Hearing about a young woman's struggle to wipe away her conviction on prostitution charges inspired New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to introduce legislation to help other victims.
Hearing about a young woman's struggle to wipe away her conviction on prostitution charges inspired New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to introduce legislation to help other victims.
This is my life now. For reals!
I just got invited to a house party with cocktails, food, and baby goats. I love you, Portland.
Blue Star is doing well in Tokyo
"the next day the line to get into Blue Star crossed the street and left Log Road. The next day, they hired people to stand next to the line and write out the wait time for doughnuts on dry erase boards. It was up to three hours. The day after that the line was two city blocks long. We sold out before we opened the doors. And that’s what it’s been every single day since. The Japan shop sells 1,200 donuts per day; in the first 2-3 hours of each day. Last I heard, lines are starting at 6 a.m …. for a fuckin’ doughnut"
After colonizing every quadrant of Portland with their highbrow/low cost iterations of burgers, doughnuts, ramen, and fried chicken, serial restaurateurs Katie Poppe and Micah Camden recently left, not only the city, but the country, to establish their first non-Portland restaurant—a Blue Star Donuts located more than 4,000 miles away in Tokyo.
Camden’s Blue Star Donuts (as it’s known overseas) opened April 17 in clothier Fred Segal’s new Western-themed shopping complex Log Road, in Tokyo's chic Daikanyama neighborhood. Camden and Poppe provided recipes, branding, and the design and kitchen production blueprint while the savvy luxury brand managed the project on site, from hiring staff to handling build out.
Fred Segal also lured San Francisco's Tartine and Kirin Beer to its chic, lumber- and ivy-adorned open mall. (It looks a little like downtown Portland's Union Way—itself home to the duo’s Boxer Ramen.) But despite its high profile neighbors, so far it's Stumptown’s own fancy brioche rounds that have garnered the biggest buzz in their new town. We're betting that's due as much to Tokyo's voracious appetite for Portland culture as Fred Segal's crack PR team. So far, Blue Star has already starred in many amazingly detailed Japanese morning shows spots (see video at the bottom of post) and sparked lines of hungry, excited locals that snake down two city blocks.
Jet-lagged and motor-mouthed, Camden took a break from empire building to share three lessons, in his own words, from his doughnut-centric Lost in Translation trip*:
LESSON 1: I DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING
I flew into Toyko with Blue Star’s chef Stephanie Thornton two weeks before the opening of the store. We get off the airplane and a news crew comes up to us and says, "Can we ask you some questions?" They are from one of the most popular shows in Tokyo, which follows foreigners around to catch all those "Holy fuck, I’m not in Kansas anymore” moments on tape. We told them we were here to open a doughnut shop. And the host said, “Oh! Blue Star? Basil-blueberry?!?” And my mind was blown—or, well, my ego was blown. They already know about us in a land far, far away. This is awesome.
The next day, when I walked into Blue Star Tokyo, I was scared shitless. Until now, I had built all my restaurants with the same Portland guys. The guy who built [Camden's first restaurant] Yakuza 12 years ago, is building Hop Dog right now, and built everything in between. But the Daikanyama shop was like an immaculate conception—I almost buckled at the knees when I first saw it. Two weeks before opening, the staff was already training; already cracking the whip in the kitchen, recipe testing—I don’t hold my own employees to that level of excellence.
Honestly, the Japanese crew is already doing some things better than we do in Portland—their version of our matcha green tea doughnut is so much richer, so much better. Turns out I was using raw matcha and the Japanese bakers were like, “No!!! You have to bloom it, you have to bring it to life!” [Portland Blue Star shops will switch the to Japanese matcha recipe soon.]
The level of efficiently that the Japanese crew has is insane—their kitchen is 300 square feet smaller than the downtown Blue Star kitchen, but it puts out more doughnuts. It goes back to that Jim Jefferies joke on confidence: I showed up in Japan with all my arrogance in full fucking swing. And, instead, I met people who taught me how to do what I do better. It was quite humbling. I’ve already reverse-engineered some of the Tokyo shop’s processes and will use them in Portland.
LESSON 2: INK GETS YOU THE STINKEYE
Katie stayed in the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel, you know, the one from Lost in Translation? I wanted to have my own Bill Murray moment too; the confused traveler endorsing Americana in Japan. But when I wake up in my nice, five-star ANA Intercontinental hotel and try to go to the gym, the staffer said: “Oh, sorry sir. No tattoos.”
