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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Giant Palouse Earthworm lives!

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 4:03 PM

It may not be three feet long, but it's still called the Giant Palouse Earthworm - HENRY MOORE JR./FRIENDS OF THE CLEARWATER
  • Henry Moore Jr./Friends of the Clearwater
  • It may not be three feet long, but it's still called the Giant Palouse Earthworm

The squirmy buggers certainly aren't easy to find, but by some miracle of nature, a Latah County resident stumbled upon not one but three specimens of the extremely rare and very real Giant Palouse Earthworm this past weekend. The discovery was made on Paradise Ridge, southeast of Moscow.

Cass Davis, who also came upon two specimens of the worm back in 2012, has been keeping an eye out for more of the elusive species since that previous discovery. The Giant Palouse Earthworm last made major headlines back in 2005 and 2010.

In 2009, the Inlander also published a profile on one researcher's quest to find the unusual creature. Lest anyone has forgotten, the Giant Palouse Earthworm (GPE) is a pale white worm that has been mythologized to grow up to three feet long, to emit a lily-like odor and also spit when aggravated. As recent as 2005, the GPE was thought to be extinct, but that same year was found by a University of Idaho graduate student near Albion, Washington. Then, in 2010, another U of Idaho researcher, Karl Umiker, found two more specimens outside Moscow.

Why all the fuss about a worm? The species' habitat, the native Palouse Prairie, is an incredibly endangered ecosystem, with less than 1 percent of its original area remaining. Back in the late 1800s, when the Palouse was settled and transformed into the agricultural heartland it is today, farmers plowed up the native plants and soil, effectively destroying the GPE's habitat. Researchers believe this is why finding surviving worms has become a literal quest to find a needle in a haystack. 

The GPE was petitioned by scientists and conversationalists in 2009 to be placed under protection of the Endangered Species Act, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife denied the request.


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Friday, May 15, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: The world's latest cat stars — Pompous Albert and Brimley

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 1:25 PM

Forgive us for the lack of new cat-filled posts — sometimes the cat culture news is slow. This week, however, we're here to introduce a particularly pissed off cat who's emerged as the next big Internet star (back off, Grumpy Cat) and a Washington-state native who's also reached celebri-cat status.

While the Grumpy Cat's retail empire has become ubiquitous from the mall to the grocery store, there's a new cat on the scene whose icy glare is even more menacing and filled with disdain. Last month, a Salt Lake City feline by the name of Albert — better known as "Pompous" Albert — surfaced on the 'Net and has since racked up more than 58,000 followers on Instagram. Here's the reason why: 

Albert is displeased you're reading about cats at the office again. - @POMPOUS.ALBERT INSTAGRAM
  • @pompous.albert Instagram
  • Albert is displeased you're reading about cats at the office again.

Albert is of the curly-haired Selkirk Rex breed, and his owners say he was a "rejected" show cat. Obviously, though, not being active in the cat show circuit looks to be Albert's gain. He's named after the famously white- and wild-haired physicist Albert Einstein, and spends his days judging the inferiority of humans at the art gallery where he resides as office overlord.

Meanwhile, a former ward of the Seattle Persian and Himalayan Rescue — the same group responsible for rehabilitating and rehoming the late, great Colonel Meow — has taken the title of "America's Next Cat Star."

Brimley, a snowy white Persian, received the honors earlier this month when he took top votes for the silly yet serious Animal Planet "reality" contest that reflects the world's growing fascination and acceptance of cats as pop-culture celebrities. 

We just want to pet that soft, soft kitty. - @BRIMLEYCAT INSTAGRAM
  • @Brimleycat Instagram
  • We just want to pet that soft, soft kitty.

The Tukwila, Washington-based cat had quite the rough start in life, which no doubt won over audiences and judges of the contest. Rescued from a breeder who'd more than given up on him, Brimley nearly lost his eyes before Seattle Persian took him under its care and nursed him back to health. He was adopted by a doting cat dad, RJ LaCount, and is living a much-deserved life of luxury, with all the belly rubs, vacuum grooming sessions (yes, really) and tasty treats he could ever dream of. You bet right if you guessed his namesake is the one and only Wilford Brimley

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

VIDEO: Running Bloomsday in two minutes

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Bloomsday has several GoPro cameras stationed on the course. They are capturing one still frame every second so that people can download their results photos. This year, the cameras captured more than 50,000 images and we thought it would be cool to combine them all into one quick video, with Summer in Siberia providing the soundtrack. Enjoy!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CAT FRIDAY WEDNESDAY: SHS hosts a baby shower Friday for the tiniest spring arrivals — kittens!

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:55 PM

It's still the beginning of the annual period from spring through late summer that animal welfare workers refer to as "kitten season" — the time of year when the most un-spayed female cats become pregnant and give birth. Even though it's early, the Spokane Humane Society has already taken in around 150 kittens born this spring, and that number will exponentially increase in the coming months.

