Submissions have started rolling in for the Inlander's 2013 Short Fiction Contest. So keep those typewriters clacking, Spokane. We're looking forward to reading your stories.
This year's theme is "Bridges" — real, imagined or metaphorical. You can interpret the concept however you want.
Remember, you can submit multiple stories for consideration. Just keep them shorter than 2,000 words each. Send your stories as an attachment to [email protected] Check out additional guidelines here.
The contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 22.
For a little inspiration, here's a list from The Guardian of the Top 10 bridges in literature. They include the Westminster Bridge, the Hixon Whitney Bridge and the Spanish crossing in For Whom the Bell Tolls.
In related news: Short stories often don't receive the respect of novels and larger works, but earlier this month the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature reinforced the power of short stories by honoring Canadian writer Alice Munro as "master of the contemporary short story."
For a little more inspiration, you can read some of Munro's stories in The New Yorker right here.
You can also check out our contest winners from 2010, for which the theme was "Redemption."
Everyone who cares probably already fully knows: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are coming to the Spokane Arena tonight. Look for our recap and photos from the show tomorrow.
To get you in the mood, whether you're going to the show or not, is our favorite grandpa-style ragtime "Thrift Shop" cover on the Internet:
It is alleged that portions of the 100-year-old Dania Furniture building in downtown Spokane are haunted, especially on the fourth floor and in the basement where a speakeasy called the Cactus Room used to be. Photos by Sarah Wurtz.
My browser history indicates I use Google for several hundred different Internet searches each day, but this rarely happens through the actual Google home search page — so I feel lucky to notice today’s darling Google Doodle.
The occasion today is laughably obscure — the 216th anniversary of the first parachute jump — but that’s OK, because someone clearly just wanted to make a fun little parachute game. Once the parachutist goes up, use the arrow keys to control where he goes. (See if you can land him on the boat.)
The LA Times has more on the history of French parachutist Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who made a dizzying descent from 3,200 feet at a Paris exhibition in 1797.
Yesterday’s doodle celebrating the 88th birthday of Celia Cruz also caught my attention. And the recent pinata game for Google's 15th birthday is a fun one, too. You can see the whole archive of increasingly elaborate Google doodles here.
Citing ongoing health concerns for him and his wife, Rep. Larry Crouse, R-Spokane Valley, announced today that he will resign from the Washington state Legislature on Dec. 31.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s time. This decision is about family,” Crouse said in a press release. “I had an opportunity to represent a wonderful district. As I look back, it’s humbling to know thousands of voters put their faith in me. It has been a great honor to serve the people and communities of the Fourth Legislative District.”
In the 2013 legislative and special session, Crouse, 68, missed 121 votes out 694, including the vote for the 2013-15 capital budget, according to WashingtonVotes.org. Asked about his missing votes, he told the Inlander that his wife, Peggy, fell seriously ill in March, forcing him to miss both the first and second special sessions to care for her. He also had surgery shortly after he was sworn in this year and suffered from food poisoning later.
“This has been a very difficult session for me, healthwise,” Crouse said.
First elected in 1995, Crouse is the longest serving Republican in the Washington State House of Representatives. He is the assistant ranking Republican on the House Technology and Economic Development Committee, and sits in the House Environment and Local Government committees. According to the press release, Crouse will continue to assist his constituents through the end of the year.
In the past five years, more than 3,500 dogs in the U.S. (and 10 cats) have gotten sick after eating jerky pet treats. Nearly 600 pets have died. After alerting consumers in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012, the FDA released a consumer update today about the investigation — and the cause is still a mystery.
Scientists have tested more than a thousand jerky samples and visited factories in China. They’ve tested for known contaminants like Salmonella, metals, pesticides and antibiotics. They’ve done nutritional analyses to make sure the listed ingredients are accurate. But without any clear answers about what’s making pets sick, they’re now asking for help from pet owners and veterinarians.
"This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered," says Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in the update. "Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it."
Most of the jerky treats in question have been made in China, though the supply chain of ingredients is not always clear and pet food manufacturers don’t need to list countries of origin for each ingredient. (The FDA has not named suspect brands or companies; there have been other, separate recalls recently for identified problems.)
These are the warning signs the FDA tells pet owners to watch out for:
Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, and/or increased urination.
Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.
The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.
The FDA doesn’t go so far as telling pet owners to just stop buying jerky treats. But it suggests that might be a perfectly fine idea: “Pet treats are not a necessary part of a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets. All the nutrients your pet needs can be found in commercially produced pet food.