City Desk

The Needle: Board of Elections and Iranian Hackers Edition

Forget Fenty, Write In Ahmadinejad: Turns out the University of Michigan wasn't the only place hacking into D.C. elections computers recently. Iranian and Chinese hackers also managed to access a test site set up by the Board of Elections and Ethics to demonstrate online voting for overseas Washingtonians. This doesn't explain the long delays in counting ballots that plagued the BOEE on primary night. But it does explain the unusual number of write-in votes for "Death to Zionist Swine" the system reported. -2

Scared Yet?: The endless announcements and warnings that terrorists might KILL YOU DEAD while you ride Metro apparently haven't had the desired effect. So in a bid to completely terrify passengers, officials have turned to a guest announcer: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The message will be re-recorded for other municipalities, too. Of course, terrorists aren't anywhere near the biggest threat to people riding Metro; Metro is. -3

Not a Snack: Authorities arrest Nicole Corbett and Fernando Booker in Manassas for child endangerment after Corbett's 2-year-old daughter ate their marijuana. If Law & Order hadn't been canceled, you could expect to see this as the plot of an upcoming episode; instead, you'll have to settle for watching it as a public service announcement. Just say no. -2

Extracurricular Activities: College kids learn a lot of life lessons while they're in school—how to handle independence, how to drink beer directly from a keg while hanging upside down, just how many Advil they need to recover from a hangover. One thing Howard University undergrads won't need to learn anymore: How to sneak their overnight guests past hall monitors. Howard will allow some upperclassmen to entertain visitors past the 2 a.m. curfew enforced up to now. And while the Washington Post story reporting this detail didn't say it, we will: Yes, by "entertain," we mean "pass out from drinking too much before actually having sex with." +3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 50 Today's score: -4 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 48

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  • russ

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who noticed the absurdity of those stupid terrorism warnings over the PAs in the metro system. If they really want to protect people, they should say "Watch out, don't get hit by the trains!"

    There are way too many announcements in general... I cringe every time I hear the two dings followed by "First time riding Metro?" No, for the 3,421,231th time, it is NOT my first time riding metro, and all the stupid dipshit Nationals fans coming in from out of town will still stand on the wrong side of the escalators and cram the doors while people are trying to get off the train, no matter how many annoying voiceovers you assail them with. So glad we paid $400 million for the worst team in baseball so I can be confronted with this red tide of fools while I'm trying to get home from work.

    I think I should drink more coffee.