The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year. - SPOKANE HUMANE SOCIETY
  • Spokane Humane Society
  • The event offers information on how to become a foster parent for homeless kittens born this year.

To spread the word that these kittens rely heavily on the community's support during their early stage of life, SHS is hosting its first ever Kitten Shower this Friday evening. The event is just what the name implies — a baby shower, but for homeless kittens. The concept has proven to be a successful way for animal sheltering organizations across the United States to collect much-needed supplies and to teach the community about the intensive process of caring for kittens until they're old enough to be adopted (usually around two months). 

The drop-in event this Friday, April 17, is happening from 6-8 pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook, in the Hillyard neighborhood). Those interested in learning more about fostering kittens for the Humane Society are invited to attend, as well as anyone who wants to support the shelter's efforts to raise kittens — many without mothers — from their earliest days. The shelter is collecting donated supplies that are in demand this time of year (see a list of requested items below). 

Continue reading »

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Friday, April 3, 2015

CAT FRIDAY: Cats troll the world this April Fools', and we wish it was real

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 12:14 PM

April Fools' Day is an unrelenting online troll fest these days. Since cats rule all corners of the web, it's appropriate that some of the best viral pranks this year featured cats front and center. Some of the feline-centric jokes this year were so damn good, it's depressing to cat lovers that they're not real, especially in a world where cat cafes are a thing, and anyone's cat can give Grumpy a run for her money. 

Just pushing the envelope of "it could be real" was a totally genius prank pulled by the Colorado Springs Independent alt-weekly, which actually went as far to put its joke on the cover of its April 1 issue. You can see why some readers took it seriously. The Independent used the opportunity to make light of an issue facing city developers improving a park site, which has been found to be contaminated with asbestos.

co_csi.jpg

Perhaps the most viral joke this week was the clever ploy pulled off by Groupon: Grouber, an Uber-like ride service that replaced humans with feline drivers and was pitched as a service for Groupon users heading out to redeem an offer. With catchy copy like this, who could resist? 

Our drivers are spayed, neutered and have no reason to curl up in your lap and make it awkward. Trust us, these cats are cool. And every Grouber experience should be a paws-itive one.

Grouber cars are purportedly directed by a red laser beam projected from the front of the car that plots the trip's route, since you know — cats + laser pointers. 

Grouber from Groupon on Vimeo.

As much as both cat lovers and the indifferent laughed and admired the legitimate attempt of these two well-pulled pranks, this next one has no reason to not be real someday. 

screen_shot_2015-04-03_at_10.41.16_am.png

The supposed launch of a cat-proof sofa from Ikea is also something that should and could be real, but sadly isn't, yet. 

Microsoft got into the game, too, with Office for Cats, a suite of products called PowerPounce, OneNap and Meow. 

Cats are (for good reason) not being trained to become seeing-eye-pets to guide blind people

Music streaming service Rdio is also not partnering with famous cats to release a new cat-centric music service, Rdio-Meowz.

screen_shot_2015-04-03_at_10.54.18_am.png


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to get the most out of the Inlander's mobile site

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:01 PM


The Inlander recently revamped our mobile site — making it more beautiful and more powerful — and for those who haven't explored its depths, we wanted to give you a quick tour. 
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FIRST... SAVE A SHORTCUT ON YOUR PHONE 
When you first visit Inlander.com on your phone, it should automatically direct to our mobile site (m.inlander.com). Once there, it should ask you if you want to install "this web app on your phone" — meaning you'll save a shortcut on your home screen that automatically takes you to Inlander mobile. (It will look like any regular app that you've downloaded, and it will automatically launch the site when you hit it.)
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If for some reason your particular browser doesn't give you a prompt to save the site to your home screen, you can manually save it by hitting the button seen here or a similar one, and then following the prompts to "add to home screen." If you're an Android user, it's as simple as going to Inlander.com on your phone, hitting your menu button and finding the "add to homescreen" link, as explained here


ON THE HOMEPAGE
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First, you'll probably notice beautiful, big photos and our great articles. Then you'll see buttons to things you'll use time and again. Search the region's best, most comprehensive listings for restaurants; sort for the nearest locations and by category, neighborhood and name. Search our database of events by category, neighborhood and featured ones selected by staff. Do the same for live music. Or you can also figure out what's playing at the movie theater nearest you.

Scroll just a little, and you'll see our Top Stories. Scroll a bit more, and find our Latest Stories. Scroll again, there are featured events. Down a bit farther, you'll see the most recent slideshows.


ON BLOGLANDER
The Inlander's blog, Bloglander, is where you find the very latest stories — including regular features like "What's Up Today," "Weed Wednesday" and "Cat Friday."