[Note: Camden has had a massive amount of tattoo work completed in the last year (photo, left). Portland ink from Historic Tattoo’s Bradley Delay covers much of his body from wrist to ankle—both arms sporting a think tangle of forms and embellishments, from Winnie the Pooh to a huge whisk.]
I kinda knew that tattoos were frowned upon in Japan…Everywhere: “Oh, sorry sir. No tattoos.” I walked 10 miles to find a gym anywhere that I could work out at. My toes were bleeding by the time I got back and nobody would let me in. The nice tea shop I wanted to visit pulled me out of line and told me I couldn’t be there. I tried to get into a 400-year old, Michelin-starred soba noodle restaurant—they wouldn’t serve me. Mind you, I got the most polite rejections ever— it’s just a rule. I was told many times that nobody has tattoos, besides the Yakuza. Tokyo doesn't allow me to work out in its gyms, but it sells girls panties in vending machines in the subway (I saw them).
So, on one one end I have people bowing to me at Blue Star like a celeb and I’m being shunned at gyms on the other. I was starting to feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman—I’ve got all this money and nobody will take it from me. I felt like, fuck it, I’m going to embrace this shit. I’m going to start wearing tank tops and shorts around with my shaved-side Miley Cyrus haircut. If my arms are offensive, wait until they see my legs. “It’s just like Portland,” my business partner Matt Lynch told me. “People either love you or hate you. This should be a walk in the park.”
LESSON 3: THINGS REALLY ARE BIG IN JAPAN
Blue Star Tokyo’s Press Day, the day before we opened, was a trip—seven hours of non-stop interviews with TV show after TV show after newspaper, after magazine, from Japanese Vogue to Elle. There were people everywhere: Paul Blum, the CEO of Fred Segal; Adam Sandow**, he owns Fred Segal. [Camden swipes through photos of Log Road, pointing out Blue Star co-owner Katie Poppe, a crush of eaters, translators, lawyers, several gorgeous women, and a red food cart]. Fred Segal spent $100,000 redoing a Citroën as a food truck at Log Road. It served shrimp in hot dog buns during our opening night—it was awful. So, Sandow gave the truck to me and Matt Lynch. We’re making it a grilled cheese and tomato soup food cart—nothing more American than that. We’re gonna spread the bread with white miso butter before we grill it—and we’ll serve everything with Camden’s Catsup, of course.
Anyway, on opening day, Blue Star Tokyo just got busier and busier and busier. Insane. Honestly, the customers seemed to like all of the doughnuts. The favorite was probably Blueberry Bourbon Basil—it’s still the dead ringer. The next day the line to get into Blue Star crossed the street and left Log Road. The next day, they hired people to stand next to the line and write out the wait time for doughnuts on dry erase boards. It was up to three hours. The day after that the line was two city blocks long. We sold out before we opened the doors. And that’s what it’s been every single day since. The Japan shop sells 1,200 donuts per day; in the first 2-3 hours of each day. Last I heard, lines are starting at 6 a.m …. for a fuckin’ doughnut. What did opening a doughnut shop in Japan do for me? It gave me perspective. The world is a lot bigger than I thought it was. What am I gonna do with that knowledge? … Lose sleep.
*Edited for space, clarity, and superfluous f-bombs. Lesson names by PoMo.
**Bonus Camden brag: “Adam Sandow told me he and Paul Blum had dinner at Jiro Dreams of Sushi [sushi master Jiro Ono’s 10-seat Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant] with their interpreters. The chef asks them why they are in Japan and Sandow tells him about Log Road, and mentions they licensed Kirin, Tartine, and Blue Star for food options. And Jiro-san, the one from the movie, goes: “Oh, the place with the doughnuts?” I am not fucking lying. At all.”
Cheese is the chameleon of the food world, as well as one of its greatest delights. Fresh and light or funky and earthy, creamy and melty or crystalline and crumbly—no other food offers such a variety of flavours and textures.
But cheese is not just a treat for the palate: its discovery changed the course of Western civilization, and, today, cheese rinds are helping scientists conduct cutting-edge research into microbial ecology. In this episode of Gastropod, we investigate cheese in all stinking glory, from ancient Mesopotamia to medieval France, from the origins of cheese factories and Velveeta to the growing artisanal cheese movement in the U.S.. Along the way, we search for the answer to a surprisingly complex question: what is cheese?
Join us as we bust cheese myths, solve cheese mysteries, and put together the ultimate cheese plate.
