Boston

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Boston

Why Does The Boston Phoenix Despise Teachers?

One of the subtle, but important things that influences national discussions of education is that the Washington D.C. public schools are dreadful. Not only do students do worse than would be predicted based on the poverty rate, but, according to the NAEP, the schools also do a worse job of educating poor students. Due to…

As the slow-motion destruction of our nation’s infrastructure continues due to deficits ├╝ber alles hysteria, we find this very depressing article from Camden, NJ about the proposed eradication of its public library system: Camden is preparing to permanently shut its library system by the end of the year, potentially leaving residents of the impoverished city…

More on the Public Garden’s Swan Wars

Last week, I described how the pair of swans living on Boston’s Public Garden’s Lagoon* have a predilection for attacking ducklings. Last night, the swans were at it again. But last night, this took a very sinister turn: I think Juliet got a duckling. I could have counted wrong, but I think the Lagoon now…

Remember last year, when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested by the Cambridge Police (charges were dropped). We all sat around, had a beer, and discussed race. Well, there’s been a review of the Cambridge police’s arrest behavior from 2004 to 2009. At the time, I thought it had nothing to do with…

I need some help from ‘swanologists.’ So do Boston’s ducklings. In the middle of Boston’s Public Garden, there is a large pond (although for some reason it’s called a lagoon, even though it’s not a lagoon). Every year, two swans, Romeo and Juliet, are brought to the Lagoon and released to build a nest (it…

(Click to embiggen) Don’t worry, I’m not describing Boston Mayor Menino’s latest harebrained scheme. Esplanade Magazine, which is some great architecture/real estate porn (and it’s free!), describes an effort in 1907, during the heyday of the City Beautiful Movement, to build an island in the Charles River. It didn’t happen due to opposition from Beacon…

More Brutal Turkey Terrorism

On this Patriot’s Day, we must never forget that the Heroic Struggle Against Our Demonic Turkey Overlords has not abated. Now they are assaulting the basic workings of our government: click to embiggen (from here) Preventing the Boston Transportation Department from the appointed rounds! (and Intelligent Designer knows, we need the revenue). Have they no…

Maybe I should have worn this hat? I was going to write a magnus opus about the Tea Bugger rally on the Boston Common on Wednesday. But, as we used to say in more civilized times, meh. Basically, there was an hour of some really schlocky pseudo-patriotic music, wherein every third word was freedom (FREEE-DOM!…

It’s supposed to be rainy, so why not attend? Carl Zimmer will be there. MAS does really cool outreachy things like teacher training so they’re worth supporting, even if you can’t attend. Anyway, this found its way into my email machine: Join the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences as we spend a day at the Museum…

Every so often, Boston proposes raising the voluntary contributions it asks non-profit organizations to pay in lieu of property taxes (and other taxes), or instituting a consistent fee (right now, these contributions are negotiated with each institution). From The Boston Globe: After 14 months, a mayoral task force has nearly completed its work examining the…