How can it possibly be fifteen years ago for something that to many of feels like it happened yesterday?

Exactly fifteen years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States of America. They flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon near Washington, DC. They most likely would also have flown a plane into the Capitol building but were stopped by the passengers of United 93. Almost 3,000 people died that day.

Because I'm obsessed with exactness, I've made sure for a while now to know the exact times of certain events that took place on 9/11. The bare sequence of events at the World Trade Center was as follows:

8:46:26 AM: North Tower Hit
9:02:54 AM: South Tower Hit
9:59:04 AM: South Tower Collapsed
10:28:31 AM: North Tower Collapsed

I'm a New York City native, born and raised in Queens, and I grew up in a city in which the Towers always stood. On 9/11, I was a teacher at a private school in Newton, Massachusetts. The following comes from my journal, a hand-written one that I was keeping at the time.

"The second [staff] meeting ended early, and I went back to the Science lab to check my e-mail. I idly noted a message...which said that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.

"I didn't really think much of it and I went back to the Information Center. Shortly after the meeting...began, [a colleague] walked in and asked if we had heard the news. He told us that two planes had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and he set up the small TV to receive CNN. They showed pictures of two commercial jets crashing into the twin towers...

"I ran to the phone...to call [my younger brother Joshua] at work. At 9:35 AM I called and got him. He had just gotten in, and he said that he seen the smoke from the 7 train. I told him to stay in touch, but due to circuits being busy, I wasn't able to reach New York City again for a while.

"The rest of the day passed in a blur of rumors and news. I kept checking webpages; when I couldn't reach CNN, checked the New York Post webpage and the Newsday webpage. [I had called Nomi, and she had suggested the second-tier news sites.]

"At 10:15 AM, the...students returned from their physical education class...and...we told them the news...

"When the meeting with the students ended, I collapsed in tears..."

There's more, of course, but to summarize, I spent the day trying to get news of family and friends, making sure they were all safe. They were.

I was scheduled to help teach a kindergarten class that afternoon. They were doing a unit on bears and I had a very large Folkmanis brown bear puppet with me that day. The school had deliberately kept the kindergarten students unaware of the day's events, so when I walked into that classroom, they were all smiles and laughter as they played with the bear puppet I was holding.

The drive home was surreal, knowing that fighter planes and battleships were protecting New York City. Nomi was already home, as her office had sent everyone home early. The rest of my family was safe, but my older brother, an emergency medicine physician, had been called up to report to New York City. Nomi and I took a walk at 5:30 PM, which included browsing at Brookline Booksmith and getting ice cream at JP Licks. Everything on TV was the news; we watched C-SPAN, which was running a feed from the CBC, so we could get the Canadian perspective.

The next few days, the events were fresh in everyone's mind. On Wednesday, I flinched at hearing an airplane in the sky, then remembered that all commercial flights had been grounded, so it had to be one of our military aircraft, protecting us. I bought my regular comic books that day; Adventures of Superman #596 had an eerie panel of the twin towers of Metropolis being repaired. A friend came over that evening after attending a local religious service.

On Thursday, Nomi and I were sick of the news, and Animal Planet had gone back to regular programming. We watched a documentary about moose to help us get our minds off things.

And life went on. Today, I'm no longer teaching, but editing science curricular materials in Boston; my younger brother no longer lives in New York City, but in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and three children; and my older brother is still an emergency medicine physician in the Boston area, specializing in disaster management.

And as all my friends know, there have been other changes in my life. In 2007 I lost my mom. In 2008 I published a book collection of many of my short stories. And in 2009, Nomi and I welcomed two precious and adorable girls into our lives. Being a parent changes your perspective on a lot of things, and 9/11 is no exception. When the attacks happened, I was worried for my mom and my brothers; if something were to happen today, my first priority would be to make sure that my children were safe.

I probably don't need to tell anyone this, but today's a very good day to remind your loved ones, families, and friends how much they mean to you.

Thirteen years ago today was the Great Blackout of 2003, which hit much of the northeast United States and parts of Canada.

Read more... )
Today is the 97th anniversary of:

THE GREAT BOSTON MOLASSES FLOOD

"Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city’s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured more than a hundred, and caused widespread destruction."

The above is quoted from author Stephen Puleo, who has published a wonderful book about the flood called "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919." It tells the story of what happened and also places the event in historical context. For more information on the book, you can visit his website at http://www.stephenpuleo.com.
Exactly fourteen years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States of America. They flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon near Washington, DC. They most likely would also have flown a plane into the Capitol building but were stopped by the passengers of United 93. Almost 3,000 people died that day.

