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  1. Friday, July 25, 2014:
    Are You Ready for the Silver Line?   A sneak peek at the  Twitter Feed  of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority       div.tweet { background-color: #ffffff; border: 1px solid #e1e8ed; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: "Roboto",sans-serif; line-height: 1.375em; max-width: 590px; } div.tweetHead { background: url('/images/news/14/07/25-01.png') no-repeat #ffffff; color: #8899a6; font-size: 13px; height: 39px; line-height: 14px; padding: 16px 0px 0px 170px; white-space: nowrap; width: 300px; } div.retweetHead { background: url('/images/news/14/07/25-03.png') no-repeat #ffffff; color: #8899a6; font-size: 13px; height: 43px; line-height: 14px; margin-...
  2. Friday, February 21, 2014:
    List Day: 10 Ways To Increase Winter Olympics Viewership     All of the figure skating routines must occur simultaneously, with a new technical scoring category for collision avoidance.    Each day of coverage must have a completely fresh set of commercials.    During speedskating, a wildcard polar bear must be set loose on the ice.    In biathlon, the rifle shooting range must revolve. It points at the slower competitors until half of the racers have shot, and then revolves 180 degrees up the course so that surviving slowpokes can wing the people in the lead.    In a similar vein, all events in which people race simultaneously must include Mario Kart turtle shells to be thrown at competitors. Red and green only -- ...
  3. Tuesday, November 20, 2012:
    Newsday Tuesday: Introducing the HOT Lanes    New Beltway express lanes lead to crashes and changes       The Capital Beltway's new lanes have been open to the public for just a few days, but it's already time for a bit of a makeover. A spate of accidents at the entrance to the northbound 495 express lanes, all stemming from last-minute maneuvers to avoid the new lanes, has transportation authorities scrambling to make changes.     A spokesman for VDOT argued that Northern Virginian drivers should be used to constant lane changes by now. "While the HOT lanes were under construction, we played a game where we shifted the southbound 495 lanes to the right an extra foot every day. No one complained until they realiz...
  4. Tuesday, June 19, 2012:
    Invention Day: The URI! Hood-Baby   filling needs the world never knew it needed    When it comes to riding in the car, children are always given short shrift. They have no control over the radio, must fight their siblings to avoid the "hump", and have to sit in rear-facing child seats for longer and longer. The latest study from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should sit in the rear-facing child seats beyond the age of 2, and platoons of helicopter moms have even been spotted at the Vienna Metro station, forcing their adolescents to employ the rear-facing Metro seats "just in case".   As many parents can attest, kids hate the rear-facing child seat with a passion. In interviews with a noted baby whisperer...
  5. Wednesday, August 24, 2011:
    Aftermath Day  In the aftermath of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake which tore through our simple town like a dotted line on Tuesday afternoon, I thought it best to capture some of the destruction on my camera, just in case I have problems with insurance agents later on. Thankfully, everyone is okay, but the amount of structural damage caused by this event is obscene.   A sinkhole to hell, or possibly Petropavlovsk, has opened up in the kitchen:     Sewage has backed up into the basement, and looting is rampant in the neighbourhood:     Rebecca lost her right leg and eye from falling debris, which is severely impacting her study habits. In addition, Andy Richter has inexplicably arrived in our livin...
  6. Wednesday, May 04, 2011:
    Osama Analogy (Osamanalogy) Day   reaping the benefits of Google search trends while the reaping is good     The news that Osama bin Laden was finally killed in a military raid in Pakistan is not unlike the series finale to  LOST  -- more punchline than epic wrap-up, it lends itself to a brief, satisfied moment of closure before gnawing doubts creep in to highlight the lingering unresolved questions and sense of futility and waste surrounding the entire venture.   In the  beginning , a compelling case for action unifies everyone with a fervor to see things through to the end. People are energized and sharing their thoughts around the watercooler constantly. Around  Season Three , plot holes start to c...
