Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line
April 15, 2013 12:12 PM   Subscribe

"At the finish line of the Boston Marathon, two explosions have left multiple people injured." via ParadisePost. CBS Boston has a live video feed up of the finish line.
posted by knile (4437 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite

 
Boston EMS live audio feed
posted by knile at 12:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh that's terrible.
posted by Mister_A at 12:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston.com is down, but @BostonGlobe is tweeting.
posted by knile at 12:17 PM on April 15, 2013


AP report: three hours after the first runners there was a loud explosion on the north side of boylson street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few minutes later.
posted by shothotbot at 12:17 PM on April 15, 2013


We just pulled this up on the TV at work. Bloomberg, always classy, is discussing how these explosions will affect gold futures prices.

The camera panned across a blown up person.
posted by phunniemee at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Photo.
posted by Behemoth at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2013


A picture of the explosion as it happened. Really hoping that casualties and injuries are low.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The EMS audio is really good. These guys are on it. "put a message out on social media to people in restaurants and bars that we're sweeping the area and then you will be released." "get postal service police in here to open all these boxes"

Sounds like they are still trying to clear the area to make sure there are no devices.
posted by Big_B at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


on cnn as well
posted by beukeboom at 12:19 PM on April 15, 2013


Shit, I have a relative who was there today.
posted by jquinby at 12:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whoa that photo.
posted by Big_B at 12:19 PM on April 15, 2013


Police scanner says still multiple suspicious packages on Boylston. :(
posted by mudpuppie at 12:19 PM on April 15, 2013


Holy crap. This is terrible. :-(
posted by mykescipark at 12:20 PM on April 15, 2013


Oh shit.
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on April 15, 2013


Police scanner says still multiple suspicious packages on Boylston

Just people dropping bags and running creates "suspicious packages".
posted by smackfu at 12:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [22 favorites]


True enough.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:21 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by likeatoaster at 12:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine this is either an act of terrorism, or just your average pissed off white guy.

This is terrible. Sending good thoughts to people in Boston.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


RE: Suspicious packages - There seems to be some discussion on the scanner saying that a postal truck/mailbox may have been a source, and now there is an abandoned mail truck that has been discovered.
posted by Big_B at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


friend of mine ran for the first time in the race to dad. She said on FB she crossed the finish line about a minute before the explosions. She doesn't know what happened or why.
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


We have no idea what's happening and it would be great if nobody jumped to any conclusions. It could be a bizarre accident for all we know.
posted by Avenger at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [25 favorites]


Wow.
posted by schyler523 at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013


Graphic photos from Deadspin.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just typing what I'm hearing on the scanner, but good point Avenger.
posted by Big_B at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it is your average pissed off white guy then it IS an act of terrorism!

But I really hope that it is just some sort of gas explosion or something.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [57 favorites]


The EMS audio is really good.

Radio discipline is a very real skill, and this is just the kind of situation you practice it (and hundreds of other skills) for.

It is good that this is the kind of event that already has emergency responders on hand.
posted by poe at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Husband said right away "you know what this means and who did it." I told him do not jump to conclusions. There are a lot of angry people in America. Oklahoma bombing was done by a guy here.

People need to chill the F out. Hurting innocents does nothing for anyone.
posted by stormpooper at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


They just showed a new video on CNN, and it definitely looked like two distinct explosions about 15-20 seconds apart.
posted by smackfu at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2013


The EMS audio is really good. These guys are on it. "put a message out on social media to people in restaurants and bars that we're sweeping the area and then you will be released." "get postal service police in here to open all these boxes"

Sounds like they are still trying to clear the area to make sure there are no devices.


Those are some solid damn human beings, I tell you what.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [55 favorites]


You can check marathon runners' most recent checkins here.
posted by knile at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm honestly hoping it was some sort of gas main explosion (also that the casualties are minimum, obviously).

Because I'm going to be absurdly pissed off when it turns out to be domestic terrorism from the typical sources, and absolutely no one uses that phrase because we don't like thinking of ourselves in those terms.

We act like it's better when it's an other, but truth be told; it almost never is.
posted by quin at 12:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


The whole area is starting to shut down. The MBTA shut down the Green Line between Kenmore and Park Street, and Boston PD just tweeted that the Mass. Ave. bridge is being shut down.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:27 PM on April 15, 2013


phunniemee: "We just pulled this up on the TV at work. Bloomberg, always classy, is discussing how these explosions will affect gold futures prices."

Not to derail this too much, but the gold market has been in an all-out and unprecedented panic today. I don't think it's completely unreasonable for a financial news outlet to comment that a terrorist attack could worsen an ongoing economic panic. This is horrible, and I don't doubt that Bloomberg handled it tactlessly, but Bloomberg are not a general-purpose news outlet, and there are two very major news stories taking place right now.

posted by schmod at 12:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


To reiterate what other people have already said, we generally have a good record here on the blue of not jumping to conclusions based on early reports, so let's keep it up.

The one thing we can be sure that if these are deliberate, this is "terrorism", no matter who did it. But even that will take time to establish.

I find it very hard to believe that there would be an accident explosion at a spot where multiple news cameras happened to be pointed, but stranger things have happened.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Weird that I heard about this story via friends in Boston on Twitter and FaceBook letting friends and family know that they're OK. That was before I saw anything about the actual event so I had no clue what they were talking about and why they were sending out such a message.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fuck. I was just about to check on the status of two friends who were running when I heard the news.
posted by bondcliff at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Marathon is shutting down. Any runners still on the course are being redirected to the Commons.
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm honestly hoping it was some sort of gas main explosion (also that the casualties are minimum, obviously).

Me too, but what makes me worry it might be something more is the potential psychological impact this might have if it were an attack. The Boston Marathon is a pretty iconic American tradition and has all sorts of cultural meaning. That said, it's still way too early to conclude anything and too much speculation will only confuse the process of figuring out what actually happened.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


(just got word that she's fine - was ~ 2 miles back when it happened)
posted by jquinby at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


"Boston explosions were at 673 Boylston Street" - @BloombergTV.

Also, terrorism tag deleted. Apologies.
posted by knile at 12:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


How far into the race did the explosions go off?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:31 PM on April 15, 2013


On the "Boston Marathon" twitter stream I just saw the NY Post link to a photo of what looked to be a now-empty triage area stained with blood. Horrific. My thoughts are with those affected.
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Three hours.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "I imagine this is either an act of terrorism, or just your average pissed off white guy."

C'mon, buddy.
posted by boo_radley at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


How far into the race did the explosions go off?

At the finish line.
posted by alby at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013


WCVB has a live feed, including photos.
posted by tommasz at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013


How far into the race did the explosions go off?

three hours after people started finishing, near the finish line.
posted by shothotbot at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone know anything about Boston's gas, etc. infrastructure? Were Boston's gas mains privatized?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013


Mediaite has video of the explosion as it happens.

It looks like the explosion happens on the sidewalk, in the crowd.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not gonna look at any photos. And I guess we can always add the "terrorism" tag back in if we have to. Not that it makes any difference to the victims.
posted by emjaybee at 12:34 PM on April 15, 2013


This is very distressing. As someone who runs marathons I cannot help but put myself in a similar place. You think of your own family, friends, loved ones.

Stay safe people. Thoughts and prayers with everyone.
posted by Fizz at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Heard over the scanner: "At this time we have all the victims off the scene", via @Neda_Semnani, a reporter for Roll Call. who has been my source for much of this.
posted by knile at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


NBC is currently showing a lot of videos of the explosion and the immediate aftermath, with police, soliders, and security crew and volunteers, pulling apart the stands and coming to the aid of those who are injured.
posted by Stynxno at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Oh what the hell.
posted by rtha at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is awful :(

Also, I especially feel for the people of Boston, after being clowned on for this for so long.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is the race now canceled for remaining participants? I was freaked out because a friend is running for charity, but it looks on the BAA website he's still on the course, just passed the 40k sensor.
posted by selfnoise at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Weird that I heard about this story via friends in Boston on Twitter and FaceBook letting friends and family know that they're OK. That was before I saw anything about the actual event.

Me too. It's sad reading the updates in reverse chronology. You start by seeing insane photos and updates about how scared everyone is and messages to friends and family that they are OK and then you reach the point before the bombs went off and everyone is so excited and happy, wishing each other good luck, saying it's a beautiful morning for a race.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Three hours. - Thanks, that was what I was wondering. Didn't realize it starts so late in the day; I guess the weather is cool enough in Boston in April. Three hours into a marathon is the start of the big wave of finishers, I'd imagine :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Barring a gas / boiler explosion, this is going to mean even more repression and surveillance.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [22 favorites]


Yeah, they're redirecting anyone still on the course to Boston Common.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Is the race now canceled for remaining participants?

Yes, according to the Boston EMS feed, the marathon is officially cancelled.
posted by Spatch at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Bleah.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Is the race now canceled for remaining participants?
The globe says people are being diverted to boston commons at mile 26
posted by shothotbot at 12:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Definitely don't look at photos. They are crazy upsetting.

Important reminders:

"FOG OF NEWS: Just a reminder this is the stage of the story when there are a lot of reports that have not been pinned down floating about." -- Garance Franke-Ruta

"Someone did this to scare us. Stop helping them. Just stop. Give money, time, or blood: http://www.redcross.org" -- Charlie Loyd
posted by Phire at 12:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [29 favorites]


At least 3 dead right now.

Ugh, this is horrible. I hope this is some weird accident of some kind. My heart goes out to all the victims.
posted by King Bee at 12:38 PM on April 15, 2013


Three hours into a marathon is the start of the big wave of finishers, I'd imagine :(

Just to be clear, I misread that source - it was three hours after the first finishers, like shothotbot said. Three hours after the start, only the really good runners are getting to the finish.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:38 PM on April 15, 2013


It's terrible how much I want it to be a busted gas line or something "natural" like that.
posted by rtha at 12:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


The race started at 9am.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:38 PM on April 15, 2013


OMG. I was really hoping no fatalities.
posted by sweetkid at 12:39 PM on April 15, 2013


selfnoise - runners still on the course are being diverted, but the race has been declared over.
posted by knile at 12:39 PM on April 15, 2013


If, like me, you don't know what to do when you see something like this, I recommend calling someone you love and telling them so.

You can also take a first aid class:

How to find a first aid class in your area. (Red Cross)
posted by poe at 12:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


So was the bombing at ~12pm EST or ~3pm EST?
posted by parmanparman at 12:40 PM on April 15, 2013


The race started at 9am. = well now I'm confused.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:40 PM on April 15, 2013


I work on Boylston Street and my office sits directly between the sites of the two explosions. Working from home today due to the marathon, hoping all my co-workers are OK.
posted by jeremias at 12:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


My prayers are with them all and I hope they catch whatever assholes did this posthaste.
posted by jonmc at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Boston’s 3,300-Plus Street-Level Gas Leaks (Dec 2012)
Study Details Natural Gas Leaks in Boston (Nov 2012)
posted by jeffburdges at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think the explosions happened about 5/6 hours after the race start time, at the finish line, around 2/3pm EST.
posted by Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender! at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013


The explosions were shortly before 3pm EST.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013


Race started at 9 AM EST, first finishers crossed at around noon, bomb went off about 3 hours after the first finishers (aka ~3 PM EST)

The "3 dead" reporting I'm seeing on Twitter is attributed to FOX News. Does anyone else have corroborating sources?
posted by Phire at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013


CNN.com says that the first explosions were at 2:45 eastern time.
posted by King Bee at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So was the bombing at ~12pm EST or ~3pm EST?

I don't think it's been established yet that it was a bombing. (Though my gut tells me it probably was.)
posted by saulgoodman at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Race starts at 9, first finishers between 11 and 12 (2 or 3 hours after start), explosions at 3pm EST, 3 hours after first finishers.
posted by Think_Long at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013


If, like me, you don't know what to do when you see something like this, I recommend calling someone you love and telling them so.

You can also take a first aid class


And of course, if you are able to, go donate some blood.
posted by padraigin at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's terrible how much I want it to be a busted gas line or something "natural" like that.

Not at all. It's honestly the best we can hope for right now.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, the Red Cross maintains safe and well lists and family reconnect services in these situations.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hope this doesn't get too bad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013


It's terrible how much I want it to be a busted gas line or something "natural" like that.

Same here.

There is mention that 4 people have been brought to Mass General.

There's also mention of a possible device found at the Mandarin hotel.
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can we please not have a thread full of comments about "your average pissed off white guy"? We don't even know if these explosions were terrorism or just an accident yet.

Premature speculation about the race of the perpetrators is as offensive as making the kneejerk assumption that the perpetrators of other violent crimes will eventually be found to be black. That's the kind of shit you see posted in the comments section of local newspaper articles linked to by the Drudge Report. Metafilter is better than this.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [34 favorites]


This is fucking awful. My heart hurts.
posted by Sweetmag at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Actually the more I think about this, the more I'm really, really hoping it's something infrastructure related, like a gas main.

At least that could act as a clarion call to the kinds of repairs that our country needs, and there is a slim, infinitesimal change that tragedy could turn to making our country a better place.

But my sickened gut tells me that we're not going to be that lucky.
posted by quin at 12:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Just to clarify for those in other timezones, this happened ~3pm EST, under an hour ago.
posted by heyforfour at 12:43 PM on April 15, 2013


ABC News (Stephanopoulos) just reported "several" deaths, victims with severed limbs and children with severe burns. Praying for the victims and their families.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:43 PM on April 15, 2013


I heard it both times across the river and thought it was thunder.. :(

This is really sad.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 12:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


https://chat.metafilter.com/
posted by Wordwoman at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


3 pm (actually, about 2:45 pm).

The marathon has a staggered start, with groups like the wheelchair racers and the elite racers at the front. Here's a list of the start times for various groups.
posted by anastasiav at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend in Boston just posted on facebook that cell service (including texts) is shaky/down, for those trying to get in touch with loved ones.
posted by likeatoaster at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013


Hang in there Boston.
posted by Callicvol at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013


CBS is showing a video clip now that shows the official race time clock at 4:09 (elapsed time) when one of the blasts goes off.
posted by argonauta at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013


Metafilter is better than this.
Metafilter is what its users post. For better or for worse.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Man this is terrible, and I hope they catch the bastards who did this.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


My wife is from Boston, this is very disturbing. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2013


While there are many possible causes and some of them could be accidental, the last act of terrorism here in Austin was someone flying a plane into a building where the IRS had offices.

It's quite possible that NedKoppel is on the right track.
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2013


Ok, so if it's terrorism, it's angry white guys. And if it's an accident, it's privatized gas lines. Glad we're dealing with this without ideological biases.
posted by gertzedek at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [28 favorites]


The Boston Marathon is a pretty iconic American tradition and has all sorts of cultural meaning.

What kind of meanings does it have ? ( I'm curious - I just don't know)
posted by Bwithh at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reddit thread which is being updated live with sources/pictures as news comes in.
posted by fight or flight at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is awful. I'm joining the chorus of those hoping for an accidental cause, rather than an intentional one, just because otherwise WTF humanity.

I know at least one person running today. Shit.
posted by ambrosia at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's also quite possible that none of you can possibly know jack shit about anything that's going on given that none of you are there and work in EMS or Boston Police. Amazing how some of you are already convinced of what has happened.
posted by spicynuts at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


There was really only one comment from some one about them thinking it might be your average pissed off white guy so I guess I don't really see the point in getting so outraged but thats cool Jacqueline. The majority of people seem to be worried and wishing everyone well. That is what *I* expect from Metafilter.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [24 favorites]


[Folks, this is a fast-moving and scary situation with not a lot of info on the ground yet. Links are great, discussion is fine, but please let's maybe avoid any fight-starting speculation if possible.]
posted by cortex at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [26 favorites]


I hope it was accidental but it seems incredibly unlikely. Explosions at the most crowded area of the biggest on-street event of the year (unless there's a major sports title in Boston, I guess), right around when the biggest group of runners is likely to be nearing the finish line (and thus, their well-wishers will be gathering)? If that's bad luck it is incredibly bad.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Reddit thread which is being updated live with sources/pictures as news comes in.

Top comment by "pandarapist" sweet jesus
posted by ominous_paws at 12:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shit.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013


Recent tweet on my feed that I think is worth highlighting:
Thoughts with Boston. Bad people like to spread rumors in this environment, be careful what you amplify today.
posted by Fizz at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [18 favorites]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "I imagine this is either an act of terrorism, or just your average pissed off white guy."

C'mon, buddy.


Ok, maybe that was too on the nose - but it is a truism that POed white guys can blow things up all damned day and not get called what they are - terrorists.

Granted, we'd have to speculate as to groups and precise motives at this time, but there isn't much question in my mind as to intent - Boston Globe is reporting that Police have found secondary devices.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


1. My deepest condolences to all involved. I have friends and family in and around Boston.

2. I apologize if this is a tasteless question, but will the runners standings still be 'counted' for those who have already finished? Or does the cancellation mean that the entire slate is wiped clean and all the results cancelled? I know nothing about marathons.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Top comment by "pandarapist" sweet jesus

Twitter and reddit were both ~15 mnutes ahead of the national news. These are the times we live in.
posted by fight or flight at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I know someone who's friends with a Boston PD officer who confirmed it was two bombs. A number of deaths have been confirmed according to this source.
posted by docjohn at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013


Bwithh: " What kind of meanings does it have ? ( I'm curious - I just don't know)"

It's always held on Patriots' Day, which commemorates the battles at Lexington and Concord to start the American Revolutionary War. This could certainly be coincidental, but is likely to get some attention as people look for a motive.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Iridic at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2013


Top comment by "pandarapist" sweet jesus

Never look at the Reddit usernames.

"Pandarapist" is mild.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hats off to the MeFites diligently scouring the Internet for things like video footage and photos and the reddit thread. Tweeps who weren't there have begun the "it was a bomb" chorus already to the point that the noise is overwhelming. Events like this really make Twitter seem useless.
posted by radicalawyer at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013


This Vine shows the moment of explosion. Terrifying.
posted by themadthinker at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Dramatic video clip of the explosion found at the Deadspin page (mentioned above).
posted by ericb at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Bwithh: Patriots' Day & Boston Marathon.
posted by knile at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


To underline what Phire quoted up above:

"Someone did this to scare us. Stop helping them. Just stop. Give money, time, or blood: http://www.redcross.org"
posted by koeselitz at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


If you're in Boston right now, stay away from outdoor trash cans. Emergency responders are being cautioned to "beware of trash containers" (per radio scanner traffic).
posted by BobbyVan at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013


The pictures of the wounded look like something from Afghanistan or Iraq. It looks so bloody and gruesome. I hope everyone is okay. Although I haven't lived there in years, Boston has always been home to me, and my heart breaks today.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Riton at 12:48 PM on April 15, 2013


On NBC: William Bratton, Fmr. Boston Police Commissioner, based on his sources, is saying that there were two explosions and at least 15 people injured, some extremely severe.
posted by Stynxno at 12:49 PM on April 15, 2013


@BostonGlobe: rt @JOSreports Police say are they still finding "secondary devices," pleading with crowd to go home

Looks like it was a bomb.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Tweet from Mass EMA:

RedCross Safe and Well is active. Individuals can register themselvs as safe or search for loved ones at http://redcross.org/safeandwell
posted by tommasz at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm so proud of the race volunteers (the people in white Addidas jackets, if you're watching video). They're not technically trained for situations like this but damn it looks like they're busting their asses and pulling together to get injured people help.

Also, it goes without saying that I'm proud of the first responders and military personnel who were there. Bravo, everyone.
posted by cooker girl at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [24 favorites]


>The Boston Marathon is a pretty iconic American tradition and has all sorts of cultural meaning.

What kind of meanings does it have ? ( I'm curious - I just don't know)


Honestly? I think if it has great cultural significance, it's to people in the northeast. But the Boston Marathon is a big enough deal that basically everyone knows it exists, even if they don't know or care about marathons in general. Like... you'd kind of expect people in Britain to know the London marathon exists. In the US, that's Boston, New York and maybe Chicago (but I'm from Chicago, so I have no idea if people elsewhere know it exists).

Yeah, on preview, I had no idea 'Patriots Day' that other people have mentioned was a thing, never mind that it was today.
posted by hoyland at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is another live update thread from Reddit. Bear in mind any of the updates can later turn out to be false rumors or just plain misunderstandings.

There was just an explosion at the Boston Marathon
posted by tykky at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Fox News is already calling this terrorism.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013


On the other hand, maybe knowing of its existence counts as 'great cultural significance'.
posted by hoyland at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Twitter and reddit were both ~15 mnutes ahead of the national news. These are the times we live in.

Add to this the fact that one of the images was caught on Vine. We really are at a moment when social and collaborative online media spreads news faster than any time in history.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


What are "secondary devices"? Sounds like pretty specific jargon.
posted by klarck at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2013


@willsommer: Sign of the times: Boston police scanner full of plans to get news out on social media.

Horrible news but fascinating that modern technology is being used for aid.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


We always have no school/no work for Patriot's Day, I figured so everyone could go watch the marathon instead.

I'm glad I stayed home today.. /arnold
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"What kind of meanings does it have ? ( I'm curious - I just don't know)"

Also the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon. On Patriots Day there is also a tradition of a Red Sox game at Fenway Park every year since 1959.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that Vine is just someone pointing their cameraphone at the TV.
posted by smackfu at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Fox News is already calling this terrorism.

The number of secondary sources indicating that these were bombs or "devices" would tend to back up their characterization, no?
posted by DWRoelands at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013


This is the worst still image I've seen so far. (from Fox News, NSFW/NSFL)
posted by dobi at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013


What are "secondary devices"? Sounds like a pretty specific jargon term.

Bombs meant to go off later, to target emergency services.
posted by hoyland at 12:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I believe a "secondary" device would be an explosive intended to target the rescuers.
posted by NedKoppel at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston Marathon is a little special in that it's on Patriots Day and you also have to qualify for it, you can't just get a lottery placement/sponsorship entry like NYC marathon, for example.

It's a huge event in Boston since people have off work/school.
posted by sweetkid at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Strass at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Add to this the fact that one of the images was caught on Vine. We really are at a moment when social and collaborative online media spreads news faster than any time in history.

That Vine thing was just an edit from the video that was posted up-thread.
posted by jessssse at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What are "secondary devices"? Sounds like pretty specific jargon.

That's when you put more bombs in the area designed to survive the first blast so that you can directly target first responders.

It's shit like this that makes me a little jumpy on station.
posted by fifthrider at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What kind of meanings does it have ? ( I'm curious - I just don't know)

It is also Patriots Day in Massachusetts (nothing to do with football), an official holiday for us...so schools and government agencies are closed. The marathon always takes place on Patriots Day.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd consider the 3300 street-level gas leaks far more suggestive than the tax day connection, NedKoppel, well until we hear more details from the police. Isn't the gas leak theory consistent with two explosions so close together too?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


feloniousmonk: "The pictures of the wounded look like something from Afghanistan or Iraq. It looks so bloody and gruesome. "

We all bleed the same.
posted by Splunge at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


Fox News is already calling this terrorism.

Shepard Smith just reported that "ball bearings" were found at the scene.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Keep in mind "still finding secondary devices" could mean "still looking for secondary devices".
posted by smackfu at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Everyone should remember too, that the 2007 New York City steam explosion was feared to be a terrorist attack when it first happened.

Not that this looks very good at all, but something to keep in mind.
posted by lampshade at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Top comment by "pandarapist" sweet jesus

look, he's just a panda therapist, why are you overreacting like that
posted by mightygodking at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


ericb, hate to correct you in a thread as serious as this, but Boston Marathon isn't even North America's Oldest Road Race.
posted by the dief at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Third bomb just set off by police, according to CBS News.
posted by docjohn at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston’s 3,300-Plus Street-Level Gas Leaks (Dec 2012)
Study Details Natural Gas Leaks in Boston (Nov 2012)


Gas leaks almost never have an ideal oxidizer mix, they're always very fuel rich -- and thus, have dark black smoke. And if there was enough gas in open air to create that fireball, *everyboyd* was throwing up from the smell well before it lit. And the chances of them going off about 30 seconds within each o

These didn't burn like that. They look like oxidizer rich deflagrations. I say "deflagrations" because I don't see any shattered glass, and if you had a fireball that big from a detonating explosive, at least some of those windows would have shattered.

They actually don't look that powerful -- one of the goes off, only one runner falls (and he's obviously very old and has just run a marathon, so I'd also say very tired. The course monitors that are far closer flinch a bit, but they all remain standing and mobile (looks like one was hit/cut by debris, judging by the hands to head and hold.

However, for the people on the sidewalk, who aren't very visible, they were much close to this explosion. It moves a couple of interlinks barriers out, another sign of a deflagration. Deflagrations move things. Detonations shatter things.

I've only seen footage from one of the explosions, but it's a deflagration, burns with white smoke, didn't shatter windows and didn't knock over people 30' away, except for one old guy who might have fallen out of surprise.

Black/Smokeless powder, 5-10 pounds, someone compressed, not a lot of intentional fragmentation.

Manmade.

It's tax day

Oh, fuck, you're right.
posted by eriko at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [83 favorites]


Fox News is already calling this terrorism

In fairness though, Fox news calls pretty much everything terrorism. Until they determine that it wasn't foreigners, in which case it becomes a terrible tragedy that no one could have foreseen.
posted by quin at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [53 favorites]


"I hope it was accidental but it seems incredibly unlikely."

It's also Tax Day, and Boston is a city of historical significance for tax protests. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Reports over news and radio of BPD blowing a secondary in place.
posted by Punkey at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013


:( Horrifying. :(
posted by zarq at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Ah, yes. That would be OSHA's exact definition of a "secondary device."
posted by NedKoppel at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is another tradition of reenacting Paul Reve's ride (starting in Charlestown) and ending in Concord/Lexington

Lots of people also get up early to view the reenactments of the battles in Concord and Lexington.
posted by ericb at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston news is now reporting that a fire broke out at the JFK library in Boston almost immediately after the explosions. A lot of speculation about whether there is a connection.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Busily checking in with the people I know who run at about that time, and those I know who are always at the finish line. This is surreal and horrifying.
posted by xingcat at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


God, I hope this is just a horrible accident. The crawl along the bottom of Boston's channel 5 says secondary devices were found.
posted by sarcasticah at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, it took a couple of days to piece together exactly what happened on 9/11 - it will take a few days to figure it out here. Longer if it's domestic, as they generally aren't all falling over themselves to take credit with the press the way some islamist groups are. Or it could be a freak accident.

Expect a few days of impossibly unrelated groups claiming credit, a lot of unsubstantiated rumors about follow-up attacks, and an official press release from the FBI and/or president in a few days.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Shepard Smith just reported that "ball bearings" were found at the scene.

Jesus Christ.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


‏Oh, for fuck's sake:
@RealAlexJones: Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon - but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag
And that hashtag is quickly rising. Regardless of whether or not this is accidental or intentional, this is the kind of person who's earning titles like "monster."
posted by zombieflanders at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [31 favorites]


I just received a text message from Boston University saying police are asking everyone to stay away from Kenmore Square and surrounding areas. And a friend who works at the Prudential Center said they are currently being evacuated.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 12:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, I remember Sept 11th how there were reports of fires on the National Mall, and a car bomb at the State Department. Both of which were false. We should be cautious with early reports.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Look for the helpers. You'll always find people who are helping." --Mr. Rogers
posted by Phire at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [182 favorites]


CNN is infuriating, just endlessly repeating the fact that they have no information about what happened. "Look at that smoke. That smoke is gray. Look at that."

I want to hear about how many people are safe and uninjured.
posted by damehex at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


the dief, yes it is the oldest annual marathon in the world. Not a road race. ericb did say it was the oldest marathon. GTFO.
posted by mysticreferee at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shepard Smith just reported that "ball bearings" were found at the scene.

Jesus Christ.


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?
posted by donajo at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reports over news and radio of BPD blowing a secondary in place.

BPD is confirming that they are setting off a "controlled explosion."
posted by zombieflanders at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston globe reported the JFK library fire as mechanical fire
posted by shothotbot at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013


@RealAlexJones: Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon - but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag

Jesus, I had no idea this was a thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013


All off-duty police officers just ordered to report to their precincts.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ball bearings are used as buckshot in homemade explosives.
posted by Think_Long at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Shepard Smith just reported that "ball bearings" were found at the scene.

For those that don't know these are commonly found as fragmentation devices in military level explosives/mines. If they're finding these, and it wasn't a rollerblade store that was targeted... pretty indicative of a planned attack.

Jesus Christ.

Indeed.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


EMS feed: "All off duty officers report to your districts. THAT IS AN ORDER!"
posted by double block and bleed at 12:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Ball bearings would be used to create projectiles after an explosion.
posted by dobi at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

Commonly used in IEDs for shrapnel damage.
posted by chrominance at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shepard Smith just reported that "ball bearings" were found at the scene.

True, Smith said that, just waiting for other sources to verify a lot of this stuff.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

Ball bearings make for "good" (and by "good" I mean "horrific") ready-made shrapnel in explosives. The blast scatters bullet-sized bits of metal in all directions with tremendous force.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

You pack a bomb with ball bearings, nails and other small things to maximize the injuries it will produce.
posted by jquinby at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


donajo: "What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?"

Ball bearings are often loaded into explosive devices to increase the possibility of maiming or injuring people. Also nails.
posted by scrump at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?
Designed to make shrapnel. Though the people in the street in the video looked ok.
posted by shothotbot at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013


Ball bearings are a favorite to wrap around an explosive to increase the anti-personnel capabilities of the device. They fly out from the blast and hurt people.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

Little metal balls used in lubricated joints. (Like in the transmission of a car.) Also great for packing around your bomb to make it tear people apart more effectively.
posted by fifthrider at 12:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

Improvised devices are often packed with small hard or sharp things to create more grievous injuries.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013


What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?

I suspect it's because there's little good reason for ball bearings to be at the scene like that unless they were intended as shrapnel and packed around the bomb.

That is to say, the presence of ball bearings is relevant to whether this was a bomb or an accidental disaster.
posted by gauche at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013


donajo, ball bearings suggest a shrapnel bomb, which means someone was aiming for maximum injuries and deaths.
posted by tavella at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013


CNN is infuriating, just endlessly repeating the fact that they have no information about what happened.

Legally though aren't they supposed to wait until official information has been released? I mean it's great that Twitter/Vine/etc are providing a lot of info, but I'm okay with their families being notified.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thich Nhat Hanh on a Zen response to terrorism.
posted by Currer Belfry at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I remember Sept 11th how there were reports of fires on the National Mall, and a car bomb at the State Department. Both of which were false. We should be cautious with early reports.

Correct. As far as we knew in downtown D.C. that day there were car bombs and the National Mall was on fire. It was a bizarre scene and indicates that early news reports are nothing to go on.
posted by NedKoppel at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


WBUR radio live stream
posted by seemoreglass at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013


Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal.
posted by jessssse at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Are these secondary device, ball bearings, etc. reports originating with Fox News or someone sane?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013


donajo: "What does that mean? I know what a ball bearing is, but why are they significant?"

It's reasonable to assume that a lot of ball bearings near an explosion site signify a homemade claymore mine-like bomb. The bearings will increase the number of injured and the severity of their wounds.
posted by boo_radley at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013


Can someone with knowledge of the Boston Marathon tell me whether the red scattered on the sidewalk in many of those top-angle photos is maybe some kind of traditional streamers or sillystring or something? I would like it not to be blood but I earnestly have no idea and cannot tell from the tiny images.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


People, this thread is moving very fast, please take a breath and slow down. We don't need 15 comments answering one question, it will just fill this up with noise.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Ball bearing cite: One of the first improvements was to replace the steel cubes with 7⁄32-inch (5.6 mm) hardened 52100 alloy ball bearings.*

I am not saying the explosion was a claymore or even a mass manufactured device. I repeat... I am NOT saying that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013


The Guardian feed
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013


Wouldn't a gas explosion leave a crater?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013


Dear god, #falseflag on Twitter is an insight into a strange and fascinating world. Lots of talk about the Rothschilds and David Icke there, I shit you not.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013


I am not buying this "ball bearings" story until it's better-confirmed.
posted by koeselitz at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013


Secondary devices: Boston Globe.

Ball bearings: Fox News, but one of their token sane anchors.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


jessssse: "Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal."

We all read the Anarchists' Cookbook in high school.
posted by notsnot at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


oh fuck
posted by angrycat at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Legally though aren't they supposed to wait until official information has been released? I mean it's great that Twitter/Vine/etc are providing a lot of info, but I'm okay with their families being notified.

They're news media; legally they can say practically anything they want. Trying to balance only reporting the very certain with the desire to get information out fast is hard but they're not required or obligated in any way to keep silent until it's official. Families being notified is a separate matter entirely; you can provide a lot of information without actually listing names.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm imagining runners crossing the line: proud, happy, and exhausted, having trained toward running this marathon for months or years... and then this horror. Unthinkable. Madness.
posted by orange swan at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fox is reporting the explosion has killed three and resulted in 10 amputations.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013


One thing I learned from 9/11 (I was in the city), was to wait for some confirmed information before drawing too many conclusions (which I did not do then). The news media right now is in overdrive to simply keep talking until some hard fact is available. Until that happens, they will speculate, embellish and simply wonder aloud while their producers scream in their ears to keep talking.
posted by lampshade at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wouldn't a gas explosion leave a crater?

Depends where the gas built up. It's not unheard of for a leak to build up gas in a surface-level building or room, then blow up without harming the pipe at all.

This, however, looks too much like the IEDs I've seen to hold out hope of a gas leak.
posted by Etrigan at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ball bearings: Fox News, but one of their token sane anchors.

Shep Smith, right? Why is he still at Fox? He puts their entire lineup, and for that matter, most of the rest of the majors, to shame.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Judging from angles of pictures from my friends - I know people who were very close when this happened. Today is going to be a struggle.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could people please put their sources in their updates.

"Satan manifests in central Boston area" is not helpful
"Satan manifests in central Boston area - Fox News" is helpful

Thanks
posted by fullerine at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [38 favorites]


Photo of a victim (WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC/GORY).
posted by fight or flight at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal.

Really? I'm sure alot of people here could tell you about the workings of a nuclear device or god knows what else, the implication you may or may not have intended is not appreciated.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


Secondary devices: Boston Globe.

Yeah, I don't really feel that a single reporter tweeting stuff they hear is much of a source either.
posted by smackfu at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: Can someone with knowledge of the Boston Marathon tell me whether the red scattered on the sidewalk in many of those top-angle photos is maybe some kind of traditional streamers or sillystring or something?

I don't think so, shakespeherian.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


For a Hollywoodization version of a bomb with ball bearings, just search Youtube for the movie Swordfish and explosion. Though, given the circumstances, it's a pretty graphic rendering and probably not one you want to watch today.
posted by Atreides at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Rory Marinich: "Dear god, #falseflag on Twitter is an insight into a strange and fascinating world. Lots of talk about the Rothschilds and David Icke there, I shit you not."

Everyone throwing the #falseflag hashtag around needs to surrender their humanity card.
posted by notsnot at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm imagining runners crossing the line: proud, happy, and exhausted, having trained toward running this marathon for months or years...

Yeah, I can't even. When I finished my first (and only, so far) half I was so tired I had to get help to put on sweatpants. I ate a donut. I held my metal. I can't even imagine how hard a scene this was.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


BTW, for all the NYC and DC MeFites out there, our law enforcement is now officially at "heightened levels of security."
posted by zombieflanders at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Legally though aren't they supposed to wait until official information has been released? I mean it's great that Twitter/Vine/etc are providing a lot of info, but I'm okay with their families being notified.

They absolutely don't have to wait until official news releases (First Amendment).
posted by Jahaza at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


22 injured. 2 dead - Boston Police Dept
posted by notme at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013


Lutoslawski: “Can someone explain the false flag stuff?”

Wikipedia: "Pseudo-operations are those in which forces of one power disguise themselves as enemy forces." Basically, the same kind of conspiracy theories people float about 9/11 being "an inside job."
posted by koeselitz at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?

Alex Jones tweeted it first, it seems. Largely it's people thinking either "Obama did this because he's a Muslim and you know those Muslims like bombs" (I saw that one on there) or "Rich people did it to distract from the gold crisis they secretly created so they can buy gold for low prices".
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Warning from BPD on BIP for secondary - Boston Globe
posted by Punkey at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013


I wouldn't necessarily take the controlled explosion as meaning a real secondary device, I suspect the police will be blowing up anything even vaguely suspicious over spending much time trying to confirm it's a bomb, and quite reasonably too. However, if there are real secondary devices, between that and the date, I'd put my bets on domestic anti-government types. It's one of their trademarks, the way the big coordinated multiple attacks was Al Queda's.
posted by tavella at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ball bearings: Fox News, but one of their token sane anchors.


The anchors do not decide which bullshit comes out of their mouths.
posted by damehex at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


lazaruslong: "People, this thread is moving very fast, please take a breath and slow down. We don't need 15 comments answering one question, it will just fill this up with noise."

Lutoslawski: "Can someone explain the false flag stuff?"

I counted to 20 and then refreshed the page and this still wasn't answered, so here you go:

Imagine there's a fringe of people who believe that some government agency would engineer a crisis like this in order to restrict citizen's rights. That's what false flag nonsense is about.
posted by boo_radley at 1:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?

The usual conspiracy theorist bullshit: the catch-all explanation for a possible terrorist incident is that it's actually a government action intended to provide an excuse for subjugating the populace.
posted by fifthrider at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


ericb, hate to correct you in a thread as serious as this, but Boston Marathon isn't even North America's Oldest Road Race.


The Independent: "The Boston event is the world’s oldest marathon. and was first run in 1897."

It's not a 30k Road Race, 5k, 3-Person Relay or 2-Person Relay like 'Around the Bay.'
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013


CBS says secret service closing pedestrian access to White House.
posted by shothotbot at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?

There are crazypants types out there who think that the government is doing this as a false-flag operation so it can take away our rights. Or something.

In the only clip of Alex Jones that I can remember hearing (talking about guns, I think), you can hear the foamy mountains of spittle forming.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The horrifying video still from Fox News that Dobi linked to really makes me cringe--not at the injury, which is appalling, but at prurience of it all. I understand that there are times the population really needs to know about the scope of terrible things that are happening. When there is an ongoing national crisis for which we must prepare, or a national debate that needs to occur, such graphic images can be justified.

But I just see gore and spectacle here. This image shows some person at their darkest moment, least prepared to face public scrutiny of their injuries. Friends and family of this runner may have seen this, all unprepared.

When disasters occur, I'd wish us to respond with empathy, and to the extent possible, dignity. I hate this sort of bread-and-circus exploitation.
posted by DrMew at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [45 favorites]


Here is a link to the Boston Police, Fire and EMS scanner feed. I had trouble with the "Web" and "Java" players but the "Windows Media Player" feed is working for me.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013


Here's the boston.com live feed update:

http://live.boston.com/Event/Live_blog_Explosion_in_Copley_Square

22 confirmed injured, 2 confirmed dead according to Boston PD.
posted by docjohn at 1:06 PM on April 15, 2013


I ran my first "long" race in February - a mere 8 miles. Part of what makes it thrilling and exciting are the throngs of supporters lining up along the route. Not spectators, but supporters. They're there to cheer you on and help you finish. The ones in the last mile especially turn your agony into joy - you feel an extra surge as you get near the finish line and feel the energy and hear the encouragement of the supporters.

Race staff are usually volunteers who are awesome as well - there to literally pick you up if you stumble or help you find the nearest porto-potty or hand you a much needed cup of water (and then pick up 10,000 crushed cups of water that missed the trash bags).

The volunteers and supporters are all people who show up not for their own glory, but to make some very tired runners feel a little less tired as they approach the end of the race. Obviously, nobody deserves to be killed or injured in a bomb blast, but the thought that somebody would place a bomb in a place where it would deliberately hurt people who are doing something nice for their fellow humans makes me very sad and very angry.

There's going to be a million rumors swirling around in the next few days (the breeding ground for eternal conspiracy theories). Let's do our best to squelch them and not repeat them. We make our own ability to process the event harder if we give credence to guesses, lies, and hysteria.

Thinking of you, Boston, and hoping for the best for all the victims of the blast.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [51 favorites]


MSNBC is saying it's an IED. But god only knows at this point.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013


WTF? Hope those responsible are found and dealt with by tomorrow. Fucking Assholes!
posted by ktrain at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


ABC just said that the cops blew up one package themselves.

Ugh, I worked two blocks away for half a dozen years, and proposed to my wife in Copley Square. I was just thinking about the Pour House today at lunchtime! Take care, Boston!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013


:( How do I stay sane while I hear about potential threats near me?
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?

A false flag operation is an attack carried out to look like it was someone else in order to make them look bad. In this case, these people believe the government and/or the Kenyan Socialist Muslim is personally responsible for the attack in order to round up True Patriots/implement Sharia law/assassinate Michelle Bachmann/etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:07 PM on April 15, 2013


Peeps: you can always type an answer to a question, then hit preview to see if someone answered it first.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


Can someone explain the false flag stuff?

False flag operations are military or other operations conducted in such a way as to draw blame away from the actual perpetrators and towards some other group.

In the context of domestic protest culture, the guy who "seizes the moment" of a protest in order to smash a window and start looting is often thought to be a false flag operator -- a plant put in by the police or FBI so as to give them an excuse to make arrests and raise conspiracy charges.

I am NOT saying that this was a false flag operation. I'm just describing the lingo.
posted by gauche at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alex Jones and his ilk are a waste of fucking oxygen.
posted by Phire at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


..
posted by schmod at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013


Sitting in a laundymat and saw this on Univision. Just amazing how little information there really is out.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:08 PM on April 15, 2013


(And probably a waste of this thread – we should focus on what's going on, if we can.)
posted by koeselitz at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2013


One of my closest friends is there right now, and instead of leaving the scene once explosions went off, she just started helping out as best she could, because that's the kind of person she is. I think times like this show us the worst in people but also the best too.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


:( How do I stay sane while I hear about potential threats near me?

If there were more bombs, they'd be going off. You're going to be fine.

Be careful anyway, though.
posted by Etrigan at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, maybe knowing of its existence counts as 'great cultural significance'.

That's kind of more what I had in mind--that and the fact that it's a high-profile competition and the celebration of competition is so closely identified with American culture. And killing people indiscriminately just as they're reaching the finish line to a grueling endurance race almost seems designed to send a certain kind of destructive psychological message to those who read any kind of deeper cultural meaning into it.

Damn. If this really was another terrorist attack (whether of the domestic or non-domestic variety), it couldn't be a more cowardly, repugnant one.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).

Isn't every bomb an IED?
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal.

We're also the people who build the bomb sniffing and safe detonation equipment, or hope to. You can't have one without the other.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


Just watching the number of dead and wounded go up is sickening.

.
posted by kamikazegopher at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013


American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers in Boston & Schedules

Wish I was there to contribute. There in spirit. Inadequate.
posted by mean cheez at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013


. .

My neice who lives in Boston is staying with us at the moment, kind of glad of that.
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seymour Zamboni: “MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).”

I don't know that that means anything; I mean, anything outside of a natural gas accident is going to be an IED.
posted by koeselitz at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).

ALL bombs that aren't made by military contractors are IEDs.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Isn't every bomb an IED?