Because I'm obsessed with exactness, I've made sure for a while now to know the exact times of certain events that took place on 9/11. The bare sequence of events at the World Trade Center was as follows:

8:46:26 AM: North Tower Hit
9:02:54 AM: South Tower Hit
9:59:04 AM: South Tower Collapsed
10:28:31 AM: North Tower Collapsed

I'm a New York City native, born and raised in Queens, and I grew up in a city in which the Towers always stood. On 9/11, I was a teacher at a private school in Newton, Massachusetts. The following comes from my journal, a hand-written one that I was keeping at the time.

"The second [staff] meeting ended early, and I went back to the Science lab to check my e-mail. I idly noted a message...which said that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.

"I didn't really think much of it and I went back to the Information Center. Shortly after the meeting...began, [a colleague] walked in and asked if we had heard the news. He told us that two planes had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and he set up the small TV to receive CNN. They showed pictures of two commercial jets crashing into the twin towers...

"I ran to the phone...to call [my younger brother] at work. At 9:35 AM I called and got him. He had just gotten in, and he said that he seen the smoke from the 7 train. I told him to stay in touch, but due to circuits being busy, I wasn't able to reach New York City again for a while.

"The rest of the day passed in a blur of rumors and news. I kept checking webpages; when I couldn't reach cnn.com, checked the New York Post webpage and the Newsday webpage. [I had called Nomi, and she had suggested the second-tier news sites.]

"At 10:15 AM, the...students returned from their physical education class...and...we told them the news...

"When the meeting with the students ended, I collapsed in tears..."

There's more, of course, but to summarize, I spent the day trying to get news of family and friends, making sure they were all safe. The drive home was surreal, knowing that fighter planes and battleships were protecting New York City. Nomi was already home, as her office had sent everyone home early. The rest of my family was safe, but my older brother, an emergency medicine physician, had been called up to report to New York City. Nomi and I took a walk at 5:30 PM, which included browsing at Brookline Booksmith and getting ice cream at JP Licks. Everything on TV was the news; we watched C-SPAN, which was running a feed from the CBC, so we could get the Canadian perspective.

The next few days, the events were fresh in everyone's mind. On Wednesday, I flinched at hearing an airplane in the sky, then remembered that all commercial flights had been grounded, so it had to be one of our military aircraft, protecting us. I bought my regular comic books that day; Adventures of Superman #596 had an eerie panel of the twin towers of Metropolis being repaired. A friend came over that evening after attending a local religious service.

On Thursday, Nomi and I were sick of the news, and Animal Planet had gone back to regular programming. We watched a documentary about moose to help us get our minds off things.

And life went on. Today, I'm no longer teaching, but editing science curricular materials in Boston; my younger brother no longer lives in New York City, but in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and three children; and my older brother is still an emergency medicine physician in the Boston area, specializing in disaster management.

And as all my friends know, there have been other changes in my life. In 2007 I lost my mom. In 2008 I published a book collection of many of my short stories. And in 2009, Nomi and I welcomed two precious and adorable girls into our lives. Being a parent changes your perspective on a lot of things, and 9/11 is no exception. When the attacks happened, I was worried for my mom and my brothers; if something were to happen today, my first priority would be to make sure that my children were safe.

I probably don't need to tell anyone this, but today's a very good day to remind your loved ones, families, and friends how much they mean to you.
The Green Line
Announced a service issue
Power was out
Due to an issue with an Outbound train
And we were advised to take the Orange Line
But no person came to tell us
No one made it clear
That the message applied to those of us
On the Inbound platform as well.
Finally, I walked.

Copyright 2015 Michael A. Burstein
Exactly thirteen years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States of America. They flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon near Washington, DC. They most likely would also have flown a plane into the Capitol building but were stopped by the passengers of United 93. Almost 3,000 people died that day.

Because I'm obsessed with exactness, I've made sure for a while now to know the exact times of certain events that took place on 9/11. The bare sequence of events at the World Trade Center was as follows:

8:46:26 AM: North Tower Hit
9:02:54 AM: South Tower Hit
9:59:04 AM: South Tower Collapsed
10:28:31 AM: North Tower Collapsed

I'm a New York City native, born and raised in Queens, and I grew up in a city in which the Towers always stood. On 9/11, I was a teacher at a private school in Newton, Massachusetts. The following comes from my journal, a hand-written one that I was keeping at the time.

