Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com August 17, 2011 at 9:30 am 3,304 39 Comments

Pentagon City Water Balloon Prank Shatters Windshield — Someone apparently thought it would be funny to throw water balloons at cars leaving the Pentagon City mall parking garage on 15th Street. Perhaps it was funny, up until the point where one of the water balloons hit the windshield of a family’s minivan and shattered it as they were driving. [WUSA9]

Groundbreaking Set for Arlington Mill Center — The ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) has been set for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. [Sun Gazette]

Burglaries from Secure EFC Parking Garage — Two Cadillac Escalade SUVs had their tires and wheels stolen from the ‘secure’ parking garage under the luxury Crescent Falls Church apartment building (2121 Westmoreland Street) in East Falls Church yesterday morning, according to residents. Police are investigating.

Artisphere’s Shakespeare Co. Gets New Name — Washington Shakespeare Company, which now counts Rosslyn’s Artisphere as its home base, has a new name. The scrappy theater company is now known as WSC Avant Bard. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4

  • G Clifford Prout

    I get it! Avant Bard. Funny. Ha Ha.

  • Rosslynite

    The Artisphere has a Shakespeare company?

    • KalashniKEV

      Different kind of spear…

  • AllenB

    Like my mama said, it’s only funny until someone loses an eye.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      From a significant height, the water in a water balloon is more than just a sploosh of cooling summertime fun. Could feel more like a sandbag hitting you.

    • Michael H.

      Or breaks their neck.

  • JamesE

    I am awaiting another bank robbery around 1 pm

    • Nunya

      im betting on the 3-30 time frame.
      maybe they’ll use a shake spear.

    • charlie

      maybe even a BB&T. on Lee Hwy or in Clarendon. just guessing.

      • G Clifford Prout

        You know. All these robberies are a direct result of the near completion of “The Views.”

        • Novanglus

          Once the Views open, there will be fewer water balloon incidents in Pentagon City.

    • JamesE

      40 minutes COME ON

  • Huh?

    How can a water balloon shatter a windshield? Would it have to be severely cracked first?

    • Lou

      How can a bullet that weighs less than 1/2 ounce explode someone’s head? Newton’s 2nd Law.

      • Huh?

        Oh, yeah, that’s exactly the same thing–an elastic, soft rubber/plastic skin filled with water vs. a hard piece of lead. By that logic, every insect or flying pebble on the freeway would result in windshield shattering.

        • Lou

          Are you denying physics?

          • No

            Or course not. Are you? Seriously–if I chuck a snowball at you from 30 feet, it’s a very different effect from a thrown baseball. Hardness affects impact too, not just velocity.

          • madisonmanor

            But you’re still ignoring physics – in this case, the compressibility of the tossed item. A snowball is compressible because it consists mostly of solid water (ice crystals) and lots of air. Water, for the most part is not compressible (does not contain enough solids or gas) – which is why a slush ball vs. a snow ball hurts more, because much of the air is displaced by incompressible water in the slush ball. Would that same baseball still hurt the same if it was covered with a thin layer of soft rubber/plastic skin? No, because it is still not very compressible, nor is the water in a water balloon.

          • Arlwhenever

            You got it. Softball size hail (hail is actually compressed slush) craters windshields all the time — a water balloon dropped from 5 stories will have a comparable impact.

          • Captain Kirk

            *Yes,* because it is still not very compressible. . . The coating does not appreciably affect the compressibility.

    • charlie

      if your windshield “cracks” then you have an old windshield or a cheap replacement.
      any car after 1990 SHOULD have a shatter windshield.

  • Tabby

    Where are the commenters who got riled up about people saying they don’t like Pentagon City mall?

    • Michael H.

      The criminal was located in one of the nearby high rises, not in the mall or the parking garage.

  • JoshR

    That water ballon prank in Pentagon City is interesting. I noticed a bunch of empty water balloons littered along the street and sidewalk of S. Dinwiddie St this morning on the way to the bus stop. I wonder if they are connected.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    Is it armed robbery if you brandish a water ballon?

    • SaveDaveMcKenna


    • Bluemontsince1961

      Shhhhh! The guy robbing all the banks in Arlington might get ideas!

  • Henry

    That was a good throw! I ought to ask for tips….I imagine there was already some structural weakness in the windshield beforehand.

    As Lou was saying above, though, a waterballoon thrown from high up can have some significant energy. Gravity gives an acceleration of 9.8m/s^2, constantly accelerating the balloon as it falls, and kinetic energy is defined as (.5)m*v^2, so as it got faster, it would have exponentially more kinetic energy. While that can feel lessened because the balloon explodes over a long period of time (impulse), if there was enough energy to begin with, it can still cause some damage.

    • JamesE

      you forgot to mention terminal velocity, I award you a C+

      • Al Gore

        Cold Water Baloon + Hot Windshield = Shattered Windshield

      • Henry

        Wouldn’t likely reach it, having been dropped from any reasonable height!

    • You forgot to account for friction losses in your acceleration rate. The shape of the water balloon, coupled with probably wobbling, slows it down a bit through friction as it falls.

    • Arlwhenever

      If dropped rather than thrown the balloon encasement can elongate the projectile as it descends making it more like a ram than a sphere, so if it hits head on it will pack extra punch. My calculation suggests the maximum speed for (without friction) a projectile dropped from the top garage level would be close to 40 miles per hour (greater if thrown). I’ve seen foul ball baseballs packing less punch and falling from a comparable height break car windshields.

      • B. Lee

        If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. In this case, it crash right through the windshield.

  • BerryBerryCold

    Probably some “youths” who were “pranking.” In Virginia, flash “mobs” are riots, and throwing water balloons at cars are a crime — throwing a missile.

    I’ll let someone else guess who was behind this…

  • PikerShorts

    There have been a few break-ins and even had a motorcycle stolen from my “secure” garage near Shirlington. The reason? Tailgating in behind other cars.

    My management sent out a notice imploring people to make sure the garage door closes behind them so no randos can get in behind them.

    I tried not letting a car in that was parked on the curb waiting to follow someone in…. the person found me in the garage after someone else let them in and confronted me and called me an A-hole.

  • CW

    In other news, Jaime was handing our flyers at the Clarendon metro station this morning. I was tempted to stop and try to innocently bait him into saying something disagreeable, but I was in a hurry.

    • Tabby


  • Richard Cranium

    The water balloons were filled in an attempt to remove some of the excess water from the perpetually-flooded Donaldson Run area. The ultimate disposition strategy turned out to be a poor one. Back to the drawing board!


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