*starts to argue*, *reconsiders*, *enlightenment*.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


<3 and sympathy to everybody
posted by Jacen at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't every bomb an IED?

As opposed to "a stick of C4 with a detonator in it."
posted by mightygodking at 1:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can someone tell me is it true they were running this marathon in honor of the Newtown victims? I saw a tweet on one of the above links saying some of the family members were at the finish line at the VIP section. I would like very much for that not to be true.....
(My pastor has run the Boston Marathon twice. Very glad he was not there this year.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


I'd just listened to a story on NRP this morning about the group of runners from Newtown, CT who were dedicating their race to the shooting victims and families. Damn, damn and damn.
posted by Kat Allison at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't every bomb an IED?

Some are manufactured; some are handcrafted. The difference is mostly one of delivery method and several billions of dollars in development costs.
posted by fifthrider at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).

I can't help but wonder if that term is being used because people already know what it means in association with the wars in the middle east.
posted by clockzero at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


It's hard to tell from the Twitter picture, but is that right at the top of the stairs for the Copley Sq. MBAT stop, at Dartmouth & Exeter? Or is it by the LIbrary, or even partway up the block by the Lenox Hotel?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).

Isn't every bomb an IED?


Not if they're mass-produced military ordnance. A stolen claymore mine, for instance, is not an IED (unless it's fiddled with).
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston-area WBZ-TV is currently saying 2 dead and 22 injured. They interviewed a woman who said she's a nurse and was working on people in the medical tent until the police temporarily wanted to sweep it and she said she saw or treated a woman who had lost a leg.
posted by XMLicious at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


Isn't every bomb an IED?

Not manufactured munitions. For instance the failed grenade attack in Georgia (the country) during a Bush speech with a "Soviet-made RGD-5 hand grenade."
posted by Jahaza at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013


If it was in fact a bomb, I'm okay with Fox News calling it terrorism, as long as its terrorism regardless of who did it. But I suspect Fox News only calls it terrorism when the perpetrators have names like Mohammed.
posted by dry white toast at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


... and I swear to god the first internet meme that says something about people needing to run faster is getting a sucker-punch right to their karma.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


From Boston Police spokesperson RT @CherylFiandaca: 22 injured. 2 dead
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:12 PM on April 15, 2013


The race ends more or less right in front of the library, if I remember correctly.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:12 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston.com is down, but they're running a liveblog.
posted by donajo at 1:12 PM on April 15, 2013


Isn't every bomb an IED?

Assuming serious question: Yes and no depending on what you find relevant. It's significant in that they mean it's a bit more elaborate than just slapping a detonator on something, or that someone tossed a grenade or a soldier fired a missile into a crowd or whatever. An IED means this was a carefully planned attack. That's significant in an investigative/motive context.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


John Green, whom I'm normally not a huge fan of:

"In the absence of info, who/what we assume is responsible ends up saying a lot more about us than it does about anyone or anything else."

posted by Phire at 1:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


At this point, I absolutely do not give a shit who did it, or why. I care that my friends and colleagues in Boston, and other people, are okay.

The 'who did it', and the 'why', are things for a different time. Not this precise time.
posted by Wordshore at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The 2 dead and 22 injured is coming from Cheryl Fiandaca, the Boston Police Department’s public information bureau chief, FYI.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013


No Fly Zone declared over bombing site and surrounding areas

BPD and BFD have scheduled a conference for 1630 Eastern.
posted by Punkey at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013


St. Alia of the Bunnies: It's true, but I don't know where people were located.

Newtown Parents To Run Boston Marathon


Boston race to honor Newtown
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Been about half an hour since the last mention: chat.metafilter.com
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013


The Boston Globe twitter account is updating quickly.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston Police Department official number has now been adjusted to 23 injured, 2 dead.
posted by koeselitz at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Confirmed explosion at the JFK Library - (EMS live audio feed)
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


So just before 3:00 I decided to get up and out, go pick up some tortilla chips to go with my nice ripe avocado, and maybe get a coffee at my place along Boylston, and see some of the last runners. It's more fun to cheer for the people who finish with plus-3-hour times; they need it more.

There were a few ambulances in the distance, but some people who shouldn't really run a marathon sometimes try the Boston Marathon, and they sometimes faint. But the number of sirens just kept mounting, and everyone walking the other way was on their mobile phone, looking serious. So I asked a guy working in the Fenway Victory Garden and he said he heard two explosions, and was listening to the Boston Police scanners in his iPhone. Going further inbound everyone is on their phone, and looking more and more serious, a few people with finishers' medal among the spectators, one girl a little teary telling someone on her phone "I upset, yeah I'm okay".

I didn't even make it to Mass Ave before I decided to turn back and phone family on the West Coast, so they hear I'm okay before they hear the news.

Currently on the news: 2 dead, 23 injuries. My poor city.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [28 favorites]


Somebody just said "Confirmed explosion; JFK library" on the feeds.
posted by fifthrider at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Scanner says confirmed explosion at JFK library. No injuries reported.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


No source but this seems to show a mailbox before the explosion and not after
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A small homemade bomb caused the explosion according to NBC News, from law enforcement.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


CBS News is reporting that Boston Marathon officials are calling the explosions as coming from "bombs" (as opposed to a natural gas leak or what-not).
posted by docjohn at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Scanner chatter says there was an explosion at the JFK Library.
posted by radicalawyer at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Isn't every bomb an IED?

Strictly speaking, many of the roadside bombs used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan should not be called IEDs. "IED" originally referred to something like an Iraqi army artillery shell buried by the side of the road with a crude trigger attached.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


If, like me, you don't know what to do when you see something like this, I recommend calling someone you love and telling them so.

You can also take a first aid class

And of course, if you are able to, go donate some blood.

You can also look into getting involved with amateur radio emergency communications.
posted by knile at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


via Reuters - a Twitter search for photos posted within one mile of the finish line. No guarantees re: triggers or explicit content.
posted by Phire at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2013


Unsurprisingly, The Guardian's liveblog is fantastic, also.
posted by donajo at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2013



:( How do I stay sane while I hear about potential threats near me?


This was a small anti-personnel device (to use military terminology). The people who did this were targeting the crowd. Avoid places where a crowd might collect and you're likely to be safe.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal."

One of the great things about this site is that the hivemind has expertise in almost every subject imaginable.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [29 favorites]


In shock. All our friends are safe and we never go downtown on marathon day. My sister in law is a nurse at mgh, she's fine and they are waiting for the influx of victims. I have no words, hopefully it is an accident. Please, let it be an accident.
posted by lydhre at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


No source but this seems to show a mailbox before the explosion and not after

That's pretty darn thin, since the Google Street View could be years old, and it's pretty standard to remove trash cans / mailboxes from an event's area.
posted by smackfu at 1:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Punkey: “BPD and BFD have scheduled a conference for 1330 Eastern.”

Either that's an address, or it should be "1630 Eastern" – that is, 4:30pm eastern, which is in 13 minutes. I'm still looking for a live feed.
posted by koeselitz at 1:17 PM on April 15, 2013


BREAKING: Multiple explosive devices found, at least 2 which exploded, officials tell NBC News
posted by BobbyVan at 1:17 PM on April 15, 2013


News conference at 4:30 pm
Apparently, there were multiple explosive devices, two blew up. Again, from NBC news.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:17 PM on April 15, 2013


St. Alia of the Bunnies: Is it true they were running this marathon in honor of the Newtown victims?

AP via ESPN: There were 26 seconds of silence at the start of the race, and the last mile of the race was dedicated to the victims.

WBUR: A group of Newtown parents ran the marathon to raise money for scholarships for siblings of the children lost in the Sandy Hook massacre.

Dear God. I hope they're all safe. (I'm from Maine, and the marathon is a big deal here -- lots of people head down on Patriots Day to cheer on runners they know.)
posted by virago at 1:17 PM on April 15, 2013


Fire at JFK Library was not related -- mechanical in nature.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The library explosion was BPD detonating a package.
Boston Globe's twitter feed
posted by cmfletcher at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Again, seriously, please just put the brakes on gaming out the who-knew-what-when stuff and the false flag chatter, there'll be plenty of time to talk about media posturing or conspiracy theories or whatever tomorrow or next week but we don't need to do that right now and right here.]
posted by cortex at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


No source but this seems to show a mailbox before the explosion and not after

That's pretty darn thin, since the Google Street View could be years old, and it's pretty standard to remove trash cans / mailboxes from an event's area.


Not to mention that the circled area is nowhere near the lightpole, which should be a fixed point of reference.
posted by fifthrider at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


@LiamWCVB
Mass General has 19 patients, six critical, including multiple amputations #WCVB #Boston
(Tweet from WCVB, local ABC news, live feed page)
posted by maryr at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013


MSNBC is saying the fire at the library is "mechanical" and not suspicious.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013


MSNBC reporting that 1 bomb was an IED (improvised explosive device).

And please remember that MSNBC loves to grab an idea and babble continuously about it until such time something bigger comes along. Then they pretend like they never said a word. Same too with Fox.

How many tens of thousands of times per day did they say the words fiscal & cliff in January?

CNN is infuriating, just endlessly repeating the fact that they have no information about what happened. "Look at that smoke. That smoke is gray. Look at that."

Trust the news sources that have the maturity to not speculate.
posted by lampshade at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


My brother ran that race a few years ago and his wife is from Boston. I hope none of their friends and family were hurt. I also hope everyone here and their loved ones are OK.
posted by TedW at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2013


ball bearings suggest a shrapnel bomb, which means someone was aiming for maximum injuries and deaths.

Some might remember this thread about a failed bombing attempt at a MLK celebration in Spokane, Washington, in 2011. That was a shrapnel bomb, though the article didn't mention ball bearings specifically:

The Bomb That Didn't Go Off
posted by homunculus at 1:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am really hating Twitter as a method for news dissemination. Thorough and accurate information seldom fits in 140 characters.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


> Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal.

There is no such thing as bad, correct knowledge.
posted by sourcequench at 1:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


@TimWilliamsCBS 28m #BREAKINGNEWS: AP reporter says Newtown families were in the VIP section right by the explosion. No injury reports. via @janus303
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christ. One of my professors was running. He hadn't finished the race before the explosions occurred but I have no idea where he was.

Wish there were like, one nice thing that some asshole couldn't just fuck up.

Sick of hearing the same accounts over and over again on the news.
posted by dismas at 1:20 PM on April 15, 2013


Can anybody here tell me what the implications of the no fly zone are? I can't make any sense of that link. Does this mean planes bound for Logan will be diverted? My husband is currently en route from DC.

God this is horrifying.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Depends how big it is... they may just use a different approach in to Logan to avoid downtown. I'm not sure which way they're flying today.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2013


Does this mean planes bound for Logan will be diverted?

Planes bound for Logan don't fly over that part of the city on any of the usual approaches.
posted by eriko at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2013


:( How do I stay sane while I hear about potential threats near me?

Be aware that you are quite literally more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist. This is a horrible crime, but it is not a statistically realistic threat to you personally. Fear is what the murderer wanted to produce. It is both right and rational to resist that feeling.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [76 favorites]


"Good to know that so many people here know how to make bombs more lethal."

We all read the Anarchists' Cookbook in high school.


Some of us just pay attention to news stories. This isn't some kind of forbidden knowledge.
posted by vidur at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


It'll only affect planes if they'd have to go over it if part of the normal traffic pattern. I'm fairly certain it's a stay the fuck away for news choppers.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


boston pd scanner:
device at jfk (?) appears to be incendiary.
confirmed explosion at (?) library need to deploy resources.
EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) needed at Westin
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Protip: watching a 24 hour newsnet is probably the worst thing you can do right now to keep your sanity. Their job is to keep your eyeballs glued to them, so they repeat any random information that comes their way, and then just say "we have unconfirmed reports". It will only freak you out unnecessarily, and keep you watching.

Remember, "a lie can make it half way around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on."

The Guardian or Boston Globe liveblogs are probably safe bets, and I'm sure others can suggest sources they consider sane.
posted by dry white toast at 1:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [46 favorites]


The no fly zone is only "From the surface up to and including 3000 feet AGL", and the purpose is to "TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR BOMB EXPLOSION". That's not much of a "no-fly zone", since most planes fly above 3000 feet.
posted by smackfu at 1:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Interesting (wonderful?) thing about the Guardian's coverage is that the majority of the commenters seem to be asking for comments to be closed.
posted by Jofus at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Airspace Definition:
Center: On the BOSTON VOR/DME (BOS) 279 degree radial at 4.1 nautical miles. (Latitude: 42º20'56"N, Longitude: 71º04'56"W)
Radius: 3 nautical miles
Altitude: From the surface up to and including 3000 feet AGL

It bumps up against Logan's property, apparently. Airlines could still fly in from the north or south, depending on which approaches are being used.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Be aware that you are quite literally more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist.

You are also much more likely to be killed by Chicago, not a person, but the whole city. Even if you don't live here. It will come to where you live. And kill you.

That said, my heart goes out to Boston and everyone affected by this egregious act.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Best liveblog option is a set of vetted twitter sources compiled by the Guardian.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


How awful this must be for runners who knew that friends and family were ahead cheering them on, and perhaps they can't immediately get in touch because they may not have wanted to run with their Cell phone.
posted by saffry at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Friend of MsEld just posted this on facebook, no cite, could be her own thoughts:

"As a human this is heart breaking and beyond comprehension. As a runner, it makes me wish to use the speed, strength, and endurance to catch the lowly creature and slowly tear out their esophagus through their nostrils."
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


An old friend of mine was running today, and her entire family went to watch. Her sister and brother-and-law (who had flown in from CA) were a block away from the explosion. She would have finished at about 3:30PM if nothing had happened. I'm just glad she wasn't faster.

My mom, who's very close with the mother of my runner friend, was on a conference call at her house on Cape Cod when all of this happened. She found out about the explosion when I texted her to ask if she'd gone into the city to watch the race. We had about twenty minutes of panic before she managed to track people down.

What a sad, awful mess this all is.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


dry white toast: “Protip: watching a 24 hour newsnet is probably the worst thing you can do right now to keep your sanity.”

Absolutely true. Another great alternative: the WBUR public radio livestream. Calm and careful, exactly as it ought to be.
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oh shit. My heart is in my throat for the first responders on scene. Possible multiple incendiary devices, multiple simultaneous explosions... that is exactly the sort of scenario where secondary devices (aimed at rescuers and designed to go off a certain amount of time after the first explosions) seem likely. I hope to God my intuition is wrong on this one, but I am fucking worried for those EMS personnel.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


From The Boston Globe Twitter
UPDATE: Intelligence official: 2 more explosive devices found at Boston Marathon; being dismantled- @ap— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 15, 2013

posted by right_then at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013


Protip: watching a 24 hour newsnet is probably the worst thing you can do right now to keep your sanity

Yea, I learned that during 9/11.
posted by sweetkid at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Map of the explosions' locations by the Globe
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Atlantic has photos. (Warning. These are photos in a thread about a bombing. They are probably not pretty.)

Picture #8 is *definitely* disturbing.
posted by eriko at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Based on what I've seen of the (horrible) injuries, the explosive force must have travelled along the ground somehow.
posted by Trochanter at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston Globe maps one unexploded device at 600 Boylston
posted by Punkey at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Terrorist logic is fascinating. If bombs had exploded at some small-town marathon it would still be news, but the way this is such a direct attack on American iconography makes it seem like that aspect of it is is unlikely to be random.
posted by crayz at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It bumps up against Logan's property, apparently. Airlines could still fly in from the north or south, depending on which approaches are being used.

Thanks, backseatpilot.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 1:28 PM on April 15, 2013


Actual question I once (long ago) heard an anchor ask a guest "expert" during a crisis on CNN: "Can you speculate about the assumptions we just heard?"
posted by dry white toast at 1:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [49 favorites]


Has anybody found a live stream of the press conference that's supposed to start right about now?
posted by koeselitz at 1:29 PM on April 15, 2013


I learned about ball bearings and bombs via Hogan's Heroes.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:29 PM on April 15, 2013


video of second explosion
posted by Mach5 at 1:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn, this is terrible. And yeah, the Boston Marathon is a big deal to runners. It's sort of the superbowl for runners.
posted by octothorpe at 1:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Reports of fire at JFK Library UNRELATED, electrical fire caused closure - Boston Globe
posted by Punkey at 1:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had just left, and was on my bike over the bridge in Cambridge, when the explosions happened.

This is horrific. Sick.
posted by Cygnet at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


"...seconds after the explosions, you see hundreds of people running TOWARDS the carnage to help. Not away." -- Paul Kozlowski (source)
posted by Phire at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


News conference just confirmed they were bombs - NBC News

EDIT: Statement from from Mass General spokesperson.
posted by Punkey at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just heard. WTF.
posted by Miko at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also have to say that it was amazing how many people were all using their mobiles at the same time, and I didn't see anyone muttering about not being able to get a signal.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by ageispolis at 1:33 PM on April 15, 2013


video of second explosion

I retract my statement about a deflagration. That was a clear detonation.
posted by eriko at 1:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Those images of bloody sidewalks and seriously injured people are horrific and heartbreaking.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


video of second explosion

Just audio, really.
posted by smackfu at 1:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Can we please get the speculating maroons off of CNN/MSNBC/Faux News please?
posted by playertobenamedlater at 1:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sweet holy fuck, I just found out about this. I looked up at work to the TV they have in the back to see a whole bunch of guys in yellow jackets milling about and the headline "NYPD on alert after explosions in Boston" and that makes one quite alarmed.

Just called both my parents (on Cape Cod) and my brother's family (just across the Cape Cod Canal from the Cape) to check in and make sure no one had gone to the marathon. Although as my brother's phone was ringing, I remembered Mom saying something about the whole family being down for the count with various illnesses, so when I got the machine I was sounding a bit more cheerful ("Hi - hope you all are doing okay and getting over everything, although that's probably a good sign that no one went to Boston today anyway so...yay?")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:35 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm taking some small comfort in the fact that there were likely more medical personnel on hand than would be at most other types of large events/mass gatherings.
posted by Kabanos at 1:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [24 favorites]


I also have to say that it was amazing how many people were all using their mobiles at the same time, and I didn't see anyone muttering about not being able to get a signal.

I guess they must have made preparations for increased cellular traffic during the marathon?
posted by fifthrider at 1:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Makes me feel so old and so helpless and so sad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


New York Post: Authorities ID'd a suspect in marathon bombings - he is being guarded in Boston hospital
posted by BobbyVan at 1:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Can we please get the speculating maroons off of CNN/MSNBC/Faux News please?

Yes, let's return to the era of completely sane and reliable cable news.
posted by mattbucher at 1:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


How awful this must be for runners who knew that friends and family were ahead cheering them on, and perhaps they can't immediately get in touch because they may not have wanted to run with their Cell phone.

Having been in the middle of one such citywide event, I can assure you that no one who needed to borrow a cell phone went without.

It only takes a couple of shitheads to demonstrate how good millions of people are.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [43 favorites]


Re: "how to make bombs more lethal", one of the reasons that someone would be aware of shrapnel bombs from following the news or reading history is that a shrapnel bomb is specifically an anti-personnel weapon and if you build one you are intending to kill and injure people.

Bill Ayers, for example, said that when he was with the Weathermen they just wanted to blow up and damage buildings to gain publicity for their cause; which may have been true at the time because it was consistent with what they did up till then. But later on several members died while assembling a nail bomb, so they evidently had become more radicalized.
posted by XMLicious at 1:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Those images of bloody sidewalks and seriously injured people are horrific and heartbreaking.

Not, all in all, that dissimilar to the photos from this morning's bombings in Iraq. So many prayers.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


CNN just mentioned Al Quaeda. Does that mean I have BINGO?
posted by Splunge at 1:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Does anyone know how the controlled explosions of suspicious devices work? Do they attempt to make it explode (like by jarring it or something) or do they add they add another explosive device?
posted by double bubble at 1:39 PM on April 15, 2013


[If you have to ask if it's too soon, it's too soon. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 1:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [46 favorites]


New York Post: Authorities ID'd a suspect in marathon bombings - he is being guarded in Boston hospital

This is the same rag that reported 12 dead though
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


It only takes a couple of shitheads to demonstrate how good millions of people are.

Yeah. I'd like to give a brief shout out to the kind, thoughtful, and caring people of the world, in all of your multitudes.

Thank you.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


And that purported suspect in the hospital -- watch that guy turn out to be a bystander with brown skin.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Someone on Twitter reminded me that the London Marathon is this weekend. Given this evening's events I bet the security around the race going to be even more insane than usual.
posted by fight or flight at 1:41 PM on April 15, 2013


New York Post: Authorities ID'd a suspect in marathon bombings - he is being guarded in Boston hospital

When you post shit like that, you might want to provide a warning to people about the violent content. Jesus Fucking Christ, dude.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know how the controlled explosions of suspicious devices work? Do they attempt to make it explode (like by jarring it or something) or do they add they add another explosive device?

Every method I've seen uses a second device to blow up the first one. The idea is to tear apart the first one so it doesn't explode at all.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actual question I once (long ago) heard an anchor ask a guest "expert" during a crisis on CNN: "Can you speculate about the assumptions we just heard?"

I once heard someone on CSPAN say "I agree with what I just said".

Yeah, I'd hope so.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


We'll find out in enough time what happened - who did it, what kind of bomb it was for sure. I'll save any speculation.

But, since the world can use this right now, I'll just leave this right here. (found via reddit)
posted by azpenguin at 1:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [34 favorites]


so far, this page is the best informed news source out there, thank you all
posted by ouke at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm fine (work a few miles south of Boston) and everyone I know is - so far - fine. My girlfriend's a runner and a bunch of her friends were either at the finish line or in the race, and so far all but one (one of the runners) has checked in okay.

One of her friends who was running and was at mile 23 is currently volunteering in the med tents, and from all accounts it's pretty horrific in there right now. No other new info I haven't already seen in this thread.
posted by Ryvar at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Agree that the natural, immediate, human response is kind and beautiful. Usually takes a few days for the evil stupid response to take hold. (I guess if you're not that Alex guy.)
posted by Trochanter at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2013


I also have to say that it was amazing how many people were all using their mobiles at the same time, and I didn't see anyone muttering about not being able to get a signal.

I have at least 3 Boston-area people (including 2 people at or near the race) on Facebook saying that they're posting there and asking people to spread the word that they're okay because they can't get a call or text to go through. That was back when it first happened and the news started to break through. Haven't seen anything about phone signals since then.
posted by educatedslacker at 1:43 PM on April 15, 2013


And another reminder about chat.metafilter.com
posted by Stewriffic at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someone on Twitter reminded me that it's also the London Marathon is this weekend. Given this evening's events I bet the security around the race going to be even more insane than usual.

Bombing at the London Marathon is even a key plot device in a spy novel (Dead Spy Running). UK has known terror for a long time, I am sure they are always prepared at such large events anyway.
posted by vidur at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of her friends who was running and was at mile 23 is currently volunteering in the med tents

Okay, I'm impressed.
posted by theodolite at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


And that purported suspect in the hospital -- watch that guy turn out to be a bystander with brown skin.

You don't know that, and assuming the worst won't help. There is a lot of injustice in the world, but maybe save discussing it for later, and leave this thread for actual information.
posted by dubold at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [26 favorites]


Ground level video of explosions/aftermath from finish line - Boston Globe (WARNING)

AMERICAN RED CROSS REGISTERED SAFE LISTINGS PLEASE RT/SHARE
posted by Punkey at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity..."

posted by Mental Wimp at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


News conference will begin in about 2 minutes from the command center based at the Westin Hotel. BPD Public Information Bureau Chief
posted by cmfletcher at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013


They're encouraging people to text instead of call because it uses less bandwidth.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Red Sox game was played to completion today, in Boston, correct?

There is a Bruins (NHL/hockey) game tonight about a mile from the finish line (estimated looking at Google Maps) -- wondering if that's still happening.
posted by Lukenlogs at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2013


Agree that the natural, immediate, human response is kind and beautiful. Usually takes a few days for the evil stupid response to take hold. (I guess if you're not that Alex guy.)

Alex Jones might best be described as both unnatural and inhuman.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know how the controlled explosions of suspicious devices work? Do they attempt to make it explode (like by jarring it or something) or do they add they add another explosive device?

Every method I've seen uses a second device to explode the first one. The idea is to tear apart the first one so it doesn't explode at all.


EOD personnel will occasionally shoot a suspected bomb, but only after they've confirmed its specifications and don't want to get close enough to it to set another device. Usually only in open environments, though.
posted by Etrigan at 1:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Red Sox played early today and game ended about 2:15.
posted by Miko at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


And that purported suspect in the hospital -- watch that guy turn out to be a bystander with brown skin.

You know, cortex's request doesn't stop applying just because you think you're being edgy and progressive.
posted by Dasein at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


There is a Bruins (NHL/hockey) game tonight about a mile from the finish line (estimated looking at Google Maps) -- wondering if that's still happening.

Even if it wasn't a huge security risk, I doubt people's hearts would be in it (fans and players).
posted by dhens at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013


Scanners reporting a Penske truck pulled up to scene, driver claimed truck contained "medical supplies." Truck was turned away. Authorities now searching for truck.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


> It's a huge event in Boston since people have off work/school

It always felt like a marker that spring was really here.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


They're encouraging people to text instead of call because it uses less bandwidth.

Tell my cellphone company that.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


Bruins game is cancelled
posted by cmfletcher at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2013


An acquaintance of mine was there. (He lives nearby, was taking lots of pics.) He tweeted:
"I felt both blasts in my chest; there was considerable blast wave. But I am totally uninjured. The smoke smelled like gunpowder --- fireworks --- rather than a high-tech explosive. To me, that suggests some wacko amateur rather than a professional attack."

Disclaimer: [My personal speculation, skip this comment if you don't approve of doing that.] I can't find who first mentioned tax day above, but that came to my mind too. The teevee newspeople keep talking about "Patriots" Day, but not the fact it's April fricking 15. Also the Newton families, now associated, with the "controversial" topic of gun control, were being honored there.

I wouldn't be surprised this is not some large conspiracy or foreign attack, but a domestic "incident."
posted by NorthernLite at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The BBC have confirmed that the London Marathon will still go ahead.
posted by fight or flight at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2013


Does anyone know how the controlled explosions of suspicious devices work? Do they attempt to make it explode (like by jarring it or something) or do they add they add another explosive device?

It depends. Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wasn't trying to be edgy and progressive. I was responding to another comment, but this thread is just moving too fast. Apologies.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2013


You don't know that, and assuming the worst won't help. There is a lot of injustice in the world, but maybe save discussing it for later, and leave this thread for actual information.

Agreed. One of the things that really bugs me about these sorts of on-going discussions is the need people feel to speculate wildly when there's never any kind of accountability for being wrong. Coming in here to speculate that it's white people or Tea Party types is no different than getting on Facebook to say that you know it's the Muslims. The same goes for assuming, without evidence, that there's some kind of racist backlashing going on.

The news will come out, you don't have to make it happen by inventing it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


2 Dead, 64 Wounded - Boston Globe
posted by Punkey at 1:49 PM on April 15, 2013


Right now, if you are in Boston and you see a package lying around unattended, move away, call police.

Yes, it is almost certainly not a bomb. But in the next few hours, do not bet that it is not a bomb. More importantly, don't make people who didn't see the package bet that it isn't a bomb. Two devices exploded and one controlled explosion implies there might be more.

I hate to sound like I'm paranoid, but right now, if you're near Copley Square, boxes are presumed deadly.

Do they attempt to make it explode (like by jarring it or something) or do they add they add another explosive device?

You put a charge next to the device. If they have time and can either see a detonator or xray for it, they can use a water disruptor to try to destroy the detonator, but if you're moving fast, the best you can do is make the bomb blow up on your own terms.

The problem with using charges is sympathetic detonations. A water disruptor avoids that, but you need to know exactly how to point it. If you're dealing with something like smokeless powder, you can shatter the container -- without compression, the effects of gunpowder and smokeless power are dramatically reduced. But if you're thinking C4, setting off C4 next to it will almost certainly set off both charges.

But if you do that when you control the area, nobody gets hurt. When you can't control the area, or the charge is just too large, then you have to attempt to disarm it -- you don't want to go there, of course. The way you do that is you remove the detonators, if they go off outside of the primary explosive, it's an annoyance. Military explosives often have disarm traps, as well, which discourages direct disarming, and encourages controlled explosions, even more.
posted by eriko at 1:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


My college roommate and her husband raised over twenty thousand dollars for the homeless to run the marathon today in celebration of their tenth anniversary.

Someone posted on Facebook that they are ok.

I just am going to hold my sleeping baby now.
posted by bq at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


FAA is delaying all arrivals into Logan.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Picture #8 is *definitely* disturbing.


Oh. That confirms What I thought I saw on abcnews. God bless the people who help others in a crisis.
posted by double bubble at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


News conference starting now....
posted by docjohn at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013


That New York Post article that claimed a suspect is in custody is turning out to be a bit inaccurate on other details, incidentally. It says, for example, that the death toll is officially 12 - which is a bit bigger than the numbers released by BPD. Their "secret sources" might turn out to be right, but I'm not counting on it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Part of the problem with this is that everything I hear I hear four times from facebook/twitter/WBUR/the web. so it's hard to tell whether new information is actually new information.

Can't concentrate on work, should stop paying attention to this stuff but can't help but worry about friends I haven't heard from and whose plans I don't know.

Fuck.

Also, seriously, quit fucking speculating about the perpetrators for now. Please.
posted by dismas at 1:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Won't there be a lot of camera footage and surveillance video from that area? I'd imagine private citizens were recording the scene at the finish line and the police might also have been using video surveillance given the size and nature of the event.

(I'm hoping this is true and helps the police catch the bomber.)
posted by Area Man at 1:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't find who first mentioned tax day above, but that came to my mind too. The teevee newspeople keep talking about "Patriots" Day, but not the fact it's April fricking 15. Also the Newton families, now associated, with the "controversial" topic of gun control, were being honored there.

In the god-forsaken land that is Facebook, a friend was pointing out that it's 20 year since Waco and 18 years since OK City. I noted the Newtown connection, and also that there were fairly large Tea Party rallies in Boston over the weekend.

Some woman chimed in (who was, apparently, fine with talking about the Waco/OK City connection) and got all bent out of shape when I pointed out the Newtown connection, saying that we shouldn't be speculating "while the bodies were still being counted".

People get all kinds of weird about Newtown.
posted by anastasiav at 1:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


WBUR is airing audio of the press conference now, if you want to listen.
posted by koeselitz at 1:51 PM on April 15, 2013


So just a FYI warning, if you go to the boston.com site, it takes you to a liveblog where there is a video of the bombs going off (right at the top atm) which AUTOPLAYS WITH SOUND (explosion a few seconds in).
posted by Bwithh at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Won't there be a lot of camera footage and surveillance video from that area? I'd imagine private citizens were recording the scene at the finish line and the police might also have been using video surveillance given the size and nature of the event.

(I'm hoping this is true and helps the police catch the bomber.)


Cops have requested that anyone who was filming nearby at any point send them photos, in case they accidentally captured footage of the bomb being placed
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, JFK Library may've been related after all.
posted by shiu mai baby at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2013


Stay classy, Jennifer Rubin.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 1:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Deval Patrick just confirmed that there were three explosions.
posted by koeselitz at 1:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Update: my friend finished in 3:46 and is fine, as are those in her group.

And she's a nurse.
posted by Madamina at 1:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


Thank you all for a relatively sane and calm place to get updates.

(People who are speculating about perpetrators, I'm flagging you. Stop it.)
posted by wintersweet at 1:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Bill Ayers, for example, said that when he was with the Weathermen they just wanted to blow up and damage buildings to gain publicity for their cause; which may have been true at the time because it was consistent with what they did up till then. But later on several members died while assembling a nail bomb, so they evidently had become more radicalized.


XMLicious, I think you have it backwards. It was the accidental detonation that caused them to reconsider the acceptability of human casualties. The bomb was intended for use at an NCO dance at Fort Dix. After seeing the consequences of the accident, they decided that it was not okay to attack people and limited themselves to a strategy of property damage.

At least, this is my understanding from watching a documentary a few years ago. The Wikipedia account has a citation needed tag.
posted by compartment at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Another explosion at the JFK Library?!
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Man, one thing that's depressing to me is how good everyone's gotten at this. There are already Facebook memes with candles and hearts, "our thoughts and prayers go out," etc. We've gotten so great at autopiloting grief when it's mass murder time.
posted by Miko at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [92 favorites]


Any alternative stream for the press conference? WBUR server seems overwhelmed.
posted by enn at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Red Cross link to report in safe or attempt to find runners: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing
posted by mareli at 1:54 PM on April 15, 2013


Police are confirming only three incidents occurred -- the two bombs on Boylston St., and a separate explosion at JFK Library (which is way far away from these other 2 bombs).
posted by docjohn at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Also, Deval Patrick just stated that NO other devices were found; there were only the three explosions, and that's it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Oklahoma bombing was done by a guy here ...

BTW -- that bombing was on April 19, 1995.

April 19 is the actual date of the battles of Concord and Lexington. Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and others view/viewed the date as symbolic.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson
Not suggesting that this bombing is related, but want to point out the previous historical context.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm taking classes at Harvard, they just sent notice that classes are cancelled tonight.
posted by Miko at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


From the Boston Globe Twitter feed: "Boston Police asking for everyone who has taken video of finish line to let them know, could have clues of activity."

I hope you're right Area Man.
posted by chatongriffes at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


I live ONE BLOCK from Copley Sq and just coincidentally happened to be out of town today.

I am so sick over this. This is my HOME. The library where my son plays in the children's section is covered in blood. I walk that block nearly every day. Right behind the explosions is a grocery store where we buy our bread. Were we in town, we would have been outside at the playground, two blocks away. We would have see the smoke.

I can't get over this. Sickened hardly covers it. I've been crying and if puking would somehow help, I'd be doing that too.

Please hold my home in the light or what have you.
posted by sonika at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [65 favorites]


Stay classy, Jennifer Rubin.

Is this her idea of a joke re: Kermit Gosnell? If so, she's right down there with Alex Jones.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Keep trying the WBUR link - it will load eventually. Took a couple of tries.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


dubold: "And that purported suspect in the hospital -- watch that guy turn out to be a bystander with brown skin."

You don't know that, and assuming the worst won't help. There is a lot of injustice in the world, but maybe save discussing it for later, and leave this thread for actual information.


mudpuppy: I wasn't trying to be edgy and progressive. I was responding to another comment, but this thread is just moving too fast. Apologies.

I think that humans tend to speculate when they don't know what's going on, especially when events scare us. It's a natural tendency. We have entire television networks devoted to speculating about events, people, politics. I mean, this is essentially the business model for cable news.

While it'd be nice if MeFi were a speculation-free-zone I think that's a bit much to ask.

My opinion is, we ought to leave it to the mods to clean up instead of snarkily calling each other out about what is and what is not appropriate to say here. We can't know what each person's life experiences bring to the table and why they might be expressing the thoughts that they are.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is there a public information page about what people currently in other parts of Boston ( outside the immediately affected area ) should do? Asking on behalf of a friend who is having trouble finding info online.

Thanks!
posted by Bwithh at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013


If you are posting a link to a tweet, can you please post the text of the tweet, too? Twitter is blocked at work for me (and, I'd assume, many others too).
posted by troika at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


NY Post account changed to be Saudi national

Given the BPD has just now stated no current suspects in custody, I'd disregard.
posted by Punkey at 1:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Google has a Person Finder service spun up.
posted by mhoye at 1:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


New York Post: "The suspect — a Saudi national who suffered shrapnel wounds in today's blast — is currently being guarded in a Boston hospital." (WARNING: Some photos in linked story are graphic.)

No other outlets reporting/confirming nationality of "suspect" yet.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:56 PM on April 15, 2013


Any of the speculation mentioning domestic terrorists? It is, after all, April 15th.
posted by Chuffy at 1:56 PM on April 15, 2013


Glad to have this thread so I can keep up with the news without having to try to avoid pics.

Everyone here in DC seems a bit on edge. Security perimeter increased around the White House and extra Metro security reported, but I assume that's SOP and not in response to any sort of intelligence.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


WCVB STREAM
posted by Oddly at 1:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Please stop posting shit from the NY Post because they are making it up out of whole cloth.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [73 favorites]


From JFK Library Twitter: "Fire in building is out, appears to have started in the mechanical room of new building. All staff and visitors are accounted for and safe." This was at 4:23 so not sure if the recent reports on CNN etc. are just getting to it or if it's new.
posted by justnathan at 1:57 PM on April 15, 2013


The New York Post is not a reliable source, stop giving them page views PLEASE
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


I don't trust the New York Post. Maybe they got a scoop. Maybe they didn't. I'll wait 'til I hear from a less yellow source.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013


@sesamestreet: Our hearts go out to all those affected by today's tragic events. We recommend not exposing young children to repeated images in the news.
Protip for Alex Jones, Jennifer Rubin et al: that's how to be classy.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [42 favorites]


From Press Briefing by Comissioner: JFK explosion was related explosion, not controlled explosion.
posted by Stynxno at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013


Is this her idea of a joke re: Kermit Gosnell? If so, she's right down there with Alex Jones.

It's a reference to this Sarah Kliff (also at WaPo) tweet about Gosnell.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to Boston Globe, they are referring to the earlier incident at the library. See above.
posted by justnathan at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013


Confirmed by Police Commissioner press conference - two explosions near the finish line, plus one controlled detonation on Boylston street; another incident at JFK library that they are treating as related. Four explosions/devices total - no other devices found.
posted by Tiresias at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Given the BPD has just now stated no current suspects in custody, I'd disregard.

The Post has a long history of being full of crap, so yeah.

As far as any reputable news source has reported to my knowledge, there's currently no suspect, foreign or otherwise.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:58 PM on April 15, 2013


Next briefing at 7 pm.
posted by Stynxno at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013


My wife is a runner. Narrowly missed qualifying for Boston this year (thankfully?). I have been introduced to the sport through her, and we have travelled to a half dozen cities for Marathons. I have always been struck by how friendly the races are. Thousands of people show up to yell, cheer, ring cowbells, dance play music and generally push people along their fight against the course and the clock. They're one of the most reliable expressions of human drive and support I know.

Fuck the psychopaths who decided that would make good horror fuel. Fuck me for reacting in the exact opposite spirit as the races I love (that was the intent, I'm sure. Fuckers.)
posted by Popular Ethics at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


JFK Library had confirmed bombing, according to BPD - TPM

Library spokesman states no injuries.
posted by Punkey at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston PD are treating JFK Library incident as related to the Boylston St. bombs for now. Too early to say more... Friend who works at JFK Library says that it was only a fire in a mechanical room (not an explosion).
posted by docjohn at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah please no more New York Post.
posted by trip and a half at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


This makes me so sad for so many reasons. My heart goes out to the people of Boston and the families of the runners and first responders. This also makes me wish our news media was less about money and creating drama and more about verifiable information.

Was just talking to a friend in Allston last night about coming out to visit. Want to go more than ever.
posted by smirkette at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013


Won't there be a lot of camera footage and surveillance video from that area? I'd imagine private citizens were recording the scene at the finish line and the police might also have been using video surveillance given the size and nature of the event.

I was watching one of the private citizen videos that was focusing on the center of the explosion and I just kept repeating "turn around, turn around, pan slowly across the crowd. Record faces. Please."

Still, I doubt I would have had the presence of mind to do it either.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013


BobbyVan: “New York Post: "The suspect — a Saudi national who suffered shrapnel wounds in today's blast — is currently being guarded in a Boston hospital." (WARNING: Some photos in linked story are graphic.)”

As I said above, the data in that article diverges wildly both from all official accounts and from accounts we've heard from the ground. The death count it gives, for example, is more than four times higher. I think we need to view the NYP with a good deal of skepticism here, given that all "sources" are anonymous and not cited.

Chuffy: &Ldquo;Suspect is a Saudi national...brown person confirmed.”

NOBODY HAS CONFIRMED THIS. They just had a press conference; it wasn't even mentioned. This claim should be viewed with nothing but skepticism.
posted by koeselitz at 2:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Nthing not repeating every last dribbling of the NYP.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


My cousin Joe ran the race today. He finished just before the bombs went off and was safely away. So glad he thought to update his family and friends through Facebook so we weren't worried.

My thoughts go out to all affected.
posted by deborah at 2:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Stay classy, Jennifer Rubin.

And no more of this either. Why are you linking to this? To make people angry? To show that people are assholes?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


The New York Post isn't worthy of lining my bird's cage. In fact I'd worry that she would catch something from it. If you link to them you might as well link to the Weekly World News.
posted by Splunge at 2:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Boston Police Commisioner Davis says that there was a third related explosion at the JFK Library in the just aired press conference.
posted by ericb at 2:01 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm so upset that I find " following a fast moving thread about a horrible disaster." such a familiar feeling.
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [33 favorites]


JFK Library had confirmed bombing, according to BPD - TPM

It's just fascinating to see how stuff gets so immediately corrupted. "Being treated as a related incident" turns into "had confirmed bombing according to BPD".
posted by smackfu at 2:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hi guys, some of us are using this for a live update. Could we keep the speculation to a minimum as a public service? Thanks.
posted by Think_Long at 2:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you link to them you might as well link to the Weekly World News.

The Weekly World News would never have stooped so low.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


I'm so upset that I find " following a fast moving thread about a horrible disaster." such a familiar feeling

Amen, brother. We're getting good at this, and it's fucking heartbreaking.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


Boston PD provides two hotline numbers:

• For families of victims: call 617-635-4500

• For witnesses who may have information: 800-494 8477
posted by docjohn at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


UPDATE: Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library says fire there not related to #BostonMarathon explosions.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm going to start training for my next marathon TODAY. Because, FUCK THESE ASSHOLES.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [78 favorites]


"We are not certain that these incidents are related, but we are treating them as if they are," Davis said.

Essentially: "we're the cops and the same way we have to treat every suspicious package as if it is a bomb prudence dictates that we have to treat this as connected until we are shown otherwise." But that is very different, to my ears, from THIRD BOMBING. Easy, everyone. Easy.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Guardian: But he says that controlled explosions have been, and may continue to be, carried out on bags and packages that fleeing spectators may have left
posted by nostrada at 2:03 PM on April 15, 2013


Cell service shut down in Boston area - NY Mag/AP
posted by Punkey at 2:04 PM on April 15, 2013


My office building is between the blasts; I don't have much to say except that things are relatively calm, aside from obviously a lot of shaken people. I think the situation is being handled well.
posted by (parenthetic me) at 2:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I am totally uninjured. The smoke smelled like gunpowder --- fireworks --- rather than a high-tech explosive.

Dammit. That does imply black powder -- it has a very definite smell, and fireworks use a lot of black powder. But that explosion on video looked like a full detonation. Black powder goes boom, not crack.