"The second [staff] meeting ended early, and I went back to the Science lab to check my e-mail. I idly noted a message...which said that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.

"I didn't really think much of it and I went back to the Information Center. Shortly after the meeting...began, [a colleague] walked in and asked if we had heard the news. He told us that two planes had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and he set up the small TV to receive CNN. They showed pictures of two commercial jets crashing into the twin towers...

"I ran to the phone...to call [my younger brother] at work. At 9:35 AM I called and got him. He had just gotten in, and he said that he seen the smoke from the 7 train. I told him to stay in touch, but due to circuits being busy, I wasn't able to reach New York City again for a while.

"The rest of the day passed in a blur of rumors and news. I kept checking webpages; when I couldn't reach cnn.com, checked the New York Post webpage and the Newsday webpage. [I had called Nomi, and she had suggested the second-tier news sites.]

"At 10:15 AM, the...students returned from their physical education class...and...we told them the news...

"When the meeting with the students ended, I collapsed in tears..."

There's more, of course, but to summarize, I spent the day trying to get news of family and friends, making sure they were all safe. The drive home was surreal, knowing that fighter planes and battleships were protecting New York City. Nomi was already home, as her office had sent everyone home early. The rest of my family was safe, but my older brother, an emergency medicine physician, had been called up to report to New York City. Nomi and I took a walk at 5:30 PM, which included browsing at Brookline Booksmith and getting ice cream at JP Licks. Everything on TV was the news; we watched C-SPAN, which was running a feed from the CBC, so we could get the Canadian perspective.

The next few days, the events were fresh in everyone's mind. On Wednesday, I flinched at hearing an airplane in the sky, then remembered that all commercial flights had been grounded, so it had to be one of our military aircraft, protecting us. I bought my regular comic books that day; Adventures of Superman #596 had an eerie panel of the twin towers of Metropolis being repaired. A friend came over that evening after attending a local religious service.

On Thursday, Nomi and I were sick of the news, and Animal Planet had gone back to regular programming. We watched a documentary about moose to help us get our minds off things.

And life went on. Today, I'm no longer teaching, but editing science curricular materials in Boston; my younger brother no longer lives in New York City, but in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and three children; and my older brother is still an emergency medicine physician in the Boston area, specializing in disaster management.

And as all my friends know, there have been other changes in my life. In 2007 I lost my mom. In 2008 I published a book collection of many of my short stories. And in 2009, Nomi and I welcomed two precious and adorable girls into our lives. Being a parent changes your perspective on a lot of things, and 9/11 is no exception. When the attacks happened, I was worried for my mom and my brothers; if something were to happen today, my first priority would be to make sure that my children were safe.

I probably don't need to tell anyone this, but today's a very good day to remind your loved ones, families, and friends how much they mean to you.
Eleven years ago today was the Great Blackout of 2003, which hit much of the northeast United States and parts of Canada. Where were you?

I was at home (in Brookline, Massachusetts, which did not lose power) on the computer when the phone rang at 4:33 PM. It was my younger brother, Josh, in New York City, calling to ask me if I knew what was going on. As I had left the TV news on in the living room, and the TiVo was recording its buffer, I was able to start describing the news to him and I learned of the blackout as I told him what was going on.

I served as the point person for my younger brother, my sister-in-law, and my mother for the next few hours. Josh had to sleep overnight in Manhattan. Rachel had to care for their new baby daughter, and I gave her information on New York City emergency lines and hospitals. And Mom stayed home.

I recorded NBC Nightly News that evening and the Today show the next day, and a few months later I gave the VHS tape to Josh so he could see what he missed.

As I mentioned above, Massachusetts (and pretty much most of New England) didn't lose power. After one of the major blackouts a few decades before, the people in charge in New England had decided to set up a series of switches that could be opened should there be a power surge that might lead to a shutdown. Thanks to their foresight, I was able to help out my family as I described.
I work in the Back Bay area of Boston, and as I left work yesterday, I could smell the smoke from the fire at 298 Beacon Street, even though it was a ten-minute walk away. The air was filled with a haze, and the odor stung my eyes, causing them to well up with tears.

Later on, my eyes welled up with tears again, as we heard that two firefighters, Michael R. Kennedy and Edward J. Walsh, Jr., had made the ultimate sacrifice as they tried to stop the fire and save other people's lives.

My friend Andrew Marc Greene ([livejournal.com profile] 530nm330hz) said the following on Facebook:


I will never understand what gives a person the courage to run into a burning building, to put his own life at risk in the hope of saving others. I can merely be humbled and grateful that others do. Baruch Dayan ha-Emet.


