Events like the government shutdown that dominate the news cycle and capture the collective national conscious often tend to inspire widespread confusion and a broad range of questions, from the universal (“Why did the government shut down?”) to the more local and pragmatic (“Where in the District can I drown my sorrows during the shutdown?”) to the truly esoteric (“Are the poison-ivy eating goats at New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area an ‘essential’ government program?”). 

Photo Credit: CNN

If you have questions about the shutdown or are looking for more information on how it will impact you, here are a few resources that might serve as a jumping-off point for your inquiry:

USA Today offers an excellent and comprehensive Shutdown 101 with its “66 Questions and Answers about the Government Shutdown” and the follow-up “27 More Questions and Answers about the Shutdown.”

The Washington Post published a good primer on what the shutdown means for federal employees as well as an agency-by-agency breakdown on the impact of the shutdown

The Christian Science Monitor details how the shutdown will affect benefits for seniors, the poor, jobless, and veterans, among others.

The Military Times reports that all active-duty military are essential, according to the Department of Defense, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) have provided an FAQ on the impact of the government shutdown on veterans.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget provides an estimate on the economic impact of the shutdown, which it says could cost, not save taxpayers money. 

DCist offers a roundup of DC establishments offering discounted goods and services to furloughed federal employees in its “See, Drink, Eat: A Government Shutdown Roundup,” while Agence France Presse reports that new local hero Z-Burger is offering free burgers to furloughed DC-area workers

Talking Points Memo reports that, @AsteroidWatch, the Twitter handle affiliated with NASA’s asteroid and comet detection efforts, will not be updated during the shutdown, which is good because we had never even considered the possibility of getting hit by an asteroid during the shutdown until right this second.

The Smithsonian reports that you will not be able to view the National Zoo’s Panda Cam during the shutdown, but assures us that the animals are in no imminent danger, while Time’s Newsfeed offers six cute animal cams to tide you over

And finally, but not unimportantly, the Washington Post has a list of DC-area establishments offering happy hour specials during the shutdown.

--Brian