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"Beating the Globetrotters is like shooting Santa Claus."

Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. In his time with the Generals, Mr. Klotz lost at least 14,000 games, or 15,000, or, according to some estimates, more than 20,000. “That sounds about right,” Mr. Klotz would shrug whenever someone tried to calculate the number. “I don’t count the losses,” he told the Washington City Paper in 2007. “It’s easier to keep track of the wins.” Mr. Klotz won six games, his biographer concluded. Or maybe it was four. Possibly just two. But definitely, beyond the shadow of any doubt, his team won one game for sure.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 20, 2014 - 24 comments

Washington Football Team

U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team. How will the ruling impact the name? [more inside]
posted by troika on Jun 18, 2014 - 292 comments

Within Sight And Gunshot

This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
posted by The Whelk on May 15, 2014 - 14 comments

When power evaporates and you’re just a 61-year-old without a job

"You resigned, though your office is the office that actually started this investigation. This would not have come to light unless your office would’ve started it. But as the leader at the top, you resigned. And people that were directly there making the decisions, signing onto the warrants, going through these fraudulent contracts, they’re still there."
Two years after Martha Johnson resigned from her position as the head of the General Services Administration following an investigation of wasteful spending under her leadership, what is her life like now? Lillian Cunningham writes for the Washington Post's On Leadership blog about life after a scandal.
posted by medusa on Apr 30, 2014 - 46 comments

Washington 1st State to Lose NCLB Waiver

No Money, Mo' Problems. "School districts throughout Washington will have to redirect roughly $40 million in federal funding toward private tutoring efforts next year, instead of using the Title I funds to pay for district programs for low-income students." No big deal, right? Washington was probably the only school to even have a waiver for No Child Left Behind, you're thinking. Nope. Washington was one of forty three states and the District of Columbia that have federal waivers from NCLB. Kate Tromble, the director of government relations for the Education Trust, said revoking the waiver was the right thing to do. "It is unfortunate because Washington students are going to bear the burden of the failure of adults' in the state." NCLB previously.
posted by kinetic on Apr 25, 2014 - 46 comments

You might get an even better tan when we get to Hanford

Eric Nusbaum tours the largest environmental cleanup operation the United States government has ever undertaken, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Over the last 20 years, Hanford has also become something else: a tourist destination. If you want to see just how big the reservation is, or get an idea of how much work remains to be done there, you can sign up for an official government tour of the site. About 60 public tours are offered per year. The tours are free, but highly sought after. Last year, registration opened at midnight on March 6, and closed by 5 a.m.

posted by frimble on Feb 19, 2014 - 29 comments

The Pacific Crest Trail

On May 17, 2013 I was dropped off in Campo, California at the US/Mexico Border. Four and a half months later I was in Manning Park, British Columbia having walked the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) across California, Oregon, and Washington to get there.

This is what I saw.

posted by cthuljew on Jan 29, 2014 - 32 comments

Noblesse N'Oblige Pas.

The Endgame for Democracy: A short essay by Bill Moyers. [SLYT]
posted by phaedon on Dec 19, 2013 - 31 comments

Aliens didn't do it

The mystery of the Mima mounds may have been solved.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2013 - 42 comments

Canopy Cats

So... I have no idea how these cats got their bodies wedged into trees, or why. [more inside]
posted by halonine on Oct 31, 2013 - 26 comments

To Save or Serve the GPO

This August, Washington state's Fish and Wildlife Commission banned giant Pacific octopus hunting (recreational harvesting) across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound -- not because the species is endangered, but simply because the sea creature is revered by the Seattle community. The law went into effect on October 6. What triggered the ban? Therein lies a story. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 17, 2013 - 51 comments

Unfulfilled dreams have a way of playing tricks on you....