  7. Tuesday, April 27, 2010:
    Newsday Tuesday   Plans to allow women and gays, ban smoking shake world of Navy submarines          Imagine 150 fraternity brothers packed into a container the size of a three-bedroom house. Announce you are breaking hallowed traditions by taking away their cigarettes and admitting women. Then lock the doors and push the container deep into the sea, for months at a time. That's what the Navy, after decades of contemplation and controversy, has decided to do with its Submarine Force [...]     Not every sailor was buying into the controversy though, since many were aware from their junior college years just how rank a fraternity house can get. Said one petty officer, "I heard that chick...
  8. Tuesday, September 08, 2009:
    Newsday Tuesday   Your Brain Is Organized Like a City          A big city might seem chaotic, but somehow everything gets where it needs to go and the whole thing manages to function on most days, even if it all seems a little worse for the wear at the end of the day. Sound a bit like your brain? Neurobiologist Mark Changizi sees strikingly real similarities between the two.     This article was written by the LiveScience staff, whose news site has brought us such hard-hitting Newsday Tuesday fodder as  People are Too Dumb To Understand a Weather Forecast  and  Some People Are Happier But Other People Are Sadder Now . If scientific reporting were any softer it w...
  9. Tuesday, July 21, 2009:
    Newsday Tuesday   To Be or Not to Be Fairfax County?            Fairfax County has long been viewed as the ultimate burb, where Washington goes to walk the dog and water the lawn. But the more residents look around, the more they see what many have tried to avoid: high-rise offices, blight, crime and housing that's more likely to have a balcony than a back yard. That changing reality came into focus last week when County Executive Anthony H. Griffin raised the possibility of officially making Fairfax a city [...]     For the uninitiated, a county generally has a larger land area but a smaller population than a city, and more roads that meet at oblique angles (or not at all, i...
  10. Tuesday, April 14, 2009:
    Newsday Tuesday   Obama looking at cooling air to fight warming            Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming ? a radical idea once dismissed out of hand ? is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday. That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press.     In fact, global warming is occurring so rapidly that the current administration is also investigating its use as a distribution mechanism for the federal stimulus package, as many states are complaining that the money is not arriving fast enough. "We have a very fortuitous over...
  11. Thursday, March 26, 2009:
    List Day: Ten Rejected Wedding Ideas    1)  Save-the-Date announcements will take the form of one hundred individually tattooed gerbils, boxed and delivered by First Class Mail. We take no responsibility for the (permanent) settling which may occur in boxes delivered to a destination more than two days away.    2)  Invitations will be printed on 100% recycled post-consumer content, taken directly from the nearest Loudoun County septic tank.    3)  We will be registered at Popeyes, BMW of Fairfax, Long & Foster Realtors - Fiji Listings, and your attic. You may also make a donation in our name to the decaying urban jungle that is Detroit, Michigan.    4)  Ceremony music will be provided by a...
  12. Tuesday, February 17, 2009:
    Newsday Tuesday   HOV Cheaters Run the Numbers            HOV cheaters have a special, and dark, place in the hearts of area commuters. As motorists sit in stop-and-go traffic or pick up strangers to meet the minimum number of riders to use the free-flowing HOV lanes, cheaters blithely fly by in the restricted lanes. Alone.     "Sometimes when you commute, you do some crazy, crazy things when you see all those red lights in front of you," said Aleta Joy Williams, a daily cheater who has racked up 10 HOV violations [...] "You need to be at a certain place at a certain time, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to where you need to."     Whe...
  13. Thursday, February 05, 2009:
    Review Day: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull   there is nothing worth spoiling in this movie    This movie did not need to be made.     I never had a compelling urge to watch it, but after borrowing it for free from my parents and leaving it on my shelf, unwatched, for two months, I finally put it on in the background while I worked on my Wiki.   I'm still not exactly sure what the plot of this movie was, because it jumps from inexplicable situation to inexplicable situation like a Choose Your Own Adventure book without page numbers. What I walked away with was that Indy stumbles across a crystal skull while searching for an old colleague, but only because said colleague had left it there (akin to finding the Holy Grail on the ...