The Secret History of Cheese, or, Why the Cheese Origin Story is a Myth
This is the story you’ll often hear about how humans discovered cheese: one hot day nine thousand years ago, a nomad was on his travels, and brought along some milk in an animal stomach—a sort of proto-thermos—to have something to drink at the end of the day. But when he arrived, he discovered that the rennet in the stomach lining had curdled the milk, creating the first cheese. Unfortunately, there’s a major problem with that story, as University of Vermont cheese scientist and historian Paul Kindstedt told Gastropod: the nomads living in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East in 7000 B.C. would have been lactose-intolerant. A nomad on the road wouldn’t have wanted to drink milk; it would have left him in severe gastro-intestinal distress.
Kindstedt, author of the book Cheese and Culture, explained that about a thousand years before traces of cheese-making show up in the archaeological record, humans began growing crops. Those early fields of wheat and other grains attracted local wild sheep and goats, which provide milk for their young. Human babies are also perfectly adapted for milk. Early humans quickly made the connection and began dairying—but for the first thousand years, toddlers and babies were the only ones consuming the milk. Human adults were uniformly lactose-intolerant, says Kindstedt. What’s more, he told us that “we know from some exciting archaeo-genetic and genomic modeling that the capacity to tolerate lactose into adulthood didn’t develop until about 5500 BC”—which is at least a thousand years after the development of cheese.
The real dawn of cheese came about 8,500 years ago, with two simultaneous developments in human history. First, by then, over-intensive agricultural practices had depleted the soil, leading to the first human-created environmental disaster. As a result, Neolithic humans began herding goats and sheep more intensely, as those animals could survive on marginal lands unfit for crops. And secondly, humans invented pottery: the original practical milk-collection containers.
In the warm environment of the Fertile Crescent region, Kinstedt explained, any milk not used immediately and instead left to stand in those newly invented containers “would have very quickly, in a matter of hours, coagulated [due to the heat and the natural lactic acid bacteria in the milk]. And at some point, probably some adventurous adult tried some of the solid material and found that they could tolerate it a lot more of it than they could milk.” That’s because about 80 percent of the lactose drains off with the whey, leaving a digestible and, likely, rather delicious fresh cheese.
Rind microbes from a Colston Bassett Stilton. Photograph courtesy of Benjamin E. Wolfe.
Cheese Changed the Course of Western Civilization
With the discovery of cheese, suddenly those early humans could add dairy to their diets. Cheese made an entirely new source of nutrients and calories available for adults, and, as a result, dairying took off in a major way. What this meant, says Kindstedt, is that “children and newborns would be exposed to milk frequently, which ultimately through random mutations selected for children who could tolerate lactose later into adulthood.”
In a very short time, at least in terms of human evolution—perhaps only a few thousand years—that mutation spread throughout the population of the Fertile Crescent. As those herders migrated to Europe and beyond, they carried this genetic mutation with them. According to Kindstedt, “It’s an absolutely stunning example of a genetic selection occurring in an unbelievably short period of time in human development. It’s really a wonder of the world, and it changed Western civilization forever.”
Tasting the First Cheeses Today
In lieu of an actual time machine, Gastropod has another trick for listeners who want to know what cheese tasted like 9,000 years ago: head to the local grocery store and pick up some ricotta or goat’s milk chevre. These cheeses are coagulated using heat and acid, rather than rennet, in much the same way as the very first cheeses. Based on the archaeological evidence of Neolithic pottery containers found in the Fertile Crescent, those early cheeses would have been made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, meaning that they likely would have been somewhat funkier than cow’s milk ricotta, and perhaps of a looser, wetter consistency, more like cottage cheese.
“It would have had a tart, clean flavour,” says Kindstedt, “and it would have been even softer than the cheese you buy at the cheese shop. It would have been a tart, clean, acidic, very moist cheese.”
So, the next time you’re eating a ricotta lasagne or cheesecake, just think: you’re tasting something very similar to the cheese that gave ancient humans a dietary edge, nearly 9,000 years ago.
Ben Wolfe examining his in-vitro cheeses for signs of life. Photograph by Nicola Twilley.
Camembert Used to be Green
Those early cheese-making peoples spread to Europe, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the wild diversity of cheeses we see today started to emerge. In the episode, we trace the emergence of Swiss cheese and French bloomy rind cheeses, like Brie. But here’s a curious fact that didn’t make it into the show: when Gastropod visited Tufts microbiologist Benjamin Wolfe in his cheese lab, he showed us a petri dish in which he was culturing the microbe used to make Camembert, Penicillium camemberti. And it was a gorgeous blue-green colour.
