A stunning overreach from the DEA is
playing out in Eastern Washington.
Magritte, comedian: “It’s noticeable that
many of the techniques Magritte uses for creating his mysterious
to be found in comedy writing. His pictures are frequently
structured like jokes.”
Bank of Canada urges Star Trek fans to stop
"Spocking" their five dollar bills.
Seattle man claims
he is Kurt Cobain.
The ghoulish post-mortem
fairy tales of Mothmeister.
Burial pods turn
you into a tree after death.
Brown, chef and Food Network personality, ate
his way around Spokane this weekend.
natural philosophers discuss the mind: An imagined conversation
explores perspectives on the brain and consciousness.
Stages of decay, mourning practices, and afterlives from across the
Why should we have to rely on a priestly class of
experts who are the sole inheritors of technological knowledge? Our
laptops are sleek and polished, our operating systems are fluid and
is easy and that's a problem.
Why our children
don't think there are moral facts.
K. Dick, a heavy user of methamphetamines, experienced a series
of visions in 1974 which
caused him to believe that time had stopped in the year 70 and
that the world around him was an illusion.
Gogh on principles,
talking vs. doing, and the human pursuit of greatness.
We've grown: My old friend Phopaw showed up out of
the blue yesterday. We went out for breakfast and talked about old
times and THE SCENE MAGAZINE DID NOT COME UP EVEN ONE TIME!!!
Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden,
CIA-inspired "black site."
demand answers about Chicago "black site."
Your Body! - a bizarre psychedelic sex education video
supposedly made for children.
And since we went there: Snoppen
theory calls cooperation into question: A recent solution to the
dilemma," a classic game theory scenario, has created new
puzzles in evolutionary biology.
You can be religious without being a hate-mongering
Bible thumper who denies evolution. You can be scientific without
being a know-it-all who denigrates people of faith: What
the science-vs-religion debate ignores.
skit I've seen in a long time: A father (Taran Killam) has an
emotional moment as daughter (Dakota
Johnson) goes off to join - ah...
idea must die: Some of the world's greatest thinkers each select
a major misconception holding us back, from race to IQ to the self.
Nobody knows what happens inside quantum
experiments. So why are some people so keen to believe in parallel
the Many Worlds hypothesis just a fantasy?
forgotten images of Islam: Popular early US tales depicted
Muslims as menacing figures in faraway lands or cardboard moral
World's first grid-connected
wave power station is switched on in Australia.
Scientific American finally
cuts through the crap about the color of "that dress."
What happened to words like aquabob, clinkerbell,
daggler, cancevell, ickle, tankle, shuckle, crottie, doofers,
honeyfur and zawn?: Our
shrinking vocabulary of landscape.
William Powell published The Anarchist Cookbook in
1971, when he was only nineteen. Thus
ensued a very unanarchic quest, on his part, to remove it from
print. Sooner or later, even hippies put on a coat and tie.
From S-R columnist Doug Clark: The strange story of the
unsolved murders at The Spokane Street Motel.
are the songs sent into the deepest reaches of space on the
Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft.
Did Magic Alex promise
to build the Beatles a flying saucer?
Oh, the stories I could tell if I didn't need to pay
Cronenberg on The Metamorphosis: The master director on Kafka
and growing older.
Here are some of Jesse's storyboard notes for the upcoming Mr.
Dark shoot this weekend. --->
easy hikes near Spokane.
Still waiting to see if my Kahlua and coffee will
use its powers for good or evil today...
Alejandro Jodorowsky on
of folks who illegally hop trains across America.
Hitler on modern art: "Cubism, Dadaism, Futurism,
Impressionism, have nothing to do with our German People."
work and video from Gaza.
I'm only writing this so I'll stop staring at the
black void below the 2/23/15 and the
lonely blinking vertical line where nothing was being written.
Over the years of living in or near downtown
Spokane, I have developed what can only described as a spiritual
bond with the Spokane River. This connection is easily sealed at
times like these when the river is high and I can stand on one of
the footbridges and be in awe of its roar, feel its spray coat my
face, feel its rumble at my feet. Other times more effort must be
put into the worship, and I have to step down to the river's edge,
kneel like I'm praying, and physically dip my hands into the water. It's
at those times when spiritual gifts are granted - like the other
early morning, as I waited for my hands to dry and warm a bit, and
in my hypnagogic state the wisps of fog on the surface became as
hundreds of ghostly alien babies and I became the sole judge of
their slow-motion jitterbug competition.
