Plus: 'No-school November' stretches on for PPS students.
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Today’s Forecast

48º | Rain and evening thunderstorms | 73% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:37 a.m. | Sunset 4:26 p.m.

🕹️ The arcade urban legend with infinite lives
Old arcade consoles sit beside one labeled Polybius.
Replicas of Polybius emerge every now and then. | Photo via Newsilver95
When it comes to Oregon’s most fascinating legends, the tale of Polybius probably ranks closer to Bigfoot in Forest Park (a well-executed April Fools’ prank) than the exploding whale (sounds fake, but actually happened).

However, that doesn’t make the reports of a government-funded, mind-controlling arcade game in a suburb of Portland any less interesting. Yep, you read that right. In November of 1981, when joystick jockeys were spending their hard-earned change to take on titles like “Donkey Kong” and “Frogger,” mysterious unmarked consoles allegedly popped up at Malibu Grand Prix in Beaverton.

The story goes that anyone who played Polybius would become addicted, experiencing a hypnotic state coupled with hallucinations, blackouts, and other mental afflictions. Apparently these machines were regularly visited by “men in black” who would open up the machines, collecting data while leaving the quarters untouched. Not long after the Polybius cabinets arrived, they were apparently removed without a trace.

A short clip shows Polybius, the urban legend arcade game in all green.

No one can even remember what Polybius’ gameplay entailed, though some have tried to recreate it.


Gif via @RJFilmSchool

For several decades, accounts of Polybius were spread by word-of-mouth, until a review was posted to, a vintage gaming database, in 1998. An image of the start-up screen surfaced, revealing the supposed company behind it — Sinneslöschen, a loosely German-inspired word derived from Sinne (“senses”) and löschen (“to extinguish” or “to delete”). The game itself is named after an ancient Greek philosopher who popularized a system for coded messages.

Pause. This is where we tell you that there is no hard evidence that Polybius ever even existed. But like every myth, it’s plugged into real-life context. It’s proven that the CIA has actually conducted behavioral experiments on the unwitting public. Arcades were also hotbeds for illegal gambling, attracting the attention of FBI agents. Plus, staring at flashing lights while drinking copious amounts of soda would make anyone sick.

Still, Polybius just won’t die; its legacy lives on in pop culture, including an episode of “The Simpsons” and more recently, “Loki” on Disney+.
Saturday, Nov. 18
  • Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” | Monday, Nov. 20 | 7:30 p.m. | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland | $25+ | Shakespeare’s fairy- and magic-filled fantasy comes to life on stage with brass, wind, and strings.
Monday, Nov. 20
  • Fall Into Science: Decomposition | Monday, Nov. 20 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland | Free | Keep the kids entertained during “no-school November” with this educational and fun outing in the forest.
  • Sea Otters of the Oregon Coast | Monday, Nov. 20 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Kennedy School Theater, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Portland | $5-$6 | Learn the history of these fluffy floating fur balls and their cultural significance for Native American communities.
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Wednesday, Nov. 22
  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz | Wednesday, Nov. 22 | 7 p.m. | Moda Center, 1 N. Center Court St., Portland | $16+ | Making something out of nothing — if that’s jazz, then the hometown squad will surely get a win.
Thursday, Nov. 23
  • Tofurky Trot | Thursday, Nov. 23 | 7:30-11 a.m. | Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland | $0-$35 | Burn off some calories to make room for the deluge of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie later on.
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Ring in the holidays with these gifts
holiday gifts
This holiday season shop for unique gifts from our small business partners. | Photo by 6AM City
Our online shop (Six & Main), a site that celebrates small businesses locally and in our 25 sister markets, is dishing out major deals this holiday season. From coffee to artwork and apparel, there’s a gift for everyone.

Black Friday
  • 30% off items included in our gift guides for her + him
Cyber Monday
There are more savings this weekend for the foodies, pet parents, and more…
News Notes
  • Schools out ‘til at least Nov. 27, the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend, as the PPS strike negotiations continue. Although some agreements have been made, class sizes and cost-of-living adjustments are sticking points, and teachers have now lost their healthcare coverage for December. (KOIN)
  • Construction on Washington County’s Center for Addictions Triage and Treatment will begin next March, with an estimated completion in 2025. The two buildings, located in Beaverton and Hillsboro, will provide round-the-clock services like sobering, detox, and residential programs. (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
  • Embrace winter’s unique opportunities for introspection and building community. Aurora Chorus hopes to convey that message to the audience at its “Inner Gardens” concert on Saturday, Dec. 16, at Portland First United Methodist Church. Since 1992, the group has “honored the strength and beauty of women’s lives” and elevated their voices.
  • Is your Thanksgiving going to be Portland Proud, Adjacent, or Curious? Portland Monthly’s quiz wants to help you get to the bottom of this question with eight different prompts, including what you’re wearing to dinner and how well you know your turkey’s life story. They also offered some conversation starters. (Portland Monthly)
Try This
  • Want to impress visiting family this holiday season? Archery Summit recently unveiled its renovated 1,800-sqft tasting room perched outside of Dundee; the panoramic views from the outside terrace pair wonderfully with the 2021 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir (ranked among the world’s Top 50 wines by Decanter in 2023).
  • For those about to rock, Veterans Memorial Coliseum salutes you — and invites you to check out the Rose Quarter Guitar Show on Sunday, Dec. 10. Musicians can browse vintage, used, and new instruments and accessories from brands like Fender, Gibson, and more. Tickets are $15 at the door.
⚡ You brought the energy for this poll
A massive cargo ship floats just off the ship yard at the Port of Portland.
Meeting Portland’s carbon reduction goals will take a multi-pronged approach. | Photo via the Port of Portland
Recently, we shared info on the Carbon Reduction Program, a distribution of $6.4 billion in formula funding over a five-year period in an effort to reduce transportation emissions across the US.

We also asked how you’d like to see funding from the program spent in Portland’s urbanized area, should we receive program money again.

Here’s a breakdown of what you said (multiple responses were permitted):
  • 75% | Pedestrian-friendly roads and facilities
  • 66% | Public transportation
  • 44% | Traffic management/road diet projects
  • 41% | Bike infrastructure
  • 28% | Fuel alternatives
  • 19% | Port electrification projects
16% of you mentioned other projects that you’d be eager to see, like:
  • Electric grid resiliency and capacity improvements.
  • Help fix sidewalks in residential neighborhoods so that they are safe for persons with disabilities, the elderly, and others. Promote safe walking.
  • Eliminate all gas-powered lawn equipment and replace with electric. All city vehicles converted to electric or hydrogen. All public transit converted to same.
FY2024 funding announcements are expected in January or February.
The Buy
A Black Friday deal on the ultimate gift: A Bwine F7 GPS Camera Drone. They’ll have fun flying it and capturing incredible footage. Get it for $529.99 $370.99.
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The Wrap
Ben McBee headshot Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Over the weekend, I attended a sold-out Brew Lights at the Oregon Zoo and just have to say cheers to some of my favorites: Silver City Brewery, Victor-23, Public Coast Brewing Co., and 54°40' Beer.
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