Going, Going, But Not Gone

When most of us think of endangered species, we think of Bao Bao and her giant panda kin. But a little known — and much littler — species recently made news. The endangered Hay’s Spring amphipod, a colorless, shrimplike creature, may reside in a Maryland section of Rock Creek Park where the planned light-rail Purple Line is slated to cross, activists say. The rare amphipods aren’t the sole endangered species found only around here. Have you seen ’em?


As Strange As Science Fiction

A group dressed as “Star Wars” Storm Troopers descended on the Capitol earlier this month to promote a planned Museum of Science Fiction, which an organizer say will open next year. At first blush, this seems like a very odd museum to build in D.C., a decidedly nonfiction kind of town. But there’s actually good reason for the idea: This city has been a favorite setting for sci-fi films. Directors have sent everything from aliens to futuristic crime-fighters to our fair metropolis. Here are four of our favorites.

“Independence Day”: This film, starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman, offers the quintessential scene of D.C.’s sci-fi destruction when an ominous UFO blows up the White House with a laser.

“Mars Attacks”: Tim Burton eased our fears a bit when he released a comical look at an alien invasion of the District, featuring cartoonish big-headed creatures with less-than-mass-destructive weapons.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still”: Forget about the remake starring Keanu Reeves, the 1951 original is where it’s at, when an alien lands in D.C., not to destroy it, but to save it. Too bad his robot didn’t listen …

“Minority Report”: The year 2054, as depicted in this Steven Spielberg film, involves not aliens but super-human crime-fighters called “pre-cogs” in its sci-fi conceit. Things go awry when one becomes a suspect.


“Sorry kids: The folklore of sleeping with your pajama pants inside out the night before to increase the odds of snow hasn’t been proven scientifically.”

— Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service, offers some style advice to those wishing for snow this year. While Vaccaro notes that the Weather Service doesn’t give seasonal predictions, other entities have attempted to play Nostradamus this year: AccuWeather and The Washington Post both predict below-average snow accumulation, while the Farmers’ Almanac predicts “copious rains and/or snows.” For the kids, we hope the latter is right.


The Malls Are Too Crowded…

… And re-gifting your 2013 Dilbert calendar isn’t an option. That’s where your local holiday market comes in. The crowds are thinner, and the stock of simultaneously hipster-worthy and grandma-appropriate items is high. How many of these items can you spot?

  • Soap-on-a-rope shaped like a cat
  • Vintage Christmas tree topper
  • Hat complete with fake mustache face warmer
  • Jewelry crafted from fine “found” materials
  • Onesie with an ironic saying on the front

This article appeared in Express Sunday, a new weekend publication from Washington Post Express. To get Express Sunday delivered to your home for free, sign up here.