Did anyone else see the helicopter flying over the Charles around 1:00 this afternoon? I was driving down Memorial Drive from the Harvard Bridge towards Harvard Square when I saw a low flying helicopter come over from the Kenmore Sq area and then over the Charles. It got real low and I think it landed a few hundred yards in Cambridge. I couldn't see exactly where.
Julia Reischel at the Dig has more.
The student paper at MIT, the Tech, weighs in, says while the sodium may not have come from the annual big Sodium Drop, it might have come from one of the MIT fraternities along the Charles in Boston, says MIT should go easy on perps to make them come forward, but that in any case, MIT should help out with the boat and burn victims.
Michael Pahre explains why.
Update: Even though I recently got a new eyeglass prescription, I obviously can't see well, because I missed the fact that Halle wrote his plea 10 YEARS AGO, rather than as a reaction to the recent burning of five people by sodium (watch this year's MIT sodium drop). But that says something as well ...
Michael W. Halle writes in the MIT Tech that it's time for MIT students to grow up and stop dropping sodium bars in the Charles:
.. Today, society increasingly stereotypes scientists as people who act without regard to consequence. Behind every toxic waste dump is someone who thought it wouldn't matter, or did what had always been done before. The Sodium Drop exactly fits the stereotype, albeit on a smaller scale. At MIT, we're supposed to be different. We're supposed to be the ones who can think for ourselves, who relish breaking the status quo when it becomes outmoded. The tradition of the Sodium Drop has become just that: outmoded. I ask that those who organize it find an alternative and equally alluring tradition that doesn't sacrifice the quality of the fragile river environment that is MIT's backyard.
Oh, those wacky MIT kids. Seems every year, they steal a bar of sodium from the school chemistry labs so they can drop it in the Charles and watch it explode.
Only this year, the bar didn't totally dissolve and now we have five people with burns on the other side of the river.
If Mayor Menino were to get outraged about this, I'd be right with him. But he probably exhausted his yearly outrage quota back in February.
Great: The Charles is flammable.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports that five people working on a Charles River cleanup suffered burns when a "taffy-like substance," which they'd hauled aboard their boat, caught fire this afternoon near the Esplanade.
Officials are investigating exactly what the stuff is, but say they doubt it was part of an intentionally explosive device.
What looks like one of those modern arrangements at the spring flower show is actually Boston Water and Sewer Commission Stormwater Outfall No. 245 at the Charles River Dam.
Mike the Mad Biologist thinks so: A program to get geese out of Science Park only got them to move down to the Esplanade, which they now crap up, leading to crappy runoff into the river, feeding what has become an annual bloom of blue-green algae that is itself pretty gross:
... These algal blooms have been spotted in previous years up by Science Park, but now the blooms have moved down river to the Esplanade. Over the last couple of years, something else has moved downriver: geese. Two years ago, if you went out to the Esplanade on a summer day, the grass was packed with people. ... Now, almost nobody sits out at the Esplanade, with good reason: there's probably five to ten goose turds per square meter--that's fresh turds. It really is that disgusting (you definitely need a towel and a chair). The city of Boston is spending thousands and thousands of dollars to make an all-you-can-eat goose buffet and gooseshitatorium. ...
Jason Feifer says it's all fun and games until the fireworks set off a car alarm on your street.
Garrett LeSage reports on a drunken brawl on the way home on the T:
... Profanity was flying like only a Southie could say it. (Think of "Good Will Hunting".) It probably could have easily turned riot level; lots of people were worked up about the fight. A few brave individuals stepped in, thankfully, and forcefully shoved most of the misbehaving drunk kids off the train. ... police later came and investigated the matter. There was a report of a knife, too ... and I somehow suspected that we weren't the only part of the train (or only train for that matter) that had a fight like this. Some people got messed up pretty bad; theyâ€™re going to need stitches.
Riding the MBTA during holidays usually winds up like thisâ€¦ and that's exactly why I chose to leave my real gear and take my pocket camera instead. ...
Karl reports on a Southie celebration that ended suddenly when the Irish immigrant who owned one of the condos in a triple decker locked him and several other people out for discussing the differences between Australian and American politics.
... This is one of those weird weeks where my 'nationality' gets a little confusing. My parents typically have a party on July 4th- one that includes a giant cake with a red maple leaf in it. ...
Wayne Braverman declares watching the Pops on TV a horrible experience.
Down in Texas, Katie celebrates her last Fourth as a Texan - she's moving to our Fair Hub next month.
Can imported beetles help beat back the purple loosestrife that, while pretty to look at, is choking local wetlands? Jennifer Forman Orth reports on a field trip by the state Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Project to Cutler Park on the Dedham/Needham line (at Great Plain Avenue off 128). Workers released 7,500 Galerucella beetles, which just loves them some purple loosestrife:
... The 7,500 beetles slated to be released in Cutler Park were packed in ice cream containers filled with straw, and stored in ice packs to keep the beetles calm and cool on an excessively hot day(95'F, a new record!).
Beth set the buckets inside a few big patches of purple loosestrife and set the beetles free. The sight of two thousand beetles streaming out of a big bucket is pretty cool ...
She adds workers found evidence that the beetles they released there last year are reproducing.
New Yorker charged with attacking woman and child at the Esplanade playground yesterday evening, Channel 5 reports.
Rearlimgigeazr Eshiesycapilla, 23, (NOTE: Not his real name, age or city; see comment below) expected to be arraigned this morning on two counts of indecent assault and battery, with one on an adult and one on a child under 14, in Charlestown District Court, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.
Also yesterday, a man coming out of a Store 24 on Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester around 12:31 a.m. got in a fight with a couple of guys in the parking lot, which ended with him getting stabbed several times; taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment.
Jogger attacked June 16.
Just enough to let Sean know he really was a turtle and not a discarded toy.
Meanwhile, over in Newton, Whole Foods is now claiming the city dumped snow on the sidewalk in front of the store during last week's storm.
Charles Q photographs yesterday's unusual sunset over the Charles.
Teddy Kokoros takes some photos of our current dusting, along the Charles River.
Kelly captures apple trees in the snow.
Lubos Motl snaps Cambridge Common in the snow at night.
Had a couple of errands in West Roxbury this afternoon. When I got back to the car, I looked up and knew I had to head over to Millennium Park, which overlooks the Charles.
I wasn't the only one with that idea:
The Charles River White Geese people continue to wonder if the bloom was caused by fertilizer runoff from the brand-spankin' new Teddy Ebersol baseball fields on the Boston side.
Today's riddle: What's slimy and looks like green cottage cheese?
The Weekly Dig, proving its editors are older than you might think, asks: Whereâ€™s Weld when you need him?
A blogger by the name of Mike the Mad Biologist, proving why we should get all our news from Technorati and Google Blogsearch, scoops the Globe by more than a week on the story (hmm, if a blogger posts in the Charles when nobody's around, does he still get coated in green slime?).
The Charles River White Geese people, proving every good story deserves a conspiracy theory, ask if the state caused the problem by fertilizing the new Teddy Ebersol fields.