Monthly Archives: May 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Published May 31, 2010

Flags on Boston Common (spanaut/Flickr)

Flags on Boston Common (spanaut/Flickr)

Not much of a hubbub around here as I enjoy a Memorial Day rest. Don’t miss today’s special edition of Radio Boston: We talk with families of fallen Mass. soldiers and hear new details about the fascinating story of a Carver soldier recently laid to rest, 66 years after going MIA over Corsica.

Enjoy the holiday.

Friday Hubbub: Cahill's Cash, Jamaican Guns, Geriatric Seal

Published May 28, 2010

Sounds of celebration in the streets of Boston, and not just for the long weekend, or the prospect of being tied up in endless Cape-bound traffic on Route 6.

The cheering, at least in our office, is for the three Friday Hubbub stories brought to Radio Boston today by our news-in-review panel.

Renee Loth, columnist at the Boston Globe, noted that independent gubernatorial candidate (and current treasurer) Tim Cahill has been proudly handing out checks to Bay State communities through the Massachusetts School Building Authority. It’s part of the treasurer’s office, and therefore Treasurer Cahill has been happy to talk about his efforts on behalf of schools. However, Loth points out that candidate Cahill is also in favor of rolling back the state sales tax and alcohol tax, two key funding sources for the school building assistance program.

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Scott Brown Comes Home To Boston College

Published May 28, 2010

In a commencement address Friday, Sen. Scott Brown told graduates of Boston College Law School that when he attended the school, his torts professor used to spend the better part of many classes drilling him. He lost a lot of sleep worrying about it.

“I was that student that always walked in with a stack of books because obviously, I was kind of a target back then,” Brown said — without explaining why he was a target back then — “as I am now.”

Listen: Sen. Scott Brown’s Address

Brown said the professor would grill him the moment he walked in, and the exchanges went like this:

“Hi Scott! How are you? How’s your morning going? Oh, it’s great, professor! So tell me about…”

Brown said the exchanges went on for 30, 45, 60 minutes. “Just me, him and me the whole time. Everyone was, like, falling asleep.”

Hundreds of graduates and families listened to him upon the artificial turf of the lacrosse field in bright sunshine. It was a graduation speech, so Brown kept it focused on the graduates. It was at times funny and others moving.

Brown graduated from the law school in January 1985. He never got to graduate with his class in 1984, because he was working in New York as a model. That’s when he posed for the now-famous Cosmopolitan spread, naked.

Look, I Just Want To Know When You Close

Published May 28, 2010

Our favorite anonymous food critic and blogger, MC Slim JB, begs Boston restaurants to stop making crappy websites:

10 Critical Website Mistakes That Boston Restaurants Make

The old Flash-intensive, desktop-oriented website aesthetic is sclerotic, increasingly ill-suited to how a smartphone-toting public uses the web. Don’t keep burying the critical information your customers seek under a fog of lounge music, frenetic animation, and slow-loading videos and PDFs. You may well find a pared-down, mobility-enabled approach generates more customer goodwill and actual business than the current generation of busy, noisy, brand-fluffing restaurant websites.

Here, here. My favorite: Lack of essential information on the home page. Why is it often so hard to find a restaurant’s hours?

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Your Boston Weekend: May 28–31

Published May 28, 2010

Hey weekenders, Andrew Phelps here. Our popular weekend preview moves to Hubbub in time for Memorial Day. Our Talia Ralph takes the reins.

A performer in Faneuil Hall. The Street Performers Festival is on all weekend long. (Mikean1/Flickr)

A performer at Faneuil Hall. The Street Performers Festival is on all weekend long. (Mikean1/Flickr)

With so much going on in Boston every weekend, how does the culture lover choose, or even find, the best of what Beantown has to offer? Let Hubbub do some of the sleuthing for you.

While Memorial day weekend is for remembering veterans, it’s also the unofficial kick-off of summer. (And the fourth of July, of course, is the end of summer in Boston.) We round up this weekend’s best in barbecue, free ice cream and campfire-worthy music. Plus, the best ways to keep yourself entertained while you’re stuck in holiday traffic.

Drooling? Satisfy your craving for ice cream, for free at The Bleacher Bar this weekend. (Kuyabic/Flickr)

Drooling? Satisfy your craving for free ice cream at The Bleacher Bar this weekend. (Kuyabic/Flickr)

Free Soft Serve Ice Cream

  • Saturday, May 29, 4p.m. to 7p.m.
  • Bleacher Bar, 82 Lansdowne St.

Who doesn’t love free ice cream? There’s no coupon, no catch and no limit on how many people you can drag with you.

Opening Weekend at The Beachcomber

  • Food served starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 12 noon Sunday, 11:30 a.m. Monday
  • 1120 Cahoon Hollow Rd., Wellfleet
  • $5-$10 per show, $25 for an all-inclusive summer pass

Wellfleet establishment The Beachcomber is kicking off its opening weekend by inviting you to chow down and get down with Boston-based R&B band Barrence Whitfield and the Monkey Hips on Saturday night, the Incredible Casuals Sunday afternoon, and Reggae DJ Bud E. Green Sunday night.

