Friday Fixat10ns: Lighting Up

Friday Fixat10ns: Medical Marijuana Version from thehoya on 8tracks.

Medical marijuana could be available at dispensaries across D.C. by the end of the summer. Though D.C.’s law is much more restrictive than those of many states (we’re looking at you, California and Colorado), we’re getting prepared with this week’s Fixat10ns. Here are ten perfect songs to listen to during your cancer, glaucoma or HIV treatment. Though the song possibilities are seemingly endless, we decided to limit them to the past 10 years. If I were my dad circa 1981, I may have included other greats like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, or the Greatful Dead. But I’m not, so here’s a more modern mix.

2am — Slightly Stoopid The first of many songs on this playlist that sound the same. But, hey, if something’s working for you, why not keep it going?

The Show Goes On — Lupe Fiasco A year and a half ago, Lupe wouldn’t even be close to being on this playlist. But, then I saw his fall concert performance last year where he forgot the words to this exact song due to some drug-induced state.

Marijuana — Kid Cudi Need I say anything else?

Santeria — Sublime Another one of those songs that just sounds like you should light up a joint whenever it comes on shuffle. But don’t. Please don’t. That’s illegal. (For now).

Wet Dreams — Pepper Unlike other songs on this playlist, this song clearly isn’t about lighting up. But, again, it’s in that category of songs that just fit with today’s theme.

Never Ending Summer — 311 Keep on blazin’ the trail, keep on rockin’ the joints… We do it all the time!

Maui Wowie — Kid Cudi Soon, you won’t have to go back to Honolulu just to get that Maui Wowie — if our dispensaries are anything like California’s, you’ll be able to get pot from around the world.

Chillin’ (feat. Lady Gaga) — Wale Here’s another singer who has forgotten words at a concert due to some level of highness. And, since he’s local, you can bet he’s excited about the new dispensaries.

Love 101 — Pepper This playlist is just loaded with songs designed to lower your blood pressure (even if you’re not lighting up).

Paper Planes — M.I.A. No, this song isn’t about two Indian kids riding on the roofs of trains (as Slumdog Millionaire would have you believe). It’s about getting high and crossing borders.

May the 74th Annual Hunger Games Begin

Bust out your bow and arrow and grab a loaf of bread, because The Hunger Games premieres tonight. If you’re not familiar with the books written by Suzanne Collins, they follow 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in a dystopic future version of America called Panem, where the annual Hunger Games pit 24 teenagers against each other in a battle to the death (while the rest of the country watches on giant screens). There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the film and now that it’s finally arriving, we want to make sure you’re well prepared for the pop culture storm that’s about to hit.

The whole thing makes more sense if you read the books, trust me. While there’s a pretty long waiting list to take them out of Lau, ask around to see if you can borrow the books – at least the first one – before you see the movie. They’re aimed at a young adult audience, so they’re a pretty quick read (you can finish the entire trilogy in a day if you forsake all work and social interaction).

Already read all the books? Twice? It’s safe to assume that you’re going to the midnight premiere tonight, so why not go all out and dress up as your favorite character? For a subtle homage, here’s a tutorial on how to recreate Katniss’ signature braid. If you’re looking for something a bit more flashy, consider dressing up as someone from the Capitol – check out Capitol Couture for inspiration.

Find out where you would fall in the nation of Panem by registering for your District Identification Pass with the Capitol.

The movie’s soundtrack, featuring new songs by The Civil Wars, Kid Cudi and Maroon 5 among many others is available already. Check out Billboard’s track-by-track review. Some personal favorites are “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars and “One Engine” by The Decemberists.

Feeling inspired by Katniss’ archery skills? D.C. Archers offers introductory archery lessons. If Peeta’s baking and cake decorating is more up your alley, think about taking a cake decorating class in the city. Who knows, maybe your cake decorating skills will be able to save your life, too.

If you’re still not sure what exactly this whole phenomena is about or if the conversation about which of your friends would win the Hunger Games makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ease yourself into the world of Panem. Check out the trailers that have already been released here and here, and read some reviews of the movie – The Hoya’s own Katherine Foley reviews it for this Friday’s edition of The Guide.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Photo: Lionsgate

An Update on Jack the Bulldog’s Health

After hearing last week that Jack the Bulldog had injured himself while jumping  on the couch, we worried about the health of our cutest mascot. Jack visited an orthopaedic surgeon earlier this week, and according to his caretaker Fr. Steck., has torn 50-70% of his ACL. Luckily, there’s no indication of arthritis or damage to Jack’s meniscus.

Jack will eventually need surgery to correct the injury, but because it’s only a partial tear it’s not immediately necessary. Because Steck will be traveling over the next few weeks, the surgery will take probably take place the second or third week of April. Depending on what type of surgery Jack undergoes, recovery will take anywhere from 2-3 months.

In the meantime, Jack won’t be around campus as much as usual. He’ll be taking short walks around the Jesuit Residence and the Southwest Quad. If you see him, go ahead and give him a scratch behind the ear (he also likes butt scratches, but nobody will judge you if you don’t want to go there).

