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Government Shutdown, the Old-Fashioned Way: Forget budget standoffs or terrorist attacks; the surest way to close the federal government, apparently, is to run offices on electricity provided by Pepco. A power outage that started yesterday continued today, affecting nine District agencies and several federal ones, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Prediction: New regulations coming soon for utilities. -3

Bike This Way: Alexandria and Arlington left the District to return to Virginia in 1847. Is Capital Bikeshare the way to reunite them? The popular bike service may expand to Alexandria; it already operates in D.C. and Arlington. The city would get 54 bikes at six stations, which users could borrow to ride to the other stations in the other jurisdictions. Just let us know when you want to play, too, Fairfax County. +2

No Exit: We’ve all been there—you’re tired, you’re ready to get home, you’re frustrated by the commute, and you can’t wait to get out of the Metro station. Apparently someone found a shortcut; D.C. fire officials report that a person fled the Georgia Avenue-Petworth stop on the Green and Yellow lines through a ventilation shaft leading up to New Hampshire Avenue NW. Predictably enough, they didn’t make it all the way to the street and had to be rescued. Moral of the story: Just wait for the escalator. -1

Weather Or Not: You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, as Bob Dylan sang. But if you do need a weatherman to tell you much else, and you’re used to calling 936-1212 to get the information, you are officially out of luck. As promised, Verizon has pulled the plug on the weather and time services it used to provide callers. As a public service, Washington City Paper can inform you that the weather today is damn hot. -1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 61 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle rating: 58