Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That’s A Lot Of People!

I had considered being in Washington DC today. True story! I had considered it for exactly .333… microseconds. The predictions have always been “…millions of people…” that is all I needed to hear. I don’t care if it is history; it’s too many people in too small a space.

One of the morning newscasts this morning was illustrating how packed the National Mall will be during the inauguration today. Apparently the number of people expected means that each person will have approximately the amount of space taken-up by a single sheet of a newspaper. The number of people varies, but if you imagine standing on a sheet of newspaper: Open it up so that it is twice the size of the front page and you have the “best case” scenario for how much room you’re likely to have today on the Mall. Fold it so that just the front page is showing and that is the “worst case” scenario!

Interestingly, the demonstration I saw wasn’t done the way I would have done it. The newspapers were laid with the folds side-to-side when the people stood on them. That is just and odd way to do it. The page (laid that way) is taller than it is wide, but the people in the demonstration stood with their shoulders at the open edge and the folded edge. They would have had more room if they stood with their shoulders at the top and the bottom rather than at the sides. But admittedly, not that much more room and it is still, by any description, packed in!

I feel for my friends in the District of Columbia today… Traffic there is never particularly “good,” but today it is going to be downright ugly! I hope that everyone who is in the city for the inauguration has a good time without incident. I hope all of you who live in DC are not too put out by a large percentage of the remainder of us joining you!

Wherever you are today, (especially if it is in DC) I hope you have a peaceful and lovely day!

Don Bergquist – January 20, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

1 comment:

Sara Lynne said...

We were going to watch on tv, but decided at the last minute to walk down the Hill. It was packed, but somehow we ended up in the silver section (without tickets) at the farside of the reflecting between two speakers. Very cool! And then we walked home right up Independence Avenue. Awesome!