Fashion (of some form) has turned around and embraced that which is, in its very existence, fashion's greatest affront (yes, even worse than UGGs): TEVAS.
The most disturbing thing about this is that at first glance (albeit after Steve prefaced it by saying that I would puke, and that it was "cruel to my entire worldview") my first thought was "Oh, they're not that bad." I mean the (ironic! hilarious!) collaboration between Teva and Grey Ant uses a relatively neutral shape, and the black ones particularly at first look just like graphic patterned strappy sandals. Other than the fact that you'd be wearing a joke (a "conversation piece" to be generous), they're... not as bad as they could be. Oh wait...
How 'bout now?
For those of you who were upset that Four Loko is disappearing or changing then I have (good?) news for you.
It's called Whipped Lightning.
No, this isn't a joke.
It's whipped cream infused with alcohol. The website for Whipped Lightning describes it as Whipahol.
They have nine flavors of Whipped Lightning, including Strawberry Colada and German Chocolate. According to one article each container contains between 15% and 18% alcohol. It's doubtful that many will eat an entire can of whipped cream in one sitting, but you never know.
It's not available on the West Coast at the moment. The OLCC does not have it listed and there doesn't seem to be much movement on getting it here.
However, Nevada will be getting Whipped Lightning soon. If you really, really want to try this alcoholic topping go hit up Vegas.
...The Shape of Her by Rowan Somerville. Here's an excerpt:
He caught her rhythm, pulling and releasing, cradling and crushing; pushing up through his fingers with each swing, mining up, like an otter through wet sand. Her sounds shifted from moans to grunts, insistent, almost desperate cries from the throat … He unbuttoned the front of her shirt and pulled it to the side so that her breast was uncovered, her nipple poking out, upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night. He took it between his lips and sucked the salt from her. He hooked his fingers into her waistband, caught the elastic of her underwear and began pulling down. The knot on her light cotton trousers held fast as the fabric reached the curve of her backside. She twisted from him and stepped back.
Earlier this year porn company Vivid Entertainment released a Batman XXX porn parody. It was shot with the 1960s Adam West campy Batman in mind. Supposedly, the director, Axel Braun, even got the original costume creators to make new costumes for the parody. Apparently the film was very well-received in the porn community (as well as in some geek circles).
Vivid decided to keep it going and recently released a trailer for their Superman XXX parody. It is SFW, and it is campy. It stars a guy named Ryan Driller as Superman and Eric Masterson as Lex Luthor. The film is scheduled for release in January 2011.
After the jump check out a Wonder Woman XXX trailer from another company called Hardcore!
While we're racing around trying to learn all we can about Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old accused of plotting to bomb Pioneer Square, I want to point out that his case is the second politically-motivated bombing case in Oregon courts right now.
Father and son Bruce and Joshua Turnidge are facing aggravated murder charges for allegedly building a bomb and planting it at a bank in Woodburn Oregon. The blast killed two police officers and took the leg of another who responded to a phone call warning employees to get out of the bank. When FBI agents stopped by his house, devout Christian Bruce Turnidge struck up conversation about the importance of the right to bear arms (saying, "Every ballot should come with a bullet.") and called Obama a racial slur. His house was filled with weapons and friends testified as state witnesses at the trial that he had tried to organize an anti-government militia and cheered that the Oklahoma City bombings would "teach the government a lesson."
Like the Turnidges, Mohamud is accused of planning to kill civilians to teach the country a political lesson. Unlike the father and son, Mohamud did not build or actually detonate his device but is accused of the much more serious federal crime of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to the FBI, Mohamud told informants in detail about his plan to blow up Pioneer Square during the tree lighting ceremony—much like how a family friend said the Turnridges had more than 50 conversations about how to blow up a bank.
It's a lesson people repeat a lot, but I think this parallel hits it home: Terrorism isn't just a Muslim issue. The definition of “terrorism” under US law is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."
I don't see how the Turnidge's acts wouldn't qualify as terrorism—just like Mohamud's—if the things the FBI alleges are true. The only difference is they're white, they're Christian, and so the government and the populace doesn't fear them as much. Remember when the "tax protester" flew a plane into an IRS building? When a white, Christian guy kills people in a politically-motivated attack, he's a bad guy. When a Muslim immigrant expresses an interest in a politically-motivated attack, he's a terrorist. And according to the people who keep track of extremist people who want to kill normal people—the Southern Poverty Law Center—the fastest growing hate groups are anti-government "patriot" groups. I hope the FBI is planning to thwart the next "patriot" attack, as well.