I am so obsessed with trying to turn a mediocre
restaurant into a professionally run organization that I have
lost track with nearly everything going on around me. We could be at
war with Idaho and I wouldn't know it. The president and all of
Congress could have revealed themselves to be lizard people and I am
ignorant of the fact; I probably served them fettuccine. Please,
God, let me talk to one person today who doesn't smell like food or
It was the nicest day of the year so far. I took a
few hours off from work (the first real break I've had since
Thursday) partook of a wee bit of our state's newest freedom, and
went for a bike ride. It seemed that all of Spokane had crawled from
their lairs and into the glaring sun, as if the Winter evil has already
There were so many people on the Centennial Trail
there were traffic jams. At one point, on the arched walkway over
Freya Street, I had to stop while a clan of foreigners - perhaps
Russians, oblivious to our customs - claimed the entire trail, the
men walking up front, followed by the women and children.
Behind the children trailed the youngest woman of
the group, mid-thirties or so, very attractive, and pushing a baby
carriage. She stopped, looked at me and smiled, seemingly
For a moment I felt like a Savanna predator about to pick off the
weakest of the herd. Then, her smile twisted slightly, became
something entirely different. Her eyes grew wide. Her nostrils
flared. And for
the next ten seconds or so, we boned the dog snot out of each
other with our eyes only.
It was primitive and lewd and wonderful, probably
illegal where she came from. Then she walked on, leaving me all
sweaty and snorting like an ox. She actually stopped at the bottom
of the bridge and lit a cigarette. It was the best sex I've never
What's left of my heart and soul belong entirely to
the restaurant for the next two days...
To the guy I was arguing with at the coffee shop
yesterday about the justification of the state and private companies
requiring urine tests for employment: What if instead they required
a feces test? Would you poop in a cup for the Man?
I've been working on the
Mr. Dark website. Last night I did this animated GIF
of Reilly and Frost:
That's a wrap for the first filming weekend of Mr.
Dark. Jesse says it went spectacularly well. Keep up with the
creative madness by clicking
Shooting of Episode Two starts tomorrow!
I knew the Seahawks lost when I saw some lady's face
paint streaked with tears.
Please bear with me for a few more weeks, good
readers of this humble site; I'm still neck-deep in restaurant
horrors. Even still, I'm able to keep at least a few toes dipped in
the aestheti-pool of Spookaloo:
(1) I am putting the
finishing touches on a new sci-fi/horror (?) short story and am
considering where to submit "The Singular Notion of the SR28 Basic
(2) I'm doing what
little I can to assist director Jesse James Hennessy (who was
recently voted into the local film society) as he gears up to begin
shooting Episode Two of his Mr.
Dark Series this weekend.
In the past few weeks, I've wandered throughout the
American West and one of the most beautiful sights I've seen
occurred yesterday morning on the Centennial Trail while I bicycled
through Kendal Yards, as, on the opposite side of the river, the
Spokane skyline peeked out from beneath its blanket of early morning
From my road trip: Church in Fairy, Texas.
I just finished Michal Faber's first novel Under
the Skin, which was made into a
film of the same name by director Jonathan
Glazer and starring Scarlet
Johansson. Surprisingly, the similarities end there: the title.
Yes, I saw the film first - and loved it. As I mentioned earlier,
both endeavors are pleasingly surrealistic; but the movie's
surrealism is to "getting stoned and grooving out on a lava
lamp," what the book's surrealism is to "wintering in a
cheap downtown hotel room with your teenage runaway girlfriend,
living on canned beans and hashish, and reading the entire works of
Edgar Allen Poe."
To answer your second question: Yes, I am still
working 12 to 14 hours a day, managing restaurant crises, and
sleeping very little...
<-- Look. A tiny picture of Newt Gingrich.
When I was in San Francisco I went to the most
amazingly demented art show at the de
Young Museum in Golden Gate Park: Keith
Haring - The Political Line.
Oh my goodness...
I'm still in the midst of crisis management: our
chef quit at the restaurant and the horrible reality of the need for
continuity has fallen upon yours truly.
From my road trip: Graffito from an abandoned building near the
I just read Michel
Faber's new novel "The Book of Strange New Things." It
is the story of a British missionary who is sent to a human
settlement on a distant planet to convert the indigents. Of course,
things go wrong, but not in the way you might expect.
