Friday, August 24, 2012

CAT FRIDAY: All of these celebri-cats are more famous than you

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 9:15 AM

For this week's Cat Friday we are proud to introduce you to several very viral and awesome cats that you really should know about by now. Think of this as a who's who guide to the cats who rule the internet, as well as a great conversation starter you could use this weekend...we're not kidding. These cats all rock.

Several weeks ago, we introduced readers to LIL BUB (see the mention here), who, in our opinion, has got to be the cutest cat in the entire universe. BUB's likeness is exploding all over the 'net, and her followers on Facebook are multiplying daily. She was featured just yesterday on BuzzFeed, with several "squeee!"-inspiring photos, like the one below. We recommend you get to know BUB right meow, and when you do, you'll probably wonder why you didn't join the BUB love fest ages ago.

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Maru, the fluffy, box-loving Scottish Fold hailing from Japan is one of the Internet's first celebri-cats, and has been recognized for his viral videos just about everywhere. We're hoping you at least have seen his most famous video, which is only likely to lead to a Maru-YouTube-video-watching marathon, since to date his owner has posted more than 200 shorts (totaling more than 172 million views) of the silly kitty's antics. If BUB is the web's Cat Queen, we have no doubt in saying that Maru is its Cat King. 

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Next we have Homer, an all-black blind kitty who's taken the cat literature world by storm. The book chronicling the now 15-year-old kitty's life includes stories of how he and his cat siblings were left alone for days in their NYC apartment at no choice of their owner, Gwen Cooper, following the 9/11 attacks. It also explores the deep bonds that animals and people can have, as well as how animals can teach us a whole lot about humility, love, and overcoming adversity. You can also follow Homer on Facebook to see what the little guy (and his two new little siblings) is up to today.

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On to another blind, yet still very able cat, we introduce you to Oskar, who was discovered as a kitten, having been born blind on a farm. He now lives a happy life with his two doting human parents, and his unrelated brother, Klaus. These two business-savvy cats recently debuted a super cool cat accessory shop, where you can snatch up handmade neck ties, bow ties, and other awesome cat-related items that are Oskar and Klaus approved, for your own stylish kitty.

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Next on our list of celebri-cats to get to know is Luna the Fashion Kitty, and before we go on to describe how awesome she is, don't get yourself into a tizzy about how it's silly and inhumane for animals - cats or dogs - to wear clothes. Fashion is Luna's passion in life, and if you know anything about cats, you'll understand that if she hated being dressed up like a furry little doll, she'd definitely let her owner know. Cats either really like donning clothing, or they absolutely hate it - there is no middle ground. Anyhow, Luna is a fabulous, fluffy white Persian from Mexico who's designed her own line of purr-fectly adorable cat tutus and other little outfits. She is also a huge advocate for cat rescue and adoption, as well as gay rights and valuing brains over beauty, though her motto remains "Dress Fur Impress."

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Pet photography seems to have exploded in the last decade or so, and for two very good reasons. Of course the Internet allows regular people (like you and I, and the owners of all of these cats) to post and share pictures of their fur children online with the chance of it becoming viral. Secondly, digital photography also allows pet owners to take hundreds or thousands of photos without having to spend tons of money to buy and develop film. City the Kitty is one cat whose good looks (he's half-Bengal, half-Manx and a polydactal with six toes on his front feet) and super jumping skills, along with his owners' great eye and photographic timing, have allowed him to grab a spot in the cat-fame limelight. He's been on several TV shows, including My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet, and starred in a cat litter ad.

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A large number of cats that manage to grab the attention of pet lovers near and far through the 'Net do so not only because they're irresistibly cute, but some of them are often born with disabilities or have encountered hardships that have subsequently forced them into the spotlight, either to raise awareness or to raise money for their medical care. Dot is one of those cats, and this pint-sized cutie lives at Tabby's Place: A Cat Sanctuary in New Jersey. Dot was born with spina bifida, a genetic defect that results in the vertebrae not fully forming, which means she can't use her back legs at all, and has a few other health issues. That doesn't stop this tiny tabby from racing around the lobby of the shelter she calls home. Now that she's mostly full-grown, Dot recently got her own little cart to allow her better mobility. Watch cute videos of this little cat pulling herself around on her front legs, not knowing that she was born any different than any other kitty out there. 

