Archive for February, 2006

Virginia pancakes of death

In DC a parking space is enough to get you killed. In Virginia it only takes belgian waffles. Aaron Brown was shot and killed by a police officer working an off-duty job after Aaron and his friends allegedly left an IHOP without paying for their food. The usual he-said she-said crap is floating back and forth over this, with the officer claiming he felt his life was in danger. It’s unclear how ventilating the ten-year-old SUV was a better response than, say, not standing in the path of a moving car.

Having taken the class required for armed security guards in Virginia, it’s hard for me to see how this guy isn’t going to be found to have acted wrongly. I’ve got some thoughts based on that which I’ll share after the jump, but before I do I have a question for the Washington Post – exactly what were you thinking in trying to create a poignant moment by talking in the first paragraph about the slain teen’s music textbook…. and specifying that it was about The Grateful Dead?



learn about some real memoirs of a geisha

catch geisha fever at national geographic’s headquarters this spring. as the new movie memoirs of a geisha is the released and just before the annual cherry blossom festival, natgeo’s hosting a slew of events about “exploring japan: geisha and beyond“.

if you want to know the real story behind a geisha, catch tomorrow’s free screening of geisha: an artist’s journey. every week, natgeo follows up w/ a different aspect of geisha and japanese live, from actual geisha dance performances to life in modern japan.


february 28, 2006
geisha: an artist’s journey
performance artist shizumi manale returns to her native japan in search of the meaning of geisha in a modern world. introduced by filmmaker bryan reichhardt. (44 min.)

admission to tuesdays at noon is FREE–no tickets required!

the grosvenor auditorium
national geographic society headquarters
1600 m street, nw
washington, dc 20036
+1 202 857 7700

St. Thurgood?

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is considering annointing Thurgood Marshall a saint. His feast day? May 17th, the date of the Brown v. Board of Education landmark Supreme Court Decision. The diocese has recommended Sainthood for Marshall, but two general assemblies must confirm the choice, meaning summer 2007 would be his first shot at the Great Hall of Fame In The Sky.

Belatedly marking history on Iwo Jima…

On February 23rd 1945, on small volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the 28th Marine Regiment celebrated a key strategic victory by raising Old Glory on top of Suribachi-yama, more commonly known as Mount Suribachi. The Marines slogged on for five days, through heavily defended territory, advancing a mere 400 yards per day until that final moment, where they surged forward and crested Iwo Jima’s highest and most strategic point. In that moment, a group of Marines raised the flag on top of the mountain and the original picture was captured by Marine photographer Louis Lowery, although his picture wasn’t the pulitzer winning photograph that served as the basis to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington.

Several hours after the first flag raising, a group of Marines headed up the slopes with a bigger flag, and AP photographer Joe Rosenthal joined them halfway up the slopes to record the historic event. Joe took three pictures and the first one, showing the Marines and a Navy corpsman struggling to raise the flag became one of the most reproduced pictures ever and won Joe the Pulitzer prize. Contrary to what some have believed, the moment was not scripted at all, it was just brilliantly captured on film to mark the occasion of capturing the most strategic position on that small volcanic island and is a reminder of the sacrifices made by the Marines who fought for us in World War II.

As a former sailor (more lovingly referred to as a “squid” by Marines I know), we often labeled our Marine brethren as our Resident Extremiststm, but in the end, it’s good to know that they’re on our side, and they certainly do represent the best of the best. So, to belatedly mark the anniversary of the momentous occasion on Iwo Jima, I offer a big ooh rah and semper fi to our Marines, thanks for doing what you do to keep us safe.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Reading Tom’s Metro Stories story reminded me of an experience I had back in June trying out the new later weekend Metro hours after a night of serious imbibing(which I’ll reprint from my personal blog here):

Note to self: “Never get off the boat.” Never ride the metro home, drunk at 3AM.

Running straight from a booze-hall to an underground metro station without one second of sobering up, or eating all important beer soaking snacks is a terrible idea and an even worse experience.

The best way to describe it is as if you are trapped in some horrible kaliedescope world, where the metro escalator going down seems like a toboggan straight to hell. Riding along with you are chirrpy-faced drunk bird-people wearing polo shirts and hawaiian leis. The bird people mocking you with their high-pitched chatter as you ride to your doom beneath the earth whilst screaming like a stepped-on house-cat.

The underground world of Dupont Station aka Hades is an agony of waiting. Waiting for the train, feeling like a drunk Neo in The Matrix II, all I could do to not fall head-first onto the third rail was lean against (clutch desperately to) the metro-stop’s map-pole. Wobbling, supressing Jamesons’ whiskey bile and staring at the weird lava-lamp creatures, whose features drip past me as they pace the long stark station.

Post Adds Support For

Has that dialogue box on Washington Post stories always been there? I’m not sure. I remember seeing the Technorati box, with all of the blogs that are blogging about a specific article, but tonight I saw this box added to the articles I was perusing.

If you’re not familiar with the concept behind, it’s a way of tagging articles that you find interesting, and wish to share with others, or hold on to for yourself for a later date. Articles can be tagged with different keywords, so you can search through various feeds based on various keywords. Into RSS? There’s all kinds of options, for different tags, for different individuals and groups of individuals, it’s very slick.

Want to add this article to Click the plus at the bottom of the entry and select Spiffy, yeah?

Man Killed in U St. Parking Fight

I know how hard it is to get parking in some neighborhoods in DC, but that’s no reason to pull out a gun. But that’s just what happened on Saturday night when an Arlington man was shot across from Ben’s Chili Bowl. Yikes.


While the debate on overall WMATA funding continues, there is a secondary debate about adding light rail to the current bus-heavy rail mix.

I am on the fence about light rail. I think the bus is a more efficient and much cheaper option, but I can see how the permanence of investment of light rail can attract much greater secondary investment than the bus at a cheaper cost than heavy rail.

Here in San Fran, where I am this week, light rail (called MUNI) is a great revitilizer of smaller retail districts and does an amazing job at incorporating suburban areas into city life without the need for more cars, highways or parking investment.

While riding it today I was lost in a dream – a light rail loop from H Street NE to downtown to SE Waterfront to Anacostia and back.

Crazy yes, but damn cool too. What’s your light rail dream?

The moving finger, having writ… projects

On Thursday evening I went to the post-opening event for the WPA/C Street Art exhibit in Georgetown. After a brief bit of confusion (tip for organizers: if the event is outside and behind the building then some mention of that would be helpful) and impromptu street theatre by the DC police I made it around the corner to see the projection.

I did eventually find the event and let me tell you – no matter how you feel about tagging, seeing it happen with the strokes four stories high is impressive. Don’t worry antiBorfs – this is non-permanent, projection art. The creator of this project is fi5e, otherwise known as Evan Roth, an R&D fellow at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. Eyebeam’s focus is on where art and technology meet, and looking through their website is a walk through the greatest hits of the “oh neat!” things that pop up all over the web. The very front page of fi5e’s website includes a video about the making and deploying of several hundred LED ‘throwies,’ something that bOINGbOING readers would have seen mid-February and his NWA “explicit content only” project was highlighted there in early 2005.

Evan was kind enough to talk to me for about twenty minutes, and here’s what I saw and learned.

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