I'm now reading Faber's first novel Under
the Skin, which was made into a
film of the same name by director Jonathan
Glazer and starring Scarlet
Johansson. I saw the film and loved it. Both novel and film are
surrealistic endeavors to be sure. But, as often is the case, the
book is much different and much, much better. I'd be interested in
what Faber thinks of the film - I don't imagine that he liked it
much: Everyone going to the film knew beforehand that the lead
character was an alien. In the novel, this fact is artfully revealed in
Other news: Jesse is getting ready to shoot Episode
Two of Mr. Dark. I'm
trying to balance all of the pay-my-rent stuff so as to give him a
hand. I'm not yet sure how much influence I'll be able to wield.
Also, I just now started going through the 20 gigs of video I shot
on my road trip. My promise to not shoot so much footage lasted
until I got just past Cheney.
Nothing like coming home to multiple crises...
Here are the maps of my road trip: Part
One and Part
Here's some random road trip shots I took with my phone. (I
haven't started going through the 20 gigs of video - 1420 shots.)
On the Trona Wildrose Road. Near the western border of
are the size of cars.
The Apartment Building of Evil near Marina District in San
The view out my San Fran motel room door on Lombard Street.
Frisco. Hippie haven. Yes, some still linger.
Prada Marfa. On
US Highway 90 near Valentine, Texas.
NYT article: Little
Prada in the Desert.
Farm road encounter near Fairy, Texas.
I'm on the road, which means I'll be updating this
site sporadically, if at all, for the next two weeks. But, I'll be
Facebook. Wish me luck!
I'm making the final plans for my epic road trip to
... somewhere ... officially beginning early tomorrow morning.
Because of questionable road conditions, I'm still not sure which
direction I'll be aiming my vehicle.
It could end up like a quarterback calling an audible
in football: If I don't like the looks of the field before me, I'll
shout out my change-of-mind literally seconds before the ball is
messy minds of creative people.
Here's a video
montage that focuses solely on the human eyes as they appear in
certain powerful scenes from Alfred Hitchcock films.
brief history of the To-Do list and the psychology of its
New quantum theory could
explain the flow of time: coffee cools, buildings crumble and
stars fizzle out because of a strange effect called
art of tripping: A who's who of creative drug users.
From a big lottery win to a disaster like the
Titanic, unlikely stuff happens all the time. But
can we summon it at will?
Change a light
bulb with this guy atop a 1500' TV tower.
No smoking aloud.
Snow! The still-developing first leg of my road trip
- scheduled to begin in two days - is looking more and more like an
escape route. Forecast: More snow!
What processes in the brain allow
you to remember your dreams?
hypocrisy of the NYPD: The public should respect authority, they
say, then turn their backs to the mayor.
Rand (?) reviews
Seen on a T-shirt: "I am a writer. That means I
live in a crazy fantasy world with unrealistic expectations. Thank
you for understanding." (It was an extra-large.)
The man who seduced
all of your favorite dead gay novelists.
A brief history
of the wine corkscrew.
Why do some people live
to be 100 years old?
A scientific look at why
human beings are so intrigued by zombies.
There is a bizarre rumor going around the internet
claiming that tomorrow's planetary
alignment is going to cause a "gravitational fluctuation"
that will leave people weightless for a brief period.
Stealing from yourself: Here's a
quick film showing visual, editing and storytelling parallels
Scorsese's 1969 student short, "It's Not You, Murray"
and his most recent film, "The Wolf of Wall Street."
four minutes. And five
things Karl got right.
"What's in the box?!" Can
a severed head survive the severing?
And yet ... there's
hundred ideas that changed art.
de Botton on What
is art for?
dangerous people on the internet right now.
Sabbath, a fast food-themed Black Sabbath cover band that
dresses as demonic McDonaldland characters.
Here's our entry to the 100 Hour Film Race.
It was directed by Jesse
James Hennessy, produced and written by Jesse and me, and
starring Aaron Fink, Jason A. Young, Molly Parish, and Leslie
Ann Spencer. When the contest began, we were emailed parameters
that must be in the film. The theme: a secret. An action: sleeping.
whipped cream. We had 100 hours to write,
shoot, edit, and upload an original short film. Winners
are to be announced soon!
Earlier this year, we entered the 24 Hour Film Race.
Watch our film, A Drink in the
Dark, which placed in the top 24 films in this international
competition. It debuted in New York City.
Still on a high from winning first place in The
Inlander's Short Fiction Contest, I wrote another short story, which
I'm finishing up right now. I'll have a few trusted friend read it,
then decide where to submit.
Happy New Year!
Last night I celebrated by drinking two (2) very
small glasses of wine. A few years ago, I would have breathed in
more alcohol than that just from what I spilled on my shirt.