DIG DEEPER 
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Hit the navigation button in the top left and find short cuts to everything else: Read all of our stories from Best Of; browse through a variety of recent slideshows; enter to win free stuff in one of our contests; or peruse our issues archives to find a story in a particular edition.   
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Behind the cover: Fish Fight

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:30 AM

cvr_4-2-2015.jpg

It is always a tricky dance on how to illustrate a story on our cover.

Does it call for a photo? Does it call for an illustration? There is not steadfast rule.

It involves a lot of hashing out with the writer and boiling the idea down to one image. For this week's cover story about how the Spokane Tribe lost its fishing rights due to the Grand Coulee Dam, I felt an illustration showing a dead fish and a trickle of water would convey the scope of the story, or at least scratch the surface. 

Look for the new issue hitting the streets Wednesday night and Thursday morning. 
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are you an Inland Northwest foodie? Prove it with this quiz!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 10:45 AM


We all know that Spokane's food scene has amazing things happening. How well do you know the history?

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Monday, March 30, 2015

We're bringing The Big Lebowski back to the Bing

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:19 PM

big-lebowski-1.jpg

Oh, hey there Suds and Cinema lovers. We just wanted to let you know that the next installment of our venerable beer-meets-awesome-movies series is in response to the many, many loyal fans who asked us to bring back one of last year's films...and that film is The Big Lebowski.

Last year, we had one hell of a night at the Bing Crosby Theater when we screened the film to almost 700 folks, many of whom were dressed in the costume of their favorite characters. And we're hoping to recreate that magic by again having the freshly one-year-old Perry Street Brewing provide the beer for the event on April 15. The beer flows at 6:30 pm and the movie follows at 7:30 pm.

As always, entry is $4 and beers are $4, too.

And, yes, we'll be hosting a costume contest for several categories, including Best Dude, Best Walter and several other wild card categories to be announced later. There's also an after-party at Rain Lounge featuring White Russians made with Spokane's own 21 Window Vodka. During the movie, you can feast on special Lebowski-themed ice cream flavors from Brain Freeze Creamery.

If you're not into the whole remembering things without electronics thing, here's a link to the official Facebook invite. Let us know if you're coming, man.

Here's a look at last year's Lebowski night. It was far out.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Audition to be a Z Nation zombie Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 3:29 PM

zauditions_cover1.jpg

Ever want to be on TV? Start practicing your best zombie moans and hobbling walks tonight, because locals are being cast as undead extras for the second season of Syfy's Z Nation series being filmed in and around Spokane

The last local audition session for the show is being held tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, from 9 am-4 pm in Spokane Valley, at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Interested actors must be at least 18 years old and live in Washington state. There's a $5 fee if you're not with a talent agent or don't have a Casting Networks Account.

Pre-registration for tomorrow's auditions is open online until 6 pm tonight, but those who miss this deadline can still show up — just be prepared to wait. 

While the next season of the Walking Dead lookalike is set to resume filming in Spokane later this year, the future of the Z Nation's impact on regional film industry professionals and actors in the coming years is a less clear. Right now, a bill in the state legislature (SB 6027) is seeking to boost Washington's film incentive program, which industry advocates argue is necessary for projects like Z Nation and others to continue being made in the Evergreen State.

Washington's film incentive program essentially offers cash rebates for qualifying productions made within state borders. Funded by a portion of the state's business and occupation tax liabilities (corporations/individuals can choose to contribute to this fund, getting a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $1 million), qualifying productions can apply to get 30 percent of what they spent here back from the state.

That fund, however, is currently capped at $3.5 million, making Washington's the fifth smallest incentive program in the nation — well behind many other states with enormous incentive pools for filmmakers. It's why so many movies are made in Vancouver, British Columbia (which has no cap on its incentives), and other states like Alabama, Louisiana and New Mexico. As of now, Washington Filmworks, which oversees the program, has already received more requests than it can award to qualifying projects seeking to get some money back in return for the economic impact of locating work in-state.

The bill being considered (no vote on it has been set yet; the current session ends on April 26) would gradually boost Washington's program to an annual cap of $10 million by the year 2019. This increase would result in a $3.5 million loss in state revenue during the current budget biennium and a $17 million loss during the 2017-19 biennium. These numbers are the biggest factors working against the request for an increased program cap, as state lawmakers work to balance the state budget while maintaining basic programs.

Film industry supporters from around the state testified on Wednesday during a Senate Ways & Means hearing (captured in the video below), including several Spokane residents whose livelihoods rely on their home state remaining competitive with its neighbors, like Oregon. Our southern neighbor caps its program at $10 million a year, allowing it to sustain several ongoing projects for films and television series. 

Earlier this month, a group of Spokane film workers also traveled to Olympia for a film lobbying day, taking the capitol by storm with a horde of Z Nation zombies. 


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