Some Boy Scouts who toured City Hall to earn merit badges nearly got an education in the birds and the bees. Or, more accurately, a lesson in negotiating low, low prices for illegal birds-and-bees activity on The Block.
City Council Vice President Bobby Curran escorted the group to a Liquor Board hearing the other day, when it was taking up the matter of alleged sex-for-money offers at two strip clubs.
Vice detectives read aloud from police reports describing their encounters with dancers. Most of that can't be printed in a family newspaper, but here's a snippet I think I can slip past the copy desk.
"We can have a lap dance for $70 or we can go upstairs for $500," Jewels, a dancer at The Oasis, told Detective Damon Nelson, according to the report.
"So we can have sex up there?" Nelson said.
"Yes, everything has a price," Jewels said.
"Well, I don't have $500, but I can get the $70 lap dance."
"I'll only charge you $40 for sex," Jewels countered.
(For the record, the Oasis owner told the board there is no prostitution at the club.)
The Parkville Boy Scout troop missed all that, but just barely. Before the raunchy testimony began, it was suggested that the kids move along.
Said board Chairman Steve Fogleman: "We let them know this wasn't the docket for them."
How about Groovytron? Datastreak? Robocruncher?
Think a contest to name a new "desktop supercomputer" would appeal to a handful of geeks? Think again.
About 3,500 people have submitted entries to the University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering - and still others have been clamoring to get in on the contest, which offers a $500 prize and "the distinction of having named this advance in computing technology."
Who wants in? Non-U.S. residents, which makes some sense given how many non-U.S. engineers are out there. And children under the age of 18, who must be having an awfully dull summer.
"By popular demand, the Clark School's `desktop supercomputer' naming contest is now open to non-U.S. residents and those under the age of 18," a news release says.
Professor Uzi Vishkin, who has developed a computer said to work 100 times faster than current desktops through something called parallel processing, said he never wanted to exclude anyone from the contest.
"I'm not a PR person," said Vishkin, who has been working on the mathematical theory behind the supercomputer since 1979 and has been developing the hardware design for the past decade. "We have a PR person. They just contacted the legal people and asked them to write it. They put [in] a restriction for some legal reasons that we would not allow minors and foreign nationals."
The university rethought those restrictions after the original contest news release went out last month and the level of international interest became clear. Tech types promptly translated the release into 25 languages.
Vishkin said he also wanted young people to participate since he hopes his invention will be on their desks someday.
"Who will be the user of this? The people who are now children," he said.
Names can be submitted at www.ece.umd.edu/supercomputer/. Deadline is Sept. 15.
Precious has a preference
Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has bagged another big political endorsement: Precious II, successor to the late, great parade veteran Precious the Skateboarding Dog.
The first Precious and owner Don Crockett, a Baltimore County political activist, once worked for Bob Ehrlich. But Crockett and Precious II campaigned for Martin O'Malley last year. Which is why the dog is down with Rawlings-Blake for council president. (The governor has endorsed her.)
"I've never met the lady," Crockett said. "[But] if it's good for Martin, it's good for Precious."
Connect the dots
Another politician is pulling an all-nighter. Mayoral candidate Jill Carter announced last week that she'd be "spending the night at the corner of West Fayette Street and North Monroe Street," according to a news release titled "Carter on the Corner." Earlier last week, the release said, Carter was at North Milton Avenue and East Biddle Street from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. "Both intersections are known to be among the most violent open-air drug markets in the city." Good luck with that. ... More info on the Nicole Richie sighting at the California Pizza Kitchen in Annapolis Mall. I have it on good CPK authority that she picked up takeout and didn't eat anything at the restaurant. Her order: spinach-artichoke dip and Thai chicken pizza. ... What could be better than getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Getting one of your own baseball jerseys, only bigger: 15 feet high, 22 feet wide. JACK FM had the shirt created for Cal Ripken and autographed by fans in time for yesterday's annoyingly named "Cal8bration" festival in Towson.