(Photo by LawPrieR/Flickr)
Attention, smokers: Move to the sidewalk. Your days of lighting up in Boston's parks are probably numbered. The Boston Parks Commission will vote this month on whether to ban smoking in all of the city's parks, under penalty of a $250 fine. (And put away that e-cigarette, too. It's covered by the ban.)
The City Council passed the ban last month, sparking another debate about secondhand smoke versus smokers' rights. Today, the Globe Editorial Board sides with the smokers. Have you smoked on the Greenway, or walked through a cloud of secondhand smoke on the Common? Do you think this is matter of public health, or something etiquette can handle? We've collected some opinions below. Add yours to the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
Has any toy ever won and lost so much goodwill, so fast, as Goldie Blox? The pink and purple building toy was a national sensation because of its viral ad: a Rube Goldberg extravaganza, to a bastardized version of the Beastie Boys' "Girls." Then the Beastie Boys pointed out that the song was used without permission. Goldie Blox sued them preemptively, lost its good vibes, and backed down. Here's a new version of the ad, with boring music:
The Beastie Boys episode was really a distraction from bigger questions about Goldie Blox: Is this the holy-grail toy that will get more girls interested in science, or a clever way to tap into marketing trends? Is it the end of princess toys, or more of the same? We've compiled some reviews. Tell us where you stand, and whether you've already bought the toy for someone on your list. Add a comment, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
And should you? The retail arms race that is Black Friday has officially extended into Turkey Day, as stores compete to capture shoppers during a shrunken holiday season. Yes, there's a backlash: complaints and petitions, often on behalf of low-wage retail workers, who have to leave their own Thanksgiving dinners to service someone else's shopping fix. But others argue that, since shopping can happen 24/7 online, it's unfair to keep brick-and-mortar stores out of the action.
How do you feel about the Black Friday creep? Do you expect stores to open even earlier next year? And if you're in Massachusetts -- where blue laws keep stores closed until midnight on Friday -- will you cross the border to New Hampshire to shop? We've compiled some opinions below. Tell us yours in the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
You've heard the debates over steps women should take to protect themselves from sexual assault. Where does "Anti Rape Underwear" fit in? After putting a request on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, two women from New York raised more than $50,000 to manufacture what amounts to body armor: stylish, flexible, able to fit sleekly under a little black dress, and removable only by the wearer. It's not an entirely new idea.
In India, where sexual assault is an ever-present threat, engineers have manufactured underwear that uses electricity to shock a would-be rapist. Both evoke those Middle-Age chastity belts that probably never existed (see below). And they've sparked renewed debate over rape, risk, and messaging.
We've collected some opinions, and some historical context on armored underwear. Watch the video proposal and tell us where you stand. Would you wear it? Recommend it? Or do you think it sends the wrong message to women and men? Add your thoughts to the comments or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
Last weekend, while the Red Sox were parading and carved pumpkins were biodegrading, Boston's fierce partisans made their last, best pitches for tomorrow's mayoral elections. Some local entrepreneurs took to Facebook to endorse John Connolly. Some Red Sox fans and teammates pitched Marty Walsh, in the midst of the rolling rally.
What's been in your eyesight and your news feed? On Twitter and in the comments, tell us the what you've heard and make your own 11th hour argument for who should be Boston's next mayor. Then tune in live tomorrow night on Boston.com as we offer returns and analysis, Boston.comment style.FULL ENTRY
Round three of Connolly v. Walsh is over. Twitter is on fire. The spin machines are cranking. So to sort through what we watched last night, we turned to some of our favorite pundits. Here are their takes on last night's winners and losers. Add yours to the comments, or tweet them @BostonComment. (And to see the candidates talking more casually, check out "My Dinner With Larry," our campaign mini-films.)
John Connolly won another debate - but not necessarily the election - on the same, old anti-union points. He lost leadership points when he ducked rather than say if he would vote yes or no on an Eastie casino.
Joan Vennochi, @Joan_Vennochi
Debate was a draw. Connolly has been consistently good in these forums whereas Walsh has improved markedly. But neither candidate overwhelmed the other tonight. This final debate isn't likely to move the serially undecided voting bloc.
Peter Ubertaccio, @ProfessorU
Political science professor, Stonehill College
I think Walsh won for most-improved and Connolly won for most honest answer, saying he wouldn't want a casino next door to his house. And I think it's interesting that, in this race, you win voters over (or attempt to) by readily admitting how racist Boston is.
Hilary Sargent, @lilsarg
Chartgirl.com and Boston.com Chartgirl blog
Walsh needed to convince skeptical voters that he isn’t in the pocket of labor unions. He failed. Connolly needed to draw distinctions between himself and Walsh without coming across like a sourpuss. He succeeded, for the most part.