Friend who works at JFK Library says that it was only a fire in a mechanical room

A black powder based device that wasn't compressed would just make for a fire. I note they're saying that they're treating the incident as "related", but not saying there was a fourth explosion.
posted by eriko at 2:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Video from finish line

Sounds like a second explosion going off in the distance about 15 seconds after the first one.
posted by trueluk at 2:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


This kind of stuff makes me appreciate everyone and everything a lot more than I normally do. I love you all. We need more love in the world. I cannot comprehend the people who would plan something brutal like this. Why such hatred? I'm grateful that I will never understand it. Peace and love, to you all.
posted by newfers at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Cell service shut down in Boston area - NY Mag/AP

Wow. Has that ever happened before in a major city?
posted by mudpuppie at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2013


Cell service shut down in Boston area - NY Mag/AP

How does this work? Do they just have a coordinated shut-down of all the area towers?
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2013


Video from finish line

Incredible video, but be warned it gets graphic (lots of blood).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2013


We’ve just confirmed with the Boston Police Department that there was a third explosion this afternoon at the JFK Library in Boston. But there were reportedly no injuries from this incident.

"There was another device, confirmed at JFK," Neva Coakley, an officer in the Boston Police Department's press office, told TPM.

Coakley said that device went off at 2:55 p.m. EST, but could not provide further details.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:05 PM on April 15, 2013


Punkey: "Cell service shut down in Boston area - NY Mag/AP"

That sounds... counterproductive?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


The couple minutes I watched on the work TVs said it was a white powder bomb (and showed it) so non plastic and less lethal. Then they started to show people falling down and I couldn't watch any more.
posted by sweetkid at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2013


Note: Do *not* go out and donate blood in Boston. They have posted on Twitter that they have enough. If you want to help in that way, set a calendar reminder to go off in two weeks and donate then.

Remember: Whole blood doesn't last forever in storage. If everyone gives today, we'll have a shortage in five weeks.
posted by eriko at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [92 favorites]


I hate that I need it, but I am so grateful to have this place to come when these things happen. What sanity and comfort there is, I can get here.
posted by emjaybee at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


My husband ran the marathon today. He had finished and we were off the course and back in our hotel when we heard the explosions go off. There were clearly two explosions. We ran to the window and could see the smoke and the crowds running away. We also heard the third explosion later, which oddly, shook me up most of all. Social media and twitter helped us reach our family and friends when the cell network was overwhelmed. I'm really really sad. The Boston Marathon is so special, and the goodwill of the people and the city of Boston have been so great. I feel heartbroken.
posted by Malla at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [43 favorites]


eriko: “A black powder based device that wasn't compressed would just make for a fire. I note they're saying that they're treating the incident as "related", but not saying there was a fourth explosion.”

According to the press conference a few minutes ago, there were three explosions – two on Boylston, and then the later one at JFK Library.
posted by koeselitz at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2013


That sounds... counterproductive?

Not if the devices were detonated via cell phone. I'll admit to feeling ambivalent about the state's ability to do it, but that's as good an excuse as you'll ever get.
posted by yerfatma at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


The cell phone shutdown must be localized to Back Bay and the surrounding area. I'm not that far from South Station and mine still works. I've been using my office landline to call people to avoid stressing the system further, though. Just camping out here until things settle down a little bit.
posted by Kosh at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2013


Surveillance video of interest already being analyzed by BPD/authorities - CBS News
posted by Punkey at 2:08 PM on April 15, 2013


Amen, brother. We're getting good at this, and it's fucking heartbreaking.

I'm grateful on days like this for MeFi. Threads like this have become 95% level headed updates. So, thanks guys.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


From @NBCSN:
Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims
posted by fight or flight at 2:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [47 favorites]


Please keep posting about people who were involved in the marathon and are okay, like Malla did. It's good to hear.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:08 PM on April 15, 2013


Cell phone shut down is indeed to preven remote detonations.
posted by sonika at 2:09 PM on April 15, 2013


Please keep posting about people who were involved in the marathon and are okay, like Malla did. It's good to hear.

My friend's brother in law was in the race today, but finished well before the explosions and is just fine.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Cellphone service went down in New York after 9/11. I'm still not sure if it was a conscious choice by the police or just the result of 10 million people calling each other at the same moment. But either way it was extremely spooky.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:10 PM on April 15, 2013


Just to clarify - the Police Commissioner stated there were four explosions in total, though one was a controlled detonation: two on Boylston plus a controlled detonation in the same area, and then a fourth explosion at JFK library that was being treated as a related incident.
posted by Tiresias at 2:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


eriko: “Note: Do *not* go out and donate blood in Boston. They have posted on Twitter that they have enough. If you want to help in that way, set a calendar reminder to go off in two weeks and donate then.”

Do you have a source I can retweet?
posted by koeselitz at 2:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bombs at a public event, and an incident in a mechanical room at a library don't go together very well...
posted by zengargoyle at 2:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


My internet at work in NYC is mad slow, which I attribute to the bombings just because people are no doubt trying to get on all over the area. I could be wrong. But people are frantically calling the help desk WTF.
posted by sweetkid at 2:11 PM on April 15, 2013


On the Red line home from work- trains not stopping at park street or downtown crossing.

I ran 3 Boston marathons with a large charity team. The team has an amazing, incredibly dedicated and much-loved coach who makes sure to greet every single runner from our team at the finish line. Dear god I hope he is okay.

Not 100% sure but the timing of this may have hit mostly non-qualifying charity finishers- people who raised money running in honor of relatives who have cancer and for similar causes. For them to be caught in this during what is many people's experience of a lifetime is so fucked up.
posted by ghostbikes at 2:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bombs at a public event, and an incident in a mechanical room at a library don't go together very well...

We don't know how widespread this attack was designed to be.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013


Well, "library" in this case also includes a museum for JFK that is a pretty big tourist destination.
posted by stopgap at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Note: Do *not* go out and donate blood in Boston. They have posted on Twitter that they have enough. If you want to help in that way, set a calendar reminder to go off in two weeks and donate then.

This holds true for all donations. After many events such as this, while admirable, the deluge of not very usable donations can overwhelm the system to the point they cannot offer the vital services because they are dealing with those not very usable donations.

Best to wait till a call is put out from official channels. If something is needed, there will be more than enough sources for those calls. Social media pleas from un-connected sources only makes a difficult situation more demanding.
posted by lampshade at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Local radio reports the Feds are saying one or more devices recovered intact, which greatly increases the chances we're going to know who did this.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Stop hurting each other you animals.
posted by RollingGreens at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bombs at a public event, and an incident in a mechanical room at a library don't go together very well...

3 explosions on the same day in a city that averages a steady 0 per day suggests a flaw in your logic.
posted by yerfatma at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


How does this work? Do they just have a coordinated shut-down of all the area towers?

Yes. There's also a priority system in place, a registered cellphone can dial a special string and get a priorty connection -- they may have just told the towers not to accept calls unless they're using WPS.
posted by eriko at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Red Cross Twitter feed says they have enough blood.
posted by athenasbanquet at 2:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Do you have a source I can retweet?

I just heard the same on WBUR.
posted by Miko at 2:13 PM on April 15, 2013


Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims - that's incredible! How is that even physically possible? I feel like I would pass out!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Good news: My friend's brother in law was also running today. He crossed the line right as it happened. A random family helped get him and his wife and kids all reconnected. Everyone is ok.
posted by sio42 at 2:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [26 favorites]


I'm going to start training for my next marathon TODAY. Because FUCK THESE ASSHOLES.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:03 PM on April 15



Hell, I'm a devoted couch potato, and I'm going to take up running TODAY. Because FUCK. THEM.
posted by magstheaxe at 2:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [51 favorites]


Well, "library" in this case also includes a museum for JFK that is a pretty big tourist destination.

JFK is a big destination, probably not today with Red Sox and Marathon. Might have been chosen as much for symbolism and to create chaos.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do you have a source I can retweet?

ARC has it on their twitter feed. Linking feed, rather than post.
posted by eriko at 2:15 PM on April 15, 2013


If any of you Boston-folk with cars are looking for a way to help, consider helping runners get back to their hotels. A friend of mine is walking a long way bc he'd planned on taking a cab from the finish. He was in the med tent getting rehydrated at the time of the explosion.
posted by janell at 2:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continued to run to Mass General Hospital to give blood to victims - that's incredible! How is that even physically possible? I feel like I would pass out!

I'm about to pass out just reading about it.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Cell service shut down in Boston area - NY Mag/AP"

That sounds... counterproductive?


Emergency services personnel register their phones beforehand. In the event of an emergency normal service is suspended so that the emergency services can be guaranteed access to the network. In the UK the system is called MTPAS.
posted by alby at 2:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


JFK Library spokespeople continue to state that fire at library was unrelated - CBS News
posted by Punkey at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2013


If any of you Boston-folk with cars are looking for a way to help, consider helping runners get back to their hotels.

I would say do that only if you are already in Boston. On the radio they are basically asking people not to flood into Boston.
posted by Miko at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Glad the local (Boston) news has backed away from showing the helicopter shots of pools of blood. The moment of explosion is bad, but the alternative was downright grizzly.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:17 PM on April 15, 2013


Police have asked folks repeatedly to stay home.
posted by Apropos of Something at 2:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So was there a fire inside the library (accidental) but a bomb outside it?
posted by emjaybee at 2:17 PM on April 15, 2013


As awful as this story is, at least this is a reminder that a few people may do some awful things, but all these images of first responders rushing to the scene, of runners who are nurses helping out, of marathon runners racing to the hospital to give blood ...

The amount of goodness, at least for the moment, overwhelms the amount of evil by an enormous margin. It's a terrible reminder of something that's worth remembering anyway -- that so many people's immediate impulse is to do good, to help, to run into the face of danger because there is someone in need.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


Cell phone shut down is indeed to preven remote detonations.

Unlikely. Most cellphone-controlled bombs are set to go off in the event of a (sustained) lack of service. Far more likely to be the US equivalent of MTPAS.
posted by alby at 2:18 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm listening to the most comforting music I can think of at the moment. It's this song.
posted by orange swan at 2:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: "Glad the local (Boston) news has backed away from showing the helicopter hots of pools of blood. The moment of explosion is bad, but the alternative was downright grizzly."

I think the only reason they've stopped is because the airspace has been closed.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Boston.com is setting up a GoogleDoc for people to share information of places where stranded runners and their families can stay.
posted by fight or flight at 2:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A grisly humor, the one time I would have liked to have checked on a safe and well list, its well past overloaded with users.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:19 PM on April 15, 2013


As a marathoner, I have been so moved by the response to this awful tragedy, and have gotten so many texts and calls from friends who wanted to make sure I wasn't running.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:19 PM on April 15, 2013


> As awful as this story is, at least this is a reminder that a few people may do some awful things, but all these images of first responders rushing to the scene, of runners who are nurses helping out, of marathon runners racing to the hospital to give blood ...

"Look for the helpers," as Mister Rogers said.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


I hear that, Miko. I'm doubtful that my friend is the only person who doesn't need a 5 mile hike after running a marathon. He's almost back now, tho, and staying home is probably a better plan in the broader view.
posted by janell at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2013


Cowboy Hat Guy is a helper--I've seen him in two different shots. Good going, Cowboy Hat Guy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


BPD officially knocks down NY Post Saudi national story - TPM
posted by Punkey at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


Logan: FAA has announced ground stop.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2013


Brigham and Women's is also saying they'll need blood donors in the future, not right now.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:22 PM on April 15, 2013


Weird, I just heard a radio update that Logan was open.
posted by Miko at 2:22 PM on April 15, 2013


This is horrible. My heart goes out to the victims and their family and friends.
posted by caddis at 2:22 PM on April 15, 2013


Cowboy Hat Guy is a helper--I've seen him in two different shots. Good going, Cowboy Hat Guy.

He's also pretty prominent in one of the videos, go Cowboy Hat Guy go!
posted by tetsuo at 2:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Runners are a strange and beautiful breed. We love each other. We help each other. We worry for each other. You're already hearing some inspiring stories about runners helping others. Keep that thought with you. There will be a lot of good that comes out at the end of this as we move forward into the next couple of days.
posted by Fizz at 2:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Last of my girlfriend's runner friends/volunteers checked in okay about 2 minutes ago (we were worried because we still hadn't heard when the cell shutdown happened). Looks like everyone I know made it okay.

For whatever it's worth - I was hitting up pretty much every source I could find and this thread was by far the best source of links/info out there. Thanks, Metafilter.
posted by Ryvar at 2:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


The JFK library explosion doesn't make sense to me- the two bombs that went off were evidently well placed to cause casualties. Putting a bomb in the mechanical room doesn't make sense.
posted by gsteff at 2:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


BPD officially knocks down NY Post Saudi national story - TPM.

Pathetic. Yet another reason to be careful about our sources of information and what we choose to amplify at a time like this.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Emergency services personnel register their phones beforehand. In the event of an emergency normal service is suspended so that the emergency services can be guaranteed access to the network. In the UK the system is called MTPAS.

As an interesting sideline to the horror: There is an precedent for this going back to landline days. My dad was in a central office when JFK was assassinated and he heard the switches going crazy. He said it was like nothing they had ever seen and they were close flipping a switch that would have turned off phone service to the general public so service could be guaranteed for police, hospitals, firefighters, etc. If I recall correctly he said there was another tier above that just for the military at the time.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


ON WBUR a reporter at the JFK library is saying that authorities there are saying the JFK library thing was an electrical fire, not a bomb.
posted by Miko at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2013


As I turn to you and I say
Thank goodness for the good souls
That make life better
As I turn to you and I say
If it wasn't for the good souls
Life would not matter

posted by Seymour Zamboni at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ground stop at Logan was just lifted by the FAA.
posted by zachlipton at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2013


RT @boston_police: Update JFK incident appears to be fire related #tweetfromthebeat via @CherylFiandaca

Katie Johnston @ktkjohnston
FAA just lifted temporary ground stop at Logan Airport. Put in place to reconfigure the runways to keep aircraft from flying over Copley.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2013


BPD officially knocks down NY Post Saudi national story - TPM.

To be accurate, they're saying they haven't arrested anyone; and they're saying the NYP's information "didn't come from us". Shrug.
posted by mrnutty at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


And for some feel-good in the middle of the updates:

Image of couple reunited after being separated by bombing
posted by Punkey at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Can we please get the speculating maroons off of CNN/MSNBC/Faux News please?

But all we have is speculation! We must talk about something! News is breaking, and if we're not on air all the time, some other station might get the jump on us! And if we're on all the time, we have to be talking all the time! About this late-breaking news! Which we know little about!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The JFK story is showing every sign of "early reports said that....". Given that no one was hurt I would strongly urge people to let it go until tomorrow when reports will have settled down.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013


Baggage update:

For runners looking to claim their bags - baggage claim is now open on Berkeley Street between Boylston Street and St. James Avenue. All unclaimed bags will remain secure. Stay posted for further details. Thank you for your patience.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it not Patriots Day in Boston?
McVeigh/Nichols/Fortier chose April 19 to bomb OKC because it jibed with their super-patriot fantasies of Lexington/Concord, which Patriot's Day commemorates.
posted by robbyrobs at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The JFK library explosion doesn't make sense to me- the two bombs that went off were evidently well placed to cause casualties. Putting a bomb in the mechanical room doesn't make sense.

There's no confirmed "explosion" at the JFK Library, just an "incident" that the Library said was a fire.
posted by stopgap at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2013


Well, "library" in this case also includes a museum for JFK that is a pretty big tourist destination.

And the "Library" part is a branch of the federal government's National Archives and Records Administration. (Though it seems it's not related to the attack at the Marathon?)
posted by Jahaza at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston Police is stating JFK was a "fire incident", so apologies to zengargoyle.
posted by yerfatma at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Runners are a strange and beautiful breed. We love each other. We help each other. We worry for each other.

Yes. Runners are awesome. They are some of the kindest people. Seeing the image of the young man with his legs severed -- obviously it's a tragedy for so many reasons, but all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again. I can't imagine. It really tears me up.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Steve Silva is the Boston.com sports producer who shot this video, which means, he ran towards the explosion.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


My 16 year old girl just came in and asked me if I'd seen the news. She's been following it on facebook.

She's been running cross-country on her school team the past couple of years. She runs practically every day. I envy her discipline and stamina and commitment to doing something healthy. And I'm almost in tears because in an alternate timeline the Boston Marathon is something she would have wanted to participate in and her Mom and I would have done everything to make that happen.

I asked her if she remembered the Olympic bombing in Atlanta. She didn't. I looked it up. It happened before she was born, of course. Who can keep track?

We talked a little about 9/11 and how no one knew what was going on at first. So far we've seen reports of two people dead. Three people dead. Two bombs. Three bombs. More bombs. She wants to know what's going on and I don't have anything more to tell her than "It's just awful and no one will really know anything for awhile". Which she already knows.

I'm an atheist. I'm praying. I don't believe anyone hears it. But there isn't really anything else I can do.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


NY Post being inaccurate and fear-mongering? This is my surprised face. Not that it didn't sound pretty unlikely on the face of it; the bombs went off close together, which suggests no premature detonation. Which makes it unlikely that the bomber would have been standing close enough to get shrapnel'd into the hospital.
posted by tavella at 2:27 PM on April 15, 2013


To be accurate, they're saying they haven't arrested anyone; and they're saying the NYP's information "didn't come from us". Shrug.

True dat. Duly noted.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:27 PM on April 15, 2013


all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again. I can't imagine. It really tears me up.

Or he might become a cyborg super runner.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again

The good thing is that even without legs, this is not necessarily true nowadays.

Living in the future is a mixed bag, I guess.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obama being briefed by FBI Director Muller on bombings in Boston - WH Flickr
posted by Punkey at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, fuck. One of my staff saw both both explosions while waiting for her dad to finish the marathon.

Never been so happy to be in a position of authority to say TAKE AS MUCH TIME OFF AS YOU NEED.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [132 favorites]


Miko: "We've gotten so great at autopiloting grief when it's mass murder time."

Sometimes I feel that the movie Brazil really was prescient.
posted by Red Loop at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


Seeing the image of the young man with his legs severed -- obviously it's a tragedy for so many reasons, but all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again. I can't imagine. It really tears me up.

Don't discount the availability of great prosthetic. Science and medicine can help him overcome this tragedy.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


...but all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again.

While it is indeed a tragedy, the awful truth is that we've gotten really good at making prosthetics for the maimed soliders in Iraq and Afghanistan. He'll never be the same, but he might still run again.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Seeing the image of the young man with his legs severed -- obviously it's a tragedy for so many reasons, but all I keep thinking about is that he'll never be able to run again.

I hope he and the other injured runners have all the support and medical care they need to run again, and to race again, whether it's biking or on Cheetah supports or whatever the future invents.
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're trying to figure out how to get somewhere, @MassDOT has been tweeting updates on the T and the roads.
posted by Wretch729 at 2:29 PM on April 15, 2013


Weird, I just heard a radio update that Logan was open.

It is. KBOS was ground stopped at 2027Z, and that ground stop was cancelled at 2114Z.

A ground stop means "do not take off for this airport if you are still on the ground." Planes already in the air would have continued, held or diverted. This particular one was for the east coast, namely airports in the areas controlled by the Air Route Traffic Control Centers for ZOB (Cleveland), ZNY (New York), ZBW (Boston) and ZDC (DC) and the four eastern Canada ones.
posted by eriko at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't discount the availability of great prosthetic.

Indeed! The Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab is working on that.
posted by smirkette at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston hospitals are now reporting 100 wounded, according to the Boston Globe.
posted by nostrada at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Yes, you're all right. I would love to see that -- equipped with prosthetics, he runs again. Perhaps even a marathon. Hopefully his life was spared and he is able to do just that.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Steve Silva is the Boston.com sports producer who shot this video, which means, he ran towards the explosion.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:26 PM on 4/15
[1 favorite +] [!]


I noticed that. How?
posted by bq at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Google Person Finder - Boston Marathon explosions
posted by SassHat at 2:31 PM on April 15, 2013


Video of runner using current generation running prosthetic.
posted by Jilder at 2:32 PM on April 15, 2013


I don't think that guy who had his legs severed was a runner... He was in long-sleeves and didn't sport a marathon number.
posted by docjohn at 2:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


NBUR reports that those in critical condition are unidentified....at Mass General.
posted by zerobyproxy at 2:32 PM on April 15, 2013


Never been so happy to be in a position of authority to say TAKE AS MUCH TIME OFF AS YOU NEED.

Have as many favorites as you need. Have a million favorites. You are good people.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


NBC News: Officials say that Boston PD are "guarding" a wounded man at a Boston hospital as a "possible suspect" - @JimMiklaszewski
posted by BobbyVan at 2:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


WBUR pointed out a while ago that, if we're looking for silver linings, this happened within a three-mile radius of half a dozen of the best trauma hospitals in the United States. I wish all those working at those hospitals the very best, because I know they're doing awesome work right now.
posted by koeselitz at 2:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [35 favorites]


I'm curious in the wake of this stupid, senseless, horrifying event: Aren't bombs old tech? I can only think there must be a lot more science to making them than the "people" who build the homemade-variety consider, as a lot of them seem to fail to go off, or go off with a fraction of the power that was theoretically possible. I'm glad for that, as much as you can be glad about something horrible, but it's always a puzzler.
posted by maxwelton at 2:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Old tech is cheap and easily deployed.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some speculation about the government's ability to shut off cell service.
posted by yerfatma at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Aren't bombs old tech?

Sure, but chemistry is hard. Technology is hard. Ever try to build a steam engine?
posted by IvoShandor at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't think that guy who had his legs severed was a runner... He was in long-sleeves and didn't sport a marathon number.
posted by docjohn at 5:32 PM on April 15 [+] [!]


Agreed. And not to be too presumptuous, but video of the explosion suggests that the blast impact (at least the one visible near the finish line) impacted the spectators. Runners who were level with the site of the explosion on the street appeared (relatively) unscathed, and many continued running.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Looks like they're making arrests. Can anyone confirm?
posted by joedan at 2:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Ideefixe: Steve Silva is the Boston.com sports producer who shot this video, which means, he ran towards the explosion.
Christ… and then the balloons float away
posted by ob1quixote at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm curious in the wake of this stupid, senseless, horrifying event: Aren't bombs old tech? I can only think there must be a lot more science to making them than the "people" who build the homemade-variety consider, as a lot of them seem to fail to go off, or go off with a fraction of the power that was theoretically possible.

I am guessing that the people with the skills to pull off something higher tech are more educated and easily employed. Not your typical frustrated and powerless type that seem to be drawn toward senseless acts of violence to make their point.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


joedan - That could be an arrest for any number of reasons, the bombing is only one of them.
posted by Punkey at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Has the place to offer your house to a runner been set up yet?
posted by Cygnet at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think that guy who had his legs severed was a runner... He was in long-sleeves and didn't sport a marathon number.

Okay, well, I still hope he has all his medical needs taken care of and is able to be mobile in all of his life's pursuits, whether that's running or video games or whatever. Basically, I hope they're all as okay as they can be, all of those 64 people, all of those spectators and runners and first responders.
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't a runner who finished the race remove his bib and become a spectator? I suppose you're right, though -- there's no way to tell if he was a runner. He just looked like a runner to me, I guess. Anyway, this is all a bit of a derail. Just really hoping that that guy makes it through.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]



Sometimes I feel that the movie Brazil really was prescient.


Sometimes?

To greater or lesser degrees I've thought this since about 2002
posted by edgeways at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


BPD now tweeting that the JFK Library event may be an unrelated fire after all.
posted by tau_ceti at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013


Christ… and then the balloons float away

I haven't even watched this particular video, but when I read these words it reminded me that I made a mental note of that in another video but didn't process it. Now I think I know why. Ugh.
posted by Big_B at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013


There are too many rumors right now to know anything. This doesn't seem to be like 9-11 where there was consensus very quickly that it was Al Qaeda.
posted by humanfont at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013


Aren't bombs old tech?

Sure, but chemistry is hard. Technology is hard. Ever try to build a steam engine?


There's an awful lot of bomb makers with hooks for hands.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


As do we all. We all hope everyone comes through this okay...
posted by docjohn at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013


No offense, but whether he raced or not, let's let it go: it's a guy who lost his legs and not for any good reason and that sucks.
posted by yerfatma at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


OBAMA TO ADDRESS NATION IN 15 MINUTES - NY Mag
posted by Punkey at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aren't bombs old tech?

Yes, but big bangs and smoke create a sense of terror and danger. And most often that is the point of the attack, not the the actual damage. Plus, having the news media replaying the event and subsequent panic in the streets over and over, only enhances the effect.

Mission accomplished (for the terrorists) unfortunately.

Best advice: turn off the TV.
posted by lampshade at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Video of runner using current generation running prosthetic. yt

And for those who both run and swim, there's an amphibious prosthetic.
posted by homunculus at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013


I can only think there must be a lot more science to making them than the "people" who build the homemade-variety consider,

Essentially, making newer better explosives requires industrial chemistry skills and labs, and making old style explosves (black power / dynamite) is fiddly and inconsistent.
posted by smackfu at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013


It's a long thread, so just in case anyone missed it and might need it: Reunite with missing family members at 1-617-635-4500.
posted by trip and a half at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013


*************

NEED A PLACE TO GO, HAVE A PLACE FOLKS CAN STAY? Google Spreadsheet from the Globe

*************
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


As an interesting sideline to the horror: There is an precedent for this going back to landline days. My dad was in a central office when JFK was assassinated and he heard the switches going crazy. He said it was like nothing they had ever seen and they were close flipping a switch that would have turned off phone service to the general public so service could be guaranteed for police, hospitals, firefighters, etc. If I recall correctly he said there was another tier above that just for the military at the time.

Is it just emergency workers, or would other people at sufficiently high echelons be exempt from mobile phone shutdowns? Would the President be on the list? Congressmen? Could the wealthy and well-connected buy their way onto the list the way rich Russians can obtain migalki that exempt them from road laws?
posted by acb at 2:41 PM on April 15, 2013


Ah, here we go: here's where you post a place to stay
posted by Cygnet at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2013


Looks like they're making arrests. Can anyone confirm?

Could be anything. In an emergency, cops are gonna crack down on all sorts of behavior.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2013


The spreadsheets to either ask for or offer accommodations in Boston are now live. The Globe has been super on this.
posted by Phire at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2013


XMLicious, I think you have it backwards.

Oops, yeah, you're right. The quotes from Ayers and material in the Wikipedia article indicate that other nail bomb attacks were carried out before the Greenwich explosion, not afterwards. Sorry about that.

In any case, the significance of shrapnel bombs is that they indicate the definite intention to kill and injure people instead of just damaging property and I think that's why lots of people know about them.
posted by XMLicious at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


How does this work? Do they just have a coordinated shut-down of all the area towers?

Cell service has gone down because of the way cellular telephones work. Each tower can handle X number of calls at once. In areas where lots of people live they make the cells smaller and put the towers closer together. It's all about statistics. Under normal circumstances an average of Y people in the area covered by a tower will be making calls simultaneously and X>Y. When everybody tries to make a call at once the system is completely overloaded Y is much bigger than X and most people cannot get through.

If in the Boston area, stay off your cell phone if possible.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cell phone service is overwhelmed, not shut off.
posted by yerfatma at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "Cell service has gone down because of the way cellular telephones work. Each tower can handle X number of calls at once. In areas where lots of people live they make the cells smaller and put the towers closer together. It's all about statistics. Under normal circumstances an average of Y people in the area covered by a tower will be making calls simultaneously and X>Y. When everybody tries to make a call at once the system is completely overloaded Y is much bigger than X and most people cannot get through.”

Uh – so you are claiming that the "official" reports that cell service had been intentionally suspended to prevent remote detonations was wrong?
posted by koeselitz at 2:45 PM on April 15, 2013


‏@AdamSerwer: No confirmation from govt officials that cell phone service in Boston area has actually been shut down, according to NBC News.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love Patton Oswalt.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [154 favorites]


I'm seeing some activity on twitter about there being a police presence in Times Square. Does anybody know whether that is just a precaution?
posted by gauche at 2:46 PM on April 15, 2013


Can we just wait until someone is formally charged and the facts are in? Many here are too young to remember, I know, but if so you should read up on Richard Jewell and the 1996 Centennial Park bombing during the Olympics in Atlanta. There's no excusing speculation among those who remember this.
posted by raysmj at 2:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [39 favorites]


WNYC 93.9 FM in NYC is simulcasting WBUR out of Boston.

All the hospitals in Boston are reportedly locked down.

Lots of events are canceled. "Officials" are saying to stay home and avoid large crowds in Boston.
posted by Jahaza at 2:47 PM on April 15, 2013


I don't think THAT many people are too young to remember 1996.
posted by sweetkid at 2:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


gauche - I don't know specifically but there are always a ton of cops in Times Square because it's so crowded with tourists. I'm sure they're stepping up manpower just as a precaution.
posted by Wretch729 at 2:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


It warms my heart to see the HUNDREDS of people posting apartments in the last 5 minutes.
posted by Cygnet at 2:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well.. there's usually police presence in Times Square.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 2:48 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm seeing some activity on twitter about there being a police presence in Times Square. Does anybody know whether that is just a precaution?

There's almost always a large police presence there, but the NYPD regularly ups security after incidents like this.
posted by Jahaza at 2:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Im at 34th and 6th/Broadway in NYC and I can hear helicopters close.
posted by sweetkid at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2013


lampshade: Best advice: turn off the TV.

This is my general best advice for just about every situation.
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [22 favorites]


I'm seeing some activity on twitter about there being a police presence in Times Square. Does anybody know whether that is just a precaution?
posted by gauche at 2:46 PM on April 15 [+] [!]


this could be a precaution and/or it could be a public "show of force" which NYPD regular police and counter-terror police do regularly and on special occasions
posted by Bwithh at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013


President Obama to speak live at 6 PM (WBUR).

Boston Mayor Tom Menino to also speak live (having left his hospital bed, he's been ill.)
posted by Jahaza at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013


gauche - I don't know specifically but there are always a ton of cops in Times Square because it's so crowded with tourists. I'm sure they're stepping up manpower just as a precaution.


Thanks, that's what I meant. Having trouble framing my thoughts right now.
posted by gauche at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, I'm in midtown on 7th Ave, and I can confirm that there's an increased police/helicopter presence, but no reason to believe it's anything but a precaution. They always do that when something like this happens.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013


From NYPD FB page:

"The NYPD is stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of critical response vehicles (CRVs) until more about the explosion in Boston is learned."
posted by Wretch729 at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013


@sweetkid: people born after the '96 olympics can obtain driver's licenses. In fact, people who can legally drink may not have memories that go back that far.
posted by sideshow at 2:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


entropicamericana: He said it was like nothing they had ever seen and they were close flipping a switch that would have turned off phone service to the general public so service could be guaranteed for police, hospitals, firefighters, etc. If I recall correctly he said there was another tier above that just for the military at the time.

I'm not very familiar with the public telephone network's emergency/overload management plans in the early 1960s, but the military tier he was talking about was almost certainly AUTOVON, which was a separate telephone network for use only by the military which came online in 1963. It was designed to survive nuclear attacks, and one of its key features was the ability of a "high precedence" (priority) call to disconnect other calls that were already in progress in the event that all remaining circuits were busy.

As a side note, entropicamericana, do you happen to know whether the central office your dad was at was a local (class 5) end office, or a tandem office? I *think* that emergency/overload management in the early 60s was only available at the tandem level, but I am not at all sure of that...
posted by Juffo-Wup at 2:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


the cell phones shut down was to make it impossible for more bombs to be detonated by cell phones..in Afghanistan, we use jammers
posted by Postroad at 2:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Reuters live feed is saying that yes, Times Square police presence is just a precaution.
posted by clockbound at 2:51 PM on April 15, 2013


WBUR broadcasting from Brigham and Womens. Doctor says 26 patients transported to that hospital. (One a three-year-old who was transferred to Children's Hospital.) SWAT team outside Brigham and Womens. Injuries of a variety of severity up to very substantial and "really signifigant" burns. Doctor: "I've never seen anything like this ever before."
posted by Jahaza at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


They're talking to a doctor at one of the hospitals on WBUR right now. They asked him about the lockdown – "oh, we ALWAYS do that here, even in drills." They asked him about the supposed suspect – "I don't know anything about that, we're just treating patients."

So the lockdown itself doesn't seem extraordinary, considering the circumstances.
posted by koeselitz at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we just wait until someone is formally charged and the facts are in? Many here are too young to remember, I know, but if so you should read up on Richard Jewell and the 1996 Centennial Park bombing during the Olympics in Atlanta. There's no excusing speculation among those who remember this.
posted by raysmj at 5:46 PM on April 15 [3 favorites +] [!]


It's not our job to refrain from discussing things that are posted in the media. We're not the gatekeepers -- there's nothing wrong with commenting on what has been reported. Whether it's true or not will ultimately be established. I do agree that just because a person is reported to have been involved, or is arrested, or considered a suspect, that doesn't mean they're responsible. But I don't feel an obligation to "wait until all the facts are in" to consider possibilities and to know what is being reported.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's what's called an NYPD "Surge" drill and it's extremely common.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:53 PM on April 15, 2013


@sweetkid: people born after the '96 olympics can obtain driver's licenses. In fact, people who can legally drink may not have memories that go back that far.

Yes, but on Metafilter specifically. In thread specifically. Anyway, it's unimportant: '96 Olympics is indeed an excellent lesson in not speculating.
posted by sweetkid at 2:53 PM on April 15, 2013


I just crossed Times Square on my way to Bryant Park. Yes, lots of additional police, but seemingly just a precaution. Nothing else unusual except for the choppers.
posted by kimdog at 2:53 PM on April 15, 2013


The closed portions of the subway were just reopened, so, they must be pretty confident that the area is clear.
posted by Kosh at 2:54 PM on April 15, 2013


I'll tell you what: yesterday was the wrong day for me to start following @YesYoureRacist on Twitter.
posted by yerfatma at 2:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out.

As President Bartlet once put it (after a fictional attack involving two pipe bombs at a college sporting event no less), and later plagiarized by NBC in a Kentucky Derby feature:
"When, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran in to the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They’re our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars."
posted by zachlipton at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


@Kosh do you mean portions of the NY subway had been closed, or are you referring to the Boston T?
posted by telegraph at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Live feed for Obama remarks?
posted by sonika at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2013


Aren't bombs old tech?

I am actually kind of surprised that we haven't seen lots of cases of bombs being delivered by quadcopters and other remote-controlled robots. I would think it's a much more effective way of carrying out an attack and safer for the attacker.

It's one reason that I find ludicrous the rationale of some pro-gun advocates and preppers that they must be allowed to stockpile firearms to be able to defend themselves in collapse-of-society situations; I would expect an inventive teenager with a toy to be able to overcome any such arsenal with ease. (And also, while I'm totally supportive of gun control efforts, it kind of seems like we might be fighting the last war there and the 21st century will see a whole new array of weapons to allow the average person to kill easily.)
posted by XMLicious at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Re the above questions about who can get WPS access that lets you get priority access to wireless resources (and WPS usually goes hand-in-hand with GETS, the same sort of system but for landline prioritization): that's handled by each organization's WPS/GETS contact person. Basically a sheriff's office or fire department or whoever goes to the OEC and applies for organizational access. If that's granted, they can then request WPS access for any of their users as well as GETS PINs. I strongly suspect that the OEC would come down on you like a ton of bricks if they found you were requesting WPS authorization for your mom or drinking buddy (unless that person worked for your fire department, of course).
posted by introp at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2013


telegraph: "@Kosh do you mean portions of the NY subway had been closed, or are you referring to the Boston T?"

The T, per the MBTA's twitter account.
posted by dismas at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2013


No secondary devices, it looks like. Thank God. Nothing is more than terror-inducing to me than when rescuers become victims. I don't know if it's significant, but the third week in April is also a time associated with a serious streak of arsons.
posted by WidgetAlley at 2:56 PM on April 15, 2013


MBTA Twitter feed: resuming service on all lines, please expect some residual delays
posted by koeselitz at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Jesus. I was near Back Bay station when I heard the explosions. Home now and I am okay, but if you know any stranded runners, Somerville residents have spare beds, via wickedlocal.com.
posted by angels in the architecture at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


(If you're still using the tumblr version of MeFi from a couple weeks ago the image caption is "LESS GRAR"!)

My sister in Massachusetts is running her first marathon later this month. I commented on FB that I'm glad you can't run Boston as your first. Her husband responded that she was considering running Boston this year and that she would have finished about this time and that he would have been at the finish line with their two kids. I don't even.
posted by bendy at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's not our job to refrain from discussing things that are posted in the media. We're not the gatekeepers

I'm sympathetic to your message, but yes and no, really. There's a reason a majority of Americans still think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and it's that early stories were believed and endlessly repeated. Now that we're part of the "Endlessly repeated" cycle, there are things we can do to avoid contributing to any traction that false information gets.

I was somewhat close to events in 9/11 and am still appalled remembering the utter falsities I heard, believed, and passed on in the earliest days. Lots of people did. It was ultimately harmful in contributing to xenophobia and paranoia, the culture of fear.

That is different from speculation. Speculation, I think, is reasonable. I just want to speak up against passing on unverified information.
posted by Miko at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [38 favorites]


Live feed for Obama remarks?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/live
posted by zombieflanders at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure whether the combination of this and the 2007 Boston bomb scare makes Boston PD prescient or doubly incompetent.
posted by GuyZero at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a grieving Bostonian can I please respectfully request that now is not the fucking time to talk about gun control? THNX.
posted by sonika at 2:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


Way up in this thread several people mentioned what looked like an older man falling as the explosion went off...they keep replaying that clip on abc. It looks like the ground shook underneath him.
posted by double bubble at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston Marathon: All My Tears, All My Love.


Five miles into the race, one of the marathon directors actually jumped off a truck to forcibly remove Switzer from the course, yelling: “Get the hell out of my race!” But the men running with her fought him off. For them, Katherine Switzer had every right to be there. For them, the Boston Marathon wasnʼt about exclusion or proving male supremacy – pitting boys against girls. It was about people running a race.
posted by latkes at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


magstheaxe: " Hell, I'm a devoted couch potato, and I'm going to take up running TODAY. Because FUCK. THEM."

I feel like the only proper response to this is to make next year's Boston Marathon the biggest ever. Fuck terrorism.
posted by graventy at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [25 favorites]


BPD Commissioner now stating JFK Library device statement might have been "premature" - NBC News
posted by Punkey at 2:58 PM on April 15, 2013


NY Times seems to have lifted their paywall.
posted by Jahaza at 2:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm just on the ferry, on my way back home from an eight-day internet, phone and news break on Vancouver Island. This is the first thread I saw on my first Mefi checkin. I think I'm going to turn around and go right back again.
posted by jokeefe at 3:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [33 favorites]


BPD Commissioner stating no suspects in custody - NBC News
posted by Punkey at 3:00 PM on April 15, 2013


Very sorry to hear about this. Definitely a good idea to keep a tight hold on speculation for the next day or two.
posted by knapah at 3:00 PM on April 15, 2013


Live feed saying Obama's statement expected at 6.10pm Eastern
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:00 PM on April 15, 2013


BPD just confirmed in press conference that no one is currently in custody, although people are being questioned.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2013


NBCNews.com "There is no suspect in custody." -Edward Davis, Boston Police Commissioner
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


BPD Commissioner stating no suspects in custody - NBC News

But also saying that they're "questioning" people. They may not even be sure if they've got someone being questioned who could be a suspect.
posted by Jahaza at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2013


I feel like the only proper response to this is to make next year's Boston Marathon the biggest ever. Fuck terrorism.

I'm already planning on showing up on time for next year's and yelling myself hoarse.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Today I am thankful for metafilter so I can read the news without seeing the pictures.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [51 favorites]


The BPD Commissioner's precise words were: "There's a heavy police presence at all the hospitals. You shouldn't read anything into that."
posted by koeselitz at 3:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


White House live feed for upcoming conference
posted by Punkey at 3:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really don't want to imagine a future in which all of April is under lockdown.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


acb: Is it just emergency workers, or would other people at sufficiently high echelons be exempt from mobile phone shutdowns? Would the President be on the list? Congressmen? Could the wealthy and well-connected buy their way onto the list the way rich Russians can obtain migalki that exempt them from road laws?

It all works very differently now than it did in the 60s and 70s. As alby alluded to, the best way to "shut down service" so as to prevent bombs from being detonated is by a system called ACCOLC. (Despite the UK focus of the Wikipedia article, ACCOLC is in use in the US too, and not just on GSM networks.)

ACCOLC is really designed to manage network congestion during times of very high traffic, and not as a government-specific tool. The current USA-based government-specific tool for providing priority on cell phones is called WPS, and its landline counterpart is called GETS.

On the topic of who gets a high priority in ACCOLC or access to WPS or GETS: The membership lists for WPS and GETS are entirely up to the government. ACCOLC cell-site settings and privileged phone/SIM allocations are up to the telephone companies, but they have a long historical record of doing whatever the government tells them to do.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 3:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


As a side note, entropicamericana, do you happen to know whether the central office your dad was at was a local (class 5) end office, or a tandem office? I *think* that emergency/overload management in the early 60s was only available at the tandem level, but I am not at all sure of that...

I don't. I could (and should) ask my mother where he was working out of the time. He was L.A. area and worked out of several offices before we moved north. I think at the time he was in East L.A.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:04 PM on April 15, 2013


I feel like the only proper response to this is to make next year's Boston Marathon the biggest ever. Fuck terrorism.

I seriously wouldn't be surprised if this event overall improved the health of Bostonians by inspiring the entire city to run in next year's marathon.
posted by gsteff at 3:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


For the speculation about the electrical fire and the bombings being linked, I will say again that during a crisis with media determined to scoop everyone by reporting every alarmist thought they have, wires get crossed and speculations gain the solidity of fact in seconds. On September 11, 2001, as office buildings across the continent were being emptied, Toronto media were briefly focused on what turned out to be a broken steam pipe in the underground parking at City Hall -- the clouds of steam (looked like smoke) pouring out of the ventilation ducts made great B-roll for alarmist voiceovers.

After a thousand lame variations and viral memes, it might be time to heed the advice to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


side note, but you can't just run the Boston Marathon. You have to qualify in separate qualifying races.

I wouldn't want them to change that for this reason. so no everyone in Boston can't run it.
posted by sweetkid at 3:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


[Folks this thread is shaping up to be very long, please link when possible instead of megaquoting]
posted by jessamyn at 3:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I feel that the movie Brazil really was prescient.

The interesting thing about Brazil is that the 'terrorist' explosions may simply be the large super-structure of the mechanized city breaking down. Lowry's apartment going haywire at the start of the film is an example. Of course, the suspected 'terrorist' who causes all of the problems in the first place is a renegade repair-man, who left because he was sick of the paperwork of the super-structure. The viewer is left to ask, is there actually a terrorist at all, or is it just the system breaking down under its own weight? The state's reaction to 'terrorism' may be making hay of the situation, or a completely irrational response to the wrong problem, or a combination of the two that leads to Lowry getting his brain sucked out of his nose.

The state in Brazil creates a terrorist where it needs to, and in response creates terrorists it never intends to (the character of Jill, who is indeed using terror to take on the system).

This prefigures Baudrillard's writings in The Spirit of Terrorism:

This is the spirit of terrorism.