I had been thinking of similar words, from a powerful story. And I want to share them.

After 9/11, some of the major comic book artists and writers contributed to two tribute books, the proceeds of which were donated to charity. One of those writers was Kurt Busiek, who wrote an Astro City story called "Since the Fire." With his permission, I'm going to discuss it and quote it here. I still urge all of you to track it down, as it is much more powerful with Brent Anderson's art.

The story is about a boy named Farrell, who almost died when his family's apartment got set on fire during a fight among super-powered people. Farrell almost died, but a firefighter named Arnie Prentice rescued him and then went back inside the building to save other people. Because Prentice went back in, he lost a leg and now walks on crutches (and presumably can't work as a firefighter any more).

In the story, Farrell's father takes him to meet Prentice for the first time since the fire, so the boy can thank him. And then Farrell asks Prentice why he was willing to risk his life to save him, and why he was willing to go back inside and would do it again, even though it cost him a leg.

Prentice looks somber for a moment, and then says:



Because someone's got to do it. And better that it's someone trained, skilled, and equipped to have the best chance of getting kids like you out.

Take a look around. All these people, they're livin' their lives, and they do what they do, and sleep a little easier because of guys like me and the others back there. The superheroes flying' around, they're okay -- but they can't always be there. We gotta take care of ourselves.

And when you're in a jam, like you were --

-- you want to hear that siren, you want to know someone'll come help. That you're not on your own.

I'd want to know that at least.


And the story ends with Prentice visiting the graves of the two firefighters who got him out.

Anyway, that's what I was thinking about yesterday, and I hugged my kids a little tighter. Kurt, thank you for the words and the permission to quote them.
Today is the 95th anniversary of:

THE GREAT BOSTON MOLASSES FLOOD

"Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city’s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured more than a hundred, and caused widespread destruction."

The above is quoted from author Stephen Puleo, who has published a wonderful book about the flood called "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919." It tells the story of what happened and also places the event in historical context. For more information on the book, you can visit his website at http://www.stephenpuleo.com.
Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

This morning, I woke up in Brookline, Massachusetts, the town where Kennedy was born. [livejournal.com profile] gnomi and I took the T to work as usual, but what wasn't usual was Nomi's Boston Globe newspaper. The editors had decided to publish a wraparound cover facsimile of the Globe from November 23, 1963, reporting on the Kennedy assassination. I took two pictures of Nomi reading the paper.

Boston Globe Kennedy Assassination Wraparound Front Cover

Boston Globe Kennedy Assassination Wraparound Back Cover

It felt oddly like time travel. Which ties into another anniversary, that of the TV show Doctor Who, which premiered the day after the assassination and is still going strong. For years, I remember reading retrospectives of the broadcast of that first episode, and they almost always noted that enthusiasm for the premiere was dampened by the recent news. After the show went off the air, I never expected was that on this anniversary I would be both living in the town where Kennedy was born and expecting to watch a 50th anniversary special episode of Doctor Who.

Penguin Doctors

(All photos and the entry copyright ©Michael A. Burstein.)
Last Sunday, my synagogue, Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe, held a special candidates night at which we heard from one Boston mayoral candidate and several of the at-large Boston City Council candidates.

As a resident of Brookline, I don't vote in Boston, and I haven't been following the races very closely. However, I attended the event because of my interest in politics and because I wanted a chance to meet and evaluate the candidates. What I discovered to my delight was a series of high quality candidates who were all eager to see Boston thrive. It makes me very hopeful for the large city that surrounds my town on three sides.

I haven't asked any of the candidates if they want my endorsement, and to be honest, I suspect the endorsement of an elected Library Trustee and Town Meeting Member in Brookline won't carry a lot of weight. However, if you are voting in the Boston municipal election next Tuesday and you're interested in my opinion, here are the four candidates I would be voting for were I a Boston voter, plus some personal reasons why. In alphabetical order by last name:

Anissa Essaibi-George impressed me with her background and experience, and I'd suggest you take a look at her biography. Among other things, she's a small business owner, as she runs the yarn and fabric store Stitch House in Dorchester. As my friends know, my wife Nomi is an avid knitter who also enjoys sewing, and what with the closing of too many fabric shops in Boston recently, we can attest to how hard it is to keep such a small, local business going. I suspect Essaibi-George's experience would be very valuable on the City Council.