Wolfe explained that according to Camembert: A National Myth, a history of the iconic French cheese written by Pierre Boisard, the original Camembert cheeses in Normandy would have been that same colour, their rinds entirely colonized by Wolfe’s “green, minty, crazy” microbe. Indeed, in nineteenth-century newspapers, letters, and advertisements, Camembert cheeses are routinely described as green, green-blue, or greenish-grey.
The pure white Camembert we know and love today did not become the norm until the 1920s and 30s. What happened, according to Wolfe, is that if you grow the wild microbe “in a very lush environment, like cheese is, it eventually starts to mutate. And along the way, these white mutants that look like the thing we think of as Camembert popped up.”
In his book, Boisard attributes the rapid rise of the white mutant to human selection, arguing that Louis Pasteur’s discoveries in germ theory at the start of the twentieth-century led to a prejudice against the original “moldy”-looking green Camembert rinds, and a preference for the more hygienic-seeming pure white ones. Camembert’s green origins have since been almost entirely forgotten, even by the most traditional cheese-makers.
Penicillium camemberti growing in a petri dish in Ben Wolfe’s lab. Photograph by Nicola Twilley.
Listen to this week’s episode of Gastropod for much more on the secret history and science of cheese, including how early cheese bureaucracy led to the development of writing, what studying microbes in cheese rinds can tell us about microbial ecology in our guts, and why in the world American cheese is dyed orange. (Hint: the color was originally seen as a sign of high quality.) Plus, Gastropod will help you put together the world’s most interesting cheese plate to wow guests at your next dinner party.
Listen here for more!
Want to know why more women aren’t doing xxx profession? THIS. IS. WHY.
A 2013 poll by Pew Research Center illustrated the fact that while fathers have begun pitching in more on thankless tasks like household chores and child care relative to their peers in 1965, they still lag far behind mothers in both areas.This bad attitude toward mothers hits home — hard. One recent survey released by Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company found men tend to overestimate the value of their contributions to the home outside of work, while women underestimate. The survey estimated that mothers of a minor child put in an average of $44,913 hours’ worth of unpaid labor a year, and over half of those women underestimated their contribution to the household by at least $10,000.
Here in Portland, we can pickle anything. We can even pickle a baseball team.
In recent weeks, several famous figures—including Khloe Kardashian, Kanye West, and Wiz Khalifa— have attempted to shame Amber Rose for her past, which includes a stint as an underage stripper. Instead of cowering and remaining silent, Rose has used her platform to illuminate the myriad ways race and class influence societal perceptions of sexuality.
Keep reading about Amber Rose and black women’s sexuality over on BitchMedia.org.
THIS IS MY AESTHETIC.
Golden retrievers often serve as guides for mountain climbers and hikers. They are quick to learn trails and able to lead humans to safety. However, this breed is very afraid of heights and thus must be carried in a backpack in order to avoid panic.
The Strange Story of Ethelbert the Curious Orca
It was the middle of October of 1931 in Portland, Oregon when he was discovered. Someone saw something big swimming in the Columbia Slough. Soon enough, a crowd gathered to gawk at the strange sea creature. Where did it come from? How did it get here? More importantly…what was it?
The answer came from old sailors and ex-whalers who identified the creature as a Killer Whale. It didn’t take long before a crowd of about 8,000 came to the slough to view the whale, who dove and splashed and seemed to be having a grand old time.
However, eager sportsmen also lined the shore in hopes that they could bag a killer whale. They shot at the whale, trying to kill it until then Governor Julius L. Meier ordered them to stop. Portlanders soon named the whale Ethelbert and reporters went on to write about the friendly whale that had come to visit Portland.
Unfortunately, Ethelbert’s wounds from being shot at quickly became infected, turning yellowish-green and causing his black coloring to turn a musty light gray. He became slow and lethargic and likely had nothing to eat. This prompted the Oregon Humane Society to seek out a humane way to put the whale down - perhaps using dynamite. The Hayden Island Amusement company instead proposed Ethelbert be moved to a saltwater tank in Jantzen Beach as opposed to staying in the fresh, but polluted, water of the Columbia Slough. However, this proposal was quickly voted against by the Oregon Humane Society.
Though the Humane Society still sought a humane way to “dispose” of Ethelbert despite naturalists insisting that he could take care of himself. Naturalists William L. Finley and Campbell Church Jr. confirmed that Ethelbert was indeed a small Killer Whale, and suspected that he had followed the salmon run up the Columbia river before becoming trapped within the Slough.
Byron B. Allison, ex-chief engineer for the Pacific-American Whaling company, seemed to be the most adamant about putting Ethelbert to death. He contested that “There is no food in the Columbia River for a whale. There are only carp, bass, salmon, and trout, all of them too large for a small-throated mammal like the whale. Whales feed on sardines and small fish that run in large schools.” Most of the public and many naturalists that came to gawk at Ethelbert urged the Humane Society to leave him alone and let nature take it’s course.