Never is it to attack the system through power relations. This belongs to the revolutionary imaginary imposed by the system itself, which survives by ceaselessly bringing those who oppose it to fight in the domain of the real, which is always its own. But (it) moves the fight into the symbolic domain, where the rule is the rule of challenge, of reversal, of escalation. Thus, death can be answered only though an equal or superior death. (Terrorism) challenges the system by a gift that the latter can reciprocate only through its own death and its own collapse.
This applies to both foreign and domestic terrorism in my opinion. In responding to terror with terror it becomes the language of the age, and for the sort of perpetual economic loser (whether he's from a bombed out village in Afghanistan or a gutted town in Kansas) who sees no other legitimate response to his status as a loser it becomes the one way out in a totality of powers that are greater than he. The cowardly act of killing the innocent and unaware makes sense when that is the method being employed by your enemy.

I hope that whoever the perpetrator is, America has learned its lesson from 12 years ago, and approaches its desire for retaliation in a more reasoned way.
posted by codacorolla at 3:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


We're not the gatekeepers

I'd have to mildly disagree with that. We are certainly in an age where news gathering and reporting is a much more democratic process. We ARE much more gatekeepers of ourselves then we have ever been, born out of distrust of the media and such a wide net of 'citizen reporters' blog owners and the near requirement we all have insta opinions on everything no matter how far from our areas of knowledge they may be.

So, yeah, we certainly are not the -sole- gatekeepers, but we are also not passive consumers of media as well.
posted by edgeways at 3:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Fred Roger's Advice on Tragic events in the News is particularly good for those with children but also totally valid for adults
posted by Blasdelb at 3:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oh no, how sad--that must have been so frightening on what is supposed to be a happy day. I hope there are some answers soon.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reposting link to White House statement starting NOW
posted by Punkey at 3:10 PM on April 15, 2013


"On days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats – we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens."
posted by zombieflanders at 3:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like the only proper response to this is to make next year's Boston Marathon the biggest ever. Fuck terrorism.

Right on, brother.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 3:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Elly Vortex: "lampshade: Best advice: turn off the TV.

This is my general best advice for just about every situation.
"

But...but...I use my TV as a monitor, and I ever so treasure the Blue during times of crisis like this...
posted by Samizdata at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Obama conference is now over after a handful of minutes.
posted by Yowser at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013


I don't know what I was expecting from Obama, but I don't feel any better. Is this what growing up feels like?
posted by Strass at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


We will find out who did this, and we will hold them accountable.
posted by trip and a half at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sadly, presidential briefing didn't add any new information, and the President didn't take any questions. Just letting us know that the full federal government's resources are behind helping to find out who did this, and to ensure the safety of everyone in Boston this evening.
posted by docjohn at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013


thoughts from 2,500 miles away ... Vancouver (or thereabouts)

a. shock.
b. check Facebook, make sure my one Boston resident friend is okay. She is.
c. some more shock.
d. realization that I guess I officially don't hate the Bruins anymore.
e. Go Boston, Go.
posted by philip-random at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


zombieflanders: ""On days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats – we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.""

To be clear, these are President Obama's words from his press briefing.
posted by boo_radley at 3:15 PM on April 15, 2013


Sadly, presidential briefing didn't add any new information, and the President didn't take any questions.

I don't think that's sad. He doesn't know anything.
posted by sweetkid at 3:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Calmly saying we don't know what's going on or blaming anybody until we have the facts. There may be no Republicans or Democrats today, but I know who I'd rather have in charge.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [39 favorites]


Disappointing statement from Obama, yeah, but I don't know what I expected him to say. Seems like this was probably the right thing to do-- make an official press statement saying "I'm on this."
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2013


Maybe he just wanted everyone to know he wasn't sitting there reading My Pet Goat while all this was going on.
posted by Big_B at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [88 favorites]


I don't know what I was expecting from Obama, but I don't feel any better. Is this what growing up feels like?

You were probably looking for reassurance from a leader figure, but Obama was all business, with little direct inspiration or comfort.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Didn't use the word terrorism though

I have an awful feeling that this is going to become a major Republican talking point.
posted by gsteff at 3:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


President really kept it short. I am glad, it would be terrible for the White House to jump the gun on information that hasn't been confirmed.
posted by annsunny at 3:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel like the only proper response to this is to make next year's Boston Marathon the biggest ever. Fuck terrorism.

Boston already turns away hundreds (if not thousands) of people who are fast enough to qualify. And to even qualify (sub 3:05 for men 34 and younger) is a great achievement in of itself.

I guess they could open it up to everyone next year, but part of Boston being Boston is that it's really hard to get into.
posted by sideshow at 3:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


gsteff: "I have an awful feeling that this is going to become a major Republican talking point."

Can we please not do this here and now?
posted by scrump at 3:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "You were probably looking for reassurance from a leader figure, but Obama was all business, with little direct inspiration or comfort."

More like there's nothing that he could have said to make me feel better...
posted by Strass at 3:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


@PoliticoKevin: As a Massachusetts native, I could not give a flying fuck if Obama calls what happened today "terrorism."
posted by zombieflanders at 3:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I have an awful feeling that this is going to become a major Republican talking point."

Eh, the fact that his occurred will be talking point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:21 PM on April 15, 2013


@EWErickson Sorry folks, I'm not interesting in beating up the President today. God bless him. He's got his work cut out for him.
Dogs, cats, mass hysteria.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Can we please not do this here and now?

Why? The event is already being spun.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter really is a special place on the internet.
posted by Riton at 3:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Can we please not do this here and now?

Seconding this. We'll cross that bridge when the glass and the blood are off the ground.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


[Do not pre-doom the thread with random "I bet the people who feel other than I do will say/do $TerribleThing" comments please. ]
posted by jessamyn at 3:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [37 favorites]


Apologies. I'm horrible at predictions anyway.
posted by gsteff at 3:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am glad Obama kept it short. It is a reflection of the reality that we don't know how all the pieces fit together. Acting on, or even suggesting a course of action would only further speculation and lead to more problems.

The event is most likely, completely over. Now is the time to figure out how it happened (and was not detected) in a sober and methodical manner. To do that, one needs analysis and fact. Not emotion fueled guesses peppered with calls for vengeance.
posted by lampshade at 3:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Adaptive Path built a tool a couple years ago that does geolocation with Twitter archives, so you can do stuff like look at the immediate aftermath and 30min that followed the explosions from just people that were physically near the explosion on Twitter.

It's a tool that was built for journalism, for events like this.
posted by mathowie at 3:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [55 favorites]


If Obama had said we have a time machine that I will take to yesterday and prevent this, I would feel better. Barring that, what?
posted by angrycat at 3:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know how at work you have an important report due and your boss calls to find out how it is going and that keeps you from actually getting work done, but you still have to give him an update?

We're Obamas's boss. Let him work.
posted by griphus at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [64 favorites]


Cnn reports two unexploded devices recovered.
posted by vrakatar at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2013


Obama looked tired. I don't blame him.
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


My cousin went to BU and graduated last year. I am so, so glad that she is back home and working because she would have been in the spectator crowd. I just home that all her younger friends who are still in college are okay.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:27 PM on April 15, 2013


This thread is so busy I just got a Jrun error...
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2013


the last mile of the Boston Marathon was dedicated to the Sandy Hook victims
posted by robbyrobs at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2013


From Y! news livefeed: Matthew Keys@TheMatthewKeysCongressman Bill Keating: Two undetonated bombs found, one at hotel and another at undisclosed location - WBZ-TV

I'm not sure where Keating's getting his info, though.
posted by terrierhead at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2013


Oddly I'm getting peppered with status requests IMs like "hey, bombs in Boston. How are those bug fixes going" so in my own small way I know how Obama feels.

Yo Obama, I know you quit, but you have my permission to smoke a couple.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


> ... what looked like an older man falling as the explosion went off...they keep replaying that clip on abc. It looks like the ground shook underneath him.

That's doubtful, it wasn't that powerful a blast. No, he's hit by the shockwave in the air - you can see many of the runners put their hands to their ears as the same time as he does, and then he crumbles to the ground. Probably his balance centers were temporarily disturbed by the low-frequency sound of the blast.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey when I was a kid in London in the 70s there were small IRA bombs like this all the time. By the 80s the bombs were getting bigger and nastier. By the 90s some bombs were big enough to demolish buildings.
posted by w0mbat at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just wanted to check in, been trying to follow the thread but also check in on the many of people I know who were right near the area. I actually found out about the incident f rom a friend who posted to FB about a minute afer it happened.

I'm OK, everyone I've been able to reach is OK.
posted by rollbiz at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Re: Running marathons because "fuck that guy."

I couldn't agree more. If you are deciding to start training for a marathon, there's a ton of great resources online for how to train for one in a healthy and sane way, regardless of your current level of health. I've been training using the Galloway method (also called "the boy scout method") and, for my age and health level, its been amazing.

I've been training wearing my Newtown Turkey Trot 5K shirt but will gladly add my Red Sox hat to my training apparel now because, indeed, fuck that guy. I'm long done being afraid of these idiots with their insanity, hatred and weapons. Running a marathon for at least once in my life is going to be my little pointless symbolic action to say that I'm not afraid because - the this can't said enough- fuck that guy (whomever he may be) and fuck terrorism.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


Some of the local news is saying that they are shutting down a "15 block radius" -- is there any confirmation of that? Seems crazy, that would be a huge area for Boston. It wasn't remotely like that when I left an hour ago, was closed for maybe a 2 block radius.
posted by Perplexity at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013


Yo Obama, I know you quit, but you have my permission to smoke a couple.

And they don't even have to be tobacco. Probably better if they weren't.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Joey Michaels, ITA. I just signed up for the Dopey Challenge, which my parents are now trying to talk me out of. No way. I'm running.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, thanks to everyone around the world who is thinking of us Massholes today. This sucks, and we need the love.
posted by rollbiz at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


NBC News confirms one of 2 fatalities was 8 years old - NY Mag
posted by Punkey at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013


Fuck. An eight-year-old kid died.
posted by The Potate at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Morvran Avagddu at 3:34 PM on April 15, 2013


Holy shit. That poor family.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure where Keating's getting his info, though.

He's on the congressional Homeland Security Committee. Presumably this came from an official briefing.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Fuck. An eight-year-old kid died.

Shit.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Fuck.
posted by brundlefly at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

fuck.
posted by dismas at 3:35 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Wikipedia actually does quite a job of synthesising news reports about current disasters as they develop, providing a summary that's both more structured and comprehensive than most other sites.

The article on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings already has hundreds of edits and 47 citations for particular claims.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 3:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


ugh.

.
posted by Rumple at 3:36 PM on April 15, 2013


NBC News just confirmed shrapnel was inserted into the bombs - NBC News
posted by Punkey at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by lizjohn at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Piling heartbreak on heartbreak.
posted by ambrosia at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Friends who live at Newbury and Gloucester were asked to leave their apartment -- calmly, but firmly. I don't believe they've been allowed back in yet.

A coworker (who was cheering on a marathoning friend, who is safe) was at a bar on Stuart St toward the Theatre District and just reported that they were evacuated about 30 minutes ago as part of a widening security net. They are now near Downtown Crossing (near where a lot of people got stranded on the Common) at another bar and say it's very full.
posted by olinerd at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2013


A . seems so small, so insufficient for what I'm feeling right now. But words fail me, completely.

.
.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 3:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, that poor baby. I hope it was over as painlessly as possible. I hope they never even heard the bang.

.
posted by Jilder at 3:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


Jesus. They killed a kid.

One dot's not enough.

.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


.
posted by joedan at 3:39 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by luckynerd at 3:40 PM on April 15, 2013


Oh, I want to cry.
posted by Phire at 3:41 PM on April 15, 2013


Also, didn't see it mentioned above so for those who don't know, this is a HUGE day in the city. It's a state holiday, there's the marathon, and the Sox always play a day game at home for Patriots Day.
posted by rollbiz at 3:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:41 PM on April 15, 2013


Further details are coming in from multiple sources (LA Times, CBS News) regarding Saudi national story - reports stating Saudi national is NOT in custody but is being questioned, reported to be cooperative and not a suspect.
posted by Punkey at 3:41 PM on April 15, 2013


I thought I couldn't feel any worse about this.
posted by Sreiny at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2013


Punkey: "NBC News confirms one of 2 fatalities was 8 years old - NY Mag"

Heartbreaking. :(
posted by zarq at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2013


A few months ago, I started running after a long absence from races.

Now my goal is to qualify for Boston in two years.
posted by zippy at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


400-500 stranded runners in the area of Boston College. PD is trying to locate and pick up.
posted by rollbiz at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2013


Also, didn't see it mentioned above so for those who don't know, this is a HUGE day in the city. It's a state holiday, there's the marathon, and the Sox always play a day game at home for Patriots Day.

Yeah. Normally it's my favorite day in Boston. The apple and cherry trees are just barely beginning to flower in the last day or two. Spring is beginning. It's school vacation. Boston really, really loves the marathon and it's supposed to be one of the most fun things you can do in the city.
posted by Cygnet at 3:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in my cube at work and can't focus on anything. Ran a (very small and informal) 5K race this weekend and had so much fun, I decided to train for a half or full, and went on my first run yesterday. I guess add me to the list of people training for a marathon because FuckThatGuy.... And I'm leaving work early, cause this day is unbearable. I'm going running when I get home.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, didn't see it mentioned above so for those who don't know, this is a HUGE day in the city. It's a state holiday, there's the marathon, and the Sox always play a day game at home for Patriots Day.

Yeah, it's been mentioned as timing for both motive (possibly in combination with Tax Day) and maximum casualties, possibly both.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also worth mentioning, for those who aren't familiar, is that Boston is a very small city with a teeny tiny downtown. You can easily walk from one end to another in an afternoon. A much smaller event than this can turn the whole city upside-down.

Boston MeFites, my heart is aching for all of you today. :(
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


.
posted by drezdn at 3:46 PM on April 15, 2013


Lord have mercy.

.
posted by pianoboy at 3:47 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:47 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:47 PM on April 15, 2013


8. Heartbreaking.
posted by Splunge at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2013


> Also worth mentioning, for those who aren't familiar, is that Boston is a very small city with a teeny tiny downtown. You can easily walk from one end to another in an afternoon. A much smaller event than this can turn the whole city upside-down.

Seconding this for emphasis. I've met people who expected Boston, and even the Boston metropolitan area, to be much, much bigger than it is, considering all the famous schools in the area.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fuck. An eight-year-old kid died.

God damn it. Fuck.
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by Jughead at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston is tough, Boston will be ok.
posted by vrakatar at 3:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


.
posted by NedKoppel at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
Just unbelievable.
posted by chococat at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


this is unreal - last year I was working not six blocks away from where this happened. I remember cheering the runners as they ran past my T stop. 8 YEARS OLD????? 8 YEARS OLD????

Whoever did this failed utterly as a human being and as a threat. Congratulations asshole - you just galvanized the entire country against the next great idea the swamp that birthed you can dream up.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


.
posted by glhaynes at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


. . . (So far)
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by mds35 at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013


*crying*
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some touching thoughts on Patriots' Day from FILM CRITIC HULK.
posted by WidgetAlley at 3:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fuck this shit. I miss my adopted hometown more than ever now that I'm back in my actual hometown. I'm putting on my Red Sox shirt and going out to do something. I can't watch any more TV or Internet stuff.

My friends (and my Boston-based cousin, a supercrazygood competitive runner who is thankfully not a marathoner) and my family there are safe. My Mefi friends seem to be fine (thinking of you, sonika). My friend who works in the Pru building 4 blocks away just got released from lockdown.

I'm going outside.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was 8, I got to watch the moon landing.

Kid, we failed you somehow. Sorry doesn't cover it.

.
posted by Kinbote at 3:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [77 favorites]


One dot for each of the 67 years that eight-year-old had left in probable life expectancy until those bombs went off:

...................................................................
posted by orange swan at 3:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Boston, as a Great City, is a loose confederation of interlinked industrial cities in Northeastern MA: Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Quincy, Lyn, Brockton, etc., most of which would be outraged to be considered part of Boston. Boston proper is very small.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Any word if the NYPD has held over the day shift? There seem to be more cops than usual in my neighborhood... But I live in an "impact zone" so that happens a lot.
posted by Jahaza at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2013


McVeigh/Nichols/Fortier chose April 19 to bomb OKC because it jibed with their super-patriot fantasies of Lexington/Concord, which Patriot's Day commemorates.

No, they didn't.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Zombieflanders: Apologies, I missed that. Got a lot going on on this end...
posted by rollbiz at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2013


I work across the river in Cambridge and heard the explosions, thought it was a truck or construction. Then the ambulances/police.

The marathon is well-televised, international, and relatively soft target. This is a huge tragedy. I will save my analysis for later/elsewhere, right now we should simply be trying to help those impacted.

This can be summed up from my favorite quote from The Wire:

This is fucked up and bullshit, yo
posted by Farce_First at 3:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jahaza, there were cops on my corner (72nd and Broadway) tonight. I have never seen cops on our corner just hanging out.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:56 PM on April 15, 2013


side note, but you can't just run the Boston Marathon. You have to qualify in separate qualifying races.

My understanding is that there are a lot of exceptions to this, like certain organizations/schools/whatever can put together a team somehow? There was a contingent of marathon runners at my Boston area grad school and I don't think they had to qualify individually - I graduated last year and am no longer in the area but there was a group again this year, and immediately after the explosions a fellow student put together a Google doc for everyone who was running and spectating from our program to check in and let everyone know they were safe. It has been comforting watching those cells fill in with "ok" - it looks like we're still trying to track down just one of the hundred-ish people on the list.

What a fucking sad day.
posted by naoko at 3:56 PM on April 15, 2013


another quick reminder: https://chat.metafilter.com/
posted by Stewriffic at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I put my name on the Google Doc list of apartments, pretty early on. I just got a call from NBC news asking if they could interview me for TV. I declined. Crazy... I wonder why they called me. Maybe they are calling everyone.
posted by Cygnet at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


As someone who used to manage a store at Newbury St + Fairfield St and who has also been a NYC Marathon Finish Line Medic for years - I can say this is shocking, to say the least. Its familiar territory, literally and exactly the disaster EMS/Fire/PD train for.... but its ultimately unstoppable if you want the event to be what makes it so great. Terrible day...
posted by blaneyphoto at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2013


what a nightmare.

.
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2013


McVeigh/Nichols/Fortier chose April 19 to bomb OKC because it jibed with their super-patriot fantasies of Lexington/Concord, which Patriot's Day commemorates.

No, they didn't.


Y'know, the two are not mutually exclusive.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:58 PM on April 15, 2013


You can run Boston with a charity entry, where you raise money. Also, many companies and the cities that the marathon runs through get their own entries.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


like certain organizations/schools/whatever can put together a team somehow?

There are numbers given out to sponsor organizations and charities and such, so technically you don't have to qualify, but they're pretty highly sought-after and you generally have to know somebody to get one.

There are also a lot of people who just jump on the course and run it, but they've been cracking down on that lately.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 3:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this going to get called the Patriot's Day Bombing, or the Boston Marathon bombing? Pretty clear how sentiment could be shoved around with the former... Wondering whether and how the perpetrator was thinking about the date that way (as opposed to thinking about the mass of people there).

Fox News has probably made lots of hay on that one, right? I don't know, I plan to stay as far from them as possible.
posted by gusandrews at 3:59 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by klangklangston at 3:59 PM on April 15, 2013


Cowboy Hat Guy is a helper--I've seen him in two different shots. Good going, Cowboy Hat Guy.

The WashingtonPost has identified him as Carlos Arredondo in a photo caption. He's wearing a Tough Rucker T-shirt. Is it possible he's this guy?
posted by peeedro at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


.
posted by immlass at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2013


The Newtown Patch reports that the 6 Newtown parents running the marathon have checked in as OK, according to the fellow at the charity they were running for.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


My understanding is that there are a lot of exceptions to this, like certain organizations/schools/whatever can put together a team somehow?

Many, many runners do not qualify and run with the "elites", and instead run for charities and such. These would actually be the vast majority of the people who would be crossing the finish line at 4:09:45, which is approximately when the blasts happened, and from personal experience, many of those who were in the blast area are folks who are their family and friends, waiting to see them finish...
posted by rollbiz at 4:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cooker girl at 4:02 PM on April 15, 2013


I wonder how many MeFi runners have already finished qualifying races. It would not be hard to find that out, nor hard to set up a way of funding them to run to raise money for us next year.
posted by Miko at 4:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


I just peeled myself away from the TV because I couldn't take it anymore, only to come to my computer and end up here.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Although I'm not a Bostonian, I am a New Englander married to a Bostonian, and it's heavy in the house tonight.

.
posted by absquatulate at 4:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The whole thing is bad enough. But an eight year old? That's a kick in the gut.

Oklahoma City. Tucson. Newtown. And this. How the hell do people do this to children - and their families, who will never escape these scars?
posted by azpenguin at 4:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


damnit twice.

.

.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It occurred to me just now how many of those people running toward the injured aren't first responders, but just marathon volunteers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


WCBV reporting that parking garages at Mass. General have been locked down.
posted by ericb at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by Neneh at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2013


Does anyone have any ideas where I could send a stack of pizzas or something to help feed people that are stranded or helping out tonight?

Boston was home for a while. I'm heartbroken and I want to help at least a little bit.
posted by justjess at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2013


but just marathon volunteers.

I mentioned this above, but it bears mentioning again that marathon volunteers spend the whole marathon day helping the runners (and really anyone there to watch the marathon) in any way they can. They're awesome and this is just more proof of their awesomeness.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by heresiarch at 4:10 PM on April 15, 2013


.

Godamighty damn.

I was in the office all day in the Financial District. I had a project that took up my whole attention all day, and I felt almost grateful that I had something that needed so much attention. Then when I came from a meeting, my phone had blown up with worried texts and emails and calls and FB messages. Ended up walking a good way to pick up the Red Line at Charles.

One of my coworkers has twin babies. Their sitter had taken them out for the day -- and they were there when the explosions went off. The children were fine and got out promptly, but can you imagine learning that? From the way he was talking, if Obama doesn't get somebody for this, he will.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Joey Michaels, I've volunteered for NYCM before, and will do it again in 2013.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


It really struck me how many of the photos show people wearing vests that say "BAA PHYSICIAN." How many doctors do they normally have on hand for the marathon?
posted by ocherdraco at 4:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


God, how many more people have to die before the mental healthcare system gets an overhaul? And not just the subsystems that look after those who present a potential threat, but just the whole goddamn thing?
posted by smirkette at 4:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Then you, roomthreeseventeen, are awesome, too. Much love to you for all you do to help tired, cranky runners!
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:13 PM on April 15, 2013


ocherdraco, a lot. Marathoners are stubborn folks, and sometimes end up in bad shape at the finish line.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:15 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by ob at 4:15 PM on April 15, 2013


Just heard an official near the EOD staging area announce to any hungry emergency personnel that they should go to the nearby Shaws and "grab whatever they want". Apparently they've opened their doors to feed those working the incident.
posted by rollbiz at 4:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [43 favorites]


.

.

I can't add anything else.
posted by liquorice at 4:17 PM on April 15, 2013


God, how many more people have to die before the mental healthcare system gets an overhaul?

We shouldn't assume the perpetrator(s) are mentally ill, any more than we should assume without evidence that they are members of any other group.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [50 favorites]


rollbiz, are you hearing anything about places that could accept donations of food for police/fire/EMT etc working the scene, or for stranded runners/volunteers?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:19 PM on April 15, 2013


Map of the locations

Obama's speech
posted by nostrada at 4:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charles Pierce: "You Are Not Safe Here": The Remains of a Horrible Day in Boston
It was always going to be something like this. After the Olympic Park Bombing in 1996, it wasn’t going to be a big event. It wasn’t going to be the Super Bowl. Or the World Series. Or college basketball’s Final Four. It was going to be a happy gathering that everyone took for granted. It was going to be the average college football game. It was going to be a small college basketball game. It was going to be the Boston Marathon, one of the last big open events in a society closing in on itself from every direction.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


We shouldn't assume the perpetrator(s) are mentally ill, any more than we should assume without evidence that they are members of any other group.

Surely someone who could do such a thing is suffering from some sort of serious mental illness. I did not intend my comment to imply that people with mental illness, in general, are capable of such an act--of course they're not. Apologies if that's how it came across.
posted by smirkette at 4:27 PM on April 15, 2013


This happened about a block from where a friend of mine lives. We were trying to hear from her since this happened, but she took hours to report back to us. So relieved to hear from her. She says her apartment building is closed? Maybe the street?


She's trying to contact a friend of hers that was at the marathon but hasnt been able to. Can someone please repost the links that help in finding people?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 4:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The mental illness issue is not one that we need to discuss here or now, please?
posted by Splunge at 4:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Here's the Red Cross Safe & Well site.
posted by cooker girl at 4:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are two people-finders I think:

Red Cross site

Google site
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:31 PM on April 15, 2013


Okay, I am 90% sure my parents didn't plan on going to Boston today; but I've called twice and there's no answer.

come on mom and dad i was on the phone to you 30 seconds after the first plane on 9/11 because i knew you'd freak out if you didn't know i was okay well it's your turn now
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


CrazyLemonade, here is the Google Person Finder link:

http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/

(On preview, I see that LosterMitten linked to this as well.)
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Surely someone who could do such a thing is suffering from some sort of serious mental illness."

Sane people kill for ideological reasons all the time. Do you assume that all soldiers suffer from serious mental illnesses, just for wanting to be soldiers?
posted by Jacqueline at 4:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Google Person Finder
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


>> Surely someone who could do such a thing is suffering from some sort of serious mental illness.

Only if you'd define any act of terrorism as mental illness, a completely non-standard definition. Blaming it on a mentally ill person at this stage is similar to drawing a conclusion about the perpetrator's race or creed -- premature.
posted by garlic at 4:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Please don't start the mental illness debate right now, please]
posted by jessamyn at 4:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


.
posted by mayurasana at 4:34 PM on April 15, 2013


Total total unacceptable bullshit.




.
posted by Skygazer at 4:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by unreason at 4:35 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:35 PM on April 15, 2013


CrazyLemonade:

Google Person Finder:

http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/

Redcross Safe and Well:

https://safeandwell.communityos.org/zf/safesearch/search
posted by magstheaxe at 4:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope your parents are OK, EC. FWIW, probability is on their side...
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Reuter's reporter at Boston Children's just tweeted this list: A horrible list fr Boston Childrens Hosp: leg trauma, age 9; femur fracture, age12; head injury, age2; head injury, age14; leg trauma, age10
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Speculating on the cause - the mental health system! terrorists! - is not helpful.

Please stop.

Boston people, please keep updating.

It really struck me how many of the photos show people wearing vests that say "BAA PHYSICIAN." How many doctors do they normally have on hand for the marathon?

Probably more than you think, but bear in mind that the Boston Medical Center is wicked close to the finish line.

Today is a very, very sad day.

I called my dad in a panic. He'd been watching the race in Brookline and just heard about the explosion when I called. Imagine how incredibly shocked all those runners must have been? Everything seemed fine five miles from the finish line.

Okay, I am 90% sure my parents didn't plan on going to Boston today; but I've called twice and there's no answer.

If it makes you feel any better, EC, cell service has been down for much of today.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 4:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


.
posted by pernoctalian at 4:39 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by bdz at 4:40 PM on April 15, 2013


Try texting, EC. Texts seem to go through when phone calls don't.
posted by lydhre at 4:40 PM on April 15, 2013


Please, please, please....

-Don't use emergency sites unless you need them, you'll clog them up

-Speculation will only make the chaos worse

-The NY Post is full of misinformation

-The Red Cross has enough blood to meet current demand

-Don't donate to unofficial sites that spring up on Facebook or other such places.
posted by magstheaxe at 4:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


Actually Boston Medical Center is not that close to the finish line (2 miles away). I work at BMC (associated medical school, actually) and it's in the South End. MGH is probably about the same distance away, as are Children's, Brigham and Women's, and Beth Israel. None of them are in the Copley area but we do have plenty of good hospitals here in Boston.
posted by Cygnet at 4:42 PM on April 15, 2013


and to add to magstheaxe's list:
Don't let your kids watch cable news.
posted by nostrada at 4:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah, BMC is way far off, in Boston terms. It's down by Roxbury.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2013


Don't let your kids watch cable news.
I don't even let MYSELF watch cable news.
posted by jeoc at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


Eight hours ago I was disappointed because I wouldn't be able to get downtown for the marathon. Jesus. Had to turn off the TV hours ago because metafilter does this stuff better than just about anywhere else. Thank you guys.
posted by sonmi at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2013


"Speculating on the cause - the mental health system! terrorists! - is not helpful."

I wouldn't group "speculating that it was terrorism" and "speculating that it was mental illness" in the same boat at all. The authorities have said that they are investigating this as a terrorist incident. All evidence thus far points to this being a terrorist incident.

We just don't know what *kind* of terrorist yet -- domestic vs. international, specific ideology, how big the conspiracy / support network might be, etc.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's probably because I'm Greek, but I have a unreal level of anger and disbelief reserved for terrorist acts that take place during sporting events. It's up there with the desecration of the dead. This is a completely dishonorable act.

I want supernaturally bad things to happen to the household of the person who did this.

.
posted by phaedon at 4:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Don't let your kids watch cable news.

Yeah, people can decide for themselves what their kids can watch. My niece is cuddled up in my arms, playing games and asking questions and we're doing just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]



Actually Boston Medical Center is not that close to the finish line (2 miles away)

Yeah, BMC is way far off, in Boston terms. It's down by Roxbury.

Wait, I'm talking about all the hospitals in the Longwood Area . . . Forgive me if I'm using the wrong terminology. I haven't lived in Boston for four years.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 4:48 PM on April 15, 2013


.

Out here in Missouri, I had the day off today and was getting my car serviced—the airbag light just came on and stayed on earlier. So I was just sitting down in the dealership's customer lounge when I saw the first news about this—from YourAnonNews on Twitter. The TV in the waiting room didn't cut to the situation until a few minutes later.

Another strange and sad thing: One of the other women in the customer lounge said she'd actually been sitting there when 9/11 happened, too.

Also, I just finished watching Caprica last week, so the whole notion of something like this happening was floating around in my mind already this weekend, especially when I went to the ballgame here on Saturday. It's so awful that such a thing became reality.
posted by limeonaire at 4:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The WashingtonPost has identified him as Carlos Arredondo in a photo caption. He's wearing a Tough Rucker T-shirt. Is it possible he's this guy?

Apparently the page has been edited since you posted. It now identifies him as that guy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know we ought not speculate but the kind of bomb seems to point away from sophisticated international terrorism with ample funding. These were cheap bombs.
posted by vrakatar at 4:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


[Don't do that "people are getting bombed other places in the world every day" thing either. There is a MeTa thread, you can go there.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [29 favorites]


Picture of him in a cowboy hat here, carrying his diseased son's combat boots. What a life this guy has lived.
posted by peeedro at 4:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hi, everyone. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected, no matter how many degrees of separation. I have a friend who lives in Boston and has ran the marathon, but she wasn't running this year. It was the first thing I checked.

And I was fine all through the thread and looking at horrible photos ... and then I read about the eight year-old, and I cried.

Anyway, the maps I've seen have been not very good. That Boston Globe one just posted has the first bomb farther to the west than it ought. The second location looks right, though. I've made a Google Map pinpointing the two locations, identifying them via the photos. The first location was, as many have said, just slightly to the west of Marathon Sports, though it's hard to tell where the blast was actually centered. The second location was just west of the Starbucks; I can't tell what that business is.

Early in the thread there was speculation and discussion about mailboxes and that the authorities regularly remove these before the event. Has that been verified? Because the thing that really stands out to me in pinpointing these locations is that both have boxes in front of them in the Google street view. And, unless I've missed some when scrolling up the street; it's not like there's some every other storefront. Seems an odd coincidence, if that's all that it is.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


ablazingsaddle,

The Longwood hospitals (Brigham and Women's, Beth Israel Deaconess, Children's) are also about 2 miles from Copley. MGH is about 1.5 miles, near the North End.

Don't worry though, Boston has so many hospitals it's super easy to get them mixed up.
posted by Cygnet at 4:52 PM on April 15, 2013


An astronaut posts condolences from the ISS
posted by brentajones at 4:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


.


For the first time in forever years, I woke up at 5, decided not to go to the Lexington re-enactment, subsequent pancake breakfast and hop on the Alewife T to the marathon finish line.

For the first time in over 25 years I didn't go.
posted by kinetic at 4:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


Both my friends who were running have reported in. One of my friend's parents were waiting for her at the finish line. Glad they're ok too.

I keep feeling bad that their first Boston run was spoiled (neither of them got to finish) but then I remember that they are alive and still have their limbs. I guess I can feel bad for them and still feel bad for the victims.

I took a ton of photos today, almost all of them showing sheer joy. Then this. Fuck whomever did this.
posted by bondcliff at 4:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Boston Globe has a map and graphics of the site of the two explosions and one disarmed device here.



Editorial.

Whomever did this was deliberately going for massive casualties. First bomb goes off near the finish, where the crowd is likely to be. The next bomb goes off ~20 seconds later, where they're likely to be running away to -- and of course, to ramp the panic level up high.

The third? It's in a pretty good place to kill people running the other way and medics coming to help.

There's no question that this was an intentional attack, by someone reasonably skilled in explosives. Setting up bombs that rip the legs off people at a marathon? I don't think that was coincidence. And, of course, the problem for that poor 8 year old is that his chest was about knee high to an adult.

I'm also wondering if this was a lone bomber with pre-placed bombs, or a team effort. Nothing, so far, says that it couldn't be one guy.

The "good" news is if that third device is real, that's solid evidence for finding out who, at the very least, made the bombs.
posted by eriko at 4:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I passed through Copley Square just a few weeks back while visiting friends--I recognize the places in the photos--my god. I have friends who were running in the marathon or living/working nearby; they're all okay, but it breaks my heart. Boston was a home away from home when I lived there.

I am sick with anger, and the vindictive side of me wishes that whoever is the perpetrator of such a terrible act is pursued by the goddamn Furies forever and ever.

.
posted by ilicet at 4:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston is a great town full of great people and this makes me cry.

. .
posted by kinnakeet at 4:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, it's striking to me how far west of the second bombing was that one phone video where you hear it going off. It was about 200 feet to the west.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:54 PM on April 15, 2013


My thoughts and prayers to everyone affected. And as preferential as this sounds, I really hope beyond hope that the Sandy Hook families were untouched.
posted by dejah420 at 4:55 PM on April 15, 2013


welcome back, Ivan, even under sad circumstances
posted by Rumple at 4:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am sick with anger, and the vindictive side of me wishes that whoever is the perpetrator of such a terrible act is pursued by the goddamn Furies forever and ever.

Grant them immortality, chain them to a rock, and let an eagle eat their livers every day.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regarding Charles Pierce's Esquire piece (also linked and quoted above)... Its worth reading, but its also worth saying that we, as a people, should agree that we won't ramp up security to stupid levels in the wake of this at the Boston (and other) Marathons. Because, really, fuck the bomber.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I took a second pass at buying tortilla chips, mostly to get away from the TV set. Two helicopters hovering over Charlesgate/Fenway Victory Gardens, near Kenmore Square. That's about a short mile away from the finish line. One of them was much lower than they usually hover.

The Whole Foods near the Boston symphony (about 1/2 mile from the finish line) was closed, with a "Closed. Be Safe" sign in the door. Fewer cars than usual for a weekday evening in Spring, much fewer people walking around than usual for Patriot's Day. Saw a few police cars driving around, lights on, no siren. There was one parked just up from the Symphony, roof lights on. I think they're serious about securing a large area as a crime scene.

There was a group of 6 students near a cab on Westland Avenue, and a family (Mom in a track suit, Dad, two kids, and Grandma) yelled over "Are you guys using that cab?". I think they were about to try to fit all eleven of them in.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:58 PM on April 15, 2013


*deceased, stupid phone.
posted by peeedro at 4:58 PM on April 15, 2013


My wife says the old man who fell in the video above is the uncle of someone on Ravelry, and that he's fine, in case you were wondering,
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [33 favorites]


Elementary Penguin: "My wife says the old man who fell in the video above is the uncle of someone on Ravelry, and that he's fine, in case you were wondering,"

My first thought upon watching him fall was, "Shrapnel." So yeah. I was wondering. Good news.
posted by Splunge at 5:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I haven't really read this thread, I started to and then I started thinking about my niece. She's run in the marathon before and I knew she wasn't planning to run this year - but she is a nurse and often volunteers in the medical tent. When I heard them say the medical tent, it just clicked that she would be right there.

I tried to reach everyone in my family to find out if she was there. I couldn't get her Mom or any of my sisters and I was working myself up into a real panic. I finally reached one of my sisters a few hours ago. Yes, she was there, she was with a few other nurses. She told her Mom that in an instant, it was a war zone - the worst thing she has ever seen -- missing and broken limbs, bones jutting out of skin, terrible gruesome injuries. She said the injuries were so severe there wasn't really anything they could do for people there beyond rushing them to the hospital as soon as possible. After people were off for medical care, she and her friends left to come home. Her Mom says she is very shaken. I am so freaking grateful nothing happened to her, she is so important to me.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [35 favorites]


"Setting up bombs that rip the legs off people at a marathon? I don't think that was coincidence."

Maybe. But it could just be a function of how the bomb was placed by necessity, not by choice, right?

"And, of course, the problem for that poor 8 year old is that his chest was about knee high to an adult."

Yeah, I had thought the same thing when I noticed that injuries were to lower legs and then heard about the child.

"The 'good' news is if that third device is real, that's solid evidence for finding out who, at the very least, made the bombs."

I don't think that "good" needs the scare quotes, because surely it is good in itself that the device wasn't triggered and that it means solid evidence which could possibly lead to the bomber or, at least, be solid evidence incriminating a suspect they've found otherwise.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some idiot just called into WBUR asking if maybe the bombs went off because two recreational runners might have strapped the bombs to their legs as they ran?

WHAT WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN?
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


rollbiz, are you hearing anything about places that could accept donations of food for police/fire/EMT etc working the scene, or for stranded runners/volunteers?

I have not. I promise that if that changes, I will let folks here know.
posted by rollbiz at 5:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Wordshore at 5:03 PM on April 15, 2013


Other than the offers for housing for stranded folks already posted here, that is....
posted by rollbiz at 5:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Don't worry though, Boston has so many hospitals it's super easy to get them mixed up.

I once went to visit friends who had just had their kid in a Longwood Area hospital. I must have wasted twenty minutes of the Beth Israel maternity receptionist's time before it clicked that they were actually at Brigham.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:04 PM on April 15, 2013


............
posted by learnsome at 5:04 PM on April 15, 2013


WCVB reporting that 2 more bombs were found and dismantled.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:06 PM on April 15, 2013


There's already an article in the local paper about the older gentleman in the orange shirt who collapsed as he was running. he's from lake stevens wa. (very near to me) and he's fine. completed the race and then, like a boss, walked half a mile to his hotel.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


madamjujujive, please send hugs from a stranger to your sister.
posted by DrMew at 5:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everett Herald
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nurses deserve a hug no matter what. And teachers. I am sure the list goes on . . .
posted by nostrada at 5:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


dejah420, they seem to be fine.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:09 PM on April 15, 2013


From the Washington Post's Ezra Klein: If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Does anyone know if there is a way to donate to help with the medical bills for the victims? Or, if anyone hears of one, please post. I will be looking also.
posted by double bubble at 5:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


CBS radio just confirmed that a Saudi male is in custody; but pointed out the individual is in custody, but not under arrest yet. The individual was captured by another witness who saw him running away and tackled him. Naturally lots of people were running away. The WTOP/CBS news folks were being very cautious and qualifying it. If the cops were more certain of anything they'd have convicted the man on air already.
posted by humanfont at 5:18 PM on April 15, 2013


madamjujujive: As I was driving home, NPR had an interview with a cardiac doctor working a Boston ER (I think Beth Israel) that got ~20 injured in the explosion. He said it was incredibly lucky that the injury tent was already set up near the finish line, and he reported being impressed at how stable from field-triage the patients already were upon entering the ER. By his account, the quick thinking and triage from the medical staff on the scene saved many lives.

Please give your niece a hug from the Internet and me.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [32 favorites]


.
posted by Gotanda at 5:19 PM on April 15, 2013


Grant them immortality, chain them to a rock, and let an eagle eat their livers every day.

Prometheus was given that punishment as a result of the tremendous benefits he gave mankind.

The people who did this do not deserve the honor of even being tortured the same way.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


I sure wouldn't want to be a Saudi guy that someone decided was suspicious in the wake of a bombing, no sireee.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [18 favorites]


> Prometheus was given that punishment as a result of the tremendous benefits he gave mankind.

The people who did this do not deserve the honor of even being tortured the same way.


I keep thinking lakes of fire and darkness visible, but that's probably still too grand.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we not talk about torture.
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [63 favorites]


Sorry for my part in it.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:26 PM on April 15, 2013


[Chill folks, there is an open MeTa thread if you need to complain or make this personal. People deal with terrible news in different ways.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry.
posted by Splunge at 5:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm taking my first trip to Boston in less than three weeks. I've never even been that far up the East Coast/New England, and it was always this weird black hole for me, geographically. I guess I was always a little...afraid of it? From things I'd read about certain areas of the city, especially growing up in the late '60s and '70s, when it seemed like there were a lot of tensions around stuff like busing. And I've been really excited and kind of nervous about my trip, even though my friends live in a suburb.

Somehow this just seems so surreal, so much more intensely awful because I've been laser focused on the city. Like, before, I never even knew about Patriot Day and the marathon was this footnote of feminist history for me. And that one of the dead is an 8-year-old child...

I don't even know what I'm trying to say, just that I guess I feel even more dialed in about this than I could have imagined, and I'm so, so sorry that this has happened.
posted by emcat8 at 5:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


People who find it therapeutic to talk about hunting down and punishing the perpetrators might want to try http://www.reddit.com/r/murica instead.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I sit and watch
another tragedy unfold.
The soul is resilent
the spirit is strong.
Thousands- millions- of acts
of kindness will result
from a day of horror
We will go forth
and leave the world
better than we found it.
posted by Jacen at 5:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Friendly note: people who find it therapeutic to talk about hunting down and punishing the perpetrators need to have that conversation entirely someplace else and not in this thread.
posted by jessamyn at 5:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [31 favorites]


Senseless.

Ever since I heard, I've had this phrase on my mind on repeat:

"Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."

.
posted by mynameisluka at 5:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?
posted by empath at 5:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


The fantasies of violent vegence against those who wronged us are just the seeds that grow into bombs and bullets aimed at the innocent.
posted by humanfont at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


entirely someplace else, folks.
posted by jessamyn at 5:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Apologies if this was posted already:

Patton Oswalt:

Boston. F*cking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

posted by Splunge at 5:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?

If they wanna start something, this doesn't seem the likely way.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?

Doesn't seem like their style. I thought they didn't let anyone ( a terrorist for example) out of North Korea lest they see how much better the rest of the planet is.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?

I'm going to assume that you're kidding, because that's beyond preposterous, and I really question the judgement that leads to making a joke like that.
posted by dersins at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?

North Korea has.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:40 PM on April 15, 2013


I was just wondering about North Korea as well.Kinda bad when you have several entirely different groups of people that want to kill you.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:40 PM on April 15, 2013


It's definitely NOT the North Koreans. Wow.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?"

