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Battle of the Chili Bowls: A former employee of Ben’s Chili Bowl is opening up his own spot, Young & Hungry notes. What will it serve? Chili and half-smokes. What will it be called? D.C. Chili Bowl. So what’s the difference? “I believe the Hebrew hot dog is a better tasting beef dog, plus it’s a kosher product,”Anthony Ulysses Holmon says. While we agree with the commenter who suggests that Holmon might want to look for a different name, we’re all for competition. Half-smokes for all! +2
(Don’t) Express Yourself: Albrecht Muth, the man accused of killing his elderly wife, socialite Viola Drath, was found incapable of representing himself at trial last week. Now he’s been ordered to take a psychiatric evaluation. In the meantime, a judge has temporarily ruled that he isn’t capable of standing trial at all. While Muth’s shenanigans (like claiming to be a general in the Iraq army) have added some spice to the story, it’s good to see that they’re being taken seriously by the legal system. +4
Black or African American?: DCentric polls its black readers to find out if they prefer being called “black” or “African American.” While many readers who come from Caribbean backgrounds say that “African American” doesn’t fit the bill, one reader sums up thus: “Just call me Black. ‘African American’ strikes me as guilty white-people talk. We can dice up ethnicity and heritage over a long conversation, but I like to make it easy.” +2
Missing, Not Forgotten: A woman who went missing without a trace three years ago today is still being sought, though police investigations have slowed. Pamela Butler disappeared before a Valentine’s Day dinner with her mother, Thelma. “I just can’t believe that three years have gone,” she told WJLA. -4
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 47 Today’s score: +4 Valentine’s Day Bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 53