So first This Ain't Avatar XXX was announced, and now there's this:
I assume it's meant to be used in conjunction with this.
Now, I know a lot of you are going to be condemning and/or mocking the bodypaint-slathered nerds who can't wait to use this thing, but I'd just like to politely remind you that if Avatar taught us anything, it's to keep our minds open when it comes to practices that, at first, might at first seem strange, confusing, or outright disturbing. If we're willing to learn, to adapt, and to try new, even alien things... well, I think we might just find ourselves in a far better place, don't you? I'd also like to say NONONONONONONONONONONO MAKE IT STOP.
(Goddamn you, Topless Robot.)
I just got back from picking up a hunk of smoked gouda and a baguette at my local Fred Meyer and on my way out I noticed a bunch of orange signs plastered all over the store's games section.
According to a nearby clerk they recently tried putting a ton of games on clearance to cope with the ailing economy, but when that didn't help the store's higher ups decided to sweeten the pot by adding an additional "40% off" tag to the entire selection. As a result every gaming system now has a range of really awesome deals.
For instance, I picked up a copy of Rock Band Unplugged for $7 and the criminally underrated Retro Game Challenge for $10.68. Tomorrow I plan to go back and buy Motorstorm for $10, Assassin's Creed 2 for $15 and the Resident Evil 5 Collector's Edition bundle for $25.
I asked the helpful store employee how long the sale would be running and the response was "until our stock runs out." That's good news for anyone worried about missing an arbitrary cut off date, but it also means that the sooner you get down there, the better the game selection will be.
So, like, hurry!
Good evening, Blogtown!
Your Mercury's Very Own News Team—Denis C. Theriault and Sarah Mirk—is camped out with a couple dozen debate watchers down at Claudia's Sports Bar on Hawthorne. There are many TVs, a row of high-backed blue leather chairs at the bar and very, very good food. No, seriously. The soup is to die for.
It's a hair after 7 pm, and we're waiting for the bartender to turn on the sound on the big screen so we can hear all the action. KGW quickly cut over to our two debaters, Democratic ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber and Republican ex-Trail Blazer Chris Dudley, and man does Dudley tower over the ol' cowboy.
Show time is only seconds away.
UPDATE 7:05 PM Dudley is asked about his qualifications, given that he's never, ever, ever had a political job. Dudley doesn't answer that, necessarily. Instead, he goes off about taxes, taxes, taxes.
Kitzhaber retorts and says "we don't have a lot of time for on the job training." Someone shouts: "Tell 'em governor."
UPDATE 7:10 PM Good question about Dudley's capital gains tax plan. Why should a trust fund baby should be taxed far lower than a working class Oregonian? Dudley doesn't flinch. We need to keep capital and revenue in this state, he said. People here snickered.
Kitzhaber sharpens the knife and sticks it in—in favor of Democratic interests. He says its time to give union members more jobs.
UPDATE 7:11 PM Now its Kitzhaber's turn to answer about his motivation for serving an unprecedented third term. He talks up his time as governor in the 1990s and hits a lot of applause points: women's rights, middle class, no oil drilling, etc.
Dudley fires back: Unemployment went up. Spending went up. Wasn't he playing for the Knicks by then?
UPDATE 7:13 PM Sarah notes this observation from Reverend Chuck Currie: "Why is KGW having Lars Larson on to provide 'analysis?' He's not a journalist or even an Oregonian."
UPDATE 7:15 PM Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian doesn't like that neither candidate could be bothered to get specific when he asked which three programs would you cut. And when he asks again, Kitzhaber still doesn't give a straight answer.
Dudley at least mentions one: energy tax credits.
UPDATE 7:16 PM Uh-oh. Time for Chris Dudley to tell us about global warming. "I don't know how much is man-made and how much is natural." REALLY?
UPDATE 7:18 PM Kitzhaber comes out stronger. It's a man-made problem. No more drilling. Cut back on fossil fuels.
Keep reading for more updates
A student teacher in the Beaverton School District who has been summarily dismissed from his work suspects that his sexual orientation is the reason he has been booted from the school district.
