This is not a box of chocolates (it's felt art by LeBrie Rich)

During a recent stopover in Portland, Oregon, it was delightful to once again hang out with the "Duchess of Felt," artist LeBrie Rich. Read the rest

Portland's Unipiper plays Star Wars theme on 2 flaming bagpipes

Unmute the video below. You need this, in all its glory. Read the rest

Portland! Come see me tonight in Fort Vancouver with my new book RADICALIZED! Next up: Seattle & Anaheim!

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) Read the rest

I'm going out on tour with my new science fiction book RADICALIZED and I hope to see you!

Radicalized is my next science fiction book, out on March 18 from Tor Books: it contains four novellas about the hope and misery of our moment, from refugees resisting life in an automated IoT hell to health care executives being targeted by suicide bombers who have been traumatized by watching their loved ones die after being denied care. Tor Books is sending me on tour with the book in the US and Canada and I hope you can make it to one of my stops! Read the rest

Pipes under Portland produce power while they deliver water to homes and businesses

Apparently, this story popped up back in 2015, but it's so cool that it's still worth reading about now: the city of Portland, Oregon has water pipes buried underneath of it that not only carry clean drinking water to the locals, but also generate hydroelectric power at the same time!

From Fast Company:

In Portland, one of the city's main pipelines now uses Lucid's pipes to make power that's sent into the grid. Though the system can't generate enough energy for an entire city, the pipes can power individual buildings like a school or library, or help offset a city's total energy bill. Unlike wind or solar power, the system can generate electricity at any time of day, regardless of weather, since the pipes always have water flowing through them.

The pipes can't generate power in every location; they only work in places where water is naturally flowing downward with gravity (if water is being pumped, the system would waste energy). But they have another feature that can be used anywhere: The pipes have sensors that can monitor water, something that utilities couldn't do in the past.

Providing power to partially operate water treatment and pump facilities during the day and then juice up streetlights at night: what's not to love about that? Read the rest

Doubletree Portland apologizes to racially harassed guest Jermaine Massey, manager will investigate

Paul Peralta, the general manager of the Portland Doubletree where Jermaine Massey, 34, was racially harassed, apologized today.

In a statement released on Friday, Peralta said, “we sincerely apologize to Mr. Massey for his treatment this past weekend, and deeply regret the experience he endured,” and added, “It was unacceptable and contrary to our values, beliefs and how we seek to treat all people who visit our hotel.” Read the rest

Guess what crime ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ writer was just charged with

A Portland, Oregon-based romance novelist has been charged with a crime she once wrote about. Read the rest

XOXO will be bigger and more inclusive in 2018

Described as "an experimental festival for independent artists and creators who work on the internet," Andy Baio and Andy McMillan's internet-fest baby XOXO will be back in early September.

And according to this tweet, they're making it bigger and more inclusive (be sure to check out their "living" inclusion policy):

We're moving to a new venue, and growing so we can offer significantly more free subsidized passes, prioritizing underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The fun is happening in Portland, Oregon at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum from September 6 through 9. If this sounds like your jam, get on the horn and register before the deadline of June 29. Tickets (both paid and subsidized) are offered through a survey and lottery process, of which they write:

A first-come, first-serve system typically favors those with time and money, which ends up benefiting predominantly white men with well-paying jobs and disposable income.

Our survey system allows us to factor diversity into admission, which helps to counteract systemic biases and prioritize access to the festival for underrepresented folx and independent artists.

Check out the lineup! Read the rest

LEGO crime boss busted in Portland

40-year-old Raji Afife Azar ran a LEGO theft and fencing operation in Portland, Oregon. Aided by the Fred Meyer market's Retail Theft Unit, Portland PD put a stop to this brick bandit.

Via the Portland PD's statement on the arrest:

This investigation began in early 2018 when Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit Investigators learned Azar was the leader of a fencing operation that involved the theft and sale of merchandise from multiple stores in the Portland metropolitan area. During the investigation, the Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit worked with the Northwest Organized Retail Crime Alliance and learned Azar had solicited multiple people to steal from various business throughout the area.

During this investigation, undercover investigators were contacted by Azar on multiple occasions. The undercover investigators posed as theft suspects that would sell stolen merchandise to Azar at a fraction of the manufacturer's retail suggested price. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, Azar requested undercover investigators, who he believed were theft suspects, sell him approximately $13,000 in stolen merchandise. The undercover investigators met Azar in the 10300 block of Southeast Washington Street with the supposed stolen merchandise. After Azar purchased the stolen merchandise from undercover officers, he was taken into custody without incident.

Once Azar was taken into custody, a search warrant was served at his family's residence in the 2000 block of Southeast 102nd Avenue. During a search of the residence, investigators located a large quantity of stolen Legos and other stolen merchandise (photograph provided with press release). Investigators with the Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit estimate the recovered stolen value of the Legos and other toys taken from Portland area Fred Meyer stores to be approximately $50,000 -- this estimate does not include merchandise that was recovered at the residence that came from other retail stores.

Read the rest

Portland police stage bizarre sensory deprivation stunt against ICE protesters

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

Watch: a gifted and personable napkin folder who makes "botanically correct flowers"

Arnold Drake World is a talented paper artist who sits at a communal table at the cafe in Portland's legendary Powell's City of Books and turns paper napkins and towels into "botanically correct flowers" with many flourishes and grace-notes. Read the rest

Here’s what happens when an activist actually tries to bridge a political gap with a can of Pepsi

Portland activist Carlos Enrique demonstrated how Pepsi’s tone-deaf protest ad would actually play out in real life by handing Mayor Ted Wheeler a can of Pepsi during a City Council meeting. Read the rest

Portland proposes a special tax on companies where CEOs make 100X more than median employee

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

Zine goddess Chloe Eudaly is running for Portland City Council

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

Portland made a fantastic video to woo Japanese tourists

"Odnarotoop" is Portland spelled backwards with Japanese pronunciation. It's also the name of this Terry Gilliam-esque video with a catchy song.

Here's the English translation of the lyrics:

These are the mountains that rise in the distance And this is the river that runs right beside us And these are the bridges that always connect us in Odnaraotoop

These are the streets where we meet up for breakfast and maybe some ice cream or a few dozen donuts and these are the places we drink when we’re finished in Odnarotoop

Odnarotoop, Odnarotoop everyone’s open, so do what you want to in Odnarotoop

And this is the music we play in our basements and our in the street where the city can hear us so sing right along if you’re planning to join us in Odnarotoop

Odnarotoop, Odnarotoop everyone’s open, so do what you want to in Odnarotoop

This is the coffee we drink in the morning and this is the treehouse my neighbor is building everyone’s open and ready to greet you in Odnarotoop

And these are the bikes that we like to ride naked and this is the art that we’re all busy making everyone’s open so do what you want to in Odnarotoop

[via Tofugu] Read the rest

Dildos dangling from power lines in Portland

Portland is facing a rash of hundreds of dildos hanging from power lines. According to Portland General Electric, the sex toys don't pose a fire hazard. Read the rest

Portland cops charge homeless woman with theft for charging her phone

In Portland, OR, "Jackie," a homeless former social worker with muscular dystrophy, was hit with a misdemeanor theft charge for charging her phone from a plug on a planter-base on a sidewalk; she spent a day in jail when she missed her arraignment. Read the rest

More posts