The event is a social one at which embassy families burn their past-prime Christmas trees, but sadly, it’s been put on ice because of a record cold front that’s brought bone-chilling temperatures. While it was a relatively toasty 25 degrees Wednesday, the mercury last week dipped as low as 2 degrees.
“Due to forecasted extremely cold temperatures, the Bonfire of the Christmas Trees has been postponed,” read an e-mail last week breaking the news to embassy employees. “You can still drop off your trees at the firepit on the T-ball field at any time. We will announce the new bonfire date next week.”
(AP/AP) - This Sept. 21, 2011, memo posted on the White House website shows then-Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew's signature.
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Leslie Bassett, the deputy chief of mission in Seoul, tells us the event will happen once the temps rise a bit. And she included this diplomatic pun: “While temperatures in Seoul may be frigid, relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea continue to be decidedly warm in 2013 as we celebrate 60 years of partnership and shared prosperity.”
Annoyed, perhaps a bit frightened, by that low-flying helicopter that’s been buzzing your neighborhood at 80 mph?
Is the United Nations flying exploratory missions, preparing for that massive black-helicopter attack it’s been planning to take away our freedoms?
Relax. It’s the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), measuring what it says is “naturally occurring radiation” in this area.
The agency says its helicopter, “equipped with remote gamma radiation sensing technology” and flying as low as 150 feet above the ground, is measuring radiation “to determine baseline levels.”
It’s likely that once you know what those levels are, you can figure out when something unusual — and maybe nasty — might be going on.
The two-week operation began just after Christmas and ends Friday, according to an agency announcement — which preceded the flights — that was put out “so that citizens . . . are not alarmed.”
The flights have been only in daylight, said the agency, which is part of the Energy Department. So if you’re hearing low-flying helicopters at night, that might be the U.N. folks.
With Emily Heil
The blog: washingtonpost.com/
intheloop. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.