Seth Stambaugh, 23, a graduate teaching student at Lewis and Clark college, was placed in Beaverton Student District as a student teacher in a 4th and 5th grade class at Sexton Mountain, a public Beaverton elementary. He worked there for a couple weeks preparing for the school year.
But just after school started, Stambaugh's teaching partner called him aside told him a parent had filed a strange complaint: that Stambaugh was dressed inappropriately. On the day of the complaint, says Lake Perriguey, a lawyer who is now working pro-bono of Stambaugh's case, Stambaugh was wearing pressed slacks, a button-up oxford shirt, and a cardigan that was a gift from his grandfather. The principal did not take any action.
Later in the week, Stambaugh was leading a journaling activity in the classroom when one of the students asked whether Stambaugh was married. Stambaugh said he was not and, when the student asked why, replied that it would be illegal for him to get married because he "would choose to marry another guy." The student pressed further, asking if that meant Stambaugh liked to hang out with guys and Stambaugh responded, "Yeah." That was the end of the conversation.
After that, says Perriguey, word of the short conversation apparently got back to parent who had previously complained about Stambaugh's appearance. The parent called the school and threatened to remove his child from the classroom.
On September 15th, the principal of Sexton Mountain called the Beaverton School District and told them that Stambaugh was barred from teaching in the district. Stambaugh was told that the comments he had made about his marital status were "inappropriate."
"There's no factual dispute about what happened," says Stambaugh. "The question is whether we tolerate what happened in this state and this culture."
Beaverton School District spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler stresses that Stambaugh was never technically an employee of the school district, since he was working through Lewis and Clark, and therefore it's not accurate to say he was "fired." "It’s not an employee issue, we requested a change of placement for this teacher," says Wheeler. Lewis and Clark, she explains, made the final call on what would happen to Stambaugh. (SEE UPDATE BELOW)
Wheeler said she did not know the specifics of the conversation or why it was deemed "inappropriate" and would say only, "There were the concerns about the conversation with a fourth grade student."
"The district’s policy and practice is nondiscrimination. We seek diversity in our hiring and we create safe and inclusive environment for students and staff," added Wheeler. In 2008, a former theater teacher sued Beaverton School District for allowing a work environment that "harassed, intimidated and humiliated" him when he produced "The Laramie Project."
Lawyer Perriguey says there was an effort to reinstate Stambaugh, since he had done weeks of prep work for the specific class. But over recent weeks, Beaverton has defended their action as justified and Stambaugh remains on the blacklist. "It was a real loss not just for him but for all his students who have been denied their student teacher," says Perriguey.
Right now, Stambaugh's looking at trying to get a new student teaching job, maybe in the Portland school district. "He's looking at all of his options right now. His primary concern has always been to be a good teacher and pursue his education," says Perriguey. "Hopefully, he'll find a place at a school that doesn't discriminate."
UPDATE 10/1 9 am: Lewis and Clark spokeswoman Jodi Heintz says there's a "discrepancy" in Beaverton School District's characterization of the incident. "We categorically deny that we had the final call on what happened with Seth," says Heintz. Instead, Lewis and Clark received a phone call that Stambaugh had been removed from the school. Usually when there is a conflict between a student teacher and a school, someone from Lewis and Clark sits down and talks it out with the school. In this case, there was no discussion, says Heintz. "The fact that we were completely cut out of the process was an aberration," she says.
It's chaos in Ecuador, today, as hundreds of police officers are rising up against the government in protest of a newly-passed law cutting back their employee benefits. The angry group went so far as to physically attack the country’s president, Rafael Correa, with water, tear gas, and aggressive shoving. Correa’s hardcore response during the altercation:
“If you want to kill the president, here he is! Kill me!”
— Ecuadorean President Rafael “You-Don’t-Have-the-Pinche-Cajones” Correa
Correa was hospitalized from the effects of the tear gas, but he’ll surely pull through, since it takes a tough hombre to get into a literal shoving match with the people you’ve personally hired to shoot guns.