Soon enough, however, Ethelbert was dead.
He had reportedly been harpooned on October 24, 1931 by ex-whaler Edward O. Lessard with help from his son, Joe T. Lessard. Ethelbert apparently sank to the bottom of the slough immediately, but before the two men could retrieve his body, they were arrested and charged with disturbing the public peace and morals, killing a fish with illegal tackle, and fishing in the slough with illegal tackle. The charges did not stick though, as no laws existed regarding inland whaling. While the Lessards were sorting through their legal matters, some others snagged Ethelbert’s body from the bottom of the slough and propped his mouth open with a 3-pronged hook for paying visitors.
Ethelbert, however, was examined soon after his death. It was believed that he really had been starving, as his stomach and intestines were reported to be empty, and was completely blind as a result of being covered in festering wounds. An article in The Oregonian on November 9, 1931 stated that they believed Ethelbert had been splashing and plunging about in the slough in a desperate attempt to find light and food.
When Ed Lessard came to claim his whale, he ordered a custom-made metal box and preserved Ethelbert inside using formaldehyde. The state of Oregon soon moved in to seize Ethelbert’s remains, and an 8-year court battle ensued. Eventually, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state until quickly realizing the limited utility there is in a dead whale. The state then offered to let the Lessards have Ethelbert if they agreed to pay court costs.
After paying the fee of $103, Edward O. Lessard apparently took Ethelbert and carted him around for about 6 years until retiring the show and taking Ethelbert to his property on a mountain near Washougal, WA.
However, Ethelbert’s final resting place is unknown.
While many claim that he is still located somewhere on the property of Ed Lessard in Washington, others report that in August 1949, a strange and unpleasant stench was coming from a property in St. Helens, OR, almost 50 miles northwest of Washougal. Upon closer inspection residents discovered Ethelbert’s body inside of the rusted metal box, and decided that it would be best to bury him.
Though a 1971 article in the Associated Press reported that Ethelbert was indeed left to decompose on Lessards property just north of Washougal. The metal box had corroded and the formaldehyde had seeped out, though Ethelbert’s remains had been decently preserved.
Whether Ethelbert’s remains are still up on the mountain in Washougal or buried six feet under in St. Helens is anyone’s guess. Questions still remain, however, about where Ethelbert came from and just how he came to be stuck in the slough.
There are no other populations of Killer Whales today who hang around the mouth of the Columbia River apart from the salmon-eating population we know today as the Southern Residents, meaning Ethelbert was likely a member of that population.
Historically, it was not unheard of to see Orca in the Columbia River, though they mainly stay near the mouth of the river today due to increased boat traffic, dams, etc. However, Ethelbert managed to navigate well over 100 miles of the Columbia before ending up stuck in the slough.
Considering Ethelbert was only around 1,500lbs and 15ft. long, he was most likely 3-4 years old. If he truly was a Southern Resident, his remains would provide extremely valuable information including age, pod and familial relations, overall health, eating habits, etc.
Interestingly enough, the matriarch of Southern Resident J pod, J-2 Granny, is believed to have been born in 1911, about 20 years prior to Ethelbert’s discovery in 1931. If researchers were able to find Ethelbert’s final resting place, they could potentially run DNA samples from both Ethelbert and J-2 Granny to see if there were any kind of match.
For now, however, Ethelbert has been largely forgotten and is likely resting untouched somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and may remain untouched for many more years.
In a new poll from OPB, Oregonians admit
1. racism is an issue
2. they don’t want to talk about it
When asked if racism is no longer a problem in Oregon, 76 percent of survey respondents said it’s still an issue. But at the same time, 55 percent of Oregonians polled said they agreed with the idea “we talk too much about race and race relations.”
Guys, we totally Britta’d it
At least one respondent understood:
“Oregon has got its history,” he said, referencing the state’s exclusion laws, which aimed to keep African Americans out until the 20th Century. “You don’t have white supremacists marching down the street anymore, but I don’t think people realize they have ideas that are racist.”
Here’s looking at you, Oregon!
"Gilbert 'Toby' Curtsinger led an organized criminal syndicate based at his residence in Franklin County, Ky., that participated in theft and distribution of stolen bourbon, and also imported and distributed anabolic steroids," says Melton. "Curtsinger then utilized connections he had from playing softball throughout central Kentucky to sell the stolen barrels."
