A missing Brown student was unfortunately smeared last night in the confusion/excitement/torrent of news flowing on Twitter. At about 2:45 AM this Tweet (deleted in the last 30 minutes, or so) started getting RT'd by people I follow and it moved very quickly from there up to media members RT'ing it as well. The person who posted it said they were sharing a Reddit transcript of the Boston Police scanner broadcast. The Reddit back patting from both Reddit users and new-media members came quickly because Reddit had at some point earlier speculated on the connection to the bombers and the missing Brown student. Much criticism had been heaped on their efforts to identify bombers all week, so it'd be understandable for them to want to gloat.
Except they got it wrong. I was listening to the scanner when they mentioned the first guy's name on the BPD scanner, and did not hear the second name on the scanner at all. It wasn't said. 50K other people were listening to the scanner at the time, so maybe others can corroborate this. And it turns out the guy mentioned as suspect #1 didn't have anything to do with the bombing and was probably related to another issue BPD was dealing with last night. The guy listed as suspect #2 in the above Tweet is the missing Brown student, and as we know now, was not considered a suspect.
Last night was the first time I've heard of a police scanner driving the "facts' of a major news story for several hours, and if you listened, you now know why. There were several announcements made over the scanner that turned out to be part of the understandable confusion of a massive police chase. I went to sleep right after hearing about officers being directed to a specific area for a supposed foot chase between Newton police officers and the suspect. One of the last messages I heard broadcast was, "Uh, just talked to Newton police. There was no foot chase."
Some other thoughts:
-General term "Reddit users" tossed around a couple times in this post which obviously lumps them all together. Too tired from staying up most of the night to write more artfully, but I know there's no way to describe all Reddit users as one.
-Not sure whether the scanner transcript on Reddit mentioned the missing student or if the Tweeter above just added it in to a Tweet.
-I'm not usually a fan of Tweets being deleted, but the Tweeter above did the right thing by deleting his Tweet. Before it got deleted, I noticed the RT number going down, so people were obviously trying to disassociate themselves from this message.
I don't know what to say about today. Earlier I was raw. I couldn't watch the news without tears welling and I don't know when I got so emotional because this stuff didn't used to impact me so deeply. This stuff. This stuff happened about 3 miles from where we live, around the corner from where my wife used to work, and around the corner from where she works now. It's a block I've walked down, driven down, rode my bike down countless times. I don't think that has anything to do with it. I grew up in a town along the Marathon route and can't remember ever not going to cheer the runners on. I was just wondering this morning if we'd bring our baby (who will more than likely be born in the next few days) to watch the race. I don't know if that has anything to do with it either, though it must. The baby is to be born at a hospital that was closed for several hours after the bombing because of either persons of interest or threats or both.
Did you see how quickly people ran towards the explosion on the video they keep playing over and over. The bomb explodes, there's a beat when people look around stunned, and then almost instantly, they're tearing at the fence to get to the injured. Later, over a thousand Bostonians signed up in a few hours to open their homes to out of town runners. Seeing that did help me process a little bit. One person or a group of people left the bombs at the Marathon, but so many more people were ready to help. So many more reached out with compassion to people they didn't know. I hope that's what I remember most about today. I know that at least.
Sav-Mor Liquors in Somerville and Medford have signs that are all over the Internet all the time. The Somerville Journal recently caught up with Robbie Weiner, the fella who comes up with all the signs.
For close to four years, Weiner has been the mastermind behind the signs at Sav-Mor’s Somerville and Medford locations, and there are no signs of him stopping the creativity now. The signs have done a lot more for the company than their previous marquees for wine tastings.
I'd heard this fact before about why parking in Boston is such a pain, but always meant to post it. Maybe I have. I can't remember. Basically, the number of parking spaces in Boston has been frozen at 35,556 since 1978. I'm not really sure how this works in the context of new buildings building their own underground lots, but I don't think that means they close parking lots in other parts of the city. One of the most striking things about this fact is there's no way a law like this would get passed in this political…climate. Can you imagine how the GOP would respond to this? I'm not going to blame this all on them, though because the Democrats would never suggest such a move.
In 1978 the city froze the number of off-street spaces—garages, private lots, and the like—at 35,556 in the North End, Financial District, Chinatown, Back Bay, and South End neighborhoods. (Southie and Eastie had their own parking freezes later on.) Why? Because we needed to reduce air pollution to comply with the Clean Air Act. Limiting the availability of garage parking was seen as an effective way to control the number of pollution-spewing cars that were traveling into the city. Not a bad strategy, but, predictably, with supply limited and no new competition, the owners of the city’s garages have spent the past 30 years jacking up their prices.
Here's some information about the next Super Precious Art Gallery group art show. Super Precious is one of the projects I started earlier in the year, and the shows have been getting better and better. If you like art, it'd be awesome if you'd sign up on the mailing list.
Into the highly charged political arena of this election season, Super Precious Art Gallery wades with an irreverent look at Propaganda for Non-Politicians. The show features over 20 pieces from 18 local and national artists advocating for everything from boats to coffee to Q*bert. Join us on Sunday, November 4th at Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square, Somerville for an opening reception of the show with artists on hand and prints available.
I've got a long history of fawning over Market Basket, the grocery store around the corner from my house. It's cheap, constantly crowded, and features a parking lot way too small for the number of people who want to go. There is always a police detail on site, and for the week around holidays, there are TWO police details on site. The floors are constantly sawdusted from wet breakage. The chaos in the aisles and check out area on the day before Thanksgiving and the days before Christmas is my spirit animal.
Market Basket is the perfect place to check out maniacal storm preparation, but today the road leading into the parking lot was shut for a street fair. The parking lot was more than half empty, and I've never seen the store so calm or quiet. Market Basket probably would done tremendous sales today, instead they probably won't even make their average.
The BLT Battle at Sea is my next food event in Boston. It's a 3 hour cruise around Boston Harbor with BLTs from 4 awesome Boston restaurants and food trucks (Trina's Starlite Lounge, Chez Henri, Roxy's Grilled Cheese, and Staff Meal), beer from Smuttynose and Clown Shoes. Saint Germain will also be on board making a Sunday Funday beer cocktail with Smuttynose called the Star Island Shandy.
Because no harbor cruise is complete without karaoke, there will also be karaoke. You can get tickets here. PS Check out the awesome BLT Battle art by Josh LaFayette.
I love this "Good job. Good Effort" kid. The Miami Heat lost last night's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and after the game, the crowd went mostly silent. Except for one young fan cheering for his team. His exhortations echo through the tunnel as Miami goes into the locker room to think about what they've done. His passion is charming and his parents should be proud for raising a good sport. That said, I really hope the Garden chants Good Job Good Effort incessantly during Game 6. Incidentally, Bill Simmons used to watch the Celtics from seats above the tunnel at the Boston Garden.
A few other metrics of social well-being: The Bay State has the second-lowest teen birth rate, the fourth-lowest suicide rate, and the lowest traffic fatality rate. The birthplace of Dunkinâ€™ Donuts has the sixth-lowest obesity rate. And depending on the source, the first state to legalize gay marriage has either the lowest or one of the very lowest divorce rates in the country.