Friday, February 5th

#148:Sawin's Pond and Taxonomy

Music: Amy Winehouse
Mood: busy
Longtime readers of this space and the Athenaeum know of my longstanding interest in Sawin's Pond and its attendant watershed in Watertown, MA, but new readers (I know you're out there!) may not. In 2003, I wrote a report on the history of Sawin's and Williams Ponds and presented my findings to the Watertown Conservation Commission in addition to writing an op-ed piece that appeared in the Watertown TAB-Press. When I moved away from the Boston area in 2004, my efforts to see Sawin's and Williams Ponds and Sawin's Pond Brook cleaned up went by the wayside, but it seems that the long struggle to remediate the site has been taken up again.

An Eagle-eyed reader on the beat in Watertown (thanks, Rich!) have informed me that Paul Hatzilliades, son of Max, the owner of Sawin's and Williams Ponds, has created a website appropriately called, started a Wikipedia entry, has been the subject of a recent (December 2009) story in the TAB-Press about the cleanup/lack thereof and wrote a letter to the editor as well.

So the questions you might be asking are:
Q: You live in Seattle now; why do you care?
A: This is where I grew up and it want to see it cleaned up.

Q: You live in Seattle now; how can you/should you engage in local politics in a community you no longer live in?
A: I think that due to my research and my desire to see a solution found, I have a lot to contribute, but there is a reason why nothing has been done for so many years. Will it be different this time?

I am going to contact the people I know in Watertown who are involved in this situation and see what is going on. I will also give my assessment of the situation up to this point as well in a future post, but the best place to start if you're new to this is my 2003 Report on Sawin's and Williams Ponds.

Another interesting thing that I have encountered wading into this issue again (pun intended) is that if you do an internet search of "Sawin's Pond," the material I have written pops up. If you type in "Sawins Pond," a while other set of material pops up, including the Hatzilliades's site and the recent article. My decision to include the apostrophe created all sorts of taxonomic consequences that I find fascinating and will elaborate on further as well. Hopefully, this article was tempting enough that I will follow up on it and you will read it!

santo26 on 02.05.10 @ 02:08 PM PST [link] [8 Comments]

Wednesday, February 3rd

#147: Reflections On The Athenaeum V. 1.0, 11/12/2003-9/4/2008

Music: Benny Goodman
Mood: doing homework/nostalgic
Well, the athenaverse has made it into its second decade and I haven't posted in two months. What's my excuse this time? Stuff, the most important of which is school. Speaking of school, for my taxonomy class, my midterm/final/70% of my grade is to find a website with enough information items and reclassify it. I have proposed working on the Athenaeum not only because it has enough information objects to be useful for this project, but once I redo the taxonomy, I can theoretically implement it on the website. The other thing it has going for it is that it is currently inactive. It went across the sky in a blaze of glory. It was so much fun when we got going and we had active posters and readers- well, there only seemed to be 6 of them, and they all were guys, and they all knew each other, but occasionally we got some outside readers, I think. For awhile there, I honestly thought we could eventually become the new FARK or BoingBoing. It kinda petered out after I moved to LA, but awiggins and I kept posting once in awhile, and the most recent post was by yours truly was in September 2008 and involved a quote from Senator Barack Obama.

Now that the dream is over, it is good to look back on it. The Athenaeum, as constituted, is a time capsule for my friends and I from back in the day. It is a snapshot of the stuff that we thought was interesting, our thoughts on it, and even our flame wars. This was back before the days of Facebook and Friendster and whatnot, when we (I mean, the inestimable prof_booty and awiggins) had to make the site from scratch. It will be good to fix it up and make it presentable again instead of making it a magnet for web-crawling poker nonsense comment-bots while learning a bit about taxonomy as well.

In a nod to the Athenaeum of yore, here's the most disturbing links I found today:
Director of National Intelligence Says It's OK for Government to Kill Americans If They're Terrorists from ABC News
Woman's Cells Were Used To Make Important Cell Line Without Her Consent from New York Times

santo26 on 02.03.10 @ 09:31 PM PST [link]

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