Rob Meline always dreamed of being an astronaut. He became a teacher instead. But the beloved faculty member at Camas Prairie Elementary in Spanaway, Washington kept a family secret. When he fell victim to it in October 2012, he became the symbol of a flawed judicial system. What his students did next was out of this world.
posted by zarq on Oct 4, 2013 - 43 comments

WJSV Complete Day

Thursday, September 21st, 1939, radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C., recorded their entire broadcast day -- from sign on, to sign off. The entire day is available here.
posted by PHINC on Sep 21, 2013 - 46 comments

DC May Look to Raise the Roof(s)

Washington DC has had restrictions on the heights of its buildings since the first year of its existence, thanks to its namesake -- George Washington himself laid down a limit of 40 feet in 1791 (and then suspended the limits, as did several of his successors). The limits waxed and waned over the next century or so until the U.S. Congress, in its capacity as the over-government of America's capital, laid down the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910, setting the upper limit of any building at 130 feet. Now that the city is gaining population again (for the first time since the 1950s), developers and officials may be looking to release the federal height restrictions and give control to the city government (which already has zoning limits in various areas that further restrict heights). The WaPo provides a visualization demonstrating what the skyline might look like if the limits are raised, or even if areas filled out to the current Height Act maximums.
posted by Etrigan on Sep 14, 2013 - 65 comments

The Kommandant's Daughter

"Brigitte Höss lives quietly on a leafy side street in Northern Virginia. She is retired now, having worked in a Washington fashion salon for more than 30 years. She recently was diagnosed with cancer and spends much of her days dealing with the medical consequences. Brigitte also has a secret that not even her grandchildren know. Her father was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2013 - 81 comments

Colorado and Washington rejoice!

Justice Department Announces Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy. For states such as Colorado and Washington that have enacted laws to authorize the production, distribution and possession of marijuana, the Department expects these states to establish strict regulatory schemes that protect the eight federal interests identified in the Department’s guidance.
posted by evil otto on Sep 4, 2013 - 83 comments

sold.. to Jeff Bezos

The Washington Post will be sold to Jeff Bezos for $250 million, ending four decades of the Graham family. Amazon will have no role in the purchase.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 5, 2013 - 130 comments

Shady Grove and Foggy Bottom sound like Westerosi names anyway...

You know how you had heard there was a cool video out there showing the growth and construction on Capitol Hill rendered in 3D animation and you were all, eh, I'll watch it once somebody puts it on the same page as the Game of Thrones theme so that I can get the full experience? Well now you have no more excuse.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 17, 2013 - 16 comments

Enough

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Owner of the Washington Professional Football Team). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week on Jun 13, 2013 - 126 comments

Ana Montes: Civil Servant, Cuban Spy

In the days following 9/11, knowing they would soon have time for little other than anti-terrorism activities, FBI agents arrested Ana Montes, a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst later convicted of espionage for spying on behalf of the Cuban government. Over the course of her "meteoric career" she became the agency's lead analyst for Cuban military affairs, despite having been recruited as an agent before even applying for the DIA post. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jun 4, 2013 - 14 comments

Lawsuit(s) in Washington anti-discrimination case

The state of Washington has filed suit against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 11, 2013 - 232 comments

More than just his little wife

People have something to say about Mrs. Carter's new song. "Women do not have to be humble, nice, and modest all the damn time," says Sesali Bowen of Feministing. "Beyonce's new single marks a change in direction for the independent woman the US president handpicks to play at his parties," says Rush Limbaugh. The song "dangerously [straddles] the line between female empowerment and subjugation," says Rahiel Tesfamariam of the Washington Post. "We should view Beyonce's feminism as complex," says Akoto Ofori-Atta of The Root. Can a woman who sings "girls run the world" and "bow down, bitches" be a feminist? Read the lyrics here.
posted by girlmightlive on Mar 21, 2013 - 72 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

"But what is the sane response to an insane situation?"