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This Little Lady Just Turned 39

Published May 28, 2010

Smoke, a 200-pound female harbor seal at the New England Aquarium, celebrates the 10th anniversary of her 29th birthday — making her possibly the second oldest seal in the country, the Globe reports. She feasted on raw herring. (Note: You must watch the video.) The average seal lives to about 20, and I figure, if the average American human lives to about 80, that makes Smoke 156 in seal years.

Trainer Belinda Brackett feeds Smoke, a 200-pound female harbor seal. Smoke has cataracts, so she doesn't open her eyes. I wouldn't expect my eyes to work at 156. (Huw Roberts for WBUR)

Trainer Belinda Brackett feeds Smoke, a 200-pound female harbor seal. Smoke has cataracts, so she doesn't open her eyes. I wouldn't expect my eyes to work at 156. (Huw Roberts for WBUR)

Intrepid intern Huw Roberts gets our seal of approval for going out to meet her today. Huw says Smoke is very friendly, just bobbing up and down in the water — and that’s about it. Her trainers compare Smoke to an old person sitting in a rocking chair, watching the world go by.

Smoke loves entertaining the kids. Also, I love that there are small children using cameraphones to capture it. (Huw Roberts for WBUR)

Smoke loves entertaining the little kids. Also, I love that the little kids are using cameraphones. (Huw Roberts for WBUR)

You’ll get a little taste of it on Friday’s Radio Boston.

20,000 Flags On The Common

Published May 28, 2010

Twenty-thousand flags memorialize fallen service members on Boston Common. (Massachusetts Attorney General's Office)

Twenty-thousand flags memorialize fallen service members on Boston Common. (Massachusetts Attorney General's Office)

My colleague David Boeri says he wish he’d had his camera to capture an arresting display of 20,000 American flags on Boston Common, in the shadow of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. It’s a must-see.

I Want Your Love Letters

Published May 28, 2010

(Photo illustration by Talia Ralph for WBUR)

(Photo illustration by Talia Ralph for WBUR)

On Friday’s Radio Boston, Meghna talks with the author of the Boston Globe’s wildly popular Love Letters blog. (I will say upfront: I am a dude and did not know this existed.) People send in letters seeking advice (often anonymously) about contemporary quandaries of modern love.

Today we’re singling out “My crush and my boss,” a particularly “long, juicy, and complicated” one. An intern named “Pam” thinks she’s falling for a fellow intern, “Jim” (hey, wait a second), but “Jim” is also falling falling for “Karen” — their boss. “Hopefully you can help me sort this out before I explode!” she cries.

So it’s a Love In The Workplace Edition of Radio Boston. And just to make things interesting, why don’t you share your love letter? We might share it on the air. There’s a safe space for you in the comments.

The Memorial Day Journey Will Be A Little Easier

Published May 28, 2010

Memorial Day destination suggestion: Coast Guard Beach in Eastham (Hadleygrass is asparagus/Flickr)

Memorial Day destination suggestion: Coast Guard Beach in Eastham (Hadleygrass is asparagus/Flickr)

As I write, I hear WBUR’s Deborah Becker telling us more people are expected to drive, instead of fly, to their destination vacations this Memorial Day weekend. That means you’ll have more company on I-495.

For once, Massachusetts has done something that makes sense with regard to transportation: All construction is halted on major roads this weekend. So those yellow construction signs on WBUR’s new traffic map can be disregarded, at least for a few days.

So where to go? You might try Coast Guard Beach, in Eastham on Cape Cod, which debuts as No. 7 on the annual list of the top 10 beaches in America. You can probably thank the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for getting Mass. onto that list.

Want To Make Your Own Kite Cam? Here's How

Published May 27, 2010

On Thursday’s Radio Boston, we’ve got a story that’s, well, awesome. Our Tom Urell reports on the Awesome Foundation, a group of 10 Boston-area techy types who pitch in $100 a month to fund a new project they deem awesome.

April’s recipient is Grassroots Mapping, founded by an MIT Media Lab student named Jeff Warren. His group of cartographers attached point-and-shoot cameras to kites and weather balloons to document the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico. The airborne cameras have captured a strangely beautiful mix of bright blue and oily brown hues. Do have a look at the slideshow.

Meanwhile, The New York Times covers an Iowa firefighter and aerial photography hobbyist who hacked his Canon PowerShot to snap a picture every 15 seconds — it’s hard to remotely control a camera from the stratosphere. The software he created works on 50 models of Canon’s happy snappers, and a community has formed around it.

We’ll also hear about March’s “Awesome” recipient: Charles Fracchia, who is creating organic ink. Living, growing ink. Your pen never runs out of ink. Because the ink grows. It’s alive.