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RANDOM LINKS FOR 11/20/12
Nov 20th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

steven h. robinson, shorelineareanews.com

  • After 82 years, Parker’s Ballroom on Aurora in Shoreline was demolished this month. Also known over the years as the Aquarius Tavern and Parker’s Casino, it originally opened as a naughty out-of-town “roadhouse” on the then-new highway from Seattle to Everett. The 20,000 square foot room (with no supporting posts inside) was a rollicking big-band venue during the swing years, then a major rock club hosting everyone from the Fabulous Wailers and the Sonics to Heart. It was a cardroom and sports bar most recently, closing earlier this year. If any attempt was made to save it, I haven’t heard of it. The site’s rumored next use: a car lot.
  • KPTK-AM, aka “Seattle’s Progressive Talk AM 1090,” goes off the air the day after New Year’s. The station’s owned by the CBS Radio Stations Group. CBS has its own sports talk network in the works, and is “flipping” many of its AM outlets to make room for it. There’s already a “Save Progressive Talk” page on Facebook.
  • SeattlePI.com Shrinkage Watch: Amy Rolph, most recent curator of the site’s “Big Blog,” is quitting to take an editorial post at MSN.com. PI.com still hasn’t replaced the last five people who left.
  • The Lava Lounge, Belltown’s hip hangout bar since ’95, might or might not be sold within the next month or so, and might or might not be closing shortly after that.
  • A homeless camp isn’t the place you want to be even when it’s not flooding.
  • Hostess Update: Labor arbitration might save the venerable cake and bread maker as a going concern. Of course, that would leave the company’s “vulture capitalism” bosses in charge to keep increasing their own wages while cutting everyone else’s (and crippling the company’s ability to compete or even operate). However, a rival capital/buyout firm says it wants to take over Hostess, and keep its union workers.
  • So let’s get this straight: Hope Solo, Olympic soccer star whose late dad often lived on the streets downtown, marries Jerramy Stevens, ex-UW and Seahawks football player with a history of sexual and other assault allegations—including a charge of domestic violence involving Solo herself. I’m not the only one hoping there’s no more drama in this story.
  • The tiny town of Gold Bar, Snohomish County, may “disincorporate.”
  • We now have the first vague idea what a new Sonics Arena might look like. It’ll look like a modern arena.
  • Christy Wampole submitted an NY Times essay about “How to Live Without Irony.” Only she seems to completely misunderstand what irony even is. I could call that ironic but won’t.
  • Sure enough, as soon as I plug one Kickstarter fundraiser on this site, I get folks asking me to plug their Kickstarter fundraisers also. This time, it’s a solo CD by venerable Red Dress singer Gary Minkler. He describes it as “contorted, gospel-rooted Americana (the broad definition), lyrically akin to American Modernist poetry sensibilities, shaped like cartoons but deadly serious.”
  • Local web-comix legend The Oatmeal explains what “being a content creator” is like (well, other than the part where everyone wants you to do everything for free).

RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/26/12
Aug 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlanticwire.com

  • Microsoft’s new logo is so highly appropriate. They’re literally proclaiming themselves to be a bunch of perfect squares!
  • Parker’s Casino and Sports Bar, the legendary Aurora Avenue roadhouse (once known as the Aquarius Tavern) where everyone from Paul Revere and the Raiders to Heart got their starts, has been gutted and may be demolished.
  • Thirty-eight percent of Seattle homeowners still have “underwater” mortgages.
  • James Fogle, 1937-2012: The Drugstore Cowboy author spent three quarters of his life behind bars, for robberies fueled by a lifelong drug habit. Never learned any better way to live.
  • Beloit College’s annual list of things today’s college frosh don’t know about includes such expected fading memories as VHS tapes, film cameras, car radios, The Godfather, and printed airline tickets. SeattlePI.com’s Big Blog adds that today’s 18-year-olds never personally experienced the Frederick & Nelson department store, the career of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and The Far Side comic strip.
  • Also mostly forgotten: the fact that Belltown’s American Lung Association building, finally razed for a high-rise apartment complex following years of ownership squabbles, was once the regional office of Burroughs Computer. In honor of that connection, the tower’s topping-off ceremony ought to include a reading from Naked Lunch.
  • Today’s Scrabble-related crime story comes to you from Kamloops, B.C.
  • Item: “All nine people injured during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were wounded by gunfire from the two officers.” Comment: So much for the idea that all you need to stop people with guns is more people with guns.
  • A HuffPost blogger claims “straight identifying” guys are having more gay sex than out-gay guys.
  • The “indie” music site Pitchfork Media posted a reader poll of top all-time favorite recordings. Almost all of them were by white guys (even more predominantly so than Pitchfork’s own coverage range of acts).
  • The late founder of the San Diego ComiCon was quietly outed. Very quietly.
  • The tiny, India-designed “car that runs on compressed air” is not really pollution-free. You need energy to power air compressors. Usually electric power. Power that’s often generated from coal or oil or plutonium.
  • Only in Putin’s Russia could there be such a wholesale rehab of the Stalin legacy.
  • On a “radical left” U.S. website, a Russian writer bashes Pussy Riot for being anti-populist, anti-Christian, in it just for the money, and led by (wait for it)… a Jew.
  • The Campaign, that comedy movie previously mentioned here in regard to its stars’ Pike Place Market promo fiasco, turns out to be a bold and broad satire of today’s corporate-bully-controlled politics.
  • Today’s rant against “the Fanatical GOP” comes to you courtesy of Robert Reich.…
  • …while Lindy West thoroughly demolishes a National Review writer’s quasi-homoerotic ode to Mitt Romney’s alleged masculine prowess.
  • Carlos Castaneda: Author. Guru. New Age legend. Harem keeper. Manipulator. Liar. Fraud.
  • As I keep telling you, right-wingnuts actually do read books. They read wingnut books. A lot of wingnut books, it turns out.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/3/12
Aug 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

