The earthquake: l989 and 2007. How my old Royal typewriter saved the day and helped get the Guardian out on time

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

Yes, that is correct. I put my trusty old Royal typewriter to work in the deadline emergency of the l989 Loma Prieta quake and it helped get the paper out on time. The rescue confirmed my argument that my typewriter was much more reliable than a computer in an earthquake emergency when the power goes out. But first let me give you some quake context.

Somehow, when the quake hits, I am always on the couch and get the full force of the jolt. Read more »

For the love of Hannah Montana

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By Ben Richardson

I don’t really kick it with many “tweens,” so I was pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to the whole “Hannah Montana” thing. In fact, I had to be informed of her existence by a colleague of mine here at the Guardian: Duncan Davidson.

“What!” he exclaimed one day, sending six-odd high-gauge earrings aquiver and clenching exclamatory muscles beneath his elaborately tattooed forearms. Read more »

Free bike lights

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It's always good to get something for nothing, and with daylight savings time ending this weekend, it's an especially good time to get free lights for your bicycle this evening from 5-7 p.m., courtesy of the Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Details and locations in the following press release.

We're peaking

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Oh, how I wish that the SF Public Utilities Commission meetings brought me to such a brink...

Not so much. But as far as the peaker power plants are concerned there were some interesting developments today. Mayor Gavin Newsom is definitely playing the white knight in this scenario, and he's now brokering a deal in which the city fronts all the money to build the power plant, skirting the public-private partnership deal that's been floated to date. Read more »

Happy Halloween from Tom Ammiano

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No port a potties in the Castro? No problem. Dress up as an astronaut in diapers.

Happy Halloween.

(From the answering machine of Sup. Tom Ammiano on Halloween Eve, Oct. 3l, 2007) B3

Venezuelan youth explosion!

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An incredible argument against America’s tragic downsizing of school music programs? Why sure! What do you get when you create a national system of youth musical education that reaches 250,000 kids, spawns 120 orchestras, and offers even the poorest kids in the country an opportunity to express themselves and plug into global culture? Well, El Sistema, as the huge and tuneful operation in Venezuela is known, is one. Read more »

Toilets on the way to the Castro

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After playing it cagey right up until today's media coverage, sources say city officials have blinked and ordered 120 portable bathrooms for Halloween in the Castro after all and started to close off some of the streets. Closure of the closest BART and Muni stations will make accessing the neighborhood difficult for outsiders, although the ease of access by San Franciscans on bicycles should, IMHO, improve the average quality of partygoers. See y'all out there.

Bearrifying! Paws for rap horror

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OMFG -- you knew it would happen. Girly bear rap-rock AT LAST hits the viral mainstream. And yes, it's pretty terrifying. Even more terrifying -- why is SFBG becoming a clearinghouse for bear musical releases? Read more »

Spooked sounds 2: more lost albums and forgotten performances for Halloween

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Pussy Galore - and scares galore.

By Erik Morse

Let's pick up where the first installment of "Spooked sounds" left off: here are a few more notorious sonic “events,” which constitute a spectral and alternative history in recorded music’s century long canon. The more cryptic, the more incredible and the more emphatic the anecdote, the scarier the sounds. Read more »

Anti-war movement is back

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Guardian photo by Neil Motteram
Apparently, most people aren't buying the inevitability of the endless Iraq War or the defeatist fatalism expressed by the major political parties and the mainstream media, if Saturday's massive anti-war march in San Francisco was any indicator. Read more »