City Desk

The Needle: ET Phone Parking Space Edition

Phone Takeover of Modern Life, Continued: Pay phones are already something of a relic. Now it seems parking meters could be another piece of ancient history for the next generation. D.C. government officials announced today you can now pay for parking using your smartphone. The parking app will not, alas, help free up available spots—or help you learn to parallel park better. +3

Ready, Aim, Fire: Emergency management officials have long urged citizens to have plans for what to do when they need to escape in a hurry. This morning, we all got to see who did and didn't have those plans in place, as enormous loud booms—sounding for all the world like the End of Days had arrived—began sounding around the District. Turns out there was no need to flee; Arlington National Cemetery was conducting training exercises that, apparently, involved explosions. (Once the training was done, presumably the cemetery could get back to burying veterans in the wrong place.) -2

Winning: For years, the fact that Two and a Half Men was among the top 20 rated TV shows in America was a reliable sign that the country had gone astray. Now we have a more alarming sign: Charlie Sheen's solo tour. It stops in D.C. tonight, and for some reason, hundreds of people bought tickets. (If you're one of them, this may help.) Sheen, who launched his tour with a disastrous show in Detroit, has already announced that he'll be an hour late tonight. Which, we can only assume, means the show will actually be sometime next week. -1

WiFree: Beginning in 2007, Reagan National and Dulles International airports offered WiFi to travelers for a fee. Beginning now, they'll offer WiFi free for everyone—though they'll also allow you to pay for Internet access if you want. Prediction: This will lead to a significant increase in Twitter complaints about the fact that you still have to take those shuttle things at Dulles to fly from certain gates. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 64 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 65

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