google earth via rhizome.org

  • Clement Valla at Rhizome.org finds beauty and “the universal texture” within the mistakes of Google Earth’s 3D geographical simulations.
  • The musicians’ union would like to create “sustainable” opportunities for local club bands (i.e., gigs with decent pay). Considering how fiscally precarious so many bars and clubs are, this may be a challenge.
  • Amy Rolph at SeattlePI.com, trolling for weird items on Amazon to laff at, found a CD of “lullaby renditions of Nirvana songs.” Rolph calls the electronically-rendered music “creepy.” I call it more like a failed attempt to update the shtick of Raymond Scott’s old Soothing Sounds for Baby LPs.
  • It’s not that “oldies” music is selling more these days. It’s that present-day music is selling less.
  • When classic films meet know-nothing online reviewers, magic happens.
  • Apple has again become the world’s #1 personal-computer maker, if you count iPads as computers.
  • At last, a new job in this town that doesn’t require programming experience. It’s the making of fake poop, to demonstrate new third-world toilet designs for the Gates Foundation.
  • Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet believes today’s Republicans are “a truly toxic aberration,” an outfit that can only win elections by voter-suppression and other dirty tricks.
  • The “future of news” gurus have long claimed that media companies only needed to hustle for all the web hits they could get, and ad revenue would naturally follow. That’s turning out to not be the case; especially with tablet and smartphone users.
  • Here’s one Russian guy’s idea of how humans could live forever, for just $50 billion in startup costs:
  1. First, invent remote-controlled, humanoid robots.
  2. The next generation of the robots would contain transplanted human brains.
  3. By the year 2045, people’s memories and personalities would be transferred as software into robotic brains. (As we always say with stories like this, “Nothing can possibly go wrong….”)
RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/2/12
Jun 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • More remembrances of the Cafe Racer shooting victims come from the blog of Georgetown bar 9 Lb. Hammer and from 14-year-old Sam David, whose parents Marlow Harris and Jo David curate Racer’s “Official Bad Art Museum of Art” permanent exhibit.
  • Memorials and benefit shows for the surviving victim and the families of the deceased victims continue to be scheduled and put together at a rapid pace. They include a service at St. Mark’s and a jazz jam outside the cafe, both on Sunday evening.
  • What the 1 Percent do in their free time: Ex-Microsoft bigwig Nathan Myhrvold has got his own whole newly-created cooking genre. It’s called “Modernist Cuisine,” and it’s got a professional staff, a huge six-volume manual, plus a best-of cookbook for home use.
  • The several people who’ve left SeattlePI.com in the past year have, to a person, declined to comment on the understaffed “online newspaper” or why they left it. Until now. Cartoonist-columnist David Horsey, now syndicated thru the L.A. Times, has written a “future of news” piece in which he mentions his ex-employer, and implies that that site has become a “click whore.”
  • The reason news sites behave so desperately to gain every single “page view” is that ad revenues per page view are low and getting lower. Meanwhile, Michael Wolff says any fiscal hope for ad-supported content sites is about to implode and soon. The immediate culprit, according to Wolff, is Facebook, with its vast “inventory” of spaces and its investor expectations. But he claims that even without Facebook leading a race to the bottom,

…the value of digital ads decreases every quarter, a consequence of their simultaneous ineffectiveness and efficiency. The nature of people’s behavior on the Web and of how they interact with advertising, as well as the character of those ads themselves and their inability to command real attention, has meant a marked decline in advertising’s impact.…

I don’t know anyone in the ad-Web business who isn’t engaged in a relentless, demoralizing, no-exit operation to realign costs with falling per-user revenues, or who isn’t manically inflating traffic to compensate for ever-lower per-user value.

