Tag: Fairfax

New report examines Northern Virginia’s disparities in life expectancies

A new report from the Northern Virginia Health Foundation and the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health looks at the disparities in life expectancy among Northern Virginia’s richest and poorest residents. While the area often tops rankings for happiness, health, etc, many residents are falling behind based on factors like education, income, and race. (WaPo, 6/7)

In Fairfax County alone, life expectancy ranges by as much as 10 years between western Lorton and eastern Lorton census tracts separated by four miles. In western Lorton, where the median household income is $133,413 and 12 percent of the population is black, the life expectancy is 89. In eastern Lorton, where the median income is $77,901 and 37 percent of residents are black, life expectancy drops to 79, according to the report.


“It’s about city planning, zoning and transportation issues,” said Patricia Mathews, the president of the health foundation.

Read the full report, A Study in Contrasts: Why Life Expectancy Varies in Northern Virginia.

HOUSING | In their Matters@Hand thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND shines a spotlight on the Roadmap for the Region’s Future Economy and efforts toward regional collaboration on affordable housing. (Helping Hands Blog, 6/6)

– The U.S. Education Department has released the latest data from the Civil Rights Data Collection survey covering the 2013-2014 school year for more than 95,000 public schools. Check here for a quick glance at the numbers. (NPR, 6/7)

Related:  This data reveals deep racial inequities in the education system, including in how discipline is administered (for instance, that black preschoolers are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended than white preschoolers). Education funders are invited to join us for the next session in our Public Education Speaker Series on July 7, which will focus specifically on racial and gender disparities in school discipline and strategies for addressing them. More information can be found here.

Opinion: Two experts discuss how constant stress placed on children in poverty can take a toll on their mental and physical health, creating a need for better collaboration between schools and health providers. (WaPo, 6/6)

–  Homework Inequality: The Value of Having a Parent Around After School (Atlantic, 6/6)

WORKFORCE/LGBT | With more than 90 percent of transgender people experiencing some form of harassment in the workplace, the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force have created a first-of-its-kind guide for employers for making work environments more accommodating. (WCP, 6/6)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The Center for Nonprofit Advancement is accepting nominations for the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2016 EXCEL Award until Friday, July 15, at 5:00 pm. The award recognizes outstanding leadership among Washington-area social profit organization chief executives.

Quiz time! How much do  you know about Africa?

– Ciara

Housing tops list of worries for low-income D.C. residents

In a new report, researchers surveyed more than 600 low-income District residents to examine their most persistent stressors. Survey results revealed that, by far, most poor residents found issues surrounding housing to be their biggest source of anxiety. (WaPo, 4/4)

The main takeaway: Finding and keeping affordable housing is by far the dominant stress among low-income residents — more so than concerns about food, education or domestic violence.


Sixty percent of respondents said they worried about not having any housing in the future.

– How the Federal Government Plans to Stop the ‘Worst-Case’ Housing Crisis (City Lab, 4/4)

– Jeanné Isler of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) shares a recent conversation with WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland on WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series, and NCRP’s enthusiasm about what lies ahead beyond the series. (NCRP, 4/5)

– Congratulations to Amy Owen of the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties on being one of the Loudoun Times-Mirror’s 16 Women To Watch in 2016!

– Brookland in northeast D.C. will soon have its own Arts Park, with support from corporations and donors, including  the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities. (WCP, 4/4)

– Following a big revival in 2012, the Howard Theater continues to face struggles with financial woes. (WaPo, 4/4)

– With Studio Space Scarce In D.C., Fillmore School Building To Offer Reprieve (WAMU, 4/5)

SOCIAL PROFITS | Exponent Philanthropy makes the case for funders to invest in social profit sector talent in order to yield greater results on performance and impact. (Philanthrofiles, 4/5)

VIRGINIA | Though Fairfax County remains one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, it has been unable to avoid the pitfalls of a stagnant local economy amid an influx of new, often lower-income, residents. (WaPo, 4/2)

HEALTH/RACISMThe disturbing reason some African American patients may be undertreated for pain (WaPo, 4/4)

JOBS | The Council on Foundations is hiring for the position of Director, Corporate Philanthropy. Find out more here!