Photo: Michelle Cassidy/The Hoya

Medical Marijuana is Coming to D.C.

Way back in 1998, District residents first voted to approve medical marijuana, and after years of being blocked by Congress, it’s finally becoming a reality — in a few short months, dispensaries will open around the city.

Before you get too excited, know that it won’t be easy to get a prescription for pot in D.C. (where do you think we live, California?). In order to qualify for a medical marijuana prescription, patients must have HIV, cancer or some other serious chronic illness.

The laws governing pot in the District won’t be quite as lax as they are in other states. Residents with prescriptions will not be allowed to light up in public or at the new dispensaries, and cannot carry more than 2 ounces at a time.

The executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Allen St. Pierre, commented on the legalization of weed in the nation’s capital:

These laws when implemented will be in the shadow of a very recalcitrant government. The DEA is based here. The drug czar’s office is based here. How is that dynamic going to work when some of these entities say marijuana is not a medicine and two to three miles from his or her office will be a lawful, compliant medical marijuana dispensary?

While pot is still considered illegal under federal law, sixteen states have legalized it for medical use (to varying degrees of strictness). The ongoing debate leads to confusing standards for both sellers and buyers.

D.C.’s legalization arrives while the federal government cracks down on medical marijuana dispensaries in other states. Even in states like California, Colorado and Washington (where medical marijuana is legal), the federal government has threatened dispensary owners with lawsuits and criminal prosecution if they don’t close their stores.

Because the District falls under the jurisdiction of Congress, the upcoming election could change things yet again. If we wind up with a president who’s stance on marijuana is stronger than Obama’s, the dispensaries set to open this summer could be short-lived.

Photo: Flickr user ekelly80

Igniting Georgetown One Speech at a Time

Tonight kicks off the inaugural Ignite Talks, a collection of talks given by Georgetown students about their diverse passions and interests. To learn more about the Ignite Georgetown talks, we reached out to Colleen Wood (SFS ’14), an organizer of this year’s talks. Ignite Georgetown will be held tonight at 8 p.m. in Reiss 103.

Georgetown is home to many interesting people who have fascinating life stories, hobbies, and adventures. I’ve noticed that students cluster by joining clubs and taking classes specific to interests that have already been developed. In a nutshell, Ignite Georgetown seeks to stir up the pot by having students share their diverse personal and professional passions. The hope is that each five-minute presentation will enlighten the crowd in some way — tonight we’ll hear ten speeches ranging from hip-hop production to the history of Batman. Ignite is unique in that it empowers students to be in control of the intellectual culture at Georgetown. Those delivering speeches perfect their presentations, but also hundreds of students who aren’t making a speech come out to support their friends and learn something new.

To learn more, visit Ignite Georgetown’s Facebook page.

Photo: Courtesy Colleen Wood


Surviving Tourist Season in D.C.

The cherry blossoms are set to peak today. The National Cherry Blossom Festival began yesterday. It’s officially springtime. All of these events coinciding in one week typically mean only one thing in D.C. — tourists. Late March and early April is peak tourist season in Washington. And it’s no steady flow of tourists, rather a groundswell of Rocket Power-style shoobies. Luckily for those of you heading out around town, we’re looking out for you. Follow these tips on making this year’s tourist season as stress-free as possible.

1. Pick a different running route. Yeah, I know, the monuments are beautiful with the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin. And that breeze coming off the river cools you down during your warm afternoon run. But, large families with strollers, people walking slowly and giant tour buses will get in the way of your normally stress-relieving run to the monuments. So, pick a different route. Jog along the Capitol Crescent trail, through Rock Creek Park or along the George Washington Trail across the Key Bridge.

2. Avoid 33rd Street between M and Prospect. More tourists means more customers at D.C.’s most famous cupcake establishment.  Somehow there are more customers lining up outside of Georgetown Cupcake with queues that may extend all the way up 33rd and around the corner onto Prospect. If you need to go to M Street, just avoid the queue and take 34th. If you really need a cupcake, hopefully you know by now that  there are plenty of other cupcake establishments in the neighborhood.

3. Take this opportunity to explore other parts of D.C. The Mall, Capitol Hill, and areas around the White House may be overcrowded, but the same isn’t true for Adams Morgan, U Street or Dupont Circle. Check out our own Kyle Short’s D.C. Ramblings series for more ideas on exploring these less touristy areas.

4. If you do plan to visit the monuments and museums, be knowledgeable about the area. Bathrooms and water are in short supply outside. Lines are long. The museums are more crowded than ever. So, make sure that you know where all of the necessary amenities are. It’s helpful both for dealing with tourists’ questions and for knowing where to go yourself when nature calls.

5. Respect the District. As DCist reminded us, many tourists (and residents) do not. Set a good example for those who are visiting the District for the first time. AKA – don’t do what the kids in this post’s picture are doing. PLEASE.