SEATTLE TIMES SHRINKAGE WATCH
May 1st, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

The latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures are in for the six months ending in March.

They show the Seattle Times‘ circulation continuing a steady decline, to 237,000 daily and 300,000 on Sunday. That’s 6.6 percent lower than one year ago.

What’s more, each figure includes about 30,000 paid subscribers to the Times‘ print-replica .pdf edition (the only paid online product the Times offers so far).

So the daily print Times is now beneath 206,000 buyers. That’s just a few thousand more than it had in 2009, when it added the P-I‘s former subscribers. (Back in 2000, the Times and P-I had a combined circulation of 400,000.)

Elsewhere in the report, the NY Times now has more paid online readers than print readers.

SEATTLE TIMES SHRINKAGE WATCH
Mar 28th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Today’s lesson in why traditional websites can’t support professional local news begins at a blog called Seattle Media Maven.

It’s run as a moonlighting project by Maureen Jeude, who’s got a day job in the Seattle Times’ “strategic marketing research” department. While the blog is her own endeavor, Jeude often uses it to tout the Times and its online ventures.

Thusly, Jeude ran a piece last month plugging the Times‘ website as one of the top local media sites in the nation. She posts stats and a graph showing the site garnering about 1 million page views per day (twice that of the local runner-up, KING5.com), and 1 million unique visitors per month.

This means each Times online reader reads an average of just one article a day.

Further, if each of the 240,000 Times print buyers (not counting “pass along” readership) read only the average four stories on each edition’s front page, that alone would essentially match the Times’ online readership.

And that online readership is the 16th biggest of any U.S. newspaper.

•

Elsewhere in medialand, three research studies in the past year (by A.C. Nielsen, the FCC, and Pew Research) each purport that news sites comprise only a small percentage of total Web traffic, and that local news sites comprise only a small percentage of that.

One industry analyst, Tom Grubisich, says the studies fatally discount the role of links and summaries of news sites’ stories on other sites such as Facebook.

Another analyst, Joshua Benton, insists that news sites’ readerships make up in community influence what they lack in sheer numbers.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/28/12
Mar 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • The local progressive organizing group Fuse Washington has put up The Slanted Times,  a spot-on jibe at our local really-conservative-but-pretending-to-be-centrist monopoly daily. Why bother? Because, as the anonymous authors put it…

The Seattle Times editorial board advocates for the rich and powerful in Washington state every day. They have used their editorial page to attack any proposal that would lay a finger on the 1% or their expansive stock portfolios. At the same time, they do their best to ensure kids, seniors, and low-income families absorb billions in budget cuts year after year.

  • Meanwhile, Hugo Kugiya at Crosscut explores territories we’ve traipsed through lately—the steady decline of SeattlePI.com, in terms of staffing and quantity of compelling content. A newsroom that needs to get bigger is instead getting smaller. And the site’s whole premise of “anything for page views” is dumb and unproductive. It needs new blood at the top, to reorganize it into a full service local news source—or as close to one as chintzy web advertisers will support. In the long term, it needs to become a strong enough “brand” that it could eventually command a subscription price, at least in web-app and tablet form. In the short term, that will require investing in the site’s content beyond what web ads, alone and in their current form, can pay for. If Hearst won’t do it, they should turn the brand over to local operators who will.
  • Seattle Central Community College administrators tried to craft new campus-use policies, specifically to ban Occupy Seattle from coming back. The college brass tried to rush the new rules through while the college was on spring break, and fewer students (and pro-Occupy faculty) would be around to speak out. That tactic has failed. A full schedule of hearings will be held.
  • It turns out the right-wing sleaze machine does have one use for African American voters—as a tactical “wedge” in anti-gay-marriage campaigns.
  • Libertarian Wet Dreams Dept.: BitTorrent search site The Pirate Bay says it’s looking into ways to operate outside the reach of the copyright police, even by running server computers inside unpiloted drone airplanes. All this impractical tech, just so doodz can keep downloading free video games and porn?
THREE YEARS AFTER
Mar 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

p-i carriers, 1942; mohai/seattlehistory.org

Three years ago Saturday, the print Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last issue.