– Ciara

A glimpse into the region’s future

According to a new regional forecast from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the region’s population will continue to grow steadily and will add nearly 1.5 million residents over the next 30 years. Job growth is also expected to be significant. Officials are concerned a surge in residents to the region will continue to present challenges in providing affordable housing and quality transportation. (WaPo, 3/9)

The [District] is projected to expand from 672,000 residents last year to 987,000 in 2045, when it will be just shy of replacing Prince George’s County as the region’s third-most-populous jurisdiction, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Fairfax and Montgomery counties will continue to rank first and second. They and other counties in the region will continue to grow. But only Charles County, which is a quarter of the District’s size, will gain population at a faster rate than the city.

Related: Last year, 2030 Group president Bob Buchanan and George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis senior adviser and director of special projects Stephen Fuller, led the charge to undertake an extensive research project providing recommendations for ways in which the region can reposition itself to maximize potential and remain competitive in the global economy titled, The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy. WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland also shared how philanthropy in the region might respond and collaborate with other sectors to meet challenges facing our communities. (Daily 1/15)

– As misconceptions change about what the “face of HIV/AIDS” looks like, grassroots efforts are proving to be helpful in empowering those who are newly diagnosed. (WTOP, 3/10)

– Medicaid Rules Can Thwart Immigrants Who Need Dialysis (WAMU, 3/8)

EDUCATION/HOMELESSNESS | With recently-announced plans to replace the D.C. General shelter with smaller facilities, some are growing concerned about what the changes may mean for overcrowding in surrounding schools. (WCP, 3/8)

PHILANTHROPY/GENDER EQUITY | Mind the Gap – How Philanthropy Can Address Gender-Based Economic Disparities (PND, 3/8)

ARTSOpinion: One theatergoer shares his experience watching a popular Broadway show featuring a diverse cast, and how he felt when he look around and noticed the audience was anything but. (NPR, 3/8)

JOBS | The Abell Foundation is seeking to fill its Grants Associate position.

This quick quiz will guess your age, marital status, and income based on which mobile apps you have on your phone. My own results came pretty close! 

– Ciara

New report on the unequal distribution of business in the District

The Urban Institute has released a report examining the unequal distribution of retail and food establishments in the District. This inequitable distribution of businesses, as well as income disparities across the city, have a number of implications for residents. (WaPo, 8/4)

It’s long been known that D.C. residents have huge income disparities – the top 10 percent of earners make more than six times the amount as the bottom 10 percent – and the Urban Institute explores what it means when there is also such disparity when it comes to retail. Ward 6, for instance, has about four times as many restaurant and food establishments as Ward 8.

This uneven geographical distribution leads to things like food deserts, but it also makes retail jobs less accessible to people who live in poorer neighborhoods, which in turn can create a cycle of more poverty.

“Many economists even argue that spatial mismatch – that is, the mismatch between where good jobs are located and where low-income workers live – is a root cause of inequality in the labor market,” the report reads. “In many cities, there are fewer jobs per worker in or near neighborhoods that are heavily minority than in or near neighborhoods that are predominantly white.”

– The Commonwealth Institute has released a new report with policy recommendations for building a brighter future for Virginia’s residents. The report serves as a roadmap for a broad range of issues including access to education, access to health care, tax reform, and workforce training. (The Commonwealth Institute, 8/4)

– On the heels of the Silver Line’s one year anniversary, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, talks about the economic benefits that came along with the first phase of development and goals for the line’s future development. (Fairfax Times, 7/31)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently appointed a new “strike force” to develop a housing preservation strategy. The city has also announced plans to make $100 million available for the construction of an estimated 1,000 new units of affordable housing. (WAMU, 7/30)

FOOD | Check out this list of 50 food heroes under 50. Heroes include those who are actively working to help District residents eat healthier, grow their own food, and maintain the environment with their choices. The list was compiled by Lindsay Smith who recently consulted for the Washington Regional Food Funders. (Elevation DC, 8/4)

MARYLAND | Drug crime is No. 1 reason offenders in Maryland are sentenced to prison (WaPo, 7/29)

COMMUNITY | The TEGNA Foundation, a corporate foundation sponsored by TEGNA Inc., is accepting applications for their first round of DC-Metro Community Action Grants, due by August 29. Their Community Action Grant priorities include education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment. Information and application materials can be found here.

