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Conquering Spokane on the iPhone. Plus, local history and seven minutes in heaven.

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Shadow Cities

In the past two weeks, I have come this close to conquering Spokane. For a while, a tower I erected in Cannon Park stood tall — until some enemy of mine came along and tore it down. I have traveled to Seattle and Beverly Hills to wage war alongside my kin. And in the process, I have become a better “Animator.” And a better iPhone user.

It’s being called the future of mobile gaming: Shadow Cities. I don’t know about that. I just want to take over my neighborhood. And maybe the world.


BOOK
In Earshot Of Water

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In the first essay of In Earshot Of Water, Paul Lindholdt links his father’s prostate cancer with eutrophication, “the dizzy demand for oxygen placed on plant growth by aquatic ecologies.” It may sound strange, silly even, but the brief, three-page essay quickly brings to life his father, Idaho’s high country and, of course, Lindholdt himself.

The case is the same for all of the book’s fourteen pieces. Lindholdt, an English professor at Eastern Washington University, lets nature acts as a foil for human thoughts and emotions. In this way, he is a writer who fits comfortably in the mold of Aldo Leopold, John McPhee and Barry Lopez. And that’s a fine mold.


WEBISODE
7 Minutes in Heaven

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Only old people know the game 7 Minutes in Heaven. It’s that drive-in-era party game where two kids go in a closet for seven minutes and grope or something.

Now, Saturday Night Live writer Mike O’Brien has created a web series with the same name that is a part talk, part improv show that takes place in a closet.

There are some bright moments, some dull. The episode with Kristen Wiig lands the best overall. But none can deny the pleasure of watching Elijah Wood deliver these lines, in his Frodo voice: “Everyone, shut the f--- up.

There’s hobbits in that tree. On the count of three, let’s blast them to hobbit hell.” Then they make machine gun noises. Then O’Brien tries to kiss Wood. Awkwardly.

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