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The Burning of the Ursuline Convent

In the late 1700's, when the US constitution was ratified and the first Catholic diocese was established in the US in Baltimore, the vast majority of Christians in the US were Protestants - only something like 30,000 Catholics called the new country home. This number rose dramatically within a few decades to over a million with the influx of Irish and German Catholic immigrants in the early 1800's. Simmering anti-Catholic feelings that dated back a hundred years or more occasionally boiled over - one of the most notable incidents, the burning of the Ursuline Convent, happened in sight of Bunker Hill in August 1834. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jul 13, 2014 - 19 comments

Boston 50 Years Ago

A tour of Boston (et environs) via car in 1964 Take a ride through the Cambridge, Boston, Brookline and Brighton streets of 1964. As notable for what's still there as what isn't. In 1964, Government Center is a construction site, the Citgo sign is not yet the neon icon we all know and love, and the Prudential Tower was brand new. And yet it all look so familiar as you pass the three-deckers in Cambridge and Brighton, ride down the tree-lined Jamaicaway, and dodge those Ford Fairlanes, Nash Ramblers, and '57 Chevys on Storrow and Mem Drive.
posted by briank on Jun 14, 2014 - 19 comments

The T in February, backwards and forwards.

An interactive visualization of Boston's subway system in February. With it, you can see where trains on the red, blue, and orange lines were at any moment on February 3 were in space and along their paths between stations, among many other things. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Jun 10, 2014 - 29 comments

Evernote vs. ????

Springpad to shut down. The venerable productivity app that served as a digital filing cabinet and personal organizer, has announced on its blog it will close its doors effective June 25. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on May 29, 2014 - 122 comments

Velvet Underground / Exploding Plastic Inevitable Live in Boston 1967

Rare footage of the Velvet Underground playing live in Boston (1967, sound, color, 33 mins. Dir: Andy Warhol) has recently been discovered. [more inside]
posted by item on May 26, 2014 - 22 comments

The last secret of the H.L. Hunley

"Of all the men known to have boarded the Hunley, indeed, only about half a dozen escaped death in her iron belly–yet McClintock himself survived the war, and one of the keys to understanding the events of 1879 is to establish why he did so."
Scam artists, war profiteers, double agents, possibly faked deaths, and the precursors to the IRA are all tied together by the designers and builders of the first combat submarine to sink a warship, in the American Civil War.
posted by jenkinsEar on May 11, 2014 - 6 comments

It's only supposed to be 30% of your income

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
posted by desjardins on May 10, 2014 - 293 comments

You feel like you’re carrying the abuser in your pocket.

Sarah’s abuser gained access to every password she had. He monitored her bank accounts and used her phone to track her location and read her conversations. She endured four years of regular physical and emotional trauma enabled by meticulous digital surveillance and the existing support services, from shelters to police, were almost powerless to help her. “We wish we could just stop the clock because we need to catch up,” said Risa Mednick, director of the Cambridge domestic violence prevention organization Transition House. To fight back, Transition House and others turn to the same methods used by intelligence agencies in order to keep their clients safe.

posted by ChuraChura on May 9, 2014 - 26 comments

"We are resilient; we never gave up."

How 38 year old Meb Keflezighi became the first American man in more than 30 years to win the Boston Marathon. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 22, 2014 - 88 comments

Poe, with a trunk full of ideas, is finally coming home to Boston

Edgar Allan Poe will come striding back into Boston this Fall as a life-size bronze sculpture, as designed by Stefanie Rocknak, who has created a number of fluid carvings from wood.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 15, 2014 - 29 comments

A person can never be broken

The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance. [more inside]
posted by kyp on Apr 10, 2014 - 12 comments

Boston Reunion

Photographs of survivors and responders from the Boston Marathon bombing as they convene on Boston a year later. Powerful stuff.
posted by mathowie on Apr 10, 2014 - 14 comments

Meanwhile, back in the People's Republic of Zuckerstan...

