As the State Turns

It’s That Time Again: The PDX Naked Bike Ride
Thank the lord above that my wife didn’t go this year. No, not because I care if people see her pale a*s scootin’ down the road on a rust bucket of a borrowed bicycle, but because if she had gone I would have had to wait another day to binge watch GLOW, the excellent new offering with Jenji Kohan’s name attached. You know the rules: “Watch that without me and I’ll snuff you out with your own pillow while you have weird dreams about being a Victorian princess, running down endless steps in an attempt to escape your suitors.” Whatever dude, don’t judge me. I’ve got an overactive dreamagination. Also, I just invented that word, and since it’s in print I can claim copyright.

Aaaaaanyway, thousands of butts, boobs, wangs, and parts we’ve known about our whole lives, yet somehow remain embarrassed of, went shootin’ down the lane, dangling in the wind. Some people were painted up, some wearing costumes, some wore… well, some wore stuff that I’m not sure I can even describe – in some instances due to my writing skills, and some due to legal concerns. There was a bicycle done up to look like a giant horse from space, manned by a guy who seemed confused as to whether he wanted to be a leprechaun or a flapper. Reports indicate that the weed smoke in the air was like 999,999 parts per million. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but you get my point.

The event is about freedom, safety in numbers, and honoring Portland cultural tradition. And, of course, there were a few people there to protest fossil fuels – namely the organizers themselves – but photo evidence suggests it’s an afterthought for a lot of riders.

Last year the reported number of cyclists was 10,000, and it was assumed to be about the same this time around.

Good in the Hood Waves
off Threats

Portland’s 25th annual multicultural Good in the Hood festival went off without a hitch despite racial threats having been made last week just before the event. Reports indicate that a caller to the Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy threatened to shoot people and used racial slurs. At the time of writing, the FBI and police were still looking into identifying the caller. This was hardly the first or only threat, however, as organizers received a wonderful letter full of slurs, profanity, and promise of a “bloodbath” if the event wasn’t shut down. Oh, and some stuff about the Ku Klux Klan – the perfect cliché cherry on the white supremacist cake.

In grand Portland style, nobody backed down and everyone had a great time. To help mitigate the threat, a hundred or so people wore a “I Am Shawn Penny” shirt, which bore the name of the festival president who was specifically threatened in the letter.

Sorry, batsh*t racists, solidarity strikes again.

Oregon Judge Says Stuff
Like the headline suggests, an Oregon judge said some stuff. In the case, Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy said something like this: “I’m toppling a weak, stinking, pathetic previous ruling and declaring all sorts of stuff that says counties can’t sue the state. BLAMMO.” The reasoning here is that counties are subdivisions of said state, and therefore shouldn’t be able to be all like, “F*ck you Dad, gimme some money.”

Petulant teenagers, these counties. Especially Lane… ugh.

Anyhow, the implications here range far and wide, though most immediately it calls into question a nearly $1.5 billion lawsuit, class action style, over Oregon’s failure to properly log logs. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I don’t make this stuff up. Not most of it, anyway.

Good News of the Week
A six-year-old kid just got a brand-new hand through 3D printing technology. The design came from the nonprofit Enabling the Future, and the hand was attached by Dr. Albert Chi at the Oregon Health and Science University. Quoted in an Oregon Public Broadcasting article by Kristian Foden-Vencil, the doctor said that the child can now grasp a fork and cut his own food. Next up? Scooter rides and shoe-tying.

Normally this sort of prosthetic costs around $50,000, but thanks to 3D printing it was about $50. Not bad, eh?


By Johnny Beaver