Check it out! Our entry to the 100 Hour Film Race is
back online. Watch The
Welcome to the new age: This morning it was warmer
in Anchorage, Alaska than in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The New York Police might have just solved the
national community-policing controversy: Cops walk off the job to
protest the shooting of two officers in the Big Apple - people get
along peacefully, society continues. Do the math.
Police were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism
that emerged in the mid to nineteenth century from the threat posed
by that system's offspring, the working class.
Main stream press
is silent on indefinite detention's threat to every American.
Participating in a gun buy back because you believe
criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated
because you believe the neighbors have too many children.
Rhyming "fajitas" with
"margaritas" or "Corona" with
music was drunk all through 2014.
liberties predictions for 2014.
John Oliver hates
New Year's Eve.
"Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.
Not yet. EAT ME NOW! Too late."
This is not enough information to be a valid post.
The era of creative
cooking with marijuana is upon us according to the New York
Times. Northwest chefs emit a collective "Duh!"
The 10 worst
civil liberties violations of 2014.
There are several thousand secret photos of
America's torture program. Should
they be released?
The US military will spend $1.5
trillion on a plane that barely works.
worst fears brought to life in creepy cartoons.
FBI agents investigating the Sony hack were briefed
by a security firm that says its research
points of laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator.
first video footage ever made of the strange deep-sea
Cronenberg talks about
the similarities between his 1986 film, The Fly,
and Franz Kafka's
The Greed Kings of 2014: How
they stole from us.
"The roughly 1 million prisoners who work for
corporations and government industries in the American prison system
are models for what
the corporate state expects us all to become."
10 Scientific American stories of 2014.
Insane, but convincing, theories
about dead celebrities.
tracks for "Zilch," the Monkees'
How to do nothing with nobody all alone by yourself:
we did at home before social media.
Lang Syne is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns and set to the
tune of a traditional folk song. The phrase “auld lang syne”
translates in English as “old long since” or something akin to
“times gone by.”
the sitcom code: There is a highly-specific, minute-by-minute
recipe used to write the vast majority of sitcoms out there.
Check out Strong
Language, a salty blog about curse words and their history.
Here is Primo Levi's account of Christmas
in Auschwitz in 1944.
Italian scientists have begun to crack the mystery
of that unique truffle scent: A
Alexie discusses the
challenges of living in two different cultures at the same time,
especially when one has so much dominance over the other.
The question of free will is much more
complicated than people believe.
Be honest. Did you jingle all the way?
It's a Christmas miracle! My story Uncle
Le-o-nard's Perplexing Exit won first place in The
Inlander's Short Fiction Contest. The story is printed in
this week's issue - it's in that little Inlander newsstand
thingy in your favorite coffee shop/bar/restaurant right now!
Seriously. I just saw it. I'm on the centerfold (fully
I'm meeting with Jesse and the principal actors of
the Mr. Dark series today at 11 am at Boots coffee place, concerning
the upcoming mega-shoot sometime in February. Should be
Breaking news! I'm planning another epic road trip.
More details to follow, but a reach as far as Memphis is possible.
New Orleans? Definitely Austin, El Paso, Yuma.
thinking that IQ tests miss - why smart people sometimes do dumb
things: A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more
than the ball. How much does the ball cost? (Many highly intelligent
people get this wrong.)
Le Guin, the 85 year old sci-fi writer, gave
a stunner of a speech at the National Book Awards about the
problem with capitalism and the power of imagination and literature.
Rappers have clashed with cops for more than 30
is the hip-hop response to Ferguson?
Princeton study: The
US is no longer an actual democracy.
One side of the mouth:
Abortion is every woman's right. It's her body and her choice.
Other side of the mouth: We should
support the new bill to restrict soda, fat, sugar, salt and tobacco.
Atlantic's review of Jack
Kerouac's classic novel On
A photographer spent five years photographing
33 of Nevada's legal brothels. (It sure took him a long time.)
Madame LaLaurie: The
baddest bitch in New Orleans.
soldiers who dressed and fought as men in the Civil War.
Think riots have never caused change in America? Think
In case you haven't noticed, 2014
has been a banner year for animal robots.
largest clairvoyance experiment has begun.
is stolen from the Washington state Capitol nativity scene -
Here's a Washington Post article about
this nationwide phenomenon.
you didn't know about superstition: It played a positive role in
evolution and it continues to affect human behavior. Lucky us.
a map of Pangea with current international borders.
Despite over a century of research, there
is no conclusive evidence about what the Great Serpent Mound of Ohio
represents, when it was built, and what its true purpose was.
births happen, in ways we still don't fully understand.
Why "Team America" suceeds
as satire where "The Interview" fails.