Ayanna Pressley is an incumbent, and already well-known in Boston. She's friends with one of my former colleagues on the Brookline Board of Library Trustees. Pressley's work on behalf of the people of Boston is impressive, and I understand that she might look into whether or not Boston can follow Brookline's lead and open some of their branch libraries on Sundays during the summer.

Jeff Ross impressed me as he was the one candidate who made an appearance at our synagogue the day before the event, in order to better get to know the residents of Brighton. As an attorney he has represented people who were at risk. Quoting directly from his website, he has "helped survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking victims, and immigrant families from war-torn countries find access to housing, health care and mental health services." Also, he has been endorsed by a lot of Democratic Ward Committees and by State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, who not only represents parts of Boston but also part of Brookline as well.

Michele Wu is only 28 years old, but her platform bespeaks a wisdom greater than her years. I would encourage you to go look at it, especially her Pipelines to Opportunity. She's particularly interested in how Boston can apply technology to solve its problems, something I've advocated a lot myself during my own political career.

So there you have it. In my capacity as an elected official in the Town of Brookline, I endorse Anissa Essaibi-George, Ayanna Pressley, Jeff Ross, and Michele Wu for election to the Boston City Council as the at-large members.
Exactly twelve years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States of America. They flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon near Washington, DC. They most likely would also have flown a plane into the Capitol building but were stopped by the passengers of United 93. Almost 3,000 people died that day.

Because I'm obsessed with exactness, I've made sure for a while now to know the exact times of certain events that took place on 9/11. The bare sequence of events at the World Trade Center was as follows:

8:46:26 AM: North Tower Hit
9:02:54 AM: South Tower Hit
9:59:04 AM: South Tower Collapsed
10:28:31 AM: North Tower Collapsed

I'm a New York City native, born and raised in Queens, and I grew up in a city in which the Towers always stood. On 9/11, I was a teacher at a private school in Newton, Massachusetts. The following comes from my journal, a hand-written one that I was keeping at the time.

"The second [staff] meeting ended early, and I went back to the Science lab to check my e-mail. I idly noted a message...which said that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.

"I didn't really think much of it and I went back to the Information Center. Shortly after the meeting...began, [a colleague] walked in and asked if we had heard the news. He told us that two planes had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and he set up the small TV to receive CNN. They showed pictures of two commercial jets crashing into the twin towers...

"I ran to the phone...to call [my younger brother] at work. At 9:35 AM I called and got him. He had just gotten in, and he said that he seen the smoke from the 7 train. I told him to stay in touch, but due to circuits being busy, I wasn't able to reach New York City again for a while.

"The rest of the day passed in a blur of rumors and news. I kept checking webpages; when I couldn't reach cnn.com, checked the New York Post webpage and the Newsday webpage. [I had called Nomi, and she had suggested the second-tier news sites.]

"At 10:15 AM, the...students returned from their physical education class...and...we told them the news...

"When the meeting with the students ended, I collapsed in tears..."

There's more, of course, but to summarize, I spent the day trying to get news of family and friends, making sure they were all safe. The drive home was surreal, knowing that fighter planes and battleships were protecting New York City. Nomi was already home, as her office had sent everyone home early. The rest of my family was safe, but my older brother, an emergency medicine physician, had been called up to report to New York City. Nomi and I took a walk at 5:30 PM, which included browsing at Brookline Booksmith and getting ice cream at JP Licks. Everything on TV was the news; we watched C-SPAN, which was running a feed from the CBC, so we could get the Canadian perspective.

The next few days, the events were fresh in everyone's mind. On Wednesday, I flinched at hearing an airplane in the sky, then remembered that all commercial flights had been grounded, so it had to be one of our military aircraft, protecting us. I bought my regular comic books that day; Adventures of Superman #596 had an eerie panel of the twin towers of Metropolis being repaired. A friend came over that evening after attending a local religious service.

On Thursday, Nomi and I were sick of the news, and Animal Planet had gone back to regular programming. We watched a documentary about moose to help us get our minds off things.

And life went on. Today, I'm no longer teaching, but editing textbooks in Boston; my younger brother no longer lives in New York City, but in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and three children; and my older brother is still an emergency medicine physician in the Boston area, specializing in disaster management.

And as all my friends know, there have been other changes in my life. In 2007 I lost my mom. In 2008 I published a book collection of many of my short stories. And in 2009, Nomi and I welcomed two precious and adorable girls into our lives. Being a parent changes your perspective on a lot of things, and 9/11 is no exception. When the attacks happened, I was worried for my mom and my brothers; if something were to happen today, my first priority would be to make sure that my children were safe.