Yesterday, I wrote about how I stumbled onto Mayor Sam Adams' closed-door, unannounced summit on gang violence—a meeting where gang outreach workers, religious leaders and other prominent members of the African-African community were invited to share their frank thoughts about the problem with the mayor's staff and Portland police commanders.
Today, I finally spoke with someone willing to talk about the meeting on the record—and why it was held away from public eyes. The meeting, held in City Hall, was scheduled earlier this week, after a fatal gang shooting downtown over the weekend. The effort was supposed to be kept quiet, says Bishop A.A. Wells, founder of North Portland's Emmanuel Temple Church, so that all parties could speak freely about the issue without fear of having their words or ideas misrepresented.
"The idea was trying to deal with the trust factor, so we can get on a better page to make a difference in healing this city," says Wells, who acknowledged that all Portlanders, not just those in the room yesterday, have a stake in how the discussions turn out. Still, he said, "Trust is a big thing that the silence is trying to accomplish."
Wells declined to speak in particulars or comment on whether the huddle ever grew heated. But he did confirm some of the details about the talk's frameworks, especially that some in the room passionately sought assurances that any strategy also include a focus on the roots of gang violence: poverty and educational disparities.
"Many of these people in the room have been working and involved in and addressing the issue of gangs in the city since they materialized in the mid-1980s," he says. "They have a healthy perspective as to what should happen and what should not happen."
That said, trust will take time to build.
"Those of us who did attend, our perspective is simply that the mayor appears to be trying to make a difference," says Wells. But "now that you're meeting, are you listening? Are you calling us here to listen to you, or are you calling us here to listen to us?
"To the degree that happens, then that will determine whether we'll experience success."
Vietnam 1966. In a nightmare landscape of lethal shadows, Memphis teenager Robert Jackson - young, black, and proud - learned to survive by fighting as "Charlie" fought: brutally, efficiently, and without mercy. Placed in charge of his platoon after only four months, he proceeded to mold a motley group of insubordinate misfits into the most feared jungle fighters in Southeast Asia. To the Marine brass, he was an enigma. To his men, he was a hero
But to the Communists, Robert Jackson was "Bad Black," the Viet Cong's number one foe - a hated killer with a one million piastre price on his head, placed there by Ho Chi Minh himself!
Think you can come up with a better plot for this title? Leave it in the comments—winner gets a copy of the book.
Which is all to say the biggest disappointment of a trip beneath FIN's waters is that it's over much too soon, and the pleasure of taking the journey costs a tad more than one might hope. It's a problem that could be remedied by FIN's kitchen nailing every single dish, and maybe placing the onus of enjoyment on the diner. It would behoove FIN's bright and helpful servers to add one more guideline at the beginning of the meal: Savor it.
One of the reasons it may feel like the price is "a tad more than one might hope" is due to the fact servers say the plates are meant for sharing. When many of those dishes arrive, you may look at the amount on the plate, remember the price, and prepare to knife-fight your table mates for the single bite you're likely to get. What makes this even more frustrating is that the dishes are actually very good with very few exceptions.
Yes, it's seafood. Seafood depends on market prices; they will fluctuate (an oyster dish increased by $2 between two of my dinners there). Yes, it's a "special occasion" place, which means you will likely expect to spend more. Yes, it's waaay cheaper than similar joints in bigger cities.
So, am I being unreasonable by suggesting for the price on their menu, FIN should be sending out a perfectly prepared dish every damn time? Am I being unreasonable suggesting diners at FIN should be ready to accept the burden of savoring their meal and getting every pennies worth of enjoyment from it?
Tell me, Blogtownies, how does the cost/ratio/flavor thing break down for you? Are we a "backwater cheapskates" [thanks for letting me quote you out of context Spartacus!] that expect too much for too little? Discuss.
I'll admit I'm a biased, bitter, ex-Bank of America and ex-Wells Fargo customer but Wells Fargo is just looking crazy these days.
