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There's 'responsible, carbon-neutral snow removal' and then there's the Curley approach

Over in Allston/Brighton, Marcie Laden is advertising responsible, carbon-neutral snow removal, in other words, her daughters with snow shovels.

Contrast that with Mayor Curley's 1948 letter to MIT (found by BostonTweet), asking for the Institute's help in coming up with a way to use flame throwers or chemicals to shrink snow accumulations.

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Comments

ATOMIC snow melters! Given the age of the letter, I'm stunned it wasn't suggested.

(MIT has a research reactor, by the way, and it'd be funny if they figured out some way to use the waste heat to help melt snow. Everyone wins, right?)

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When Arthur Clark was mayor of Waltham (so this is going back aways), he proposed using laser beams to disintegrate the city's trash.

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I mean, duh.

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By Thursday I think laser beams will seem like a good idea for melting the snow - maybe Mayor Menino can get MIT going on it?

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what is your source about laser beams?? i have lived in waltham all my adult life and never heard such nonsense sounds like a 1950s get under your desk rumor

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But it was in the last years of his time as mayor, and received fairly prominent attention in the Middlesex News, which is where I read it.

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IMAGE(http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/2241/663872-vault_boy_manip_super.jpg)

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Does the nuclear reactor generate excess heat? If so, instead of heating water and dumping it in the river, it could circulate through a network of pipes under sidewalks and streets to melt the snow.

Sort of like the front step of brownstones, that dont get snow because the lower level melts it.

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If the city had a bunch of them, and laid them on top of the snow farms, wouldn't that help melt things pretty quickly on a sunny day like the last couple?

it seems like solar power is cheap and available- weather dependent obviously, but it couldn't hurt and might help right?

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Draping an entire city in black tarps? That wouldn't cost a billion dollars to big huge city sized black tarps and pay employees to secure them all over the city. Good idea.

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Just the "snow farms" where they're trucking and dumping the snow.

It would only melt the top layer, but then there would be a new top layer- lather, rinse repeat.

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I think Christo is working on this as his next project.

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If the city had a bunch of them, and laid them on top of the snow farms, wouldn't that help melt things pretty quickly on a sunny day like the last couple?

No. Too much snow, to little warmth from sunlight during the winter.

Soot does have the effect of melting snow - the effect of soot from Asia on Arctic snow cover is well known - but the effect is subtle.

Curley was asking the local experts for help - exactly the right thing to do.

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Why not try the Solar Death Ray 5800? The power of 5000 suns! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtzRAjW6KO0

Top rated Youtube comment: Do you think such a thing would get me out of shoveling the snow from my driveway?

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Food production to fuel us produces quite a bit of carbon, even if you avoid meat. Not to mention the exhaust we produce :)

Of course, it sounds a lot better than flame-throwers or chemicals. Funny how those were the only options requested.

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IMAGE(http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/2008/1-cowbackpacks.jpg)

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There's a literalist in every crowd, isn't there?

(Gently laughing with, not at you.)

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In Central Square this afternoon, I saw a semi trucking snow up Mass. Ave., away from the river, towards Harvard.

Seems expensive.

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So, a day later Rob Anderson picks up the UniversalHub story without bothering to give credit.

Would it hurt him to give a small bit of credit? At least the TeeVee nooze program I overheard last night uttered the words "thanks to UniversalHub."

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