In 2013, more than 200 bottles of pricey Pappy Van Winkle bourbon vanished from a Kentucky distillery. Tuesday authorities announced indictments in what appears to be a much bigger crime syndicate.
Portland-based Cycle Dog has found success by combining two things local love: bikes and dogs. The six year old company has a retail store and sewing shop in northwest and their products are found in hundreds of stores across the country.
And to think, founder Lanette Fidrynch started the company with a small table at BikeCraft!
Cycle Dog now offers a casual bike jersey that you can match with your dog’s collar. They’re also have an Earth Day tube recycling event tomorrow (4/22) and Thursday (4/23). Learn more below…
Cycle Dog – Ride With Your Trail Dog – NEW DH Jersey & Collar Collection
Team up with your dog with Cycle Dog’s new Diagonals collar and matching bike jersey collection. Cycle Dog collars, backed with recycled inner tube rubber, resists bacteria growth normally seen in standard nylon collars; creating a quick-drying, no-stink solution for your dog. Features patented Latch-Lock airline-style seatbelt buckle and Pup Top bottle opener leash attachment. Handsewn in Portland Oregon. For further information, contact Cycle Dog at 503.318.8066 or www.cycledog.com.
Drop off your old tubes, get a beer.
Cycle Dog is having a bike tube drive this Wednesday and Thursday in celebration of Earth Day. Over 3 million inner tubes are produced a day. Most of these dead tubes end up in the landfill. Cycle Dog saves dead tubes and turns them into amazing pet products: collars, leashes, travel bowls and pet accessories. Come into Cycle Dog and drop your tubes off and enjoy a beer from our friends at Deschutes Brewing. In addition, all Cycle Dog products are on sale in our factory showroom!
We accept all tubes (except skinny road tubes (700×18-23), slimmed tubes and thorn resistant tubes). Cycle Dog accepts tubes all year long, not just this week! Bike shops can contact us directly for more information on bulk tube collection, 503-318-8066. Cycle Dog processes over 10000 tubes a month!
Cycle Dog began in 2009 by Lanette Fidrych, an idea to do something with her old inner tubes that were piling up in the basement. Launched in July 2009, Cycle Dog has grown from a stand at Bikecraft to over 1000 dealers in the USA, Canada and 15 other countries. Known for the patented Pup Top bottle opener dog collar, Cycle Dog also supplies custom branded merchandise to over 100 craft breweries in the USA.
2215 NW Quimby ST
Portland, OR 97210
Bike Tube Drive Wed 4/22 and Thurs 4/23 Hours 10-7pm
A few doors down from Bull Run Distilling
Want more local bike industry news? Check out our Industry Ticker archives..
The post Industry Ticker: Cycle Dog launches jersey and Earth Day tube drive appeared first on BikePortland.org.
Soda nerd alert! Two of Portland Soda Works’ fancy pop syrups are now on the shelves at five New Seasons Markets outposts.
Until recently, the strong, layered concoctions, which when combined with soda water sip like sweet, crisp teas with a tickle of carbonation, have only been available at a handful of area restaurants.
Now, co-founder Chris Onstad (who added “nuanced soda syrup crafter” to a resume that already included "nationally lauded graphic novelist" and "food critic" three years ago) has gone retail. He and biz partner Dan McLaughlin debuted both PSW's tangy Ginger Beer, packed with fresh ginger root and dried chile, and meticulously crafted Root Beer, which vibrates with warming spices and black pepper married to a mellow mix of three sugars, molasses, and his own vanilla bean extract.
Find out more about the local imbiber’s quest to craft “the Belgian beer of soda pops” in our recent profile.
PSW’s handsome 375ml bottles sell for $10.99 at New Seasons’ Concordia, Grant Park, Seven Corners, Cedar Hills, and Progress Ridge stores.
Someone in Camberville asked me why I would work at a job I didn't love. This is why.
Goals: amass fuckyou money
Forever reblog the mother goddess
In a memo to staff, editor in chief Ben Smith acknowledged that the site had deleted more than 1,000 posts — three of them after complaints from advertisers. Gawker first reported on the deletions.
California is by far the dominant U.S. produce-growing state—source of (large PDF) 81 percent of U.S.-grown carrots, 95 percent of broccoli, 86 percent of cauliflower, 74 percent of raspberries, 91 percent of strawberries, etc.
But all three of its main veggie growing regions—the Imperial Valley, the Central Valley, and the Salinas Valley—face serious short- and long-term water challenges. As I recently argued in a New York Times debate, it's time to "de-Californify" the nation's supply of fruits and vegetable supply, to make it more diversified, resilient, and ready for a changing climate.
