After consecutive weeks of winter storms, the Boston area could be in for another wallop later this week. New alerts from the National Weather Service are warning that Boston could potentially receive up to ten inches of new snow from a storm arriving in the area late Wednesday into early Thursday. A winter storm watch has already been posted for a large swath of Massachusettes and Southern New England in effect through 8am on Thursday. In addition to the threat of heavy snow, a coastal flood watch has been posted for the shoreline communities of the Boston metro area including Cape Cod and the neighboring islands. The highest risk of coastal flooding will come at high tide on Thursday morning.
If it materializes as predicted, this nor’easter will arrive just in time for the official first day of spring. The exact path and intensity of the storm are still unknown early in the week. The storm is still beginning to form outside the Carolina coastal areas. The Boston region may experience light snowfall overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning, but the bigger storm is not expected to arrive until later mid-week.
One weather tracking model could spare the Boston metro area, as it would hit a little further east. In addition to snow and possible flooding, the storm could also bring strong winds. Unseasonably cold temperatures continue to plague the region with expected highs in the Boston area only expected to be in the mid-30s for the beginning of the week. These cold temperatures are about 10 degrees below average for mid-March.
According to the grocery delivery service Instacart, Boston is the most romantic city in the United States based on customers who searched online for 12 universally romantic items for Valentine’s Day like candy, Valentine’s Day cards, wine, flowers and strawberries. The second most romantic city according to Instacart is Atlanta followed by Austin and Philadelphia. The only northern city to make the top 10 list was Washington D.C.
In order to figure out the most romantic city, Instacart looks at spikes in the 12 chosen items compared to other typical weeks. Therefore, people in cities that did not make the list may just have a fondness for candy, wine and flowers throughout the year.
The company does admit that shopping at a grocery store for Valentine’s Day may not be the most romantic concept in the world. Consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend more than $18.2 billion for the holiday with the average consumer spending $136.47.
On the other end of the spectrum, Indianapolis was named the least romantic city followed by Raleigh, North Carolina. Rounding out the bottom five were Orlando, Seattle and Denver.
If you are an Indianapolis resident who is looking for something more romantic to do for Valentine’s Day, then there are several special events taking place near the holiday like:
• Sweetheart Dinner at the Indianapolis Propylaeum
• Doubles Ping Pong Tournament at Smash
• Cooking Class at the Pantry Project
• Glass Sculpting at the Hot Glass Studio
While Bostonians are shopping at the grocery store for Valentine’s Day, at least they are making someone feel extra special. Many people across the United States are seeing it as just another day on the calendar.
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and the founder of the Kraft Center for Community Health, has started a progrm called CareZone to people with opioid addiction.
CareZone is made up of a mobile van with special equipment that will rotate between two locations in Boston. One location is in Dudley Square and the other is near North Station.
Kraft has said he started this program because many people have died from opioid overdoses. Number of people, dying from an opioid, has reached at least six a day. He feels that people are not getting the care they need because there are cracks in the system. He is giving 25 US million dollars to ensure that CareZone brings on-demand care to people who really, really need it.
The Kraft Center paid a part of the cost of the van. Other organizations that helped make the program financially possible are General Electric, Ford Motor and a parent group of Massachusetts General Hospital called Partners Healthcare. This is not first time that GE and Partners have worked. They worked together last year on the Rize Massachusetts, an initiative to find new ways to bring addiction services to the people.
This project for drug-addicted people will first have a test period to see if it works. It could last as long as eight months with an operating budget of 157 US million dollars. This budget will also be helped by the Hearst Foundation. The State Department of Public Health will supply this project with 1,000 Narcan OD packages.
Public Officials like Governor Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh and Attorney Genral Maura Healey as well as Kraft showed this van to the public recently at Boston City Hall Plaza.
Dr. Elsie Taveras, the executive director of the Kraft Center, said it took a year to prepare the van for the public. The main mission of this project is to address the city’s current biggest health crisis, according to this doctor.
In the Boston public school system, the standard world map has long been the Mercator projection. This week, though, Hayden Frederick-Clarke, Boston Public Schools’ Hayden Frederick-Clarke has announced that over the next three years, the school system will switch over to exclusively Peters projection maps.
Frederick-Clarke, along with other local educators, has pushed for the change because while neither the Mercator nor the Peters projections are perfect, the Peters projection can help give students a more balanced view of the world. Both maps have the surprisingly complex, sometimes fraught task of displaying a three-dimensional world on a flat plane, but their different emphases in the final product most strongly affected Boston Public Schools’ choice of projection.
The now-abandoned Mercator projection has its advantages; it is a conformal projection, which means that it reproduces the angles of countries and continents with enormous accuracy. If the most important thing about the map is that the shapes of countries are accurate, the Mercator projection is one of the best. Further, the Mercator projection is easy to find; most educational maps available at superstores and bookstores are Mercator projections. However, the accuracy of shape and availability are not Boston educators’ only concerns in choosing a map.
The Peters projection is a type of map projection called equal-area, which means that while it distorts some continent shapes, it preserves their areas accurately. Frederick-Clarke and his supporters believe that the Peters is the best projection for Boston students to learn from because it does not preference one geographical area over another, which, as proponents argue, leads students to consider areas of the world, such as Africa, that the Mercator projection and other conformal projections reproduce as proportionally smaller than they actually are. It also encourages students to view Europe and Antarctica accurately, instead of giving them the exaggerated consideration the Mercator projection encourages.
Boston educators hope that switching projections will help foster more balanced perspectives in their students and their teachers. By emphasizing all areas of the globe equally, students might be more likely to think globally in every subject, from history to art.
If you’ve followed economic trends lately, you may have heard about the development of mega-cities as a serious concept for future economic growth. These clusters of existing large cities would be integrated with more developed highways and transportation routes, and would theoretically work together to improve the economy and accelerate growth in the region collaboratively. One of these mega-cities in the U.S. is the East Coast combination of Boston, New York City, and D.C.
This is an interesting story for me to write about because my mom’s family comes from Boston and so I get protective of that wonderful city. For many Bostonians, the idea of a mega-city may be difficult to swallow. There are so many things that are uniquely Boston that can’t really be transplanted onto New York City and D.C., and many things that probably couldn’t be transplanted onto Boston either. Everything from Boston accents to the best seafood in the world are elements of a shared Boston heritage that most of us don’t want to have to give up or change.
And why would we? Boston is wicked awesome. I’m here to tell you, as a skeptical lover of Boston myself, that the idea of a mega-city would not mean that we have to give up our Boston identity. In fact, working together with New York City and D.C. could give Boston the economic security and political clout needed to remain a world-class city well into the 21st century.