Local Leads: Quake Was No Biggie, Star Wars Concert - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: Quake Was No Biggie, Star Wars Concert

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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    Is the big difference between the East Coast and the West Coast that we're weighed down with history and stuck in our ways, while out there everything is newer and more action-oriented? If the subject is seismology, the answer is definitely yes.   The small earthquake and single aftershock that rumbled through Maryland suburbs northwest of the District on Friday didn't surprise scientists, but they were at a loss to say exactly what happened.   What's certain is the quake occurred in ancient rock that hasn't generated true seismic headlines for about 200 million years. The movement four miles underground was likened to the settling of an old house. As exciting as it was to feel a 3.6-magnitude shock in our own back yard, in geological terms it didn't mean much.
    "Nothing to worry about but nice to know the Earth is alive and kicking," said Scott Southworth, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist in Virginia.

    Last month was the warmest June on record, extending months of record-setting heat.  Worldwide, the average temperature in June was 61.1 degrees Fahrenheit (16.2 Celsius), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. That was 1.22 degrees F (0.68 C) warmer than average for June.  This year has had the warmest average temperature for January-June on record _ 57.5 F (12.2 C).  Peru, the central and eastern regions of the United States, and eastern and western Asia were warmer than usual last month. Scandinavia, southern China and the northwestern United States were all cooler than normal.  NOAA also said that Arctic sea ice covered 4.2 million square miles (10.9 million square kilometers). This is the lowest June coverage since records began in 1979 and 10.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average. It is the 19th consecutive June with below average sea ice.

    Those attending "Star Wars: In Concert" this Saturday, July 17th at Verizon Center (2:00pm and 7:00pm) will be able to not only enjoy the music of American composer, conductor and pianist John Williams, they will also be able experience the iconic songs of the Star Wars soundtracks as they were meant to be heard.  Performed by the impressive Star Wars in Concert orchestra.  “One of the coolest moments of the show is very early on,” said Joseph Scheer, who is also a violinist and concertmaster for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. “It is completely dark and these laser lights start to shoot across the room and the Fanfare starts, but I think most of the audience thinks it is taped until the opening rolling text begins, the lights explode and the orchestra begins to play the theme music."

    A path meant to serve downcounty cyclists has support from planning officials — up to a point.  To create a more comprehensive riding network for cyclists around the National Institutes of Health and National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, the county's transportation department has proposed a 1.1-mile shared-use path for walkers and cyclists along the north side of Jones Bridge Road between Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues.  Officials have argued it will form part of a crucial network around NIH and Navy Med as they push for more commuters to get to work without getting in their vehicles. The path would be eight to ten feet wide, but would not continue east of Connecticut Avenue and therefore not connect directly with the popular Capital Crescent Trail, which runs from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Silver Spring.

    Don’t look for references to "A Thief Catcher" in the traditional filmographies for Charlie Chaplin. But there he is in the 10-minute film playing a Keystone Cop, an unexpected discovery emerging from a flea market sale last year. Now, the film is set to have its first screening — at Arlington’s Slapsticon film festival this weekend — since it was originally presented to audiences in 1914.
    "Even though he’s dressed up as a Keystone Cop, he’s still playing the famous tramp character that people associate with Charlie Chaplin," said Richard Roberts, director of the film festival. "This is clearly something that he already had down pat rather than something that was just made up kind of on the fly."  Although Chaplin claimed to have invented the tramp character spontaneously before another 1914 film titled "Mabel’s Strange Predicament," Roberts said "A Thief Catcher" serves to undercut that theory because it was already well developed by the time he made "A Thief Catcher." Those who view the film at Slapsticon will see all the mannerisms of the character that made Chaplin a star.