-dilemmas flicks like Baby Boom, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated (it really wasn’t that complicated!), and The Intern. Meyers is responsible for pioneering what I call kitchencore, in which her protagonists may have fucked up personal lives, but their kitchens are always enormous and decked out, perfect for whipping up some honey-lavender ice cream for an ex-husband played by Alec Baldwin at a moment’s notice. She’s also given us some of Diane Keaton's most delightful roles. (Take that, Woody Allen!)

Meyers’ work is like if the acclaimed late Norah Ephron shot all her movies through a sunny Instagram filter. And from The Parent Trap to the Father of the Bride series to The Holiday, they’ve always served as cinematic comfort food for me. I think the last Meyers movie I re-watched was Something’s Gotta Give, an early-2000s Hamptons-set love triangle between Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Keanu Reeves as a young, handsome doctor. I streamed it on New Year’s Eve when I was home sick with a brutal sinus infection (in retrospect, definitely an omen for 2020). The white/beige color palette and smooth pacing of Keaton and Nicholson gradually realizing they’re meant for each other went down easier than cough medicine.

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Your Guide to Seattle Drive-In Movies & Events: Fall 2020 Edition

The Shelton drive-in theater will screen the Rocky Horror Picture Show this weekend in honor of its 45th anniversary.
The Shelton drive-in theater will screen the Rocky Horror Picture Show this weekend in honor of its 45th anniversary.

As we move into fall, drive-in movies, the darlings of summer 2020, are also making the jump into the new season, staking their claim as one of the safest ways to get out and do something while still maintaining social distancing. Below, we've rounded up all the places to see a movie in your car in the coming months, from traditional drive-in theaters playing tried-and-true standbys (like Shrek at the Wheel-In Motor Movie) to places to catch Halloween classics (like Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Skyline Drive-In Theatre) to artsier newcomers (like the On the Boards Drive-In). Plus, we've included some other noteworthy drive-in-style entertainment coming up this season, like an Edouardo Jordan pop-up at Dick's Drive-In (which goes on sale today at 10 a.m. and will sell out) and the Stalker Farms Drive-Thru Haunted House.

Carpool Cinema
Scarecrow Video is co-hosting drive-in movies at the Phinney Center parking lot. Load up on snacks and enjoy screenings of some of the best recent cinema that centers black artists, including the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 (featuring the late, great Chadwick Boseman) and Jordan Peele's Get Out.
Phinney ($20)
Lineup: 42 (Sept 24–25) & Get Out (Oct 2–3)

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Practice safe flu shots. Schedule ahead, and skip the line. Get in and out in five minutes or less.

Want to avoid long pharmacy lines and crowded waiting rooms during COVID? You're in luck. Ninety-five percent of our visits start on time—which means our waiting rooms are pretty much just for show. Flu shots take just 5 minutes, and you can expect minimal contact with others during your visit.

Learn more...

South Sound Democrats Say They're Missing Dozens of Campaign Signs

Former chair of the 2nd LD, Bill Harrington, hanging out with the signs.
Former chair of the 2nd LD, Bill Harrington, hanging out with the signs. Bob Akervick

Leeroy Perkins, the state committeeman for the Democratic club down in the 2nd Legislative District, said two teams set out three weeks ago to install over 40 yard signs along major thoroughfares all over the South Sound region. They tacked all the signs to "wooden stakes, for longevity." But two days later all the signs had disappeared.

The signs supported campaigns for Gov. Jay Inslee, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. House Rep. Kim Schrier, and Veronica Whitcher Rockett, who's challenging State House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox.

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Photojournalist Sues Portland and Its Police Officers for Injuries at Protest

This article was originally published on Slog's sister blog in Portland, Blogtown. Follow those weirdos for daily coverage of Portland and its ongoing protests. —Eds. Note


Teri Jacobs, an independent photojournalist, is suing the city of Portland and a group of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers for injuries she sustained while covering a protest last month.

On August 18, Jacobs was covering a nightly protest against police brutality and racial injustice near the Multnomah Building on SE Hawthorne Boulevard. While documenting the police action against protesters, Jacobs was pulled by one PPB officer, shoved to the ground, and hit in the head, neck, shoulders, and face with a truncheon, or police baton.

The encounter was captured by another protest attendee and posted to Twitter that night:

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Slog AM: 13 Seattle Protesters Arrested, Trump Got Booed, Man Dies From Too Much Black Licorice

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A barricade on 11th and Pine from last nights Louisville solidarity protests.
A barricade on 11th and Pine from last night's Louisville solidarity protests. RS
An update to yesterday's Belltown double stabbing: One 48-year old man died as a result from his injuries last night. Read my colleague Rich Smith's post for more background information on the incident.