Is it over yet? Can I come out now? I'm running out
of ideas on how to deal with Christmas. I've tried to become Jewish
every December but I'm not sure which candle to light. I've
tried to be an atheist but I still feel uber-Santa's eyes watching
whether I've been naughty or nice. Kwanzaa? I'm not that hip and I
don't look good in colorful clothing. Any suggestions?
From Scientific America: A
look inside the messy minds of creative people.
Why sitting by the fire is so relaxing: Staring at
flickering light awakens
our inner caveman.
The new zombie still eats brains, but it can think,
emote and even fall in love. Why
zombies with heart are on the rise.
The Creative Process
1) This is awesome
2) This is tricky
3) This is shit
4) I am shit
5) This might be ok
6) This is awesome
Mammal: "We can rub this cold lambchop up against you all
are the implications of the free will debate for individuals and
"Sea change,” “drop in the bucket,”
“give a wide berth” weren’t always clichés. They
entered the vocabulary as clever novelties.
meh review of "The Interview."
most-read articles of 2014.
Here's the easy link to my story in The
Le-o-nard's Perplexing Exit
But you should pick up a copy at the newstand!
Throughout history, there
have been numerous recorded instances of strange objects falling
from the sky - fish, frogs, candy, jellyfish, beans, nuts,
seeds, and all manner of bizarre and unlikely objects.
the CIA sold Obama on drone assassination.
archaeological discoveries of 2014.
The Metamorphosis, a study: Nabakov
More than just aromatic compounds, frankincense
and myrrh have interesting medicinal properties.
The best and worst of this
year's designer drugs.
Here's a collection of Soviet-era
science fiction holiday cards.
Thumb down -Sony's The Interview: "The only real
mystery is how
something this ordinary could have caused so much agitation."
Thumb up - "The Interview" really
does subvert North Korea's regime.
Korea didn't hack Sony: Almost all signs point in another
that North Korea hacked Sony is flimsy.
From NYT: 100
notable books of 2014.
Town government threatens legal
action if man will not remove zombie nativity scene.
Here are 10
Oscar-worthy 2014 documentaries.
Here's a short of clips from some
of the best cinematography of 2014.
Rod Serling explains how censorship
led to the creation of "The Twilight Zone."
a wonderful life, comrade. The Hollywood Christmas classic was
once accused of hiding a subversive Communist message.
we lost in 2014...
officer fatally shoots another black teenager just a few miles
from where Michael Brown was killed.
The New York Times editorial board has called
upon President Obama to prosecute Dick Cheney and others for the
torture of terrorism suspects.
Gilliam isn't surprised about Sony's cowardice: Hollywood is
just "gray, frightened people" holding on for dear life.
How hard is it to
steal an atom bomb?
Military operations around the world are quickly
expanding into the digital realm, and
we're all under fire.
Bill Moyers: The
most underreported stories of 2014.
Body talk: The
first uses of the filthiest words in the English language.
Malcolm X prophetically describes today's police
situation in this 50-year-old
“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was
six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked
for my autograph.”
They really did it. The Inlander printed my story
"Uncle Le-o-nard's Perplexing Exit." It's not on the stands until Christmas Day, but
can read it online now, on the center spread, page 21.
Cocker, dead at 70 ... Just one
more time, will you, Joe?
Well, as far as I know, The Inlander is still
planning to publish my story "Uncle Le-o-nard's Perplexing
Exit" in the next issue - the Christmas issue. This is an
exceedingly strange phenomenon to me; because, I can not envision
this event actually happening. I can not see a respectable
enterprise like The Inlander publishing something as bizarre as that
story on Christmas Day.
The only way Uncle Le-o-nard will be seen by the
Spokane public is if an "Even Dwarfs Started Small" kind
of thing has occurred at that publishing institution. You remember
in Werner Herzog's movie where a group of crazed dwarfs take over
the asylum and enjoy general havoc: engineering food fights, setting
flowers on fire and crucifying monkeys.
So remember, if you see "Uncle Le-o-nard's
Perplexing Exit" in the next issue, there is an awesome
party in the lobby of The Inlander building. And you are invited.
you ask me, this apocalyptic weather crisis has been nothing but
good for Spokane.
The Ukraine crisis: As this showdown with Russia
heats up, remember how we got
buddies in the new Ukraine.
Dystopian fiction's popularity is a
warning sign for the future.
One side of the mouth:
Torture works! Torture kept us safe! I'd torture again in a minute!
Other side of the mouth: We can't
normalize relations with Cuba - they abuse human rights!
best bad guy speeches in movies.
