Yelp is on the way

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By Dona Bridges

Sometimes I want to give you my heart, Yelp.com. I want to praise you in typo-ridden prose and give you that highest of all honors, the five star rating. You are a star, a soapbox, a great leveler of the playing field, where the voices of the people at last ring loud and clear, audible above advertisers and bullshit merchants.

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Sure, some of my friends talk shit about you. Read more »

How much is that dead guy in the window?

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By Phil Eil

Some guys collected baseball cards when they were little. Martin Economou collected skulls. Nowadays, he doesn’t just collect skulls, he sells them three days a week at his store, Martin’s 16th Street Emporium. “It’s a skull shop,” Martin told me, pointing out raccoon skulls, electric light-up skulls, skulls with human hair, and skull rings as we toured his shop. “Skulls are big,” he explained, passing a glowing blue plasma skull, “They weren’t five years ago. Read more »

The bicyclist vs. the oil industry's best friend

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As I prepare to attend next week's International Towards Carfree Cities Conference in Portland (from which I'll be doing daily posts on this blog) -- traveling up by train with a big group of bicyclists and alternative transportation activists from San Francisco -- the newsgroups and carfree living websites have been abuzz over this simple image:
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Why go gaga over a presidential candidate on a bike Read more »

JROTC: This is never going to work

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Wouldn't a martial-arts program be a better option?
(Photo of Master Jung from Koreanmartialarts.com

Okay, I'm all for getting rid of JROTC in the public schools. Read more »

Sonic Reducer Overage: Judy Mowatt, Wolf Eyes, Styrofoam, and more

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Singer through the wringer - and at Rickshaw Stop this week.

Bo Diddley's passing has bummed me out - leaving me in a drifting, low-level depression-style funk. But know what, B-Diddley wouldn't have wanted you to sit around and sulk. You got options - some very intriguing ones, in fact. Read more »

Compassion and class: Billy Bragg

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By Laura Mojonnier

Twenty-five years into his career, Billy Bragg has solidified his position as England's most sensitive soul, crooning about every fresh wound with a characteristic urgency that allows even his sparest compositions to engulf entire rooms. He sings his stark but tender, often overtly class-conscious folk songs with a punk rock urgency, as if Joe Strummer and Jeff Mangum fused for just long enough to cover Phil Ochs. Read more »

3 Good reasons to hate Meghan McCain’s blog (besides the obvious)

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By Marianne Moore

Meghan McCain, the senator’s young, hot, keffiyeh-wearing daughter, has taken to blogging from the campaign trail, and the media is lapping it up: depending on who you read she’s alternately “hilarious,” “refreshing,” or even “adorable.” Lest you be seduced by the blog’s seemingly innocent, light-hearted descriptions of bad campaign food or the Governator’s neckwear, find below the tools you need to remain ruthlessly scowling at Meggers and her Daddy. Read more »

Cheap beer and rubber band balls

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By Justin Juul

San Francisco has the best liquor stores in the country. Oh sure, you could make the argument that New York City, with all it’s bodegas, and bullet-proof-glass-lined 24-hour sandwich shops is the real leader in this race, but come on. They don’t even sell beer at those places, and well, most of them just don’t have the personality of the shops you find here.Read more »

Is it me or the Marina?

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Today, while walking down Union Street in the Marina in my green She-Bible mini dress, I got hit on twice in one block. And not just a whistle or a “damn, girl, you look good,” or even a “that’s a great dress,” (which I got earlier at the SFMTA office on Van Ness), but honest-to-god pick-ups. A tall guy in a baseball hat sitting outside a bank told me I was beautiful and asked where I was headed. “Working,” I said, and smiled as I walked quickly away.

Half a block later, a man on a motorcycle with an orange Mohawk helmet stopped his bike and asked where he was taking me to dinner. Read more »

Good riddance to SF Zoo director

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This weekend came the long overdue news that Manuel Mollinedo has finally resigned as executive director of the San Francisco Zoo. Read more »