What might be America's first bitcoin ATM was installed today next to Track 6 at South Station. LibertyTeller, a pair of self-described "bitcoin enthusiasts," unveiled the small, white box this morning, to generally positive response on Twitter.
But is Bitcoin ready to go mainstream? The digital currency, once used largely on the black market, has now been embraced by retailers such as Overstock.com, Karmaloop and Foodler. Some call it the future of finance. Some say it's dangerous because it's unregulated, and its value fluctuates widely.
Would you use a bitcoin ATM? Do you embrace bitcoin, or fear it? Add your thoughts to the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.
Finally, Sports Illustrated has found someone more plastic than a supermodel! For the 50th anniversary of its swimsuit issue, the magazine is devoting a spread to...Barbie.
Yes, that Barbie, in a big-splash public relations move that merges two controversial brands (Mattel is issuing a commemorative doll) and tosses another firebomb into the ongoing conversation about body image and the media. To promote the move, both brands are using the hashtag #unapologetic, and Mattel is arguing that Barbie is a victim. "Under criticism about her body and how she looks," says a company statement, "posing in ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic.”FULL ENTRY
If you missed it, or just can't get enough, here's your chance to replay the Feb. 5 #LabDebate between the five democratic candidates for governor of Massachusetts.
Mourning the end of football season? Surely, there's some Tom Brady/Gisele Bundchen news to fill the void. It seems a day can't go by without another saccharine-sweet Instagram photo, or a magazine interview, or an article about a property acquisition. Given the volume of material, it seems useful to have some way to organize it all. Luckily, Boston.comment has your back.
We've plotted some of our favorite recent Tom/Gisele news items on a four-quadrant grid, ranking them by how Boston-centric the act is, and how gluttonous or benevolent it feels. Click the link below, have a look at our valuations, then make your own using our handy tool. As always, tweet your comments @BostonComment. Welcome to the Matrix. More to come.
We're pleased to announce a new series of Boston.comment #LabDebates, this time featuring the candidates for governor of Massachusetts. First up: the Democrats, who will join us in the Globe Lab on Wednesday, February 5, at 1 p.m. That's three days before the state party caucuses that will help determine who gets on the ballot.
Meet Joseph Avellone, Don Berwick, Martha Coakely, Juliette Kayyem, and Steve Grossman, in a casual conversation moderated by the Globe's Joanna Weiss and Brandeis's E.J. Graff. (Our house rule stands: No neckties.) Watch it live on Boston.com, and join the Twitter conversation.
Americans tend to have a rosy image of our neighbors to the north, and for many it feels funny to say the words "Canadian" and "high-octane drag racing" in the same sentence. But thanks to Canadian teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, our perceptions might be changing. Yesterday, Bieber was arrested for racing a yellow Lamborghini in Miami Beach while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Days earlier, he allegedly egged his neighbor's house in Calabasas, California, causing $20,000 in damage.
As law-abiding American citizens, what are we supposed to do? Should we write his misdeeds off as youthful indiscretions? Or should we ship his butt back to Canada, where it belongs? And on a more serious note, if we're able to brush off a pop star's felony-level shenanigans, what happens to immigrants who aren't famous, or who are long-undocumented uncles of U.S. presidents? To help answer this question, we've collected some expert opinions from around the web. Whether or not you're a belieber, leave your opinion in the comments section below, or tweet it @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
On the sidewalk in front of the Allston branch of Planned Parenthood, a bright yellow line paints a semi-circle 35 feet from the fortified entrance.
Pro-life protesters must stay behind that line, thanks to a 2007 state law enacting a "buffer zone" at women's reproductive health facilities. On most days, the only visitor is a 77-year-old grandmother who quietly counsels women out of their choice to get an abortion (sometimes successfully). She is Eleanor McCullen, and she sued Massachusetts, claiming the line violates her First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court heard arguments on both sides this week.
The state says the line safeguards patients and employees, who have faced violent protests, blockades, and two murders in 1994. Earlier attempts to keep the peace -- such as a faded white line, 18 feet from the door -- were ineffective. And 35 feet is close enough to hear a person speaking at a normal volume. (Boston.Comment tested it).
The Supreme Court itself has a buffer zone, as do reproductive health centers in Colorado. Do you think a buffer is necessary to protect reproductive rights? Or do you consider the Massachusetts law an assault on free speech? Read the opinions below -- some of them might surprise you -- then add yours to the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
If you were a relatively affluent thirty- or fortysomething who gave birth in the Boston area between 2004 and today, you probably know about Isis Parenting. Born as Isis Maternity, the fast-growing chain of parenting resource centers offered childbirth classes, breastfeeding support, new-mom-and-baby groups, and courses for dads and grandparents -- along with the opportunity to buy all sorts of retail products while you happened to be there.
Now, some are positing that a retail downturn was a key reason why the business failed. Others are lamenting the fact that Isis provided much more: Information, hands-on help, and a sense of community. Have you joined the Internet outpouring of regret that Isis has closed? Have you purchased your fair share of baby gear -- or cut back on your baby-centric buying? Check out this Storify of #thingsnancytaughtme, a collection of Isis nostalgia. Then add your thoughts to the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
So, it happened: The most anticipated exhibition-basketball-game-slash-international-incident in history. In Pyongyang, North Korea, a group of American former NBA players, led by Dennis Rodman, played an exhibition game on the occasion of dictator Kim Jong Un's birthday. Also, Rodman led the arena in a not-exactly-rousing version of "Happy Birthday."
It has been a tough week, mediawise, for Rodman and his team. But the players refused to back down. On CNN's "New Day," former Knicks star Charles Smith tried to make a case that this game is a version of grass-roots diplomacy on -- only to be upstaged by a bizarro rant from Rodman (who was holding a cigar at the time). Does Smith have a point? Has the Rodman trip done any good, by at least calling attention to the regime's human rights atrocities? Or is it a failure on every human level? We've compiled some thoughts below; add yours to the comments or tweet us @BostonComment.
Who named this storm Hercules, anyway? The Weather Channel, it turns out, which has a list of criteria for storms it finds deserving of names, plus a roster of Greek-themed monikers to choose from. (We might have preferred "Seneca," which reminds us of "The Hunger Games.")
Not everyone thinks naming storms is a good idea -- especially people who work for competing media outlets. But we'll grant the Weather Channel this: Hercules is a conversation-starter. What should you call a fluffy, steady storm that packs a final punch? We've collected some thoughts below; add yours to the comments when you've finished shoveling, or tweet us anytime @BostonComment.
Boston.comment is an exchange for ideas about Boston and beyond, brought to you by the Boston Globe editorial page and edited by Globe columnist Joanna Weiss. We're the sponsor of Boston.com's #LabDebates and the creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure mayoral game.
A note on comments: Be honest, be open, be polite. And be warned: Personal attacks will be removed.