Ancient inventions beyond
our modern understanding.
Christmas carols drenched
Scientists discover children's
cells living in mother's brain.
It is the Winter
Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It only gets warmer and
brighter and better from here on, my friends.
we need the Winter Solstice.
Alex Jones had
"journalists" in Spokane yesterday covering
the gun law/militarization of police protests.
like the report where an Infowars reporter is standing in front of the
Spokane County Courthouse (still residing in the City of Spokane
proper as of this writing) and begins by saying, "We're
here today in Spo-Cane Valley..."
Here's the S-R's
report on yesterday's protests.
Anonymous says North
Korea is not responsible for the Sony hacks.
isn't convinced either.
Who is more likely to support a policy of US torture
of detainees, religious
Americans or non-religious Americans?
Here's Scientific American's best
physics videos of 2014.
The idea of creating
weapons that can disrupt or alter the cognitive processes of enemy
combatants is starting to become reality.
classic German Expressionist films free.
points about filmmaking and festivals.
The CIA didn't just torture, it
experimented on human beings.
The Inlander interviews Spokane's
CIA torture architect.
off the Centennial Trail near Kendall Yards.
In England and the United States, the
police were invented within the space of just a few decades -
roughly from 1825 to 1855.
In the course of creative endeavors, artists and
fragments of knowledge into a new unity of understanding.
Here's the full version of The
Junky's Christmas, with William
Archaeologists find royal
entryway to King Herod's hilltop palace.
Here's a map showing all of the
old streetcar routes in 1923 Spokane.
Has modern art lost
its power to shock?
East Sprague oddities.
The love affair between
donkeys and the military.
The best monsters of pagan Christmas, illustrated.
Bill Maher: Santa
held hostage: Why Sony not releasing "The Interview"
says Sony made a mistake in canceling "The Interview."
Last weekend in Olympia, "between 600 and
showed up to the state capital to openly violate the new gun law
by exchanging and selling guns without a permit. A
Spokane rally is
scheduled for noon tomorrow at the Spokane County Courthouse.
Those attending the above protest should be able to
get away in time to make it to the
protest of Spokane County's Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)
vehicle, and the militarization of law enforcement in general, at
the Spokane Valley Police Department at 2 pm.
I will not be at either as my Kevlar is at the dry
Ben Swann's take on the Sheriff Ozzie/MRAP/Constitutionalist wrangle.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga waltz through The Tonight
perform a swinging set of standards.
Asimov asks, "How
do people get new ideas?"
Asimov predicts in '64 what
the world will look like in 2014.
NASA is developing a plan to deploy human-occupied
airships in Venus's upper atmosphere.
psychological functions of great literature.
a Spokane deputy's claim that the Spokane Police Department's MRAP
vehicle is equipped to deal with "Constitutionalists,"
talk show host and conspiracy guy Alex
Jones claims Ozzie
Knezovich's defense of the department's actions demonstrates
that a police state is under way.
Keith Richards turns 71 today. Again, Keith
Richards turns 71 today.
The surreal sci-fi
farms that grow most of our food.
Obama just ended the
stupidest part of US foreign policy.
is how cults work: The more intelligent you are, the easier it
is for cults to brainwash you.
let the terrorists win again: Sony cancels release of The
Interview because of threats.
US intelligence officials say the
North Korean government was "centrally involved" in the
hacking of Sony Pictures' computers.
countries lose it over American movies: The Deer Hunter, Hostel,
Schindler's List, 300.
The percentages are marked on the new pot packets: What
are THC and CBD?
What was the psychology
ends medical marijuana prohibition: Federal drug agents will no
longer be able to raid retail outlets.
US to normalize
relations with Cuba.
Future graveyards might look
The insane history of how
American paranoia ruined and censored comic books.
Check out this cocaine comedy from 1916: Douglas
Fairbanks stars as detective Coke Ennyday in The
Mystery of the Leaping Fish. One hundred years after the fact,
the cavalier attitude toward drug use is remarkable.
Researchers have transplanted
the 302 neuron nervous system of a certain worm into the body of a
Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot.
Dennis Kucinich on how
Congress reignited the cold war while no one was looking.
art of trying - but not too hard - is central to romance,
religion, politics, and business. Those ancient Chinese philosophers
were on to something.
the Roman Pantheon hasn't crumbled: Ancient concrete has some
benefits over its modern equivalents.
Here's a good (though a bit scholarly) article about
through the ages.
It's my day off from work, but I still go in early
and make soup. It's like a hobby to me. Afterwards, if it's
comfortable biking weather, like today, I'll
take the long way home.
