Mayor Sam Adams' office today gave the Oregonian first crack at his new plan, up for a vote next week, to have city insurance cover sex-change procedures for city workers. Portland would join Multnomah County and the city of San Francisco in offering the coverage.
Anyway, this is the thanks the mayor's office got:
The plan, of course, is a good one. Not that you'd expect the typical O commenter to see that. As the mayor notes in his office's announcement, Nike, Google, Microsoft and IBM offer the same coverage to employees. "Covering basic, medically-necessary care is a matter of fairness, and it's the right thing to do," the mayor says in his statement.
That alone should quiet commenters. But there's also this: The added cost of adding sexual reassignment surgery to the city's coverage is expected to be $32,302 a year. It's small potatoes for such an important gesture. The city's insurance fund is projected to pay out $41.6 million in the next fiscal year.
Whoa. Via Newsarama:
The center of intense rumor and speculation for months now, DC confirmed today that the fictional shared universe of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern and more will undergo a revamp of their oft-rewritten 76 year-plus history of shared continuity....
"We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line," added co-publisher Dan DiDio. "This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today's audience."
Along with the revamp, and sure to cause uproar among those who buy comic books as collectibles, all DC Universe titles will also be renumbered with new #1 issues.
More importantly, there's this:
DC also announced they plan to make all of their titles available for sale in digital format on the same day as their published counterparts, starting with Justice League #1. While the decision could probably be described as inevitable, the announcement will still likely be poorly received among some segments of "Direct Market" comic book retailers, whose stores account for the current backbone of monthly comic book sales.
Things are changing. Even more than they already were.
Guess how hilarious Naomi Campbell thinks this Cadbury ad is:
Let's say you were to receive a foot rub from Justin Bieber, as his current girlfriend Selena Gomez is getting in the photo below.
You might be inclined to say, "Thank you, Justin Bieber, for the foot rub. I'm certainly glad your fans are a loving, understanding lot."
BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Find out what Justin Bieber fans did say about this pic after the jump. (WARNING: It ain't pretty.)
...As in those weeks after Kurt's death, my phone has not stopped ringing lately. "Did you hear? Can you believe the news?" And although I'm legally bound not to disclose particulars of the breakup, with so many other sources speaking about it, I can now publicly comment. You see, some days ago, a rock band broke up — this one in the form of another promising coffee roaster selling itself to Wall Street. Duane Sorenson, the founder of Stumptown, the Che Guevara of the rock-star barista movement, sold his life's work to the highest bidder.
Eater PDX claims it has sources that say the rumors aren't true, but Ben Waterhouse over at Willamette Week has pointed out that Stumptown's recent filing was under the authority of a foreign business corporation.
C'mon, Portlanders. One of you knows something. You can't keep a secret. Spill it.
I'll be the first to admit that the vast majority of content spawned within God's green Intertubes is total, hardcore bullshit. Memetic recursion, pictures of illiterate cats, baffling proctology nightmares; these are the foundations of our collective electronic orgy, and as far as orgies go, this'un is one failed SAT away from sprouting Thalidomide flippers.
That said, every month or so the omnipresent TV-static clouds part and we're gifted with something of actual quality. Something that combines wit, skill and creative drive, and makes us all wonder why it doesn't include a dog wearing sunglasses.
If I had a point with this introduction, it's obviously gone now, so you should just watch this video. It's an 8-minute fan film that documents the aftermath of the original Portal as it relates to the series' mute heroine Chell.
It's also better than every Hollywood-produced videogame movie ever made.
Isn't that cute! And look who they got to make a cameo appearance...
Ted Haggard continues to get work. That's amazing. Also amazing: the producers of this Christian non-sex non-comedy couldn't afford to hire any real actors... but they could afford to license "All the Single Ladies" and "You Can't Hurry Love."
This week's PHART CHART TOPPER is Morgaine Faye! Congrats, and look! We've animated it for you!
Will you be the next Phart Chart Topper of the week? Submit your art or photos to the Mercury's Flickr pool, and start PHART-ing today!!
Brought to you without comment by the National Rifle Association.
Okay, one comment: HEY KIDS, BE A BOSS PIMP LIKE DOCTOR WHO!!