Hey, look at that—MySpace is still good for something! They're streaming just over 21 minutes of Daft Punk's badass score from Tron Legacy, including a bit from this track:
Daft Punk (feat. Jeff Motherfuckin' Bridges) - "The Grid"
The album officially comes out next week, but if a mere 21 minutes of bloopedy-bloop-BOOM-BOOM-Inception-noise-Inception-noise isn't enough for you, you might want to be aware of this. Just saying. There's also this—an extensive KCRW interview with Tron director Joseph Kosinski about how Daft Punk became involved with the production. ("I knew we wanted to create a classic film score that blended electronic and orchestral music in a way that hadn't been done before," Kosinski says.)
So put on your headphones and, uh, hop on your lightcycles, fire up your identity discs, squeeze into your spandex... I don't know. Whatever it is you Tron dweebs say to each other. Props to AICN and Blogtown reader Grant for the links.
Slipping under the radar of yesterday's movie coverage was a little story out of New Zealand concerning production of The Hobbit.
The Waikato Times, a New Zealand paper, reported that Briton Naz Humphreys was denied a role as an extra in the film due to her skin color.
"It's 2010 and I still can't believe I'm being discriminated against because I have brown skin," said Ms Humphreys. "The casting manager basically said they weren't having anybody who wasn't pale-skinned."
According to Humphreys she waited three hours in line to only be told that she there was no point in her trying out for a part.
The newspaper supposedly had video of a representative for the film telling auditioners that they were only looking for pale-skinned people (they did not have said video posted online).
"We are looking for light-skinned people. I'm not trying to be — whatever. It's just the brief. You've got to look like a hobbit."
A spokesperson for Peter Jackson responded to the incident saying that Jackson nor the producers were aware of a directive to only cast pale-skinned Hobbits. He stated that anyone who fit the age and height requirements were allowed to audition.
Humphreys is 5'0" and of Pakistani heritage.
On a side note, Ian McKellen put up some information on his website indicating that he would be returning as Gandalf for the film.
Also, it was reported that Jackson will be shooting the two-part film in 3D. So... there's that.
From GeekTyrant we get the following photo from the Star Wars set in which George Lucas directs Greedo… who just happens to be wearing high heels.
So says Julie Zhou, a design manager at Facebook, in her New York Times op-ed on how to defeat trolls:
Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.
That mythical ring gave its owner the power of invisibility, and Plato observed that even a habitually just man who possessed such a ring would become a thief, knowing that he couldn’t be caught. Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.
This certainly seems to be true for the anonymous trolls today.
What to do? Zhou calls for creating social "accountability" for online commenters. Which, put another way, means giving shameless trolls a reason to perhaps have a little shame.
This kind of social pressure works because, at the end of the day, most trolls wouldn’t have the gall to say to another person’s face half the things they anonymously post on the Internet.
Assuming that the Grinch who wanted to car-bomb Christmas doesn’t return for our seasonal who-brews, this year’s Holiday Ale Fest at Pioneer Square looks pretty promising for beer aficionados.
Along with the 50-or-so winter beers that will be available from Wednesday to Sunday, the limited releases you can sample from 2 pm until the kegs are tapped are enough to make me envious of those who work downtown and can manage a long “coffee break.” I’d be especially interested to try Wednesday’s 2005 Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg from Samichlaus Bier (coming in at 14% alcohol, it’s only brewed once a year and aged 10 months before bottling). A full list of the standard and limited pours are available on the festival website.
For those who like to start early and have an extra $45 burning a hole in their pockets, organizers are throwing a Sunday beer brunch. They’ll be pairing Belgian beers with a “European-Style” menu.
Wristbands for the duration of the festival are $20 in advance, and $25 at the gates. The price includes a mug and 10 tasting tickets (additional tickets are $1 each). The doors are open 2-10 pm Wednesday, 11 am-10 pm Thursday through Saturday, and 11 am-5 pm Sunday.