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Lastly, we'd like to introduce you to Corky, another kitty who was born with some health issues, but is using his special needs case as a platform to advocate for other cats like him, as well as the importance of giving all animals a chance at a good life, whether or not they look completely normal, or have had some rough times. Corky was born with a condition called Bilateral Arthrogryposis, which means his legs were backwards and criss-crossed, and he couldn't get around very well. Surgery has corrected the deformity now, but unfortunately Corky lost one of his legs, yet he is able to get around just fine now, and also sometimes uses a little cart like Dot! Corky now is the mascot for a no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue in Fargo, ND, called Cat's Cradle.

corky.jpg

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MORNING BRIEF: ESB shooting, Lance Armstrong doping, Ryan Crocker drinking

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Around here

Gunmen arrested in downtown Spokane (KREM)

McMorris Rodgers gets her town hall on (SR)

Drunken ambassador hits & runs in Spokane Valley (KXLY)  

Around there

Shooting outside Empire State Building: NYT, Daily News, WSJ

No hope in dope: Lance Armstrong banned, stripped of titles (ST) 

Do ladies rage the road more than bros? (Jezebel) 

ESB shooting

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Local Non-Zombie Zombie Movie Needs Your Brains ... er, Money

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Though horror freaks, comic geeks and people living in North Idaho fear that zombies will one day take over, I'd argue that they already have. Maybe we're not drooling, flesh-hungry reanimated corpses — that would be terrifying! — but pop culture has arguably been infected by the zombie plague.

And though Spokane has been home to zombie walks, zombie bike rides and even zombie films before, there's another undead-centric project in the works. Love Is Dead, a project by Derek Landers, Trevor Sullivan and Matt Vielle, aims to be a "non-zombie movie with zombies." The trio (two of which we wrote about recently for their highly-sought after music posters) will shoot the movie right here in Spokane, and have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds to make that happen.

Check out the teaser trailer below, and read more about the project on their Kickstarter page here.


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MORNING BRIEF: Idaho shitshow, Oregon surfing, new police chief, gun thief

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Here

Frank Straub is new police chief, not sure how cops feel about that

Man who stole a Cheney cop's gun to trade for meth arrested (KHQ)

History of an Idaho shitshow (Boise Statesman) 

Elsewhere

Obama, Romney grasp for your vote in different ways (WashPo)

Surfing in Oregon (ST) 

What did Moby Dick author find in Jerulsalem?  

Soul balm

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HAPPY HOUR: It's Wednesday - make it count.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Each Wednesday on Bloglander, we give you a taste of happyhours going on at bars around town that night. (Read previous posts.)

Let out a big sigh of relief – it’s Wednesday and the day’s more than halfway over now. There’s two days left to get through before the last glorious weekend of August, and to celebrate all of this, we’ve picked some great Happy Hours going on around town this evening for you to check out. 

Stretching our geographic focus a little wider this week, Capone’s in Coeur d’Alene is offering $1 off wells and $0.50 cents off all imperial pints (for those of you who aren’t aware, that’s 20 oz. instead of 16 oz., which is referred to in the drinking world as an American pint). Catch these deals from 5-7 pm today.

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At the Rusty Moose, on the West Plains, catch happy hour from 4-6 pm today and treat yourself to a range of appetizers on special from $3.95 to $6.95. To wash it all down, order a mug of beer and get $1 off the menu price. If wine or well drinks are more your style, those have a dollar knocked off, too. 

On the more historic, less strip-mall-filled stretch of East Sprague, the Checkerboard Tavern welcomes patrons for its happy hour today from 4-7 pm with $5 pitchers of Bud Light, Kokanee, and Kokanee Gold, along with 50 cents off everything else in the bar.  

Whiskey Dick’s, in northeast Spokane and just south of the Hillyard neighborhood, boasts its “happy hour” drink and appetizer specials all day long, from open (11 am) to close (2 am). Head over early in the evening, or late tonight, and get yourself some hot wings for $5, a Jager shot for $3, or domestic pitchers for $6. 


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CITY HALL EYEBALL: Mahoney out of Spokane police chief search, leaving Straub as only finalist

Posted on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 8:52 AM

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San Francisco Police Captain Daniel Mahoney, one of two finalists for the job of Spokane police chief, confirmed this morning that Spokane Mayor David Condon did not offer him the job.