In light of the Clean Power Plan unveiled this week by President Obama, take a crack at this quiz all about power sources.

– Ciara

Varied quality for D.C. preschool programs

A new report released by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education finds a great deal of variation in the quality of preschool programs across the District. Looking at data from the 2013-2014 school year, preschool programs in the city did well overall in terms of promoting emotional and social development, but not so well at providing instructional support. (WaPo, 5/18)

On a scale of 1 to 7, [researchers] have found that “threshold” scores of five or more in emotional support and classroom organization, and scores of three or more in instructional support, are associated with better outcomes for children.

Average scores across D.C. surpassed the threshold for emotional support (which includes positive climate, teacher’s sensitivity and regard for students’ perspectives) and classroom organization (which includes behavior management and productivity.)

But scores fell below the threshold for instructional support, with an average score of 2.5. That category includes concept development, quality of feedback and language modeling.

DCPS’ Biggest Challenge, in One Chart (WCP, 5/18)

– Arabella Advisors outlines some of the approaches that health funders can take to fulfill unmet needs  in the ever-changing world of healthcare. (Arabella Advisors, 5/18)

Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers (NYT, 5/18)

– Keep powering up that Fitbit! Among 50 of the largest American metropolitan areas, the Washington region ranks number one in a list of the fittest places for the second year in a row. (WTOP, 5/19)

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | Last week, leaders of nonprofits, philanthropies, and more, came together for WRAG’s first Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference. Check out this recap and some of the key issues that were raised during the event. (Loudoun Times, 5/15)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Montgomery County planners recently released a draft of their Bethesda Downtown Plan, which makes recommendations for the area over the next 20 years. Among other things, plans include new park space and the preservation of affordable housing through the density-transfer process. (Bethesda Magazine, 5/15)

ENVIRONMENT | How Has Fairfax County’s Rapid Growth Affected the Environment (WAMU, 5/15)

TRANSPORTATION/POVERTY | A number of recent studies have emerged on the ways in which inadequate transportation can fuel growing inequality in American cities and their surrounding areas, making access to employment, decent schools, and healthy food difficult. Though new modes of public transit pop up every day, low-income residents who live in less than posh neighborhoods still find it hard to get around. (Atlantic, 5/16)

My name is Ciara, but if I was born this year, it would be Nayeli. Find out what your name would be if you were born in another year, based on name trends from the Social Security Administration.


Friday roundup – March 30 through April 3, 2015

– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared how a regional call to action for business and government leaders came to include the funding community. (Daily, 4/2)

– WRAG announced an upcoming conference on the needs of Loudoun County. The Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference will take place on Thursday, May 14 and is sponsored by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. (Daily, 4/1)

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia‘s Eileen Ellsworth and Jen McCollum shared why they’re excited to “get on the map” and use the interactive tool that allows them to share their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 3/30)

– The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County is inviting the funding community to visit nonprofit organizations that are moving Prince George’s County forward through safety-net, education and workforce development services. Guests will spend approximately one hour touring facilities, observing programs in action, and conversing with the organization’s leadership team. Those interested in going on a site visit should email Alicia Barrett at abarrett@cfncr.org to register at least one week in advance.