On August 11, a California court came down in favor of a class action lawsuit filed by Wells Fargo customers who said the bank was ripping them off (read all about it in this Q&A) by reordering their debit card charges. Wells Fargo and many other banks have the skeezy policy of reordering charges so that the biggest ones come out of customers' account first, causing them to be more likely to be hit with a series of overdraft fees for small purchases. The California judge ruled that Wells Fargo was deliberately "manipulating debit-card transactions without consumers’ knowledge to increase revenue" and should pay its customers back $203 million.
Well now Wells Fargo is appealing the decision and a coalition of consumer groups, including the Oregon Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG), are pressuring Wells Fargo to just give it up already. They filed an open letter to Wells Fargo this week.
As a model for what Wells Fargo should be doing, Portland-based bank Umpqua voluntarily changed its overdraft policy last week. Yeah, they shouldn't have been doing the unsavory practice in the first place, but at least they're wising up rather than fighting consumers tooth and nail. "That's exactly what we're trying to do. Pressure private industry to make the change on their own," says OSPIRG's Jon Bartholomew. "If they don't change, we'll have to go through the CFPB and change it for them."
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a Snooki, and his feet were as the feet of a DJ Pauly D, and his mouth as the mouth of a Jwoww: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority... and all the world wondered after the beast... and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? REV 13:1-4
Deny it if you can, but Jersey Shore is only growing in power, infecting the world with it's silliness. Examples:
First of all, Archie and the Gang are not safe:
I don't know if you missed it over the summer, but Riverdale is now officially full of Guidos and Guidettes. Too racy for young eyes? Don't worry, says Archie creator Dan Parent: "There's a hot tub, but nothing racy happens, although Jughead does make a mess of it!" Way to stay relevant, Archie! Whatever the cost.
More insanity after the jump.
From the press release:
September 28, 2010, Portland, OR - For more than 20 years, Powell's Technical Books has served the Portland area and technically-oriented people from all parts of the world from its location in the NW Park Blocks. At the end of business (7:00 p.m.) on Sunday, September 26, the store concluded its operations at that location.
Over the next few days, the technical books inventory will be moved to its new home at Powell's Books Bldg. 2, across from the City of Books, on the corner of NW 10th Avenue and Couch Street. Powell's Books Bldg. 2 opens to the public Friday, October 1.
The Bldg. 2 space will feature more books in science, in addition to technology, and customers will benefit from the expertise of the same knowledgeable staff. Meredith Schreiber, Store Manager, is looking forward to the synergy in the new store. "We are excited to bring the specialty of our two staffs — science and technology — together in one location."
The movement of science sections to Bldg. 2 also makes room for an expanded children's section at the City of Books store, including larger young-adult and graphic-novel sections.
1. "Synergy"? Powell's.
2. More room for YA and graphic novels seems like a good move. Both those sections have historically been pretty cramped.
3. I can think of no reasons why this is not a good idea. Anyone? It's always seemed odd that the technical books store was blocks away.
(Full release after the jump.)
In attempt to (A) flesh out some jokes done by a few of his favorite comedians and (B) perhaps make these somewhat (ahem) unattractive joke slingers a little more adorable, animator Greg Franklin has created a series of animated shorts based upon stand-up routines. The videos have a quality that is both laugh out loud funny and also oddly heartwarming. See for yourself:
Want more? Check em out after the jump...
A dad in New York and his 8-year-old son attach an HD video camera to a weather balloon, send it into space, and retrieve it. Here's the breathtaking video, and by the way, my dad and your dad sucks compared to this dad.
London, Sep 30 (ANI): In what could be called as a big leap in quantum mechanics, a research team at Yale have achieved the entanglement of three solid-state qubits, or quantum bits, for the first time.
Their accomplishment is a first step towards quantum error correction, a crucial aspect of future quantum computing.
"Entanglement between three objects has been demonstrated before with photons and charged particles. But this is the first three-qubit, solid-state device that looks and feels like a conventional microprocessor," Nature quoted Steven Girvin, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Yale and an author of the paper, as saying.
If this sticks, it's a huge milestone. And when/if we ever get mass-market quantum computers, the internet will look as quaint as a mimeograph machine. We live in exciting times.