That was my husband's first thought too (?!?!), but this just doesn't smell like North Korea to me. They don't seem to have the resources to support terrorist cells in the U.S. -- plus any agents they tried to send here would be a huge defection risk, I'd think.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:41 PM on April 15, 2013


BTW -- according to WHDH/WCVB/WBZ/CNN/MSNBC: a BPD/Boston press conference scheduled for 'moments away.'
posted by ericb at 5:41 PM on April 15, 2013


North Korea has.

That doesn't seem to be a North Korea account.
posted by Jahaza at 5:42 PM on April 15, 2013


I give up here.
posted by Splunge at 5:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, I accept you guys know much more about world affairs than I do. sorry.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:42 PM on April 15, 2013


I was there right after, I hurried as my wife has stepped away from the crowd and was on the phone as the first bomb went off, bad connection, she described blood and legs, and and then the line went dead. OMFG. Left the office and started across town. My personal connections were ok but a really long nervous scary walk through the dense crowd. No one knew anything and the cell service was really dead, perhaps they did shut down the cell service. Insane.
posted by sammyo at 5:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


For some reason my cousin and my husband both decided that maybe it was North Korea... I was like.. wth o_O
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 5:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?


I dunno, man. I think the whole Patriot/Tax day thing is too big a notion to be unrelated, and I just can't see them grasping the significance.

Personally, I'd put money on it being one of those principled "Tree of Liberty/Blood of tyrants" patriot militia types. But I'm just spitballing here.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seems crazy that Boston was the scene of two crazy over-reactions to things that weren't bombs, the Aqua Teen Hunger force light-up things and Star Simpson wearing a sweat-shirt with LEDs on it. I don't really remember hearing about the same kind of over-reaction events in other cities, and yet Boston is the place that ends up getting bombed.

Also people seriously this obviously has nothing to do with North Korea.
People who find it therapeutic to talk about hunting down and punishing the perpetrators might want to try http://www.reddit.com/r/murica instead.
Oh, Reddit. TIL there is an /r/MuricaNSFW
BPD officially knocks down NY Post Saudi national story - TPM
I remember rumors about "Arabs" being searched for in the hours after the OKC bombing as well.
Further details are coming in from multiple sources (LA Times, CBS News) regarding Saudi national story - reports stating Saudi national is NOT in custody but is being questioned, reported to be cooperative and not a suspect.
Yeah, that's what I figured happened. Someone from Saudi Arabia happened to get hit and a bunch of idiots freak out and think "Ermygerd Al-Quaeda!!!!!"
Aren't bombs old tech?
As opposed to what? Killer robots? Genetically modified viruses? What kind of tech do you think a terrorist could get their hands on that would be as dangerous as a bomb without requiring the attacker to be physically present.
posted by delmoi at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we please not speculate? Please?
posted by ambrosia at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Press Conference Starting. via Mediaite.

couple of minutes away
posted by lampshade at 5:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Press conference starting now.
posted by ericb at 5:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


For people who think the North Korea idea is ridiculous -- I agree that it's incredibly far-fetched but I understand why some people might think of them.

Those of us who live in parts of the country that might be targeted (or live downwind from those targets) have had nuclear war with North Korea in our thoughts for several weeks now, and everything else is being filtered through that preoccupation.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:46 PM on April 15, 2013


What lampshade just said.
posted by ericb at 5:46 PM on April 15, 2013


Jesus shit you guys, speculating helps no one. I live FEET from where this happened. "Nearby" Shaw's is about 100yds from the explosions. The Pru? Not four blocks away. Just one.

I appreciate MeFi in times like this, but as per jessamyn's request can you just knock it the shit off with speculating? It makes even MeFi hard for those of us personally affected and shit's hard enough right now. There will be plenty of REAL info later to get enraged about.
posted by sonika at 5:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [46 favorites]


There's a report that five more unexploded devices that have been found (Wall Street Journal).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has anyone considered that this might be the North Koreans?


Austin. It was Austin. Not Boston.
posted by bendy at 5:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


Jesus shit you guys, speculating helps no one.

It helps plenty of people to consider who did this and why. To expect people not to is asking for too much from human nature.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [31 favorites]


Apologies if this was posted already

Pick a phrase and search this page for it. Easy peasy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


There's a report that five more unexploded devices have been found (Wall Street Journal):
Counterterrorism officials found what they believe to be five additional, undetonated explosive devices around the Boston area, according to two people briefed on the rapidly moving investigation.

The devices—which are in addition to the two that exploded near the finish line of the marathon—were discovered over the course of a frantic inspection of suspicious packages, many of them abandoned as pedestrians, runners, and others scrambled away from crowded public streets. Each had been rendered inoperative or was in the process of being rendered inoperative, the officials said.

But the officials also sounded a note of caution, saying they are moving quickly and each device they believe is a bomb hasn't been fully dissected or analyzed.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:51 PM on April 15, 2013


So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

This (beautiful) statement reminds me of what I think Mr. Rogers said to comfort people in such times of tragedy: look for the helpers. There are always helpers. And now I'm finally crying.
posted by theredpen at 5:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


"There is no suspect at Brigham and Women's Hospital," directly from the BPD.
posted by scrump at 5:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


People speculate to air their concerns, to get validation or not, and/or because we're all wound up with the horror, there's not actually anything we can do, but we need to talk, and we need to be together.
posted by theora55 at 5:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


BPD has reported "at least" a third death.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:55 PM on April 15, 2013


My God, the first question was a question about this being a false flag operation to "take away our civil liberties".

I just...I can't even comprehend this. What is wrong with us.
posted by scrump at 5:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


I'm taking my first trip to Boston in less than three weeks. I've never even been that far up the East Coast/New England, and it was always this weird black hole for me, geographically. I guess I was always a little...afraid of it?

Come visit us, emcat8! You're coming at the most beautiful time to visit Boston/Massachusetts, despite what happened today there's nothing to be afraid of here, and we'd all love to have you!
posted by rollbiz at 5:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


What is wrong with us.

Nothing. There's always a few people with extreme views or takes on things. Just let it go and concentrate on what's important.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just wanted to let everybody know that I'm fine, I was actually flying into Logan when this happened, as DiscourseMarker mentioned above, and was caught in a hold of air traffic for a bit. I mostly had good luck getting home on the T, although we ran into signal trouble at Central Square and I gave up and walked to Harvard. It's good to be home.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


If you'd like to talk and be together, http://chat.metafilter.com/ is always open and right now we've got lots of people in there, talking about this as well as side topics (and links to calming pictures of cute animals, as bonuses.)
posted by Mizu at 5:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Glad to hear you're home safe, HR!
posted by ocherdraco at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2013


The thing about speculation (and the weird thing about this event, and the sad thing in general) is that there are so many possible threads to follow: off-shore terrorism, Waco, Oklahoma City, Patriots Day, Tax Day, Newtown, North Korea, random bomber with a grudge against the marathon specifically ... not to mention random bomber with a motive we don't even know about ... and the list may go on. And the more we talk about it, the more lines get drawn.

I don't envy the BPD and the FBI their task in solving this. Unless someone left some very clear clues, the rabbit hole could be miles and miles deep.
posted by anastasiav at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2013


ChurchHatesTucker: " Apologies if this was posted already

Pick a phrase and search this page for it. Easy peasy.
"

Sorry again. I've been following this since it happened. I've been on here the whole, what, seven hours. I'm both stunned and numb. Sorry that I didn't think of a search. I actually scrolled thru the thread and obviously missed it.

You know what though? It bears repeating.
posted by Splunge at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2013


That would require NK to have agents that they could smuggle into the US that had sufficient loyalty to carry out such a long-range mission yet be sufficiently sophisticated and westernized that they would not stand out like a sore thumb trying to plant the bombs. This seems an unlikely combination. And even given that, the Boston Marathon would seem an unlikely target for a country that likes to puff themselves up about their military prowess. I would expect any actions would be aimed at something they could at least attempt to call "collaborators in the aggression on the Motherland", i.e. at least vaguely political or military.

So NK is way, way down on the likelihood scale. The target choice alone says to me someone American or at least substantially Americanized enough to think of Boston as a high profile target. If it turns out to be someone(s) foreign-born, I suspect they will have lived here for quite a while, and I still think anti-government types are the most likely pool.
posted by tavella at 6:02 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mizu, how does chat.metafilter even work? Where do you register and all that.
posted by Trochanter at 6:03 PM on April 15, 2013


What was the question someone was shouting as the Governor and others were leaving the press conference? Anyone able to make it out?
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Trochanter, the username and password are your mefi username and password.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:05 PM on April 15, 2013


What was the question someone was shouting as the Governor and others were leaving the press conference? Anyone able to make it out?

It seemed to be the same guy who asked the first question in the press conference re: a false flag attack. Ugh.
posted by SNWidget at 6:05 PM on April 15, 2013


Come visit us, emcat8!

Seconded!
posted by theredpen at 6:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not North Korea, for reasons. I mean, I could be wrong, but that would mean my entire understanding of pretty much everything is wrong, in a oh maybe we are actually simulations in an alien computer and he's fucking with console commands kind of everything I understand is wrong.

DPRK isn't interested in terrorism. Or nuking anybody. They're interested in keeping their elites in power by maintaining absolute control over their population and keeping all the other countries from interfering through their persona as the crazy unpredictable wildcard on the international stage. Their leverage is South Korea, and the gun they have pointed at its head. The nuclear program is to make sure that particular equation doesn't ever veer into 'acceptable losses' territory.
posted by danny the boy at 6:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


What was the question someone was shouting as the Governor and others were leaving the press conference? Anyone able to make it out?

It was the "false flag" guy, I think he was asking/shouting about how/why people were being directed a certain way? Or told a certain thing?
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:05 PM on April 15, 2013


He was shouting something about reaching in the pants of the American people and an excuse to put TSA on every street. Or something.

I'm trying to find a replay of that presser, because that dude needs to be called out and roundly mocked.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Instructions for using chat.metafilter.com: http://faq.metafilter.com/#281
posted by Jacqueline at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


It was the same "false flag" guy; he was yelling something about "can you explain why marathon runners were warned to 'remain calm' before the bombs went off", and then some hurfdurf about false flags.
posted by scrump at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2013


AwkwardPause: It was the same guy repeating his first question, saying "Why were there loudspeakers telling people to remain calm before the first blast, and wasn't it true that this was a false flag operation meant to take away our civil liberties?"

To which the mayor answered (the first time) "No. Next question."
posted by brentajones at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


And the reason why people are thinking North Korea is that fucking goddamn stupid ass racist movie
posted by danny the boy at 6:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pulgasari?
posted by RakDaddy at 6:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


On replay - I missed it the first time - the explosion at the JFK library is believed to be related.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:08 PM on April 15, 2013


The target choice alone says to me someone American or at least substantially Americanized enough to think of Boston as a high profile target. If it turns out to be someone(s) foreign-born, I suspect they will have lived here for quite a while, and I still think anti-government types are the most likely pool.

I don't know. I agree with you that it's an obvious choice for militia-ish groups. But 'lots of people, many of whom will be wandering around in a somewhat disorganised fashion' is probably a common criterion to use when picking a bombing target. Bags tend to get searched going into stadiums, which makes the marathon an easier target than a lot of sporting events, which are an obvious category of events fulfilling that criterion.
posted by hoyland at 6:08 PM on April 15, 2013


And the reason why people are thinking North Korea is that fucking goddamn stupid ass racist movie

And because they've been threatening to blow us up all month, no?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm from Hyderabad, India and Boston has been my new home over the past 4+ years. I'm trying to make a new life here, and I have made amazing friends in various locals and suburb-dwellers during grad school and after. This is a city that always felt perfect for me, and has given me so much solace as a home away from home. I've been assimilating the culture and the spirit of all the wonderful people I meet, and when this happened today, I just couldn't take it. It felt like they hit home.

And not just because my other home was traumatized just two months ago.

But, no matter. My city will bounce back, like all my cities.
posted by mysticreferee at 6:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [48 favorites]


The false flag guy should go take the "Newtown was a hoax" folks and they should go off in the woods somewhere very far away and stop making life more difficult for those of us in the reality-based community.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Actually, there is precedent for the North Korea speculations. Living near Fort Bragg I wait on a lot of soldiers. One claiming to be special forces or something similar (yeah right) was claiming a lot of the Korean asian food stores around here were actually staffed by NK agents.


I don't know whether to roll my eyes flat out of my head or have my world view tampered with but at the moment I lean heavily to the former.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone create an app that blocks access to news sites for 24 hours after a tragedy? I need to step away from the CNN.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:11 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm in New York City and got home a couple of hours ago. A very quiet, somber ride on the subway from Chambers St to the Bronx. This city remembers.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


were actually staffed by NK agents.

Thanks for finding something more insane than the false flag guy.
posted by GuyZero at 6:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Danny the boy, I think that people are thinking it might be the NK because they have been threatening the US in the last couple of days. However I totally agree with tavella-- this doesn't sound like anything NK would or could carry out. Anybody who was sent to the USA to become covert operator would probably defect in a heartbeat, seduced by the abundance of food and the freedom to think and do what they like..
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2013


One of the scariest things about this attack is that there seems to have been no chatter about it beforehand - no one saw it coming. Which means either it was some crazy guy acting alone (which the growing number of bombs makes hard to believe, but maybe), or that the known groups who are out there are getting better at hiding how they plan their attacks. I don't believe this was NK, but I sure would rather believe it was them, or that it was a lone crazy guy no one knew about, than that Al Qaeda or other terror groups we are actively watching have figured out a way to coordinate completely silently.
posted by Mchelly at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


This movie.

And because they've been threatening to blow us up all month, no?

They've been doing that the entire time North Korea has existed. They do that. That's what they do.
posted by danny the boy at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


You can see an Info Wars mic at the PC, if you were wondering where the conspiracy question came from.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2013


Apologies if this was posted already:

It was, Splunge. But you know something? It‘s a sentiment that bears repeating...

I am angry, and saddened, by today‘s events. But hearing so many Boston-area MeFites checking in to say that they and theirs are okay, that I find very comforting. The time for debating the whys and wherefores comes later; tonight, be safe and hold your loved ones close.

On preview: Jinx!
posted by Jughead at 6:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously, fuck that guy. Boston is stronger than this and after this pain and horror fades we will be fine.

I'm sure I'm not the only person thinking of running next year to prove that idiocy like this only means what we let it mean.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


To anyone who might be interested, there seems to be a "thing" going around social media asking everyone to wear race shirts to work tomorrow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:14 PM on April 15, 2013


North Korea has done many bad things in the last, say, 20 years, but they have always used official military technologies (e.g. artillery shells, torpedoes) and struck against South Korean targets located along the border between the countries. This is not their MO in any way, shape or form.

The two broad groups of people who have planned or performed attacks like this (i.e. bombings against crowds in the United States) in that timeline are Islamist radicals and right-wing extremists. While there's always the possibility of something new, it is most likely that the perpetrators are in one of these two groups.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I sure wouldn't want to be a Saudi guy that someone decided was suspicious in the wake of a bombing, no sireee.

‘Please don’t be a Muslim’: Boston marathon blasts draw condemnation and dread in Muslim world
posted by mediareport at 6:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Several things I just noticed watching the press conference.

1) Scott Thompson should play Deval Patrick in the movie.
2) watching these ad hoc streams on a mobile device has got to be wreaking havoc on the lizard people people. I mean, I'm (pretty) sure everyone in the room was human but each one of them was subject to some of those corrupted video decoding mutations that has the crazies convinced.
3) Seeing "False Flag" as the explanation to everything is the mark of a broken mind.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can someone create an app that blocks access to news sites for 24 hours after a tragedy? I need to step away from the CNN.

Make like Nike and "Just Do It."

No, seriously...

I honestly don't mean to be insensitive, but if watching/reading the mainstream news after an event like this makes you ill at ease (which is completely understandable), perhaps it would be best if you simply refrain from doing so.

Take ownership of your refusal to be frightened and manipulated.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


While there's always the possibility of something new, it is most likely that the perpetrators are in one of these two groups.

Or just a random unhinged individual, like the Aurora cinema shooter or the guy who shot the congresswoman.
posted by acb at 6:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be really surprised if the perpetrator was anti-running or somehow against marathons. Does running next year really send a message?

I think the best response is to redouble a commitment to protect and even restore civil liberties in the face of their continuing erosion.

Consider rebeccablood's comment in the 9-11 thread:

my greatest fear is how our government is going to respond. more erosion of freedom in the name of security. mark my words.
posted by rebeccablood at 10:10 AM on September 11, 2001 [211 favorites +] [!]

posted by Rumple at 6:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


@jamescdownie: I've always assumed Alex Jones is a conspiracy designed to discredit Alex Jones.
OK, that's kind of chuckleworthy.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


because that dude needs to be called out and roundly mocked.

some poorly educated dude who has seen the aftermath of 9-11/has been led to unreasonable fear because of it is not my idea of a target of ridicule, and the internet is not your personal army
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "And the reason why people are thinking North Korea is that fucking goddamn stupid ass racist movie

And because they've been threatening to blow us up all month, no?
"

I don't want to feed into this but it's stupid and I'll try to clarify. North Korea wants to be seen as a nuclear power. They don't actually want to injure people the way a terrorist would. Their MO here is not small bombs. That is "beneath them". They want all the other nuclear powers in the world to view them as equals. They want to be seen as a Power (big P). Not a terrorist (very small t).

Okay?
posted by Splunge at 6:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


I'm merely requesting people not speculate here in this thread. If that's not doable, peace be with you all and I'll hang out elsewhere.

I get that everyone copes differently, but Christ in Toast it's intense when it's your own backyard.

(Glad you got home, HR!)
posted by sonika at 6:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


No matter who did this, I keep being struck with the thought of that person (or group of persons) being out there somewhere seeing what they've done splashed across the news and I'm just so fucking pissed off. What the fuck, seriously.
posted by something something at 6:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wasn't going to post in this thread, but upon hearing one of the unfortunate deceased victims was only 8 years old, my stomach sank. My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the medical personnel and police, and anybody else who may be involved with this tragic event.

I am also disgusted with those who are using this event to further whatever political message they are trying to get across. This is neither the time nor place.

I personally do not see this as anything other than an act of terrorism. I am confident Boston Police and the FBI will get us all answers as to who is involved. Foreign or domestic, terrorism is terrorism.
posted by Sarcasm at 6:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Glad you got home, HR!)

Thanks, so glad you guys were out of harm's way.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Curse of the armchair detective. I'm going to get out of this thread before I speculate more. Stay strong Beantown and stay strong good people everywhere. A coward with a pipe bomb is no match for love, and justice is not vengance.
posted by vrakatar at 6:25 PM on April 15, 2013


Press conferences after public emergencies are not the place for fear-mongering. Members of the press are supposed to be collecting information. That man was being a shit.

I am not well enough to be here lately (ironic silver lining of illness means I was miles away from the bombings) but I am thinking of all my fellow Massholes with love right now and thanks to everyone everywhere for caring about us.

I have another reason to get well now, to volunteer at next year's marathon, because fuck you bomber(s) we are going to have nice things despite you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bad craziness. I'm so sad for the victims. I wish I could do more than listen to "Animals" and brood.
posted by Gelatin at 6:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also feel terrible I am unable to assist in any way. What compounds this terrible feeling is the fact that I flew into Logan last night and was in Boston until the wee hours.
posted by Sarcasm at 6:26 PM on April 15, 2013


I am also disgusted with those who are using this event to further whatever political message they are trying to get across. This is neither the time nor place.

Make no mistake: the odds are good that this was supposed to be a political message. The problem is, it says nothing. So whomever did it sort of sucks at that part.
posted by anastasiav at 6:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


False flag guy was Dan Bidondi of Infowars.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:26 PM on April 15, 2013


North Korea has done many bad things in the last, say, 20 years, but they have always used official military technologies (e.g. artillery shells, torpedoes) and struck against South Korean targets located along the border between the countries. This is not their MO in any way, shape or form

Well, there was the bombing of a South Korean passenger flight over the Indian Ocean in 1987 and various unconventional covert attacks in S Korea ( kidnappings etc). I don't think the DPRK angle is likely though - it doesnt seen to suit the official preferred propaganda style
posted by Bwithh at 6:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought I recognized his voice. Fucking shit. Fuck him. That shit is on a par with Howard Stern fans calling up and screaming "Ba-Ba-Booey!"
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is a global site and people should be respectful but it does not revolve around any single perspective or geographic locale.
posted by Rumple at 6:29 PM on April 15, 2013


"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers--so many caring people in this world." - Fred Rogers
posted by littlesq at 6:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


North Korea has been involved in terrorist acts previously such as the bombing of a South Korean airlines jet back in the 1980s. Today was an important day for them as birthday of Kim Il Sung (their founder). They could be hoping that the US would blame Iran or Al Qaeda and thereby be distracted from the current situation on the Korean penn. The consequences of being caught would be pretty bad for them.
posted by humanfont at 6:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


1) Scott Thompson should play Deval Patrick in the movie.

I realize that I'm focusing on the wrong thing, but unless I'm blind or otherwise stupid, wouldn't it make more sense to have a black actor portray Deval Patrick, the first African American Governor of Massachusetts?

Boston peeps: Stay inside!
posted by ablazingsaddle at 6:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Islamist radicals and right-wing extremists

Eric Rudolph, the guy who "bombed" the '96 Olympics in Atlanta was neither of these. I guess if he was in any group it would be "crazy guys".

We also have the '85 Air India bombing which was Sikh separatists and the '95 Sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway which was organized religious crazy people.

I mean, if we go by history, it could really be fucking anybody.
posted by GuyZero at 6:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Make no mistake: the odds are good that this was supposed to be a political message. The problem is, it says nothing. So whomever did it sort of sucks at that part.

I have no doubt you're correct, but that was not what I was talking about. To address your point, I belive violence is rarely acceptable to advance a message.
posted by Sarcasm at 6:33 PM on April 15, 2013


Eric Rudolph was certainly a right-wing extremist. He described himself as a "Catholic monarchist" and was aided by a number of militia groups while on the run.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [26 favorites]


My company has offices on Arlington. I was there two weeks ago. My colleagues are reportedly okay.

Sad to hear about the boy.
posted by seemoreglass at 6:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is terrible, I feel bad for all the folks affected by this.

Foreign or domestic, terrorism is terrorism.

Yeah this. The Boston NPR station keeps reporting it as being investigated as a "potential case of terrorism." Like if it's not done by brown people from the Middle East it isn't terrorism?
posted by marxchivist at 6:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


FWIW Eric Rudolph was a white nationalist.
posted by Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender! at 6:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eric Rudolph was also anti-equal rights and anti-choice.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah my thoughts about NK are not only whatever racist movie or pure stupidity. I been wrapped up with the saga of them raising and lowering their launchers last week to scare Japan, Kim Jong Un's imfamous IMac and the threat to colorado. Last I heard we Japan and the US offered to renew talks yesterday but they hadn't responded.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:36 PM on April 15, 2013


Brown people? White people? Crazy people? Who gives a fuck.

Try this color:

Dead eight year old. Get a grip people.
posted by Splunge at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


I stayed at the Lenox on my first trip to Boston and have spent many happy hours among the books and warm bready smell that is BPL

I weep for my beloved, most favorite of US cities.
posted by brujita at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guys, if it was North Korea there wouldn't be a complete absence of anyone claiming credit. They'd be spinning their weird funky little PR wheels. For that and many other reasons, it's not North Korea.

I also feel terrible I am unable to assist in any way.

It sounds trite and is not the kind of assistance most people long to give, but: give blood at your local blood bank. Less than 10% of Americans do it and there are shortages annually. Though it won't go to the Boston victims, your blood donation will help people facing all kinds of medical crisis.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


anti-gun-control fanatic(s) maybe?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Sarin gas attacks were done by a well-organized cult, Aum Shinrikyo.
posted by emjaybee at 6:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eric Rudolph, the guy who "bombed" the '96 Olympics in Atlanta was neither of these. I guess if he was in any group it would be "crazy guys".

Not sure what's with the quotes around the word bombed. That son of a bitch bombed Atlanta and then bombed an abortion clinic just a few miles from where I live.
posted by ndfine at 6:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]



some poorly educated dude who has seen the aftermath of 9-11/has been led to unreasonable fear because of it is not my idea of a target of ridicule, and the internet is not your personal army


That was a press event that presumably requires some credentials to attend.

And, sure, I agree about the post 9/11 world, but you could make a case that if the people really wanted to not be subjected to pornoscans and border searches 50 miles from the border, they'd elect people who would make that stop. Hell, it's been over 10 years.

The larger point I'm driving to is that calling this a false flag, or that 9/11 truther BS, is the most pointless and stupidly unamerican thing going. It deserves to be mocked, and people who promulgate that idiocy along with it.

I just got an email asking if I was going to volunteer to help with the marathon here again this year. I can't this year, unfortunately, and now I am really sorry I won't be able to.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:38 PM on April 15, 2013


We also have the '85 Air India bombing which was Sikh separatists and the '95 Sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway which was organized religious crazy people.

Except the 'Islamist radicals and right wing extremists' comment was about people bombing crowds in the US. I mean, you'd have to have a pretty narrow view to think that covered all terrorism. It does cover an awful lot of (all?) bombings in the US in, say, the last 25 years.
posted by hoyland at 6:39 PM on April 15, 2013


The Boston NPR station keeps reporting it as being investigated as a "potential case of terrorism." Like if it's not done by brown people from the Middle East it isn't terrorism?

From their website, "The FBI defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives."" They're not calling it terrorism because they don't have proof that it is, in fact, terrorism. It probably is. But they can't say that until they know.
posted by Auguris at 6:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


@runchat is asking people to wear Boston race colors or a running shirt tomorrow. I ran my first marathon last year, I am wearing the shirt to work. My wife is doing the same; she ran her first 26.2 a few months before I did mine. My son (will be 4 in a month) is running his second ever race this weekend, and I have his first race shirt laid out for him to wear tomorrow as well. He has no idea what happened in Boston. But when he does his run, this one or any other, the only thing that will keep me from being at the finish line waiting for him is if I am running next to him. As long as I am able to be there, I will be. Fuck anyone who takes our love and support for friends and family and tries to use it against us.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah this. The Boston NPR station keeps reporting it as being investigated as a "potential case of terrorism." Like if it's not done by brown people from the Middle East it isn't terrorism?

No, like if it wasn't politically motivated it wasn't terrorism. The Aurora or Newtown shootings may have killed more people without being terrorism.
posted by Jahaza at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I started a new job a few months ago and my company's office is on the corner of Boylston and Exeter which puts my building almost exactly between the two explosions. I worked from home today because I could, thank god.

For those of you who don't know Boston geography, the finish line of the marathon runs across Boylston street and essentially ends at the Boston Public Library. My first week at the job I got off the T and was taking in the sights of my new surroundings when I noticed for the first time the inscription on the North side of the library (about 100 feet from the finish line and right above many of the spectator stands.)

The inscription reads:
THE COMMONWEALTH REQUIRES THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE AS THE SAFEGUARD OF ORDER AND LIBERTY
A month ago I read that and it left an impression on me. "That's a fucking badass quote" is basically what ran through my mind. Today that quotation is more important than ever, in ways I have yet to process. Those words are three stories high and looked down on the chaos and horror that took place this afternoon. We know nothing about the people behind this, but I think we can all agree this was an assault on Order and Liberty.

In America, assaults of this sort have not traditionally resulted in calls of greater education for the people and I fear for order and liberty a little bit right now. Let us hope that this message, carved in stone roughly 120 years ago, is heeded by our political representatives.
posted by jeremias at 6:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [147 favorites]


I live near Boston, but I am on vacation in NC right now. This whole event is so surreal. My mind is at home and I have to keep jerking it back to happy vacation thoughts. My teenagers were very mopey and quiet tonight and we just stayed in at the vacation rental and watched movies. Tomorrow we are supposed to go to Andy Griffith's hometown and I think I will institute a "no news" policy while we are there. Maybe the simple small town life will be a balm for us.
My thoughts are with all of you back home.
posted by Biblio at 6:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Except the 'Islamist radicals and right wing extremists' comment was about people bombing crowds in the US. I mean, you'd have to have a pretty narrow view to think that covered all terrorism. It does cover an awful lot of (all?) bombings in the US in, say, the last 25 years.

The Aurora guy had his apartment booby trapped to blow. The Columbine shooters also attempted bombings but they mostly failed to work. Crazy People/non-political mass murderers have attempted bombings. It's just that it's hard to pull off compared to just pointing and shooting.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Guardian's live blog has paused for the evening, with a roundup and summary of events and reactions.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013


Rudolph was an abortion clinic bomber and was enabled by antichoice types sympathetic to his cause. He is still lionized by many of them, and of course, violence against clinics continues.

Sorry to be pedantic but "random outburst of insanity" was not the operating factor in those cases. Terrorism, in both of those cases, was the clear intent and political impact was part of that.

Just ask any doctors who perform abortions and who have been targeted how random it feels.

We don't know much about this case; now we are up to 7 bombs, 5 unexploded, per the Wall Street Journal.
posted by emjaybee at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was at my company's Boston office last week, only a few blocks from Copley. I am old now but my dorm at Wellesley was right at the half way point of the marathon- I volunteered and was out there cheering when I was at school. So heartbreaking.
posted by lyra4 at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013


GuyZero: " Islamist radicals and right-wing extremists

Eric Rudolph, the guy who "bombed" the '96 Olympics in Atlanta was neither of these. I guess if he was in any group it would be "crazy guys".
"

Eric Rudolph bombed the Olympics because he thought they promoted global socialism, and to protest abortion and homosexuality. What part of that is not "right-wing extremism"?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


The government seems to have some criteria for terrorism concerning involvement of organized political groups. In this incident, for example, where the perpetrator repeatedly claimed that his motive was to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration declined to prosecute the crime as a terrorist attack. I think this is because it was the action of a lone person.
posted by thelonius at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


US Code definitions for each species of terrorism, including domestic
posted by nickyskye at 6:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


The correct way to handle the perpetrator is damnatio memoriae.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


jeremias: Another cool BPL trivia bit: The Boston Public Library is made of the same stone as the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. (Milford pink granite from Milford, MA, very close to Hopkinton, where the marathon starts.)
posted by rmd1023 at 6:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Dead eight year old. Get a grip people."

Our first and strongest thoughts should be for the victims, and certainly any speculation about the perpetrator(s) is at this point far more provocative than it is useful ... but insofar as anastasiav is correct that this was most likely intended as a political message of some sort, then the politics and groups associated with those politics is certainly relevant.

Again, given the total lack of information available about this, the speculation is at present unhelpful and unduly provocative. But given that this is a terrorist attack almost certainly motivated by a particular politics and intended to send a corresponding message, then of course the nature of those politics and that message is going to be of intense interest to people. Caring about that isn't a sign of moral deficiency.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


WSJ: Counterterrorism officials found five additional suspect devices, but a law-enforcement official said late Monday that investigators now doubt the devices were bombs.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Thinking of what it might have been like for madamjujujive's niece, a nurse in that tent at the Boston marathon: First person account of medical personnel ready for sporting event suddenly confronting traumatic casualties.
posted by nickyskye at 6:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


We don't know much about this case; now we are up to 7 bombs, 5 unexploded, per the Wall Street Journal.

Deadly Blasts Rock Boston (wsj.com)

For clarity, the important line.......
"Counterterrorism officials found five additional suspect devices, but a law-enforcement official said late Monday that investigators now doubt the devices were bombs."
posted by lampshade at 6:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eric Rudolph also bombed a lesbian bar and a couple abortion clinics, and his statement describing why he bombed the Olympics, while strictly saying that the direct reason was to protest abortion, also mentioned that the "despicable" purpose of the Olympics was to promote socialism. I think that saying he is not a right wing extremist is mistaken.
posted by Flunkie at 6:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Try this color:

Dead eight year old. Get a grip people.


What would you like us to get a grip on, splunge? The fact that an eight year old died? Yes, that is horrible and I, for one, don't want to dwell on that too much because there is nothing that I can do about it except say that it is a bad thing, and that is pretty trite.

I've read this whole thread and there have been many attempts to try and steer the conversation in a certain direction-- to try and limit what people write and think about. It's human. There has been this horrible thing, you can't do anything constructive, so you attempt to take charge of the situation by dictating where and how the conversation goes.

Unfortunately there isn't a lot of information being released at the moment and all of the helpful links have been posted (and reposted.) So we are left with anecdotes and old essays and responses to other posts. I'm no expert on North Korea but I've read more about them than most people so I do have an opinion.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [17 favorites]


The Globe is reporting three other devices as "disarmed". Does anyone know if they were destroyed, or literally disarmed? If the latter, it's great news in that a) they didn't go off, and b) they'll be excellent clues to the perpetrators.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:50 PM on April 15, 2013


@jeremias: 711 Boylston / 33 Exeter?
posted by (parenthetic me) at 6:50 PM on April 15, 2013


I just saw this photo of the MIT Green Building tonight, with it's Boston-facing side lit up like an American flag. The building is right across the river from the marathon finish line.
posted by leslietron at 6:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


But given that this is a terrorist attack almost certainly motivated by a particular politics and intended to send a corresponding message, then of course the nature of those politics and that message is going to be of intense interest to people. Caring about that isn't a sign of moral deficiency.

Right, but can we wait for that discussion until we have an actual motive or message identified? This rampant speculation is useless given that the actual facts available are about zero.
posted by sonika at 6:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's really pissing me off that the news (at least WBZ) keeps running the same scroll text even after they keep running statements from officials that contradict the text.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:51 PM on April 15, 2013


.
posted by thewalledcity at 6:52 PM on April 15, 2013


I'm hearing back from friends and family who are still in Boston. I have a friend who hit a PR and finished early. I have a friend who has mono and had to miss the marathon. I have a good friend from undergrad with severe hearing loss from the explosions while she was waiting for someone at the finish line, so she'll be in the hospital overnight. I'm wishing I was back in New England instead of the middle of Ohio.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:54 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rumple: "I'd be really surprised if the perpetrator was anti-running or somehow against marathons. Does running next year really send a message?"

Yes. It sends the message, "We will not be intimidated, we will not be cowed, we will not be pushed around by your actions. Fuck you."
posted by Chrysostom at 6:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


WSJ: Counterterrorism officials found five additional suspect devices, but a law-enforcement official said late Monday that investigators now doubt the devices were bombs.

Can anyone explain the technical distinction? What makes a thing-made-to-blow-up not a bomb?

(Yes, I realise there are, say, grenades, which blow up and aren't really what we'd think of as bombs, but you get the idea.)
posted by hoyland at 6:58 PM on April 15, 2013


I take it to mean that they found something that was initially suspicious in the out-of-an-abundance-of-caution mindset but turned out to just be a bundle of wires and someone's hobby project or something innocuous.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hoyland...i think a suspect device might be something like a junk tv left out for the trash...so not a bomb at all but suspect because they are checking everything???
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:59 PM on April 15, 2013


"Right, but can we wait for that discussion until we have an actual motive or message identified? This rampant speculation is useless given that the actual facts available are about zero."

Agreed.

I think it's fair to ask people to be sympathetic to other people's sensibilities, particularly of those like yourself for whom this is very close.

But I think that there should be some generosity in the other direction, too, in that — as a few have already said — when this sort of tragedy happens, it's just human nature for people to express all sorts of things to each other, including speculation about the whys and hows, and it's not because they're uncaring or intending to provoke (well, most people, anyway) but because they are caring and upset and this is just what people do in groups when this stuff happens.

It's like ... I don't know. For example, a certain kind of personality in these sorts of situations gets angry and, in being angry, can be unintentionally provocative to people around them. But being angry back at them for being angry is really not productive. I think it's possible to gently redirect discussion away from things that tend to upset people and be disruptive. Being judgmental of other people's reactions, even when those reactions are provocative, just sort of makes things worse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
.
.
Today I've been following the New York Times Lede live blog, and the Boston Globe on Twitter, and that's it. I couldn't wait to get home and read Metafilter - I almost never comment here, but this place feels like home on the internet to me. Because I know I can read the comments and remember there are still decent people on the intarwebs, and while I may be filled with the fiery rage of a thousand suns by the articles I read, it won't be because of the people in the comments thread.

So thank you, denizens of Metafilter, for that small mercy.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


Can anyone explain the technical distinction? What makes a thing-made-to-blow-up not a bomb?

My impression was that they weren't actually made to blow up. Perhaps they were inert decoys, or perhaps there was some perfectly innocent reason for, say, containers filled with suspicious-looking non-explosive substances to be there.
posted by acb at 7:00 PM on April 15, 2013


WSJ: Counterterrorism officials found five additional suspect devices, but a law-enforcement official said late Monday that investigators now doubt the devices were bombs.

Translation: we saw some lunchbox or backpack with nobody claiming it and it looked funny so we blew it up. Upon investigation of the remains we found bits of a PB&J sandwich.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


ChuraChura, I hope your friend is better very soon :(
posted by angrycat at 7:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stories of Kindness After the Bombing
posted by youandiandaflame at 7:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


When you have the Yankees officially hearting the Red Sox, you know shit has gotten real.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [53 favorites]


There's a reason that the NYPost and the WSJ are so incredibly quick to be wrong. These are institutions that maximize ad revenue, not journalistic accuracy or integrity.

This is a feature and not a bug of these institutions.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ah, I totally misread and thought they were saying things that had blown up were somehow not bombs.
posted by hoyland at 7:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Police Have Video of Suspect Dropping Bombs in Trash Cans

"Of the 23,326 who started the marathon, 17,584 finished; 4,496 did not. The last crossed finish line at 2:57 p.m."
posted by nickyskye at 7:04 PM on April 15, 2013


So we are left with anecdotes and old essays and responses to other posts.

Yup. And just about every person who is talking about this, whether they be online or on TV, are in that not-so-exclusive club of "People Who Are Not In The Know".

And the "experts" who are feeding us this info (whether it be on TV or other media) could be better described as "Experts Not Currently Employed By The BPD, FBI, DHS or Other Involved Agency". They are as uninformed as anyone else but have the singular advantage of a camera crew working with them. For the rest of us, we may as well try to draw comparisons to potatoes for what that is worth because as soon as the real story comes (trickles) out, all this speculation will be for naught.

Information will come eventually. Answers will come eventually. A bit of patience will serve people well.....if in the least for their short term anxiety over this entire, horrible event.
posted by lampshade at 7:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Police Have Video of Suspect Dropping Bombs in Trash Cans


I'd be very careful with trusting any info you get from Dim Jim Hoft.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:07 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


quit flipping interrupting the doctor.
posted by royalsong at 7:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]



I'd be very careful with trusting any info you get from Dim Jim Hoft.


Especially if the only source cited is Rupert Murdoch's tabloid in Queensland, Australia (sort of the Australian equivalent of Arizona or Mississippi, politically speaking).
posted by acb at 7:09 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Boston born and raised to age 8, returned for 6 years of school and work. I don't often miss it or think about how important it was to my formation, but dammit I had a poster of Yaz on my wall in kindergarten and I can park anywhere in the world now too.

Hang in there hometown.
posted by spitbull at 7:11 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


This made me laugh roll my eyes: Bill O'Reilly says Obama made a mistake calling it a tragedy "
President Obama promised justice, the host noted, “but he made one mistake.” He “called the attack a tragedy,” O’Reilly said. “It was not. It was a vile act of violence, designed to kill innocent people, including children…This makes me sick.”

King added that “there’s no doubt in my mind that this is a terrorist attack.” While we don’t have all the facts, and officials haven’t said who is responsible for the attack, King said we need to be looking at al Qaeda, or at least an offshoot of the organization.

Furthermore, the incident had the same m.o. as the 9/11 attacks, O’Reilly asserted — as King urged we use the attack as a wake-up to ensure we stay vigilant and aggressive in monitoring threats.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:14 PM on April 15, 2013


Does running next year really send a message?

Terrorism fails if we refuse to be terrified.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [28 favorites]


"Right, but can we wait for that discussion until we have an actual motive or message identified? This rampant speculation is useless given that the actual facts available are about zero."

You keep repeating that and trying to railroad the discussion in global medium to suit your specific needs. While understandable, it's intrinsically unfair and belittling to those who are not upset in the exact same way that you are.

I'm sorry you're experiencing pain and terror and wish it would be easier for you. But please do not attempt to deny others a method to cope with their own pain and terror.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


> This made me laugh roll my eyes: "Bill O'Reilly says Obama made a mistake calling it a tragedy "

Stop trolling, Bill. Seriously. Keep it to the internet.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:16 PM on April 15, 2013



Less Than Four Hours After Boston Bombings, There’s a Theory For Whatever You Want

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So all the Murdoch owned outlets (The NY Post, etc.) are doing their usual business of muddying the waters, feeding conspiracy rumors and carrying out egregiously irresponsible journalism, eh? Jesus.

Sorry, but the way the various media outlets are running around, publishing all these horrific images of the wounded without any regard for the dignity or right of refusal of the victims and then snatching up the tiniest rumors and rushing to print with melodramatic misinterpretations of official news is really starting to make me feel sick.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Thanks, angrycat and folks. I'm wishing there was something more tangible I could do than listen to Dropkick Murphys songs about Boston and try to get work done ... I'm feeling a little isolated. You know, not to make any of this about me, but Boston was the place I imagined I'd be a grownup in, and I wish I could be there to be with other folks who know it instead of being here where it's just the news.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:17 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish Boston folks a lot of strength in the coming days. One thing I remember in NYC was how fucking tense it was for months. You hear a police siren, you get tense. You go back to living your life and then you have a new neighbor who is only alive because she was sick from work. And the rest of the country seems to go back to normal, while you and your city seemed to be sort of trapped in a dark place where very bad things can happen any moment. And you know that well other countries have suffered bad things, yes, you understand that a lot better now, but you don't really want to understand.

So, stay strong up there.
posted by angrycat at 7:18 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


It's really pissing me off that the news (at least WBZ) keeps running the same scroll text even after they keep running statements from officials that contradict the text.


You are taking your first step to not taking TV news seriously.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


Police Have Video of Suspect Dropping Bombs in Trash Cans

This comes from a web site where another story says "Crazy… Obama Won’t Call Boston Marathon Bomb Blasts a Terrorist Attack (Video)". They may end up being right on the first point, but if it's true we'll also hear it from people who aren't horrible.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:19 PM on April 15, 2013


I agree with you that it's an obvious choice for militia-ish groups.

Are there any recent US terror incidents driven by domestic political discontent where the target wasn't an obvious government symbol? Heck, where it wasn't government property that was attacked?

That seems like a major difference between today and OKC, and while it's certainly possible that there's symbology the perps saw as significant that's beyond my threshold of recognition, the speculated date-related stuff seems kindof thin to me.
posted by weston at 7:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe O'Reilly was talking about the Greek use of the word tragedy and it shouldn't be used except in that sense, where you have the fatal flaw and the Aristotelian catharsis and all of that.
posted by angrycat at 7:21 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


.
.
.
?

Hang in there, Boston. Maybe one small comfort: the whole world has seen how many Beantowners ran in to help instead of panicking. Condolences to the families of the dead, and best hopes for the injured -- both physically and emotionally.

As for whoever did this, I don't care about their motives. I just hope they're terrified right now, knowing that at least one of their bombs failed and left a gold mine of evidence.

