In June, the New York Times discussed the Pythian, where I used to live. The article reveals many tidbits of the building's history. The original structure, was built in 1927 for the fraternal order the Knights of Pythias. Originally, it had few windows, and contained 13 lodge rooms, a bowling alley, and a billiard room.
The Pythians continued to own the building, renting it out for various uses, until 1958, when the New York Institute of Technology bought it. It converted to condos in 1980, adding windows, including the greenhouse-type windows on some floors in the front.
According to the Times, the building's facade has been shrouded for a while for restoration. It should be finished by the end of July. The project hadn't begun when I moved out at the start of 2008 (a few months after I actually moved to DC).
It's been three-quarters of a year since I posted on Alpie.net. Greater Greater Washington has taken up much of my time, as has preparing for a wedding. I'm hoping to make a new effort to get all of the pictures in the interim posted, including wedding and engagement pictures, last fall's trip to France, and even the uncompleted photos from our 2007 trip to Southeast Asia (whoops!).
For our honeymoon, we went to the Caribbean island of Curacao. We stayed at a resort in the quiet western end of the island, lounged around on our patio and at the pool, and went on a great boat ride. I snorkeled for the first time.
We also got to visit Willemstad, the island's city; those pictures will be the next installment.
On Saturday, a mob of cyclists assembled at Freedom Plaza in "bike tie formal". Their mission: to ride to Dupont Circle and then Columbia Heights' Red Derby, to show the colors of DC's new Ministry of Bicycling (MOB), pass out informational flyers on cyclists' rights and responsibilities, and have a lot of fun.
Freakonomics blog discusses this piece from the LA Times:
State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona’s DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles. The men matched at 9 of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, commonly used to distinguish people.If Troyer had an understanding of statistics, she might have realized that a 1 in 13 billion unlikely event actually has a very high probability of coming up, if you compare everyone in the database to everyone else, in about 1.4 trillion comparisons.
This is an example of the famous birthday problem. If you take a typical elementary school class (of, say, 23 people or so) and ask each child for his or her birthday, despite being 366 possible birthdays, there's actually a more than 50% chance that two children will share a birthday. (Assume there are no twins in the class.)
When people don't understand mathematic concepts like this, they can reach faulty conclusions, like believing that this finding makes the whole DNA system useless (it's not) or believing that a match is absolute proof of guilt (also not).
Airlines charge a lot of fees—for phone reservations, changing a non-refundable reservation, checking bags, snacks. At this rate, our future airline tickets will look something like this.
When we buy a ticket, most people just look at the bottom-line price. But the fees can completely change the equation, especially if you end up having to change your plans now that some airlines are charging $150 per ticket.
Rick Seaney of FareCompare has a handy chart of fees. Keep it in mind next time you book. Now, why don't some of those travel sites start including this information with their price comparisons?
When I joined Drinking Liberally at the start of 2004, it consisted of a handful of (great) people meeting in a bar in New York. Now, on its five-year anniversary, the organization has grown to over 250 chapters including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and even four foreign countries, and expanded to include Eating, Laughing, Screening, and Reading Liberally. Happy birthday Living Liberally!
Since I started Greater Greater Washington, I've been getting behind on photos. Here is my 30th birthday celebration in January.
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