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Wear a Shirt at Nats Park or Leave

Well. The best you can say is that the double standard’s gone.

But, if you are planning on going to a Nats game and bearing your hairy man chest for the crowd to see, be prepared for the ushers to descend on you and request you get dressed or leave. I mean, I get that they want to make it family friendly, but this is bordering on silly.

If you can’t take a shirtless dude on a hot day at the ballpark, really? You’re too much of a prude to be seen at a baseball game anyway, mmmkay?

And I thought Uncle Stan liked those guys who painted N A T S on their chests. Oh well.

sexy — Originally uploaded by Dre’s Pix

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Smithsonian on Flickr

Smithsonian Birthday on the Mall 1996 The Smithsonian has joined The Commons on Flickr, which started as a pilot between the Library of Congress and Flickr to increase access to publicly-held photo collections and allow the public to contribute knowledge and information (such as tags) to those collections.

The Smithsonian’s photostream contains some fantastic gems, including portraits of scientists, cyanotypes cataloging the Smithsonian’s other collections, and cool photos from past Folklife festivals.

Go look, add some tags, but be careful- much like the LOC collections, you can find yourself losing hours poking around at this stuff.

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George Carlin awarded Mark Twain Prize

Speaking of the Kennedy Center, it has announced that this year’s Mark Twain Prize will be awarded to George Carlin. A worthy recipient indeed, as Carlin is one of the defining luminaries of stand-up comedy, and American comedy in general.

But I can’t help but note the irony of the Kennedy Center awarding its prestigious comedy award to an artist best known for his bit on the “Seven Dirty Words” you can’t say on television, when they wouldn’t allow Lewis Black to associate the Center in any way with his “Red, White, and Screwed” special because he says the word “fuck” too much.

In any case, congratulations to George Carlin for this much-deserved honor, and thanks to the Kennedy Center for giving Lewis Black more comedic fodder.

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Tim Russert’s funeral service at the Kennedy Center

Photo courtesy of hykuIf, like our Mr Bridge, you’re a fan of the late Mr Russert, you might be interested in WAMU’s live coverage of his funeral service today at the Kennedy Center. If you’re one of the 8 people in the country with an HD radio you can turn into HD-3 on 88.5 FM. If you’re one of the rest of us, WAMU streams all three stations online and you can find links here. The funeral service will be at 4pm this afternoon.

Tim Russert – PRSA International Conference – Philadelphia, PA, courtesy of hyku

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Jesus loves you, and dispenses aspirin along the way

Photo courtesy of MeI actually took this picture a few weeks ago when out in Chantilly to have dinner with a friend, but the Washington Post got around to writing about the pro-life pharmacy before I did. [and let me assure you, we were at a nice little Indian place a few doors over, not at any of the crap chain restaurants mentioned in the above story]

I don’t know that I have a lot to say about the matter, other than it being somewhat interesting that this kind of thing crops up wayyyyyy out in the burbs rather than in the city. I wonder who their market is, or what their necessary purpose might be. After all, if you don’t approve of Plan B, you’re just as able to not get a prescription for it filled at CVS as you are at DMC Pharmacy. Is it that important to be able to fill your prescription for penicillin somewhere that there’s no condoms on the rack, tempting you?

Perhaps it’ll all a way to get a job for a friend or family member who is a pharmacist who finds himself unemployable at the majors because he won’t dispense birth control pills. Beyond that I’m hard pressed to understand the need for this business – when you open an alternative to Outback you don’t serve everything BUT meat, you have an entirely different set of offerings. What’s DMC Pharmacy going to bring to the table other than… what it doesn’t put out on the table?

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Passport Lost and Hope to Find

Lets say a friend of mine lost their passport somewhere in Washington DC. The current best guest is in the back of a DC taxi cab.

Where should my friend look for it? Is there a global taxi lost and found? Or should there be a call-a-thon to each taxi company? Or would even that matter since most cabs are individually owned?

At least, if the passport cannot be found, the passport line is gone.

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The gun clock is ticking

Photo courtesy of ttstamAnother Monday has come and gone without a Supreme Court ruling on DC v Heller, the case that is going to determine when if you can have a gun in the District. Mike O’Shea over at Concurring Opinions, a law-focused blog, has a good writeup here talking about what the potential upshot will be when the ruling hits the street. He also speculates on when we’ll see the ruling show up, and accurately predicted that it wouldn’t be today.

If you’re not a regular reader of law blogs some of it might be a little obscure but most if it is pretty readable. Check it out.

“Big Guns” Susan, courtesy of ttstam

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Tents Collapse on Mall, Injure Those Seeking Shelter

If you’ve driven up 14th St near the Mall this week, you’ve seen all the tents on The Mall. They’re part of the soon-to-happen Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Today, they were needed as shelter as a major league thunderstorm rolled through the District of Columbia. From where I was in Clarendon, they looked an awful lot like a hurricane or an apocalypse, not like a heavy weather system. Breaking News On is reporting that those tents have collapsed, injuring a number of people caught beneath them during the storm. NBC4 is reporting that no one was critically injured in the storm.

