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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Stik Mann's OtherSpokane and all content within
Copyright © 2015, Steven J. St.
(unless otherwise noted or as obvious
as a dead mouse in a Jell-O mold.)