President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Haraz N. Ghanbari)

The Washington Post's series on black women is barely two days old and already stirring significant discussion. Beyond the e-mails I received, the first article drew hundreds of comments, as have Facebook posts linking to the story. Here are answers as to why The Post decided to cover this topic. Also, Bethonie Butler answers some specific concerns about the overall study of black women. And after the second installment, Petula Dvorak wonders:Are black and white women really so different?

You could call it "memorialization without delineation." A House subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is holding a hearing as I type about whether to rename the District's World War I memorial and make it a national memorial. Naturally and understandably, Mayor Vincent Gray and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton are not happy about it. The Post's Maggie Fazeli Fard reports on the city's latest struggle for autonomy.

Even though fewer people are visiting the Smithsonian museums , the Smithsonian is bringing in more money. Since the museums are free, the correlation isn't necessarily that surprising, but it is good news. More specifically, the institution's business division says that visitors are spending more money than they used to. And although the Smithsonian magazine recently had to lay off several editorial employees, it seems to have weathered the recession.

The nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards are officially out . These are obviously some snubs, but there are a few nods worth highlighting. For one, "Moneyball," a flick ostensibly about baseball, is on the Best Picture list. Second, "Man or Muppet" received a nomination for Original Song, which is awesome. Here's the entire list. Also, Slate's Dan Kois wants to reconfigure the whole process. The Post's Jen Chaney and Ann Hornaday discussed the nods at 11:30 a.m. today.

Alex Ovechkin won't be playing hockey again until the All-Star Break . The Capitals star was suspended for three games by the league for an illegal hit he delivered during Sunday's game against the Penguins. The discipline is completely deserved, as leaving your feet to hit a guy in the head is unacceptable in today's NHL. Nonetheless, the issue has brought another question to light: Should Ovie play in the All-Star Gameif suspended? Personally, I say no.

Extra Bites

• There's yet another HBO series set in Washington that could be coming soon. This one is about a Jewish family living in D.C., a comedy, that stars Ben Stiller. Sounds funny enough to me.

• Melody Records Shop may be closing, but its employees have left us something to listen to. Here's a playlist from the staff before the doors finally close.

• New pop-up shop alert! This one's at Pleasant Plains Workshop.

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