Dominion Power is reporting close to 100,000 are without power currently.

I got home this afternoon shortly after the worst of the storm had hit, and there were several large tree branches down, and this oak tree, snapped in half is just a block over.

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The most likely timing for storms will between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of â„¢bluhousworker

That’s the word from Capital Weather, talking about today’s severe weather that we’re being warned about by NOAA. Most probable at 45% is damaging winds with hail being less likely at 30%. Tornadoes only get a 2% shot but I still wouldn’t do my kite-flying today.

Here’s hoping this is just an anomaly early in the season, but CW points out that normally there’s 1 or 2 of these NOAA warnings a year and at June’s midpoint we’ve had 4 so far now. Yuck. It’s moving west to east, so you might see it sooner or later than the 3 to 8 window depending on where you are in the area. Be careful out there.

Washington DC storm, courtesy of â„¢bluhousworker

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Metro Recycles

Just in case you thought leaving that newspaper behind on the bench of the Metro train was polite for some rider henceforth, Metro would like to disabuse you of that notion. Please check out the latest entry into their video efforts. I think it’s better than Peeps, but not as good as the Pope.

YouTube Preview Image

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Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Well, as some of you may be aware, because you are either extra stinky today, thirsty, or just plain out of the wet stuff, WSSC reported a water main failure this morning in Montgomery County. Now, as of the most recent update, it’s now two breaks, which occurred after initiating standard procedures to shut down valves to identify where the leaks are occurring and what is affected overall. There are a number of government closings listed here (aren’t you glad school’s out?!). Good news, and there supposedly is some of it, by 7:30pm tonight we’ll have our water back, but as with every upside, there is a down. The water purification recommendations will be in effect for the next three days (until Thursday).

For those of you who will need potable water, it is recommended that you boil your water (rolling boil) for over a minute before you use it (and for those who need cold water, don’t add ice cubes from your automatic ice maker, unless it’s got a filter on it, wait for it to reach room temperature or cool it in your fridge). Other methods for treating your water can also be achieved through typical backpackers methods such as a SteriPen or purification tablets (REI, HTO, or other outdoor store) for larger volumes.

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Farmventures, Week Two

Picking in the Fields Yesterday morning, the three of us who split a full share at Great Country Farms in Bluemont hopped in the car and headed for the farm to do some picking, and to retrieve our CSA boxes. Last week’s trip had been in the middle of the pre-summer heat wave that had the mercury pegged in most folks’ thermometers, and had us sweating a ton as we picked strawberries. This week’s trip turned out to be a more pleasant pastoral affair.

We hit the fields at about 10:30 in the morning, when it was only just in the mid-70s and the breeze made it mighty pleasant. We ended up with about 8 pints of strawberries between us, plus our farm boxes which had asparagus, lettuce, more strawberries, spring onions and a small cilantro plant. Farmer Ray showed us where the peach orchard was, as well, and showed us the fruit that was setting in the branches already. He says about three weeks ’til the peaches are ready. Judging by the heavy-laden blackberry vines, we’ll be in blackberries next week or the week after. After that, it was off on an adventure.

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Hysteria & Hypochondria

It may seem a cliche to use adjectives like “witty” and “frolicking” to describe a performance of a Moliere play, but those are precisely the proper words for Shakespeare Theater Company’s “The Imaginary Invalid,” now at the Lansburgh Theater through July 27.

Helmed by a wonderfully expressive Rene Auberjonois and a sparkling Nancy Robinette, this is one of the strongest ensembles I’ve seen at STC in a long time, with so many hysterical key moments for the cast it’s unfair to detail any in particular. But Auberjonois’ rendering of the hypochondriac Argan and Robinette’s saucy maid Toinette set the comic pace, playing off each other perfectly. A showpiece for the intimacy of the Lansburgh, it’s also exquisitely designed, with sets and costumes evoking the period without being slavish (Simon Higlett and Robert Perdziola respectively). Director Keith Baxter chose to reinstate the masques and commedia interludes that often get cut, with the result that audience members truly feel transported to Carnival 1673, right down to an appearance by Le Roi himself.

“The Imaginary Invalid” has the distinction of being the last play Moliere performed in, as he expired after the fourth showing. Written at the end of his struggle with tuberculosis, it contains a scathing indictment of the ignorance and arrogance of the medical profession of his time (with pertinent echoes to our own era’s uneasy dalliance between pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and their nervous boomer patients). And yet it is a supremely enjoyable piece – as all great comedy comes with a sting in its tail. Definitely worth it.

