Oh, that sign

IMAGE(http://lh6.ggpht.com/sean.roche/SDzXU8oqNEI/AAAAAAAAAeI/lPQUCkmeEAk/s400/IMG_0837.JPG)
Don't tell my kids, but it turns out I might not be as bright as I've been leading them to believe. For weeks, I've been reading the yellow sign on the right each morning, wondering, "What the hell is 'that sign'?"

Finally, it hit me.

Duh!

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      I work in Cambridge and

      By on

      I work in Cambridge and havent been to the Red Sox for years so Ive never walked past this sign. Your right its obviously refering to the good old Citgo sign, but what is that billboard trying to sell exactly? Someone had to pay for it lol

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      lance

      it's a nike livestrong billboard (hence the yellow)

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      old?

      By on

      Is it left over from the marathon?

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      A holdover from a road race

      By on

      It was there for the marathon, I'd guess. The runners coming down Beacon St. would see the Citgo sign for a mile or so before crossing the Pike into Kenmore Square, so it's a mile marker of sorts, one that is around mile 25.5, so I suspect most runners are pretty pleased by what the yellow Nike sign has to say.

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      Sign audience

      By on

      The sign is, ostensibly, directed to marathon runners. It very clearly means to refer to the Citgo sign. Once I realized it, the reference is obvious.

      The Citgo sign, it turns out, is pretty much lined up with the 1-mile-to-go point, so there's a double play at work. Figure out that the yellow sign refers to the Citgo sign and that the Citgo sign is a marker for one more mile to run.

      Much more interesting than saying "Aren't you glad you only have a little ways to go before you only have a mile to go."

      They're selling the brand(s).

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      Yay!

      By on

      Thanks, this sign was driving the hubby and I nuts, we see it on the way out of South Station on the commuter rail every day. I even thought to myself last week that I should check to see if there was anything about it on the Universal Hub!

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      Yep

      By on

      I watch the marathon each year from just over the crest on the Beacon Street bridge. It's the last real "uphill" before the finish line and you can see the Citgo and that billboard from there. The billboard went up the week before the marathon and hasn't come down yet.

      The look on runner's faces as they hear you yelling that it's only 2km to go is great. There's a real perk-up and especially amid the general runners when someone stops running after the uphill, they'll hear you yelling to them and start to pick up a stride again when they realize they're almost there.

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      huh?

      who the hell yells "2 KM to go!" ?
      Maybe that'd fly in europe or canada or anywhere else in the world that uses the metric system.... but not here in the United States of America...

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      Sarcasm-meter on the fritz

      By on

      You're probably being sarcastic, but just in case you aren't and don't know any runners, most runners measure their distances in km. Even the 'mericans.

      And it's "2 k to go". The "M" is silent.

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      I'm not...

      I'm more of a spectator than a runner (see: biking - the lazy man's run)... So i was in fact unaware of this...

      Serious question though, if that's the case, why do they use *MILE* markers along the marathon route?

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      Definitely for marathoners

      By pjm on
      • Most marathoners who qualified to run Boston know how far a kilometer is (42 and change in a marathon) and how to measure their remaining energy over two of them. But also...
      • Nearly everyone who runs Boston knows that Citgo sign == 1 mile to go, whatever units of measure you're working with. The BAA usually has a "1 mile to go" sign in Kenmore somewhere which often gets more done up (with a clock, for example) than the 25 mile mark shortly before the bridge. You can see the Citgo sign from a good ways out and at that point in the race, it can seem like you'll never get there.
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      You do realize....

      ... that most Boston Marathon winners in recent history are from Kenya or other non-USA countries? Which use the metric system?

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      True, but...

      I retract the previous comment i had in this line.. it made no sense... even to me.

      i still want to know though, why male models... i mean *mile* markers?

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      Why mile?

      By on

      Because this is still the U.S. and people here think in miles. Most races outside of the US use km markers. Even still, the Boston Marathon has km markers every 5k (and so there's one there on the bridge at the 40k mark where I stand) and the BAA uses the 5k markers as their official split times too.

      So, there are mile markers because you're right that we still aren't fully metric people. The officials, the non-U.S. runners, and even most of the U.S. runners (ever hear of a 3.1 mile road race in the US? now, ever hear of a 5k in the US? same distance) prefer to think in KM however. If you shout out that it's 2K left, you're not going to confuse most of the people in the race.