There’s still a P-I sized hole in the regional info-scape.

SeattlePI.com doesn’t even partly fill it.

What’s worse, that site is shrinking when it should be growing.

From 20 journalists and “producers” at its launch as a stand-alone operation, it’s now down to 12.

•

The way I figure it, a local mainstream news operation here would need about 40 editorial full-timers to come close to comprehensively covering the community and to producing a thorough, compelling daily product:

  • 12 general news reporters;
  • 2 opinion columnists/guest-column editors;
  • 4 business reporters;
  • 7 arts and entertainment reporters;
  • 7 sports reporters;
  • 3 photographers;
  • 4 shift editors (“producers” in web-speak); and
  • 1 editor in chief (“executive producer”).

This also happens to be close to the reporting staff numbers of today’s Tacoma News Tribune.

•

I can say it would be nice to have a bigger, fuller PI.com site.

But can I reasonably ask Hearst New Media to front that kind of money, considering the site’s probably not profitable at its current budget (and considering the money Hearst’s probably losing at its still-extant newspaper and magazine properties)?

I believe I can.

Even though I believe web ads will never come close to supporting a local site of the size I’m talking about (or, really, much professional journalism period).

That’s because online content won’t always be tied to the ugly, inefficient, insufficient genre known as the commercial website.

I’m talking about tablet apps, Kindle/Nook editions, HTML 5-based web apps.

Products that bring back the concept of the “newspaper” as a whole unified thing, not just individual text and directory pages.

Products whose ad space can be sold on the basis of their entire readership, not just individual page views.

Products that could even command a subscription price.

A renewed P-I would be the perfect vehicle to test and refine this concept.

And Seattle is the perfect place to do it.

And if Hearst doesn’t want to, let’s get together some of our own town’s best n’ brightest to do it instead.

Let’s make a news org that wouldn’t just be a “corrective” to the Seattle Times‘ square suburban worldview, but would present a fully expressed alternative worldview.

A site that lives and breathes Seattle.

That tells the city’s stories to itself.

That shows how this could be done in other towns and cities.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/6/12
Mar 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

crosscut.com

  • Ex Seattle First Brother Bob Royer looks back at one of the city’s first prominent newspaperwomen. Fun fact: In the late 1930s, the Seattle Times had six people working in the “society” section; an expense more than made up by the amount of “women’s” oriented advertising in the section. Speaking of which….
  • The P-I globe will remain standing, somewhere. That’s nice. But it’s not just the globe that I’d wanted preserved. Speaking of which….
  • Newspapers are losing $7 in print ad revenue for every $1 they gain in online ad revenue. This is from a Pew Research study. The study’s authors claim papers “need to prioritize digital ad revenues” in order to survive. But what if that’s still not nearly enough? The study cites a “success story” of a small paper (20,000 print circ.) that’s now making $670,000 a year online, compared to $8 million from print ads. That doesn’t look like a bright future to me.
  • The new Miss Seattle used to be a Miss Phoenix. Last December she Tweeted® how she “Ugh can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.” She has since apologized.
  • Could liquor privatization in Wash. state really get derailed by a court challenge on techinical issues in the original initiative?
  • Repercussions continue from Friday night’s Republican coup in the state Senate. The all-cuts budget they rushed through, with the help of three turncoat conserva-Dems but with no public hearings, turns out to hurt K-12 education and devastate services for the neediest.
  • Also, the GOP’s parliamentary trickery doomed about 20 non-budget bills from the state House, which died because the Senate didn’t take action on them by midnight Friday.
  • Meanwhile, the national Republicans, becoming shriller and stupider every week, have firmly (and probably fatally) tied their fate to the aging, non-college-educated, white male demographic. And they’re “appealing” to this last remaining constituency by treating them like idiots.
  • Oh, and the even more batshit-n’-bigoted than ever Limbaugh? He’s lost a third of his ratings in the last few years. (However, some of that loss can be attributed to more accurate means of measuring radio listenership.) But in any event, the right wing “outrage machine,” which includes Limbaugh and his many imitators, may have finally become too petty and brutal for its own good.
  • Besides, there’s a problem with trying to bring sexuality and women’s lives back to what they were in the 1950s. It wasn’t working then either. As local author Stephanie Coontz points out, “Teenage childbearing peaked in the fabulous family-oriented 1950s.”
  • The GOP-controlled U.S. House is pushing through a bill that would crack down on protests anywhere a federal official might be present. At least, that’s what a worst-case interpretation of its “imprecise language” might infer.
  • We know the 9/11 bombers came from Saudi Arabia. But did the Saudi regime itself collude in the attack? Two former U.S. Senators say maybe.
  • A megarich hedge fund manager write lucidly about the failures of capitalism in regard to preserving a sustainable society.
  • What if crossword puzzle editors wrote poetry?
  • Finally, here is a handy pie chart of “excuses conservatives make when facts prove them wrong“:

