This Week in the Mercury

Neal Stephenson's New Space Epic


Neal Stephenson's New Space Epic

Seveneves Is His Most Accessible Book to Date

New Column!


New Column!

Happy 15th Birthday, Portland Mercury! A Note from Editor in Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey


Monday, June 30, 2014

Sharknado 2 Trailer: I Will Allow It!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Will Sharknado 2: The Second One (coming to Syfy July 30th) reach the lofty intellectual heights of its predecessor? I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. However, despite the crushingly boring minute of conversation between Ian Ziering and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, things go sufficiently bonkers around the 1:36 mark, because that's when the shark-infested tornado comes in, Judah Friedlander's enormous baseball bat comes out, and a hilariously terrible actor saying, "SIGH. Where is this damn train?" occurs. Don't worry, fans—everything will be just fine.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

New Extended Trailer for FX's The Strain

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Whoopee and GAAAAHHHH! Here's the longest trailer yet for Guillermo del Toro's new FX horror show The Strain (debuting on Sunday, July 13), and I'm thinking this show has the potential to scare the crap right into your pants. It's kind of like Twilight... except it is the most different thing from Twilight you will ever see. WATCH! (And... GAHHH!!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Trailer for The Strain

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Here's the first full teaser trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new FX horror show The Strain (which is NOT about what I do to my groin muscle every time I play tennis, I've come to learn). It's based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire book trilogy, and here's what FX says about it:

A thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

Also it looks like my last airplane trip coming back from Vegas. Check it out.

The Strain debuts Sunday, July 13 at 10 pm on FX.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Good Morning, Buckets of Blood!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

When professional stuntman Steven Ho sticks a collapsible samurai sword into Conan O'Brien's gut, it results in the most impressive and hilarious blood bath you'll see all morning. (Unless you're me. It's not even 11 am, and I've already caused three hilarious blood baths.)


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Another Reason to Hate Lampreys

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The Animal Planet network dips its toe into the terrible-movies-usually-shown-on-Syfy pond with this new flick from the crazed minds of Asylum (the proud papas of Sharknado), called Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys. Pros: It stars Shannon Doherty and a bunch of face-sucking, blood-thirsty lampreys. Cons: ... well, I was going to say that it's a "con" when supposedly educational networks broadcast fake shit like this... but everybody's doing it—so you win, "ignorance."

Oh, and this is a lamprey, by the way.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Who's the Real Terrorist in America?

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Peter Bergen and David Sterman at CNN write:

...since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.

I don't know about you, but when I'm on a plane and a white guy with short hair gets on, I start to get nervous. Shouldn't they be screening people like that or something?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Please Don't Feed the Alligators

Posted by Paul Constant on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Ah, Florida:

(Via Cynical-C, which also posted this video of a brave libertarian battle against the tyranny of old crossing guards.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TV News Helicopter Crashes Next to Space Needle in Seattle

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

In a truly horrific catastrophe, a KOMO 4 news helicopter in Seattle crashed this morning just yards from the Space Needle right after takeoff. Witnesses say the helicopter took a nosedive immediately after taking flight, slamming into the ground, hitting two other cars, bursting into flames, and killing two people inside the copter. Here's some terrifying description from KOMO News describing their own tragedy.

Witnesses said a man could be seen running from from one car with his clothing on fire, and he was extinguished by officers at the scene. He was then rushed to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition with burns over more than 50 percent of his body.

Huge flames and plumes of black smoke poured from the burning wreckage, about 50 yards from the base of the Space Needle. Fuel gushing from the wreckage caught fire and burned for a block from the crash scene.

The Seattle Fire Department said two people were found dead in the wreckage.

More info will undoubtedly be coming. Here's video of the scene and KOMO news anchors trying to make sense of this tragedy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Gorgeous Horror of Hannibal

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Buried beneath the accolades of True Detective, NBC's Hannibal does not get the appreciation it deserves. (Primarily because NBC knows it has a gorgeous, cable-style adult drama on its hands, is scared to death of it, and therefore refuses to promote it and buries it at 10 pm on Friday nights.) However, I'm doing my part by singing its praises whenever possible, and so is Uproxx which has presented a solid defense on why you should be watching Hannibal every week. Here's a taste of their article, "Why Hannibal is the Best Horror Series on Television":

If there’s a more literary, detail-packed show on television, it’s hard to think of one. For example, one of the key lines, early in the show, is spoken by Hannibal himself: “Killing must feel good to God, too… He does it all the time, and are we not created in His image?”

