Kratom (previously) is a plant that grows wild in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea, and is a relative of the coffee plant. For centuries, people have chewed or drunk teas brewed from its leaves for a mildly euphoric effect, and recently, the plant has come to the US, prompting many stories of incredible benefits in fighting opioid addiction and treating chronic pain, as well as some non-credible claims about curing cancer or producing morphine-like highs, as well as a moral panic that has led the FDA to (unsuccessfully) class it as a Schedule A narcotic, with no medical benefits.
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Three separate, named women have independently accused Trump's EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland of repeated acts of sexual misconduct while he was in a position of physical, financial and professional power over them. Sondland denies the accusations.
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Thanks to everyone who came out to last night's book tour event with Richard Kadrey at Berkeley Arts and Letters; I'm in the final stretch of the tour now, with a keynote tonight at 7PM at the Ft Vancouver Library's Revolutionary Reads series, (Clark Community College’s Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver WA 98663) just across the river from Portland, OR. Thursday, I'm at the Seattle Public Library and I'm spending the weekend at Wondercon in Anaheim. Hope you can make it! (Image: Mike Westphal)
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XOXO is the much-loved culture and tech conference in Portland, organized by Andy Baio and Andy McMillan; they took 2017 off and would not confirm when or if the conference would be back, but a year later, it's back!
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Protesters against ICE's campaign of mass deportations were treated to a bizarre public stunt by Portland, OR police, who put them in isolation hoods and sound-muffling ear-protectors reminiscent of the treatment described by Gitmo prisoners and other survivors of US torture. The police were attempting separate the protesters from the bonds they used to stick themselves together and the measures were nominally taken to protect the protesters' hearing and vision from police power-tools. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest
Yesterday's Walkaway event at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy was terrific (there was birthday cake) and now I'm flying to Portland for an event at Powell's City of Books tonight with Andy "Waxy" Baio before heading to Seattle for an event with Neal Stephenson at the Neptune Theater, then a stop in Bellingham's Village Books. Read the rest
We had a great Walkaway tour stop last night in Scottsdale, AZ, and now I'm headed to San Diego to help the legendary Mysterious Galaxy store celebrate its birthday, closing out a fantastic day of speakers, readers and signings at 4PM. Read the rest
Gordon Sondland owns Provenance Hotels, with four PDX properties -- the Lucia, deLuxe, Sentinel and Westin. After he was outed as being the host for a Trump event last summer, he pulled out, saying that he'd broken with Trump over his racist anti-Muslim rhetoric. Read the rest
Environmental lawyer-turned-Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick has a cool use for the new SEC rules requiring companies to disclose executive pay starting in 2017: he's going to impose special taxes on businesses where the ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay exceeds 100:1 -- an increase of 10% for 100:1 companies, and 25% for 250:1 companies. Read the rest
Chloe Eudaly, whose zine emporium Reading Frenzy (previously) and publishing makerspace the Independent Publishing Resource Center are PDX institutions, is running for Portland City Council, campaigning on affordable housing for all in a city whose longterm residents are being left behind by runaway rents and spiraling housing prices. Read the rest
I've got a busy couple of weeks coming up! I'm speaking tomorrow at Powell's in Portland, OR for Banned Books Week; on Wednesday, I'm at UC Riverside speaking to a Philosophy and Science Fiction class; on Friday I'll be at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, speaking on Canada's dark decade of policy denial from climate science to digital locks; and then on Oct 6, I'm coming to SFMOMA to talk about museums, technology, and free culture. I hope to see you soon! (Image: Alex Schoenfeldt Photography, www.schoenfeldt.com, CC-BY) Read the rest
Portland's incomparable Ready Frenzy is offering six postcards from Sean Tejaratchi's acerbically brilliant Liartown, USA (previously). One dollar each (cheap!). Read the rest
There's nothing I love more than public signs (I've photographed over 2500 of them!); they reveal the things that people think other people don't understand. Read the rest
Beverly Cleary's Ramona books delighted generations of young readers. Elly from Microcosm Press (previously) writes, "Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary's Portland is the first ever guidebook to the neighborhood and time when Mrs. Cleary grew up and set her Ramona books." Read the rest
Last June, the founders of Portland's XOXO Conference announced a new co-working space; now they've formalized it, calling it "XOXO Outpost" and promising "something more than just a place to sit on your laptop—a supportive community of amazing people you’re genuinely excited to see every day, and XOXO’s extended network of friends and advisors to help your project succeed." Read the rest
In the 1980s, "controversial Republican art collector" Vincent Melzac donated 29 abstract paintings from the Washington Color School to the CIA, which now hang on the Agency's walls, but when asked for details about them, the CIA goes mum, claiming that the paintings are top secret. Read the rest
Original Crap Hound and Internet graphic sarcasm sultan Sean Tejaratchi is back with his annual calendar, sold to benefit Reading Frenzy, Portland, Oregon's world-beating zine store and independent publishing emporius. Read the rest