– D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser got things in full swing this week. After a little bit of March Madness, Bowser delivered her State of the District address outlining plans to create “pathways to the middle class,” and later released her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016. (WCP, 3/10, WaPo, 3/31, DCist, 4/2)

– Some residents and party leaders in Fairfax County are concerned with the lack of diversity among candidates for public office, as demographics there have seen quite a shift in the last 15 years. (WaPo, 3/29)

– Prince George’s officials shared their 2020 Strategic Plan for the school system with five main areas for improvement – academics, workforce development, safe and modernized facilities, community engagement, and organizational effectiveness. (Gazette, 4/2)

– Attorney General Karl Racine approved the plan for an all-boys school for minority students east of the Anacostia as part of the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative. (WCP, 3/30)

Healthy Communities Working Group: A Conversation with Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, D.C. Department of Health (WRAG members)
Monday, April 6, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar 
Thursday, April 9, 2015  2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Take a look at this year’s best Peeps dioramas!

– Ciara



Friday roundup – Feb. 23 through Feb. 27, 2015

A new study from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service – analyzing demographic changes in 66 cities between 1990 and 2012 – shows that city centers continue to become more affluent as inner suburbs continue to see a rise in poverty rates. The shift in demographics has some local school districts contemplating how best to accommodate the growing diversity of their students. (WaPo, 2/26)

In 1990, the poverty rate was highest in the center of the District, and it fell as you traveled farther into the suburbs. In 2012, however, poverty was lower in the city center but spiked in the inner suburbs, four to five miles out, before dropping again in the outer suburbs and exurbs.

That change means that the number of low-income children are rising in traditionally affluent and high-performing school systems. Schools in Montgomery County, which has a reputation as a tony suburb of the nation’s capital, have seen the rate of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals — a rough proxy for poverty — rise from 29 to 35 percent just since 2009. Across the Potomac River in Northern Virginia, the share of students receiving free and reduced-price meals in Fairfax County Public Schools has risen from 19 percent in 2005 to 28 percent this year.

– WRAG president Tamara Copeland told us about the Get on the Map campaign, and why WRAG members should share their data to help strengthen philanthropy in our region. (Daily, 2/23)

– We also learned about some future projections for giving for 2015 and 2016. (Chronicle, 2/24)

– Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, announced some exciting new offerings from WRAG – a Foundation Finance Affinity Group and the Fundamentals of CSR workshop. (Daily, 2/24 and 2/26)

– We were able to get a revealing look at homelessness in the region through this multi-part series that includes the stories of people looking to make the issue a top priority. (WAMU, 2/20)

– The Urban Land Institute and the Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference released a report titled, “Public Land & Affordable Housing in the Washington, DC Region,” offering best practices and recommendations for meeting the housing needs of lower-income residents. (ULI, 2/2015)

– Rebekah Seder, senior program manager at WRAG, discussed a growing interest for many local arts funders – how to advance diversity and equity in the region’s cultural sector. (Dailly, 2/25)


Northern Virginia LEG: The Art of Successful Site Visits (Foundation donors, trustees, and staff; individual donors; donor advised fund holders; members of giving circles)
Thursday, March 5, 2015  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Nope…I won’t spend another second thinking about this dress. Here’s something much more productive – a quiz about which foreign language you should learn next. Auf Wiedersehen!

– Ciara 

DC Government agencies graded … Virginia dragging its feet on health care exchange … Maryland communities newly eligible for state grants [News, 7.25.12]

GOVERNMENT | Mayor Gray released the first round of reviews from the Grade DC Initiative, where residents can grade the performance of various city agencies. Most agencies fare in the B-to-C range. In a gift to D.C. stand-up comedians, the worst faring agency is the DMV, with a C-minus. (WaPo, 7/24)

HEALTH | Virginia is dragging its feet in adopting a health care exchange, as required by the recently upheld Affordable Care Act. Failure to do so could cause federal officials to create the exchange for Virginia, meaning state officials would have much less say in how the exchange is structured. (Connection Newspapers, 7/24)