TIME Magazine's coverage of Sarah Palin's Memorial Day weekend tour lets Sarah Palin get away with more of her coy, jus' folks bullshit. And her mom is in on it, too:
Indeed, Sarah Palin’s family road trip has turned into a media circus. Dozens of televisions stations staked out three different spots at Gettysburg National Civil War Park all day in the slim hope of catching a glimpse of the former vice presidential nominee. Dozens more followed her bus as it made its way from the National Archives Sunday morning to Mount Vernon and Fort McHenry in Baltimore before ending up at the Marriott in Gettysburg. What did the Heaths [Palin's parents] make of all the attention? “It was unexpected because I really didn’t think that any body would notice — except now that I see the bus, I could see how it would attract attention,” Sally Heath said. “It wasn’t advertised or anything so I didn’t expect anyone to notice because I know you all have a million other things to do, to cover.”
Did she want the press along on this trip?
“Um, well, I think I don’t have a choice,” Palin said, putting her arm around Ed Mildon, an electronics manufacturer in a “Proud American” t-shirt who just had his picture taken with her. ”We don’t want to disrupt others.”
Really, Sarah Palin's mom? It wasn't advertised? How about this ad (after the jump) on SarahPAC?
We received a bunch of really good I, Anonymous submissions over the Memorial Day weekend (What? You didn't have anything better to do?), so check 'em out here! Oh, and be sure to look at this comment-baiting post which produced the following "Quote o' the Day!"
Yes, I wear glasses. Yes, I don't eat meat and I am allergic to dairy and eggs forcing me to be a vegan. Yes, some of my clothes are from vintage stores. And, YES, I do enjoy art. These things do not make me a hipster.
Sooo... exactly how full of shit is this person? Vote for yourself, and be sure to drop your own rant or confession into our new and surprisingly popular I, Anonymous cesspool!
IRONIC—Sam Beam may have (slightly) trimmed his illustrious beard, but he hasn't trimmed back any of the rich musical potion he concocts with Iron and Wine, which has evolved from a whispery acoustic act to globe-spanning folk fusion. New record Kiss Each Other Clean has Iron and Wine revisiting the '70s soft rock of Beam's childhood. NL
w/the Head and the Heart; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $29, all ages
LASER HANDS!—The brand-new Kung Fu Theater series at the Hollywood Theatre kicks off with the only known 35mm print of 1982's chop-socky flick Buddha's Palm. Organizer Dan Halsted promises that this one has "kung fu masters who shoot laser breams out of their hands" and "a giant friendly flying dog," so you should probably be pretty excited. EH
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 7:30 pm, $7
I saw Tree of Life a few weeks ago, and like just about everyone else who's seen it who isn't completely full of shit, I have absolutely no idea what to say about the film, so we'll see how writing that review goes. Anyway, none of that matters because the best thing ever written about Terrence Malick is now online:
The Tree of Life director Terrence Malick is reportedly a huge fan of Zoolander and regularly quotes it to friends.
Ben Stiller once dressed up as his dim-witted fashion model Derek Zoolander to record a birthday message for the Oscar-nominated Thin Red Line filmmaker, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Production designer Jack Fisk, who has worked on all of Malick's films, said: "I think Zoolander is one of Terry's favorite movies ever. He watches it all the time, and he likes quoting it."
AMC's Breaking Bad is hands down my favorite show on TV. It's the one show I miss the most when it's on winter vacation, and one of the few shows I'll watch live with commercials—and it's coming back for it's fourth season starting July 17! Plus, AMC will be airing all the episodes (for those who wanna get caught up) in their late night slot, starting Tuesday, July 5. Download one of those countdown clock thingies and start counting the days! Here's the new season four trailer to wet that whistle.
So now I'm thinking that maybe the world IS coming to an end. First the robots came for our jobs. Then the robots came for our genitals. And now, the robots are coming for our Ren faires. When will the madness stop? It won't stop. Not until the robots are writing hyperbolic blog posts like this one. Gulp.
WOW. And... oh, fuck.
I had sex with another guy—for the first time—in the summer of 1981:
At first it seemed an oddity: a scattering of reports in the spring and early summer of 1981 that young gay men in New York and California were ill with forms of pneumonia and cancer usually seen only in people with severely weakened immune systems. In hindsight, of course, these announcements were the first official harbingers of AIDS—the catastrophic pandemic that would infect more than 60 million people (and counting) worldwide, killing at least half that number....
