Living in D.C. is about to pay off. Big time.
Living in D.C. is about to pay off. Big time.
DC location, federal benefits, $165,300 salary, opportunities to travel. Must love copyright.
For more on the announced retirement of Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters (GWU Law ’71), see Ars Technica. It’s worth noting that Peters is only the 11th Register to serve the Library of Congress, one of only two living Registers, and the second-longest serving at that position.
Oh, and dollars to dimes says David Carson will take the position if he wants it.
One big thing that D.C.’s subway has over Boston’s subway is this:
(from Flickr user Greychr)
Estimated arrival times for each train, displayed at the station. What’s even better is that WMATA is now making this data available for developers. Now, having this at a station is cool, and having it on your cell phone is cooler, but you know what would be coolest? Having that data in your living room.
Consider this — I live about a block and a half from the Stadium-Armory Station, so it takes me only a minute or two to get underground. How cool would it be to have an LCD display in my living room that tells my roommate, my guests, and me when to expect the next train? It could be simply a miniature version of what WMATA already provides in the station, combining the data that WMATA makes available with a Arduino chip connected to an LCD display.
Aside from a killer conversation piece, I see business applications for this too. What centrally-located D.C. office wouldn’t love to tell its employees, clients and patrons exactly when the next train is coming to a nearby Metro station, via a simple display in the lobby? How cool would it be to get window installations of arrival times in a commercial establishment, perhaps bundled with advertising for additional revenue? It could be on a personal device like the Ambient Flurry Alarm Clock, but instead of weather, it pulls down the train schedule. And that’s just from my lunchtime brainstorm of potential applications.
So I have no idea how to make a dream like this happen from a technical perspective, but do any of you want to help me make a crack at it?
I think we’re in the last throes, if you will, of the in-snow-gency. All that’s left of the knock-out snowstorm from last month are a series of really gross (and still pretty large) piles of snow in Chinatown:
DC is currently the second-snowiest city in America (ahead of Buffalo, just behind Syracuse). We’re currently getting more snow, and we’ve barely shoveled our way to the street from the last storm. My school and work haven’t been in session since midday Friday. This storm has really been something, even for a relocated New Englander.
So I have to give a hat tip to my info source and lifeline for this storm: Capital Weather Gang. The website is the perfect balance of meteorology geekiness, practical predictions with percentage likelihood, and fun little factoids. I highly recommend it for my fellow DC snowmen.
I love snow. I think it has something to do with being a February kid. So I’m really enjoying the DC Snow-my-god-apocalypse 2010. (Of course it already has a Wikipedia page!) It’s already eclipsed the December storm, which I barely escaped thanks to my whimsical decision to take the train back north. For my Boston friends, this is coming pretty close to the January 2005 storm that shut our fair city down for a day or two (except that one Dunks on Boylston St.). Here’s the view outside my row house:
I’ve created a Flickr event to start collecting some photos of the storm. Should I get all my work done I plan walk down to the Capitol, snap some pictures of the Hill, and post them up there.
Update, 9PM: I did go out there, and added a little over 100 photos from my trip down from the Hill through the Mall and back through Chinatown. It was a lovely expedition.
After finals effectively destroyed any chance of keeping up with my feeds, I turned on my RSS reader for the first time in a couple weeks. I was met with over 4000 items. There’s no way I’ll be able to give these a full treatment (and to pile these all together makes for pretty scattered reading), but here are a few highlights:
I hope to be back to more regular schedule now that my 1L year is over and the summer has begun. I make my return to Boston tomorrow; can’t wait to see you all. And to my new DC friends: congrats and thanks on a wonderful year, and I hope to see a lot of you up here or down there soon.
Because I know Taylor loves it when I do this stuff, I put the press flag back in my fedora and hit the street today. Finding some time between classes, I rolled by the White House to see the Tea Party / Tax Day protests today. As I noted during the election, I’m always curious as to how journalists estimate the sizes of crowds at these things. Here’s what I saw:
By my estimation, there were about 500-750 people when I walked by (around 1PM or so). At most there were maybe 1000. From what I’ve read, apparently the crowd directly in front of the White House was dispersed shortly after this, after one protester threw a box of tea over the fence and on the White House lawn. This might have been as big as it was all day.
I couldn’t glean a coherent message from the crowd. A lot of the signs showed federalism messages, and a few were criticizing the Federal Reserve banking system. Most of the speakers were talking on rather empty platitudes, so I couldn’t get any more from the rally. If you’re curious, there’s a growing Wikipedia page outlining the protests with further details.
I for one reject the whole idea of today’s events. The message of the Boston Tea Party is inapposite to this discussion, and I don’t think the Obama tax policy does what they are accusing it of. And as I said yesterday, the gall of those to come to DC from neighboring states and start whining about “taxation without representation” is rather offensive.
I’ll be curious to see the numbers tomorrow. For now, here’s the best I could do at giving an accurate picture of the size and scope of the protest.
Apparently there’s some sort of coordinated effort to protest government spending or taxation or some such matter going on in DC and elsewhere tomorrow, using the meme of the Boston Tea Party. To mark the event, DCist posted up a short and sweet article keeping this protest in perspective:
The whole idea of using the Boston Tea Party as a rallying cry for people who aren’t happy with how the government is spending their money is a little strange, especially for those of us who qualify as both taxed and unrepresented. Back in late 2007 D.C. voting rights activists had their own tea party, symbolically dumping leaves into the Potomac to make a point that has stood for far too long — District residents pay federal taxes yet have no federal representation. If anyone can yell “No taxation without representation!”, it’s us.
As noted in the DCist article, Matt Yglesias found some humor in hearing a tea-party rally in Nebraska yell the old “taxation without representation” line:
Here in Washington DC, your humble blogger and about 600,000 other people are living and paying taxes to a United States government that does not allow us to elect representatives to congress. Whether you think that’s fair or not, what we’re doing is paying taxes without representation. The 1.8 million Nebraskans are very much represented in congress. There’s Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Rep. Lee Terry, and Rep. Adrian M. Smith in the House of Represenatives along with Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns. Indeed, with a mere 0.6 percent of the nation’s population, Nebraska gets to elect fully 2 percent of the Senators. If anything, Nebraskans have taxation with overrepresentation.
And so, protestors coming to DC tomorrow, consider the fact that your “taxation without representation” is neither (a) a net increase in taxes, nor (b) done without representation. And don’t forget those in DC that get all the tax, and none of the representation.
Humor blog TotallyLooksLike.com made a quality observation today:
The Washington Nationals logo totally looks like the Walgreens logo. Considering my nearest convenience store is a Walgreens, well stocked in Nationals gear, I’m a little surprised I never picked up on this before. Are we preparing for a major brand takeover a la The New York/New Jersey Metrostars Red Bull New York?