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Last Sunday, I got the last paper copy of the Boston Sunday Globe I will ever have delivered.  It makes sense but seems... sad.  Definitely a sign of the changing times.  I was just about the last person getting the daily Globe when I switched from daily to "Sunday only" in December 2009, and now leave my next door neighbor as the only person on the hall in my condo building to get the paper delivered.  

After poking around the Boston Globe web site for more than 15 minutes, I finally determined that it is not possible to unsubscribe online by myself.  I had the choice of opening a chat or calling.  So I chatted with Adam and asked him to help me stop getting the paper.  He tried to entice me to stay with a 25% off special but I had made up my mind.  He asked why and I told him I get my news from other sources.  He told me I would get a credit for the 3 weeks I had pre-paid.  He asked if he could help me with anything else.  I said no and thanked him.  He logged out.  I was surprised he didn't remind me I'd also lose my online access.  So ends my decades of connection with the local newspapers.  

So I will be about $15 richer per month and not have to tote piles of paper to recycling that I never read.  I feel bad that I don't clip the coupons but they had less and less bearing on groceries I am buying.  

If I need online access, I have my mom's account info.  She still gets the daily paper and reads it!  I'll probably use it for obits.  Or on the rare occasion they post something about our community theater.  But otherwise, it is rare that I even look at the Globe online, and then it's through a Facebook link that allows access.  There are so many other places to get the news.  

Farewell, Boston Globe.  You served me well but now it's over.  *sigh 
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My favorite Marine Sergeant,  <lj user="srakkt">, who many of you may remember from his excellent work on stage with <lj user="theatre@first"> or <lj user="pmrp"> is quoted in this week's Somerville News, with a photo!
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My husband Neil was quoted on the front page of the Boston PBS WBGH station's web site today, along with both a photo and a video from his radio group, PMRP!
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Man, I love the internet. This morning, I am watching people be kind to each other - helping grieving UMMB students.

So often when someone dies, there is often little you can do beyond getting in touch to offer sympathy. Maybe bring food? Go to the wake or funeral? Be there in a week or a month when they need if, it they will let you in. Growing up in the parsonage, I saw the kindness and ingenuity of so many people figuring out more to do. I try to use that whenever I can.

It swells my heart to see all the things people are figuring out to do for these kids, and for the alums across the world who are feeling the "burning hot poker" of grief.

People are making phone calls, emailing, tweeting, posting to FB and LJ and writing articles in the newspaper. They're getting together for lunch with old friends to hug and cry.

In Michigan, the local people who live around the stadium in Ann Arbor came out in droves to cheer for practice last night.

The Cayahoga Falls, Ohio h.s. band moms ("Black Tiger Nation") are talking up people to prep food and crowds w/signs to welcome them. Making phone calls to other h.s. bands to be there.

Memories pour into new FB groups in the form of heartfelt words, slideshows, old photos, old videos, video montages.

There's a great Boston Globe article by a band alum w/ videos of the band from 1982 to last night.

I didn't know Mr. Parks, but wow have I learned a lot about him in 24 hours. My college didn't have a football team. I was never in band or played a mobile instrument, but even I want to stand up and march in perfect formation when I hear him talk.

There is good in this world. And good people. Don't forget it.
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What a day. A gray, rainy day.

Two people died. One I had never heard of, and the other I only knew in passing. But I know a lot of people are grieving.

RIP George Parks
I woke up to the news that the leader of the UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band, George Parks, had dropped dead at age 57 after their show last night in Ohio. Ordinarily, I don't follow much of the college band news, but my assistant, S., is a band alum, and volunteered to drive their truck full of instruments to Michigan this weekend for the big game on Saturday. So I was following her progress on Facebook. From all the posts over there, this guy was the sort who made kids into people, and helped them be more than they thought they could be. He had been at UMass for 33 years.

RIP John Murdoch
My office at Harvard is across the hall from the History of Science Department. We use their facilities and eat each others leftovers, so we wander in and out of there a lot. One of their staffers came over to our office today at 10:30 am to tell us that a senior professor (who was still teaching at age 83) had died. His wife was away in Europe and couldn't get him on the phone. So she called his brother here. He and the EMTs found him dead in his apartment.

Hugs your loved ones, folks. You never know.
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Jack Beven from the National Hurricane Center in Miami says on Facebook:

"Five years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made its catastrophic landfall on the northern Gulf Coast. I was watching the landfall from home before going in to work that evening, and the news broadcasts that morning did not really portray the full scope of the disaster. That only became fully apparent after the storm had passed.