When I announced on Facebook that I won first place
in the Inlander's
Short Fiction Contest, I noted the irony of an un-Christmassy
kind of guy like me having a story to be published on Christmas Day.
"A Christmas miracle," I wrote, and added, "Tiny Tim,
your dead goose is on the way."
old friend was quick to point out that it was not a goose that
born-again Ebenezer Scrooge bought for the Cratchit family, but a
Yes, there is an actual controversy about this:
Russell Baker from 1986: Did
Scrooge buy a goose or a turkey?
Question of Turkey or Goose.
it have been a goose?
Conclusion: Ebenezer did indeed
buy a turkey. So, should I say my goose is cooked, or not?
People who bought boxes of shit from Cards Against
actually surprised to receive boxes of shit.
in Kazakhstan are falling asleep en masse for no apparent
Here's a good article from Adbusters: Global
Funk: Freud found one word to describe the particular type of
insanity surrounding him - neurosis.
kill rampaging cow in Pocatello: more evidence for the Arp
Xigarian theory that cows are evil.
Every year, researchers
publish papers that use proper scientific methods to answer
questions of dubious importance in the Christmas issue of the
British Medical Journal.
Relevant Unintentional Juxtapositions.
It has always been in the interest of the ruling
class to cultivate illusions which obscure the true nature of the
game. Time to look behind the curtain: Rule from the Shadows - The
Psychology of Power.
Here's an interview with a BU professor of ethics about
the two Spokane-based psychologists who were paid $80 million to
develop and carry out the CIA's torture program.
An Oxford philosopher argues that we are not
adequately accounting for technology's risks: We're
underestimating the risk of human extinction.
Media ignores tens of thousands of people marching
against police brutality.
The legendary x-rated
Butthole Surfers show at Danceteria.
I just found out I won first place in The
Inlander Fiction Contest. Read my story "Uncle Le-o-nard's
Perplexing Exit" in the upcoming Christmas Issue. For those of
you choking right now, let me clarify: I - the Grinch, Mr. Scrooge
- am having a Christmas story published in a Christmas issue of a
decent mag. It's no less than a Christmas miracle, my friends. Tiny
Tim, your dead goose is on the way.
had to take our entry to the NYC 100 Hour Film Race offline until
the judging. The Dairy Heirs will be back for viewing on 1/1/15.
Congress passes bill granting
the executive branch unlimited access to citizens' private
bill. The Senate slipped in Sec. 309 without House
Here's the Vice News interview with James Mitchell, the
Spokane-based architect of the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Program.
The Democracy Now story from 2009: How
a team of psychologists in Spokane, WA, helped develop the CIA's
John Stewart on
the torture report.
It's said that fairy tales are at the roots of
fiction. Perhaps, but
scholars cant' even agree on what constitutes a fairy tale.
The astonishingly incompetent superhero
art of Fletcher Hanks.
How the Victorians
imagined the future.
weapons developed by Japan during World War II.
I hope I had some influence on this (see below).
Here's my friend Chef Dave's Craigslist ad from Salt Lake City: Line
Cooks that Don't Suck.
Eighty million dollars was paid
to a Spokane firm for "enhanced interrogation" (i.e.,
abuses from the CIA torture report.
entire CIA torture report.
The only CIA agent jailed for the torture program is
the whistleblower who confirmed its existence.
game is rigged: Why Americans keep losing to the police state.
Bradbury on writing,
emotion vs. intelligence, and the core of creativity.
Why growing numbers of pot smokers eat
mango before lighting up.
[Had to take this offline until 1/1/15.]
Here's our entry to the NYC
100 Hour Film Race:
Deadline for the 100 Hour Film Race is at 9pm
tonight. Jesse is editing as we speak (or whatever it is we're
doing). In the meanwhile...
I unwound from intense filmmaking by listening to the
many different versions of the song
It's Cold Outside."
So far my favorite is this from the 1949 musical romantic comedy Neptune's
Daughter with a version by Ricardo
Montalban and Ester Williams, and another with Betty
Garrett & Red Skelton, with the roles reversed. In the same
spirit of nostalgia, here's Mae
West and Rock Hudson, where Mae blows it at the end and no one
cares. And I really like this version by Lady
Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (whereupon I was distracted by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing The
Lady is a Tramp).
Zooey Deschanel sings
it in the shower in the movie Elf.
Here's a version with someone
tap dancing the "wolf" part. And there's this fun animation by She
& Him. And this in French.
