City Desk

The Needle: Half Off Whole Foods Edition

BYO Books: The upper Northwest rare books market may soon take a bit of a hit. Politics & Prose will introduce an Espresso Book Machine, a sort of copier-on-steroids that can print books—including those that are out of print—in five minutes, on demand. The downside, of course, is that every retired former lobbyist living in Forest Hills will now be publishing their own tomes on public policy. +1

We're No. 22!: Every year, college admissions officers swear they don't care how U.S. News & World Report ranks their school. And every year, without fail, the rankings come out and cause great cheering and/or gnashing of teeth. The highest-ranked local school on the list this year was Georgetown, ranked 22nd. The University of Virginia came in at 25th, William and Mary was 33rd, George Washington University 50th, the University of Maryland 55th, Virginia Tech 71st, American University 82nd, and Howard University 115th. Not that anyone at any of those schools is counting, of course. +1

Half Foods: There are times when the Whole Foods on P Street NW resembles someone's very carefully designed vision of the worst place on earth—long lines of entitled customers, all battling to get that one final $20 per pound tuna filet. Those times—known as "evenings"—may come even more frequently; Whole Foods and D.C.-based LivingSocial teamed up today for a half-off deal that may set a record for the most purchases ever in one day. At one point, people were snatching the coupons up at a rate of 1,500 per minute. Presumably, it's a loss-leader to get more registered LivingSocial users—and to ensure there's no arugula left unsold. -1

Hollywood for Ugly People: It's been a good run lately for the District's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. Covert Affairs and Veep have shot in D.C. lately, and today, officials said NBC's The Firm, based on the John Grisham novel, would also use our fair city as a backdrop. Of course, the last time there was a major production in town, Autobots wound up battling MPD—so maybe the OMPTD should be careful what it wishes for. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 60 Today's score: +3 Today's Needle rating: 63

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