THE BOOK OF BOOK—The youngest Whedon, Zack, is coming to the Hollywood Theatre to watch the last episode of Joss Whedon's TV show Firefly with you. On the heels of his comic book release of Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale, writer Zack and artist Chris Samnee will stick around to answer all your questions about Shepherd Derrial Book's mysterious past. CF
Firefly followed by Q&A, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 6:30 pm, FREE w/can or box of food; signing at Things from Another World, 4133 NE Sandy, 8:30 pm, FREE
THE RYE-GHT STUFF—In need of a winter warmer? Tonight Someday Lounge hosts a "whiskey party and songwriter showcase." Although great local talent will be on hand to soothe your cold bones, the real heartwarmers come from $3 pours of top-shelf whiskey flowing all night. ND
Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th, 8 pm, $5
Well, here's the deal: Tallest tree goes to Phoenix, making up for lack of any weather. Heaviest, SF—who cares? Brightest, Salt Lake, powered by Joseph Smith's memory. I'm a little upset that Portland doesn't even make this list... but maybe we'll get on the map now that someone tried to blow ours up (too soon?).
See the full article and large image here: Thanks Gizmodo!
This morning, Project, Richard Branson's iPad-only magazine, went live in the iTunes store. Publishers Weekly gives a little glimpse inside the first issue. It looks very magaziney.
Speaking of which, Gawker head Nick Denton is announcing a new layout for Gawker that will launch in 2011. He's saying farewell, in part, to the eternal bottomless pit of blogs. Gawker will look more like a magazine:
The blog scroll, long the central element of the page, is shifted to the right column, still prominent but subordinate; that reverse-chronological listing of the latest stories goes from about two thirds of the active area of the front door down to one third; and only headlines are displayed.
In place of the original content column: one visually appealing "splash" story, typically built around compelling video or other widescreen imagery and run in full. At its best, a splash will match in visual impact the cover of a magazine or a European tabloid newspaper; and exceed it because the front-page image can actually move.
His explanation for why this change was necessary makes a lot of sense. During the Gizmodo iPhone scoop...
In order to keep video of the iPhone prototype at the top of the reverse chronological flow, Gizmodo actually stopped publishing for several hours. How ridiculous! In any sane medium, a story as powerful as that, one which was drawing more than 90% of the site's traffic, would be given commensurate real estate; and it wouldn't require a hack to keep the item prominent. Hence the splash story; now we can finally create front pages that match the visual impact of a tabloid wood or magazine cover; and we can leave them up as long as they're generating interest.
This is a smart move by Denton; the standard blog formula is great for immediacy's sake, but it just doesn't work if you're working on something a little denser than the standard news-cycle rehash. I expect to see more blogs mature into an online magazine format over the next few years.
Hosted by a whole cadre of nerds (Things from Another World, Dark Horse Comics, Bridge City Comics, Excalibur Comics, and the PDX Browncoats), tonight they're screening the last episode of Firefly, "Objects in Space," for free at the Hollywood Theatre (free, as in bring a can/box of food for the Oregon Food Bank). Afterward there'll be a Q&A with Zack Whedon and Chris Samnee, who are celebrating the release of their new entry into Browncoat universe, the comic book Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale all about the mysterious Shepherd Book. (Can't make it? Ask questions via Skype.) Join Whedon and Samnee across the street at Things from Another World for a bit of drinking, mingling, and book signing.
Screening: 6:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy
Signing: 8:30 pm, Things from Another World, 4133 NE Sandy
See ya there!
BONUS: Hit the jump for the complete Zack Whedon interview, where we delve into Terminator comic books!
UPDATE: Check out Cort and Fatboy's uber-show with Mr. Whedon.
Hey stoney, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Curren$y, Nipsey Hussle, and the rest of the red-eyed "Smokers Club Tour" this Friday at the Roseland Theater. Roll on over to End Hits for you chance to win.
I was in a FWB-type situation with a man for about a year (we are both in our early 30s). The sex was phenomenal, and we enjoyed each other's company outside the bedroom too. On an emotional level we kept things casual because of one simple but crucial dealbreaker: I have always known that I do not want to have children, and he feels strongly about being a father someday. That was fine with me and I was content to enjoy what we had while it lasted.
Then he met someone he wanted to start a real relationship with and stopped seeing me. That would have been fine, except the way he handled it really hurt my feelings. He just stopped calling, and removed me as a friend on Facebook without a word of explanation. Not even a "by the way, I met someone, so bye" text message. I always knew that what we had came with an expiration date, but I still feel like I was owed the common courtesy of being told that our situation was changing. I tried to confront him about this when I ran into him at a party but he laughed in my face and accused me of being jealous. Friends I've told about this have said something along the lines of, "Well, what did you expect? It wasn't a real relationship." I know it wasn't, but does that really mean I deserve to be thrown away with the trash without so much as a word?