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      Historically

      By on

      Yes, the original race was "about 26 miles" (Marathon to Athens is 24.8 miles) and the problem came when the 1908 Olympics in London were requested by the royalty to start at Windsor Castle and go to the Olympic Stadium (just about 26 miles exactly). In order to give the royalty a good view of the finish line, they ran the course around the track to the royal viewing box...adding the extra 385 yards. The distance 26 miles and 385 yards stuck and the IAAF adopted this length as standard in the 1920s.

      BUT, from the IAAF's own rules:

      4. The distance in kilometres on the route shall be displayed to all athletes.

      They don't have a requirement for miles and the road race rule is:

      "RULE 240
      Road Races

      1. The standard distances for men and women shall be 10km, 15km, 20km, Half-Marathon, 25km, 30km, Marathon (42.195km), 100km and Road Relay.

      Note (i): It is recommended that the Road Relay race be run over the Marathon distance, ideally over a 5km loop course, with stages of 5km, 10km, 5km, 10km, 5km, 7.195km. For a junior road relay, the recommended distance is a Half-Marathon with stages of 5km, 5km, 5km, 6.098km."

      Nothing about the "26 miles and 385 yards" is listed in the rules today.

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      Its even covering up a

      By Sara on

      Its even covering up a window. Probably Citgo paid for it. I would never buy gas from Citgo.

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      Fake window, fake building?

      I believe that is not a "real" building, but a facade for some kind of electrical or other utility equipment.

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      Occupied, Probable Vent Building

      I checked it on the way back home from Landmark Center ... the building has been renovated for industrial use. It has a bunch of fans, two control rooms with windows facing beacon street, and a bunch of air intakes/outlets near the top or something like that.

      It may have something to do with the BU laboratory building across the street.

      That side of the building usually has a banner on it of some sort ... I think it is a gray billboard.

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      Citgo didnt even want to

      By on

      Citgo didnt even want to keep the Citgo sign near Fenway park, but kept it because of the outcry from the Boston community.

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      Wow, you fail on so many levels

      By on

      The building is boarded up. It's a relic from the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company (now Con-Ed, now no longer in Boston?), they also had the building downtown that houses the St. Francis House and is on the National Historic Places list.

      But back to your comment. It's not covering a functional window. The building is an annex of the Boston Edison building next door and hasn't had anyone in it for years. Citgo didn't pay for it, Nike did. Read previous comments about how it's part of the marathon ads with the Livestrong Yellow coloring. And finally, not buying gas from Citgo because of Chavez (or any other reason) has been completely debunked as useless rhetoric. Venezuela sells oil to more than just its own refining company. Citgo itself is actually an American company based in Houston that has over 4,000 American employees. If you don't buy from Citgo, you most likely buy from somewhere in the Middle East...and if you think they're better than buying from Chavez... If the U.S. didn't buy from Citgo at all, it'd get more oil from somewhere else, like Saudi Arabia, and people who are also buying from there would have to get their oil elsewhere...like Venezuela, so in the end, the net "punishment" on Citgo/Chavez/Venezuela is zero. There's not enough oil to be a choosy consumer and have any market influence, even if the entire U.S. chose to throw it's weight into some sort of boycott of a specific nation's oil. This is why we bought oil from Iraq even when Saddam was in charge. The demand is just much higher than the supply (also why the price is topping $4/gal at the pump no matter what you do with gas tax holidays, etc). Finally, if you think you hate Chavez because he calls President Bush names, you haven't looked at what happens to the oil money he brings in. He actually spends money helping the poor in his country. The Saudis, and others you would buy from instead, line their pockets with gold trim and fan themselves with $100 bills. But whatever, I don't think I'll reach you even if I keep pointing out how silly it is to obsess over Citgo because he called Bush a name. Hell, a Fox News commentator said "Obama/Osama..meh, we'd be better if they were both dead" a few days ago and I don't hear the boycotts for Fox News being heralded...

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      Minor correction

      By on

      The Edison Electric Illuminating Company (which lives on in the callsign of WEEI) became Boston Edison, which became Nstar.

      And before that, Boston had at least two electric companies.

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      Thanks

      By on

      Ok, thanks to you and Ron. I wasn't sure if they became NStar, should have just assumed they did, and got too lazy to look it up, thus the question mark.

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      Not quite

      By on

      "The Electric Company" was made in Manhattan.

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