As part of a gradual sprucing up, they’ve installed new tables in the Friendship Heights Booeymonger. In place of the funky butcher block tables with irregular tops that suggested organic molecules or a game of Pac-Man, there are tables with faux-stone laminate tops of various colors and textures and sturdy, rolled black edges. The new tables are very, very rectangular—uniform, characterless 4-tops throughout the place.
Dean Young’s light-heartedly curmudges in “Sean Penn Anti-Ode:”
Life, my friends, is ordinary crap….
The second DVD only the witlessly bored watch.
Viral marketing: John Scalzi explains how not to do it.
This afternoon I finished my traversal (on foot) of the short but interesting Four Mile Run Trail. The trail is one of two connections for cyclists looking to get from the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to Purcellville.
The path covers widely variable territory along its 7.5-mile length. The trailhead is in the neighborhood of the East Falls Church Metro station. In this stretch of Arlington, the trail serves to connect several county parks: ball fields and back yards. Although it’s very pleasant here, the trail can be hard to follow, because it intertwines with the W&OD as both trails cross and recross Four Mile Run, a rocky stream at this point—and the signage is inconsistent. Distance markers were once set every half mile, but a couple of them are missing. At points the trail is no wider nor any more level than a hiking trail, and this serves to divert bike traffic to the much busier W&OD.
At about mile 5, there is a complicated diversion onto city streets at Shirlington to take you to the overpass that spans an interchange of I-395 (the Shirley Highway), the multilane transitway that connects the heart of the city to all the suburbs to the south. Beyond that, the trail follows streets around the cozy brick community of Parkfairfax in Alexandria.
The last mile and a half of the trail follows the north shore of the channelized Run, which gradually widens out into an impressive floodplain. Before passing under U.S. Route 1 and Metro’s Blue/Yellow Lines and its connection to the Mount Vernon Trail at the airport, the trail passes a Dominion electrical substation and, perhaps most instructively, an Arlington County wastewater treatment plant. (Fortunately, the plant was nearly odorless on this hot summer day.) The Run, perhaps 50 m across now, entices a few shoreline fishermen, as it empties into the tidal Potomac River.
…the discovery of the availability of a rich log of more than 11,000 homicides maintained consistently and without interruption by the Chicago Police Department over the course of 60 years, from 1870 to 1930.
Ben Brantley catches us up with what’s going on in London theater:
In a season rich with A-list actors giving bright external life to the shadows of the human mind, it is often—more than anything that is actually done or even said—the thought that counts.
Consider, for example, the supremely articulate silence of Michael Gambon, who never utters a word in Atom Egoyan’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Eh Joe at the Duke of York’s Theater, a half-hour production that seems to last both a lifetime and a nanosecond.
Darwin’s finches in the Galápagos continue to provide data to evolution researchers. Peter and Rosemary Grant, in a new paper in Science, observe an instance of character displacement occurring in real time. Competition between Geospiza fortis and G. magnirostris on the drought-stricken island of Daphne Major has led to smaller bills in G. fortis.
One of the last of the burlesque comics, Red Buttons, has passed. Born Aaron Chwatt on the Lower East Side, Buttons had a TV show up against Milton Berle in the 1950s. He went on to have an impact in action films and dramas like The Longest Day and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
I’m still futzing with templates here, as my IE readers can attest.