I am not going to confront him again or do any other pathetic attempt at "closure" because I know I would only make myself look like an ass, I am just hoping to get your opinion on the situation.
Thrown Out With The Trash
My response after the jump...
Actually, they're not funny at all with the possible exceptions of Ricky Gervais and one-fourth of the Kids in the Hall. But sometimes, as you will see in the following video, they are accidentally funny. When a couple of unfunny foreigners try to pull an unfunny prank on a naked sleeping foriegn pal, the result is an unintentional delight of funniness. Mmmm... even though the floppy naughty bits are edited out, I'm gonna call this NSFW-ish.
Comcast appears to be testing the waters when it comes to un-leveling the playing field for certain kinds of content on its network. Considering that the cable giant is very close to completing its acquisition of NBC-Universal, they'll soon have a hundred shit-tons of content of their own, and a giant financial interest in making sure that content gets to people really fast, while content from their competitors putts along.
It started when Comcast wrote to Level 3—an Internet "backbone" provider—and demanded "a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast's customers who request such content."
Level 3 had recently reached an agreement with Netflix to transmit their astonishing amount of data (up to 20% of all US downstream traffic), and though they didn't mention Netflix by name in their statement, the timing seems more than a little coincidental.
This is bad. Congress or the FCC really need to finally make some actual rules about this, before it's too late. Call Comcast, call your Congresspersons, call the FCC. Supposedly, net neutrality will be on their December agenda, and you can bet that Comcast has been calling them, and/or buying them diamond-covered airplanes or something.
First, the Taiwanese animators "reported" on Conan O'Brien's return to television...
Then Coco and company did a parody of the Taiwanese animators...
WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END??
Gays Aren't Dangerous! The Pentagon finished its major study of Don't Ask Don't Tell and survey says: 70 percent of military people think it's fine if gays serve.
WikiLeaks Revelations: The released cables show the US haggling to find countries to take GITMO detainees, meanwhile Middle Eastern countries are Wikileaks' most avid readers.
New, Beefier FDA: Senate passes an overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration, giving them the power to force recalls and do more inspections.
Wisconsin High School Shooting: Depressed teen holds his class hostage, but just chats with them about hunting and fishing before shooting himself.
UK Cuts Off Lethal Injection Drug Exports: The limeys are getting high and mighty, refusing for moral reasons to sell the US the drug used to carry out the death penalty.
Hell is Freezing Over RIGHT NOW: George W. Bush makes a Facebook page and compliments Obama.
Mohamed Mohamud Pleads Not Guilty: In case you missed it last night, the 19-year-old charged with plotting to bomb Pioneer Square pleads not guilty and argues he was a victim of entrapment.
Long-time Mercury readers may remember a year end gaming awards story that has, at this point, become traditional.
Unlike Kotaku or Joystiq though, our awards system skips the dull "game of the year" crap and instead focuses on the little things. Best use of an in-game fedora? Most depressing casualty of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops hype machine? Most adorable use of a gelatinous blob?
That kinda thing.
In previous years I've put together the entire thing by myself, but for the 2010 edition we've decided to involve you a bit more in the process. Once you finish reading this bit of text, click your way into the comments section and leave us one or two suggestions for award categories you'd like to see.
Obviously, try to avoid the cliché, but otherwise this is your thing. Suggest any quantifiable gaming concept you'd like to see specifically spotlighted.
If you've been reading our coverage of the FBI-assisted Pioneer Courthouse Square bomb plot, you know we've been airing an interesting discussion about whether all the federal help given to Mohamed Osman Mohamud was good police work—a sting that ensnared a committed extremist—or something else: entrapment.
Well, no surprises here, but just like in FBI terror sting cases from all across the country, planting that particular seed of doubt emerged today as the heart of Mohamud's legal strategy.
At an arraignment hearing so packed that only a few reporters were allowed in (they were forced to give the rest of us the scoop afterward), Mohamud, who emerged with a smile, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
And Deputy Chief Public Defender Stephen Sady, sitting besided his subdued 19-year-old client, accused the FBI of creating a "very unusual" legal situation by allowing "quite sophisticated government agents" to go spend the past six months or so "basically grooming" his client into a would-be terrorist.
And then, as a topper, he said, the FBI waited only hours to widely distribute the the detailed affidavit in Mohamud's arrest Friday night, turning it into a "press release."
