Tag: hagerstown

Mid-Atlantic Winter Weather Predictions: the Woolly Bears Weigh In




The Old Farmer’s Almanac lesser-known, slightly younger cousin, the Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack, rounded up 274 woolly bear caterpillars to try to divine the severity of the region’s coming winter. It was a rather scientific process for something so superstitious.

Anyway, here’s what they determined. On average, their front black stripes were larger than their back black stripes (though I was taught that you compare the ratio of black to brown), which they say foretells a mild winter for the Mid-Atlantic.

O woolly bears, if only I could believe in you! About.com says that the caterpillar’s markings mostly have to do with things like larval stage, and I read somewhere — though I can’t find it now — that the most they could possibly tell us weather-wise was about the previous winter. 

Three of the World’s Richest Dogs Live in Maryland



Oprah’s dogs stand to inherit around $30 million in case of the talk show host’s death, while Leona Helmsley left her Maltese Trouble $12 million. Those numbers make Hagerstown canines Buckshot, Katie, and Obujet — a beagle and two lab mixes — seem positively middle class:  they inherited a estate valued at a mere $800,000 when their owner died in 2007.

Maryland Girl Dies After Consuming Energy Drink


With names like Monster Assault and Monster Heavy Metal, the Monster Beverage company, a purveyor of icky energy drinks, isn’t exactly advertising itself as healthy or safe. But one hopes that drinking one can of a commonly-available, non-regulated, non-alcoholic beverage on two consecutive days wouldn’t KILL you. But fourteen year old Anais Fournier did just that, and then died of “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity” the next day. Which is terrifying.

The Tragic Ice Cream Shortage of 2012?


Some advice:  don’t even look at the weather forecast for the next few days. All you need to know is that it isn’t getting cooler any time soon (high of 108!?).  So just stick some ice down the back of your shirt, find a pool to jump in, and flag down the nearest ice cream truck — that is, if you can find one.

Last year, Good Humor, that classic creator of frozen treats, announced that it would shut its Hagerstown plant and lay off 400 employees. But this year’s early spring meant that people were suddenly buying more ice cream than ever… and now, suddenly there aren’t enough Chocolate Eclairs and Strawberry Shortcakes to go around.

“Primarily due to the unprecedented warm spring weather, as well as the routine challenges presented when production moves from one plant to others, some iconic Good Humor brands are in shorter supply via mobile vending units,” a company spokeswoman said. In other words:  there’s ice cream enough for stores, but not for the ice cream trucks.

Have you missed the telltale sound of the ice cream truck’s approach this summer? Or do you have a line on one of the few that’s still operating? Let us know. We’re hot, and we could use a frozen treat.

Mall Evacuated to Avoid Sneaker Riot in Hagerstown


We live in turbulent times. A certain restlessness pervades the culture. Sometimes that restlessness is channeled into earnest political action — think SOPA/PIPA protests, Bank Transfer Day, Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party — and other times it erupts into a near riot over a new, metallic-red version of an ugly, overpriced sneaker.

On Saturday, Nike made available the latest color in its Air Foamposite One sneaker line, and about 100 sneakerheads in Hagerstown stood for hours  (some since 7:30 p.m. Friday night!) outside Valley Mall’s Footlocker waiting for the chance to drop $220 on a pair of shoes. I bet they figured the shoes’ NASA-developed, shock-absorbing foam would come in handy when we’re all living on Newt Gingrich’s moon colony. Anyway, a little after 8:00 a.m. a security guard called the police when the crowd started to get “unruly.” Cops evacuated the entire mall and escorted customers in small groups to Footlocker. The shoes sold out by 10 a.m.

If you missed out on these, don’t worry! Nike is releasing an even uglier version later in the month.