Thursday, Dec 18th

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Life and Style

DC - One of the Smartest Cities in America

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Forbes has ranked Washington DC as one of the SMARTEST Cities in America!
What Great Academic honor! This city received such a wonderful achievement (despite the IQ of our current Commander in Chief) from Forbes.

Washington DC is Ranked #13
Ages 25 and Older with a Bachelor's Degree or higher: 40.13%
With a Ph.D: 1.91%
With a Professional Degree: 3.39%
Graduated from High School: 86.43%

Forbes


Glass Harp

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One night in DC, we took the Metro to cross the Stateline to Alexandria VA.
After dinner, we took a stroll near the river and came across a performer playing the Glass Harp.


A Glass Harp is a series of wine glasses of various size and shape filled with water. As one apply a wet fingertip across the rim of the glass, it resonates a pitch. When combined harmoniously with other glasses, the series of different sounds can create music. Here's the science behind it:
Glass is a superheated and cooled mixture of sand, soda, and lime. It's an extraordinary substance-technically a liquid in suspension. Like the action of a bow to a violin string, the rim of a glass will alternately 'catch and release' from a rubbing finger. As a glass is played it changes its shape, just like a violin string or any other vibrating musical material. A glass does this by expanding and contracting at points along its circumference. The pitch of a glass will go lower with the addition of water because this 'spring' action is slowed.

In many urban cities, I have seen various street performers and several, I would say, should not quit their day jobs (if they have one). But when I came across the glass-harp music of  Mr. Jamey Turner of Mount Vernon VA ....

Katharine Hepburn Exhibit in D.C

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Katharine Hepburn Exhibit in Washington, D.C.



The Great Kate!

Katharine Hepburn at the National Portrait Gallery

While swirling around Washington, DC this week I spotted an advertisement for the National Gallery featuring Katherine Hepburn. After an interminable walk from DuPont Circle I felt like I should have my portrait installed just for making it there. Anyway the building itself is impressive and the admission is free. Well, it’s free if you don’t pay taxes.

The exhibit itself is small but inhabits it’s very own exhibition room. On display are the great Kate’s four Academy Awards for best actress. No one has yet tied or beaten her record.

The statues themselves are not very impressive and are...

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The Streets of DC

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What can I say? I'm tickled pink!
Every street intersection in downtown DC caters to the least common pedestrian denominator with these street lights. So Civilized.
I took a picture of this because ...

Washington DC - The Place To Be

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Washington DC - their slogan "The Place to Be in Washington DC"

City Population: 572,059 (2000 Census)
It is ranked as the 25th largest city in the US (as of 2006).
Rank #8 as the most urbanized area in the US.
Median Household Income: $40,127

The Swirl spent a week in DC - staying in the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom.
Its another city where you can go and visit the museums, restaurants, tourist attractions - all by foot.
This is not the first visit to DC for the Swirl Team - but it is the first that we document and blogged about our travels.

We booked a wonderful B&B on Dupont Circle - Great Location by the way.
Plenty of Restaurants in the area to dine and shops to walk into and browse.
The neighborhood is filled with yuppies and preppies mostly in business casual suit and tie. Hey. It is a town where the majority of the residents work in Government.

Swirling in Washington DC

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The Swirl takes on Washington DC - Our Wonderful Capital!
Here's the official site of the Tourism Board of DC.


Urbanswirl Goes METRO

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The Team of UrbanSwirl goes METRO

The Word METRO (short for Metropolitian) is defined as:
a characteristic of a metropolis or its inhabitants, esp. in culture, sophistication, or in accepting and combining a wide variety of people, ideas, etc. - it pertains to a large city or an urbanized area, including surrounding suburbs, and other neighboring communities.

Our little Swirly group LOVES to Travel - domestic and International.
There is so much to see, to do, to learn! We learn about geography, history, cultures - just by visiting and touring other cities. We like to share our experiences, our culture clashes, our shocking hotel horror stories - etc.

The Swirl will be visiting and blogging about ....

Chinese New Year 2008

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This Year 2008 is the Year of the RAT!  The Date: 02/07/08
More info about this Chinese holiday!

Will it be a Ratty Year??! I think Not!
So what is it about celebrating a disease-caring vermin that the Chinese are so celebratory??!!
Well - lets see - were you born in any of these years: 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

The Rat
Being born a Rat is nothing to be ashamed of. In China, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. It is deemed an honor to be born in the Year of the Rat and it is considered a privilege to be associated with a Rat. Rats know exactly where to find solutions and can take care of themselves and others without problems. They use their instinctive sense of observation to help others in times of need and are among the most fit of all the Animal signs to survive most any situation.

Years of the Rat
First in the cycle, Rat Years begin the sequence and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Rat year actually begins.

The Sign of the Rat
Being born under this sign determines many talents, as well as other characteristics that may not be so commendable. Rats are very lively and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They can be calm and perceptive, but sometimes their brains can cause a mental restlessness, tempting them to take on too much, only to discover they are unable to meet their commitments. Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going. Add to their intelligence a curiosity and a bright imagination, and they seem as sharp as a needle.

More .....
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NAKED AS IN NUDE FLIGHTS.. YUP!!

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Say it aint so? Nude (naturalist flights) as God intended. Free as a jaybird. My heart goes out to those poor flight attendants.

"German holidaymakers will be able to indulge their love of naturism by taking to the skies nude on special flights being launched this year, a travel company said on Monday.

"In the former East Germany, naturist holidays were a much-loved way ...
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