"I didn't realize I was playing a chess game for my life with the FBI. They were playing chess, and I was off finger-painting in the corner." Rick Wilson, an occasional activist who liked to throw after-hours parties in his Capitol Hill apartment, was the target of an intricate and costly 2-year long undercover sting operation led by the Seattle Police Department and the FBI. Their goal; to get Rick to reveal his ties to eco-terrorism groups and two of the more progressive city council members. (Members who have encourage increased oversight of the SPD) The only problem, there were no such ties. [more inside]
This kite-aerial photography (KAP) gallery flies through Seattle, NW Washington, Peace Arch, and a Burning Man festival. [more inside]
"Anybody else give up the use of their left side for Lent?" Carl Warmenhoven, the owner of a Seattle's Comedy Underground had a stroke -- and two weeks later does a stand-up routine about it. [SLYT, via SLOG]
Thanks to long rainy days and a lot of funky global culture and cross-pollination, Seattle has long been known as an epicenter of music and related creativity where people riff off of each other and freely beg, borrow and steal ideas. But how incestuous is it, really? Who has collaborated with whom? Played gigs together? Worked on albums together? Exactly how complicated is the Seattle music scene? It's so complicated that it needs a map - the Seattle Band Map. Via Wired.
Fusing the energy of hardcore with the wall of sound of Detroit hard rock, Denver's The Fluid was the first non-Seattle band signed to Sub Pop Records. Particularly acclaimed for their live shows, Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks compared a performance of the five-piece to seeing the Stooges in their heyday. After breaking up in 1993, they reunited in 2008. Fluid guitarist Rick Kulwicki (who was also a founding member of Denver’s groundbreaking hardcore band the Frantix) died this week at 49. [more inside]
Lead Pencil Studio is an architecture+art collaboration between Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, based in Seattle. Featured last month in FastCoDesign: Billboard advertising clean air. Lots of Google links to their work. [Main site = mildly annoying interface YMMV]
Evil doers beware! An actual costumed avenger is patrolling the streets of Seattle. Maybe he'd like a few tips. Or maybe a few villians
Want to get to that town in the next state on the cheap? Sure, there's Greyhound, but it's hardly a bargain at $32 for a journey from Seattle to Portland. When you really need to save the cash, use Epic Transit Journeys wiki to plot your route entirely on local transit carriers, allowing you to get to Stumptown for only $11.50 and a paltry five transfers. For a truly epic journey, cross international borders for the trip to Vancouver, BC, which includes a lovely 2.9 mi stroll across the border. Oran Viriyincy's travelogue of this trip includes lots of photos of buses and trains, and the border official's shocked reaction.
Worldchanging Bright Green Future City - Alex Steffen sits down with the mayors of Portland and Seattle to talk about
which is better the 'future city' and the confluence of urbanization, social justice and environmental change, not to mention political pushback amid high unemployment and cultural inertia.
In 2008, residents of Seattle began to hear a very different kind of radio program on their AM dial, for three hours every weeknight. That show was Too Beautiful To Live. Much of the joy of the program is getting to know the hosts, and discovering whether or not the show survives, so I won't spoil it for you. You can start by listening to the First Show, or enter any weekday since Jan. 7, 2008, into the "Browse by date:" search box on the First Show webpage. If that's not enough motivation to start listening, here are some favorite episodes: Interview with John Hodgman, Interview with Garfunkel and Oates, Interview with Wil Wheaton, Ross Dress for Less, Broke as a Joke in Seattle, Drunk People are So Meta, Interview with S.E. Hinton, Interview with Adam Carolla.
462 feet above Seattle, a family has transformed the top of the Smith Tower into their rather fantastic residence. Slideshow here. [more inside]
8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
The International Conservation Photography Awards is the creation of Seattle, Washington-based photographer Art Wolfe: "We wanted to provide a platform from which photographers both amateur and professional alike could showcase their work in a very prestigious way. We love the idea of championing the cause of preservation and nature through the medium of photography." Winning imagery from the 2010 awards can be viewed in person at the Burke Museum in Seattle, or online here, which includes excellent slideshows of wildlife, underwater life and distinguished photographs (requires Flash support).
Kinktrepeneur, former evangelical missionary, and “Rent-a-meanie” the Twisted Monk: "I guess is some ways, I’m finally fulfilling the calling I had when I was a kid and being that evangelist, changing the world one bedroom at a time." ... [most links contain no nudity but might be NSFW anyway] [more inside]
Artist Ray Troll (previously 1, 2) and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, the self-described "paleo-nerd duo", have been working as a team ever since they took a road trip across the American West in search of fossils. In 2007, the pair published the book Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway based on those travels. Most recently, they have collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth Nesbitt at the Burke Museum (previously) in Seattle to produce a traveling exhibit by the same name. [more inside]
Do you like musical instruments with lots of keyboards? And lots and lots of dials? Then you may like 36 15 MOOG: Stuff with Moog and/or 60's and 70's vintage synths in it. (related Ask MeFi) [more inside]
Ride the City maps the best or safest urban bicycle route from point A to B. Presently featuring multi-lingual maps from New York, Chicago, Austin, Louisville, San Diego, and Seattle. Their blog posts updates about new cities added to the grid, or other topics relating to urban bicycling.
The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew. - Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge.
Why are people like Isaiah Kalebu—people diagnosed with serious psychological problems and accused of violent crimes—allowed to remain free until trial? [more inside]
Technology innovation will be a large part of late 20th century American history. Now the gearheads can explore the roots of all that geekdom. The Geek's Guide to Seattle is a virtual tour of some of the region’s most interesting and notable technology locations. A Geek's Tour of Silicon Valley hits hotspots there. Don't forget The Tech Museum and the Computer History Museum. Back east, there's Research Triangle Park (pdf) in North Carolina, and The Computing Revolution at the Museum of Science in Boston.