Thanks, Mefites (especially from the Boston area), for staying pretty level-headed through all this and refusing to be terrorized.
posted by Zimboe Metamonkey at 7:21 PM on April 15, 2013


Having been on the periphery of both, this feels awful, but quite quite different from 9/11. That might just be me. It's most disturbing that we have absolutely no concept why this happened; on 9/11, by this time, we knew what was what.
posted by Miko at 7:22 PM on April 15, 2013


Brandon Blatcher: The problem is, all this speculation can have consequences. Crowds with the wrong ideas have been known to kill the wrong people in retaliation. Once a certain set of consensus ideas about what the truth is takes hold, if it later turns out to have been wrong, boom--new conspiracy theories are born.

We often act as if our words are consequence free, as if speech wasn't also a form of action. But the truth is, what we need now is clarity, so there isn't more confusion. Speech, like any other freedom, comes with responsibilities. We should just try to be careful. And hell, it's mostly been the people closest to these events that have been the ones to say they don't appreciate all the confusing speculation and off-the-cuff remarks.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


O’Reilly said: “It was not [a tragedy]. It was a vile act of violence, designed to kill innocent people, including children"

Splitting hairs for political gain? Fuck you, BillO.
posted by notsnot at 7:23 PM on April 15, 2013


> Maybe O'Reilly was talking about the Greek use of the word tragedy and it shouldn't be used except in that sense, where you have the fatal flaw and the Aristotelian catharsis and all of that.

When I would have raised such objections, I was in high school. This is a hell of a doubt to extend to a grown man.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scientific American: Two IEDs were detonated near the race’s finish line. An expert explains how they work and how they can lead investigators back to the bomb makers
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Maybe O'Reilly was talking about the Greek use of the word tragedy and it shouldn't be used except in that sense, where you have the fatal flaw and the Aristotelian catharsis and all of that.

You give him too much credit. The man is an ass.
posted by trip and a half at 7:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Crowds with the wrong ideas have been known to kill the wrong people in retaliation.

Come off it. This is stupid and laughably so. No-one is calling for a hangin' - and calming fears (North Korea?) seems to be the actual result, not mass-hysteria.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


What makes a thing-made-to-blow-up not a bomb?

Defusing it, primarily.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


nickyskye, thank you for posting that article.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I would have raised such objections, I was in high school. This is a hell of a doubt to extend to a grown man.

You give him too much credit. The man is an ass.


You guys, I'm pretty sure angrycat was being sarcastic. Making with the snarking. Hamburger. Like that.
posted by rtha at 7:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Seems like extra helicopter activity tonight in DC. One just buzzed by my building going super fast.
posted by zennie at 7:30 PM on April 15, 2013


This is stupid and laughably so. No-one is calling for a hangin' - and calming fears (North Korea?) seems to be the actual result, not mass-hysteria.

I just meant that as one example of how hysterical speculation can actually lead to harm. It's not ridiculous at all. During the WWII era, whole neighborhoods sometimes erupted into violence directed at local Japanese Americans. The point is not that this specifically might happen, but that there can be serious consequences for real people when people just shoot of their mouths to say whatever happens to pop into their idiot heads in the moment.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're welcome mjjj. Worried about you all afternoon.
posted by nickyskye at 7:31 PM on April 15, 2013


Ross Douthat: Keep Calm and Carry On
posted by BobbyVan at 7:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speculation online often leads to stuff like posting social media accounts about the wrong people or directing blame at groups like the Tea Party when a perpetrator turns out to have nothing to do with them. It's not a hanging but it's not harmless.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


No one is seriously afraid, as far as I can tell, that this had anything to do with North Korea. And again, there have been several calls in this thread from people who are actually in proximity to these events to stop the speculation. Call me an asshole for this if you like, but it seems to me there's less harm in extending them the courtesy than not.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A huge part of the experience of 9/11, for me, was how it reshaped the physical landscape of the city practically instantaneously. Not to be trite, but downtown NYC has literally not been the same ever since. There are locations I spent enormous amounts of time in which stopped existing over the course of a single morning.

But in a way that was sort of....bizarrely comforting? Like, at least the changed landscape of my city mirrored the changes in how I felt as a person living in it. Even now, all I have to do to be reassured that something Big and Terrible happened here is to walk down past City Hall and look. I never felt crazy for taking as long as I did to feel normal again, because the city itself was so broken for so long.

I wonder how it will feel for my friends in the Back Bay -- and for me, honestly, when I have a chance to go there again -- to walk down Boylston a couple weeks from now and have it look almost exactly the same as it did before this happened.

Ugh, sorry if this doesn't make any sense. I was only a college kid in 2001. It's hard for me to unpack all the ways that day kind of messed me up.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [19 favorites]


That Scientific American link is really, really interesting.
posted by Miko at 7:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are there any recent US terror incidents driven by domestic political discontent where the target wasn't an obvious government symbol? Heck, where it wasn't government property that was attacked?

There was the (failed) MLK Jr parade bombing in 2011. It's really hard to determine this because lists of domestic terrorist incidents are not well-kept, for many reasons (the definition of terrorism seems nebulous, for one). I also think it's hard to separate political discontent from other motivations for domestic terrorist attacks.
posted by muddgirl at 7:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


> You guys, I'm pretty sure angrycat was being sarcastic. Making with the snarking. Hamburger. Like that.

Yeah, yeah. I was pretty sure, too, but I didn't stop myself. Foot, mouth, you two know each other already.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: The problem is, all this speculation can have consequences. Crowds with the wrong ideas have been known to kill the wrong people in retaliation. Once a certain set of consensus ideas about what the truth is takes hold, if it later turns out to have been wrong, boom--new conspiracy theories are born.

This sounds weirdly like one should never, ever speculate, which is ridiculous idea. No one here is calling for "death to (insert group here)". Those who crowds that choose to retaliate are thinking individuals that are making their own wrong headed decisions. It's doubtful that speculation on Metafilter is going to do much to sway them one way or the other.

And hell, it's mostly been the people closest to these events that have been the ones to say they don't appreciate all the confusing speculation and off-the-cuff remarks.

I have family in Boston, who run marathons and are police officers, so now is it ok if I speculate?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a dumb question: Where did all the wheelchairs come from, that wounded people are being wheeled away on in the photos right after the explosions? Are they in the medical tent because so many runners collapse, or do ambulances carry them, or ... ?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:37 PM on April 15, 2013


Seems like extra helicopter activity tonight in DC.

Obviously everything's going to be on a high state of alert. What's that old Terrorism colour scheme? Things're probably at condition tangerine or some such.

Thinking about it now, it's kind of funny that Obama didn't mention anything like that in his little presser.
posted by Trochanter at 7:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are they in the medical tent because so many runners collapse

Yes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


They have them at the ready because runners collapse. But also, people in large crowds collapse. There's always a handful of people who get sunstroke or hypothermia or a heart attack who are just in the crowd at a major event. It's standard to have a bunch of wheelchairs at any big gathering.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on April 15, 2013


No--we should consider evidence and speculate when we have some.

It's uninformed, emotionally-driven speculation that's dangerous and I can't believe any grown human being hasn't had enough experience with the damages that can cause not to see that.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


it's kind of funny that Obama didn't mention anything like that in his little presser.

We stopped using it. Shows about how useful it ever freaking was.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]



I have a dumb question: Where did all the wheelchairs come from, that wounded people are being wheeled away on in the photos right after the explosions? Are they in the medical tent because so many runners collapse, or do ambulances carry them, or ... ?


The races I have volunteered for always had a bunch for people who collapsed or had other injuries. I imagine a race as large as the Boston Marathon had a very well stocked medical tent available - that probably contributed to the low (apparent) death rate given the severity of the injuries.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:40 PM on April 15, 2013


[Maybe we can move meta-discussion about whether it's okay to speculate over to the open MetaTalk thread, and reserve this thread for signal about the event itself?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I have a regular appointment in the Back Bay area, and afterwards I always walk back through Copley and the Pru and skim books in the BPL. My meeting this week was at 3 PM today, but this morning I last-minute cancelled my appointment because I didn't want to deal with the marathon-related traffic. I'm not certain how to feel right now. My poor city.

One of my coworkers reports that Google Person Finder is unfortunately getting trolled with fake deceased notices -- those using it for information may want to take it with a grain of salt.
posted by angst at 7:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


WBC says they'll protest the funerals.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:41 PM on April 15, 2013


Where did all the wheelchairs come from, that wounded people are being wheeled away on in the photos right after the explosions? Are they in the medical tent because so many runners collapse, or do ambulances carry them, or ... ?

Probably they were in the tent. If you have runners with leg injuries, or someone falls and breaks something, after you stabilize their spine (if they fell) and treat them for whatever, you want to keep them off that leg. But I'm just guessing, based on the fact that our ambulances don't carry wheelchairs. (Generally speaking, when ambulances show up on scene, we either let you walk to the ambulance yourself if we think you're capable, put you on the cot so we can poke at you, or strap you to a backboard to keep you totally still in case of spinal injury. There's not a lot of first responder scenarios where you'd want a wheelchair, and anyway, there isn't space in the back for an occupied wheelchair or a ramp to use to get the wheelchair back in the truck.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my coworkers reports that Google Person Finder is unfortunately getting trolled with fake deceased notices

OH COME ON WHAT.

...yeah, that's it for me. I'm off to bed, with the blankets up over my head.
posted by theatro at 7:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's not a lot of first responder scenarios where you'd want a wheelchair

Meanwhile at events they're great. In addition to using them with injured runners, if someone's just gassed out and needs to drink some water and sit in the shade, they're perfect - just get them in the seat and park them in the tent to wait it out. They can sort of help organize the space.
posted by Miko at 7:45 PM on April 15, 2013


WBC says they'll protest the funerals.


Well, duh. This goes without saying, they insert themselves into the conversation after every American tragedy. Why are we even paying attention to these people anymore by mentioning them?
posted by SkylitDrawl at 7:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [18 favorites]


There was the (failed) MLK Jr parade bombing in 2011.

That definitely works as a not-government-property example. But it's still pretty easy to see what's under attack (state recognition of MLK), and why some parties (racists/racial supremacists) would attack it.

I guess what I'm having trouble with is parsing any such politics out of today's attack. What would the marathon represent, and who would be its antagonists?
posted by weston at 7:46 PM on April 15, 2013


One of my coworkers reports that Google Person Finder is unfortunately getting trolled with fake deceased notices

> OH COME ON WHAT.

...yeah, that's it for me. I'm off to bed, with the blankets up over my head.


Same. I think I've had enough evil, great and petty, for one day.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:47 PM on April 15, 2013


ABC News' Terry Moran: "#Boston police officer tells me bombs were packed with small metal objects meant to maim--nails, zippers, blades."

Evil.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the CBC was interviewing a retired FBI official, who made some interesting points about who could have done this. He was primarily urging against speculating until the evidence has been examined, but pointed out, as has been observed in this thread, that this is the day taxes are due in the U.S., and therefore symbolic for anti-tax libertarian types. And it's Patriot day, so there's special resonance. He also pointed out that al Qaeda tries to go for larger mass-casualty attacks. (Though given the effectiveness of drone strikes, foreign terrorists may be scaling back their attempts - my thought, not his.) Anyway, I thought his reminder of how little we know at this point was worth repeating.
posted by Dasein at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The FBI wants pictures, video and tips. "No piece of information or detail is too small."
posted by nickyskye at 7:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm having trouble with is parsing any such politics out of today's attack. What would the marathon represent, and who would be its antagonists?

Terrorism doesn't need a particularly sane reason. It could be because it the final day to file taxes in the US or related to the Oklahoma bombings, which were related to the Waco, Texas siege. It could be because people figured out that the marathon was an easy target. Since no group has taken credit for it, I'm wondering if it's domestic terrorists trying to make a point.

But ultimately, the point is to make people scared to go about their regular lives. That's why it's important to no let that happen, while obviously taking precautions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


.

My heart aches for the family and friends of those killed and injured. Runners and spectators enjoying the day, celebrating being alive, and now this. I can only hope this is the end of it, and there are no more explosions.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:56 PM on April 15, 2013


[A few comments deleted; Aqua Teen jokes can please wait for another day.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


This NBC News montage is completely terrifying.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:56 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm having trouble with is parsing any such politics out of today's attack. What would the marathon represent, and who would be its antagonists?

It needn't represent anything other than a large group of people milling about. Granted, I've kind of been socialised to think the whole point of terrorism (whether actual bombings or just threats) is to take credit for it and thus show how powerful you are, which hasn't happened here.
posted by hoyland at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was the (failed) MLK Jr parade bombing in 2011.

That was the subject of the previous thread I mentioned earlier.
posted by homunculus at 8:04 PM on April 15, 2013


the CBC was interviewing a retired FBI official, w

Do you have a link? Been listening to our NPR affiliate since 3 PM, have not yet heard an interview that good, unless maybe it was the general one with the woman that authored a couple books on terrorism.
posted by Miko at 8:06 PM on April 15, 2013


Carlos Arredondo's account.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


> the problem for that poor 8 year old is that his chest was about knee high to an adult

I don't know why I'm being bugged by this small, irrelevant statement, but anyway: an eight-year-old's chest is not knee high to an adult unless he's in Family Circus or there's some detail I don't know because I'm avoiding the news anywhere other than here. An eight-year-old's chest is probably right around the level of your waist.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess what I'm having trouble with is parsing any such politics out of today's attack. What would the marathon represent, and who would be its antagonists?

One possibility is that this is a sovereign citizen/army of God/prepper who has drunk deep of conspiracy theories and who believes a single major public event could cause the ZOG/fiat currency/Kenyan Socialism to collapse. Timothy McVeigh certainly believed some of this - that his action would inspire others and cause society to collapse. That the people's eyes will be opened and this somehow loosely ties in to Patriot's day.

That could explain the politics - a toxic brew of far right extremism combined with the Anarchist understanding of the Propaganda of the Deed.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carlos Arredondo's account.

This guy right here. If I did what he did today helping some of the victims I would be curled in a fucking ball. Let me know is there is a link to donate a shot and a beer for him.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:10 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Would like to see the "retired FBI official" link from CBC also. Interesting that he urges against speculation, yet cites circumstantial "evidence" to point away from Al Qaeda and suggest domestic right-wing terrorists.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:10 PM on April 15, 2013


That Older Man Knocked Down in the Photo
posted by madamjujujive at 8:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brooklyn Loves Boston.
posted by nickyskye at 8:14 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


One of my coworkers reports that Google Person Finder is unfortunately getting trolled with fake deceased notices -- those using it for information may want to take it with a grain of salt.

You know, if you're life path has led you into some kind of mental sinkhole where you believe you have some kind of logical reason to attack the Boston Marathon with explosives, I sort of pity you, even as I deplore you for the harm that you do.

But going onto Google person finder and putting fake death notices up after a tragedy like this? FUCK YOU!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:15 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


My friend who has a brother in law who ran today just sent me this text - "Want you to know [sister in law] said because of your recommendations about not being able to see him finish, they were not in those bleachers at the site. They saw him at other spots on the course and were a mile away at time of blast. He was 30sec from being blown over. "

I don't even know what to say but I am so glad they took my advice. She was with their kids who are like 5 and 11.

I am out of words and feelings other than sad.
posted by sio42 at 8:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


The Times is providing unlimited access to http://nytimes.com and mobile apps until 12:01 a.m. ET 4/16/13.
posted by nickyskye at 8:17 PM on April 15, 2013


[A few comments deleted; the Patriots Day, Waco, tax day etc angles, and the false flag angle, and the revenge-for-drones angle, are all broached upthread, but again let's maybe try to keep the signal high in here. ]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


For BostonMarathon, contact your friends and family for free via your browser at http://callyourfamily.twilio.ly/ . Keep cell lines clear.
posted by nickyskye at 8:21 PM on April 15, 2013


What does a 78 year old man do when he's just been blown to the ground by a bomb? He gets up and finishes the race.
Bill Iffrig of Lake Stevens, Washington, you are awesome in all the ways.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:25 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


The fact that no one is claiming responsibility is the weirdest thing to me. My money is on a lone nutter.
posted by rosswald at 8:26 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Big Picture at Boston.com is up. You have been warned: NFSW / NSFL
Link (might be slow)
posted by nostrada at 8:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


.
posted by rougy at 8:27 PM on April 15, 2013


The fact that no one is claiming responsibility is the weirdest thing to me. My money is on a lone nutter.


That and the number of dud devices do point in that direction.
posted by ocschwar at 8:29 PM on April 15, 2013


I didn't hear about this until I got home today, having spent the day in Manhattan with my visiting sister and her four little kids, talking about 9/11 and such for some reason, and then taking a leisurely stroll past the WTC memorial on my way to the subway. I was in NYC when that happened. It all feels kind of distant now.

I don't know what this means or why I feel it's worth saying it, but while I'm upset as hell about all of this, it somehow never crossed my mind today to feel afraid. I don't know if I'm deadened to it or what, but there that is.

So to all those who would do something like this, condemn your humanity for whatever purpose in such a way, here's an anecdotal piece of evidence for you: it no longer works, if it ever did. I am distraught by your actions, but I am not afraid.

Best wishes and hopes for all the best for everyone in Boston and everyone with friends and loved ones in Boston.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:30 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


There seems to be a strong possibility that the "number of dud devices" is equal to zero.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


False flag guy was Dan Bidondi of Infowars.

Can we sic Anonymous on him?

...Mater and PaterCallipygos are fine - they were indeed still on the Cape, and in fact my father scoffed at the very idea that they might even consider going to Boston on Marathon Day ("do you KNOW what the driving would be like?") and the whole time I was worried where they were, they were engaged in their Monday ritual of "volunteer at the local soup kitchen and then hit the local Italian Restaurant" way out in East Sandwich. Whew.

Blessedly, too, my father began his call by making a corny joke. If my daddy is cracking jokes, my corner of the world is normal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


The main story on the bombing from the NPR homepage seems a bit hacked at the moment. (Screen)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:33 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


>: "Most cellphone-controlled bombs are set to go off in the event of a (sustained) lack of service. "

That's a much more sophisticated bomb than one that just wires the detonator relay through the vibrate motor of a phone.

>: "There's no question that this was an intentional attack, by someone reasonably skilled in explosives. Setting up bombs that rip the legs off people at a marathon? I don't think that was coincidence. And, of course, the problem for that poor 8 year old is that his chest was about knee high to an adult. "

The average 8 year old is 4 feet high; their chests are not at knee level.
posted by Mitheral at 8:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Large police presence in Revere connected to Boston bombing
REVERE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A law enforcement source tells Fox 25 that a large police presence at a home in Revere is related to the Boston Marathon bombings.

The source said that a suspicious driver was pulled over by Revere police after driving past the State Police barracks a number of times.

The driver reportedly had a "nervous demeanor."

The driver then led police, as well as the FBI, to a home in the area of Ocean Avenue and Beach Street.

It was not immediately known what police were searching for at the home. Three people died and more than 100 were injured after bombs went off within 100 yards of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


The WSJ has suggested that there may not be any dud devices. The things identified as duds may just have been suspicious packages that were swept up and initially misidentified.
posted by humanfont at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Boston, taxes, April 15, tea parties. I think it's quite easy to draw a straight line to right-wing domestic terrorism.

I get the peripheral timing-related symbolism. It's just so weird to me that the actual target was a *sport* institution instead of an IRS office or a federal or capitol building. Or even a bank or university or newspaper office or public school or something that some people clearly hate.

But if there's one thing we Americans clearly don't hate -- and every American knows this -- it's sports. We love 'em. For individualists, we sure seem to find tribal sports sexier, so running's not exactly the highest of the high, but it seems to be a significant sport nonetheless. I'd bet every county in the US has at least one big community race, and every state probably has multiple distance running events. It doesn't seem highly politicized either: among my running friends there are both crazed conservatives and moonbat liberals, as well as those indifferent to politics and/or methodical about policy, so it doesn't exactly represent "those people".

Picking a significant sporting like this as a target in the US just seems so damn tone deaf and stupid.

I recognize we're already talking about an evil act that indicates corroded thinking somewhere, so further corrosion seems not particularly amazing, but that's what makes me lean towards the idea that this is more pure crazy and less would-be political-strategic crazy.
posted by weston at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2013


Oh Gourd, it's the little details that get me. Pic #28 in the Big Picture post linked above shows parents with a stroller. Very, very few people would notice this, but the stroller has a purple monkey tag on it. That tag is from Isis, a local parenting center in the Pru where my son would have had playgroup today.

Oh my poor city.
posted by sonika at 8:36 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


REVERE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A law enforcement source tells Fox 25 that a large police presence at a home in Revere is related to the Boston Marathon bombings.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:38 PM on April 15, 2013


Runner's video of the explosion.
posted by nickyskye at 8:39 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's just so weird to me that the actual target was a *sport* institution instead of an IRS office or a federal or capitol building.

Sporting events have large crowds of people that are in concentrated places that are less secure. Getting a bomb into a federal building is hard, a regular building, not so much.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


that the actual target was a *sport* institution instead of an IRS office

There were bound to be way more cameras pointed at the finish line of the Marathon than there were at the IRS office. Most things like this are about publicity more than anything else.
posted by bendy at 8:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Instagram pic from a person said to be at the apartment building being searched in Revere showing a bomb squad truck.
posted by humanfont at 8:41 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's something simple and reassuring about the runner's video posted by Nickyskye. Running, running, explosion, turn around, keep running but in the other direction...
posted by SemiSophos at 8:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear God, please let the Syrian Electronic Army be an ELO tribute band.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Today's National (CBC tv evening news program) is here, but I don't know if it will stream outside of Canada. The National archives are here.

Ray Boisvert, a former CSIS officer (not FBI), is interviewed for about three minutes starting just before the 10:00 mark. Among other things, he says that it seems more likely that this was home-grown extremism rather than something state-sponsored because of what the white smoke and other factors suggest about the origins of the explosion. He also said that he was not a forensic explosives expert. He may be a bit of a publicity hound.
posted by maudlin at 8:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's bad symbolism. At least with a football stadium there is the whole American decadence angle that would kind of make sense for an attack. Even a local Post Office would make a better terror target if the person was a crazy libertarian or whatever.

Blowing up a bunch of lanky fit people racing for sport and charity? There is a reason no one is claiming responsibility. Definitely an amateur move.
posted by rosswald at 8:45 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


So confused... looks like an NPR post about the event was hacked:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/15/177349725/syrian-electronic-army-was-here
posted by braksandwich at 8:45 PM on April 15, 2013


Are they in the medical tent because so many runners collapse

Alas, yes.

I watched a fella die at the 12 mile mark at the Detroit Marathon a few years ago. He was only running the half, 13.1 miles, collapsed just feet from my friend's house just before the 12 mile mark. (That was the first year a couple friends ran that race, and since then, my husband has run with them. I feel a little panicky every time they all get together to run, now.)

I am grateful that the major races are so well organized and so well provided with medical personnel, or this could have been so much worse. It seems kind of wrong to say "only three fatalities"...but without such ready access to medical professionals, we may well have been looking at double digits.

My husband and friends are running a half-marathon here in two weeks, it begins and ends on our University campus. I fear that the panic from this incident is going to make every damned race a massive clusterfuck now. I'd like to beat the living shit out of the bomber(s) myself for that.
posted by MissySedai at 8:46 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, they hacked the BBC last month. At least somebody using that name did.
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on April 15, 2013


.


.


.
posted by 221bbs at 8:47 PM on April 15, 2013


Yep. Just like 911.

Isn't Boston where the wingnuts think all the dirty socialist hippies live?
posted by rougy at 8:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Herald has the Revere story too (can't believe Fox and the Herald are my go-to sources but no one else is reporting on this right now).
posted by Miko at 8:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have been following this story since I was at work and finally broke down in tears this evening after letting everything soak in. What a tragedy.

When I was 8 years old, I got to run my first major race in the stockyards of Fort Worth, Texas. I had spent several months running after school and on bad weather days we'd work out to Richard Simmons videos in the gym. Richard Simmons came to Fort Worth for the Cowtown Marathon and my child-dream came true when he invited the kids up on stage to do a pre-race warm-up... dancing to the oldies. I ran the 10k that year, and at the end of the race remember the roaring crowds of strangers, race coordinators, friends, and family... the sound of dance music and cowbells when you're ready to crawl across the finish line... and best of all, all the free food!
From that experience on I did the race every year, went to high school and qualified for regionals Cross Country and Track almost every year. An injury and serious physical / mental stress kept me from pursuing a college athletic scholarship. I still ran though, and recently did one of those crazy theme runs that take the stress out of competition.
To this day I hold marathon runners on a 'holier than thou' pedestal, and always admired the Boston Marathon participants as they had to qualify to participate, an insanely amazing feat.
Every runner knows the most inspiring thing in your run are the people on the side lines that are there looking for YOU to come by, sometimes for hours, so that they may greet you with the much needed enthusiasm you need to get to the finish line.

I would love to see some links to help pay for medical expenses / therapy for the people involved in this. It would be my honor to contribute back to the people who helped me through the many races in the past, even complete strangers. Let's focus on this, please.
posted by hillabeans at 8:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's just so weird to me that the actual target was a *sport* institution instead of an IRS office or a federal or capitol building.

The target was not the marathon. The target was a large group of civilians gathered in an urban center. The goal was maximum carnage, coverage and chaos. If these are your goals, the marathon is better than the ball game because the security in a stadium is tighter than the security in downtown Boston.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:49 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


rougy, also the 'birthplace of the tea party'. At this point I wouldn't be surprised by this scenario, but to tell the goddamn truth I think my facilities of shock and surprise have been all tapped out today.
posted by 221bbs at 8:50 PM on April 15, 2013


If anyone's trying to read the Syrian Electronic Army posts that are out there on Twitter, etc., in Arabic, Google Translate isn't doing the job, but this online translator seems to actually work decently enough that you can get the gist.
posted by limeonaire at 8:50 PM on April 15, 2013


It's bad symbolism. At least with a football stadium there is the whole American decadence angle that would kind of make sense for an attack. Even a local Post Office would make a better terror target if the person was a crazy libertarian or whatever.

The Boston Marathon is the second largest single day sporting event, after the Superbowl. It's run on Patriot's Day, commemorating the battle of Lexington and Concord. In Boston, there is no single day that's a bigger deal than Marathon Monday.

Perhaps for outsiders it's hard to see the symbolism, but if the attacker is indeed local - it's not hard to think "If I want to make this about BOSTON, how would I do it best?" and come up with the Marathon as your answer.
posted by sonika at 8:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Interesting to see the agencies at the Revere apartment complex (from the Herald report).
Boston police and a cadre of federal officials descended on an Ocean Avenue apartment complex in Revere last night.

In addition to two Boston Police K-9 units and a bomb squad unit, a large contingent of federal agents from the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Homeland Security investigations and state police had assembled at the two buildings.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2013


rougy, also the 'birthplace of the tea party'. At this point I wouldn't be surprised by this scenario, but to tell the goddamn truth I think my facilities of shock and surprise have been all tapped out today.

I hear ya. I think this is going to be a tough one to catch.
posted by rougy at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2013


Isn't Boston where the wingnuts think all the dirty socialist hippies live?

Oh hell no. Elitist white tower academics, please.

(Srsly, there are no hippies in Boston. Ok, there are like five. Total.)
posted by sonika at 8:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


"It's just so weird to me that the actual target was a *sport* institution instead of an IRS office or a federal or capitol building. ... Picking a significant sporting like this as a target in the US just seems so damn tone deaf and stupid."

For at least a couple of decades, major college football programs have had terror contingency plans for their stadia (and you can absolutely bet the NFL got there first). After 9/11, IIRC, a bunch of big-time college matchups were given no-fly zones during games to prevent light aircraft from crashing into a live-broadcast stadium full of 100,000 people, 30,000 of them college students (and there used to be lots of those little planes carrying word banners around football games). Sporting events are symbolic, beloved, broadcast live, full of people, and -- as these things go -- fairly soft targets.

I know what you mean because bombing a marathon makes me go, "What, you hate people who work really hard at things and have a lot of self-discipline?" But you don't even have to get into a stadium to attack a marathon, and you have 26 miles of route to infiltrate. I won't be surprised if it turns out to be a local Boston-area nutjob (it all seems like an episode of Flashpoint, in the worst possible way), but I won't be super-surprised if it's a non-local attack either.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's why my complete-b.s.-theory is that it is a lone nutter. Probably local.
posted by rosswald at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, I think it looks a lot different to people in Boston than from across the country. The event is iconic, a big deal.

The socialist hippy wingnuts live in Cambridge, silly.
posted by Miko at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Isn't Boston where the wingnuts think all the dirty socialist hippies live?


I would have said Cambridge...
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2013


rougy: "Isn't Boston where the wingnuts think all the dirty socialist hippies live?"

I've heard people using the "Taxachusetts" name for the place without a hint of irony. It seems to mean "Those socialist liberals out there."
posted by barnacles at 8:57 PM on April 15, 2013


Oh, also, it just occurred to me that a link from yesterday's webcam thread might come in handy somehow during all of this: Massachusetts webcams online right now. Thankfully, most everything looks calm on those.
posted by limeonaire at 8:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The average 8 year old is 4 feet high; their chests are not at knee level."

No, but, sadly, if the blast was in fact more directed along the ground than upwards, then it would be more deadly to the child.

One thing that I noticed when I watched the video of the first explosion was that it seemed to my (ignorant) eye that it was particularly directed perpendicular to and toward the street. I recall thinking that the video would tell an expert quite a lot about where the explosive was positioned, what type it was, and what the bomber intended.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:58 PM on April 15, 2013


(Ah, as would Miko, at the same time. But the two cities are a lot more distinct to their respective residents, I suspect, than in the eyes of the rest of the US.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:58 PM on April 15, 2013


But if I recall correctly, conservatives have a professed affinity for Bostonians picked at random (say, from a phone book).
posted by BobbyVan at 8:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


But if there's one thing we Americans clearly don't hate -- and every American knows this -- it's sports.

One would think, and yet, consider the Olympic Park Bombing and the motivations behind that.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even Cantabridgians joke about the People's Republic, it's only fair. But you're right, most people from away don't make much of a distinction.
posted by Miko at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Strange how things have changed after 9/11 etc. It wasn't all that long ago (1994) that a film about blowing up Copley Square was loony generic action movie fodder for Blown Away and the likely culprits were the IRA. By 95-96, I was teaching ESL right around the corner and watched the movie a few times with students who laughed at the cartoonish impossibility of it all.
posted by Gotanda at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


In MA, "taxachusetts" is directed at State Government being greedy and has little to nothing to do with hippies (who on MA are associated with the Berkshires, or Cambridge). We use it too. See also, Masshole, which is often self applied with pride.
posted by sonika at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sports had nothing to do with this. The target was the crowd, not the race.
posted by vrakatar at 9:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend is flying out of Logan on Tuesday night after 9pm. Any thoughts on whether it's worth going extra early? Also usually it takes me only 20 minutes to go from Somerville to Logan at that hour, but I wonder if it'll take longer.
posted by shortfuse at 9:02 PM on April 15, 2013


I have to fly from there on Wednesday morning, shortfuse. You're right, it's probably going to be extra hassle-y. I haven't heard anything specific yet though.
posted by Miko at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2013


That could explain the politics - a toxic brew of far right extremism combined with the Anarchist understanding of the Propaganda of the Deed.

Oh please oh please oh please do not try and pull us into this. This is fucking despicable.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


It could have been the race. You never know what some crazy person could fixate on.
posted by humanfont at 9:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Oddly, my hometown paper in NJ just reported that police have a warrant and are searching the Revere apartment building. (Odd because why do they know before the Boston papers, but anyhow).
posted by Miko at 9:04 PM on April 15, 2013


Carlos Arredondo's account.

That man NEEDS A HUG. Someone give that man a hug.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:04 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Oh please oh please oh please do not try and pull us into this. This is fucking despicable.

Seconded.
posted by jessamyn at 9:05 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think we should all take a moment to thank the mods tonight. I'm sure its a rough and often thankless job, and you all make the Blue look its best, exactly when things get tough.

All our thoughts are with you Boston -
posted by newdaddy at 9:06 PM on April 15, 2013 [40 favorites]


WBZ news is the source.
posted by Miko at 9:06 PM on April 15, 2013


This is fucking despicable

I didn't intend any guilt-by-association and I wish I had removed that adjective. Propeganda of the Deed or something similar is widely adopted by activists who believe the phrase "a diversity of tactics" justifies all sorts of bad behavior. It's not limited to anyone on any particular end of any spectrum: you'll see it from anti-abortion clinic blockades to PETA paint throwers (and the anti-Huntington people who exhumed dead parents of their enemies). The belief that a short display of violence will somehow shock society into suddenly agreeing with a fringe minority, well, that's a position held by far too many fringe minorities...who believe that the reason that the majority doesn't agree with them is because...well you get the point.

To anyone who identifies as non-violent, sorry to have smeared you with an overly broad brush.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bomb Sniffing Dogs, Spotters on Roofs Before Explosions. "They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it's just a training exercise." Sorry if this link has been previously posted.
posted by phaedon at 9:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bomb sniffing dogs...hmmm...did the crank(s) who did this call the cops and make a bomb threat before detonation?
posted by rougy at 9:22 PM on April 15, 2013


Yes, yes, this has been fueling a lot of tinfoil hat stuff. It has already been posted. Don't people go to major events ever? Don't they see security exercises and dogs?

It's been repeated that there were no advance threats. I don't see any reason yet to doubt that other than the uniformed speculation of people who don't seem to know how to understand this. This is one of the biggest public events in the state - it needs good security.
posted by Miko at 9:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not a tin-foil hat guy, but this wouldn't be the first time that an agency denied something only for us to find out it was true a few weeks later.

That said...can you imagine the scale of disruption that someone could now instigate by making a bomb threat, and only a threat?
posted by rougy at 9:25 PM on April 15, 2013


"Police Leave Revere Apartment", Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo, April 16, 2013, 12:03 AM
posted by ob1quixote at 9:26 PM on April 15, 2013


can you imagine the scale of disruption that someone could now instigate by making a bomb threat, and only a threat?

But that happens with regularity.

this wouldn't be the first time that an agency denied something only for us to find out it was true a few weeks later.

Then we'll find it out in time. There were thousands of people present who saw the drill going down. Only the XC coach from Mobile, Alabama, seems to think that bomb sniffing dogs are unusual at mass events. I withhold my paranoia.
posted by Miko at 9:27 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


rougy: "That said...can you imagine the scale of disruption that someone could now instigate by making a bomb threat, and only a threat."

rougy, I'd suggest that this is already the case. The authorities take bomb threats very seriously, and have for a while, now.
posted by barnacles at 9:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It does not happen with regularity.
posted by rougy at 9:29 PM on April 15, 2013


Yeah, I go to football games of a major college from time to time, and since Sept 11th, they've had snipers on up on the roof. Bomb sniffing dogs at the Marathon would not surprise me at all.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:30 PM on April 15, 2013


Bomb sniffing dogs...hmmm...did the crank(s) who did this call the cops and make a bomb threat before detonation?

Bomb sniffing dogs and snipers are standard issue crowd security these days. You'll see them at parades and protest marches as well.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2013


First: I'm grateful for the turbulent harmony of the stream of comments thus far. Thank you, everyone, for coming here to read and post.

Second: I've been a runner since my first 5-mile run thirty years ago. My happiness is deeply tied with the stress and demands of moving my body across the land using mainly my legs. I know intimately the pain and love running requires and begets.

The people gathered in Boston today to support their friends, the people who strove to bring their bodies across the finish line, the volunteers who gave material and emotional sustenance to people who for the most part are strangers, the cheerers and the curious--these people are my people and I am devastated at what's happened today.

Today, I'm strengthening my commitment to run as far and fast as I can until I can't anymore.

I hope the perpetrators will be brought to justice and that the victims will find peace and solace.

.
posted by mistersquid at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


An interesting study about how to reduce the possibility of flashbacks if you saw something traumatic today - play Tetris. Tetris May Treat PTSD, Flashbacks. Via Jane McGonigal.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:34 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


It does not happen with regularity.

Yes it most certainly does. Back in the early 90s, I can recall one stretch of time when several bomb threats shut down my high school in a single month. One of them turned out to be prank-call by a kid we all knew was a little--well, emotionally troubled to put it kindly--but we still got a couple of days off. Another kid in my drama class that I had always thought seemed pretty nice and basically harmless, if alienated, actually got caught bringing a makeshift bomb to class in his back-pack one day.

America's been a little on-edge for a long time now. Bomb threats really are pretty routine these days.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:36 PM on April 15, 2013


It does not happen with regularity.

Of course it does. I work in a place of public accommodation. We've had 2 bomb threats in 3.5 years. My SO works in downtown Boston. He's had his commute disrupted by at least one bomb threat that i can remember (I have trouble remembering if they were bomb threats or electrical failures or whatever that shut the Green Line down every other week). Schools frequently get them - we had two at my high school, well before 9/11. Colleges get them. Offices get them. Bomb threats are pretty common. You evacuate, the fire department comes out. Everyone does their job. Usually there is no real bomb, but you have to check. The day continues.
posted by Miko at 9:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you think this is a false flag operation or other government conspiracy please seek an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional.
posted by humanfont at 9:40 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


U.S. News Best Hospitals in the country:
#1 -- Massachsetts General Hospital.

# 9 -- Brigham & Women's Boston.

# 1 -- Boston Children's Hospital.
posted by ericb at 9:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bomb sniffing dogs and snipers are standard issue crowd security these days.
why is this okay
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


rougy: "It does not happen with regularity."

Tell it to Pitt.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm less worried about why it is okay than why, in this case, it wasn't effective.
posted by Miko at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


ctrl-F 'afghanistan' - moderately satisfied.
posted by legospaceman at 9:44 PM on April 15, 2013


"That man NEEDS A HUG. Someone give that man a hug."

Yeah, he really did need a hug during that video. He was visibly shaking and while it may have been from cold, I'm sure it was also the aftershock. But what really got me was when he said how many people were asking for help, but he could only help one person at a time, and his voice almost dropped to a whisper at the end of that sentence. Just hearing him say that, seemingly without much affect at first but kind of coming to a premature stop at the end, made me realize that that's the sort of thing that will ring in the ears of people like him for the rest of their lives.

I may be projecting, and I've never been in such a situation, but I think I'd want to help and would try, but when confronted with the reality of all the people I couldn't help, it would just tear me up.

It's worth pointing out that arguably the larger part of the bravery of first responders and good samaritans and the like isn't so much that they rushed in and helped, but that they live with the trauma of being in those situations afterwards.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:44 PM on April 15, 2013 [33 favorites]


> If you think this is a false flag operation or other government conspiracy please seek an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional.

That is not a polite way to tell someone, "You're wrong."

People are justifiably suspicious of their own government. And once you don't have any framework of trust, you can believe a lot of things, including things that probably aren't true.

From the limited information we have so far, a government conspiracy would appear to be extremely unlikely, but can't we just limit ourselves statements to like that and not comments on people's mental health?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:46 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm less worried about why it is okay than why, in this case, it wasn't effective.


Sheer size of the space to inspect, all of it open to the public with people and their belongings moving around nonstop.

All that stimulation putting the bomb dogs off their guard.

Not to mention the dogs are only trained for some scents. which may not have matched the explosives used here.

And, well, dogs suck. Training them is a process that really has to be designed with rigor so the dogs know they should alert on the right things and not just on the trainer's unconscious tics.
posted by ocschwar at 9:47 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"America's been a little on-edge for a long time now. Bomb threats really are pretty routine these days."

Out of curiosity, the one such event I personally experienced was a bomb threat phoned in on a passenger jet I was on in the late 90s and we were diverted to a landing on a distant runway with emergency vehicles and such. My question is this: are bomb threats on planes less common these days? Because it was a heck of a lot more believable that someone could get a bomb on a plane in 1996 than it is now.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Carlos Arredondo's account

It's hard to watch a brave man's hands shake.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [27 favorites]


I think that "false flag" has become "fuck the police" for a younger and more niche (thanks to the internet) generation. In this sense it's more of a statement of world view and identification rather than a literal assertion.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:50 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


One thing that I noticed when I watched the video of the first explosion was that it seemed to my (ignorant) eye that it was particularly directed perpendicular to and toward the street. I recall thinking that the video would tell an expert quite a lot about where the explosive was positioned, what type it was, and what the bomber intended.

Sorry if this is too in-depth, but it's been a very long day spent checking in with/on local friends, co-workers, etc. "ARE YOU OKAY? IS YOUR FAMILY?" and nerding out is therapeutic for me, so permit me to feign some semblance of control of the situation by analyzing it.

The principle behind sharped-charge warheads, Claymore landmines, etc. is the Misznay-Schardin effect, which basically notes that if you have a "sheet" of explosives, then the vast majority of the force goes directly outward from the two sides of the sheet (along the surface normal, for those of you who remember your geometry).

Furthermore, if you have a metal plate or similar solid surface on one side, then overwhelming majority of the force pushes outward and away from the metal plate. For a real world example, Claymore landmines are basically a three-layer cake - metal plate, thin sheet of plastic explosive, and about 200 9mm ball bearings that get carried along with the directed explosive force - turned on its side.

Given the lack of sophistication in the basic chemistry of the bomb based on what we can glean from initial police reports, I really doubt there was anything as sophisticated as blast shaping going on, but those same principles & the Munroe effect also apply far, *far* more loosely, to overall surroundings of floors, walls, etc.

Which is likely what you're seeing. All of this is uninformed speculation, but it felt really good to write.

Also this:
@jamescdownie: I've always assumed Alex Jones is a conspiracy designed to discredit Alex Jones.

Was the only time I laughed today. VERY appreciated, zombieflanders.
posted by Ryvar at 9:51 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


he said how many people were asking for help, but he could only help one person at a time, and his voice almost dropped to a whisper at the end of that sentence

Yeah, I noticed that too. More than the shaking, that's what made me want to hug him so bad. He probably saved a person's life today, and still he's probably going to be haunted by what he saw, did, and couldn't do today.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that "false flag" has become "fuck the police" for a younger and more niche (thanks to the internet) generation. In this sense it's more of a statement of world view and identification rather than a literal assertion.
but if this is the case how will i validate myself by mocking those i perceive as dumber than i
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although it's clear some people mean it literally, which is ridiculous. I don't really understand it, personally, but it's all over the internet.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:53 PM on April 15, 2013


I am confident you'll find a way.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:53 PM on April 15, 2013


It does not happen with regularity.

I found my favorite shortcut on my college campus years ago because of of bomb threat. We had a week of them--the gym, a dining hall, the physics building. The entire bus line was shut down for a few hours so each bus could be inspected. Roads were closed pretty quickly so you had to be creative getting to class. I think this was in 2002?

I think they finally caught someone calling from the payphone outside of a dining hall. Thing is, there were so many false alarms it got to be a joke. If we heard a fire truck, no one assumed it was a 'real' emergency, we just tried to guess what would be shut down next.
posted by weskit at 9:53 PM on April 15, 2013


Initial response broadcasts can he heard here.

I don't think I need to warn you that it's a tough listen, but I will anyway.
posted by rollbiz at 9:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


That is not a polite way to tell someone, "You're wrong."
People are justifiably suspicious of their own government. And once you don't have any framework of trust, you can believe a lot of things, including things that probably aren't true.

