City Desk

The Needle: Instability and Spin Edition

Toto, Take Cover: The District and surrounding areas are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. tonight. What's possible? Tornados, hail up to 1.5 inches in diameter, wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour, and dangerous lightning. Capital Weather Gang has summoned what is probably the maximally dramatic language for the weather front: "A volatile, dangerous situation for the mid-Atlantic as a strong, dynamic cold front sweeps through the region this evening. A combination of instability and spin in the atmosphere mean development of violent thunderstorms with damaging winds, large, hail and tornadoes are possible." DOOM! -4

Livable, Walkable, Snatchable: Bike theft is falling citywide. But that doesn't exempt any part of the city from claiming the "most bike-theftiest" label. Data obtained by DCist (which was crunched out of the city's data catalog) shows that the majority of bike thefts have moved from Northwest to Capitol Hill between 2007 and 2010—a definitely unintended consequence of Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells' campaign to make it easier to get around his ward on foot, bike, and bus. -2

After Hell, There's Philly: Rosslyn's Ray's Hell Burger Too has been re-branded! And where do you go for greasy food when the Hell concept is played out? Philly, of course. The Michael Landrum outpost is now known as Nice ‘N’ Greasy Steak ‘N’ Cheesy; it features variations on the Philadelphia cheesesteak. +1

Look at Me!: From the department of meaningless statistics comes news that D.C. is number one on Men's Health's list of America's most watched cities. The ab-centric mag rounded up data on traffic cameras, police automatic license plate readers, closed-circuit security devices, and other examples of perpetual surveillance. "There's Abe with his unblinking eyes, a monument to a city that's watching your every move." Runners up: Houston and Denver. At the bottom of the list: Burlington, Vt., and Billings, Mont. All things considered, we'd rather be in the watched category–though we'll try harder to avoid speeding. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 56 Today's score: -5 Friday Bonus Points: +2 Today's Needle rating: 51

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