National Cathedral Tower Climb

Photo courtesy of mosley.brian
National Cathedral – Tower Climb – Narrow Staircase – 03-24-12
courtesy of mosley.brian

This weekend the National Cathedral reopened their central tower for the first time since the August earthquake, and Brian and I were there to climb it. Saturday’s dreary weather meant you could see clouds passing through the windows at the top; still, it’s the highest point in DC, the bells can ring in any weather, and even in the fog the views are exquisite.

First things first: This is not the tour for you if you’re claustrophobic or afraid of heights. The first half of the climb takes you up narrow winding passages, and because of people stopping in front, you might end up stranded in tight places for a bit. The last third of the climb takes you up an open spiral staircase that wobbles as you walk. In other words, don’t test your fears this way. That’s what trapeze school is for.

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The Daily Feed

Virginia Earthquake Rocks DC

Hey, Washington, DC was just rocked by an earthquake! The tremor hit at 1:51 PM today, and the earthquake detail page on USGS shows an initial magnitude of 5.8, epicenter near Mineral, VA, somewhere between Richmond and Charlottesville. Twitter is alight with reports of shaking felt from down the Carolinas all the way up to Canada, and as of 2PM the streets around many buildings around Downtown DC are still teeming with people who fled buildings at the initial shock. The source of the earthquake was fairly shallow, just 6 km underground, which explains why the tremor was felt over such a wide area.

Metro is currently limiting trains to 10-15 mph while the tracks are checked for kinks.

Did you feel it? Where were you and what did you do?

Mythbusting DC, The Features

DC Mythbusting: Most Extreme Weather Ever

Photo courtesy of
‘seems so long ago’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

We’ve seen fire, and we’ve seen rain. We’ve also seen earthquakes, heat waves, blizzards, floods, and, of course, thundersnow. The DC region has seen more than its fair share of crazy weather this year, leading many people to say that this is the most extreme year of weather on record for DC. But in a town where the summer always feels like the most humid ever, and the winter always seems like the most miserable ever, has this year really been out of the ordinary?

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Looking For Some Post-Quake Relief? Half-Price Shakes At BGR!

So the big news story/joke today is the DC Quake– or lack there of. To fully understand the magnitude of the event I direct everybody to this Twitpic posted by Brightest Young Things:

Anyways to celebrate the seismic event BGR: The Burger Joint will be selling their milk shakes at half price ($2.50) today between 3-4 PM. When you visit check to see the Strasburger is back, after the weekend I’ll be visiting them to make sure they kept true to the promise they made to me earlier this week.

(h/t @aminatou)

The Daily Feed

Shaking Buildings in Old Town, Related to Earthquake?


Through two separate reports, we’ve heard that at least one building in Old Town experienced very noticeable shaking today right at about the same time as a relatively major earthquake hit Ottawa and Quebec in Canada. People from Toronto, Detroit, New York and Ohio have reported experiencing some effects from this quake. Is it possible it actually caused shaking in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia?

@thelastgoodnight on Twitter reported it happening at 2:00pm today. It was also reported as being experienced on S Alfred St. Did anyone else feel it?

UPDATE 2:41pm: Apparently there was also shaking felt in Greenbelt, MD. Starting to sound less like strange coincidences and more like very small ripples being felt from the quake up north.

The Features

A Week of DC Helping Haiti

Photo courtesy of
’20_16A’ Donation Drive at the Haitian Embassy
courtesy of ‘m hoek’

Since posting about local Haiti relief efforts, I’ve gotten a bunch more info via email and blog comment that I wanted to share with you. Please note that I’m erring on the side of getting the information out there; I haven’t vetted any of the organizations putting these things together or receiving the donations, so please check them out and use your best judgment before donating. So pick the event that works for you and plan to spend time with your friends and neighbors around the cause of helping our fellow people.

Tonight, Monday the 18th:

Nanny O’Brien’s Irish Pub 8:00 PM- Irish music, fundraiser, raffle to benefit earthquake victims. Donations collected and a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

PUBLIC 5:00-8:00PM- Happy Hour fundraiser to benefit the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Victims fund. Suggested donation is $40, and people making donations get $3 Miller Light specials.

