Triple digit temperatures continued today but I had three bottles of water, gatorade and sun screen spray. I checked the weather.com hourly predictions and it promised ot be hot all day until ~ 4 pm when there was a "Severe Thunderstorm Watch" with a serious chance of thunderstorms and high winds.
I picked up this very nice family of 4, one boy and one girl, near the White House to take to the Lincoln Memorial. My cellphone was buzzing text warnings all day of the bad weather coming and to take shelter.
(If you want to be prepared and get almost realtime emergency alerts in DC go to https://textalert.ema.dc.gov/index.php?CCheck=1 and register your cellphone or digital device.)
Thought I would just get shelter at Lincoln but the sky was darkening and the winds were really whipping up. There had been a Boy Scout parade commemorating 100 years of Boy Scouting http://scouting.org/ so Constitution Avenue was almost empty. A Park Police Officer in a pickup truck opened the window and said get to shelter, there are 56 mph winds coming, so I turned off to go up to 2025 E St., the American Red Cross HQ where I knew we could find shelter. The State Dept. and Office of Personnel Management didn't seem too inviting, so pedaling uphill as fast as I could we went.
We ran in and I called the security guard and then out came the smiling VP for Disaster Services, Armond Mascelli, working on Sunday, not surprisingly with all the disasters all over the country. Our Puerto Rican father was a warrant officer in the National Guard and so had plenty of Red Cross experience.
20 minutes of storm left 30,000 without power and the Natioanl Capitol Area Red Cross activating shelters.
A tropical rain poured but we were safe inside. So sitting inside, I continued the tour in Spanish and English lecturing on the Einstein Monument, showing the phone message of the recordings of Einstein and commentary I have stored on my cell for science nerds like me. (202) 595-1836.
I often tell the same historical stories as we pass or visit the Monuments (and am preparing the stories in Spanish and Italian and checking for grammatical correctness.)
"Einstein was famous for the photoelectric effect where particle and wave nature of light was demonstrated when a certain frequency of light can knock out an electron from metal and ionize the metal. As a young patent clerk, he derived the general theory of relativity. He was also famous for the equation relating the release of energy in a nuclear reaction, much greater than a chemical reaction, to the speed of light squared. Finally at the end of his life, Albert Einstein worked for international peace and disarmament."
"Moving towards the Lincoln Memorial, we pass the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Maya Lin designed this gash in the earth where 58,267 names are inscribed on the stone walls when she was an undergraduate at Yale. My father, a Lt.Col. in the Marine Corps buried in Arlington National Cemetery never visited The Wall because he said he had to write letters home about "somebody's Mother's son." who will return home in a body bag.