Here are maps of U.S. fruit and vegetable production:
Now check out this map depicting average annual precipitation. The data are old—1961 to 1990—and weather patterns have changed since then as the climate has warmed over the decades. But the overall trends depicted still hold sway: The West tends to be arid, the East tends to get plenty of rain and snow, and the Midwest lands, well, somewhere in the middle. So the map remains a good proxy for understanding where water tends to fall and where it doesn't, though the precipitation levels depicted for California look downright Londonesque compared to the state's current parched condition.
Not only is California gripped in its worst drought in at least 1,200 years, but climate models and the fossil record suggest that its 21st-century precipitation levels could be significantly lower than the 20th-century norm, when California emerged as a fruit-and-vegetable behemoth.
So here's an idea that could take pressure off California. In my Times piece, I looked to the Corn Belt states of the Midwest as a prime candidate for a veggie revival: Just about a quarter million acres (a veritable rounding error in that region's base of farmland) from corn and soy to veggies could have a huge impact on regional supply, a 2010 Iowa State University study found.
Now my gaze is heading south and east, to acres now occupied by cotton—a crop burdened by a brutal past in the South (slavery, sharecropping) and a troubled present (a plague of herbicide-tolerant weeds):
Let's leave aside all of the cotton growing on the arid side of the map. (The drought is already squeezing out production of the fluffy fiber in California; as for the Texas panhandle, cotton production there relies heavily on water from the fast-depleting Ogallala Aquifer—not a great long-term strategy.)Small-scale fruit and vegetable farms are "already gearing up down there," said one expert.
What I'm eyeing are those cotton acres on the water-rich right side of the map—the Mississippi Delta states Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Louisiana, along with the Carolinas, Alabama, and Georgia to the east. According to the USDA, mid-Southern and Southeastern states planted more than 4 million acres of cotton in 2014. This is what's left of the old—and let's face it, infamous—Cotton Belt that stocked the globe's textile factories during the 19th-century boom that delivered the Industrial Revolution (a story told in Sven Beckert's fantastic 2014 book Empire of Cotton).
Decades of low prices have already put a squeeze on Southern cotton acres, and the fiber has recently slumped anew in global trading. Why not transition at least some acres into crops with a robust domestic market? I bounced my idea of a Cotton Belt fruit-and-vegetable renaissance off a few experts to see if it was nuts. Ferd Hoefner, policy director of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, called it "noncrazy." He pointed out that, as in most other parts of the United States, small-scale farms that sell directly to consumers are "already gearing up down there," and added that the region "seems ripe for entrepreneurial companies to come in, buy land, grow farmers, introduce a whole new vegetable supply chain on a bigger scale, especially with California's woes."
I'm not talking about a fantasy in which everyone eats from within 20 miles (although such locavore networks, which have thrived nationwide over the last two decades, certainly add diversification and resilience to the overall food system). I'm simply pushing a more regionalized, widely distributed scheme for filling our salad and fruit bowls, one less dependent on California and its overtaxed water resources.
Scott Marlow, executive director of North Carolina-based RAFI USA, a farmer advocacy organization, also said the idea makes sense—with caveats. One is credit. Marlow says that most farmers who still plant cotton are large enough that they rely on loans to start the growing season—and bankers understand and are used to cotton, but may find vegetables too exotic and risky. For such farmers, "if the banker won't lend for it, [they] are not doing it," he said. Reforms in the latest farm bill made it easier for "specialty crop" (i.e., fruit and vegetable) farmers to get good crop insurance, and that, in turn, made it easier to get loans, he said. But those changes take time to sink in.
He added that the South's high levels of precipitation can actually be a liability compared to California's aridity, because "rain spreads diseases through splash erosion, ruins product, screws up harvest, reduces product quality." California farmers, who meet their watering needs through controlled irrigation, don't have those problems.
But rain troubles can be addressed through low-tech means like high tunnels, which are already being adapted by Southern produce farmers to extend the growing season, but also to protect sensitive crops from rain, Marlow said. Black plastic mulch, another widely adapted practice, also helps keep crops healthy in rainy periods, he added. The South's farmers have demonstrated the ability to innovate, he said, but "there have to be markets, there has to be risk management, and there has to be access to credit."
Converting swaths of Dixie country to vegetables won't be a fast or easy process. But if California's water troubles drag on, as it appears they will, broccoli may yet emerge as the heir apparent to doddering King Cotton.
