Good Morning, RVA: Feel the power

It’s a new day, stocks are going up and down, civil wars are ending, the world keeps on spinning.

Photo by: octal

Good morning, RVA! It’s 69°F, and today looks to be about like yesterday. Weather-wise, I mean. You’re not stuck in a loop that will continue until you eventually get it right (and learn how to be a brilliant piano player in the meantime). Highs in the mid 80s and no rain to speak of, or even not to speak of.

 Water cooler

Recently, the RTD ran an editorial with some great thoughts about how Monticello features slavery, based on Desiree Melton’s original piece in the Washington Post. Our own Hayley DeRoche just shlepped her family there and told the tale of her own experience, which she found to be surprisingly honest about the slavery issue. Now I’m thinking I oughtta go give the Little Mountain a look-see and find out for myself.

Guys, sometimes I wonder how long we can keep the RTD’s Ned Oliver in this town. His little piece on Chesterfield County Schools getting rid of deep fryers and adding things like the “fiesta cafe” both informed me and made me laugh, which is all I can ask of anything. “‘We expect a little pushback on that, but they’ll get used to it,’ said Chesterfield County Public Schools nutritionist Sandy Stokes.” Oh, and also, says Ned, there’s fencing. “Students from the two schools showed two School Board members, David S. Wyman and Carrie E. Coyner, a handful of basic fencing moves…A brief match followed, which Wyman won.” I love it!

I debated about including this because the whole thing is so sad and tawdry, and I have decided to speak the facts but not link to further information. You can look it up by yourself. Two Virginia state senators are among the Ashley Madison victims/culprits, which surprises me only because they bothered to use the site. Listen, on one hand, it’s better than the normal politician thing, which seems to be sending unsolicited dick pics to staffers or engaging in all-night prostitute parties. This Rob Desir piece on WTVR makes some great points about the damage this is causing, even though, by my estimate, if 90-95% of the users were men, was anybody actually having an affair? To me, the whole thing just feels like a bunch of sexually frustrated husbands, milling about and hoping.

Another shooting last night in Gilpin Court makes Grant Martin’s piece about the housing project’s dear departed namesake even more sad.

When you look up “Sudan civil war” on Wikipedia, you have to be more specific to get the answers you want. Because that heartbreakingly wartorn country has a fascinating–if deeply upsetting–history of internal conflict. The latest, called the South Sudan Civil War is slated to “end” today.

And, finally, the annual Style Weekly Power List is now available so that you may better know who to kowtow to when you see them on the street. The Food Industry has its own section, alongside Politics, Economics, and Arts & Culture. This makes me feel weird.


  • D.C. United is at the top of their group in the Champions League after thumping Montego Bay United, 3-0.
  • Nats handily dispatched the Padres, who will grind their teeth and cry “Vengeance!” tonight at 7:05 PM.
  • Squirrels squeaked by the Harrisburg Patriotic Belts, evening the count. They’ll break the tie tonight.

 What to expect

  • Five things to do with your tiny tots this weekend, the very last in August of 2015.
  • A list of the Most Powerful Local Podcasts–aka the ones Hayley DeRoche likes the most.
  • What to do with your old green recycling bins.
  • More ways to celebrate cycling. Wait, has anyone capitalized on the fact that the word “cycling” is in “recycling”? CVWMA, missed opportunity, maybe??

 This morning’s longread

The Persistence of Vinyl

I’m not sure I agree with the thesis of this piece, which sentimentally hangs upon the idea that you can’t hold an mp3 like you can a vinyl record, and you can also lose an entire collection of mp3s but not vinyl. Whatever you say! I do like being able to blame Record Store Day though! (Also, a reference to the crayon factory episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which I remember fondly!)

 A record will play on a turntable today and forever, just as it always has. If you find an LP in a store or in the trash, whether it was made yesterday or in 1950, there’s an immediate historical context provided by certain hallmarks: the label information, the runout etch (markings on the record’s inner rim), the artwork, the stickers. You can learn about it, you can discover it, you can know it.

The historical aspect becomes more abstract with digital content: how it’s archived, how it’s searched, how it’s found by future generations. A hundred years from now, if you stumble upon an MP3 file, will you even know what you’ve stumbled upon? Maybe there will be a band name or song title attached to the file, but maybe not. All you have, at its essence, is digital ones and zeros.

 This morning’s Instagram

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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