Patients and doctors feared the disease, often for different reasons. Many doctors, uncertain whether AIDS was an infectious disease, refused to do essential procedures on their patients; sometimes superiors had to order them to.... For doctors, nurses, patients and anyone who might be deemed at risk, the anxiety was pervasive. Might the first coughs or sneezes from a common cold or some other respiratory infection actually be a sign of P.C.P.? Might a small skin blemish represent Kaposi’s sarcoma? ... Some patients were shunned by friends and relatives. Customers avoided restaurants for fear that gay waiters would spread the virus.
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is running damage control after rookie candidate George Lepp accidentally tweeted a picture of his penis on his official campaign Twitter account Sunday. The photograph which was visible for 20 minutes was described by the Toronto Sun as "too graphic to reproduce in the newspaper—are of a man naked from the waist down, showing a close up of his penis and his crossed legs."
Alan Sakach, communications director for the Ontario Conservatives, [explained] that "the photo was inadvertently taken by Lepp’s BlackBerry when it was in his front pocket." ... Sakach first alleged that the BlackBerry in George Lepp's pocket took a picture of his penis by accident, and after having his mobile device stolen from him without his notice, the assailant then went through the device and uploaded the picture to Twitter after nearly 12 hours had elapsed....
Public perception of the original statement made by Sakach has drawn heavy criticism from Canadian public, many finding the chain of events to be incredible. "George Lepp's pockets are transparent, are they?" said one Toronto Star reader "And the photo was taken while he wasn't wearing pants, that apparently have transparent pockets?"
Canadians and their transparent pants—that's what makes snowboarding at Whistler so much fun. And, hey, the Wiener story has a Northwest Connection!
I try not to let this column slide into hyperbole, so please take this as my god-honest opinion: Everything I've ordered at Alder Pastry and Dessert—if you ignore the coffee—is the best version of that particular thing I've had in Portland.
I've been proselytizing for the Southeast Portland coffeeshop/bakery Alder since my first visit, on Mother's Day, when I bought a bunch of fancy pastries in lieu of making brunch and impressed my family with my ability to pronounce "financier." It's open til midnight, has coffee from Ristretto, ridiculously great pastries, and the best gelato I've ever eaten. (I'm not going to add "in the US" to that statement. Because I'm not a douchebag). Gelato and sorbet flavors consumed by me in the past few weeks include: apricot, pistachio, Earl Gray, rhubarb, cassis, caramel, malt, banana, mint chip, strawberry, morello cherry, and muscovado. It's the best. But it's never quite as busy as it should be, and now that it has entered my life I am very afraid of losing it.
In conclusion, go to Alder and eat some gelato.
GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! I've got a tiger by the tail, it's plain to see, and I won't be much when you get through with me. Let's go to press!
The Prez of Afghanistan has some tough words for NATO after they accidentally bombed and killed some civilians. Somebody's in TROUBLE!
Obama is expected to name John Bryson—an energy and utility chief out of California—as his new secretary of commerce.
An Egyptian general admits his troops performed "virginity checks" on protesters. READ THIS JAW-DROPPING STORY.
Twenty-nine people are still missing a week after after the mega tornado hit Joplin, Missouri.
Here's a battle I'd pay money to see: the homo-hating Westboro Church vs. the racisty KKK! On whom do you wager??
Serbian Ratko Mladic will be on trial for war crimes for allegedly giving the order to massacre 8,000 men and boys during the Bosnian war.
Sarah Palin's "Meandering Bus Tour" continues to meander around the country, as she contemplates whether or not to run for president.
A Massachusetts man is charged with "forklift assault." BETTER READ THIS ONE, TOO!
The Jersey Shore's Snooki puts two Italian policemen in the hospital after crashing into their patrol car. When will her international reign of terror end?!?
Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: Decreasing showers after today, and WOOT NOW! An awesome warm weekend ahead!
And finally, a cat who is pretty freaking awesome at playing the "shell game." I taking Mr. Meowsers with me on my next trip to NYC! Look out, grifters!
Oh man, it's here. The 2011 MusicFest NW lineup has been announced and it's a doozy. Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, Explosions in the Sky, Archers of Loaf (!!!!!!!!), and tons more will take over Portland from September 7-11 and various venues throughout town. Hope you saved your pennies, since ticket prices have risen this year, you can get that information right here.
