Happy Passover

This year we held our 13th consecutive friends seder, now a long running tradition. We started at Chester Street in 2005, had a great run at D Street from 2007-2013, did three years at Athens Street from 2014-2016, and this year Mike and Tina held it down on Gold Street. While the format has evolved quite a bit, one thing that has remained consistent is that we never actually have it on one of the first two nights of Passover, when you’re “supposed” to seder. We originally would to wait until the 3rd or 4th nights, so that we could steal family leftovers. That led to the brisket showdown of 2006. Later we would hold it on the 7th and 8th nights,

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The Town of Framingham: 318 Big Years from 1700-2017

After a great 318-year run, I just learned that beginning next year, my hometown will no longer be a town. Framingham will become a city. For me, the main reason this is notable is that Framingham has long held the distinct title of being the “biggest town in the country.” It’s one of those things that everyone from Framingham learns at a young age, and then proudly repeats whenever given the opportunity. When two strangers from Framingham meet in some distant non-Framingham place, it’s often the first thing they bond over and share with anyone who will listen. Here’s an example. A few years ago I went to a bar in Palo Alto with my good friend Ed. We started talking to

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Everglades National Park

I was in Florida visiting family last weekend, and took off one morning to go check out Everglades National Park. It was more interesting than I expected, and I only had a chance to see a small portion in Shark Valley, and some areas between there and the Gulf Coast visitor center. There were gators everywhere. In some of the swamps there were dozens swimming around. I’ll try the airboats next time. Here are some highlights:

Two Ways to See Active Lava Flow in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

One of the things I was excited to see in the National Park was molten lava flow. This is something that you can only experience at a few places in the world at the moment, and Volcanoes National Park is one of them.  After some research, I found that active flow has been relatively consistent in two places, with great visibility. The first option is easy. A couple miles from the park entrance is the Jaggar Museum, which has a viewpoint overlooking the active Kīlauea Caldera. The caldera is about a half mile away, so you can’t get close, but it’s still an incredible view. It’s best to go at night, as during the day it can be difficult to see the lava itself. Even

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CO2 Emissions by Country

Yesterday I was searching for some public data, and stumbled upon some good carbon emissions data from the European Commission. I decided to toss it into Tableau to visualize CO2 emissions by country – current state and trend. It’s been a while since I’ve done any data visualization outside of work. Here’s what I came up with after a couple beers.

Check Out Startup from Gimlet Media

I’ve listened to NPR on a regular basis for years, but hadn’t gotten into the habit of subscribing to shows using a podcast app until recently. I would typically listen to RadioLab, The TED Radio Hour, and Planet Money, all through the NPR app. And I’d sometimes catch This American Life on the radio. All this probably makes me an extremely typical casual NPR listener. To me, good online radio has always been synonymous with NPR, and I had never seen a compelling reason to explore further. Not because I didn’t think there was other interesting content out there, but I figured that if it hadn’t found me, it probably wasn’t worth the effort. That has changed. I’m now a podcast person, and it began with a new series called Startup. I

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A Dog that Rides the Bus Alone

Continuing with my above average quantity of dog-related posts, my friend Jenny recently sent me this article, about a dog in Seattle: Commuters in Belltown report seeing a Black Labrador riding the bus alone in recent weeks. The 2-year old has been spotted roaming the aisles, hopping onto seats next to strangers, and even doing her part to clean the bus — by licking her surroundings. “All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” said commuter Tiona Rainwater, as she rode the bus through downtown Monday. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?” When the dog got off the bus – without an owner – at a dog park last

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