5,200 people were without power in West Seattle last night: Officials are still determining the cause, but the outage spread to both South Park and White Center. As of this morning it looks like just a small pocket in South Park remains without power.

870,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims last week: This number is slightly up from last week. Another 630,000 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance while 12.6 million people filed continuing jobless claims.

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Two Hospitalized After Belltown Stabbing; Suspect Barricaded in Apartment

One victim remains at Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, and one has been discharged.
One victim remains at Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, and one has been discharged. @streetphotojournalism

At around 5:30 p.m. police apprehended a woman suspected of stabbing two people near the Centennial Tower in Belltown this morning. After the stabbing, the suspected barricaded herself in her old apartment on the 24th floor of the building. After a standoff lasting all afternoon, cops said they got a warrant to enter the place, tried to negotiate with her, deployed a taser, and then took her into custody.

A Harborview Medical Center spokesperson confirmed two victims were sent to the hospital; one man remains in critical condition, and a woman has been discharged. A resident identified one of the victims as the apartment manager. Update: The man has died, according to the Seattle Times.

During the standoff, shortly before 2 p.m. one cop tossed a flash grenade onto the apartment's inset balcony, but the person inside did not emerge. Cops on the scene also used a pole to lower a "pelican box" with a phone symbol on it, according to one witness, but the suspect did not come to the window.

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Slog PM: No Justice for Breonna Taylor; No BLM Buttons at Fred Meyer or QFC; Yes, Tahlequah Had a Baby!

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the stories you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to The Stranger.

A grand jury refuses to hold officers accountable for the killing of Breonna Taylor.
A grand jury refuses to hold officers accountable for the killing of Breonna Taylor. BRANDON BELL / GETTY IMAGES

Today's biggest story: Only a single cop, Brett Hankison, was charged related to the killing of Breonna Taylor, and he received three charges of wanton endangerment in the first degree. What even is "wanton endangerment"? From the New York Times:

Under Kentucky law, a person commits that crime when he or she “wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person,” and does so “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Other states may use terms like “reckless endangerment” for an equivalent offense.

But the charges against Mr. Hankison are not for killing Ms. Taylor. None of the 10 shots he fired are known to have struck her. Instead, the Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, who is overseeing the prosecution, said the former detective was charged by the grand jury because the shots he fired had passed through Ms. Taylor’s apartment walls into a neighboring apartment, endangering three people there.

Yes, the charges relate to the endangerment of Taylor's neighbors—not Taylor.

Wanton endangerment is a crime, a Class D felony in Kentucky, and can bring a sentence of up to five years in prison. In theory, Hankison could receive up to 15 years for the three counts.

Three cops were involved in the killing, and the two who shot at Breonna Taylor received no charges: Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, already placed on administrative leave, were not indicted. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer acknowledged that "there are people in our community who feel that these charges fall short of achieving justice," and placed the city on a curfew starting at 9 p.m.

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Life in the Anarchist City of Seattle

An anarchist of yore.
An anarchist of yore. IAN BUCK

An amazing 64% of people in a survey conducted by USA TODAY/Ipso "believe protesters and counter-protesters are overwhelming American cities." Furthermore, "those who live in rural areas (71%) are more likely to agree with that sentiment than those in urban areas (59%)." An explanation for why most rural people have this feeling is not hard to formulate. The division of urban/rural values is as old as the hills. For them, the city is Sodom, racially impure, pandemonium, godless, lawless, and so on.

The recent cycle of Black Lives Matter protests and the calls for defunding what for many rural white Americans is the next best thing to the church, the police department, only hardens long-hard conclusions about city dwellers. But a rural person with deep negative feelings about the urban way of life will make their first step toward actual knowledge if they present these feelings with the same question a thoughtful rural character in Chenjerai Hove’s novel/poem Bones asks a person who is badmouthing the place where so many young men and women change their names and habits: “If the city is so frightening as you say… why are so many people living there?”

But what about the urban people who feel they are under siege? Where are they coming from?

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Comic Book Round-up: Pumpkin Heads, Unkindness of Ravens, Blackhand & Ironhead, and Immortal She-Hulk

Uwu, whats this?
Uwu, what's this? Phoenix Comics

Of all the autumns in your life, the 18th may be the most memorable: Mine involved my first long-term boyfriend, my first professional film credit, and my first address that was not my parents'. By the time November rolled around, I still didn’t know who I was, exactly, but I knew I wasn’t the kid I’d been all my life. The graphic novel Pumpkin Heads by Faith Erin Hicks perfectly captures that moment in a person’s life. It came out last year, but it’s the right title to revisit every September/October.

And while this was a quieter-than-usual week for new comic book issues, there are a few gems to pick up:

  • An Unkindness of Ravens offers goth high school drama.
  • Immortal She-Hulk grabs you by the lapels.
  • Blackhand & Ironhead is a story of a superpowered family and a crime-fighting duo that would rather fight each other.