6. Look happy for Georgetown tour groups. More visitors to the District means more visitors to our lovely campus. We go to a great school. It’s beautiful outside. (Hopefully) you’re having a blast in your college experience. Show that to potential future applicants.

7. Look for alternative modes of transportation. Tourists love the Metro, and, especially during the Cherry Blossoms, gobs of them will be getting off at the Smithsonian stop. If you, too, want to go there, look at less popular modes of transportation — Metrobus and Capital Bikeshare are great choices (and they don’t take you underground). If you’re going to Metro, make sure you have a fully-loaded SmarTrip Card in order to avoid the lines at farecard stations.

Photo credit: DCist 

A New Celebrity Food Truck for the District

Celebrity chef José Andrés is opening up a new restaurant to compliment his already  extensive presence in the D.C. area. Unlike his current restaurants though, this one will move around.

Andrés started serving food from Pepe, his Spanish-themed food truck, in D.C. over Spring Break, but though its been bopping around the District to serve hungry offices every lunchtime, it still hasn’t visited the Hilltop.

According to DCist, Andrés views his food truck as a test market for his already successful D.C.-area restaurants: Jaleo in Chinatown, Crystal City and Bethesda; America Eats Tavern near the National Archives; Zaytinya near the Verizon Center and Oyamel in Penn Quarter.

Pepe offers eight Spanish-themed sandwiches, and the full menu can be viewed here. We can’t wait to get our taste of this new food truck with sandwiches like the Pepito de Ternera, a sandwich of beef tenderloin, piquillo peppers, caramelized onions and blue cheese.

To check on the daily progress of the District’s latest celebrity food truck, be sure to check its Twitter page. If Spanish isn’t your jam, but you still want to check out one of D.C.’s famed trucks, check out Washington Post’s Going Out Guide for a list of where to start your culinary truck adventure.

Is the Washington Monument Getting Shorter?

Bad news—the Washington Monument may be sinking. Our beloved 555-foot tall tower may now be 2 millimeters shorter. A recent study examining this possibility is currently ongoing, and its results will be available in a few weeks.

So what’s with the possible shrinkage? Well, for starters, the monument was built on pretty soft land taken from the Potomac River in the 80’s and 90’s. Next, think of how heavy this 91,000-ton structure must be. Then, add in that 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit D.C. last August into the mix, and it starts to make sense.

This just adds to the currently damaged state of the monument. Last summer’s earthquake also caused a significant number of stones to be loosened or dismantled from both its exterior and interior, leaving the city with a costly $15 million repair job. So don’t plan to go inside until next year at the earliest. For now, a view of the outside is the best you’re gonna get—good thing it’s Cherry Blossom season.

The National Park Service will working in conjunction with the National Geodetic Survey to understand and evaluate this problem. So, while 2 millimeters is greater than expected, the Washington Monument should not be falling over anytime soon.

New Zoning Laws Could Help Out Down Dog Yoga

If there is one thing D.C. might have more of than cupcake shops, it’s yoga studios. However, according to current D.C. zoning regulations, some of the open studios may be in violation of the law.

After a yoga studio in Chevy Chase applied for a change to its certificate of occupancy last fall, the commission claimed that in its current location, the studio was not in compliance with zoning laws. Under current regulations, yoga studios are technically not allowed to operate in a neighborhood commercial district. Based on this rule, Down Dog Yoga on Potomac Street in Georgetown is not in line with the law.

Last week, however, the D.C. Zoning Commission proposed changes to the laws that would enable “establishments that principally offer group instruction in the performing arts, the martial arts, physical exercise, or yoga” to remain open without zoning restrictions or special permits. The proposed amendment change submitted earlier last month would allow yoga studios to set up shop in three districts, identified as CR-1 (mixed use commercial residential), C-1 (commercial) and W-1 (waterfront). Bearing the commission’s decision whether to accept or reject the amendment, the fate of some yoga studios remains up in the air.

Photo: Flickr user WelcomeOmDC

Sunday Night Wrapup: Recovering

Between March Madness and all of the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities, how could we expect anybody to keep up with the news? So while you recover from this the double whammy of a Guinness hangover and this afternoon’s devastating tournament loss, catch up on what you missed this weekend.

  • George Clooney came to town this weekend, and was arrested on Friday while protesting at the Sudanese Embassy. After paying a $100 fine, Clooney was released after a few hours in custody. And for the best —it would be a shame for America’s most handsome man to be locked up for long.
  • The iPad 3 debuted this weekend, and the line outside of Georgetown’s Apple store was a mix of eager tech fans and protestors calling for improved workers’ rights at the factory in China that produces the technology.
  • With a heartbreaking 66-63 loss to North Carolina State, the Hoyas are now out of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. If you’re having  a tough time dealing with it, our friends over at Paranoia tried to find the silver lining in the situation.
  • In happier news, our fifth-seeded women’s basketball team beat Fresno state 61-56 in their tournament opener, and will advance to the second round.

Photo: Web Leslie/The Hoya