Imagine cruising the harbor in this


The Boston Fire Department reports it's just signed a contract for a wicked fast new fireboat. The $4.2-million aluminum John S. Damrell (named after the fire department's chief engineer during the Great Fire of 1872) will be able to pump 12,000 gallons of water per minute - when it's not racing somewhere at speeds of up to 35 knots (40 m.p.h.).

The 69-foot Damrell is also designed to respond to biological, chemical and even radioactive attacks, according to the department. It's being built by Metalcraft Marine, Inc. of Kingston, Ont., and is expected in Boston Harbor in August, 2011.

About half the money for the boat comes from federal stimulus funds; the rest from the city. The Damrell will replace a boat in service since 1972.

Time for an Edward M. Kennedy Boulevard?

The Dorchester Reporter alerts us that the group building the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on Columbia Point is thinking about trying to shrink Boston's current collection of Mt. Vernon streets to honor the late senator by changing the name of the main street through the peninsula.

Don't worry, Mt. Vernon fans: Beacon Hill, Charlestown and West Roxbury would still represent.

Respect the dead


The Central Burial Ground is located on the Boston Common. It is believed to be the fourth cemetery to be located in the city of Boston, after the Copps Hill, King's Chapel, and Granary burial grounds, dating back to 1750's.

According to the internet, this cemetery was "least desirable" due to its location furthest from the rest of the city (at least, at that time). The city of Boston's website states that those buried here include "British common soldiers who died in combat or of disease during the Revolution, foreigners who died while in Boston, American patriots from the battle of Bunker Hill and the Boston Tea Party; painter Gilbert Stuart, and composer William Billings".

The Central Burial Ground is mentioned in the recent book, A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900 by Stephen Puleo.

When the Boston Transit Commission began building the first subway, back in 1895, they dug up the land on the south end of the Boston Common bordering Boylston Street between Tremont and Charles Street South.

CIA quietly invests in Cambridge company developing way to draw blood painlessly

Xconomy reports the CIA's venture-capital arm (yes, of course it has one), has put some money into Seventh Sense Biosystems, which is working on a bandage-like thing to suck blood out of your arm for testing without the need for needles - along with add-on gizmos that could then monitor that blood for various substances:

Saving money if you reverse commute along Rte. 9

Jeff Egnaczyk lives in Brookline and works in Natick, and he raves about the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority's Green Line shuttle bus from Woodland. Not only does it save him $76 a month over his old route (C line to Copley, commuter rail to Natick, Natick Neighborhood Bus to work), it runs more frequently and:

MWRTA customer service is light years ahead of the MBCR.