My So-Called Stalker [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 26, 2013 - 43 comments

Good news from Washington State

Paul Harris is the head of the Marriage License Department for Clark County, in the American state of Washington. Today, after 40 years with the same man, he can finally apply for his own marriage license. [more inside]
posted by ivan ivanych samovar on Dec 6, 2012 - 104 comments

Pulitzer Nominations Are Open

Two alligators, a pole dancer and pot at Olympia area shooting scene [via Wonkette]
posted by HotPants on Nov 28, 2012 - 30 comments

Passing a joint resolution

Voters have made marijuana legal in Colorado and Washington. But what does this mean? Teasing out the subtleties of Washington State's Initiative 502 and Colorado's Amendment 64 will take some time. Here are some clues... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 8, 2012 - 130 comments

... which really should be pronounced "fra" and not "pra."

RIP Bob Quinn. If you've spent any time at the University of Washington, you'll likely recognize him as the guy who wandered, with his well-behaved off-leash dog, up and down the Ave, spending all day at various coffee shops and bookstores. Or if you were using heroin or were otherwise at high risk for HIV in North Seattle anytime between the 1980s and now, you likely recognize him because he may have saved your life. [more inside]
posted by librarina on Nov 7, 2012 - 45 comments

¿Sí Se Puede?

The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected, marijuana legalized for the first time in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters in four, and even the first openly gay senator. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America as the long-fabled 51st state. How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama and Republican leaders have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]. And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño appears headed toward a narrow loss. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag? (Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 7, 2012 - 108 comments

"completely separate from the journalism functions of the newspaper"

The Seattle Times will run campaign ads supporting Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and the state's pro-same sex marriage measure Referendum-74, paid for by the Seattle Times Co..
posted by scaryblackdeath on Oct 19, 2012 - 29 comments

Pertussis Epidemic — Washington, 2012

Since mid-2011, a substantial rise in pertussis [Whooping Cough] cases has been reported in the state of Washington. In response to this increase, the Washington State Secretary of Health declared a pertussis epidemic on April 3, 2012. By June 16, the reported number of cases in Washington in 2012 had reached 2,520 (37.5 cases per 100,000 residents), a 1,300% increase compared with the same period in 2011 and the highest number of cases reported in any year since 1942 [Make sure you don't miss Figure 1]. Commentators are already drawing corellations with the fact that Washington State leads the nation in vaccine non-compliance, Washington State's recent cutbacks in public health funding, and increases in the number of uninsured (PDF). [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 27, 2012 - 111 comments

“[I] am a serving officer in the Iraqi Special Forces,” he said. “We don’t wear underwear.”

The Worst Marriage in Georgetown
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Jul 6, 2012 - 47 comments

The "Unstoppable Gay Jew"

In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2012 - 16 comments

The Red Flag in the Flowerpot

The Red Flag in the Flowerpot - "Four decades after Watergate, there’s something that still nags at Ben Bradlee about Deep Throat." [more inside]
posted by peacay on Apr 29, 2012 - 51 comments

National anthem on an electric violin made out of a bat

If you were watching the Orioles-A's game from Camden Yards tonight, you saw a guy playing the National Anthem on an electric violin made out of a baseball bat. This is how that looks and sounds. This is the guy talking about and showing off his Louisville Slugger violin. And this is the Washington Post profile of Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the maker and player of the world's only electric baseball bat violin.
posted by escabeche on Apr 27, 2012 - 15 comments

KUOW, KCMU and KEXP: a brief history of college(type) radio from University of Washington

KEXP 90.3 FM is a Seattle, WA-based radio station, officially "a service of University of Washington," but it's more complex than that. The first University of Washington radio station started broadcasting in 1952. Five decades, a few station organizational shifts, plus three call letter and frequency changes later, KEXP was (re)born in 2001. Along the way, the station spread the sound of 1990s Seattle indie rock, started streaming "CD quality" MP3 audio of their broadcast in 2000, and they have an ever-growing collection of recordings of live in-station performances, including over 2,000 videos on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 28, 2012 - 35 comments

Teddy Wants You!

You probably already know that mascots wearing over-sized caricature foam heads of the four Mount Rushmore presidents race around the bases during home games for the Washington Nationals. You also probably know that Teddy has never officially won a single race.

