City Desk

The Needle: No Dancing, Please, We’re American Edition

National Zoo Panda May Be Pregnant

Pregnant Panda Pause: Might another Butterstick be on its way soon? The National Zoo doesn't actually know, but zookeepers do seem to think it's possible that Mei Xiang and  Tian Tian have finally perfected the panda-ly art of mating again. The zoo announced today that they're conducting ultrasounds twice a week because of a hormone change in Mei Xiang that could indicate she's pregnant. Meanwhile, their first cub is already almost ready to make them grandpandas. Kids grow up so fast these days! Must be all the bamboo. +2

Dance Dance (American) Revolution: Live in D.C. long enough, and chances are, you've found yourself running around one of the monuments at night, behaving in a way that you think is perfectly appropriate but that the U.S. Park Police is unlikely to appreciate. If that behavior includes dancing, you're now out of luck. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today that the Park Police acted correctly when it prevented Mary Brooke Oberwetter and 17 others from dancing at the Jefferson Memorial in the middle of the night on April 12, 2008. Oberwetter was detained for five hours and charged with demonstrating without a permit. Should anyone wish to protest the ruling, the obvious course of action would be an unpermitted dance-off. -2

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs: There will soon be no excuse for getting lost on the Mall. The National Park Service plans to install 500 directional signs to help tourists navigate the sites, part of a $2.2 million project designed to prevent first-time visitors from getting disoriented. Our advice: Don't tell the Tea Party about the price. -1

Dead Men Tell No Tails: Walking a dog around the neighborhood can be monotonous (or so we're told; we have no pets, only Twitter followers). For residents of Petworth, Rock Creek Cemetery offers a break from the usual circling-the-block routine. Or at least, it did; starting June 1, dogs will be banned from the property. Unless, presumably, they're dead, in which case their owners should follow the usual procedures to request a burial plot. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 67 Today's score: -2 Today's Needle rating: 65

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