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#OccupyDC: Considering how much help the rich folks on Wall Street have from the government based here, it’s no wonder a protest modeled on Occupy Wall Street has now arrived in the District. Now a protest in Freedom Plaza, which was supposed to end today according to a National Park Service permit, will continue past the expiration of the paperwork. Chances anyone in a position to do much about income inequality really cares about the protests are slim, but it can’t hurt to remind the rest of us how very different the rich really are. +3
Ben’s Record Bowl: Late at night, after a few hours out on U Street, it’s pretty easy to wolf down a half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl in what feels like record time. Rest assured, however, that no matter how fast you gobble that half-smoke, and no matter how many chili cheese fries you stuff into your mouth along with it, you won’t actually be bound for the Guinness Book—competitive eater Joey Chestnut ate two gallons of Ben’s finest in six minutes in a weekend contest at Taste of D.C. Presumably, he’ll still have to pay for his order if he ever sets foot in the restaurant proper. +1
We’re Off Not to See the Wizards: If the NBA labor dispute cancels regular season games, we’ll all miss something big—the chance to lament how poorly the Wizards are playing. Local businesses in Chinatown, meanwhile, will also miss out on something else—significant amounts of revenue. Games at Verizon Center can generate thousands of dollars in food and drink sales; the Wizards, and their frustrating ways, may even spur more drinking than the Caps, Hoyas, or Mystics. -1
Bombs R Us: The District is the place to be this week if you’re in the market for some weapons. More than 38,000 people will attend the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center; more than 600 exhibitors will be showing off their latest products, including knife manufacturers, gun makers, giant defense contractors, and the like. Sign us up for some rocket launchers, please! -1
Friday’s Needle rating: 59 Today’s score: +2 Columbus Day bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 63