From the limited information we have so far, a government conspiracy would appear to be extremely unlikely, but can't we just limit ourselves statements to like that and not comments on people's mental health?


If someone coughs up a bunch of mucus in a violent fit you might suggest they go to the doctor and get that looked at. Same principle here. If you don't have a framework of trust; you probably should get some help on that.
posted by humanfont at 10:01 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


why is this okay

Well, given the state of American civil rights these days and the fact that unlike virtually ever other "security" protocol instituted since 9/11, neither the dogs nor the snipers infringe on my rights of free movement, privacy, assembly or speech, I'm actually pretty okay with both the snipers and the dogs.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:03 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh my God :( Hang in there, Boston.
posted by rozaine at 10:07 PM on April 15, 2013


[Comment deleted; please don't do the 'ironically taking on the voice of people you think are stupid" thing here.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:08 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


A few years ago when we still had the national guard here I saw something funny I'll never forget.

I was walking through one of the hallways in Grand Central towards the one of the Lexington avenue exits. I heard a commotion behind me, shouting, people running, walkie talkies squawking. Couple seconds later a national guard guy halls ass past me, so I sort of move over and stand against the wall. He bangs through the exit onto Lex.

Everyone is stopped and watching now.Three or four national guard run past, then behind them some younger NYPD. Trailing all of them were older NYPD, running and pulling up their utility belts at the same time. I swear one was running still holding a coffee cup out in front of him so it wouldn't spill.

After they all run past I start walking again and finally reach the door and step out. There are like 20 cops out there sort of standing around looking befuddled. At the curb was a cab driver standing pressed against his cab. A bomb dog was just standing there staring him down.

I never found out what happened but obviously nothing blew up. The national guard is mostly gone but we still have the bomb dogs.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:09 PM on April 15, 2013


For the record, I wasn't suggesting this was a false flag operation, I was sharing a witness account. At best, I thought maybe the police had been given a tip or a warning and they were trying to be on top of it without causing a panic. What I seem to have done is resurrect a false flag conversation that has already taken place and it's kind of lame pigeon-holing people and then shutting them down all over again.
posted by phaedon at 10:11 PM on April 15, 2013


13 Examples Of People Being Awesome After The Attack On The Boston Marathon
posted by rozaine at 10:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Twenty-odd years ago, by going in to work an hour early, I was almost an unintended victim of a bomb bigger than the McVeigh/OKCity blast, intended for the IRS office next door to me. Some inept wiring in a detonator kept a 55-gallon drum of mixed flammable liquids from peeling off the front of the building where I was working at a desk facing the window. The bomber had better luck in Fresno, where he did blow up part of an IRS facility and take the life of a security guard even earlier in the morning. I didn't know the whole story (including its destructive capability) until over a year later when it was part of a documentary on terrorist bombers (and this one was homegrown, and caught after the parts of his unexploded bomb were traced to the electronics company he worked for). I still kind of flash back to the 'big kaboom that didn't happen to me' when something like this happens. It just reminds me of the thin veneer of civilization that the irrational and soulless sometimes break through and makes me realize what a wonder it is that these things do not actually happen more often, security precautions or not. And it reminds me never to take a job next door to the IRS or go into work an hour early.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 PM on April 15, 2013 [32 favorites]


The tide of reaction here is always so comforting in events like these. Even the frustrating parts as people try to work out how to balance incoming information, lack of facts, and strong emotions. But it's an eery sort of comfort - as several others said, the fact that we have a response pattern figured out, virtual gathering places where we know the traditions for horror and grief...it's a little chilling, too.

I feel as if I've been saying it all day: my heart is with those in pain, whether directly or because of what has happened to a loved one. May every soul have comfort, every body an embrace, every one know love.

When I saw the very first shocking image, before any news outlet had any information at all, I thought of the runners. When the first piece of real information communicated that it was all at the sides of the finish line, I felt so sick, so crushed. We all know who is waiting at the sides of the finish line, and it seemed inevitable that tiny loved ones would be included in whatever the toll ends up being.

And here we are. So many gravely wounded. So many scarred in body and mind. Even one adult would have been too many to lose, and it's sadly, sorrowfully worse. Yet...there were the helpers. The good people ran forward and began making beauty out of horror, peace from violence. Comforting strangers, directing responders to those most in need, tying off wounds without flinching. Even in a city famed for its gruffness and lack of tact, kindness shines forth and love wins.

So many of us are ridiculously distant from what happened to be as affected as we are by this. Isn't that one of the complex glories of humanity, though? Our ability to so strongly resonate with our fellow humans when something terrible happens, no matter the miles or other divides? The urge to help, the drive to support, the pull to keep information flowing - it starts us on the right foot, unlike other tendencies that are also entirely human, but not nearly as useful.

Bless the brave helpers, the courageous rescuers, and all those who are suffering. Bless them with the strength to make it through this despicable affront on happiness and community, body and mind. And a giant hug to everyone feeling sad, bereft, shocked, worried, or sickeningly confused.

I'm glad this place is here, bumps and all, so we can find that safe place to finally feel it all and grieve without going off the deep end. Thanks to the mods for the had work they've done and will do to keep this readable and mostly signal.
posted by batmonkey at 10:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, so, at the risk of adding to baseless speculation, in addition to it being tax day, and Patriots Day, 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th amendment, which created and codified the permanent ability of the federal government to collect income tax directly.

It was, in essence, the 100th tax day.

Yeah, this was likely some lone nut, but the significance of this happening on April 15th at the location of the original Tea Party is very difficult for me to ignore.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:28 PM on April 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


Sucky news. I am too far away to be affected. I feel sad for those who are. I have other more complex thoughts (mostly philosophical and political), but don't feel this is the place for them. Sending my best wishes to all who either live near the area or have loved ones who have been affected, etc... People can be such dicks. :(
posted by symbioid at 10:48 PM on April 15, 2013


Ugh, I saw Piers Morgan asking some 'terrorism' expert all kinds of speculative questions about whether or not this was an AQ attack. Apparently cable news is a lot less restrained then metafilter.
Danny the boy, I think that people are thinking it might be the NK because they have been threatening the US in the last couple of days. However I totally agree with tavella-- this doesn't sound like anything NK would or could carry out. Anybody who was sent to the USA to become covert operator would probably defect in a heartbeat, seduced by the abundance of food and the freedom to think and do what they like..
Not everyone cares about material things, and the highest level people in NK have plenty of food, not to mention people's families back home being at risk. Also, NK has engaged in terrorism in the past, against South Korea, but not the US.

But why would they do something like this? It wouldn't help them in any way. And these are people who have nuclear weapons. Doing this would just make them look weak and pathetic.
The Aurora guy had his apartment booby trapped to blow. The Columbine shooters also attempted bombings but they mostly failed to work. Crazy People/non-political mass murderers have attempted bombings. It's just that it's hard to pull off compared to just pointing and shooting.
Look at the Norwegian shooter, he actually used bombs that went off in one area followed by a shooting in another location.
Can anyone explain the technical distinction? What makes a thing-made-to-blow-up not a bomb?
I think they are saying they were not things that were made to be blow up, just 'suspicious' objects that they may have detonated out of caution.
Police Have Video of Suspect Dropping Bombs in Trash Cans
The actual text of the article says: "From a cop friend in Boston–A former partner says there was a reporter at the hospital in Boston. She overheard police saying they have video of the suspect dropping bombs into the garbage cans." Hardly seems reliable.
posted by delmoi at 10:53 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast, that sort of connection might make sense if it were an attack on a tea warehouse or an IRS office or something like that, but what's the connection between taxes or unrepresentative government and people watching a race?

The only thing we know about whoever's behind this is that they wanted to kill and maim people: scaring them with a fake bomb wasn't enough for them, and neither were the injuries that would have come from a bomb without shrapnel. We could speculate about the sort of mind behind this, but there's no obvious symbolic value to the attack.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Photo of a victim (WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC/GORY).

Here are two uncropped, extremely graphic photos of the person Carlos Arredondo was helping in that picture that ran on Deadspin earlier. You've been warned. I believe he is clamping a femoral artery with his hands. I'm posting this only for posterity. Please skip this if you can't stomach the sight of severe injury. [NSFW] [1] [2]
posted by phaedon at 11:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've been avoiding this thread all day, because I don't have time to process it. I only lived there for two years, but I must have walked through Copley Square hundreds of times. Hard to believe that someone would do this to the quiet little city I knew.

I actually remember the first time I heard of Patriots' Day. I'd dragged my hungover ass into work, only to find the office deserted. "It's Patriot's Day," someone yelled at me as I stupidly tugged at the door that was refusing to open. Patriot's Day? What the fuck was that?

By the time I tried to go back home, the trains were packed, so I walked west toward College Corner. The crowds had started to gather, and before I knew it I was sharing a beer in bemusement and starting to feel like I "got" Boston at last.

To attack this event -- one that raises money for charity and celebrates human indurance and will -- well, it's just obscene.
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:20 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm in Lahore. Woke up to this news. Quickly checked on family and friends in Boston, went to work. Came back and checked in to the Blue, because I knew my best news source in situations like these.

Thoughts and prayers with everyone affected.
posted by bardophile at 11:24 PM on April 15, 2013


"Please skip this if you can't stomach the sight of severe injury."

For those who've already seen it and don't want to see it again, the first is of the guy in the wheelchair. It would be difficult to overstate how gory and graphic that photo really is. It sort of boggles my mind, frankly.

But do you really think that Arredondo is clamping a femoral artery with his fingers while he runs alongside a wheelchair carrying the victim? Granted, I can't really guess what else he would be holding like that; but it seems like a very unreliable thing to do while moving someone.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:26 PM on April 15, 2013


I think he's holding on to makeshift tourniquet. It's not obvious what's going on in the first linked photo, but the second photo shows it more clearly.
posted by compartment at 11:41 PM on April 15, 2013


The photos that phaedon linked (and I think have been linked several times above, in slideshows (the man in the wheelchair who is grievously injured from the knees down, if you don't want to click)) are the second worst photograph I've ever seen, and my entire adult life has been internet-enabled. I don't even understand how that young man is conscious, much less survived (if he did, I'm having trouble keeping up), and it speaks volumes to the efforts of the medical professionals on the scene.

I'm sure they sign up knowing they might see fatal heart attacks or a really nasty fall. I know people who work foot and bicycle races, and they've seen some shit. The faces of the helpers in that photo tell the story. But to be able to keep your head screwed on in the face of that magnitude of injury, to get that man tied off and bust ass out of there like that, with him still sitting up alive, that's stuff I'm pretty certain I'm not made of. Though I wish I knew I was.

My giant cowboy hat is off to every paramedic, nurse, doctor, field medic, veterinarian, lifeguard, and plain old tough-stuff volunteer who can step up and get this shit done when it needs to be done. It saved lives today.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [37 favorites]


Wow. I didn't find out about this until just now. I don't really watch tv and hadn't read the news until bed. My husband is asleep but I really want to wake him up and hug him. We are very fortunate to be safe and warm at home tonight. A terrorist sleeper cell was arrested in my city at the end of last year. It could have easily been us.

It means nothing but my thoughts are with the people of Boston.
posted by Malice at 11:44 PM on April 15, 2013


I think he's holding on to makeshift tourniquet.

You're probably right, it looks like he could be holding onto the edge of a blood-soaked rag. If you look under the right leg and in front of the right wheelchair wheel, you can see what look like 2 or 3 similar strips of rag floating in the wind. Ugh. Sorry, I'm a photo nerd, I don't particularly like violence. Man, except for the curls in the hair, that guy is a dead ringer for a friend of mine. So unbelievably sad.
posted by phaedon at 11:47 PM on April 15, 2013


I hate that photos of people in grievous pain and terror are so casually bandied about on the internet. How horrible for those people, and their loved ones, to relive the pain over and over and over again when they stumble across the photos in the future.
posted by nacho fries at 11:48 PM on April 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


mother jones is following Arredondo's story and has further info about the young man he helped.
posted by lapolla at 11:52 PM on April 15, 2013 [13 favorites]


I've been listening to the radio and reading Metafilter all day. I'd not seen very much in the way of video--that video shot by a runner; my God. That explosion.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 11:54 PM on April 15, 2013


The worst shit I have ever seen was when i had a job in a government documents library. I made the mistake of looking in a medical book about reconstruction of WW1 soldiers with facial injuries. Maybe I'm jaded now, but nothing I have seen on the Internet, at least, no photos, were that bad.
posted by thelonius at 11:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hate that photos of people in grievous pain and terror are so casually bandied about on the internet.

photos like that should be tagged NSFE (not safe for empathy)

but given there is absolutely no place to find a link to that photo anywhere on the intertubes, it makes perfect sense to post here.

best of the web and all that
posted by lampshade at 11:58 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


That explicit and sorrowful photo has been on The Atlantic's website for close to 10 hours at this point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 AM on April 16, 2013


You know how after Hurricane Katrina, the National Weather Service, after a prolonged review, was lauded for its efforts to warn the public, and its wording of warnings for that storm was cited among the best practices for future storms?

I feel like Boston is going to have a lot of similar things written about it in coming weeks after watching these videos and reading the news stories. Within a minute and a half you have National Guard troops working to access and secure the scene. The voices of the responders on the scanners. The immediate (and by all accounts flawless) triage in a medical tent wholly unprepared for a mass disaster.

Despite horrific injury and death, Boston seemed to take a breath, got its collective shit together, and said, in unison, "This is what needs to be done right now. We will grieve, but we have work to do first."

These are the good stories. This is what we need to take away from the day.
posted by OHSnap at 12:14 AM on April 16, 2013 [30 favorites]


mother jones is following Arredondo's story and has further info about the young man he helped.

A must read.
posted by Chuckles at 12:15 AM on April 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


"photos like that should be tagged NSFE (not safe for empathy)"

I'm ambivalent about this issue because, at the very least, I share the concerns that nacho fries raised, but I don't think your comment is fair or even accurate (assuming you were making a normative argument — which the rest of your comment suggests — rather than the simple observation that the more empathy one has, the more painful such photos will be).

Your assumption (if I understand you correctly) is not totally inaccurate — I recall back when people were watching those "faces of death" videos that it really bothered me because, in that context, it seemed to me to surely be voyeuristic in the very worst sense.

But with regard to things like disasters or war or terrorism, I don't avoid such photos of video and, when learning about such events, will sometimes seek them out because I have empathy and it's important to me to see that this happened to actual, individual people and not be distanced from it by more abstracted words on a page or statistics or euphemistic talk about "casualties".

Which is to say two things: 1) I agree that for some/many people these things are voyeuristic and dehumanizing and that's a problem but that also for others it's the very opposite of dehumanizing (because I really do think that non-explicit media reporting of this stuff just encourages us to think about statistics and not individuals); and 2) the strongest argument against it is the privacy and dignity of those depicted and not that somehow everyone who ever looks at such photos or videos is a degenerate.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:20 AM on April 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


mother jones is following Arredondo's story and has further info about the young man he helped.
The Redditor added an update to say Jeff is in stable condition, and that "Carlos Arrendondo should never have to buy a drink in this town again."

In any town.
posted by dersins at 12:34 AM on April 16, 2013 [35 favorites]


You know what kills me, we're 1300 comments and 12 hours into this - and of course, still only scratching the surface - meanwhile the 9/11 Metafilter thread was under 500 comments. I wonder if that's ever been explained or discussed on MetaTalk. I'm not trying to compare the scale of the disasters, just curious. Maybe we just have more users. 9/11 was a very confusing event and therefore you would think it sparked more conversation. Maybe it has to do with the rise of online reporting. Shit, imagine back then Facebook was three years out.
posted by phaedon at 12:36 AM on April 16, 2013


In addition to fewer users, there were also fewer sources to post links to in 2001. Social media was almost nonexistent, there weren't as many online news sites, and many of the news sites that did exist were overwhelmed and crashed under the surge of traffic on 9/11. So there wouldn't have been as much material for people to post in the comments.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:41 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe we just have more users

Not saying this is the reason, necessarily, but there were about 11,000 registered accounts then. There are close to 180,000 now. So, yeah, more users by an order of magnitude.
posted by dersins at 12:41 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


While (as I understand it, though perhaps I'm mistaken) the number of active users has generally been about the same for many years, I'm pretty sure that way back in 2001 the active userbase was notably smaller than now. But, perhaps more importantly, events like these are probably exceptions to that "active user" rule — the pool of members has certainly grown much larger and a big event like this will surely draw some of the latent ones to participation. I, myself, re-activated my account for this thread.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:42 AM on April 16, 2013


Yeah, I spend more time on Reddit than MetaFilter these days, but I come back here whenever serious shit happens because the level of discourse here is better than it is anywhere else on the internet.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:48 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just a reminder that there's a Metatalk thread that might be a better place for discussing the Meta stuff about how many users/comments etc. on the site.

The Mother Jones article linked above doesn't have gruesome images in the photo/videos, btw, for those who are trying to avoid that, though you won't want to follow the link to the Atlantic in the first paragraph. When looking at that interview with Arredondo, I just kept thinking that I didn't know how the interviewers could keep themselves from stopping for a moment to just give him a big strong hug. I would have had to do that, knowing what he had just done and what he had been through and seeing him shaking like that.

(As far as debating the the ethics of the photos online, that could easily be a huge thread all on its own, and I'd say we need to be mindful here of labeling disturbing images – and maybe be a little careful with graphic text descriptions so that people have the chance to sort of skip over that too if they want, but we don't really have the bandwidth in this thread to get into an in-depth examination of whether such photos should be published or viewed, generally, and concerns about whether/how to link on this site can be discussed in the Metatalk thread.)
posted by taz at 12:53 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess what I'm having trouble with is parsing any such politics out of today's attack. What would the marathon represent, and who would be its antagonists?

The IRA used to bomb pubs, shopping centres, train stations, &c. - it's a much more effective terror tactic than attacking targets that 'make sense' symbolically, or arguably legitimate ones like military bases, police stations.
posted by jack_mo at 12:54 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not trying to compare the scale of the disasters, just curious.

Think of everything that's happened since 9/11. That's why we have so much more to talk about regarding this situation.
posted by tzikeh at 12:54 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Shit, imagine back then Facebook was three years out.

The iPod, not iPhone, was introduced in November of 2001. 5 gigs was considered huge, USB 2 wasn't out yet and social media was probably a strange phrase.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:55 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Phaedon, FWIW I was an avid reader of Mefi back then. However, I have didn't have an account. If I'm not mistaken I recall kicking myself for not getting an account when it was free. But I was glued to the 9/11 thread for days even if I didn't contribute. I imagine there were many of us who were silent lurkers at the time. Social media was different than it is now.


Yet here I am repeating history. I had no tv back then so didn't find out what happened until I saw my AOL home screen splash, and just like today I came right here. This is my internet Town Square and I love you guys. So glad you are all safe.
posted by Malice at 1:52 AM on April 16, 2013 [17 favorites]


The thing that struck me most in the video of the explosion & aftermath, other than the obvious, were the photographers helping to drag away the barriers.
posted by HFSH at 2:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Liz Broomfield on running the day after the Boston marathon.
posted by Wordshore at 3:32 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast, that sort of connection might make sense if it were an attack on a tea warehouse or an IRS office or something like that, but what's the connection between taxes or unrepresentative government and people watching a race?

I have no idea where you're getting tea warehouse from, as the American Tea Parties use it only as a symbolic reference for themselves (and the tea was British). But the easy connection is that the Marathon is easily one of if not the largest gatherings of people on April 15, so for whatever reason the perpetrators chose, it was the most likely to include mass casualties. The fact that it would likely have less security than any given IRS office there (which may have been lightly staffed, as yesterday was a holiday in MA) or in highly-protected DC, and orders of magnitudes more victims with much smaller weapons makes a twisted, horrible kind of sense in retrospect.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Coaticass at 4:02 AM on April 16, 2013


Maybe O'Reilly was talking about the Greek use of the word tragedy and it shouldn't be used except in that sense, where you have the fatal flaw and the Aristotelian catharsis and all of that.

You give him too much credit. The man is an ass.


Yeah, sorry, I should have added the hamburger tag with that one. Or not said it at all. I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire, myself.
posted by angrycat at 4:15 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Helicopters continuously whirring over the Times Square area this morning.

Thatcher's funeral tomorrow in London and the London marathon this Sunday.

I can imagine any crowd this week, whether commuting or gathering for an event, may likely feel somewhat anxious.

Went to sleep last night ruminating about the people whose limbs were amputated yesterday, who may have lost their eyes or their hearing, the operations they will need to endure in the months and years ahead and those suffering from the PTSD, the horrors of what they saw.
posted by nickyskye at 4:20 AM on April 16, 2013


What a sad scene. Once the dead and wounded are taken away and the blood cleaned off, the horrible thing is that terror works. It always seems curious - though understandable - that the day after events like these the security apparatus focuses on that city, events like that. People convince themselves they'll fight the fear of terrorism but mostly they don't. America post 9/11 feels like a place that still struggles with how scared it should be. Perhaps that is a godsend - that terrorism, unlike, say, mass shootings, is not part of the national landscape.

A generation ago a hard core of Irish Americans in Boston actively supported NorAid, which was commonly understood in the early seventies to be raising money for the IRA as well as the wider cause. During that period there were several IRA bombs targeting civilians. On the 21st July 1972 alone more than twenty bombs exploded in Belfast. I mention this not because it is ironic, or some perverted karmic justice that an entirely different group of innocent people have been hurt by the bombs.

But rather because one of things that got almost entirely lost after 9/11 was that just because we do not get graphic pictures and slow motion videos of bomb blasts and blast injuries elsewhere they are no less horrible, destructive, divisive or emotional for the people they affect. The deaths of these three poor people in Boston are not diminished by horrors elsewhere. But, while one's reactions are entirely understandable in the face of such graphic imagery it is a form of solipsism most of us are guilty of to place the horrors with which we can empathise in a special box and gloss over subsequent ones that happen off screen, in dark corners of countries we won't go to.

The people of Boston have my sympathies. I hope they heal swiftly.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:21 AM on April 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/15/177349725/two-explosions-rock-boston-marathon-finish-line-at-least-3-dead-dozens-injured

> NPR's Peter Sagal tells All Things Considered that he had just finished the marathon when he heard an explosion. He said he turned his head and that's when the second explosion hit.

This week's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is going to be an interesting show.
posted by ardgedee at 4:26 AM on April 16, 2013


That whole area has huge memories for me.

When I was in middle school, I remember my dad being resistant to taking me to the BPL, because it was so huge. ("We might need a sherpa! If we get lost, bring a snack and some water!") A few years later, I took a part-time job at the Strawberries Music flagship store on Boylston Street (now an Atlantic Fish Co.), and I'd go there on my days off to do my homework.

I worked in that neighborhood off and on for a few years -- first at Strawberries and later as a second-shift receptionist at the old Copy Cop (where the Apple Store is now). The first year I worked on Marathon Monday, I found the inbound trip frustrating -- the Copley Station was closed and I had to walk an extra three blocks from the Hynes/ICA stop to get to work. My first impulse was to shove my hands in my pockets and curse quietly to myself, but when I got out, I found the sense of community inspiring. All these families were waiting for "their" runners, and you had volunteers lining the sidewalks with water and towels for the participants. It really brought out the best in the city.

I'm heartbroken about what's been happening today. As someone upthread said, my poor city.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:26 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm ambivalent about this issue because, at the very least, I share the concerns........

Ok. Fine, then be ambivalent about it. As noted, this is too de-raily to continue discussing here.
posted by lampshade at 4:31 AM on April 16, 2013


I am half a world away, and cannot offer more than sympathy. It is not nearly enough. This is awful, and I, like a few above, am so glad that I am able to come here and read about it, rather than being subjected to horrific images that will haunt me.

On the 9/11 thread comments: the internet and the world and Metafilter were very different places in 2001, for a start. However, as I remember (and a few clicks are proving this memory - just keep clicking the "newer" links at the bottom for more), discussion of the event was not mainlined into a single thread, as is current practice; rather, the entire front page of Metafilter was dominated, for the next few days, by ensuing posts, related or bringing fresh news or developments. The number of comments goes up when you add the other posts, which these days would most likely have been deleted from the front page and asked to post in the main thread.

Anyway. I am so glad that the community spirit is still very much alive here just as it was then, even if I am guilty of only lurking these days. Metafilter, you are such good people. Thank you.
posted by po at 4:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Despite horrific injury and death, Boston seemed to take a breath, got its collective shit together, and said, in unison, "This is what needs to be done right now. We will grieve, but we have work to do first."

Yes. With all of the horrible images, in almost every one, you can see someone doing something the right goddamn way. The cops standing over the fallen runner, gun drawn and pointed safely at the ground, finger off the trigger while assessing the situation. The two national guardsmen working in co-ordintated unison to calmly pull away the barrier, the two of them giving the impression of the steady strength of a bulldozer at work. The race workers moving into action after only a minute or two of confusion to divert the runners to someplace safe. Carlos Arredondo. That guy, he's like the anti-terrorist. You see him in action, you know people are going to make it through.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [16 favorites]


Schneier on the most important thing we can do now: Refuse to be terrorized.
posted by mediareport at 4:44 AM on April 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I'm impressed by that picture of those Boston police officers. To my untrained eye, they seem to have responded in just the right way to such an explosion. I'm reminded of the cops and firefighters who ran into the WTC to help.
posted by Area Man at 4:51 AM on April 16, 2013


I worked in that neighborhood off and on for a few years

I worked on the Newbury St side of that block for a few years in college. It is mindnumbing to see such violence in general, but to see it in a place you are intimately familiar with is more painful than I could have imagined.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:53 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm impressed by that picture of those Boston police officers. To my untrained eye, they seem to have responded in just the right way to such an explosion. I'm reminded of the cops and firefighters who ran into the WTC to help.

Especially when you consider the easygoing, celebratory mindset they must have had literally seconds earlier. When they strapped on the badge that morning they probably figured the worst thing they'd see that day was a belligerent day-drunk college kid. Amazing to see just how quickly first responders actually respond.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:57 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yesterday I followed this as soon as it broke here and on tv, on my phone through my nieces soccer game and son's soccer practice after, and back here when we finally got home. I had a hard time sleeping, thinking about it.

For some reason, through all that watching and trying to understand (which is a fool's folly, I know) I was struck by the Cowboy Hat Guy, Carlos Arredondo. I saw a picture this morning that seemed he was one of the first people to scale the barriers and rush to help. He seemed to be beating the first responders and medics into the carnage. And then, of course, there's the photos and interviews that have been linked here.

Before I knew his name yesterday I started digging into the dark corners of the the internet thinking I could find it, just so I could focus my thoughts on such a helper instead of the tragedy of this whole thing. I was pretty sure this was him but didn't say anything because the odds seemed slim.

But it was him. This man's life, I can't even. Hero doesn't even come close to cutting it for this man.

Arredondo is a peace activist and Red Cross volunteer. He is an immigrant from Costa Rico who lost his son during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Distraught, he covered himself in gasoline and caught fire while standing on top of the Marine's van that came to notify him of his son's death. He suffered burns on 26% of his body. He later apologized to the Marines for his actions.

Later his other son, the only he had left, committed suicide due to the grief of losing his brother. Arredondo was beaten by members of the Gathering of the Eagles at an anti-war march in DC.

So many hugs to all the helpers. Endless hugs to Arredondo. He may not have been born an American but he is one now and one of the greatest, no less.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:03 AM on April 16, 2013 [66 favorites]


From my tumblr feed:

"Just a note to all people planning on giving blood, remember it only has a shelf life of 42 days. After 9/11, so many people donated that there was a glut of blood in the system and much of it expired on the shelves, unused, because there was more than needed. Also, if you donate right now, you will not be eligible to donate again for 8 weeks, so about a month after 9/11 there was a bit of a shortage, because many people couldn't donate again for several weeks. Consider delaying your donation for a week or two to insure a good steady flow of blood that will allow blood banks to replenish their inventory. Most blood banks in the United States are part of an emergency sharing system and will be shipping ready to transfuse products to Boston if they are needed. Spacing out donations insures everyone will have blood to provide their community in the coming weeks."
posted by Jilder at 5:04 AM on April 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


When I heard about the blast the first thing I did was go back and read this awesome (and terrifying) comment by warbaby. Here's the most resonating paragraph:
The current cycle will likely peak next spring. The usual pattern is for the Patriots to ride on the energy of electoral cycles and then the more violent ones will have a temper tantrum (usually in the form of mass killings) in the spring after the federal elections. You may recall the last cycle turned violent in 1995, six months after the right-wing frenzy gained the Republicans control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the Depression. The crazies like Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph don't have any investment in electoral politics, but they are activated by political agitation and take the hot air coming from the far right as encouragement and approval for their own extremism.
posted by PenDevil at 5:12 AM on April 16, 2013 [24 favorites]


I will be wearing my Wine & Dine Half Marathon shirt to work today. It may not do any tangible good, but if I acknowledge my identity as a runner, I prove that we will not be afraid.

I will still run these streets. I will still volunteer at marathon finish lines. I will not forget. I will run towards something better.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:12 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


An eyewitness account by a man, obviously suffering from shock, who helped a victim of the bombing by holding the victim's artery closed.
posted by nickyskye at 5:13 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


To my untrained eye, they seem to have responded in just the right way

There sure were a lot of them. In the couple hours it took to find my wife and walk across town to get the car the number of swat teams and tanks that converged from the surrounding area was just astonishing. The guys hovering in certain areas with sub-machine guns at ready were polite to onlookers. Everyone was somewhat subdued and shocked but not too clear on the details. Then there would be a moment almost cinematically surreal when 20 police on bike cruised past.
posted by sammyo at 5:17 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charles Pierce (new article this morning, not the one linked above): "In the lobby, there were bleeding runners—not, it turned out, hurt by the explosions, but who had been in the medical tent next door, being treated for such comparatively mundane maladies as dehydration. They’d ripped out their IVs and made space on the cots for the injured."
posted by Eyebeams at 5:26 AM on April 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


Carlos Arredondo's account.

That man NEEDS A HUG. Someone give that man a hug.


I know Carlos and Melida and am likely to see them again. I will definitely give him a hug and also one for any other MeFite who wants to thank him.

To explain just how incredible what he did was, though, his son Alex was killed in Iraq. It would have been completely understandable if he had frozen up. Instead he rushed in.

He is such a sweet man even with everything that has happened.

On preview, yes, he was definitely beaten by Gathering of Eagles while mourning his son, badly - I was one of those first on the scene. And he still has the boundless compassion to help strangers.
posted by corb at 5:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [147 favorites]


Guardian on the beginning investigation (NB: contains a few potentially distressing images and videos)
posted by tykky at 5:33 AM on April 16, 2013


Corb, that's absolutely amazing. How lucky you are to count him as a friend. His wife, as well. I understand, from reading about them, that they've both worked tirelessly and selflessly for veteran's issues. They both sound like simply wonderful humans. The world could use more Arredondo's.

Hug them for me. I know the thanks of a stranger will not mean much but please impart upon them that at least this one random person out in internet land is in awe of his life and feels great gratitude towards him.
posted by youandiandaflame at 5:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


corb, I suggest you cordon off most of Wednesday for hugging Carlos, because a few hundred people are going to ask you to. Add me to the list.
posted by Peevish at 5:46 AM on April 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


Arredondo is a peace activist ..

Wow...thanks for pointing this out. I met Carlos in 2007 at a peace march in DC. He was pulling the coffin memorial for his son as we marched. I spent some time walking with him, talking about losing our sons. He had lost his son recently, I had lost mine 17 years before that. He is a compassionate, caring individual.
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 AM on April 16, 2013 [29 favorites]


"NBC: Police Were Investigating Saudi Man When They Searched Revere Apartment" (via Talking Points Memo)
posted by BobbyVan at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2013


That's a very thin article BobbyVan. Also quotes NBC but doesn't link to their report?
posted by panaceanot at 6:10 AM on April 16, 2013


CBS News also reported the link between the Revere apartment and the Saudi national.
CBS News Senior Correspondent John Miller reported Tuesday morning the apartment search was related to a man who is reportedly under guard at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Miller reported the man is a Saudi national who is in the United States on a student visa.
Whether the Saudi was actually connected to the planning of the bombings is obviously unknown, but it seems factual to state that the widely reported search of the Revere apartment was connected to the investigation of the Saudi man.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:14 AM on April 16, 2013


Apparently there's a police press conference in 15 mins - from Guardian:
"Reuters is reporting that there will be a police press conference at 9.30am local time (2.30pm BST)."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:14 AM on April 16, 2013


I belong to a running team in NYC. Our team sent about a dozen people to the Boston marathon this year, plus another 6-10 to cheer them on. I didn't know everyone who was going (the team has several hundred members) but the people I knew well who were running it were mainly first-time qualifiers, who were so excited to get the opportunity to run Boston for the first time. I had followed their progress- training for months to qualify, spending the past 16-24 weeks on their long-time goal: to qualify for and run Boston. Yesterday morning my facebook feed was full of encouragement, excitement, and cheering for them. 24 hours later it is such a different story. We were so lucky that none of our team members were hurt, but the sadness, especially after the elatedness of earlier, is overwhelming.

I do have to admit (though I know it's not statistically any less safe now, etc. etc.) that this is impacting my decision whether to run the NYC marathon this year, which I was somewhat on the fence about-- though hearing about the first of my friends finishing, seeing their pride and happiness, I thought I had made the decision.

This is incredibly selfish, but I've never felt so happy to have been to slow to qualify.

I am so grateful to everyone who has been able to help out.

My thoughts are with the people of Boston.
posted by matcha action at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Unexploded Boston bombs could yield vital clues
posted by Artw at 6:15 AM on April 16, 2013


Map Delineating the Crime Scene in Downtown Boston
posted by seemoreglass at 6:17 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unexploded Boston bombs could yield vital clues

NBC are apparently now saying there were no unexploded devices. That really says something about how difficult it is to discuss this type of event so soon after it happens.
posted by knapah at 6:20 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


There are going to be a lot of news links posted to this thread over the next few days and weeks, and it is probably wise to give everyone the benefit of the doubt on both sides. Just because someone posts something doesn't mean they are claiming it is the gospel truth, but at the same time, not every link must be vetted by a team of factcheckers. Be thoughtful about what you add to the discussion here, and understand that by posting things, people are just trying to be helpful and informative. Hugs all around, OK?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:21 AM on April 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Chicago Tribune's Sports section this morning
posted by zombieflanders at 6:24 AM on April 16, 2013 [17 favorites]


zombieflanders: Chicago Tribune's Sports section this morning

I'm increasingly embarrassed at the level of importance Boston sports has in my day-to-day life, and I'm trying really hard not to let the antics of a couple dozen millionaires affect me as strongly as it does, but goddamnit if that graphic doesn't have me tearing up here at work this morning. Thanks zombieflanders.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: The problem is, all this speculation can have consequences. Crowds with the wrong ideas have been known to kill the wrong people in retaliation. Once a certain set of consensus ideas about what the truth is takes hold, if it later turns out to have been wrong, boom--new conspiracy theories are born.

I recall eleven and a half years ago, watching buildings fall, hearing a conservative coworker say, "Well, that's it for Saddam Hussein."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


IRS statement on the Boston Explosions. They will be providing extensions to Boston-area tax payers, with details to be announced later today.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:28 AM on April 16, 2013


Don't worry Rock Steady; Boston sports has about zero importance in my day-to-day life, and that ad totally made me tear up, too.
posted by taz at 6:32 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sometimes as much as I enjoy having news at my fingertips at it happens, when several major news outlets have reported unexploded devices and then recanted that, it drives me crazy.

I'd almost rather wait for the "evening edition" so they had time to percolate before exploding their latest rumour all over my brain.
posted by sio42 at 6:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I recall eleven and a half years ago, watching buildings fall, hearing a conservative coworker say, "Well, that's it for Saddam Hussein."

OKC Bombing, I yelled at people for assuming it was "Arab terrorists" (they used less polite wording), and those people were big conspiracy theory nuts in the next year or so. They just couldn't believe McVeigh did it. Small minded Americans are the worst, and there are soo many of them.
posted by DigDoug at 6:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


More from CBS' John Miller on why the Saudi national fell under suspicion. Standard disclaimers about early information being possibly (even likely) incorrect apply.
Law enforcement sources told Miller a witness saw a person acting suspiciously when the explosions happened along the marathon route.

"They see him running away from the device," said Miller. "Now, a reasonable person would be running away. But this person had noticed him before. This is a civilian -- chases him down, tackles him, turns him over to the Boston police. The individual is being looked at [and] was suffering from burn injury. That means this person was pretty close to wherever this blast went off, but not so close as to suffer the serious injuries that other people did."

Authorities told Miller that the person in custody is not charged and not under arrest. He is being cooperative, answering their questions, and denying involvement. They'll likely be going over this person's communications and examine every aspect of his life, as well as talk to the witness who tackled him to find out what the person of interest did that seemed suspicious.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:35 AM on April 16, 2013


Despite horrific injury and death, Boston seemed to take a breath, got its collective shit together...

That's kinda how Boston rolls, though. It's what I love most about it. The people can be outright rude (despite the stereotypes, your typical New Yorker on the street is waaaaay nicer than the average Bostonian), but when things happen, they are ON it.

I don't know why, but I'm thinking about this one time I blew a tire a few miles from my house in Somerville, and I was stupidly, overly upset about it for some reason. Probably because I was pretty broke, come to think of it. The tow guy was 110% Pure Masshole, with an accent as thick as a Kelly's roast beef sandwich. I couldn't understand about half of what he said to me, but he was just so, so capable, and sweet, and told me he'd make sure his cousin who owned the garage would give me a deal. (And he did).

Bostonians, and particularly the stereotypical Massholes, often take a little time to win over, but once you have, you've got a friend for life.

I don't live there anymore but I've been thinking about Boston a lot in the past several hours. Even once I knew my family and friends there were ok, I just kept thinking about all the things that make it dear to me.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [16 favorites]


Ah... Fleeing while Arab.
posted by edgeways at 6:39 AM on April 16, 2013 [31 favorites]


A friend just posted a photo from her morning commute -- the IBEW Local 103 headquarters right off I-93 has a massive electronic billboard whose messages range from the political to the charitable depending on what the 103 is up to. It currently reads COWARDS.
posted by olinerd at 6:40 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah you think that bystander would have tackled a white guy running away, or that BPD would still be holding or questioning said white guy?

Lets not idealize Boston too much. I'm from there. It has plenty of vicious racists and right wingers to go around, and not a few of them are cops.
posted by spitbull at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Update press conference via NBC News
posted by lampshade at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2013


Or what edgeways said. Alas I know some totally racist anti-Muslim bigots in Boston. Fuck, I'm related to one. If I were Muslim in Boston right now I'd be watching my back.
posted by spitbull at 6:43 AM on April 16, 2013


From Deval Patrick at the news conference going on now:

Only 2 devices found, all others not explosive
150 injuries
Interfaith prayer service tomorrow
Continued heightened police presence
posted by zombieflanders at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2013


My office is on Berkeley at Boylston. We had the day off yesterday for Patriots' Day, so I was at home in the burbs. A 15-block area is shut down as part of the crime scene, and our building is inside that zone, so no word when we might be able to get back in.

I was living in NY on 9/11, and arrived at work in lower midtown just in time to see the second plane hit. I remember the chaos as everyone spilled out into the streets and walked for miles to get home, since the subway was shut down, with the smoke and the smells drifting uptown.

I really couldn't face this news yesterday, but have been just reading and reading all morning, Paul Simon's American Tune on repeat and tears streaming down my face.

Not again, we just can't go through this again.
posted by libraryhead at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2013


Guardian liveblog is covering the press conference that's just starting.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:45 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sidenote: I like the auto-update thing that the Guardian liveblogs do where they add (1) to the page title when there's an update, the exact same way that MeFi does.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


zombieflanders, thanks for listening and posting that for those of us who are trying to avoid non-Metafilter media.

150 casualties? That seems really up from yesterday's count - any hope that they are minor injuries and not on the scale of what we saw in pictures?
posted by corb at 6:47 AM on April 16, 2013


I'll reiterate that everyone should read Bruce Schneier's piece Keep Calm and Carry On :  "Even the 9/11 terrorists got lucky."  "Our society is more robust than it might seem from watching the news. We need to start acting that way."
posted by jeffburdges at 6:47 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


as well as talk to the witness who tackled him to find out what the person of interest did that seemed suspicious

Let me guess.
posted by enn at 6:47 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


150 casualties? That seems really up from yesterday's count - any hope that they are minor injuries and not on the scale of what we saw in pictures?

This is what I'm assuming, yes. There were probably a lot of people who got hit with shrapnel but weren't seriously damaged, and those people probably didn't all go to the hospital immediately.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:49 AM on April 16, 2013


spitbull: "Also, as a Boston-born New Yorker who was also here for 9/11, I'm not down with all the 9/11 comparisons at all. Orders of magnitude separate the death tolls. This is horrible. But it is not comparable in any way to 2700 dead."

As far as damage goes, I agree with you. As far as observing media patterns, though, there's some useful comparison.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


corb: It covers everyone who went to a hospital, which I imagine covers minor injuries as well.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2013


[Let's steer clear of the "which tragedy is worse?" angle. For metadiscussion there is an open MetaTalk thread.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not all that familiar with Boston but I'm guessing like most cities there must be a ton of CCTV, either police or city ones or in ATM's and outside of private businesses. So here's hoping at least one camera was pointed at one of the trash cans in question.
posted by bardic at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2013


> meanwhile the 9/11 Metafilter thread was under 500 comments

I was reading MeFi then, although I hadn't signed up yet. I lived in NYC and my Internet connection was up and down all day. Many people who would have said something might not have been able to post.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some people respond to a crisis like this by running into the crowd to try to help and administer aid to the wounded; others respond by tackling the first person they see that they have a fleeting suspicion might be the enemy. I think I know which of the two I'd want watching my back. (Nthing the praise for Carlos Arredondo...)
posted by saulgoodman at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pakistani Taliban denies involvement in Boston bomb blasts

The Pakistani Taliban, an insurgent group focused mostly on the Pakistani state but which claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack in New York nearly three years ago, has denied any involvement in the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday. The group is responsible for many of the suicide bombings and terror attacks that have wreaked havoc on this South Asian nation for years. It does, however, regard the U.S. as an enemy and helped train Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who confessed to engineering a botched bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square in 2010.

Nevertheless, the group’s spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, issued a statement Tuesday disowning any connection to the bombings in Boston. "Certainly, America is our target and we will attack the U.S. and its allies whenever the [Pakistani Taliban] finds the opportunity, but we are not involved in this attack," Ehsan said.

posted by mediareport at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2013


corb: It covers everyone who went to a hospital, which I imagine covers minor injuries as well.

I heard an eye-witness account from a 13 y.o. boy(!) on NPR yesterday - his mom was in the hospital, because her hearing was damaged. Local hospitals are taking everything seriously. These are some of the best medical institutions in the world, of course they're going to come through in the clutch.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:59 AM on April 16, 2013


I agree the media reaction is comparable, and that is sort of the problem for me.

All grief is personal. But when one of these incidents happen we all want to grieve together, and that results in some significant reality distortion fields. Now for the terror porn and then overly sentimental telethons! The script is old now. The only thing missing is war drums, and that's only because deep down even a lot of right wingers suspect this is a domestic terror incident and because we have a sane president.