Lawrence Harmon, Globe Columnist
"John Connolly Makes a Better Case"
Memo to #bosmayor hopefuls - I have never met a voter who really cared about the sort of low-grade negative campaigning you're upset over.— Jon Keller (@kelleratlarge) October 30, 2013
I gave it to Connolly. He was clearer, sharper, and more focused -- except on the East Boston casino vote, where he was, um, fuzzier, less sharp, and more evasive. Walsh is not a very good debater, truth be told. And his answer on the arbitration legislation makes little or no sense.
Scot Lehigh, @GlobeScotLehigh
Walsh projected more confidence in this debate than he has in the previous two. But when faced with tough questions — such as whether he can stand up to unions — he just turned testy. That’s a side few of us have seen before. And one I suspect few want to see again.
Farah Stockman, @fstockman
Globe columnist, "Where Was Mr. Nice Guy?"
Memo to Marty Walsh: Don't ask your opponent in the closing moments of a widely televised debate to name three things he did to create jobs. John Connolly definitely had the better performance, but this debate surely won't settle the race.
Dante Ramos, @danteramos
Globe deputy editorial page editor
So who won this debate? I say: Folks, its up to East Boston to decide. #bosmayor— Scot Lehigh (@GlobeScotLehigh) October 29, 2013
Continuing our coverage of the city's drama-tinged 2013 election, we held two more Lab Debates. This time, we invited the eight at-large city council candidates to participate in two debates, split into two groups of four.
Watch the full debates here, and stay tuned for short clips, to be posted soon!
Monday, Oct. 21
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Monday and Tuesday this week, the Boston.Comment team will host another round of Lab Debates, streamed live from the Globe Lab. This time, though, we're focusing on the at-large city council election, where eight candidates vie for four open seats.
You can stream the debates live here and on the homepage of Boston.com at 1 p.m. Make sure to follow along on Twitter as well, and tweet your questions with the hashtag #LabDebates.FULL ENTRY
When it comes to public art, how does Boston rate? According to the Globe's Sebastian Smee, it's generally too bronze, too morbid, and too dull to be worthy of a first-date conversation. But within his broad critique of Boston's overcautious art, Sebastian also named some high points; Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg’s “City Carpet/Hopscotch” mosaic on School Street; Michio Ihara’s “Wind Wind Wind" on State Street. Some might add "Play Me, I'm Yours," the temporary collection of 75 pianos placed around the city.
Last summer, we asked the mayoral candidates to name their favorite examples of Boston public art. We've reprinted Marty Walsh and John Connolly's picks below, and posed the same question to some artists around town. Now, we want to hear from you. Look over this Pinterest board of Boston public art -- or take a walk around your neighborhood -- then share your favorites in the comments, or tweet us @BostonComment.FULL ENTRY
Time will tell whether this government shutdown ends with a bang or a whimper. But so far, it has been heavy on the tweets. Government agencies took to Twitter to announce their shutdown plans. Federal beneficiaries described the effects of the impasse. The Voyager spacecraft declared, in a decidedly un-machine-like way, that it would stop tweeting until further notice. Some of these pronouncements could be cause for dismay. Others might not be great losses to the nation. What follows is the story of the shutdown, via Twitter. Add your reactions to the comments -- or tweet us @BostonComment, if you’re still in operation.
Don't go anywhere -- new passports won't be issued
Has anyone seen my passport? I'm talking to you, U.S. postal service...— Kristin Crofts (@KristinCrofts) October 1, 2013
A shutdown might be fleeting, but a pun will last a lifetime
I was going to go visit the USS Constitution but I said "ah frigate"— Jim Gilhooly (@JimGilhooly1957) October 1, 2013
Just hold it
Biggest complaint says one Aussie tourist at the Bunker Hill monument in Boston: "there's no place to go to the bathroom" #shutdown— Nina Porzucki (@porzucki) October 1, 2013
Essential services are still in operation
Museums & monuments are closed—but the $22 valet parking at the National Republican Club is still available (photos): http://t.co/dgPT6ANHy1— Washingtonian (@washingtonian) October 1, 2013
...but transparency is not essential
Air Force says travel for all intercollegiate athletics cancelled as result of gov't shutdown, including football game at Navy on Saturday.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 1, 2013
All is not lost
I'm happy to report that, despite the government shutdown, the post office continues to be a fully functioning center of despair.— The Doug (@douglenox) October 1, 2013
Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) October 1, 2013
Nice work, earthlings
Due to government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.— NASAVoyager2 (@NASAVoyager2) October 1, 2013
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.
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