This is relevant because pretty much everything about Hannibal, from the architecture of his office to the way he holds his fork, tells us he thinks he’s God. In fact, the entire show is carefully written to show Hannibal as less a literate monster and more of a terrifying, corrupting influence, a Lucifer figure so clever you don’t realize he’s corrupting you until it’s far, far too late. And it makes your skin crawl.

Want further proof that Hannibal is currently the smartest, most terrifying show on television? WATCH THE OPENING SCENE OF LAST WEEK'S EPISODE HERE. Dear god... it's TERRIFYING. Trust me, I have a soul and constitution filled with sawdust, so it takes a lot for me to avert my eyes from anything—but this scene? I was actually covering my eyes which I haven't done since I was 12, because I have never seen anything as creepily gorgeous and graphic on any network, cable or otherwise... especially NBC. It's not embeddable, so hit the link, put on your headphones, and watch it full screen. IF YOU DARE.

Don't miss Hannibal tonight on NBC at 10 pm.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Watch the Season Premiere of Killer Karaoke

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 1:59 PM

As I've stated on numerous occasions, I loooooove Japanese game shows. They are hilarious, they are insane, and they are cruel. That's why I'm also a fan of the little seen American reality competition, Killer Karaoke (returning to Tru TV, Thursday, Feb 20 at 10 pm). The premise is wickedly simple: Contestants sing karaoke songs while being tortured mercilessly by the show's producers. They receive electric shocks, they have to touch slimy things, they fall into holes, and they have to get extremely close to wiggling snakes—all while singing their guts out. And that's just the tip of the torture iceberg. Check out the season two premiere of Killer Karaoke (with new host Mark McGrath who is unfortunately terrible... but easy enough to block out), because it is really butt-clenchingly funny and a very successful entry in the Americanized Japanese game show canon. (Don't have time for the whole thing? Just skip around, you'll undoubtedly land on something amazing.)

Note: That YouTube freeze frame isn't what you think it is.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Have Had it With This Mother-effing Snake in This Mother-effing Sweater!!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I don't have a lot to say about this, other than "Hey, look. It's a snake wearing a sweater."

  • Via Cheezburger

Okay, fine... I'll think of something.

1) Snakes are cold-blooded, therefore it doesn't need a sweater. BOOM. SCIENCE.
2) Is it torturing this snake to wear a sweater? I don't know, I don't care, because I fucking hate snakes.
3) That's a terrible color for that snake. I'd rather see it in mauve.
4) If you're going to make a snake sweater, at least make it long enough to cover up its body. Half its ass is hanging out!
5) Like, what if this snake ate a sheep? Then the sweater would be INSIDE his body! (I've been smoking a lot of pot today.)

Excellent News: There's a Clown Shortage

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM


The New York Daily News' "EXCLUSIVE" story reveals that clowns are worried about a "national clown shortage."

“What’s happening is attrition,” said Clowns of America International President Glen Kohlberger, who added that membership at the Florida-based organization has plummeted since 2006. “The older clowns are passing away.” (Via.)

The sad clowns note that getting the few children who aren't fucking terrified of them interested in a career of clowning can be difficult ("What happens is they go on to high school and college and clowning isn't cool anymore"), and that, even more shockingly, clowning is not a top-tier career ("American kids these days are thinking about different careers altogether... They’re thinking about everything other than clowning").

America is a place where everyone should feel welcome. On the other hand, the idea of our nation being clown-less seems like the closest thing to Utopia that any reasonable person could hope for.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Today in Corporations That Control Your Life

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

As Denis mentioned in Good Morning News (and as your Twitter feed is probably still freaking the fuck out about), Comcast is trying to acquire Time Warner, at which point will they not only will control a huge swatch of media and infrastructure, but they'll also probably change their name to OmniCorp and expand Comcast's home security business into national security.