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Detained by Montgomery County Police For Buying Sugar

I was detained by the police today and accused of stealing. I was also illegally detained against my will by several Wal*Mart employees preceding the detention by police. My crime? Leaving Wal*Mart with four bags of sugar (that I had just purchased) without showing a receipt, because I was not given one by the Wal*Mart cashier. I was threatened with being taken to jail, threatened with physical violence as I attempted to leave, and had to defend myself and my property while Wal*Mart security attempted to rip it from my hands, breaking my bags and causing one of my items to break open on the pavement. After I was released (having been completely innocent all along), I was lectured by the police officer and Wal*Mart manager about how next time I could make it easier on myself by just agreeing to give up my rights to their goons to begin with. While the initial employee who detained me apologized, the others, including the Wal*Mart Manager, did not.

I was at the Germantown Wal*Mart to buy four bags of sugar because earlier in the day I had been at Butler’s Orchard picking 10 pounds of strawberries to turn into delicious jam. And to make delicious jam, you need lots of sugar. I grabbed four bags and headed to the checkout, where I also decided I could use some refreshment. I grabbed a Mountain Dew from the cooler, but the cashier had already processed my card for the four bags of sugar. He apologized and rang up another transaction for the Mt. Dew. At that point, he crumpled up my receipt for the four bags of sugar and handed me the receipt for the Mountain Dew. I headed for the exit, and was greeted by Wal*Mart security who wanted to check my receipt. I produced the receipt for the Mountain Dew and explained that the cashier had tossed the other receipt for the sugar. I would repeat this explanation 6 more times before this affair ended. The rest of the tale is below…

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I will miss you, Tim Russert

TimRussert.jpg Tim Russert, host of NBC’s Meet The Press, died this afternoon of a heart attack. He was 58.

Russert’s one of the reasons I felt okay moving to DC. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, almost the entirety of it taken through political philosophy and international relations theory. I couldn’t stand the idea of wasting my time in a class where all I learned how to do was posture and bullshit, and so I stayed away from the American Government classes at Denison. I know there’s a whole dark art to the way Congress works, and I know there’s an acceptance of that that has to happen in order to work here.

But Russert didn’t care about the posturing part. He pressed on with questions when he didn’t like the answer he got. He was a real pest that way, and I remember a number of Sunday mornings when it was clear he took a bit of relish in needling the politician on the other side of his desk.

I remember the 2000 elections and Tim had his whiteboard out and was doing all kinds of electoral math that made everyone else he talked to that night look like an absolute simpleton. He was the only one who really got it. It’s why that whiteboard is sitting now in the Smithsonian.

Thank you, Tim. I will miss you immensely.

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You’re invited (but please don’t actually come)

Photo courtesy of clydeorama

If you’re a hockey fan and interested in seeing Alex Ovechkin get a key to the city, drop what you’re doing right now and head to the John A. Wilson building on 1350 Penn, NW – the festivities are at 4pm.

If you think I’m a douche for not telling you till 50 minutes before, well, take it up with the Caps team. I have an email here stamped 2:41pm telling me about it. I guess they figure that if you’re not capable of stopping what you’re doing with that much notice – and reading your email up-to-the-second on your crackberry – then you’re not a good enough hockey fan to merit coming out.

Every time you look at an unsold seat and wonder why there’s not a butt in it, Caps, think about this level of organization.

Ovechkin by Bench, courtesy of clydeorama

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Look What’s Behind Me

I never really paid attention to the writing on this sign before, located on St. Elmo Street in Bethesda. I imagine it’s in front of a hair designer, but I didn’t see one, not that I was looking. Mostly what I noticed, other than the drawing of a woman about to get naked, was that she encourages us to examine what is behind her.

What’s behind her? Surprise! More sidewalk and, as you can see, a car partly blocking the sidewalk. I wonder if this sign really does anything to promote Valentino’s or if people just assume it’s an ad for a strip club, as I did for about a year before stopping to read it.

Photo: Do they sell boobs? Originally uploaded by carlweaver

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Second Fire Closes Metro Center

A second fire has closed Metro Center and further complicated an already awful day week. WMATA and the DC Fire Department are working to combat what seem to be a system of fires.

Seriously, if you’re at work, start preparing to take another method of transit home if you Metro’d in. Tell your boss you need to leave early today. It’s Friday, in the summertime, leave at lunch.

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Your Best Bet for Tomatoes…

…is the Farmer’s Markets this weekend. With salmonella warnings out there for pretty much every kind of store-bought tomatoes, why not head out the farmers market so you can get some disease-free tomatoes, and meet the people involved in growing them? The Post has a great listing of DC area Farmers’ Markets, and also an interactive Google Maps Mashup with markets separated out by days of the week.

I’ll be at the Courthouse market in the morning tomorrow getting tomatoes for Insalata Caprese with fresh basil. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

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