  14. Wednesday, January 21, 2009:
    LOST Recap Day   this post contains spoilers from last season's LOST finale    The fifth season of LOST begins tonight at 8, and it's hard to believe that almost eight months have passed since the last one ended. If you find yourself blurry on the details of the fourth season, you should start with my old  LOLLOST  feature, before catching up on the final two-hour episode below.        As a tribute to Charlie Pace, Jin and Michael blow up all the remaining heroin on the island.        Sayid shows off other fighting techniques learned in the Republican Guard, such as the Gopher Surprise.        The writers take advantage o...
  15. Wednesday, January 14, 2009:
    Caption Day   recent highlights from rounds of The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game          "Your husband said you never did the laundry and you were kind of a slut."         "Sorry Snoop, I just don't think the new desk is me."  "Cancel the next diversity meeting!"  "I think they misunderstood me when I said I wanted to be one of the gang."              "This just in -- my coanchor is a gigantic pussy."  "And in local news, I ate my poop."  "As you can tell from the radar, it's really raining us outside."         Luckily, the name "Robin" worked both before and...
  16. Tuesday, November 11, 2008:
    Newsday Tuesday    T-Pain Cranks Out Hits Thanks to Auto-Tune Software        T -Pain is tired of hearing the sound of his own, heavily processed voice. Actually, the Tallahassee hip-hop star is tired of hearing everybody else simulating the sound of his synthesized voice -- the one that's run through a software program called Auto-Tune for a giddy effect that makes him (and them) sound like a singing cyborg.    I have always been of the opinion that the increased popularity of the Auto-Tune effect was one of the worst things to happen to music since they gave TATU microphones. The effect first gained notoriety with Cher's dance hit from the 90s where she asks the audience if they believe i...
  17. Monday, October 06, 2008:
    Weekend Wrap-up  Saturday, October 4th, was Poker Night.     Early in the game, a four-of-a-kind appeared on the table. This was followed by a straight flush -- Seven of Hearts through Jack of Hearts (and someone else also had the Six of Hearts). This is the sort of magic that happens when I move poker upstairs into the kitchen for the winter months when the basement is chilly. Hearts was pretty much the only suit to appear on the board after that.   After three people were out (myself, Rebecca, and Anna), the consolation prize of mini eclairs came out, because if you've just lost $10, the best remedy is to eat yourself into oblivion. While opening the tin, Rebecca remarked that it "felt very light", and then noticed that...
  18. Tuesday, September 30, 2008:
    Newsday Tuesday   Mama's milk ice cream cone, anyone?          People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking [Ben & Jerry's] to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.    Old readers might also remember the time  PETA tried to convince the Boy Scouts to ban the Fishing merit badge  because it results in mutilated fish who are in tremendous amounts of pain. That campaign fell apart when it was discovered that the interviewed fish was "just a little emo" and a cutter. (Soon after, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their patriotic mandate to onl...
  19. Tuesday, September 09, 2008:
    Newsday Tuesday   Spies get social network as CIA, FBI promote their version of Facebook         At long last, US intelligence agencies have created a new system of sharing their information with one another to prevent another terrorist attack. And it's a lot like Facebook.    Developers were quick to point out that their network would be based on the useful "classic" Facebook, and not the usability-inhibited patchwork of coloured squares and advertisements pinked together to form the New Facebook, which many users still have difficulty accepting as canon (see also, New Coke and The New Testament).      Not to be left out of the social networking action, the FBI, C...
  20. Tuesday, July 29, 2008:
    Ethics Day  As part of an annual recertification at work, every employee must take an online course in Business Ethics. Because the denizens of the URI! Zone are a shady bunch, these highlights might be helpful in your own lives.       Socially aware customers are generally white, blonde, female, and braless (which raises two other ethical points, but only when it's cold outside).      Mimi is obviously more concerned with the fact that her coworker is a total tool-face.      In the corporate culture, the secret handshake generally requires you to slip exactly $427 in bribes as suavely as possible.    In this example, Marty wonders w...
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