There's no other word for the two guys who professed anti-government politics before deciding to plant a bomb in a bank in Woodburn, OR just after Obama's election. The bomb exploded, killing two police officers, and the revelations that the father and son planted the bomb with an anti-Obama bent came out during their trial yesterday:
The two men feared that the Obama administration would impose a slate of new restrictions on gun ownership, Marion County deputy district attorney Katie Suver said in opening statements in the aggravated murder trials for the two men... Suver said a witness will testify that Joshua Turnidge was almost "frantic" after Obama's election to reclaim previously pawned guns .These guys are lucky they're white racists. If they were black nationalists or Muslim, this would be the front page of every newspaper and the guys would be at a CIA black site somewhere.
Suver said when the FBI went to Bruce Turnidge’s house the first time, he struck up a conversation with one of the agents ranging from his support of the Second Amendment to the origin of a racist slur against African Americans. Suver said that Turnidge then told the agent, “Now we have one in the White House.”
The District Council of Trade Unions, which represents some 1,700 city employees in seven different unions, had called the gathered just days after threatening to strike over a contract impasse, part of a very visible bid to put pressure on officials in time for talks to restart later this week.
The union is pushing back against a city plan to change the way overtime is allocated, with the two sides also arguing over the size of wage increases in future years and the way the city farms out work to non-city employees.
Not long after 5 pm, they filled the plaza on 4th Street just below the Portland City Council chambers—where council members and Multnomah County commissioners were swearing in the city's youth commissioners—and led a series of chants in hopes of reaching the ears of the politicians upstairs.
It was rather dramatic. Boos were showered, at one point, on the city's human resources czar, Yvonne Deckard. But to listen to Ken Allen, executive director for the DCTU's largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, you almost had to wonder if it was over the top.
Read on to find out why, and also to see what the city had to say in response.
"I'm going to sit, because I'm fat. I hope you're drinking stuff," Guillermo del Toro said as he took the stage at the Bagdad last night. Ostensibly he was there to read from his new book, but what really happened was this: del Toro talked about his book for like 10 minutes, then opened it up to questions for the next hour or two, talking about everything from the book (conceived "before vampires were teenybopper dreams"), to how the Hellboy comics saved his life while he was shooting Mimic, to Hitchcock (did you know he wrote a book on Hitchcock? Me neither).
I took notes. In no particular order:
• The bloody, pulpy Strain Trilogy was originally going to be TV series on FOX, until studio executives asked del Toro a question: "Yeah, but can we have it as a comedy?" Del Toro asked for his script back.
• When asked about he assembled his filmmaking team: "I draw and sculpt, but I'm not a great sculptor, I'm not a great draftsman. So you hire people who are better than you, and you are loyal to those people... The rule is to work only with people you admire or you love. Or both."
• "When you tackle a 'B' premise, you need to tackle it like an 'A' premise," he said, noting this is the case regardless of what you're working on, even if it's something like Blade II, which some people (incorrectly) assumed was a "paycheck movie." "I'm not postmodern," he said later. "I absolutely hate being smarter than my material." He's excited beyond belief to do The Haunted Mansion for Disney, a ride he's been collecting ephemera from for years. "The flavor of that ride is unlike anything else in the world."
• On adapting other peoples' work: "Once the material is out, it belongs to all of us." And: "Adapting material is like marrying a widow. You have to be very respectful of the late husband's memory, but at some point you've gotta fuck."
The children/stoner friendly cart Grilled Cheese Grill is expanding their melted cheese empire and opening up a SE location in the coming weeks. From their Facebook profile:
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! We're opening a second location in SE Portland in the next few weeks!!!! We'll be on SE 28th just south of Burnside between Ankeny and Ash. And the best news of all, instead of a school bus, this time our seating will be on both levels of a double decker bus. If you've been by the Alberta spot this summer, you would've seen the double decker peaking its head over the fence behind us. We are super excited to be expanding into SE and can't wait to get up and running. Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to opening.
Sweet Cheesus in Heaven, why? That is dangerously close to the Mercury offices and my body is already 61% grilled cheese as it is. This will be the death of me.
