The Few, the Loud, the Marines

Anything writ in stone, especially in serif type, invites quiet reflection. Except “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” Graven on the wall above the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ atrium, this World War I rallying cry summons fist-pumps, shouts of “YEAH!” and enlistment. Backstory: The 120,000-square-foot space, paid […]

All the President’s Dens

The emotional roller coaster of a Great American Man Museum tour goes something like this: “Wow, he was foxy in his 20s”; “He cheated on his wife? I shall never respect him again!”; “HE CHANGED THE WORLD! No, I’m not crying — it’s just allergies.” The Woodrow Wilson House is different, because Wilson’s second wife, […]

A Labor of Brotherly Love

The George Washington Masonic Memorial is superior to the Washington Monument in many ways. One is that it’s open. “Here’s our earthquake damage,” deadpanned the guide on a recent tour. Inside a display case, a little clay pot had toppled over. The Mall’s sleek obelisk also lacks the GWMM’s patchwork grandeur. The memorial, which looms […]

Faithful Reproductions

The premise behind the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America makes sense: Provide full-scale replicas of sacred sites for those who can’t make it abroad. This Epcot of religion, near Catholic University, hits the highlights of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem, plus assorted European points of interest. Backstory: St. Francis of Assisi swapped his […]

Sick World

In “Contagion,” opening Friday, attractive doctors (Kate Winslet among them) fight a fictitious pandemic. Here are more cinematic bugs you can’t catch (probably). Rage (Human Cortico-Deficiency Virus) The malady that wipes out Britain in “28 Days Later” (2002) produces extreme aggression after an incubation period of a few seconds. It does NOT create zombies. Sufferers […]

Sites for Sore Eyes

D.C.’s big-name museums have a lot to offer in the summer months. The threat of being trampled. The threat of trampling someone else. Views of tall people’s heads. Illegally parked strollers. Illegally parked babies. All with a warm sweat glaze. There are better, less-perilous places to admire objects in glass cases, read text on walls […]

Cheer Leaders: Hurraw! Organic Balm

Hurraw! Balm is the cosmetic equivalent of that guy who’s good at everything but who’s not hateable, because of all those orphanages he built. The vegan, organic, cruelty-free, kosher, handmade, fair-trade brand recently added Moon Balm and SPF 15 Sun Balm ($4.29 each, Hurrawbalm.com) to its lineup. Moon, meant to be worn overnight, won our […]

Guinea Pig: All Flash

Can’t handle the truth? Take a picture of your food with the new iPhone app Meal Snap ($2.99), which “auto-magically” determines calorie counts. The interface is simple yet polished: Point, shoot, wait for three to five minutes for the answer. Meal Snap did well with fruit and successfully identified humans as “not food.” More complex […]

On the Air, Out There: A Look at Some TV Hits From Around the World That Could Be Headed Our Way

Hollywood is remaking British TV shows faster than our royalty-ruled friends can create new ones. In true American fashion, when one region’s resources are thoroughly depleted, we simply find a new spot to suck dry. Concepts from Israel, Denmark and Australia are already on major networks in the States. Smaller cable outlets are nabbing Canadian […]

Easy to Swallow: Pill Glide

Pharmaceutical companies have a captive audience. If you need Celexa, Propecia or any other drug with a meaningless name that sounds either soothing or Latin, you have to choke it down whether it’s uncoated, pointy or tastes like weed killer smells. Give your gag reflex a much-needed vacation with Pill Glide ($7, drugstores), a flavored […]