Submission courtesy of Ryan.
Union Station’s new pedestrian plaza looks nearly finished. The project’s goal appears to be improve the traffic flow for both people and vehicles. With all the people that spew out of the station’s SW corner, they should just close off First Street NE and make it pedestrian only. Any car that tries to drive through during rush hour gets swarmed by Amtrak, Metro, VRE, Marc, and bus commuters/travelers. First Street is more of an ally and not a major road.
Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are opponents vying for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Does that mean it’s now awkward that Gingrich wrote the forward for Perry’s book, “Fed Up!”?
Master of the Senate is brilliant, but also consuming my reading time this August. There’s a whole section devoted to Richard Russell’s dad, because you can’t understand LBJ until you understand Richard Russell, and you can’t understand Richard Russell until you understand his dad.
Lisa catches up on the life of Lyndon B. Johnson.
The road to hell is paved with urban planning, rather than doing. This quote from the building genius Robert Moses crystallizes what’s wrong with urban planning. Plans are always just that: plans.
“My experience as been that many of the people, by no means all, who call themselves planners are people who make pretty pictures. They draw things. They present a plausible and often melodramatic program, but they’re not people who get anything done. Many of them are entirely satisfied when they’ve finished the plan, when they’ve announced the plan and that’s the end of it. They don’t have the sticktoitiveness. They don’t have the guts. They don’t have the ability to combat, to fight in the forum to get things accomplished. “
I have seen hundreds of renderings of building proposals and they don’t dazzle me one bit. It’s easy to create illustrations of an idea, actually making it reality is near impossible. The world needs fewer planners, and more people who can actually get stuff built.
The Nationals’ key pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg is reworking his ascent to the Majors. Friday he pitched in single A with the Potomac Nationals (30 miles south of D.C. in Woodbridge, Virginia). The roots of tonight’s start stretch back 17 years to the day: August 12, 1994.
Though Strasburg was only 6 at the time, then begun a dark stain on Major League Baseball that dashed the rest of the season that year: The players went on strike.
At the time, the Nationals didn’t exist, the franchise was incarnate as the Montreal Expos, who were doing unbelievably well. No team had a better record than their 74-40. But with the season halted, that record remains frozen in time. There was no post-season. There was no World Series. All baseball fans were crushed, but no fan had as much to lose as an Expos fan.
In Barry Svrluga book’s “National Pastime,” he writes that every August 12th sports fans in Montreal feel a reoccurring pain.
“The strike pulled the rug out from under the team, from under the city. The players wouldn’t return until the following spring, 232 days later. In Montreal, the sport never recovered.”
Many of the players on that team did not return to reheat the winning streak. A lackluster decade later, the Expos moved to the District of Columbia. In the first round of the 2009 draft, the now-established Washington Nationals scooped up Strasburg, a rookie with a 100 mph fastball.
Time heals all wounds, the sold-out crowd in Woodbine Virginia had no second thoughts of the devastating strike of ‘94 and how it ruined baseball that season. But, another wound was on their minds, Strasburg’s arm. After undergoing ligament surgery almost a year ago, the so-called phenom is beginning to work his way back to the majors.
His debut in 2010 dazzled baseball fans, and sold out stadiums. He’s a true talent, and the same enthusiasm for him was on display Friday night. The bleachers cheered when he walked to the mound, they cheered with every strike, and they gave him a standing ovation when he finished his performance.
Nats fans want him back, but his rehab has him on a regulated regiment. He was limited to three innings or 50 pitches. Those limitations produced 5 strikeouts, zero walks, and two infield hits. He’s on the right track, but single A is a world different than the Majors.
Still, a kick-ass rehab game in the minor minors is better than seeing him in simulated rehab games in Florida, which he recently played.
The game Friday was his second rehab. Nats fans can’t wait to ditch that qualifier, “rehab.” Maybe next season, Strasburg will be as much of a fixture at Nats Park as Teddy Roosevelt never winning the president’s race.
How It’s Done of the Day: A mere six days after repair work began on an earthquake-demolished section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka the road was ready to be reopened.