I probably don't need to tell anyone this, but today's a very good day to remind your loved ones, families, and friends how much they mean to you.
Ten years ago today was the Great Blackout of 2003, which hit much of the northeast United States and parts of Canada. Where were you?

I was at home (in Brookline, Massachusetts, which did not lose power) on the computer when the phone rang at 4:33 PM. It was my younger brother, Josh, in New York City, calling to ask me if I knew what was going on. As I had left the TV news on in the living room, and the TiVo was recording its buffer, I was able to start describing the news to him and I learned of the blackout as I told him what was going on.

I served as the point person for my younger brother, my sister-in-law, and my mother for the next few hours. Josh had to sleep overnight in Manhattan. Rachel had to care for their new baby daughter, and I gave her information on New York City emergency lines and hospitals. And Mom stayed home.

I recorded NBC Nightly News that evening and the Today show the next day, and a few months later I gave the VHS tape to Josh so he could see what he missed.

As I mentioned above, Massachusetts (and pretty much most of New England) didn't lose power. After one of the major blackouts a few decades before, the people in charge in New England had decided to set up a series of switches that could be opened should there be a power surge that might lead to a shutdown. Thanks to their foresight, I was able to help out my family as I described.
On the morning of August 13, 2013, as I was walking through Copley Square to work, I discovered the "Cool Globes" art installation. There were six globes present; more globes can be found in other places in Boston. I photographed the globes, and took some closer pictures of the "Brighter Future" globe because of all the book covers.

Cool Globes


Placard: Boston Strong


 Boston Strong Cool Globe


Placard: Inside Earth


Inside Earth Cool Globe


Placard: Conserve Water


Conserve Water Cool Globe


Placard: Tidal Energy


Tidal Energy Cool Globe


Placard: Lighting of the Future


Lighting of the Future Cool Globe


Lighting of the Future Closeup


Placard: Brighter Future


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe


Brighter Future Cool Globe Closeup


Brighter Future Cool Globe Closeup

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, I posted the following:


I have a slightly more prosaic question about the Rolling Stone cover.

From what I understand, the photograph of the bomber running on the cover of Rolling Stone is a selfie, meaning that the bomber took the photo himself, of himself. According to US copyright law, the photographer generally owns the copyright to any photograph he or she takes (unless a previous arrangement is made). Doesn't that mean that the bomber owns the copyright on this photo? If so, what legal right does Rolling Stone have to publish the photo on their cover?

Is it some sort of fair use? Are they simply violating the bomber's copyright? Are they (and I would hate to think this is the case) paying the bomber a standard licensing fee for the photo?

Does anyone know?

(Please keep comments on this topic only.)


It's led to a lot of interesting discussion. Here's a link for anyone interested in reading the thread:

Facebook Thread: Copyright and that Rolling Stone Cover
More pictures of the memorial. Someone moved it to the side, and many more items and messages have been left. Scroll over each photo for the title.

Memorial 2013-04-18


Messages to Boston


More Messages to Boston


Memorial Again


Messages and a Medal


Messages, Again


Even More Messages


Hands of Hope


I'm So Sorry This Happened


People Photographing Memorial


A Moment of Contemplation


News Cameras


An Empty Boylston Street


Look Down Boylston Street


News Trucks

For those who want to know or need to know, I am checking in. I am fine. I was not at the office today, so I am nowhere near the explosions. We are home safe, reporting in at 3:10 pm EDT. — with [personal profile] gnomi.
Since Google is noting that today is the birthday of Douglas Adams, I feel compelled to mention that I met him once, when he was touring the United States promoting his books Last Chance to See and Mostly Harmless. The late lamented bookstore Wordsworth hosted a reading at the Brattle Theatre, and although he was a draw, it was not so crowded that we didn't all get a chance to spend a few minutes talking with him. He was quite friendly and personable. And tall. Boy was he tall. I finally understood why Ford Prefect felt that one of the things humans say over and over is the obvious phrase, "You're very tall." Because he was tall. Even taller than my friend Ian Soboroff, who is very tall.

Did I mention that he was tall? He was.
Today is the 94th anniversary of:

THE GREAT BOSTON MOLASSES FLOOD

"Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents in a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city’s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured more than a hundred, and caused widespread destruction."

The above is quoted from author Stephen Puleo, who has published a wonderful book about the flood called "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919." It tells the story of what happened and also places the event in historical context. For more information on the book, you can visit his website at http://www.stephenpuleo.com.

December 2016

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