THE DOT-COM EQUIVALENT OF THIRD AND LONG
Jan 20th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Ex P-I sportswriters Art Thiel and Steve Rudman started SportsPress Northwest a little over a year ago. It boasted a professional, fully staffed sports reporting team.

Since then, the realities of ad-dependent content sites have dug in.

From an initial slate of nine writers, the site now lists only Thiel, Rudman, and local sports historian Dave Eskenazi.

Game summaries are taken from KING-TV, in a reciprocal linking arrangement.

It’s not Thiel and Rudman’s fault; SportsPress’s content was top-quality from the start.

It’s the web-content business model (not so much “broken” as never properly “built” in the first place).

FROM THE INSIDE OUT, AND BACK AGAIN
Jan 7th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

A few days late but always a welcome sight, it’s the yummy return of the annual MISCmedia In/Out List.

As always, this listing denotes what will become hot or not-so-hot during the next year, not necessarily what’s hot or not-so-hot now. If you believe everything big now will just keep getting bigger, I can score you a cheap subscription to News of the World.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
Reclaiming Occupying
Leaving Afghanistan Invading Iran
Chrome OS Windows 8
The Young Turks Piers Morgan Tonight
Ice cream Pie
Bringing back the P-I (or something like it) Bringing back the Sonics (this year)
Community Work It
Obama landslide “Conservatalk” TV/radio (at last)
Microdistilleries Store-brand liquor
Fiat Lexus
World’s Fair 50th anniversary Beatles 50th anniversary
TED.com FunnyOrDie.com
Detroit Brooklyn
State income tax (at last) All-cuts budgets
Civilian space flight Drones
Tubas Auto-Tune (still)
Home fetish dungeons “Man caves”
Tinto Brass Mario Bava
Greek style yogurt Smoothies
Card games Kardashians
Anoraks “Shorts suits”
Electric Crimson Tangerine Tango
Michael Hazanavicius (The Artist) Guy Ritchie
Stories about the minority struggle Stories about noble white people on the sidelines of the minority struggle
(actual) Revolutions The Revolution (ABC self-help talk show)
Kristen Wiig Kristen Stewart
“Well and truly got” “Pwned”
Glow-in-the-dark bicycles (seen in a BlackBerry ad) BlackBerry
Color print-on-demand books Printing in China
Ye-ye revival Folk revival
Interdependence Individualism
Hedgehogs Hedge funds
Erotic e-books Gonzo porn
Michael Fassbender Seth Rogan
Sofia Vergara Megan Fox
3D printing 3D movies (still)
Sex “Platonic sex”
Love “Success”
“What the what?” “Put a bird on it”
AS THE GLOBE TURNS
Jan 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

There’s more turnover at SeattlePI.com. The site’s “executive producer” Michelle Nicolosi is leaving to start her own outfit, an e-book publishing imprint called Working Press.

Nicolosi had been one of only 16 names left (out of an initial 20, plus interns) on PI.com’s content staff list; and one of those, cartoonist David Horsey, has already decamped for the LA Times. Another mainstay, ace reporter Chris Grygiel, split for the Associated Press last autumn.

Website-metrics ranking company Teqpad estimated last May that PI.com was earning about $1,000 a day from online ads. If that’s true (and it could be an undercount), it would be, at most, a quarter of what the site probably needs to support its content and sales staffs.

This means online ads, by themselves, still can’t support any but the very biggest and very smallest original-content sites.

The search for a business model for 21st-century journalism continues. None of the big media conglomerates has figured it out yet (except for business-info brands like the Wall St. Journal).

Nicolosi believes one solution could be for journalistic entities to publish short, one-shot e-books, based around single specific topics.

But that’s not the same as paying for an ongoing staff keeping tabs on the big and little parts of a community’s life and times. So the search continues.