The city's verdict is in for bikes in Forest Park: There will be no new trails for bikes amid the 5,000 acres.
Currently, only 30 miles of Forest Park's 70 miles of paths are open to bikes and only a measly 1/3 of a mile is the narrow "singletrack" paths mountain bikers prefer.
The plan to build more bike facilities in Forest Park caught a lot of attention last winter when frustrated mountain bikers carved an illegal trail through the woods, causing an estimated $80,000 in damage. The recommendation today says more maintenance work and study is need before new trails can be opened. Once the city can "secure funding to develop, implement and complete a wildlife study" of the park, says the announcement, it could potentially permit new trails based on the results of the study.
Throwing a bone to the bikers, the recommendations also promise to "prioritize" singletrack cycling in the new Gateway Green park and construct two new temporary skills parks somewhere in the city.
Full list of recommendations below the cut.
Jessica Alba's nude scene in Machete was CGI! FUCKING CGI, GUYS! She was wearing granny panties (and granny bra) the entire time! BOOOOOO!! BOOOOO!!! (Full story here.) BOOOOOO!!!!!
That calls for a poll!
JESSICA ALBA FAKING NUDE SCENES WITH CGI WHILE ACTUALLY WEARING GRANNY BRA AND PANTIES:
This week's PHART CHART TOPPER is ddevenuta! Congrats and look we've animated it for you!
Will you be the next Phart Chart Topper? Submit your art or photos to the Mercury's Flickr pool, and start PHART-ing today!!
Check out this video of Jimmy Fallon and (sigh!) Justin Timberlake performing a medley entitled, "The History of Rap." That means RAPPING is involved. And for what it is, it's entertaining... but STILL! White guys! Karaoke rapping?
Well, what say you?
This morning I found this note on my cat's collar.
I mean... Queequeg is something of a cat about town. This is not the first time he's come home with a note on his collar. (The last one was the much less sinister "This cat has been hanging out at my house, email me if he belongs to you!") A girl walking past my house the other night saw him out front and said, "Is this your cat? What's her name? I call her 'Meat Biscuit'!" So there's some precedent for people acting like my cat is neighborhood property. But this... how should I be feeling about this? Nervous? Touched? Concerned? Protective?
After weeks of anticipation, the trailer for Hustler's Avatar porn has finally hit the internets! It looks hilarious, and not hot at all, but on the plus side I bet you anything the lines to go see it will be much, much shorter. I'm also pretty charmed by the acting chops on display here on the part of the guy in the military uniform. I don't know who his character is, though, because I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't seen the original (I haven't ever been inside an IKEA either), and yes I know that makes me a bad American and a bad person altogether but I actually did try to go even though it looked stupid and it was sold out even though I waited until it had been out for a really really long time already so I said fuck it because I hate crowded theaters anyway, and I hope Erik is happy now that I've made that public confession. ON TO THE PORN (which is totally SFW, actually):
My son will turn 13 on Saturday. For the past year and a half, he has endured unrelenting harassment and bullying because kids at his middle school have identified him as gay. Frankly, he probably is. However, he has not declared himself as such at this time. But whether he is or isn't, he deserves to go to school and live his life free of fear, intimidation and ridicule.
As his mom, I have tried to support and empower him to be who he is without apology and to encourage him to live with pride and dignity. I have complained to the school several times about the bullying and am frustrated and stunned as to how anemic the response has been. It's a fine balance; if I react too strongly on my son's behalf, it only seems to make things worse for him. Yet, it breaks my heart to see such an amazing and gentle soul tormented. I sometimes feel at a loss as to how to help him.
Today a friend told me about the "It Gets Better" project and I watched the video with you and your partner. It made me cry. I plan to hip my kid to it. I can't tell you how grateful I am. I'm sure there are many moms out there like me, who want to help their sons and daughters but don't exactly know how. "It Gets Better" is an enormous help.
With all my heart, I thank you.
This letter, from a mom whose son is being bullied in middle school, and the video above, made by a man who was brutally bullied in middle school, arrived in my inbox at the exact same time.
|Most Popular||I, Anonymous||Best of the Merc|
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!