Friday, November 6, 2009

Farm City and Garden Girls

Thanks to Slow Food Boston, writer/farmer Novella Carpenter will be at the Fort Point Artists Community Store on Friday the 13th.  So I get to ask the question (spoiler alert) that was making me crazy when I read Farm City
: why didn't you eat the bird killed by the dogs?

The book was a gift from someone who was reminded of me when she heard Carpenter on NPR. We both garden and raise bees in urban neighborhoods that have as much grit as dirt. But pigs and turkeys and ducks, oh my! After reading Novella, I wanted to raise my own pigs but my yard's too small and I don't own a car so couldn't schlep the enormous amounts of food necessary to keep 'em growing. Read the book!

Garden Girl is Roxbury's city farmer but I find her style a little too suburban. Give me the dumpster diving and free-ranging fowl and sow of Novella to the stifling animal pens and pristine raised beds of the Spruill/Moreno compound - even if the latter are mandated by city ordinance.

The History of the Past 30 Years in Greater Boston one newspaper story and all the comments it attracted.

RIP, Brother Blue

These streets need more like you.

Happy Day After Guy Fawkes Day!

Blowing up Parliament is not such a great idea.

Luke Isman's Bicycle Defense Kit

Bicycle Defense Kit
The Bicycle Defense Kit (BDK) offers options for dealing with aggressive motorists. Contained within an altoids tin, the 8 tools vary in detectability, potential to cause damage, and legality.
Specifically, cyclists can:
  • Issue "citizen citations" with official-ish tickets.
  • Label offending vehicles with an "I was a jerk to a cyclist" sticker.
  • Introduce the risk of paint damage with a Jolly Rancher.
  • Create certain coating cremation via DOT3 brake fluid.
  • Make cars stink worse than their exhaust with a carefully-placed stink bomb.
  • Throw a trusty bolt to dent offending traffic as it passes.
  • Lock out loony drivers by filling their keyholes with super glue.
  • Cut through tire valve stems with a utility blade.

It goes without saying that you shouldn't do anything you're not fully prepared to take responsibility for. This project is meant to increase cyclist confidence, not fatalities.
Order a kit: $19.90 delivered (U.S.). Contains 3 citations, 3 stickers, and one of the rest.
If you want to build your own, check out the details (step-by-step instructions) here.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Map of Boston Highlands from 1888

You can go here to manipulate this map and read it close up. It's pretty cool how closely you can zoom into various parts of the area. Be sure to play.