Friday, November 9, 2012
What it was like on the other side of the ballot box.
Everyone has a voting story. At my work on Wednesday morning, we all shared ours, and then again last night, at a school function, I heard even more. People who waited for hours to vote first thing making sure a Northern Virginia commute wouldn’t prevent them from voting, flat tires and people who breezed right through in the middle of the day. One gentleman told me the story of voting at the Jersey shore, where a hotel became a last-minute voting location and to ensure voter privacy, the staff hastily arranged for an oversized cardboard box to serve as a voting booth looking like the beginnings of a kid’s Halloween costume. Voting is our right and our duty and more than 80 percent of Fairfax County’s registered voters and 72 percent of …
Monday, November 5, 2012
By Susan Allen
Monday, November 5, 2012
For nearly two years, George and I have spent much of our time traveling throughout our beautiful Commonwealth, listening to the voices and stories of Virginians. It’s been a wonderful experience to meet so many families and visit hundreds of small businesses who all share a vision of a better future. We’ve listened as Virginians expressed concerns over the rising costs of electricity and healthcare and stories of job losses, small businesses shutting down, and students having to move back home with mom and dad. This is not the future we hoped to pass on to our children and grandchildren. But throughout our travels, we’ve also seen families and small businesses standing strong, determined to succeed despite tough times because they share …
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Second annual film fest continues through Sunday; all proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief.
The Washington West Film Festival has come once again to its home in Northern Virginia, playing new documentaries, shorts and feature films through Sunday. With the tag line "Story Can Change the World," WWFF is unique in all the festival circuit by donating 100 percent of all profits every year to a charity. This year they will aid in Hurricane Sandy relief. This year's showings are in Reston Town Center, Reston's Center Stage and at the Angelika Mosaic Film Center in Merrifield. Cinema Siren is on the jury to vote for the best documentary feature, so I won't say yet what I think of those I've been poring over the last few days. I can tell you the selection includes a new doc about the long-gone yet beloved club in Georgetown The …
Thursday, November 1, 2012
This month, the doctor takes a look at how our brain affects our vote.
Patch contributor Dr. Mike takes a break from reader questions this month and ponders the psychological basis for our voting decisions. Polls show President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney neck and neck in their race for the presidency. And with the election just days away, both gentlemen are working hard to secure your vote and a victory. The economy. Obamacare. Foreign policy. Medicare. Education. Social Security. But what if these political issues, or at least how you feel about them, are actually not entirely in your control? What if the vote you cast on Nov. 6 turns out to be influenced more by your gray matter than by campaign ads, debates, career records or bus tours? Scientific research over the past several years has revealed …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
While we prepared, rode through and assessed the damage, technology informed us, entertained us and connected us to friends and family.
The oft-repeated advice in news reports, conversations with family and on-line in the lead up to the storm was to charge your cell phones. The new twist this year was the addition of instructions on how to use Twitter via text messaging (SMS). The Wall Street Journal included it in a list of storm-related apps and advice. Twitter shared its own list of who to follow for emergency updates (as did Patch in Northern Virginia). For complete Hurricane Sandy coverage from Patch, click on the news tab above and then click on the Hurricane Sandy section. The American Red Cross encourages us to post that we are Safe and Well in areas that may be cut off from reliable information in situations when disasters lead to mass displacements of people. …
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Just because we can be in touch with our career life 24 hours a day doesn't mean that we should.
I highly recommend, from local Alexandria author Amy Fries, her book Daydreams at Work. In it, she says we need to give our brains a chance to step away sometimes from the details and annoyances in order to think differently. You know that feeling at the end of the workday when you power down your computer, grab your bag and head out into Beltway traffic? You leave the stresses, the projects not yet finished and the office politics behind and you turn your mind to dinner, family and maybe the game on TV later tonight. A normal end to a normal workday — but then there is a buzz in your pocket. An email marked "urgent" asks you to answer a few questions for a presentation that needs to go out first thing tomorrow. Then another reminding you …
Monday, October 22, 2012
We look at life expectancy in relation to cardiovascular risk factors.
We know this: Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States, but a healthy diet and lifestyle can dramatically reduce our risk factor. Smell the roses In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a 38-year-long study that followed 19,000 men in the British Civil Service from age 50 and on. The study examined the following risk factors: The men who entered the study with none of the three risk factors above lived 10 years longer, on average, than compared to men with all three of the risk factors. Now, each of these risk factors that cut life short can be changed through relatively small modifications in diet and lifestyle. What is a healthy diet? A healthy diet is simply a balanced meal plan that includes three …
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Check out some blogs from the past week that you may have missed.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Time for a living dead history lesson.
So you say you love zombies. Maybe you routinely use the quote: "They're coming to get you, Barbara," and you've dressed up three years in a row for the local Zombie Walk. And yet…you've never heard of Lucio Fulci, the Italian director who made three of the best zombie movies ever. When I saw the new Angelika Mosaic Theatre featured an onscreen viewing of The Walking Dead season premiere, I figured it was time for a living dead history lesson. Welcome to the "School of Rot." For the first time in Cinema Siren column history, I asked a zombie expert, my friend Douglas E. Winter, to help pick 10 movies that are perhaps less known by late-coming fans of the undead, yet required viewing for any true zombiephile. Doug is the horror critic and …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
For lack of a laundry fairy, Keri searches for a remedy to her laundry problems.
This morning, I put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Will it be A) folded and back in their drawers by bedtime, B) discovered three days later, still wet with a distinctive soured sock odor, or C) cleaned and returned to my bed where it will live as a wrinkly mountain from which we pick our outfits for the rest of the week? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but if I were a betting woman, I wouldn't pick choice A. While doing laundry is a necessary EVIL, it has yet to become a habit in my life. After doing my own laundry for about 20 years, you'd think such a mundane chore wouldn't be problematic, but here I sit, fully knowing none of my family members have clean socks, and rather make a trip to Target for new socks than work …