Sady was irked in particular that the FBI's first sting-related meeting with Mohamud, unlike every other meeting with him, wasn't recorded because of presumed "technical difficulties." Sady argued that the first meeting in cases potentially involving entrapment often is the most important when assessing whether a defendant was legally enmeshed in the plot.
"The arrest is obviously timed for maximum impact and maximum publicity," Sady said.
In response, Ethan Knight, a deputy US attorney representing the prosecution, pointed out that in subsequent meetings, it was Mohamud who choose the timing and location of the attack. The affidavit also says that agents, posing as Mohamud's Islamist handlers, allegedly offered him alternatives to detonating a car bomb—including merely praying in support of jihad.
Sady, however, persisted and later sought a motion that would preserve not only the recordings of Mohamud's meetings with undercover agents, but also the devices used to make the recordings. US Magistrate Judge John Acosta allowed it, but asked Sady to submit a more specific request by tomorrow.
Acosta eventually set a tentative date for a jury trial: February 1, 2011. And no more than 15 minutes after Mohamud was brought out, he was whisked back away.
After the jump, see a photo of the statement the Federal Public Defender's Office handed out after the arraignment hearing. (No, they told me, they don't have any digital copies to send, and for me to copy and paste.)
When asked outside the federal courthouse if he supported Saltzman's timeline, Adams' response was fairly curt: "Not at this point." Although, soon after, the mayor did allow: "That doesn't mean that I won't in the future."
Saltzman issued his call in a news release this afternoon, following a casual talk about the task force with the mayor—although Adams apparently wasn't warned a release was forthcoming. Saltzman told me that the FBI-assisted terror plot by Mohamed Osman Mohamud "drives home the idea that we are a potential target," and that Portland's citizens expect city leaders to work with federal authorities to keep the city safe.
“We need to move forward, we must not delay when the safety of our residents is at stake,” he said in his release.
Portland in 2005 became the first city to pull its police officers from a task force—partly because of constitutional concerns arising over how the Bush administration was sidestepping courts, and also because of jurisdictional
officersconcerns in lending out its officers. (Then-Mayor Tom Potter also apparently was peeved he only got "secret" clearance, instead of cooler-sounding "top secret.") But at the time, Saltzman was the only commissioner to say no.
Ironically, it was Adams this weekend—firmly in the majority in 2005—who first raised the issue of rejoining, noting he had had talks with Police Chief Mike Reese after Reese expressed an interest. Adams today said those talks were "sporadic," and that he had other issues to focus on when he became police commissioner: guns, human trafficking, and hiring more cops.
Adams said he's got "a whole cadre" of city attorneys looking at the issue in light of Friday night's arrest, specifically at whether the conditions that fueled his concerns about the FBI and its approach to jurisprudence have eased under the Obama administration.
"I'm going at this with an open mind," he said, but added he'd consider it only after a "fact-based" analysis of whether it makes sense. Noting the passions on both sides of the issue, he said: "I want to add to those passions some facts."
I haven't heard back from Saltzman's office with a response, although earlier he told me he thinks many of the issues behind the 2005 vote this time could be "overcome." He did admit that although he wants "seamless communication" between local and federal authorities, he wasn't sure what would change if Portland rejoined. As Friday's arrest showed, he also acknowledged, "we have done a good work-around."
Of course, the exchange between the two is thick with electoral politics. Saltzman has tipped his hand that he might consider challenging Adams in 2012, and pushing this issue—either by being seen as taking the lead if Adams goes along eventually, or by attempting to frame Adams as soft on crime if he doesn't not—could be a good way to frame part of any race. And never mind that Saltzman remains bitter over the way Adams snatched away the police commissioner job in May.
Yes, I know this is my THIRD "Bieber Fever" post of the day... but you haven't had a single Bieber post from me since November 12th, so if you don't like it, suck it. Or, if you'd rather, LET'S PLAY "SPOT THE FUNNY"—THE JUSTIN BIEBER EDITION!
The following email just arrived at Mercury headquarters warning us that advance tickets for a "3D sneak preview" of the Justin Bieber biopic is going on SALE TODAY!!! But that's not the funny part. Read the following email excerpt, and see if you can… SPOT THE FUNNY!
Did ya spot it?
Subject line: "Holiday fun at the Square continues..."
The Pioneer Square marketing and communications group writes, "Please see the attached press release regarding more Holiday events at the Square. There is an event almost every day until Christmas!!!"
Who's up for some holiday fun?!?!
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