Did you know that if you are over 18, 5'7" to 6'6", can run from center field to home plate in 40 seconds, dig the costume, and are available for 35 home games in Washington, DC, that you can become one of them? [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Feb 8, 2012 - 35 comments

Marriage Equality in Washington State Takes the Next Step

The Washington State Senate has approved SB 6239, a bill granting marriage equality, in a 28-21 vote. It now moves on to the House, where its passage is all but assured, then to the desk of Governor Gregoire, who started the process earlier this year and has promised to sign it.

But, then what? As in 2009, when citizens voted 53-47 in favor of Referendum 71 to reject overturning the legislature's domestic partnership bill, the bill will likely be subject to a citizen referendum, rendering it temporarily inactive until approved by popular vote. A recent poll found that 55% of voters would approve that measure. If that holds true, same-sex marriages could begin in Washington State starting December 7th, 2012.
posted by 0xFCAF on Feb 2, 2012 - 70 comments

Moving forward, coast to coast

On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 23, 2012 - 70 comments

Marriage Equality in Washington State

Governor Christine Gregoire announces her support for marriage equality in Washington State. "And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years." (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by alms on Jan 4, 2012 - 48 comments

Messy. Crazy. Brilliant. Insane. Reporter.

How Do You Explain Gene Weingarten? (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 6, 2011 - 26 comments

Zimmerman Telegram 2.0?

Following a months-long investigation, the Department of Justice has announced the existence of a well-funded plot "conceived, sponsored and directed" by "high-ranking members of the Iranian government" to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on U.S. soil in conjunction with informants in Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The "Hollywood" plot, revealed in an afternoon press conference and described in a detailed 21-page complaint [PDF], is alleged to have involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. One suspect, naturalized American citizen Arbab Arbabsiar, has been arrested, while co-conspirator and Quds Force member Gholam Shakuri remains at large. Iranian officials were quick to label the charges a "fabrication" intended to distract from America's economic troubles.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 11, 2011 - 251 comments

It's like KittenWar for urban spaces

Which place looks safer? Which place looks more unique? Which place looks more upper-class? MIT is crowdsourcing a "perception network" to analyze people's subconscious judgments about urban spaces. Preliminary results for Boston, New York City, Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz (Austria). [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 28, 2011 - 45 comments

Bob Cassilly

Bob Cassilly, an industrial artist/sculptor from St. Louis, responsible for revitalization via art, has tragically died in a bulldozer accident while working on his last creation, Cementland.
posted by readyfreddy on Sep 26, 2011 - 31 comments

Wayside School Is Not Funny In Real Life

In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong. The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.

After a three year series of delays, next week, students will begin classes in the newly reconstructed HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts have been inconclusive at best.
posted by schmod on Aug 18, 2011 - 49 comments

Dreams Are What We Wake Up From.

Raymond Carver died of lung cancer, August 2, 1988. A remembrance in 1,2,3,4,5 parts. Previously.
posted by timsteil on Aug 2, 2011 - 12 comments

But where did the German newspapers come from?

Hidden Tunnels, Bugs, and Bigamy: A Strange and True D.C. Story: "Reports indicated that the tunnels were long and extensive – that they may have reached as far as Rock Creek Park. Some electric lighting was discovered inside. For days, wild theories abounded – was it a Confederate soldier hideout? A stop on the Underground Railroad? A liquor depot for bootleggers? A counterfeiter’s lair? Or maybe a secret laboratory for 'Dr. Otto von Golph’s' experiments?

None of the above." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 8, 2011 - 41 comments

Breaking ankles since (at least) 1986.

The Crossover on Display, a fascinating short New York Times video, featuring interviews with Pearl Washington, Dwayne Wade, and Allen Iverson describing one of the most electric moves in basketball.
posted by googly on May 26, 2011 - 35 comments

High as a kite

This kite-aerial photography (KAP) gallery flies through Seattle, NW Washington, Peace Arch, and a Burning Man festival. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 2, 2011 - 10 comments

It's not the spectacles and pagaentry.....

The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Apr 11, 2011 - 93 comments

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