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EW! A Blog.

August 8, 2007 10:53 AM

Maybe it's a little American-centric of me, but I wish, oh, I wish that when they announce the Booker Prize longlist, they'd, say, tell me which books are published in the U.S., so I don't have to go hunting through the interwebs to try to find them.

How many of these have YOU heard of? And no, having heard of the McEwan doesn't count. You ought to have heard of that one.

Darkmans by Nicola Barker (likely the British ed.; no info)
Self Help by Edward Docx (a "notify me" button at Powell's)
The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (likely the British ed.; no info)
The Gathering by Anne Enright
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Hey, I have this one!)
Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn (No results at Powell's or Amazon)
Consolation by Michael Redhill
Animal’s People by Indra Sinha (No results at Powell's or Amazon)
Winnie & Wolf by A.N.Wilson

Of course, the books' inclusion on this list means they'll probably get picked up by U.S. publishers — or, if they've already been bought but not released yet, they'll get hurried up on their way to the shelves. Good times.

August 7, 2007 01:43 PM

Via the blog of the awesome Neil Gaiman comes the story of a squirrel after my own heart:

A Finnish squirrel with a sweet tooth heads to a Finnish grocery shop at least twice a day to steal "Kinder Surprise" chocolate-shelled eggs.

Oh, Kindereggs! If only I could get you here, Kindereggs! The toys in these things are wonderful; I've got a paprazzi penguin and I used to have a many-jointed wooden mouse. As Gaiman points out, the strangest thing about this story is that the squirrel doesn't just nab the chocolate; he takes the toys too. What are the Finnish squirrels up to?

August 7, 2007 03:40 PM

Given the number of times this video has been watched (more than 11,000), I'm guessing every Eugenean who cares has already seen it, but still: this is what YouTube is for. Random snippets of three-year-old video involving comedians — one of whom will go on to be famous as an animated rat (Remy Patton Oswalt) — sitting on the patio at High Street, shootin' the shit.

August 6, 2007 12:21 PM

Speaking of bad cops, as Alan recently was, via BoingBoing comes this Yahoo! news story: Bad Thai cops to endure Kitty shame.

"Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring 'Hello Kitty,' the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday."

Maybe Eugene could try something like this ... maybe a Pokemon? A cute lil' Pikachu? Just to be different, of course. If all the bad cops worldwide are wearing the same cute kitty, they might start to feel solidarity with one another.

August 3, 2007 04:06 PM

Beam development, the Portland firm that has proposed a local-focused historic restoration of the Center Court and Washburne buildings in downtown Eugene has won kudos for a similar project in its home town.
As part of its "Best of Portland" issue, the alternative newspaper Willamette Week praised Beam principal Bradley Malsin’s Central Eastside project as "the epicenter of Portland's radiant future" with the "creative class."
Here’s WW:

Best Nerve Center of Portland's Future
Alberta is to tacos what Mississippi Avenue is to being overrated and the Central Eastside is to being the epicenter of Portland's radiant future. Brad Malsin may have lost his 2005 bid to spearhead the Portland Development Commission's Burnside Bridgehead project, but that hasn't stopped him from developing 300,000 square feet of creative office space right down the street in the old B&O building—all before Opus, the PDC's chosen developer, has managed to lift even a shovelful of dirt. With fashion designers, architects and environmental engineers set to move in, Malsin's tenant roster is a creative class demographer's wet dream. "I want a place where young people and businesses can grow their dreams," he says. Hell, if the city can't do it, send Malsin.

Malsin’s Beam is also in competition with some of the Opus people here. KWG includes people who’ve worked for and with Opus on the Bridgehead and other projects. In Eugene, the city council voted to involve both KWG and Beam in proposed downtown redevelopment involving about $50 million in public subsidies.
City Manager Dennis Taylor said Beam had agreed to work together with KWG, perhaps giving KWG control over choosing tenants for the ground floors.
But Malsin said he’ll keep an independent, community-oriented focus for his project. "We have a different way of seeing the world," he said of KWG. "We don't do the shopping mall kind of deals."
Here’s the EW archive story: http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2007/05/31/news.html
An earlier cover story on the downtown proposals is at: http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2007/04/12/coverstory.html
Here’s a look at what Beam proposed for Eugene’s Center Court:

For those wanting to get involved in the big and expensive decision of what’s best for Eugene’s downtown here’s two public events tonight and tomorrow:

West Broadway Public Information Event
August 3rd Friday 5:30-8:00 pm
Broadway Plaza
(Willamette St & Broadway,

West Broadway Public Workshop
August 4th Saturday 9:00 am - Noon Atrium Lobby, Atrium
Building, 10th Ave & Olive St

For a ton more information from the city’s website surf to:

August 3, 2007 01:04 PM

going to chamber of secrets brb

Y'know, I thought I wasn't getting enough LOLcats via my daily dose of I Can Has Cheezburger. But then I Googled "lolcats." Sure, there's LOLcats.com, but ... I've seen a lot of those, and it's a somewhat unwieldy page.