...taking a critical look at the dark side of the "Innovation Economy" There is no Google bus controversy in the Bay State. But the similarities between Boston and San Francisco now include a growing debate over the shadow side of the Innovation Economy: [more inside]
posted by anelsewhere on Feb 27, 2014 - 28 comments

The Murders Before the Marathon

Ibragim was a womanizer. He was kind to children. He had a sweet tooth, and a temper. Who killed three men in Waltham, Massachusetts, on September 11 2011? And could solving that case have prevented the Boston Bombings? The answers may never be clear, because the chief surviving suspect, Ibragim Todashev, was shot by the FBI while allegedly on the brink of confessing. Journalist Susan Zalkind's investigation turned up many more questions about the Bureau's handling of the case than it answered. It's also been featured on This American Life. Warning: the first link contains photos of Todashev's dead body.
posted by daisyk on Feb 26, 2014 - 19 comments

Philosophy For A Happy Life

Inspirational Sam Berns, who suffered from the premature ageing disease progeria, has passed away at the age of 17.
posted by gman on Jan 14, 2014 - 20 comments

Healthy cities: public health and urban planning

A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 31, 2013 - 52 comments

The fall of the house of Tsarnaev

A five month Boston Globe investigation of the Boston Marathon bombers
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 17, 2013 - 45 comments

Let Me Finish

Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers. Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Ring Lardner, and Damon Runyon. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn on Dec 10, 2013 - 10 comments

One of the most emotional pieces of radio ever recorded

Friday November 22, 1963, at the Boston Symphony Orchestra: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a press report over the wireless. We hope that it is unconfirmed, but we have to doubt it. That the president of the United States has been the victim of an assassination. We will play the funeral march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony."
posted by showbiz_liz on Nov 17, 2013 - 24 comments

Best Boston Accent Evah?

"In linguistic circles, there is a bit of excitement over the election of Marty Walsh as Boston’s next mayor. Not only does he have a strong Boston accent — perhaps the strongest in the city’s mayoral history — but his speech is a perfect example of the modern dialect, where the broad “a” sound is gone. He’s from Dohchestah. Not Dawchestah. And when it comes time to say pronounce his new job title, he shows the variability of the dialect, which is what actors who drop every R get wrong. Sometimes he’s a may-uh. Sometimes he’s a mare. And a lot of times, he skips both the Y and the R and he’s just a maeh..."
posted by anelsewhere on Nov 17, 2013 - 62 comments

Guidebooks for Time Travelers

Numerous "Stranger's Guides" written for 19th Century tourists can be found on the Internet Archive. A sample: New York (1828). Boston (1857). Washington DC (1884). Montreal (1872). London (1828). Paris (1822). United States and Canada (1838).
posted by ShooBoo on Nov 1, 2013 - 16 comments

'You need to say, 'I'm Devin Wang and I'm the person in that picture."

Portrait of a Rescue (marathon bombing photos) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 31, 2013 - 14 comments

Here is a video of a dog you might want to watch.

Mackie the Boston Terrier really likes (?) having his belly tickled. (SLYT)
posted by davidjmcgee on Sep 29, 2013 - 25 comments

Wrong way

Canadian Meredith Fitzmaurice did not expect to win last weekend's Run for Heroes Marathon, mostly because she was aiming for a 1:28 half. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 26, 2013 - 20 comments

A Day of Grace with Boston Ballet

A Day of Grace: A time lapse video of one day at Studio 7 with the Boston Ballet.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Sep 22, 2013 - 2 comments

We are simply passing through history....

"It’s not often that one finds buried treasure, but that’s exactly what happened in Wayland High School’s History Building as we prepared to move to a new campus. Amidst the dusty collection of maps featuring the defunct USSR, decades-old textbooks describing how Negroes are seeking equality, and film strips pieced together with brittle scotch tape, was a gray plastic Samsonite briefcase, circa 1975."
posted by Kid Charlemagne on Sep 4, 2013 - 40 comments

The Devil Came Up To Boston

The Adam Ezra Group (previously on MetaFilter) has released an instructional video for the benefit of those seeking a greater understanding of the distinctive accent particular to the greater Boston area, as well as a deeper appreciation of the many colorful idiomatic expressions indigenous to the region, all set to a possibly recognizable Charlie Daniels tune - The Devil Came Up To Boston (very much NSFW or Yankees fans)
posted by Curious Artificer on Aug 6, 2013 - 8 comments

Love that Dirty Water....no, really, dive in!