These are good. But they're only audio:
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis
Ray Charles & Nina Simone
"That's a wrap" - the greatest words
I spent half of yesterday hustling a
shooting location with
Jesse. We finally gained access to a beautiful, elegant Victorian-style
house on Summit Boulevard. There a wonderful elderly lady graciously
gave us her keys and said to lock up when we're done checking it
out. She forgot
to inform us, though, that her even more elderly husband was still in house
and not privy to the knowledge of our presence. Imagine his
The other half of the day we finalized the script.
Nothing too definite as we're working with four very talented actors
in the principle roles, whose improvising would undoubtedly be
better than anything we could write.
(I'm purposely not mentioning names, trying to build
suspense, and hoping you'll watch the finished product.)
Yesterday (or was it the day before?), we sat down
with three of the principal actors and our hair/makeup person (who
was one of the major driving forces, and who came up with an hilarious title). It was an uncommon joy to watch this
crew hash out the characters and their motivations.
Today we shoot.
The game is afoot!
Here are the parameters for the 100 Hour Film Race:
Theme: A Secret
Prop: Whipped Cream
If you're like me, you had to immediately disqualify
your first idea.
The NYC 100
Hour Film Race begins tonight! I'll be with Jesse James
Hennessy's crew as co-writer and co-producer. Jesse has assembled a
bodaciously talented group of actors from stage and screen. This could be
The Film Race is an international competition that
challenges filmmakers to create short films (5 minutes and 30
seconds max.) in 100 hours. Filmmakers are e-mailed a
theme, prop, and action and have 100 hours to write, shoot, edit,
and upload an original short film.
This is the same outfit that runs the 24
Hour Film Race, where this summer we placed in the top 24
finalists - out of a worldwide field of hundreds of entries - with
our film A Drink in the Dark.
Well, the Great Craigslist Debacle just gets better
My preliminary investigation suggests that there was
only one complaint about my demonic Craigslist ads (see below). But,
get this: the complaint came from someone at Northern Quest
That's right. Somebody from the gambling hall was
morally indignant about my classified ad. (It wasn't Miss
Kitty, was it? Or one of the other saloon girls?)
Still, I'm trying not to judge. Let's remember that
the Roman soldiers, when dividing up the personal effects of
crucified Jesus, had the good sense to gamble for Christ's robe so
they wouldn't have to tear such an obviously fine fabric.
Oh, by the way, I had "professional ads"
on Craigslist for a week before the Ad-From-Hell incident. No one
responded. Yesterday we had nearly 30 applicants.
I was forced to remove two employment want ads that
I put on Craigslist because of "many complaints,"
presumably from customers.
One ad was for Prep Cook:
The restaurant is looking for a prep cook.
Duties include prepping stuff. Minimum wage to start but quick
raises if you're not stoned or stupid.
Special bonus consideration if you can explain the purpose of a
Below the ad I included the photo from the 12/1/14
post below of the people falling off of a cliff into the pits of
The other ad was for Dishwasher:
The restaurant is looking for a dishwasher.
Duties include washing dishes. Must be able to endure occasional
boredom punctuated by long periods of surrealism and horror.
I included the lead photo from 12/1/14
of the man in flames.
They were obviously jokes for the type of people who
work these kinds of jobs: young people, punk rockers, pot heads, and
other pariahs and ne'er-do-wells, people who still have a
sense of humor.
I can assure you that everyone who complained has
never endured a shift in our dish pit. Ask someone who has. They'll
tell you my description is right on.
If I offended you, I couldn't be happier.
The first shot of Apocalypse Now is obsessed over by
many directors. It's
the sound, yo.
If atheism grew out of Judeo-Christian tradition, what
does atheism mean in a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist context?
Twain on plagiarism
and originality, in a letter to Helen
Hell has changed over the years, from a place of
stillness to one of fiery torment to gaudy satire. It
all depends on what sells.
How every part of American life became
a police matter.
one who has ever given a TED
talk has ever gotten laid.
Dear evangelicals: You're
China is planning to build a canal across Nicaragua.
want to stop it with force.
The timeline of human evolution: From
cell with nucleus to Einstein.
This 19th Century Japanese
folk tale still inspires UFO believers.
A journalism student shreds
the case against Mike Brown.
Some people can hold their breath for five minutes,
others barely one. The
trick is rather surprising.
Continue your journey through recent archives of OtherSpokane:
'14 * November
August '14 -
September '14 * May - July '14
April '14 * September -
December '13 * April - August
- March '13 * Dec
'12 - Jan '13
Oct - Nov '12
* July - Sept
'12 * Jan
- June '12
* And beyond...
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