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT | The State of Maryland has recently designated a cluster of inner-beltway communities along the Blue Line as “Sustainable Communities.” This means they will be eligible for state grant funds to make their communities more walkable, transit-friendly, and environmentally friendly. Designated communities include Capitol Heights, Fairmont Heights and Seat Pleasant. Previous recipients of this designation include Hyattsville and Laurel. (Gazette, 7/24)

ARTS & CULTURE | Fiesta DC, D.C.’s annual Hispanic Heritage Festival, will be held on Pennsylvania Avenue this September. D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham says that the festival has outgrown its original Mount Pleasant location, but he and others are concerned about the impact of pulling the festival out of the historic center of D.C.’s Hispanic community. (WaPo, 7/24)

HOUSING | As we shared yesterday, the Arlington County Board approved moving forward with a street car on Columbia Pike at its meeting on Monday night. At the same time, they approved the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan. ARLnow has an in-depth look at the discussion around adopting the plan, especially how they intend to preserve affordable housing in the area.

HIV/AIDS | Thousands of protesters marched to the White House to call for more resources in the HIV/AIDS fight. 13 people were arrested in front of the White House. (Examiner, 7/24)

Related: “The Normal Heart” raises funds for the Washington AIDS Partnership. (Washington Examiner, 7/24)

Also Related: Jennifer Jue, Program Officer with the Washington AIDS Partnership, shares this cool, interactive look at the AIDS quilt, created by Microsoft Research Connections.

EDUCATION| The Fairfax chapter of the NAACP and an advocacy group called Coalition of The Silence have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, a science and technology magnet program, claiming that black and Latino students are being shut out of the prestigious high school because of the county school system’s systemic failure to identify gifted minority students starting in early elementary gifted-education programs. Black and Latino students currently comprise 4% of the student body, despite making up  32% of the county’s student population. (WaPo, 7/23)

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but be a bit unnerved by the extremely sudden and massive melting of Greenland’s ice sheet. When an event is described as a “freak event that surprised scientists,” that’s usually not a good sign. At least we’re having some relatively mild weather here today!

– Robin

Community Foundation’s Terri Lee Freeman: Fight inequity with investments in three areas [News, 5.22.12]

EQUITY | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s president and WRAG’s board chair, Terri Lee Freeman, reflects on a recent report about the region’s increasing income gap and says that tightening government budgets require funders to be especially strategic (CFNCR, 5/22):

As jurisdictions in the District, Maryland and Virginia weigh tight budget proposals and consistently return to human services and housing for cuts, we recognize that it will take both increases in public revenues and increased investments from philanthropy to assure that all residents have access to our region’s prosperity.

While philanthropy alone cannot address income inequality, it can make a difference. We believe economic security can be achieved by investing in three key areas: education, workforce development and the safety net.

HUMAN SERVICES | The publicly-funded Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board provides critical services to thousands of Fairfax County’s vulnerable residents, but its current $8 million deficit is straining its capacity. Local advocates fear that an expected increase in the deficit next year will “jeopardize programs for at-risk children and people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse problems.” (WaPo, 5/22)

IMPACT | The impact of philanthropy is often measured broadly with data, but an obituary in the Post serves as a personal illustration of how it can shape an individual’s life. In a short recollection of Lucille Polk’s 92 years, one of the big highlights is a fellowship that the DCPS educator received from the Meyer Foundation more than a half-century ago to study education in France. (WaPo, 5/22)

PHILANTHROPY | Using Data to Inform Donor Decisions: Reflections from GuideStar President (ASF, 5/22)

Montgomery County teachers set to get 3.4-percent raise (Examiner, 5/22) “But the raises aren’t sitting well with the County Council, whose members are criticizing the decision to fund retroactive pay.”

Feds: D.C.’s school grant management a problem (Examiner, 5/21)

CRIME | This is somewhat morbid, but it tells an important story – a website has mapped out every murder that has occurred in the District in the last six years. Not too many west of Rock Creek Park. (DCist, 5/22)

TRANSIT | WAMU surveys our region’s transportation options and finds good things and bad things. (WAMU, 5/22)

HEALTH | Fear not, Marylanders (and everyone who eats chicken from the state)! Arsenic-based chicken feed is about to be banned. (WAMU, 5/22) Yes, chickens are apparently fed the same ingredient that Cary Grant’s crazy movie aunts used to poison people.