I’m actually working on my own proposed solution.

But more about that later.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/2/2012
Jan 1st, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Local news items, and my one-take comments on them, should return in greater quantity starting Wednesday. Meanwhile, some more stuff from here and from the larger online world:

  • Eric Scigliano says Seattle can’t inspire a comedy like Portlandia or the old Almost Live! because we’re no longer lovable “underdogs.” I say bah. If that were the case, there would be no great comics from New York. (Of course, a lot of New York comedy is about individual lovable underdogs trying to survive life in New York.)
  • David Goldstein gently chides SeattlePI.com’s most famous remaining employee, political commentator Joel Connelly, for suggesting that (1) Seattle liberals should be more kind and appreciative toward moderate Republicans, and that (2) moderate Republicans still exist.
  • Here’s one person who defends Village Voice Media’s sex-ad site who doesn’t work for Village Voice Media. She’s Jill Brenneman, a self described sex-workers’ advocate.
  • A blogger about “natural health and freedom” sees ordinary folks becoming more violent in ways that remind him of corporate/governmental/military brutality. He calls it “trickle down tyranny.”
  • A writer of space-opera novels pens a “private letter from genre to literature,” in which he says highbrow-lit fans should learn to appreciate the world of the bestsellers.
  • Glenn Greenwald believes that despite his racist legacy, Ron Paul still offers up some ideas progressives should listen to. As for me, a white supremacist who wants to legalize pot is still a white supremacist.
  • Mental Floss offers a list of nostalgic sounds of yesteryear—the sounds of rotary phones, manual typewriters, and TV channel selectors.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 12/20/11
Dec 19th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

I hereby promise to post more of these in the near future.

  • Update: Looks like B&O Espresso will stay open, perhaps through the bulk of next year.
  • The City Council’s trying, again, to ban plastic grocery bags. I say it’s none too soon, particularly for those awkward, flimsy Safeway bags that routinely break or spill their contents. It’s impossible to take them home on a bus and expect to get home with all one’s purchases intact.
  • SeattlePI.com’s most famous employee, political cartoonist David Horsey, is going to work for the LA Times. He’ll draw and write commentaries about the 2012 election cycle. PI.com will most likely still get to run Horsey’s work on its site. Since the demise of the print Post-Intelligencer, Horsey has seldom addressed local issues anyway, preferring to cover national topics for syndication. The upside of this move is that, just maybe, the Hearst bosses who’ve kept a tight rein on PI.com’s purse strings might reassign Horsey’s salary to beef up the site’s news staff. The site desperately needs more staff-created content to be a first-stop local news destination.
  • AT&T to T-Mobile: Let’s call the whole thing off.
  • Scientific American claims there’s evidence for the long standing portrayal of creative people as eccentric. I can assure you, however, that eccentric people are not necessarily creative.
  • Simon Mainwaring at Forbes.com claims anti-corporate fervor actually provides an opportunity for corporations to enhance their brand images, by hyping themselves as socially responsible.
  • Katha Pollitt has her own take on the late Christopher Hitchens. Among other things, she found him way short of acceptability on women’s-rights issues; even though he invoked those among his excuses for supporting Bush’s wars.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/17/11
Sep 17th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

  • At Friday’s Park(ing) Day display at the Seattle Art Museum, a videographer from a Chinese-language cable access show tapes an interview using a Flip-like digital video cam, a mini spotlight, and a small Steadicam-like camera stabilizer.
  • Former P-I book critic John Marshall is still unemployed, and writes for the Atlantic about receiving his final unemployment check.
  • The Jo-Ann Fabric store in Olympia has a Halloween crafts section. It recently had a bat in it. A real bat. With rabies.
  • A survey co-sponsored by Microsoft’s MSN.com named Seattle North America’s sixth worst-dressed city. Vancouver was #3; the top spot went to Orlando.
  • Seahawks fans this Sunday will not only face a formidable opponent on the field (the dreaded Steelers) but also extreme frisking.
  • Another gay/lesbian event, another would-be censorious program printer.
  • Pierce County: Now with 35 percent less transit.
  • Netflix: Now with higher prices and 1 million fewer customers.
  • The corruption investigation against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his inner circle turns out to have begun with comments to blog posts.
  • Why didn’t anyone tell me there’s a Barbie Video Girl doll with “a video camera embedded in her chest”? You could use it to reenact the cult film Double Agent 73!

(Remember, my big book shindig is one week from today (Sept. 24). See the top of this page for all pertinent details.)

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