Here is a satellite image of Katrina crossing southeastern Louisiana just after sunrise that morning."

I am remembering all the amazing work [ profile] interdictor and his gang of geeks did in the following days.

"Hmm. This could actually be a nasty storm."
Interdictor's LJ post on 8/27/05

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My days of wire rims are over. They're purple!
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Prince Albert of Monaco is engaged! I never thought I'd see the day.

I met him once - he was in the Glee Club at Amherst College when I was at Smith and we did a concert together. I can't recall any of the details except my friends being weirded out that I talked him like I would anyone else.
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There's a big sporting event going on in Africa. Not my thing, but I try to keep up with what the entire rest of the world is obsessing over, so here are a few snippets I found in my travels on the intrawebs during a quiet day at work yesterday:

Catchy theme song
"Waka Waka" sung by Skakira (whose hips don't lie)
what the African words mean

Just what is a vuvuzela?
If you listen to any of the games, you will hear this buzzing...

The World Cup happens every four years. It's like the Olympics, except there's only one sport. It's what we call soccer, but everyone else calls football. This is the 18th World Cup final. They started in 1930, skipped '42 and '46. Seven national teams have won over the years - Brazil five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won four titles, and Germany next with three titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France, with one title each. There a "geography thing" where European teams win when its in Europe, and South American teams win when it's anywhere else. It's being held in Africa for the first time, so no one is sure what will happen. Various pundits favor Brazil, Italy, Germany, Spain or Argentina to win in the end.

There are 32 teams in the final (out of 165 countries that play). They each play 3 times in the next two weeks. The top 16 teams advance. This goes on until the final final, Sunday, July 11.

The U.S. team plays its first finals match today, against England. There is a lot of history between these two countries, on and off the pitch (that what they call the field they play on).

The BBC has a fun interactive site with the entire schedule on one page. If you click a country along the bottom, it gives you a page with articles about that team and its matches.

And of course...Elephants!
South African Elephants join in World Cup

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My prayers of the last 14+ years are answered.
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The big news from London today is that Harrod's, the incredible luxury department store in Knightsbridge, has been sold. Mohammed Al-Fayed is retiring and sold the store to the Quatar royal family for $2.3 billion.

Harrod's is a magical place...part store, part amusement park and museum, filled with shops, 28 restaurants and wild architecture and curiosities. It's almost impossible to describe it to someone who hasn't been there. And in the past they've been very secretive...not allowing photos inside etc. until now.
I clicked over to their web site to see what's new, and they have a tag called "Harrod's 360" in the upper left that lets you go on a tour of the various rooms. is addictive. It takes awhile to load, but that didn't stop me from touring the food halls, the Egyptian Escalator, the Fossils and Minerals Gallery...the Dodi & Diana It brought back memories of an amazing afternoon when I visited and gawked and bought a few little things in this temple to consumers and excess.
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The news coming out of Haiti is ghastly. But the combination of international aid workers already on the ground there who can call in reinforcements, and collapse of the U.N. Headquarters and UN Peacekeepers who bring the full attention of the U.N., are giving them a head start over many places. They're going to need it.

The BBC has a great "live" page where they are tossing up any info they can get from emails, twitter, phone videos, snatched from TV shows interviews. It automatically updates. It's addictive in that "macabre breaking news" way.

This seems to be a textbook example of what happens when a strike/slip fault releases all the stress built up over a long time in one big earthquake under a city of 3 million people with no construction standards.

The photos of the "before and after" of their National Palace give a stark example.

The British Red Cross has set up a flick page for photos

The Chinese are the first on the ground with their search and rescue teams. There is something oddly comforting about seeing dogs boarding planes.
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Obama says he will end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"this country cannot afford to cut from the military's ranks people with needed skills for fighting"
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Strange and wonderful news of the day.
Brothers adopted over 30 years ago find each other...because they're working at the same furniture store and everyone keeps telling they look alike and one of them digs into the details...

Watch the video!
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RIP Senator Ted Kennedy...

Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

Sen. Kennedy dies at 77


Dec. 9th, 2008 01:45 pm
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I've spent the past couple of hours being mind-boggled over the stupidity of the Illinois Governor.

"Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday morning on corruption charges, including an allegation that he conspired to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama’s seat in the United States Senate to the highest bidder."

The quotes of things he said on the phone, that was tapped..amazingly stupid.

I know these things shouldn't shock me, but my oh my...

It's not as good as photos of stuffing money into your blouse, but it's close.
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