Tuesday the 19th:

Recess Lounge – Will donate a portion of each drink purchased Tuesday evening, and will be soliciting free will donations (suggested amount: $20) to be sent to Yele Haiti and Partners in Health.

Wednesday the 20th:

Madam’s Organ 6:00-9:00PM – Party for Haiti: $1 from every drink and 10% of food sales donated to the Red Cross. At 8:30PM, organizers will ask attendees to pull out their cell phones and text donations, in unison, to the charities of their choice.

Thursday the 21st:

Bread & Brew – DC Vegan Drinks will be taking donations at their event, as well as holding vegan bake sales through the weekend to raise money for Mercy Corps and Food for Life Global.

Friday the 22nd:

Local 16 6:00-10:30PM – Fundraiser event to benefit Oxfam’s Haiti relief efforts. Donate $25, at the door or in advance, and the party will feature drink specials, “free beer until the keg runs out,” and a buffet of Local 16’s appetizers.

BrightestYoungThings also has a list of Haiti fundraising events they’ve compiled that you should check out.

The Features

DC Helps Haiti: Earthquake Relief Events

Photo courtesy of
‘Haiti Earthquake’
courtesy of ‘United Nations Development Programme’

Update 1/18: Information about Haiti earthquake relief fundraising has continued to pour in, so we have a new list of events you can attend this week.

By now we’ve all heard the harrowing reports coming from Haiti. And if you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you’re orders of magnitude better off than the average Haitian even before the earthquake. Maybe you’ve got to wait for your next paycheck, maybe you’re out of work and can only spare a couple of bucks, but donate what you can, even if for no other reason than that you’re grateful live in a country with building codes and soup kitchens where you’ve never had to literally eat mud to fill your empty stomach.

But in addition to donating cash directly, there are a number of ways to help direct money (because that’s what they need now, money rather than a bunch of random goods) to Haiti earthquake relief. (A lot of this is cobbled together from press releases because we wanted to pull this together quickly, thanks for your forbearance.)  Got anything I missed? Leave it in the comments.

Wale will be playing a benefit concert at the 9:30 Club on Monday night. All ticket sales will be donated to the Partners in Health Organization and Yéle Haiti. The artists are donating their performances, the 9:30 Club has donated the use of the venue, club employees are donating their wages and the advance ticket sales service charge also will be donated.

We got a Twitter report that The Passenger is doing a Haiti relief fundraiser today, 5-8pm, but I don’t have any details. (Not that I need much of an excuse to visit The Passenger.)

This weekend, Trystthe DINER and Open City will be donating 100% of the sales of their in-house drink specials to the UNICEF fund for Haitian earthquake survivors. Drink specials include Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at the DINER, the Creamsicle Cooler Open City and any coffee beverage with a shot of Bailey’s at Tryst.

Tonight, the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow will be having a fundraiser at the Palace of Wonders. $10 door, a portion of which will be donated, as well as all money raised during the event itself.

The Friday night Liberation Dance Party at DC9 will be donating door proceeds to Haiti relief this week.

The Black Cat will be holding a benefit concert on February 6th. Watch for more details.  LiberatedMuse will hold a benefit concert on February 12th.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, the Embassy of Haiti and ServeDC are asking for volunteers to man telephone banks at the Haitian Embassy, 2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.  If you are able to offer mental health services and grief counseling, please contact the DC Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency at 202-272-6161.  Additional information on support and volunteerism can obtained by contacting the Haitian Embassy – Greater Washington Haitian Relief Committee is 202-241-3593.

Material donations, clothes, food, toiletry items can be dropped off at the Haitian Embassy, Sunday, 17 January 2010, 11am-4pm, 2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

Additionally, the Sunlight Foundation will be holding “CrisisCamp” this weekend, in which a bunch of developers get together to put together tools for NGOs and relief organizations to use involving geospatial imagery, map data, etc. as well as family locator databases and the like.