With the Oscars, you have the award that everyone has their eye on, best feature, which has blockbuster names like Black Swan and King’s Speech. Then there are down ticket categories that have films that get hardly any press, like Best Short Film: Documentary.
Well, one outstanding 40 min doc that deserves to be recognized is “Killing in the Name.” The piece follows Ashraf Al-Khaled, a Muslim from Jordan, whose wedding was bombed by a terrorist. Many of his and his wife’s family members were killed.
Al-Khaled gained a little bit of notoriety in the Middle East because of the incident. He decided to begin traveling around to speak out against terrorism, because if nothing else, Muslims are the majority of the victims. Not Jews, not westerners… global terror networks like al-Qaeda are killing their own.
"In the last five years, more than 88,000 people were killed or injured in terrorist attacks world wide. The majority of the victims were Muslims."
Kris Kardashian, The Hollywood Reporter.
I’d like to put this in the, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry column. Laugh because it’s hilarious, cry (kry?) because the Kardashians raked in $65 million dollars last year, managed by business genius mom Kris- and I’m unemployed.
Infographic of the Day: The World Health Organization global alcohol consumption numbers are in: 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person were quaffed on average in 2005, with the Moldovans stumbling around the acme of the inebriation spectrum at 18.2 litres each.
[theatlantic / thanks mrgulio!]
Daily Chart: how old is your leader? One much-discussed cause of revolution in the Arab world is the age difference between youthful populations and grizzled leaders. Such a gap is common in autocracies but rarer in democracies.
England, Great Britain, and the UK explained
Hey, glad I’m wrong about my previous post.
Breaking News of the Day: Despite the Egyptian government’s attempts to block Twitter (live status updates), thousands of protesters, who coordinated their efforts through Facebook and other social networks, took to the streets of Cairo and elsewhere to express their displeasure with President Hosni Mubarak’s leadership and call for an end to his 30 years in power.
The rallies had been promoted online by groups saying they speak for young Egyptians frustrated by the kind of poverty and oppression which triggered the overthrow of Tunisia’s president. Egyptian blogger Hossam El Hamalawy said technology was important in facilitating “the domino effect” needed for demonstrations like this one to progress.
Bolstered by the recent social media-propelled revolt in Tunisia, many Egyptians took to social networks to organize a national “Day of Revolution” on January 25th, co-opting what is formally Police Day. Twitpics and YouTube videos of clashes between demonstrators and riot police have been circulating widely in an effort to maintain momentum.
An official count of arrest or injuries has not yet been released, but many bloodied protesters could be seen in photos, and reports have surfaced of two protesters killed in Suez and a fatally-wounded soldier in Cairo. A report that Mubarak’s son fled to London with his family could not be confirmed.
The protest’s official Facebook page is providing fresh reports on events which continue to unfold at this time. The Twitter hashtag #cairo is also being used to provide streaming updates. Additional social media updates can be found here.
Commentators were saying the uprising in Tunisia could be a model for others living in dictatorships. One professor said something like, “I really think people will really take heart of their revolution.” The hope is they’ll replicate it and make a stand for democracy. But that’s probably wishful thinking. People living in other dictatorships will never really find out about what happened in Tunisia because:
- Media is restricted
- Internet access is either non existent or very restricted
- Literacy rates are very low, so even if people log on or get a hold of a publication, a significant portion of the population won’t be able to read about it. (Even people who can read, how many of them have eye sight issues versus how available is optometry?)
All in all, there are a lot of forces making it hard for oppressed people to take in a blue print for revolution.
Mariel’s thoughts first edition. Music is the song “EMPATHY” by Blake Cooper.
My darling bf agreed to come to the dog adoption fair this weekend if he could make an audio post out of it. I hope you enjoy the ups and downs...
- “We’re in 300 countries worldwide. Three hundred!” Kris exclaims. At press time, only 194 countries were recognized by the U.S. government.”
- “Mona had a dream once where I hit the dog with the car. She was mad at me all day, and I never hit the dog. We don’t even have a dog.”