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Patrick Hruby

Patrick Hruby was a writer for The Washington Times.

Articles by Patrick Hruby

Tourists as well as police on patrol in cities have turned to the Segway as a means to get around. The Smithsonian Institution is offering Segway tours on the Mall. (The Washington Times)

The Segway rolls along in D.C.

Remember the Segway? The high-tech scooter that was supposed to change the world, and mostly ended up changing the life of Paul Blart in "Mall Cop"? Turns out the much-mocked machine was simply miscast. Published June 28, 2012

Mike Canino of Tyson's Corner, Va., trains at the Scott's Run Nature Preserve for the Spartan Death Race, a tortuous combination of forced hike, obstacle course, sleep deprivation, and mental strain that is held annually in Vermont, McLean, Va., Sunday, June 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Spartan Death Race: Masochistic marathon for a ‘soft society’

Founded by a pair of triathletes who found their pastime to be both too easy and, well, too boring, the Spartan Death Race is the premier event in a series of increasingly popular outdoor obstacle-course competitions that combine elements of "Survivor," Navy SEAL "Hell Week" and "Jackass." Published June 13, 2012

Robin Penaherrera (second from left), founder of Memorial Day Flowers, and his team — Sophia Romero (left), Nick Richwine (second from right) and Dean Rule (right) — are pictured in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, May 25, 2012. Mr. Penaherrera, his team and volunteers will pass out 50,000 roses and 1,000 bouquets at the cemetery on Memorial Day. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Flower power: Donated roses honor freedom’s heroes at Arlington Cemetery

On Memorial Day, more than 100 local volunteers will hand out 50,000 Ecuadorean roses and 1,000 red, white and blue flower bouquets at four Arlington National Cemetery locations, including Section 60, one of the burial areas for soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Published May 27, 2012

Dictathletes: When it comes to sports, dictators have that competitive edge

World history is littered with dictators who just happened to be — ahem — towering athletic giants. In honor of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recorded an impressive two goals and one assist in a recent hockey game, we present a few of our favorite dictathletes. Published May 16, 2012

The black figure running is a common theme in paintings by Alexander Zhdanov. Mr. Krause said the man may be trying to flee communism, just at Zhdanov fled Russia. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Art behind the Iron Curtain

The parallels between Soviet-era repression and Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule are at the heart of "Lest We Forget: Masters of Soviet Dissent," a new exhibition of paintings and drawings by Leonhard Lapin and the late Alexander Zhdanov at Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art gallery in Washington. Published May 9, 2012

Washington's 18-10 start to the season has given fans reason to pass through the turnstiles at Nationals Park. Here, they turned out to celebrate Opening Day in D.C. on April 12. (Associated Press)

Where do the Nationals fit among D.C.’s pro sports teams?

When Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made a preseason prediction that Nationals Park would become "the ticket in town" — and team manager Davey Johnson subsequently called Washington "a baseball town, not a football town" — both men raised eyebrows. Published May 7, 2012

Former President Bill Clinton

Censored: Presidential gag writer reveals joke vetoed for Clinton comedy routine

A former creative consultant to the Democratic National Committee, Mark Katz helped pen gags for President Clinton's appearances at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, working in what administration insiders playfully dubbed their "comedy war room." One joke — written in 1998, following the Monica Lewinsky and White House fundraising scandals — never saw the light of day. Published April 26, 2012

Comedian Rich Little said the White House Correspondents' Association dinner was "probably the hardest show I've done in my entire career." (Associated Press)

White House Correspondents’ dinner is the toughest room in comedy

In theory, the star-studded annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner is a plum gig, a once-in-a-lifetime chance for comics to enhance their national profiles and gag writers to put material in the mouth of the world's most powerful person. In reality, it's a nerve-wracking pressure cooker for comics and presidential joke penners alike. Off-color and ill-advised jokes can ignite national controversy; political cracks can touch off outraged partisan food fights. Published April 25, 2012

Toby Mergler, a lawyer by trade, who was laid off in March 2009, has created a new fantasy-sports league that encompasses multiple sports, called the League of Leagues. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

League of Leagues takes fantasy sports one step beyond

Forty minutes into his first overseas conference call - after breaking down his game, the scoring system, how trading New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg would actually work - Toby Mergler asked his new developers if they had any questions. Yes, they replied. What is football? Published April 10, 2012

** FILE ** Anthony Davis (23) has a strong supporting cast at top-ranked Kentucky. He's considered one of the leading contenders for NCAA player of the year along with Kansas' Thomas Robinson. (Associated Press)

The free market case against the NCAA chokehold on college sports

Here's the thing about March Madness, and by extension big-time college sports: If you're a true, markets-know-best believer in the prosperity-creating, All-American double helix of economic opportunity and liberty, you ought to find the whole extravaganza infuriating. Not the dribbling and dunking. The system. Published March 30, 2012

"Real Time," hosted by Bill Maher, isn't a place to not know your stuff so come prepared to engage the other guests and defend your views, say those who have been on the show. (HBO via Associated Press)

Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’: The survival manual for conservative panelists

For conservatives, the notion of appearing on Bill Maher's popular weekly politics and comedy program can seem one step removed from entering the Roman Coliseum via underground trapdoor, circa 80 A.D. After all, Mr. Maher — who will be performing standup at Strathmore this Sunday — unapologetically leans left, his studio audience tends to follow suit, and the show's three-person panel discussion format typically leaves solo right-wing guests outnumbered. That said, conservatives who have appeared on "Real Time" insist that the experience can be both beneficial and enjoyable — provided guests follow a few simple guidelines. Published March 28, 2012

Roseanne Barr (AP photo)

Fringe candidates party on beyond the mainstream

Never mind November. At this point in the election cycle, the American people already seem to have made their choice. None of the above. But fear not. There's a vast universe of political alternatives out there you might not be aware of. Chances are, there's a party just for you. Published March 7, 2012

Rick Santorum

Return of the squares: Santorum, Lin, Tebow

Three men seemingly out of pop culture time, they come to us clean-cut and edge-free, dripping with sincerity, owing more to Christopher Reeve's straight-arrow Man of Steel than to Christian Bale's brooding Dark Knight. Fashionable as George Will and as ironic as Ward Cleaver, they're the kind of characters former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin derided as "milkshake drinkers." Published February 21, 2012

Whitney Houston starred in the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," which featured Miss Houston's biggest hit, the Dolly Parton-penned "I Will Always Love You." (Warner Brothers)

Valentine’s Day sees surging demand for Houston ballads

According to the Nielsen Co., Whitney Houston's signature hit, "I Will Always Love You," was played 2,137 times on U.S. radio stations between Saturday and Monday — up from 134 plays of the song during the same time period last week. Published February 14, 2012