That leaves one finalist: Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub.

"I cannot confirm anything," city spokeswoman Marlene Feist replied when asked if Straub was the new chief. The city has a press conference scheduled for this afternoon to announce the pick, she says. 

Earlier this month, Condon narrowed down the candidates for the job from four finalists to two, then visited both San Francisco and Indianapolis. Though there was grumbling from some law enforcement officers tasked with vetting the candidates, Condon announced that he was comfortable with either Straub or Mahoney leading the department.

In an interview with The Inlander on Tuesday morning, Condon reiterated that he would announce the new chief by the end of the month. Mahoney says that the mayor called him later that day and told him that he wouldn't get the job.

Mahoney says he plans to stay with SFPD, though he may apply for other jobs in the future. 

For more City Hall Eyeball choice eyeballness, stare at this

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MORNING BRIEF: Tacoma gorilla, WSU financial aid troubles, swearing senate hopeful

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Around here

WSU screwing up its financial aid (SR) 

Senate hopeful swears at journo, apologizes, takes it back (KRM) 

Coldwater Creek exec pleads guilty to grand theft (Daily Bee) 

Around there

Tacoma gorilla kept in store kicks the bucket (ST) 

Guy goes from Bible-thumpin' pastor to committed atheist (NYT)

Why you shouldn't fret of the end of the world (Wired) 

This will only hurt for a minute

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MORNING BRIEF: Panhandling, Cheney fires, Facebook ambitions

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Here

GOP chief says Shea photo should go (SR)

Spokane City Council says panhandlers must go (KREM) 

Firefighters battle Cheney fires (KXLY) 

Elsewhere

Oregon SG says marijuana law needs to be clarified (Oregonian) 

Facebook's ambitions crash into harsh realities (NYT) 

Ethiopian president, controversial and powerful, dies (Guardian)

On the road with Syrian rebels

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Monday, August 20, 2012

How the recession gave Spokane Public Schools millions of leftover bond money

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

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Most luck has been bad for the Spokane School district’s budgets. In this era of recession and budget cuts, they expected it.

But now, the recession has left the Spokane School district with $47.9 million in undesignated school bond money. Mark Anderson, Associate Superintendent, says that $16 million of that money can be spent on an addition to North Central High School’s science building, updating aging rooms and bringing far-flung science classrooms into one location. The district plans to use another $5.4 million to replace an old wing of Mullan Road Elementary.

Both those projects had been planned to be included in upcoming bond measures, but now, Spokane Public Schools can get started early.

It all has to do with the fluctuation in construction prices, Anderson explains. Back in 2008, when the Spokane School District was calculating how much to request for the 2009 school bond, construction costs were sky-high. The frenzy of the housing boom meant construction firms could take their pick of projects, allowing them to essentially name their price. Oil prices were booming, driven by ongoing trouble in the Middle East and the reluctance of OPEC to further open the taps. Oil’s a crucial ingredient in construction materials and the shipping cost of construction materials.

But then came the crash. As the economy shuddered to a crawl, consumption fell. Oil prices fell as well, dragged down by the collapse in consumer demand.

With the real estate bubble burst, with recently-built sprawling developments sputtering toward foreclosure, construction firms struggled to find any work at all. The costs of both labor and materials for a school building suddenly became a lot cheaper.

Yet, in 2009, even as other bonds in other districts failed amid recession, Spokane Public Schools managed to pass it.

“We have found that the prices we were getting the bids for our projects were far under [what we expected],” Anderson says.

Anderson says it would have been difficult to return the money to the taxpayer.

“ We’re going to have to do these projects anyway,” Anderson says. “Why not do it at a time when costs are good?”

Spokane Public Schools trustees will consider approving the two additional projects at this Wednesday’s board meeting.

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MORNING BRIEF: Gondola tragedy, drive-by shooting, Ruby Ridge

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Inland Northwest

Man climbs out of gondola, dies (KREM)

Drive-by shooting in West Central (KHQ) 

Ruby Ridge, 20 years later (CdA Press)

Beyond the pale

GOP candidate: legitimate rape rarely gets women pregnant (NYT)

Burma ends direct censorship of media (ST) 

What would you do with more free time? (NYT) 

Follow the light 

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