Over at the Verge, Bryan Bishop has a solid post that articulates exactly why—well, look at the headline: "Why You Should Be Scared of Comcast and Time Warner Cable Merging."

It would turn the behemoth into a titan, expanding Comcast’s reach and power in unprecedented ways. Tie in the fact that Comcast also owns NBCUniversal—which means it has a movie studio as well as broadcast and cable networks of its own—and you’re looking at a vertically integrated media juggernaut. One that wouldn’t just be in control of our televisions, but would be ready to steer the direction of any future online services as well. (Via.)

And if that's not chilling enough, just think of how much shittier Comcast's customer service will get when they have one less major competitor to worry about. Read the whole thing here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Hannibal Season Two Trailer!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Now look! I don't care about your fancy-pantsy, big-city "ratings system"—I thought the first season of Hannibal on NBC was BOSS. And if this new trailer is any indication, season two will be double BOSS. Check it out if you like great acting, atmospheric plots, and super creepy serial killers sniffing dead bodies. YEEEEESH!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Tonight's Nightmare... Today!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Hmm... what is that thing? Looks like a cute, hairy caterpillar or someAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Do Not Watch This Japanese Ad for Car Tires

Posted by Kelly O on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Or do. Then tell me if it made you jump.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Family Feud Reveals America's Foremost Expert on Zombies

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Oh, we're all just so over zombies. We've seen so many TV shows and movies about zombies, we think we've learned everything there is to know about them—BUT WE'RE WRONG. In the following clip from Family Feud, the question is "Name something you know about zombies"... and while your answer may have automatically been "eats brains," "shambles," "flesh decomposes," your knowledge is only skin deep compared to this contestant, who is CLEARLY America's #1 and foremost authority on everything "zombie." WATCH.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Halloween, I'm Going as "Adorkable."

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:59 AM

In a perhaps futile attempt to promote a few of their shows, FOX has produced some downloadable, printable masks featuring stars from some of their shows... like the actually very funny New Girl. Cue Adorkable Mask!

They also have Cece, Nick, Winston, and Schmidt—but I don't know why you'd ever want to choose those. Other Fox masks you may also not want to choose? American Dad, Bob's Burgers, ugggh the absolutely TERRIBLE Family Guy , The (Yawn) Simpsons, and... WAITASECOND! I totally want to dress up in at least two of these The X Factor masks, particularly Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato! OOH! AND MARIO LOPEZ!!! Halloween is saved!

Happy Halloween! Allow Us to Invite You Inside... MURDER HOUSE.

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Tonight, while you walk the dark streets, and you see the happy, smiling children running from house to house in search of their next fist full of candy... take a moment to stare at the homes you pass... and wonder what evil acts may have transpired there.

That's the idea behind this week's Mercury feature, "MURDER HOUSE." Many of Portland's grisliest murders took place in homes that are not only still standing, but are now occupied by people who probably have no idea what took place there. This week we take a peek at a few of these horrifying cases that involve all sorts of bloody wrong-doings, including drowning children, hammers, dynamite, smotherings, and... this one:

Today, the small house where Lloyolla T. Miller lived out most of her life has faded a bit. The garden this so-called "Rose Lady of North Wabash Avenue" fastidiously tended has been left to weeds and scrub. But, even now, it's easy to imagine roses and rhododendrons coming into vibrant life around the home on May 29, 1979—the day Miller's was violently snuffed out.

That was the day the paperboy murdered her with an ax.

Read the rest here. And sleep well... in your cozy, safe home.

  • Artist: Tom Neely


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Conan Introduces the "Cat-Piloted Decoy Chewbacca."

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 10:44 AM

There's still time to secure a Halloween costume... even for those who REFUSE to go to Halloween parties! It's called the "Cat-Piloted Decoy Chewbacca," and... why should I say another word about it? It's a "CAT-POWERED DECOY CHEWBACCA!" Watch.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Universal Studios Cancels Ride Due to Gay Superman Controversy

Posted by Paul Constant on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Vice's Jamie Lee Curtis Taete went to the new Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure show at Universal Studios and saw some "comedy" that wouldn't have been out of place in the bad old homophobic 1960s:

Anyway, Superman joins Bill and Ted on their witch-killing quest. Bill and Ted are pretty psyched about that because, y'know, he's Superman and he's really useful to have on your side in a battle against evil witches.