Enter Flickr. And tags. And (as of right now) 5,858 photos tagged with lolcat. Admittedly, a good number of the best ones are already on ICHC, and some of them just aren't funny (or aren't really LOLcats), but there are plenty to (heh, heh) paw through.

August 3, 2007 12:51 PM

Do you like books? How about movies? Magic? Neil Gaiman? Yes? If not, what's your problem? If so, well, go see Stardust. Obviously I'll elaborate about this in review form soon, but for now, I simply gush. I came up northwards last night for a screening in Tigard (Tigard! When was the last time you had a good reason to go to Tigard?), at which I met up with a Portland-based movie-critic friend, gleefully sat in the media personnel section of the theater, missed my friend Lolly winning a book and giggled ferociously at the best parts of the movie. If only I could do that every week.

Zooming along 217 to 26 is a funny way to arrive in Portland. Miles and miles of suburbs - 'burbs I used to be quite familiar with as an angsty teen when my dad lived in one of them. It all looks the same; it's like a couple of malls bred, and their offspring put down roots and sprawled like, um, sprawly stuff. Or something. It's rather difficult to find interesting words to use when writing about suburban sprawl. But then you hit 26, and after tearing down the hill on which the road's grooves yank at the tires of a smallish car, you're suddenly smack in the middle of Portland. I still mix up my bridges, so it took me awhile to make my way to the Speakeasy, which is one of those perfectly dingy, perfectly welcoming-in-a-slightly-gruff way kinds of bars that Eugene seems to lack. An old man bar, if you will. An old man bar that serves up an Andes mint with your gooey, cheesey quesadilla. Good times, I tell you.

And now: Ikea! I promise to take pictures. Swedish wonderland, ahoy!

August 3, 2007 07:34 PM

Roger Magaña, the Eugene Officer sentenced to 94 years for using his badge to coerce sex from a dozen women, is on YouTube.

The video appears to be about six years old and allegedly shows Magaña illegally entering a house to harass and arrest a bunch of skateboarders, according to the post's description.

An unidentified officer with Magaña "steps in, puts me in a full-nelson, throws me face down onto the cement outside, and puts his knee in my back and handcuffs me," the unidentified poster alleges.

The "fuck the po-lice" video post created some stir with 54,826 views and 326 comments, many criticizing the police and/or debating who was at fault.

In a recent cover story, EW reported on how lawyers for Magaña's victims have accused the city of whitewash for failing to investigate other officers for not stopping Magaña's abuse despite numerous complaints.

An article this month described how EPD was a "recipe for disaster" that lead to the sex scandal and questions whether EPD has reformed.

July 31, 2007 03:05 PM

First I got the new issue of Rolling Stone, which features Guns 'N' Roses on the cover.

Then I got a press release announcing the Black Crowes' upcoming show at the Cuthbert.

Sorry, but did I miss something? Did I wake up in 1990? Should my jeans be tighter and stretchier and my hair a couple feet longer? (The shirt, it will remain black and plain. Some things never change.)

There's a rant to be written here about summer concerts and their tendency to look ever backward, ignoring the current crop of artists — in large part, I suspect, because the somewhat-out-of-date acts aren't charging as much. (It should go without saying that this isn't always true — there are good summer shows; take a peek at the Edgefield's summer lineup. But you don't often see Def Leppard and Foreigner on tour in the winter. The Black Crowes aren't quite at that level of Former Arena Rock Glory, but can you name their last two albums? I don't think so. (Yes, yes, I know, some of you can. But you're in the minority. Sorry)

But anyway. Yeah. 1990. Around there. In case you're wondering, the GNR cover is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction's release. How old do you feel now?

July 27, 2007 11:17 AM

If you don't read BoingBoing on a daily basis, you're missing out on all the best internet smartness and randomness. Politics, net stuff, geek stuff, LOLcats (love!), sarcasm, phallic street poles ... and wicked awesome shirts:

All sold out. But I am so getting one, if/when they come back. Threat Level: Doctorow. Yes, plz.

