From the Boston Public Library's Postcard Collection, enjoy approximately 25,000 office proofs of postcards of the United States published by the Boston firm Tichnor Brothers Inc. The collection is sorted by state, plus a few miscellaneous US-related cards and other postcards, including two different color charts. Some images are also available on Digital Commonwealth, and Wikimedia Commons.
The Olympic Rings over Fenway? Are you wicked stupid? On Thursday the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as America’s bidding city for the 2024 Olympics, beating out San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles in the Olympic sweepstakes. As would be expected from Bostonians, reaction is less than enthusiastic. [more inside]
"Turkey drives" were an autumnal tradition from the 1800s to the early 1900s, and involved the overland strolling of flocks of turkeys from all corners of Vermont to their destination — and demise — in Boston.
A Boston Globe reporter talks to his dad about some old-school Boston-area colloquialisms.
Sea levels are rising, the land is sinking. It's going to become a big problem for some cities on the US East Coast, so in Boston people are thinking the unthinkable - copying Venice and Amsterdam, and becoming a city of canals. [more inside]
Tom Menino, Boston's 53rd and longest-serving mayor, dies at 71. He had recently published his memoirs, but announced last week that he was suspending both his book tour and his cancer treatments. "Because of his leadership," current Mayor Marty Walsh said in a released statement, "Boston is a better place today." That is an understatement -- some polls showed that more than fifty percent of Bostonians had met him at one time or another; Tom Menino was the People's Mayor. [more inside]
In light of Dries Verhoeven's public art of his Grindr interactions (since cancelled), Arne Svenson's show, "The Neighbors" (previously) and Future Femme's piece, Show Me More: A collection of DickPix, and amid questions of legality and ethics, the Guardian examines art, consent and privacy.
Vice interviews the shit out of Ben Carr, full-time dancer for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones since 1983.
If you live in the Boston area and would like to attend science, technology, math, or engineering lectures, you'll find Fred Hapgood's exhaustive and continually-updated list of Selected Lectures on Science and Engineering in the Boston Area very useful. (Here's his list of sources.) Perhaps you know of a list like this for lectures in your locality or field of preference?
Politico: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
This week Allstate Insurance released its 10th annual Best Drivers Report for the 200 largest US cities. It's wicked pissah being at the bottom (again). [more inside]
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]
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.
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]
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]
Rare footage of the Velvet Underground playing live in Boston (1967, sound, color, 33 mins. Dir: Andy Warhol) has recently been discovered. [more inside]
"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.
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]
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.
How 38 year old Meb Keflezighi became the first American man in more than 30 years to win the Boston Marathon. [more inside]
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.
Photographs of survivors and responders from the Boston Marathon bombing as they convene on Boston a year later. Powerful stuff.
...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]
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.
Inspirational Sam Berns, who suffered from the premature ageing disease progeria, has passed away at the age of 17.
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]
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]
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."
"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..."
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).
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]
A Day of Grace: A time lapse video of one day at Studio 7 with the Boston Ballet.
"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."
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)
For the first time since the 1950s, Boston's Charles River opened for public swimming. [more inside]
The NYTimes tracks the recovery of Jeff Bauman, one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing
"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]
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]
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.)
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]
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.
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]
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.