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Patrick Hruby

Patrick Hruby was a writer for The Washington Times.

Articles by Patrick Hruby

NBA lockout? Wake us when it’s over

The NBA's absence is being met with responses ranging from lukewarm disappointment to outright apathy, the cultural equivalent of a collective yawn and shoulder shrug. Published October 12, 2011

All the characters in this photo illustration are just two people: Jonna and Tony Mendez, who were photographed at an International Spy Museum exhibit. After decades working as disguise specialists for the CIA, the Mendezes are masters at their craft. At the request of the agency, they are spending their retirement revealing some of their tricks. (Photo illustration by T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Ex-CIA disguise experts putting a human face on oft-maligned U.S. spies

As the CIA's leading disguise specialists, husband and wife Tony and Jonna Mendez spent decades creating false identities for America's undercover agents. Since retiring from the agency in the early 1990s, however, the two have worked to unmask their longtime profession — putting a human face on America's spies while providing a rare public look into the opaque world of intelligence. Published September 27, 2011

Lower-budget box office winners include "The Blind Side" with Quinton Aaron and Sandra Bullock.

Does Hollywood need its own brand of moneyball?

Facing runaway production budgets, shrinking audiences and undependable revenue streams, Hollywood is at a financial crossroads. Is it time for the movie industry to adopt its own version of "moneyball"? Published September 22, 2011

Derek Meitzer, aka D’Meitz (left), freestyles with friends before a rap battle competition at Studio Braat in D.C. By day, the rap artist is Lance Cpl. Meitzer, currently stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)

Marine by day, rapper by night

By day he's a Marine, Lance Cpl. Derek Meitzer. By night he's D'Meitz, an up-and-coming rapper in D.C.'s underground scene. Can the two coexist? Published September 13, 2011

No caption, Jacket art for Drew Magary novel, The Postmortal. Handout photo

Blogger doesn’t go by the book

A disheveled man staggers along a beach at sunset, swigging from a half-drained bottle of liquor, lamenting an unhinged, overpopulated world in which aging has been cured by science, like polio. Next comes a quick-cut montage of explosions, rioting and magnified blood cells, topped off by a blooming mushroom cloud and giant block letters reading "POSTMORTAL." Published September 6, 2011

Madden NFL 12: Why the hold-outs cling to old-school football video games

Now in its 23rd year, the "Madden NFL" football video game franchise has become nearly as much of a national obsession as the sport it simulates, with cumulative sales exceeding 70 million copies, a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a branded ESPN television series and numerous NFL players among the title's devoted followers. Nevertheless, within the gaming community, there are hundreds - maybe thousands - of dissidents, united by a rejection of all things "Madden." Published August 30, 2011

Jeremy Jackson's abuse of bulk-inducing drugs ultimately got him onto another TV series: "Celebrity Rehab." (VH1)

Big Hollywood: Steroids find their role in entertainment industry

Performance-enhancing drugs: They're not just for jocks anymore. "It's more than just sports," said Victor Conte, former head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), who supplied Marion Jones and other athletes with steroids. "Rappers are doing this. They're all ripping their shirts off with six-pack [abdominal muscles]. In mainstream movies and action hero type stuff, it's rampant." Published August 24, 2011

Who's that cool-looking dude in the sunglasses (top)? Political novelty money is displayed at Souvenir World in Northwest. The souvenir cash includes a bill of President Obama with sunglasses and one picturing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The store also sells shirts with "anti" messages (left).

Obama souvenir sales in tailspin

Polls, focus groups and fundraising tallies have their place — but if you really want to take the electorate's pulse, go souvenir shopping. Money talks, and as the economy limps, our leaders snipe, and the rough beast of our divided government slouches toward next year's presidential election, the political memorabilia tills have a tale to tell: For the president, it's a scary one. Published August 15, 2011

Weird presidential novelties

As part of his class on the American presidency, Villanova University political science professor David Barrett hands out presidential souvenirs - the odder, the better. "The pieces represent a certain time and say something - a lot of times something amusing - about a particular president," Mr. Barrett said. Published August 15, 2011

Roomies: Rx for an atomized society?

A finalist for an ongoing national Roommate of the Year contest held by the real estate website, Jesse McLaughlin isn't just to shared housing what Alexander Ovechkin is to hockey. He's a precious, overlooked social commodity: an archetypal good roommate. Published July 28, 2011

Fatiha Ouadah (23), Jalila al-Nuaimi (7) and the United Arab Emirates women's soccer team embrace children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington during a July 13 clinic in the District. (Pratik Shah/The Washington Times)

Soccer team scores for women’s rights in Islamic world in sports — and society

As members of one of the first international women's sports squads from the oil-rich, predominantly Islamic Persian Gulf nation the United Arab Emirates, the women on the national soccer team epitomize the state of female athletes across the Middle East: competitive neophytes, cultural trailblazers, navigating both the fields of play and a larger social shift from traditional gender roles to modern, Western-style equality. Published July 21, 2011