* From time to time, I will take it upon myself to edumacate you normal, non-internet addicted folks on internet grammar. Today's lesson: FTW. This means, in short, For The Win. As in, "Yes! The item/person/thought/theory/slashfic pairing in question has now ruled all others in a One Ring not-in-the-hands-of-evil kind of way!"

OK, I made that part of the definition up myself. Peruse Urban Dictionary for more, if you must. It really does mean for the win, though.

July 27, 2007 02:58 PM

From a fresh-from-the-inbox press release:

Playing the film's core group of “masks,” the masked adventurers at the center of the story, are Malin Akerman (upcoming The Heartbreak Kid) as Laurie Juspeczyk, aka Silk Spectre; Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd) as Jon Osterman, aka Dr. Manhattan; Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias; Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) as Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach; Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV's Grey's Anatomy) as Edward Blake, aka the Comedian; and Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl.

OK, well, THAT's a movie cast (albeit one full of only boys men). But — confession time! — I've actually not yet read Watchmen, though I'm well aware of its place of importance in comics-land. So what the hell is it about? More from the PR:

A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the watchmen?

Alan Moore is pretty much awesome. Who's Alan Moore, you ask? Oh, just the guy who wrote Watchmen. It seems strange that Moore's name doesn't appear anywhere in this release, but he's distanced himself from adaptations of his work before, and for various reasons. ("The only thing that was important to me was that I completely sever my connections with Hollywood," Moore said in an interview with The Onion A.V. Club last year.)

I've read enough about the various adaptations of Moore's work to kind of understand why he's taken this stance, but it still seems a little depressing. I find it somewhat hard to want to give a film a fair shake when the author on whose work it's based doesn't want a thing to do with it (check the imdb.com listing for V for Vendetta and you won't see Moore listed there either).

(Also, while I'm talking about comics: Go read Warren Ellis' Global Frequency; I read the first collection of issues, Planet Ablaze, over lunch, and it's swift and smart and you might almost find yourself wishing you were on the frequency. And if you haven't read Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, your life isn't complete. Not that I could sum it up for you if I tried...)

July 27, 2007 01:30 PM

According to the Real Age Calculator, I'm 19.4 years old.

Damn skippy. Um, except that would make me not old enough to buy beer, which would be very sad given my great and abundant love for the Bier Stein. It would also make me back in NYC in the middle of spring semester of my sophomore year of college, which was an exciting, dramatic and kind of emo time I'm quite honestly glad to be done with.

Nice to know the internet can shave more than a decade off your actual age, though.

July 26, 2007 12:26 PM

• Confession: I've never read Beowulf. However, the trailer — stellar cast aside — doesn't exactly make me seventeen kinds of excited for the movie. Note to Zemeckis: That Polar Express-style animation? It still looks stupid, even when you're doing strange things to an ancient classic instead of ruining a classic children's book.

• In alt-weekly news, the Chicago Reader has been sold to Creative Loafing, which publishes papers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa and Sarasota. Blog reaction from the Reader is here.

• Remember Sweet Valley High? According to a Publishers Weekly email, the series is getting a relaunch soon — an updated relaunch involving mobile phones and email. It seems like that would take an entire rewrite, not just a surface makeover; remember what happened when somebody posted a purity test on Veronica Mars (ignoring certain issues with how ... OK, no, not nitpicking VM here, not yet)?

• Forget "Is Harry Potter bad?"; the new question is, "Is Junie B. Jones teaching kids bad grammar?" (Login may be required; BugMeNot is your friend.)

• While you're logged in at the NYT, check out artist Hope Larson's OpArt piece, which I am going to go read just as soon as I finish typing here; I'm linking to it already, though, 'cause it's so purdy.

• Still sad about the end of Harry Potter. Still tempted to re-read the entire series now. Still not posting anything even remotely approaching a spoiler, promise. Still engrossed in various message-board threads about HP7.

• Chow! is done! YAY!

I swear I'll get funnier as I post more.

July 24, 2007 03:22 PM

That title is a shout-out to anyone who ever watched MTV's sadly long-long The State. Except it was $500 worth o' puddin'. This is $50 worth o' cheese. Oregon cheese. Cheese that I will happily devour after it serves its intended purpose. Which is not "for rolling in."

I miss good television. Soon we will have cable, and I will have more to talk about. When's the Eco-Challenge on, again?