The Duck Whisperer: Last week, we learned that some D.C. residents can be incredibly cruel to animals in Franklin Schneider’s cover story, “The Alligator Whisperer.” Schneider rode along with D.C. animal control officer Ted Deppner, who shared a few harrowing tales from his career. It’s nice to see that there are others who are the complete opposite. For instance, a staffer from The Wilderness Society has an ode to the family of ducks that made a home between the society’s offices and the National Geographic Society building. The ducklings and their mother were the recipients of some big publicity. But the ducks, as The Wilderness Society staffer reports on blog DC Reflections, have departed from M Street NW. +1

Multi-Modal: In the U.S. Department of Transportation’s doling out of new high-speed rail grants, D.C. itself missed out. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: The fact that $800 million will go to improve rail service on Northeast Corridor tracks is a win for the nation’s capital. Perhaps, though, you don’t feel like shilling out for the high cost of an Acela trip to New York. In that case, it’s also good to know that taking the bus to New York is now socially acceptable for Georgetown residents! “It’s cheap, it’s hip, it’s easy.” +2

They’ll Catch the Light Nicely: The aforementioned bus service isn’t the only cheap, hip, and easy option being considered. A Prince of Petworth reader writes in to ask whether glass shards are a viable alternative to a chain link fence topped with barbed wire, spurred by a recent over-the-fence bike theft: “I know glass shards sound a bit barbaric, but it’s so much nicer looking than razor wire…and let’s just say it would get the job done.” We say: Using glass shards as a DIY security improvement won’t only keep thieves from invading your property, but is also sort of pretty. Best of both worlds, assuming bloody glass shards are just as beautiful! -1

Still Here: The 42 Bus blogger makes note of some sidewalk tagging by lesser-than-ESPN cable sports network Versus, which continue to taunt D.C. hockey fans on a daily basis. The tags are clearly advertisements for Versus, but as the blog notes, do nothing to alleviate the shame those who rock the red must feel now that the Capitals are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. -1

Friday’s Needle rating: 80 Today’s score: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 81