For the first time since the 1950s, Boston's Charles River opened for public swimming. [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Jul 15, 2013 - 58 comments

Beyond the Finish Line

The NYTimes tracks the recovery of Jeff Bauman, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 8, 2013 - 15 comments

After the Boston bombing, recovery...and fund-raising

"Two weeks ago, it took a team to lift [Mery] Daniel from bed; now she can walk 100 yards on her own. But she is also fatigued and frustrated, six weeks after a blast at the Boston Marathon tore through her legs...Now she has a new worry: Making up for lost time fund-raising." [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on May 30, 2013 - 6 comments

"...your trauma high is always someone else’s trauma."

Fire School
posted by zarq on May 27, 2013 - 13 comments

“Now I feel like I’ve earned my medal."

Yesterday, thousands of runners participated in One Run Boston, an one mile event organized for those who were injured in the Boston bombings, and those who were stopped on the course without a chance to finish. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 26, 2013 - 4 comments

Black Backpacks and Colored Circles

The Boston Marathon bombings may be fading from the front pages, but the numerous conspiracy theories that sprang up in the wake of the incident continue to rage on, spurred by professional conspiracists such as Alex Jones. Book reviewer and skeptic Anita Dalton (previously), at her new website devoted to skeptical examinations of conspiracy theories and paranormal claims, has kicked off a meticulous and in-depth series of posts comprehensively debunking the Boston Marathon conspiracy theories. (Related: Why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.)
posted by El Sabor Asiatico on May 23, 2013 - 72 comments

Easy as the breeze...

The Boston easy listening station WJIB has developed a cult following among senior citizens, children, and young artsy types. Before local radio legend Bob Bittner revived the call letters and format of the beloved beautiful music station, the 740 frequency had an unusual and eccentric history. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 on May 14, 2013 - 16 comments

The teen who's keeping you safe from TV spoilers, one tweet at a time.

Meet the 17-year-old kid who won a Boston hackathon by creating a killer hack for Twitter, blocking out TV show spoilers. Also, she's a girl, and the only solo entrant.
posted by shiu mai baby on May 8, 2013 - 19 comments

Do you spit or swallow?

Bostonians Tyler Balliet and Morgan First love wine. Drinking it, talking about it, introducing other people to it. But wine, unfortunately, is often perceived to have an attitude, a culture of snottiness and pretension that puts people off before they even get close to a wine glass. Why swirl it? What's with that obnoxious sucking sound? What the hell is the deal with spitting it out? What about the confusing vocabulary and snooty descriptors? When did wine become "sassy" or "understated", instead of "delicious"? [more inside]
posted by MissySedai on Apr 30, 2013 - 127 comments

Dzhokhar does the robot

Up until last week, "One Direction Infection," a Tumblr blog created and maintained by an eighth grader we'll call Claire, looked like any other 14-year-old's Tumblr. But over the weekend Claire's subject matter took a sharp turn. In place of candid shots of Harry Styles and Zayn Malik, there are now photos of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; instead of inspirational image macros, there are annotated crime scene photos. Gawker's Max Read on where social media fandoms meet conspiracy theories.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 25, 2013 - 99 comments

Our Fair City

Portraits of Boston
posted by backseatpilot on Apr 24, 2013 - 37 comments

Boston in lockdown as hunt for marathon bombers unfolds

What started as a report of a convenience store robbery near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last night has sprawled into a chaotic manhunt for the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. The deadly pursuit, involving a policeman's murder, a carjacking, a violent chase with thrown explosives, and the death of one suspect, has resulted in Governor Deval Patrick ordering an unprecedented lockdown of the entire Boston metropolitan area as an army of law enforcement searches house by house for the remaining gunman. The Associated Press has identified the duo as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who remains at large. Both are immigrants from wartorn Chechnya in southwestern Russia. The Guardian liveblog is good for quick updates, and Reddit's updating crowdsourced timeline of events that has often outpaced mainstream media coverage of the situation. You can also get real-time reports straight from the (Java-based) local police scanner.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 19, 2013 - 4937 comments

Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

"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 on Apr 15, 2013 - 4437 comments

Sympathy for the Cabbie

Boston taxi cab drivers, often cheated, work in a world where risk and reward are a mismatch. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 4, 2013 - 37 comments

Boston Police attempting to infiltrate house shows

“What is the Address for the local music show tonight?"
posted by Greg Nog on Mar 29, 2013 - 72 comments

Thieves Identified In Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist

"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990 – as the city was preoccupied with Saint Patrick's Day celebrations – a pair of thieves disguised themselves as Boston police officers, gained entry to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and stole thirteen works of art."* "The stolen works have a total estimated worth of around $500 million, making the robbery the largest property theft ever"* and "considered the greatest art theft in history."* Today the FBI announced that they have identified the people who stole the masterworks. They also said they had determined where the artworks had traveled in the years after the robbery. The FBI said they did not know where they were now and were appealing to the public for their help in finding them. The Gardner Museum is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the recovery of these works.
posted by ericb on Mar 18, 2013 - 96 comments

The sorry state of Boston sports writers

From the most recent Boston Magazine. "The Boston sports media, once considered one of the country’s best and most influential press corps, is stumbling toward irrelevance. The national media not only seems to break more big Boston sports stories than the local press, but also often features more sophisticated analysis, especially when it comes to using advanced statistics. To put it bluntly, “The Lodge”—as Fred Toucher, cohost of the 98.5 The Sports Hub morning radio show, mockingly refers to the city’s clubby, self-important media establishment—is clogged with stale reporters, crotchety columnists, and shameless blowhards. " There's even a whole blog dedicated to hating Dan Shaughnessy, Dan Shaughnessy Watch, aka the CHB.
posted by Melismata on Jan 29, 2013 - 17 comments

Rex Trailer, New England legend, rides off into the sunset

New England legend Rex Trailer, host of Boomtown from 1956 to 1974, has died at 84. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Jan 10, 2013 - 12 comments

The Old Corner Bookstore is Now a Chipotle

"'Personally, I think it’s slightly sad how easy it was to get,' Jessica says, referring to the building. She brightens. 'But everyone at Chipotle was really excited to get this spot because of the history, the chance to be a part of Boston’s history. This is the oldest retail location in Boston.'" (via)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 4, 2013 - 52 comments

The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre

"People haven’t been fascinated by this book because the translation is mellifluous or beautiful,” said Michael F. Suarez, a professor of English at the University of Virginia who directs the Rare Book School there. “People haven’t been attracted to this book because the presswork is beautiful. It’s not.” Instead, the Bay Psalm Book is treasured for being the first surviving piece of printing done in the British North American colonies. Only 11 copies, many incomplete, today survive. Remarkably two of those copies belong to the same owner, Boston's Old South Church. This month, the church made the controversial decision to sell one (the first such sale in 65 years), and it could bring as much as $20 million for the church's endowment.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 25, 2012 - 7 comments

Stress at MIT

The Tech, a newspaper at MIT, has published a report about MIT students' stress. (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Dec 10, 2012 - 70 comments

Tantric Negotiating

Yesterday was Day 80 of the NHL lockout, with the situation looking pretty grim after a failed intervention by US federal mediators. Then on Monday, WBZ-TV Boston's Steve Burton surprised everyone by leading off his segment with this bombshell. Tuesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Union Director Don Fehr took the unusual tactic of stepping back to allow owners and players to negotiate directly. With the annual Board of Governors meeting happening Wednesday and a press conference scheduled afterwards, NHL insiders across twitter are expressing cautious optimism that the puck will soon be dropped.
posted by mannequito on Dec 5, 2012 - 65 comments

"I'm livin' in America. And in America you're on your own."

Killing Them Softly - Trailer(Youtube) - is based on a 1978 novel by George V. Higgins (Boston's Balzac), set in Boston. The movie was filmed in New Orleans and set in 2008. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 2, 2012 - 17 comments

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