Also, don't miss tonight's "announcement party" at Star Theater (13 NW 6th), with Mad Rad, Weinland, And And And, and the Globes. It's free.
Full lineup after the jump.
British singer Adele, currently with the #1 album and single in the U.S., has been forced to postpone 5 dates on her current sold-out tour of North America due to laryngitis. The singer was diagnosed last Thursday in Minneapolis, MN, where doctors ordered immediate rest and postponement of that night’s engagement at First Avenue (rescheduled for June 22nd). Adele performed on Saturday evening in Denver, CO (Ogden Theater) which proved too early a return to the stage. Adele's show last Sunday evening in Salt Lake City, UT (The Depot) was postponed last minute when her illness worsened. The Grammy-winning vocalist is also forced to postpone shows in Vancouver,BC (Orpheum Theatre) on May 31, Seattle, WA (Paramount Theatre) on June 1 and Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom) on June 3. The tour will resume on June 4 (Greek Theatre Berkeley) in San Francisco, CA.
To repeat my previous statement, nooooo! When the show is rescheduled, we'll let you know.
Like Call of Duty?
Like paying for Call of Duty?
Activision sure hopes so.
Quickly now: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hits consoles later this year. Call of Duty: Black Ops (the last game in the series) earned more cash than any other game in history. Activision, being the company that milked the Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk series' respective teats until both were raw and bleeding, has decided that pulling down $60 from each game purchased just isn't enough for them and has unveiled a plan to punch you right in the wallet.
It's called "Call of Duty Elite," and according to a controversially early report from the Wall Street Journal, Activision "plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new Call of Duty levels to play."
Tl;dr version: If you wanna play everything the game offers, you're going to be paying for it, repeatedly.
More details on the service and game itself will likely slip out as we approach MW3's November 8 release.
(Yes, I realize I've used that trailer before. It's a good trailer. It likes you, why don't you like it?)
When do you ever see an assistant referee take center stage and make back-to-back, identical game-changing calls? And how often does a team's top scorer, its captain and its coach become embroiled in an on-field spat in front of the home faithful? And when are three goals ever scored in the last 15 minutes ... of a soccer match?
It all happened Sunday afternoon in the Timbers' most dramatic performance of the season, but it led to Portland's first MLS home loss, as DC United added a blemish to the House of Pane's MLS record with a wild 3-2 victory that had Kenny Cooper apologizing and the Timbers Army suddenly considering sobriety.
Portland's no longer perfect at home after the Timbers allowed an early goal, didn't execute on their strengths and couldn't overcome the emotion of two freak calls late in the match. Cooper lost his head a bit during a penalty-kick scenario that was definitely the most bizarre sub-plot to play out on the pitch for Portland this season, and DC won the match because they reacted better to the drama and scored twice down the stretch to steal a victory from the Timbers.
Portland's post-match reaction-to-its-reaction, however, was perfectly executed: Cooper apologized up and down ("I should've shown more respect to my captain and my coach," he said), Jewsbury defended his teammate/locker-room neighbor and Spencer summed it all up in the first words of his press conference: “We got out of the game what we thoroughly deserved — zero points."
Much, much more on the Timbers' tepid opening, the match's dramatic climax and the wacky third act, along with Spencer's full post-match presser after the jump, plus video highlights of the match and EXTRA TIME links to help you tamp up the drama.
Still enjoying your holiday weekend? Not me, I'm slaving over a hot Mac (and watching some firefighters play b-ball from my office window, so it's not all bad). Anyway... here's some stuff you can do tonight:
Al's Den—Kevin Devine, 7 pm, free
Branx—Doom, Hellshock, Deathcharge, Religious War, Ripper, 7:30 pm, $8-10, all ages
Doug Fir—Biffy Clyro, Water & Bodies, 9 pm, $12-13
Gorge Amphitheatre (George, WA)—Sasquatch!: Wilco, The Decemberists, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Best Coast, Major Lazer, Skrillex, Bonobo, Deerhunter, !!!, Surfer Blood, DJ Anjali, The Incredible Kid, Foster the People, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Guided by Voices, White Denim, Macklemore, Stornoway, White Arrows, Chromeo, Head Like a Kite, Black Mountain, Noah & The Whale, Twin Shadow, The Young Evils, Old 97s, Young the Giant, Wavves, Jaill, Givers, all ages
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