The Town of Baldwin, Maine, and the Massachusetts communities of Billerica, Burlington, Medford, Tewkesbury, Wilmington, and Somerville, all claimed the Baldwin as their own."
|Fisticuffs! (Public domain image)|
Cheesecake requires a crust so it's a misnomer. Obviously #teampie
#teampie for breakfast (at Lauretta Jean’s Pie)
choo choo motherfuckers
The Mt Hood Railroad scenic train, which runs from Hood River to Parkdale. Lovely views this time of year with pear orchards in bloom.
Clara is the best at this
Gazing into your dog's eyes apparently triggers happy feelings in both parties - suggesting that dogs really may love us back. (This piece originally aired on All Things Considered on April 16, 2015.)
“Choo choo motherfuckers, I’m on a train!”
🚞🚞 #mthood #columbiagorge #trains #fruitloop
I want to scream this from rooftops.
PS, hi otters
When I was younger, I wish someone had told me straight-up that not all adults experience “a calling”. That many of them never find particular purpose in a career. That sometimes, their job is just what pays the bills and they have to seek satisfaction and fulfillment elsewhere.
Because as an adult, this pervasive notion that there exists a perfect path for everyone, that people should love what they do, and that work is meant to function as a vehicle for fulfilling a person’s grand life destiny is not only inaccurate for many of us, it can be toxic.
The ideal is so ingrained that I have to remind myself constantly I’m not a failure because I don’t adore my job, and because I’m not rocking the world with my work. That is okay.
Sometimes, work is just work. There isn’t always a perfect career path, magically waiting to be discovered. There might not be this THING you were born to do. Sometimes, you discover that what you really want to be when you grow up is “paid”.
It’s true. Capitalism only functions bc it needs the majority of people to struggle and not have access to fruitful, materially compensated (passion) work and livelihoods.
This is something i think about a lot w my first generation class and education privilege.
Photos of Rokudenashi-ko (ろくでなし子) a.k.a. Megumi Igarashi (五十嵐恵), a Japanese artist currently on trial for obscenity. Igarashi is facing the charges over a kayak she made with 3D printer data of her own vagina.
From a January interview with The Daily Beast:What statement were you trying to make with this project?
In Japan, women’s vaginas are treated as though they are men’s property. The trains here usually display pornographic advertisements. As a woman, I find that blatant objectification to be humiliating. I’m disgusted by it. My body belongs to me.
So, with this project I wanted to release the vagina from the standard Japanese paradigm. Japan is lenient towards expressions of male sexuality and arousal, but not so for women. When a woman uses her body in artistic expression, her work gets ignored, and people treat her as if she’s some sex-crazed idiot. It all comes back to misogyny. And the vagina is at the heart of it.
How is the vagina at the heart of misogyny?
The vagina is ridiculed. It’s lusted after. Men don’t see women as equals—to them, women are just vaginas. Then they call my vagina-themed work “obscene,” and judge me according to laws written by and for men.
Since last July, you have continued to make vagina-themed artwork while knowing that you risk arrest and worse. Why haven’t you stopped? What would it take for you to quit?
Why should I stop? [Laughs] Let them kill me. Because I will die before I stop making art.
Since the reporting of Rokudenashi-ko’s case began with her first arrest last summer, the case has frequently been dismissed in the press as a quirky news item or merely an artist seeking publicity. Japan Today’s article “Obscenity arrest may be hiding dirty politics,” shatters these notions, exploring the deeper political motivations behind the arrests of Rokudenashi-ko and her colleague, sex toy shop manager and political writer Minori Watanabe.
Watanabe was arrested for “displaying obscene goods in her shop window in collusion with Igarashi.” But it’s important to note that Watanabe has been a vocal critic in the press of the conservative administration and prime minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-war, anti-free speech policies. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Watanabe (under her pen name, Minori Kitahara) in the Asahi Shimbun from June 2014:Since Abe came to power, the state secrets law has been passed and the Diet has reinterpreted (the principle of) collective self-defense,” she said. “It’s not a coincidence. We live in a world where hate speech flourishes and we’re closer to going to other countries to kill people. I feel as if we are no longer allowed to criticize the state. It’s scary.
Within months, Watanabe was arrested on obscenity charges. “Obscenity” and “state secrets” are two sides of the same coin: terms without definition that can be molded at will to persecute artists and journalists who step out of line. This dark climate of suppression can be rather depressing, but it’s Rokudenashi-ko’s unassailable upbeat attitude that wins out at the end of the day:I see myself as an artist who turns anger into smiles through manga and art. […] I don’t intend to fight anger through demonstrations or rallies, I’d rather express myself through art and make people smile.