To clarify the "incident" at my Seattle signing. NSFW! - artist Alex Pardee deals with some crazy shit. (via)
A well-dressed man wakes up in a Seattle city park. He has $600 in his sock and no memory of who he is or how he got there. He is fluent in English, French and German and has an apparent deep knowledge of European cultural history. He seems to have traveled the world. And he says he is a widower. Doctors suspect he is not faking it but they don’t know how to help. Police are stumped as well. [more inside]
Concept proposals for Seattle's Space Needle. More sketches and images, from the University of Washington's image database. Erecting The Needle, a four-part series about the Space Needle's construction: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, with a picture of the rarely-seen gas-flame beacon in action. And this morning, the Space Needle was briefly for sale!
Waterlines is a new online exhibit from the excellent Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle. It tells the story of the land underlying Seattle, one of the United States' most geologically active city sites, and of the human attempts to engineer this landform. Closely related are the archaeology of West Point and Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound (e.g., read the story of North Wind and Storm Wind).
Seattle bus riders rejoice! From the Univ. of WA comes One Bus Away which answers the eternal public transit question "where the hell is my freaking bus??" With six flavors of awesome, you can get real-time bus arrival info. via phone, website, SMS, an iPhone-optimized webpage, or for those us still rocking the un-smart phones there's even a text-only webpage available.
"The newsroom collectively screamed—via a chain of famous quotes with not too subtle undertones that staffers e-mailed out to the all-staff list. We designated a dog as the employee of the month." An Insider's View: The Strange Final Days Of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There's a loss of dignity when you lose your job. Those who stayed at the online PI faced a different indignity. And what to do with thousands of newspaper racks. [more inside]
The Seattle P-I is known for its in depth, epic, investigative reports. As the print edition closes down this week here is a look at one report that made the PI great: The Health of the Puget Sound. [more inside]
15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop Caught on Camera. 15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop. Not surprisingly the cop's lawyer didn't want this video published.
Amidst The Ghosts Of Its Fallen Figures: With the 20th anniversary of the Seattle scene's insurgence fast approaching, Exclaim! follows the timeline of Mark Lanegan, the scene's poetic misfit. [more inside]
Seattle area gay bars received a very strange and threatening letter yesterday. Dan Savage believes it might have been sent by a gay person. Here is Savage's first post about the letter.
More catcam goodness (previously on Mefi). Cooper the cat roams his Seattle neighborhood. Via Phinneywood, an excellent neighborhood blog about the Greenwood and Phinney neighborhoods in Seattle. [more inside]
Rejoice! There are Seattle World's Fair 1962 images, advertisements for the Gayway (which became Fun Forest) section of the attraction, racy construction shots and postcards. [more inside]
Matt Cameron gained a lot of respect early on in the Seattle grunge scene, particularly for his ability to make odd time signatures feel like straight time. Over the years he kept time for Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Temple of the Dog, and his own Wellwater Conspiracy. Since 1998 he's played with the last men standing of the Seattle heavyweights, though it's a little known fact that he recorded drums on the original pre-Vedder demo. In the 8 years between, Pearl Jam had a few other drummers of note sit in. [more inside]
"He's always thinking about lots of things — he's a pollinator, he brings ideas to the table" You probably know Neal Stephenson for his work as an author (generally in or adjacent to the Science Fiction genre), but he's also an inventor at Washington based "Idea Factory" Intellectual Ventures, a place with modern goals like stomping out malaria and preventing hurricanes. This is after his old job as part-time rocket scientist.
The University of Washington has put a collection of Vietnam War era printed ephemera (posters, flyers, pamphlets, magazines, mostly cheap mimeographs or photocopies) online. The browsable collection ranges from Defend the Black Panthers to How to Make a Revolution in the U.S. to the Planetary Citizen Human Manifesto to plain old Do Something. The collection offers a fascinating insight into the passion, energy and graphic sensibilities of grassroots, home-front politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Seattle. [more inside]
From New York City to Seattle, Critical Mass cyclists are not having a good week. In Seattle, some question the motivations of Critical Mass, some report conflicting stories, while others suggest foul play.
The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made. "The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made was shot at the Moore theater in Seattle in 1992. The oddball cousin of Seattle's grunge music scene, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow mixed vintage sideshow acts with novel stunts never before seen. Previously available only on VHS tape or DVD, this mind-blowing collection of feats of human daring is now available online in six parts for your viewing pleasure: 1 2 3 4 5 6 As an added bonus, watch as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam participates." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Goodbye Seattle! Hello Oklahoma! Get ready for the NBA's newest team, the Oklahoma City SuperSonics! Whither Seattle basketball? Methinks not.
"What the autistic 12-year-old can't express verbally or in social interaction he can show through his carefully cut out geometric shapes assembled into characters in a paper collage."
Nearly 20 years later, after several major delays, Seattle Chinese Garden is nearing a milestone: the completion of the Knowing The Spring Courtyard. Free guided tours are offered at 10AM on the second Saturday of each month until October. According to the tour guide, 22 artisans from Chongqing, Seattle's sister city, are working on the project, which will open on August 8th. (To be clear, there is also a construction company involved.) If you can't make it in person, you can pay a virtual visit anytime (PST daylight recommended). [more inside]
"I love reading your letters—I do. But I couldn't get into it. I just don't have a column in me this week." A sweet, sad eulogy from columnist Dan Savage.