But then, uh oh, a witch accidentally sprinkles Superman with fairy dust, turning him gay...After becoming gay, Superman's voice and posture changes. His lips purse, his toes point inward, and his wrists become limp. His new voice sounds like a homophobic uncle doing a drunken impression of Richard Simmons, complete with lisps and frequent use of the word "faaaaaaabulous!"

Bill and Ted, understandably, are bummed. Their initial excitement at having Superman with them on their quest turns to disappointment as, obviously, now that Superman is gay, he is not going to be of any use to them. "Who could possibly make a worse Superman?" asks Bill. "Ben Affleck?" responds Ted.

Thankfully, Robot 6 reports that Universal Studios has cancelled the show. The site for the show now simply reads:

After thoughtful consideration, Universal Studios Hollywood has made the decision to discontinue production of the Halloween Horror Nights' "Bill & Ted" show for the remainder of its limited run.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Do You Think of Facebook's Decapitation Video Ban?

Posted by Paul Constant on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

First, Facebook banned videos of decapitations. Then it reversed its policy on decapitation videos. Now it's banning them again. Nudity is still, and has always been, banned on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Guys! There's TOTALLY a Ghost Haunting This Pizza Hut!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Is a Pizza Hut in Centereach, New York haunted? Like... by a G-G-G-G-GHOST? Amateur paranormal investigators Pauly and "Fanboy Kev" are totally convinced after a thorough investigation of that particular Pizza Hut's bathroom. AND THEY HAVE VIDEO PROOF TO PROVE IT! If true, this is definitely the creepiest corporate fast food chain in America. Congrats, Pizza Hut!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kids Say the Creepiest Things!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Dan Pearce of the wildly entertaining blog Single Dad Laughing asked his Facebook friends to share "the creepiest thing a kid has ever said to you." What he got wasn't creepy. IT'S FREAKING TERRIFYING. (Here are just a few!)

Two years ago my door bell rang. When I answered there was a little kid 4 or 5 standing there that I didn’t recognize. Before I could say anything, she yelled “just so you know it’s your turn to die!” and she disappeared around the corner again. I followed but couldn’t see her anywhere. Luckily I didn’t die.

My daughter when we were home alone one night, “mommy, who’s that man on the ceiling?”

I was reading a story to my daughter when she suddenly slammed it shut, point to the empty doorway, and screamed “you get out of here! You’ve killed enough people!”

My 2yr old talks and walks in his sleep. About a month after his second birthday I heard him talking in his sleep in the middle of the night so I thought aww cute I will go listen. Peeked in and he was sitting bolt upright in bed eyes wide open hands folded in lap. He said, “naughty mummy. Naughty daddy. No more mummy, no more daddy.” Then he laughed really creepily lay down and started snoring.

My son was crying in bed at 3 am and tells us he is afraid because there is a man in his bed. We ask him about the man and tell him to ask the man to go away. The following day he tells us the man’s name is Frank…my husband’s uncle who died the night before. Also later that week we were driving along in our van in complete silence and my son said “Frank’s here.”

An 8 year old I used to teach had a hard time with eye contact and appropriate touch. He looked me straight in the eyes one morning, not missing a beat, and told me, “you know, I think you’d look a lot better if you were dead in my basement.”

As she pointed to the old wood stove in the middle of our front room: “Jimmy said that was where he did it.” I asked her who Jimmy was and what he was talking about, she said “Jimmy is the guy who comes and talks to me at night. He said he killed his mom right there.” My daughter was five.

GAHHH!! He's got 32 of these things! RIGHT HERE!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UPDATE!!! "Chinese Food" Music Video—Now with Screaming Goat

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM

This morning I alerted you to the new joint from Ark Music Factory (makers of fine entitled rich teens like Rebecca Black) titled "Chinese Food"—which is all about Chinese food! Well, the internet has already fallen in love with this song by rich, not-very-talented Alison Gold... and what does the internet do when it falls in love with something? IT DESTROYS IT.

Presenting Alison Gold's "Chinese Food"—now accompanied by "screaming goat."


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