Fair warning: the following is kind of gross. But the Atlantic answers a question that I never thought to ask – why aren’t cities littered with dead pigeons? You’ll be surprised (and disgusted) to know that turtles are part of the answer.

And, speaking of flying things, SpaceX successfully launched a private rocket containing more than 1,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station. It is set to dock on the 25th. Very cool! Hopefully they will take me with at some point. 

NoVa’s low-income residents hit hardest by recession…District’s mental health services failing youth…Economic Club awards $500k in local grants [News, 5.9.12]

EQUITY | Northern Virginia’s income gap is rapidly increasing, and the recession has hurt low-income residents disproportionately, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. A few key points from the report:

– NoVa’s top 10 percent makes 8.25 times what the bottom 10 percent does.

– Fairfax County, the second wealthiest in the state, had more people living in poverty in 2010 than anywhere else in Virginia.

– Food assistance demands have more than doubled in NoVa.

Read more in the Post’s coverage of the report. (WaPo, 5/9)

YOUTH | A report from the Children’s Law Center finds that the District is failing to provide essential mental health services to nearly 5,000 of the city’s youth. It is also improperly caring for a significant number of youth that it does serve. (WaPo, 5/9)

A separate report from D.C. Action for Children and the D.C. Behavioral Health Association takes a data-driven look at the city’s mental health service problems and makes recommendations for systemic change. (DCAC, 5/8)

EDUCATION | Three stories, courtesy of The Examiner.

– First, the good news: DCPS is reopening a planetarium at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School that has been used as an intergalactic storage room for more than 20 years. (Examiner, 5/8)

– Second, the bad news: Preschool and special ed teachers, as well as librarians, are among the 333 DCPS employees being “excessed” as a result of shrinking budgets. (Examiner, 5/9)

– Third, the absurd news: Prince George’s County has lost more than $100 million in state education funding in the last six years due to a loophole in Maryland’s tax law. Despite the fact that Maryland’s bickering legislature still hasn’t managed to pass a budget, the tax problem won’t be addressed until at least next year. (Examiner, 5/9)

GIVING | The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., decided on a great way to celebrate its 25th anniversary – by awarding $500,000 in grants to local nonprofits to support education and workforce development for underserved youth. The club is chaired by the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, who said:

Giving back to the greater Washington community has been a core component of the Economic Club’s mission throughout our history. Hundreds of area students have benefited in particular from the Club’s ongoing scholarship and fellowship programs. Our members felt it was important that this tradition of community support be a highlight of our 25th anniversary celebration.

Related: Rubenstein also doubled his personal commitment to the club’s scholarship endowment.

NONPROFITS | Fundraisers’ Pay Didn’t Keep Up With Inflation Last Year (Chronicle, 5/9) “About 43 percent of fundraisers said they had looked for a new job in the past year.”

DATA | Yesterday, WRAG hosted Google’s Cole Nussbaumer to talk to funders and nonprofits about visualizing data for storytelling. Pretty neat stuff. Rebekah shares some highlights here. (WG Daily, 5/9)

REGION | The Greater Washington region hosted nearly 18 million visitors last year – our biggest number in a decade. According to estimates, tourists spent $6 billion in our region last year alone – up 6.2 percent from 2010. (Examiner, 5/9) I wonder if this has anything to do with me spreading the rumor that there is gold in the Anacostia…

I have a ton of music on my iPod, so it is easy for great songs to get lost in the mix. I was quite happy when Waylon Jennings’ Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way popped up via shuffle mode. What a classic.

Also, Ben Affleck has turned out to be a great movie director. Here’s the trailer for his newest movie, Argo – a true-story political thriller about a crazy CIA mission during the Iranian revolution. Looks awesome.