One Diamondback reporter’s day as a county firefighter

As we pushed the hose and nozzle closer to the fire using muscles I had no idea existed, it became clear Capt. Steve Gallagher and the other instructors weren’t joking when they told me to tuck all of my hair into my turnout hood so it wouldn’t catch fire.

“We don’t want you writing about how we ruined your hair,” they said.

The Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association IAFF Local 1619, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute hosted the second annual Fire Ops 101 training Friday. The departments invited state and county officials and media personnel to learn how to become a firefighter for the day at the MFRI station in College Park.

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A freshman’s guide to laundry room etiquette

Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re in college and sooner or later you’ll find that you have to make a trip to basement of your building to do laundry. And you’ll find it was easier when you were at home and mom was the only person you had to worry about touching your delicates.

“People can be so impatient and obnoxious,” freshman journalism major Mia Simon commented to me recently.

Indeed, Simon. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if everyone abides by the same rules? If there was a formal code of laundry room etiquette? Look no further—the following is my manifesto on community laundry facility etiquette: Anyone who does not have exact change is prohibited from entering the laundry room. Check yo self before you wreck yo self. Why would you put your laundry into a machine before making sure you can pay for the wash cycle? That washing machine is prime real estate and people don’t appreciate waiting while you walk around the building panhandling.

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Campus Complainer: Art Attack and meter maids

For this week’s installment of Campus Complainer, I had some wrath reserved for the whiners polluting the Art Attack Facebook event. Now that I’ve got bigger fish to fry, I’ll keep it brief. Quit your bellyaching over B.oB. You don’t like him? I’ve got a simple solution for you: Get hammered before. Drink a bunch of beers and BOOM! Then you won’t care who’s on stage. You’d probably dance to Dr. Z singing Nickelback all night anyways. Problem solved.

On to the real issue at hand: the city of College Park. Most of the time, I’m a big fan of College Park, but yesterday my tides turned.

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Blog wisdom from the woman who ran across the country

Over the weekend, while you were still sleeping off your pumpkin pie coma, College Park had a fleeting encounter with an unusual human being — a human being who, rather than floating around, drifting according to the whims of fate, has decided to find fate, wrestle it to the ground and strangle it to death. She is a Maker of Gestures. A Doer of Things.

Her name is Sarah Emoto. She graduated from college in the spring. Sarah ran to College Park — from the Pacific Ocean. She has recently been running well more than a marathon per day on her trek, “dedicated to the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country: the law enforcement officers, members of the Armed Forces, and firefighters.”

And, luckily for us, she’s got a blog. We wrote about her earlier today, but in many ways her own words tell the story in a way we can’t. So here are some of the most interesting bits from her road dispatches since the journey started months ago:

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Occupy DC protestors hit by car didn’t jump in front of it, students say

By Maria Romas
Staff writer

A car hit three protestors Friday night — police say those injured jumped in front of the car. Three students from this university say otherwise.

Todd Waters, Melissa Etheridge and Fatima Ali, members of the Occupy UMD coalition, said they were grazed by a silver Lexus before it barreled into three protesters outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“After I got out of the way, [the driver] hit the gas and rammed into three others,” said Waters, a freshman letters and sciences major.

The car hit the protesters and dragged one woman about 20 feet before she fell into the street. The car then sped off and tried to run a red light, Waters said, adding that he chased after the car and jotted down its license plate number while it was stuck at the light. He said he then asked a police officer in the protest’s escort to pull over the driver.  Continue reading

UMD tornado scare: The sky during the rain

7:28 p.m.: The danger appears to have passed, though heavy storms are still passing through parts of the state, according to the Washington Post. See our liveblog of the evening for more information about the storm. DBK photo editor Charlie DeBoyace took this photo several minutes ago, during the heaviest of the rain:

We leave you with a song we break out whenever things like this (almost kind of) happen. Enjoy, and relax — the worst has apparently passed without major incident.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4TOIEX7rM]

You can also check out Campus Drive on Facebook and on Twitter at @theDBK.

Check out last month’s earthquake from inside the Washington Monument


The National Park Service has released a video from inside the Washington Monument during the Aug. 23 earthquake that busted a a four-foot crack into the top of the obelisk. It appears to show a clan of backpack-toting little kids reacting more calmly than the park ranger, but officials say no, the guard was totally supposed to bolt down the stairs like that. Continue reading