Bostonians are tough people. The best response to shit like this is to brush it off as best you can and go on living. By exploding in an overly sentimental orgy of second-hand grieving, we let terrorists win. Don't patronize Bostonians, is all I am saying. They've seen worse plenty of times.

I can't tell you how many people I know who have never been near NYC who are more scared and affected to this day by 9/11 than any New Yorker I know who didn't lose someone close or have a near-death experience personally.

This is Boston's tragedy, and thankfully it is not as awful as it might have been.
posted by spitbull at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, I'm guessing that they will have some sort of info re: when the trash bag liners were most recently replaced. It's the end of the race -- a lot of people standing around -- those trash cans are probably getting filled up quickly -- many volunteers helping keep things clean -- that all adds up to the fact that whoever placed the bomb probably did so in the minutes or hour/hours before the explosions. Unless of course the device was placed in a bag or in a postal box. Have they confirmed that the devices were placed in trash cans?

One more thought: Deval Patrick's voice is indistinguishable from Garry Shandling's.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


In 2001, most of the major news websites were down or only sporadically accessible - at my office in Los Angeles we were all crowded around somebody's portable TV for news - and I remember CNN eventually taking everything offline except the main story of the day, presumably because their servers couldn't handle the traffic. I thought of that yesterday, when boston.com wasn't working for about a half hour in the immediate aftermath. That kind of thing almost never happens now, and really drove home the seriousness of the situation. The internet doesn't work??!? Anyway, it made me realize how much our access to media really has changed in the past decade. For better or worse.
posted by something something at 7:02 AM on April 16, 2013


NYPD removes trash cans from the street for major public crowd events. Tell me Boston had reasons for not doing that?
posted by spitbull at 7:03 AM on April 16, 2013


I was reading the story of Carlos Arredondo (the guy in the Cowboy hat helping the most injured person w/ legs totally blown off). He is an amazing human being. For someone who has experienced so much personal pain, his unselfishness is outstanding. It gives us all hope that not everyone is a raging, angry person who is out to get others. To bad the person(s) who is/are responsible for the explosions couldn't redirect their anger into something good like Carlos did.
posted by stormpooper at 7:03 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


bardic: I'm not all that familiar with Boston but I'm guessing like most cities there must be a ton of CCTV, either police or city ones or in ATM's and outside of private businesses. So here's hoping at least one camera was pointed at one of the trash cans in question.

I'm also thinking of the dozens if not hundreds of hours of smartphone videos that must have been taken of that area over the course of the morning. It's going to require a massive effort to organize and sort through it all, but I would be shocked if we don't end up with at least a few images of the perpetrator(s).
posted by Rock Steady at 7:03 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


others respond by tackling the first person they see that they have a fleeting suspicion might be the enemy.

You don't know what the tackler saw, so "fleeting suspicion" is rather loaded. Right now his action has given investigators a lead that they believe is worth pursuing. It might have been racism that spurred him to take the action he did, but then again he might still turn out to be heroic.
posted by 0 at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Deval Patrick's voice is indistinguishable from Garry Shandling's.

Glad I wasn't the only one that thought that. By the way, our local news here in DC (Fox 5) gave out the name of the "person of interest" this morning but I'm not seeing that anywhere else. Anyone else hear this?
posted by playertobenamedlater at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Boston PD reports that two bomb sweeps were made prior to marathon. What that means exactly, I don't know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2013


One more thought: Deval Patrick's voice is indistinguishable from Garry Shandling's.

Garry Shandling and Deval Patrick have never been seen in public together. Alex Jones should investigate this lead.
posted by ocschwar at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


That was the day I learned about robots.cnn.com, which stayed up all through the crisis.

I shed a real tear when that URL quit working. Then CNN became a sort of lite version of Fox, combined with a celebrity tweet aggregator, and I quit missing it
posted by thelonius at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


NYPD removes trash cans from the street for major public crowd events. Tell me Boston had reasons for not doing that?

My guess would be because marathons (and any long race) generate an enormous amount of trash. There are space blankets, banana peels, GU things, all kinds of other gel packaging, basically a million tiny cups...and that's just the runners. The spectators had been there for five or six hours, so there's all the detritus of signs and water bottles and what not. I really don't know how they'll handle it in the future because races without large amounts of trash cans have lots of stretches that are slippery nightmares to run on.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


FBI official: "This will be a worldwide investigation...we will go to the ends of the earth..."
posted by BobbyVan at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2013


roomthreeseventeen: The Boston PD reports that two bomb sweeps were made prior to marathon. What that means exactly, I don't know.

They begin setting up the grandstands and barricades several days in advance of the race, so the sweeps may have at that point, and the bombs were placed afterwards, maybe (probably?) during the race.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2013


My guess would be because marathons (and any long race) generate an enormous amount of trash.

Not to mention that the course is 26 miles long.
posted by smackfu at 7:11 AM on April 16, 2013


You've got a more charitable reading of human nature in times of crisis than I do, 0. If the person that tackled the guy was going on anything more substantial than the vague suspicions that have been reported so far, it would be a huge surprise to me. We're still the same animals we've always been deep-down. And if the Saudi guy was actually involved, he'd most likely have taken credit immediately and started trying to issue press conferences to get his message out--if history is any guide, Islamist terrorists are almost always quite eager to take credit for their actions, hoping for a chance to sell their message.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:12 AM on April 16, 2013


From the press conference (via The Guardian again):
Police commissioner Ed Davis is asked about a bomb placed in a trash can. "There's no evidence of that," he says.
Davis said there were two sweeps for explosives before the bombing, one in the early morning and one just before the lead runners came through.
Those sweeps turned up nothing, he said, but because there's unrestricted access to the course someone could have planted a device later.
Davis gives a new, higher number for casualties, saying that local hospitals took 176 injured people. He said that 17 people were in a critical condition and that three people were confirmed dead.
He adds: "No-one's in custody."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:15 AM on April 16, 2013


And if the Saudi guy was actually involved, he'd most likely have taken credit immediately and started trying to issue press conferences to get his message out--if history is any guide,

No. He would still need to give his accomplices time to GTFO.
posted by ocschwar at 7:15 AM on April 16, 2013


Doubtful. The true believers prefer to be martyred.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:16 AM on April 16, 2013


No. He would still need to give his accomplices time to GTFO.

That implies a higher degree of planning than "start running after the boom."
posted by shothotbot at 7:17 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah - 9/11 on Metafilter. Great swathes of the internet were down. I couldn't find news anywhere. All the major news sites were being slammed. But Metafilter was still accessible. At the time, the thread seemed HUGE.

I had been reading Metafilter for about 6 months or so at that time, but that was the day I actually signed up.
posted by Windigo at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Folks idle speculation on what a random suspect might or might not be doing gets real non-useful really fast. Please consider taking more of the speculative stuff to chat. This is just a friendly suggestion, not an edict, but we'd like to keep this thread as useful as possible. There's an open MeTa thread, as you know.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


The true believers prefer to be martyred.

Timothy McVeigh didn't....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:19 AM on April 16, 2013


Total 176 injured, 17 critical, Boston Police Commissioner says.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:22 AM on April 16, 2013


I used to work nearby (31 St. James) and the whole neighborhood was full of trash after the race.

They cleaned it up promptly, of course, but spectators leave a lot of junk, and the couple of blocks of "chute" beyond the finish line where runners get a space blanket & medal & water were simply a mess of water bottles and fruit and power bar wrappers and fluttering space blankets and the like.

My brother-in-law ran as a bandit (unregistered runner who hides among the pack) one year -- maybe 1997 or '98 -- and we went down to meet him at the finish line. It was thrilling, but the crowds were very thick, and my mother-in-law was a little uncomfortable. I ran in a few of the Corporate Challenge races in the 1990s and those were smaller affairs: maybe a few thousand runners going from the Boston Common to Kenmore Square and back again. And even that was a huge crowd who made a big mess.

I also went to college in Boston, and lots of kids spent the day along the course drinking at parties or bars and lustily cheering on whoever was running past at the moment. It was fun!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2013


I think there's a lot of hokum about this sort of event that we've all internalized after 10 years of hearing pundits opine about it. The truth is, these events have some major similarities, but they also vary quite a bit. Acting like we have a total bead on how terrists do their evildoin' deeds reflects shallow media platitudes instead of observation and thought and I think we can do better.

It's truly amazing that we have so very little information about this 20 hours later. It's astounding really. I understand the cops may not have a theory yet, but whatever information they do have, they are sitting on pretty tightly, even very basic information about bomb construction and placement, time window, etc. I don't mean to be hysterial but the thought has also crossed my mind that other shoes may drop.
posted by Miko at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


CNN is reporting that the 8-year-old boy who was killed was with his family waiting for his dad to finish the race - and that his sister lost a leg and his mom has a brain injury. I just can't even.
posted by bibbit at 7:32 AM on April 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Miko, Reality does not operate on the same time-frame of a tv police procedural. Nor is it subject to our digital age's instantaneous information mind-set. Figuring this out will take whatever time it takes. There's a lot of evidence to sift through.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Or it costs nothing for investigators to not issue press releases and twitter updates but people get all bent out of shape when released information turns out to be false. There is very little upside for investigators releasing any information and lots of down.
posted by Mitheral at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Miko, I don't think I understand you. What are you thinking? I think maybe it's just more likely that cops are leaking less than usual - maybe in average things, people will talk to a reporter because they figure it's not a big deal, but this, they want to make sure they get right.

CNN is reporting that the 8-year-old boy who was killed was with his family waiting for his dad to finish the race - and that his sister lost a leg and his mom has a brain injury.

Oh god. I can't imagine being popped up on runner's high, participating in one of the Great Events...and then running up to find that.
posted by corb at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2013


‘I don’t think he could do that,’ says roommate of Saudi Arabian man questioned in Marathon bombings
posted by BobbyVan at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


No more hurting people.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:35 AM on April 16, 2013 [19 favorites]


the IBEW Local 103 headquarters right off I-93 has a massive electronic billboard whose messages range from the political to the charitable depending on what the 103 is up to. It currently reads COWARDS.

That's a good reminder - I'll have to see if Sav-Mor has anything to say at lunch time.
posted by maryr at 7:35 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anything about the actual construction of the bombs been established yet? I've seen various speculations that the type of smoke produced by the blast suggests a weed-killer based explosive, that the devices were triggered by cellphone, etc., but nothing that seems more definitive than pure conjecture.

Timothy McVeigh didn't....

Yeah. I was thinking mainly of the Islamist stripe of true-believer, who do tend to go looking to become martyrs, since some people keep harping on the Saudi national guy. It's all just speculation at this point.

posted by saulgoodman at 7:36 AM on April 16, 2013


Has anything about the actual construction of the bombs been established yet?

Nope. This information hasn't been released yet.
posted by Miko at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2013


There are foreigners (including Saudis) on the streets of Boston every day: tourists, students, and workers. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love the fact that I can walk around and hear all kinds of languages. As one example, my manager is from Turkey, but he and his wife just got their citizenship here a couple years ago. Despite yesterday's bombing, I believe that Boston has a good future, and I hope people from all over continue to come here and join it.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sorry Saul - I get what you're getting at now. My apologies.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2013


The photo of Martin linked upthread made me cry.

I just. Can't. Even.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm still in Vermont, but as luck old have it, my parents both came down with a horrible stomach bug last night. Plan was for me and my son to stay here until Thursday, but I'm strongly considering heading back...

... That is if I can get there. The map is hard to tell, but maybe someone in town can tell me what the restrictions are like in Back Bay. I live just off of Huntington Ave, which is in the "crime scene" zone. What are the odds I could get home?

(Specifically I live on a tiny side st just behind the Marriott between Huntington and the SW corridor park.)
posted by sonika at 7:44 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Specifically I live on a tiny side st just behind the Marriott between Huntington and the SW corridor park.)

I live in Cambridge, and I've been wondering about those specifics myself (just out of curiosity.) From the radio reports, they haven't been completely clear, but to me it sounds like they're saying if you live inside the crime scene perimeter, stay away for a couple of days if you can? If I hear anything more specific, I'll post it here for you.
posted by atbash at 7:48 AM on April 16, 2013


More on Carlos:
Arredondo had been at the race to support a group running for fallen veterans, one of them his son, according to the Maine newspaper, which described him charging in to help the wounded after the explosions.

Afterward, he was shaking, sometimes violently, as he told bystanders what had happened.
Arredondo didn’t set out to become a heroic figure – or a tragic one, for that matter.

Life dealt the Costa Rica native the cards that brought him national media attention long before Monday.

In 2004, Arredondo’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, died in battle in Najaf, Iraq.

When Marines arrived in a van to deliver the news, on Arredondo’s 44th birthday, he grabbed a can of gasoline and a torch from his garage, climbed inside the van and doused it, then set fire to it, severely burning himself in the process, The Associated Press reported at the time.
posted by ericb at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


My colleagues who live inside the "crime scene" are unable to enter the area, either to stay or to pick things up. They report that the residences inside the zone aren't being evacuated, but once you leave, you can't come back.

The John Hancock Tower is just outside the border of the "crime scene", and it's business as usual here today.
posted by Perplexity at 7:52 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cambridge is accessible.

They scaled back the crime scene from 15 blocks to 12 blocks. I think this is the new map.

Might want to stay where you are for a few days, sonika, if you can.
posted by zizzle at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2013


According to the new map, I'm juuusssssttttttttt outside the crime scene line. I don't know if I'll head back or not, it would have been a no brainer to stay here but my parents having to cope with a stomach flu with a toddler turning their house upside down changes the calculus significantly.

Thanks so much for the updated info!
posted by sonika at 7:58 AM on April 16, 2013


When, And Why, to Call a Bombing ‘Terrorism’
“I’m not even getting this debate right now,” says Juliette Kayyem, the former homeland security adviser to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Terrorism is a very, very scary word. If the president decides not to use it, I’ve got to believe it’s to keep people calm… If it’s just some random crazy guy with no political bent, you don’t want to get tripped up.”

That is, Kayyem explains, there’s a legalistic subtlety at work here. Calling something an “act of terror” is a legally neutral term. “Terrorism” is more problematic: a defense attorney could, for instance, say that Obama prejudiced the investigation by pre-stigmatizing a potential suspect as a terrorist. Notably, for the moment, the FBI, which is leading the Boston investigation, says it’s “too early to establish the cause and motivation” behind the bombing.

Lurking behind this definitional debate is a massive amount of subtext. The word terrorism is neutral as to the identity of the terrorist behind the act. But the association in the United States, nearly twelve years after 9/11, is anything but.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:59 AM on April 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Craig Ferguson Reacts To Boston Marathon Bombing: 'Is Anyone Else Sick Of This Sh*t?' (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 7:59 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


As an aside, there are interesting articles on the 100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment at Wall St Journal and About.com.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:00 AM on April 16, 2013


Spoke with colleagues this morning. Our office is around Columbus and Arlington, about a block outside of the crime scene; nevertheless, the president of the company asked everyone to work from home today, presumably not just for their safety but also to prevent complicating the investigation.

From the city press release: "Buildings will be inaccessible while the crime scene is active."
posted by seemoreglass at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2013


I was reflecting on the fact that this disaster, unlike 9/11, will produce a lot of survivors with permanent injuries. In 9/11, people either got out, maybe with minor injuries and lung issues from inhaling dust, or they didn't - there was little middle ground. Really, Oklahoma City is the closest analogue to that, and I don't know enough about that event to know what the nature of those injuries were and if there was as much limb loss. This number of heavily physically impacted survivors will pose a unique challenge not only for those people, of course, but also for law enforcement/reconstruction of the events and for the city's healing.
posted by Miko at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


sonika: According to the new map, I'm juuusssssttttttttt outside the crime scene line.

The map doesn't even match the press release. It says the cross streets will be closed from Huntington to Newbury, but the map only shows them closed from Huntington to Boylston. I guess the question would be whether or not Huntington itself is closed, which it doesn't sound like it is. Can you access your street from Columbus?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:02 AM on April 16, 2013


Miko, there are actually a lot of people who "escaped" from the WTC with permanent serious lung injuries, and many have died from those diseases, but they weren't as visible because many people didn't get very sick until years later.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:03 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


The map doesn't even match the press release. It says the cross streets will be closed from Huntington to Newbury, but the map only shows them closed from Huntington to Boylston.

There was a larger area that went to Newbury last night; they scaled it back to Boylston this morning and updated the map at that time. They've also been saying that they expect to roll it back one block at a time as the investigation continues.

I have no idea about the outside boundary being closed or not.
posted by atbash at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the new map, I'm juuusssssttttttttt outside the crime scene line.

Another thing to take into consideration is the potential for constant noise and sirens from the crews. I lived close to downtown DC during September 11th and the noise of the helicopters and military planes overhead, along with constant police sirens and vehicles for days, is what I remember the most. Do you have any neighbors you can ask? I imagine that if there is noise, it could be hard on a toddler.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carlos Arredondo's account.

I went back to look for Carlos' last name as I realized that he was this MeFite's major hero yesterday. As many mentioned, he seemed to be everywhere. There he was right after, his flag held high in the air, being the goddamned citizen we wish we all were at heart. The hat, the photo of him in it with his dead son's boots, there at the race line. With that guy who'd had his legs stripped from him. His face amongst that collage of two scenes, amongst the four respponders.

The same flag, bloodied in the video above: I begin to cry as this motherfucker has held on to it, held on to it all this time. Cried as his hands shook more as he unfurled it and knew that there were two symbols of my country trying to hold it together.

Carlos would go.

Carlos stands out in a crowd with his hat and his flag. He was not alone in his deeds, just amongst the more conspicuous.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:09 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


New York Times reports, according to anonymous law enforcement source, that Saudi national "was not involved in the attack."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, I can access my street from Columbus. Getting to my house from the south is trickier but by no means impossible. I wouldn't get there until this evening at the earliest, probably still plenty of noise but I imagine the worst of it will have quieted down some. Again, no idea if I'm going to make the trek, just needed info as to whether or not it's actually an option.
posted by sonika at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2013


I'm off this week, but I work at one of the hospitals that received victims. Even in IT, where I work, we're basically told that if there is some sort of disaster we might need to be called in to assist. My ID even lets me get past road blocks if I'm going to work. Yesterday they activated the mass casualty command center and we all got an alert page. I knew I wouldn't need to come in (seriously, I deal with software) but I did follow the emails that were sent out giving status updates.

Today the president/CEO of the hospital sent as an email saying that because so many staff came in on their own, they didn't need to ask additional staff to come in.

This is a great fucking city. Next year's Marathon will be the best ever. Hopefully my friend who had to stop 100 yards from the finish line will run again and cross the line next year.
posted by bondcliff at 8:12 AM on April 16, 2013 [25 favorites]


Ezra Klein and Bruce Schneier: ‘If you are scared, they win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose.’
posted by zombieflanders at 8:14 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hope this doesn’t come off as a comparison of tragedies, because I do not mean to do so, but between NYCM 2013 (2012 was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy) and Boston 2014, I think runners are going to do an incredible amount of healing to the Northeast Corridor.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:15 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are reports that they are evacuating La Guardia for a suspicious package? I need to fly out of Logan tomorrow morning and all of this is making me incredibly jittery. I hate flying enough as it is.
posted by lydhre at 8:15 AM on April 16, 2013


Here's a photo of people evacuating La Guardia today. Crazy.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:16 AM on April 16, 2013


bostonmarathonconspiracy.com

Thank you, Jaime Muehlhausen.
posted by wensink at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2013 [37 favorites]


There are reports that they are evacuating La Guardia for a suspicious package.

There will likely be a lot of "suspicious package" calls/evacuations in NYC over the next few days (hopefully without any bombs being found.) According to NY Scanner on Twitter, there were a lot of them yesterday.
posted by Jahaza at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2013


They just evacuated a US Airways flight at Logan, too.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2013


Apparently they've stopped a flight from Philly to Boston on the ground at Logan for a "security incident", but that could be anything with everyone on alert.
posted by marmot at 8:18 AM on April 16, 2013


Wensink this was so not what I was expecting. Thank you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sources told FOX 25 there was an American Airlines flight that was headed to Chicago. There were two men on that plane – not sitting next to each other – and speaking Arabic.

There were some concerned marathoners on the flight so the plane was brought back to the gate and the two men were escorted off the plane.


Oh dear.
posted by knapah at 8:22 AM on April 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


Sigh, so it begins.
posted by Think_Long at 8:25 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just want to thank everyone for being explicit as to what they're linking to, and the content of pictures. I am not going to any other news sites about this because I can't bear the thought of running across any pictures I can't unsee.
posted by KathrynT at 8:25 AM on April 16, 2013 [20 favorites]


ahh..."sources".....Fox News.....speaking Arabic....airplanes
posted by lampshade at 8:30 AM on April 16, 2013


President Obama press conference just started.
posted by ericb at 8:31 AM on April 16, 2013


Miko, there are actually a lot of people who "escaped" from the WTC with permanent serious lung injuries, and many have died from those diseases, but they weren't as visible because many people didn't get very sick until years later.

That's what I meant by "lung issues from inhaling dust." I can see the way the sentence is might be suggesting I thought that was minor, but I don't. Still, that is secondary to the event. Something feels different, psychologically, about a domestic event's having created dozens of instant amputees.
posted by Miko at 8:32 AM on April 16, 2013


President Obama just said FBI is investigating the bombings as "an act of terrorism."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:36 AM on April 16, 2013


Fox has about the same amount of credibility as the New York Post. Please do not assume the worst of people because of a Fox News story.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:41 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boston and Halifax have a significant historical tie, so I'm glad and not at all surprised to see Nova Scotia is sending help. For all the damage they do, tragedies do bring good people together, and help you see that there are more good people than you realized.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Obama:
What the world saw yesterday were stories of heroism and love...If you want to know who we are, who America is, how we respond to evil -- that's it. Selflessly, compassionately, unafraid."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [17 favorites]


Honestly, who cares if Obama calls it terrorism? I mean, we all know the answer to that question, but seriously -- what fucking difference does it make?

The cops and FBI are working the case. And the president's job is to let them do their job, not hop on Air Force One and track down the perpetrators himself, wing-nut fantasies about how he "failed" in Benghazi by not personally stopping the consulate assault himself.
posted by bardic at 8:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


President Obama just said FBI is investigating the bombings as "an act of terrorism."

Well, he said the magic word, so everything is good now.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


BobbyVan, I'm not sure why you think that's important, but it does seem an at least slightly different statement than if the president had said yesterday that the bombings were terrorist acts, which as was pointed out above, can have a specific legal meaning defense lawyers might be able to take advantage of in court - i.e., claiming that the president had prejudiced the case against the defendants.
posted by mediareport at 8:43 AM on April 16, 2013


We all know that it's only terrorism when a brown and/or Muslim person does it. If it's a lone-nut white male (statistically by far the most likely perp) he was a bad apple/deranged loner/troubled young man, etc.

These are the rules for American media outlets, at least.
posted by bardic at 8:46 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just choked up a little reading about the Boston-Halifax relationship and relief. Thanks for posting that.
posted by corb at 8:47 AM on April 16, 2013


[Folks, please. Parodying the voices of media outlets you dislike is counterproductive to reasonable discussion in this thread. Riffing on worst case scenarios is toxic at this point. Reconsider doing that.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


The definition of what is a terrorist act has always seemed vague to me, but I think we can all agree that it's not just something that scares people. We don't call most mass shootings "terrorist acts" (although I probably would define many of them that way), and I don't know why a bombing has a lower threshold for using that word. Is it somehow scarier?
posted by muddgirl at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2013


Hey folks, we had the "white people can't be terrorists herpderp" conversation yesterday, and it was obvious then, too.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe we could keep this thread about actual facts about the actual incident and hand wringing about the state of the media/nation for another forum?
posted by shothotbot at 8:49 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


We all know that it's only terrorism when a brown and/or Muslim person does it. If it's a lone-nut white male (statistically by far the most likely perp) he was a bad apple/deranged loner/troubled young man, etc.

You know, people are always complaining about this, but is it really true? I have never heard anyone in the media try to say that people like Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski were anything but terrorists. On the contrary, it seems widely accepted even by Fox News types that domestic, white-man-perpetrated terrorism is still terrorism. I mean, I'm as left-wing as the next MeFite, but I'm not sure I believe that this assumption we throw around is actually a truth.
posted by something something at 8:49 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


These are the rules for American media outlets, at least.

There's an extent to which this is true, but I'd point out that terrorism is the dominant narrative of the bombing right now, even absent any evidence about who did it or why. There's obviously a type of act that gets called terrorism when the perpetrator is Muslim, but not when the perpetrator is white, but I really don't think anyone's going to stop calling this terrorism if it turns out to be a white guy.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The definition of what is a terrorist act has always seemed vague to me, but I think we can all agree that it's not just something that scares people.

I think part of the definition is that the violence is connected with a political agenda or message, a la the Unabomber manifesto.
posted by Miko at 8:51 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: "The definition of what is a terrorist act has always seemed vague to me, but I think we can all agree that it's not just something that scares people. We don't call most mass shootings "terrorist acts" (although I probably would define many of them that way), and I don't know why a bombing has a lower threshold for using that word. Is it somehow scarier?"

Terrorism is specifically the systematic use of violence as a means of coercion. Mass shootings,especially if they are by lone gunman, may not fit that definition.
posted by zarq at 8:52 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think part of the definition is that the violence is connected with a political agenda or message, a la the Unabomber manifesto.

So it would not be appropriate to use it here, yet, since we know neither the perpetrator nor the motivation.

I really do think it says something about our relationship with violence that mass bombings are seen as more likely to be politically motivated than mass shootings.

Mass shootings,especially if they are by lone gunman, may not fit that definition.

Neither might bombings. (I also don't really agree with the 'lone gunman' distinction. The idea that someone is a 'lone gunman' or in the case of bombings a 'lone madman' is often used to deliberately obscure ties to organized groups who provide financial and philosophical backing to a perpetrator but don't want to lose any social legitimacy. We see this with anti-abortion-motivated terrorism all the time.)
posted by muddgirl at 8:55 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, people are always complaining about this, but is it really true? I have never heard anyone in the media try to say that people like Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski were anything but terrorists. On the contrary, it seems widely accepted even by Fox News types that domestic, white-man-perpetrated terrorism is still terrorism. I mean, I'm as left-wing as the next MeFite, but I'm not sure I believe that this assumption we throw around is actually a truth.

The discursive shift from terrorism to extremism/similar was pretty noticeable around Anders Behring Breivik.
posted by knapah at 8:56 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fucking stupid perpetual semantic derail, the right gets its teeth into this stuff and can't let go.

Call it puppy love for all the hell I care.

I'm remembering when Dana Perino, some time in the last year or so, said there hadn't been an act of terror on US soil under George Bush the Lesser.

She meant "since 9/11," which apparently didn't count despite proven negligence and malfeasance by Bush admin folks.

Now watch as they trot out Rudy "9/11 TM" Ghouliani on all the news shows because he's such an expert at where to put emergency command centers.
posted by spitbull at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2013


If you are scared, they win. If you refuse to be scared, they lose.

This is such a dumb way to frame events like this. I have no idea who bombed the Boston Marathon, but I can guarantee that whoever did is not going to "win" in any coherent, reality-based way, no matter how people react. Terrorists can hurt and scare people in Boston but they will never be on the winning side, because in Boston and the US in general there's not any kind of successful insurgency that reaches tangible goals through terrorism. The people who live in Boston are going to continue living their lives despite the bombing, even if it does make an impact on their lives. And the people who want to inflict pain and suffering on others through attacks like this will continue to be an untolerated fringe with no real power in the world. People who help others and try to make the world a slightly better place than it would be without them will always win, regardless of whether small numbers of people are able to make the world worse.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, by Louise Richardson, has a good definition of terrorism.

She says the act has to be politically inspired; it has to be violent; it has to be intended to send a message; the act and victim usually have political significance; it isn't done by a state; individual victims are interchangeable; and civilians are the target.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:59 AM on April 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


I really do think it says something about our relationship with violence that mass bombings are seen as more likely to be politically motivated than mass shootings.

I think there's a lot of history behind that assumption, more than anything else. We can all probably name several terrorist bombing campaigns, but not so many can name mass shooting campaigns (I can't name any offhand, but I assume some group, somewhere had one).
posted by hoyland at 9:01 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mass shootings,especially if they are by lone gunman, may not fit that definition.

2002 Los Angeles Airport shooting: "The 2002 Los Angeles Airport shooting was a terrorist attack carried out on July 4, 2002 by a lone gunman at the airline ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California."

While it's logical to expect our public discourse to use the word terrorism to refer to acts of mass violence carried out by more-or-less politically motivated actors, in reality, our discourse distinguishes at least in part based on the perceived ethnicity and political orientation of the actors. It's not fair, or right, or accurate. But it is how the language is used.
posted by mwhybark at 9:02 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to thank Wordshore for posting the link to my little blog post about a nondescript UK runner popping round her local park in a half marathon tshirt in honour of the victims and everyone affected and runners around the world. I didn't mean for it to go a bit viral, it was just a personal expression, and I'm in hugely exalted company on this page, but I am a Mefite as well as a runner, and it means a lot to me. Thank you.
(Liz Broomfield)
posted by LyzzyBee at 9:05 AM on April 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Mass shooting campaigns:

Guatemala

Balkans

Granted, these were genocidal in intent and carried out by military and neo-military forces. But it's reasonable to argue that they are also acts of terror.
posted by mwhybark at 9:06 AM on April 16, 2013


WASHINGTON (AP) — Person briefed on probe: #Boston explosives made of pressure cookers with metal, ball bearings
posted by BobbyVan at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2013


Well, and Norway.
posted by Miko at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is such a dumb way to frame events like this. I have no idea who bombed the Boston Marathon, but I can guarantee that whoever did is not going to "win" in any coherent, reality-based way, no matter how people react. Terrorists can hurt and scare people in Boston but they will never be on the winning side, because in Boston and the US in general there's not any kind of successful insurgency that reaches tangible goals through terrorism. The people who live in Boston are going to continue living their lives despite the bombing, even if it does make an impact on their lives.

I believe that that's what "if you're scared they win" is trying to say.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


anyway, kind of a derail, sorry to interject.
posted by mwhybark at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2013


muddgirl: " Neither might bombings.

Of course. There are exceptions to every rule, and one does not preclude the other. However, as we've seen in the last few decades, terrorist groups (including Al Queda and the IRA) as well as individual terrorists with a clear political agenda (McVeigh, Rudolph) seem more likely to use bombs as well as targeted assassinations to incite terror and coerce a population rather than mass shootings.

... anti-abortion-motivated terrorism...

Many of which have been classed by the government and media as acts of domestic terrorism, including the shooting of George Tiller.
posted by zarq at 9:11 AM on April 16, 2013


mwhybark: ""The 2002 Los Angeles Airport shooting was a terrorist attack carried out on July 4, 2002 by a lone gunman at the airline ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California.""

Yes, which is why I used the word "may."
posted by zarq at 9:13 AM on April 16, 2013


A bit of a sidetrack, but I dug up a photo of Carlos Arrendondo pulling the memorial that I took in 2007 in DC... Thought I would share it with you.
posted by HuronBob at 9:15 AM on April 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Does anyone know what "Person briefed on probe" means in that Globe tweet? Is "Person" a name?
posted by Miko at 9:15 AM on April 16, 2013


It's just odd. Was it an "official?" an "individual?" "Person" seems so vague.
posted by Miko at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2013


This is getting a bit off-topic and I think we're mostly agreeing with each other about what constitutes terrorism, but quibbling around the edges.
posted by muddgirl at 9:17 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Muddgirl, yes. Agreed.

A journalist colleague explained to me once that her outlet (large NYC newspaper) tries to be circumspect when using the words 'terrorist' and 'terrorism' because of how much import they have in post-9/11 America. We hear the words and immediately think that any incident might not be isolated, etc. So that might also be a factor?

(Obviously she doesn't work for the NY Post.)
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on April 16, 2013


According to this guy, apparently the devices were not placed in trash cans. The devices were inside 6 liter pressure cookers; those were inside black duffel bags that were placed on the ground. Inside the pressure cookers were shards of metal, nails and ball bearings.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:23 AM on April 16, 2013


I dislike the restriction of the term terrorism to non-state action, but really this probably isn't the place for a debate on that.
posted by knapah at 9:24 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Can you even easily just buy ball bearings? Seems like an obvious line of investigation if you can, since how many random citizens buy a few gallons of them?
posted by Rumple at 9:26 AM on April 16, 2013


The AP seems to have the reporters getting the goods: everything new I've seen in the last few hours is other producers/outlets citing the AP. I'm just gonna follow their Twitter for the time being.
posted by Miko at 9:27 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can totally just buy ball bearings, yeah.
posted by penduluum at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rumple: ebay, if nothing else.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2013


I make indie nail polish. I buy OODLES of ball bearings to put in the bottles. Easy-peasy to buy.
posted by Windigo at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, I found my "person" at the AP too: "The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing."
posted by Miko at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2013


Yeah. As an engineering student in a kinetic sculpture class we bought tons of them. Go to McMaster, order fancy ones if you want, or just order BBs.
posted by olinerd at 9:29 AM on April 16, 2013


Amazon.com

Industrial & Scientific › Power Transmission Products › Bearings › Ball Bearings

Showing 1 - 16 of 29,563 Results

posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, people buy ball bearings all the time. Hardware stores carry them. People use 'em in games, to make weights, etc.
posted by Miko at 9:30 AM on April 16, 2013


They're pretty inexpensive.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:31 AM on April 16, 2013


Heck I can go down to the salvage store in my small city and get a shit ton of them, do it in smallish increments and pay cash = no trail.
posted by edgeways at 9:31 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


And lead and stainless steel shot are just as easy to get.
posted by peeedro at 9:32 AM on April 16, 2013


On FB, this photo is circulating as a photo of Martin Richard, age 8, who was killed in the explosion. If it's really him .... well, I hope his message of peace is the enduring image of this event. (links to George Takei's FB page; don't read the comments.)
posted by anastasiav at 9:32 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tea Party Nation: Boston Attack Occurred Because Obama Administration Is 'Not Committed to Protecting America'
posted by Miko at 9:36 AM on April 16, 2013


Women Leave Flowers at the Home of Martin Richard
posted by Miko at 9:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


anastasiav: As far as I can tell, this is the source of that photo
posted by trueluk at 9:40 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll believe that the Tea Party wants to fight radical ideologies that threaten America when they disband and permanently stop fearmongering against brown people, Muslims and the Federal government.
posted by zarq at 9:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Advice on how to be a helper, from the members of the Walt Disney World 3 o'clock parade
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tea Party Nation: Boston Attack Occurred Because Obama Administration Is 'Not Committed to Protecting America'

Yep, that will be a headline for the next few weeks. They've been inching towards it since yesterday.

There will also b an "outcry" because he didn't use the word terrorism in that first press conference.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Democracy Now had interviews with Carlos Arredondo, Charles Pierce and Dave Zirin (the author of this piece) this morning.
posted by homunculus at 9:44 AM on April 16, 2013


Tea Party Nation: Boston Attack Occurred Because Obama Administration Is 'Not Committed to Protecting America'

George W. Bush just wanted to hold the hand of the Saudi king and Barack Obama just wants to bow to him.

Jeez, so many dog whistles. How many coded messages are they going for at once.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:45 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


On FB, this photo is circulating as a photo of Martin Richard, age 8, who was killed in the explosion.

That picture is breaking my heart! What a darling.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:47 AM on April 16, 2013


A cousin of mine on FB is sharing a picture of a man in a red shirt, hugging someone on the ground. The caption says that the person in the red shirt was planning on proposing to his girlfriend after she finished the marathon--his girlfriend being the person on the ground, now dead.

Can anyone confirm this, with a source more credible than a photo shared on Facebook?
posted by meese at 9:48 AM on April 16, 2013


On Facebook, a security consultant describes how they will investigate the Boston bombing...
posted by neroli at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meese, that same photo was on Boston.com's The Big Picture captioned as "man comforts a woman injured in the bombing". It's unclear what the story behind it is.
posted by olinerd at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2013


I've seen the photo, but not with that story. It definitely sounds like something to verify., though the image is really moving even without that story to go with it.
posted by Miko at 9:49 AM on April 16, 2013


meese: Snopes isn't sure but suggests it's probably made-up.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Michael Crowley (Time Magazine): 2004 DHS alert called pressure cooker bombs "a technique commonly taught in Afghan terrorist training camps"
posted by BobbyVan at 9:50 AM on April 16, 2013


That Facebook security consultant seems to be Richard Clarke, who was Security Czar under a couple presidents.
posted by Miko at 9:52 AM on April 16, 2013


I never knew about ball bearings! I guess I was imagining the industrial kind which are precision to tens of thousands of an inch. These things sound more like "round metal spheres" of no particular precision, or expense.
posted by Rumple at 9:53 AM on April 16, 2013


Buzzfeed: Boston Marathon Runners Marry Despite Terror Attacks
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here's another released photo of Martin Richard. There's a 3rd (more recent) photo showing that missing front tooth had grown. Very sad.
posted by de at 9:55 AM on April 16, 2013


These things sound more like "round metal spheres" of no particular precision, or expense.

A major application for a variety of balls is in polishing machines - you throw a bunch in to a rotating metal drum and they'll shine up the object you put in with it. No precision needed there. You can also use smaller ones for "sand"blasting applications (I think ceramic is common for this, but I'm not sure).
posted by backseatpilot at 9:56 AM on April 16, 2013


Boston Marathon Runners Marry Despite Terror Attacks

Life goes on, immediately. This is what I love about people.
posted by pjern at 9:58 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the thing is, you really don't need precision anything to make it into a killing machine. You just need things to be small, numerous, and harder than flesh and muscle. The explosion does the rest.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2013


This incident has brought back memories of going to see my Daddy run the LA Marathon in the late 80's/early 90's. I was always so proud to see my Daddy cross the finish line.

I can't imagine what it must have been like to have an event like that turn so tragic.
posted by luckynerd at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2013


The gruesome "immediately after the incident" pictures didn't really phase me, but the "way before the incident" pictures of Martin Richard are just killing me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:00 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


A major application for a variety of balls is in polishing machines - you throw a bunch in to a rotating metal drum and they'll shine up the object you put in with it. No precision needed there. You can also use smaller ones for "sand"blasting applications (I think ceramic is common for this, but I'm not sure).

I know a guy who collects antique bottles and he polishes them in way very similar to this. Like a giant rock tumbler, except with little bits of cut brass rod instead of sand.
posted by jquinby at 10:06 AM on April 16, 2013


“My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston." (FB link to statement from ABC News)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:07 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Marathon, Charles P. Pierce, Grantland, 16 April 2013
The Marathon was the old, drunk uncle of Boston sports, the last of the true festival events. Every other one of our major sporting rodeos is locked down, and tightened up, and Fail-Safed until the Super Bowl now is little more than NORAD with bad rock music and offensive tackles. You can't do that to the Marathon. There was no way to do it. There was no way to lock down, or tighten up, or Fail-Safe into Security Theater a race that covers 26.2 miles, a race that travels from town to town, a race that travels past people's houses. There was no way to garrison the Boston Marathon. Now there will be. Someone will find a way to do it. And I do not know what the race will be now. I literally haven't the vaguest clue.

Salivating Over The “T” Word, Brian Beutler, Talking Points Memo Editor's Blog, 16 April 2013
[T]hinking back over the past decade, I could only come up with one other instance in which anyone was quite so fixated on the president’s initial description of a violent tragedy in quite the same way, and it was the election year fake outrage over when exactly Obama described what happened in Benghazi as terrorism.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:07 AM on April 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


A pressure cooker was also used in the attemped 2010 Times Square bombing, although seemingly in a different manner.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 10:09 AM on April 16, 2013


On FB, this photo is circulating as a photo of Martin Richard, age 8, who was killed in the explosion. If it's really him ...

It's him. CNN just broadcast the 'peace' photo while reading his Dad's statement.
posted by ericb at 10:16 AM on April 16, 2013


Michael Crowley (Time Magazine): 2004 DHS alert called pressure cooker bombs "a technique commonly taught in Afghan terrorist training camps"

And now, a technique commonly taught in Time Magazine.
posted by spitbull at 10:21 AM on April 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


I am so glad that what is likely to be an iconic image to come from this event, of Martin Richard, has him holding a sign that says peace. I mourn for him, and the image is an unambiguous statement for his legacy.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:22 AM on April 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Someone on Twitter reminded me that the London Marathon is this weekend. Given this evening's events I bet the security around the race going to be even more insane than usual.

UK police review London Marathon security plans.

London Marathon to include tributes to Boston bombing victims.
posted by ericb at 10:25 AM on April 16, 2013


Damn ... not only are the Richards' and their family friends mourning Martin's horrible death, but I also think about his schoolmates and friends. When I was eight I lost one of my closest friends. To my little mind it was bewildering. Those poor kids who will be struggling with this. The sadness, the fear, the anger.

Damn.
posted by ericb at 10:29 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Tea Party Nation: Boston Attack Occurred Because Obama Administration Is 'Not Committed to Protecting America'

Tea Party Congressman Uses Boston Marathon Bombing To Justify Opposing Immigration Reform
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


To my little mind it was bewildering. Those poor kids who will be struggling with this.

Oh, man, you've reminded me - my brother's family lives on the Cape as well. My sister-in-law's grandmother just died, and they've both been uneasily trying to figure out how to explain that to my niece, who's four and a half. This is probably COMPLETLY freaking them out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 AM on April 16, 2013


Opportunistic Politicians Say Boston Bombing Demonstrates Need to End Sequestration, Halt Immigration Reform
posted by BobbyVan at 10:44 AM on April 16, 2013


Boston Marathon victims include two brothers who each lost a leg.
posted by ericb at 10:46 AM on April 16, 2013


Opportunistic Politicians Say Boston Bombing Demonstrates Need to End Sequestration, Halt Immigration Reform

Everyone sucks.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:46 AM on April 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Everyone sucks.

If there's anything at all to be learned from yesterday's events it's that most people do not, indeed, suck. Tons of them are awesome. Shame the few sucky people get so much attention.
posted by bondcliff at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [30 favorites]


Any opportunistic politicians seeing the harm done to the Richard family as a demonstration of the need for national health and disability assistance?
posted by de at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2013 [38 favorites]


After the OK city bombings there where a lot of 'please let the bombers be white' running through the heads of many non whites. Not in any way to play the game of blame, but to avoid the inevitable all X are Y that happens when it is a non-white perpetrator.

Sometimes it seems there is a trap of all "whites" are individuals and all "non-whites" must speak for their people. Hell, I am white and I am (unfortunately) pre-cringing about what the backlash would be if it does end up being some Saudi student, or Somali taxi driver or... well anything except a white dude I guess.


(parenthetically: Steve King has been an asshole his entire political career, no reason for this to soften his image or make him less of an idiot)
posted by edgeways at 10:53 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am continually swinging between "people suck" and "look at all the heroic awesome people." I can't even fathom.

It makes me wonder what I would do in a situation like this. Flee or help? I just don't know.

I really need to pull myself together to run a meeting in a few minutes, but my heart is breaking for Boston and the people who have been affected by this tragedy.
posted by blurker at 10:53 AM on April 16, 2013 [