    These recommendations come in collaboration with our friends at Phoenix Comics, where all of these books (and more!) are available to grab.

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  • The Seattle Times Is Asking the Wrong Question About Lime’s Electric Scooters

    Thats nice, now give us 100,000 more
    That's nice, now give us 100,000 more Susan Vineyard/Getty Images

    Earlier this month, whoever writes headlines at the Seattle Times asked, “Electric scooters approved for Seattle, but can riders avoid the sidewalk?” which, now that Lime deployed their cute little devices, is precisely the wrong question to ask. I want to explain why, and also explain why I had to trudge across Capitol Hill this morning drenched in rainwater and my own disgusting sweat.

    Here is the situation: My car has needed new tires for about two years. Every few weeks, I’d notice that the front passenger side was getting perilously flat, so I’d take it to a gas station and spend a few quarters to fill it up so I could pretend it wasn’t a problem for another few weeks. But this week, the tire went completely flat, so I decided I’d bring it to Moss Alley Motors, who are lovely, and get it taken care of once and for all. I planned to replace the flat with a spare, drive the car to the mechanic, and then use a Lime e-scooter to toot on home while they worked on the car.

    But I was not counting on my car rolling off the jack and crushing it, nor on the battery of one fateful scooter dying when I needed it most.

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    Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2020 in Seattle

    Say Prost! to Oktoberfest season with Fremont Brewings festbier.
    Say "Prost!" to Oktoberfest season with Fremont Brewing's festbier. Fremont Brewing

    Social distancing measures are still firmly in place, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo German beers and brats or let your lederhosen languish in the back of your closet this Oktoberfest season. We've rounded up events and special releases, from Ounces' West Seattle celebration to festbiers from Reuben's Brews, so you can celebrate safely and in style. For more ideas, check out our full in-person dining directory, our takeout & delivery directory, and our guide to where to drink fresh hop beer in Seattle right now.


    Ounces has found a way to make Oktoberfest work in 2020, so you can still enjoy a wide selection of Oktoberfest beer on tap, peruse steins for sale, nosh on Bavarian fare like pretzels and brats, rock your lederhosen, and listen to the dulcet tones of oompah music. Enter an Instagram costume contest for a shot at winning a $50 gift card.
    West Seattle
    In-person, Fri Sept 25

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    CHOP's Black Lives Matter Mural Gets Scrubbed, Repainted, and Preserved

    On Tuesday morning, city crews began the removing the paint and sanding the ground around the Black Lives Matter street mural on Pine.
    City crews removing the paint and sanding the ground around the Black Lives Matter street mural on Pine. JK
    On a wet Tuesday morning, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews assembled on Pine Street between 10th and 11th Ave, methodically removing the block-long Black Lives Matter street mural painted by VividMatterCollective, a group of 16 artists, in June.

    The sound of the cleaning and sanding machines was deafening. I stood next to graffiti artist and Art Vault Seattle founder AfroSPK, who painted the "R" in "MATTER," as the machines slowly removed the layers of paint from his part of the mural. The letter depicted many colorful, laughing cloud characters, which he calls Tasty Cloud, all smushed in together. I remember watching him paint it all those months ago from the windows of our former offices on Pine.

    Lead mural artist Takiyah Ward, who painted the "TT" in "MATTER," was also on-site and told me that watching the removal of the mural was a "circular moment." It made her remember the 24 hours that brought the mural into being and "the beauty of that experience and community moment." Now, it was up in dust.

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    Watch the Trailer for SLAY: Our New Horror Film Fest Debuting Oct 15-31!

    SLAY Film Festival

    We're living through horrifying times... correct? Then what better time for SLAY—the horror film festival featuring short, deliciously TERRIFYING flicks? SLAY comes to you from the makers of HUMP! and SPLIFF, who asked artists, filmmakers, and generally bored people to make short, eight-minute-or-less horror flicks—and wow! Did you deliver! We received hundreds of submissions from all over the Northwest and the world, and have picked the best 32 of these entries for the debut of the SLAY film festival, premiering October 15-31, 2020.

    In fact, we got so many great submissions we were able to break SLAY into two volumes—so you can watch just one, or if you really want to be scared witless, WATCH BOTH for a discount. Get your tickets now and here!

    Need more fun? No problem. After watching SLAY you'll be able to vote on the best flicks in four categories: "Goriest," "Funniest," "Scariest," and "Best in Show." Plus all finalists will share the revenue from SLAY, which means you'll be helping support these talented artists and filmmakers!

    So what can you expect from the debut of SLAY? All kinds of TERROR... from creepy, to hilarious, to sexy, to poop-your-pants horrifying! CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE! And don't miss the absolutely scare-tastic premiere of the funnest film festival of the season, SLAY! Get those tickets now!