FanDuel - WFBC

April 15, 2013

Explosions at Finish Line of Boston Marathon: Authorities are investigating a report of two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There were two booms heard from near the finish line inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel. Photo taken during explosion.

posted by rcade to other at 03:21 PM - 34 comments

If you're into that kind of thing, the Boston Police scanner feed. I tried listening for a minute or so and then just felt ill.

posted by yerfatma at 03:28 PM on April 15

Watching the local Boston ABC network affiliate that is broadcasting continuing coverage. They report 2 dead, 22 injured so far. Supposedly the initial blast came from inside Marathon Sports, and the next followed within seconds from a trash can. At least one expert - a professor at BC who claims to specialize in analyzing terrorist attacks - says the double explosion is a signature of a terrorist attack; the intent being to draw a crowd of rescuers, curiosity seekers, and the like in order to maximise casualties with the second explosion. The timing of this would seem to deny that this was this type of double shot, since the interval between explosions was too short for any response other than flight. Now there is news of an explosion at the JFK Library, but this might be a coincidence and not a part of any plot.

Downtown Boston is a mess, service on the MBTA lines that run through the Kenmore Square, Copley Square stations (all of the Green Lines) has been cut, and the stop in the downtown shopping area, Downtown Crossing, on the Red and Orange Lines is closed. Good thing this is a holiday for many workers in Boston, but it's still going to be a nasty commute.

The media, politicians, and the like are all playing up the terrorism thing. It's possible, and at this point perhaps likely, that this is so, but I'm one who waits for all the evidence before judgement. Just ask Richard Jewell about the bombing during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. You'll have to wait a while for this, he died in 2007, but the point is that the media, etc., rarely get it right the first time.

posted by Howard_T at 05:06 PM on April 15

Tonight's Bruins game in Boston has been cancelled.

posted by rcade at 05:24 PM on April 15

At least Foxboro was spared. Jokes about bombing there can still be funny, thank god.

And it's this ongoing bullshit that is the exact reason laughing about bombing anyone isn't a joke. It happens and innocent people are destroyed.

posted by dyams at 05:32 PM on April 15

Some runners were funneled away from the finish line but didn't realize what happened and tried to finish via side streets.

posted by rcade at 05:48 PM on April 15

At least Foxboro was spared. Jokes about bombing there can still be funny, thank god.

So you found Stevie Johnson's joke more callous than using a tragedy to try and prove a point you made on the internet a couple weeks ago?

posted by tron7 at 06:13 PM on April 15

No, I continue to feel jokes about bombings aren't funny. You think they are. I really don't give a damn what you think about me bringing that up. Everyone was jumping on me about my feelings on the topic, but now there's a different tone when bombs are blowing people up at a sporting event.

Again, there's nothing fucking funny about it, and there never was. I'll continue to point that out whether you approve or not.

posted by dyams at 06:49 PM on April 15

You overreacted in that discussion and you're overreacting in this one. Stick to the topic.

posted by rcade at 07:00 PM on April 15

I guess the blood and limbs of people all over the streets causes me to overreact.

So what's the topic, rcade? The canceled hockey game?

posted by dyams at 07:33 PM on April 15

The topic is the Boston Marathon bombing, not your butthurt over the existence of dark humor.

posted by rcade at 08:00 PM on April 15

You call it dark humor. I call it poor taste and insensitivity in a day and age of so much senseless violence. But terrorism within the US borders dictates that type of "dark humor" will cease for a year or so, when we again demonstrate how short our memories are.

Waiting to hear that a co-worker of mine who ran in the marathon, and her family who accompanied her, are OK. Odds are they're fine, but that's generally what everyone assumes in these situations until they are among the unfortunate ones who find out differently.

posted by dyams at 08:15 PM on April 15

I think it's probably ok to let a little dark humor slide, unless typing furiously at someone you don't know after such a brutal incident is your idea of rising to the occasion.

Please don't take any offense. If we can't do anything about what happened today, the least we can do is make sure to pour ourselves into our loved ones and each other in the kindest and most life-affirming way possible.

posted by phaedon at 08:23 PM on April 15

You call it dark humor. I call it poor taste and insensitivity ...

It's both. That's what makes it dark humor instead of normal humor.

I hope your coworker and her family are OK.

posted by rcade at 08:29 PM on April 15

You call it dark humor. I call it poor taste and insensitivity in a day and age of so much senseless violence.

Find us a day and age that didn't have so much senseless violence; or for that matter, a topic that can't possibly offend anyone.

posted by Etrigan at 08:47 PM on April 15

I call it poor taste and insensitivity in a day and age of so much senseless violence.

Find us a day and age that didn't have so much senseless violence; or for that matter, a topic that can't possibly offend anyone.

Some would say that we live in the least violent time in human history.

posted by grum@work at 09:01 PM on April 15

The runner who fell during the first blast, shown here in a great photo of first responders, is a 78-year-old who was not hurt. He got up and finished the race. "I ended up second in my division," he said. "After you've run 26 miles you're not going to stop there."

posted by rcade at 09:46 PM on April 15

More violent times? Less violent times? Who really knows. It would be nice to think we've evolved over time, but I don't see it.

This tragedy will be procesed and people will move on. Another movie theatre will be shot up. More school children will be massacred. More buildings where people are working will be blown up or destroyed. It's almost like people are trying to out-do each other when it comes to these acts.

We wait until another sporting event, probably in a over-filled stadium next time, shocks us. And we know it will happen. It's just a question of when and where.

posted by dyams at 10:04 PM on April 15

https://twitter.com/adbrandt/status/323954560093798401

posted by insomnyuk at 10:11 PM on April 15

This tragedy will be procesed and people will move on. Another movie theatre will be shot up. More school children will be massacred. More buildings where people are working will be blown up or destroyed. It's almost like people are trying to out-do each other when it comes to these acts.

We wait until another sporting event, probably in a over-filled stadium next time, shocks us. And we know it will happen. It's just a question of when and where.

I just want to say I don't own a television. The type of world you are describing is largely the by-product of a system of information distribution that is designed to grab your attention as strongly and for as long as possible and make all the money it can doing so.

It is horror porn. One in which you are completely passive, everything is indeed hopeless, and you are waiting for the next stimulant.

So until cameras start following all the good things that are happening in this world, I don't think what you're watching in the news is an accurate reflection of anything. You are suffering from burn-out, you are overly sensitive to people that are talking about this with a sense of humor, and you are speaking about "we" and "us" with far too broad strokes, like the commentators on television. Speak for yourself.

posted by phaedon at 10:19 PM on April 15

While this is a really big deal, and while it occurred in conjunction with, and indeed seemed to target, an event that gets world-wide attention, the local Boston media coverage reached the point of over-saturation about 3 hours ago. Nothing new has been reported, with the exception of increased casualty counts. I don't know whether its my age or the fact that I spent most of my working life among the US military services, but my attitude is "OK, it happened, I want to know as much as you can tell me, but please stop telling me the same thing over and over". It's not that I don't care, it's mostly that I've seen this before and it doesn't change.

My wife received a text that one of her colleagues was injured in the blast, thankfully not severely, but bad enough to require stitches. She returned home to southern NH for treatment, so it couldn't have been too bad. The colleague was there to see a couple of family members who were running. They were uninjured, but were described as "shaken" by the experience.

In addition to the Bruins tonight, the Celtics have cancelled tomorrow's game vs Indiana. The game has no bearing on the final standings for either team, nor does it affect playoff seedings. The only problem I have with this is that I'm a season ticket holder, and I want to know how they're going to make up the difference. I've already renewed the tickets for next year, and the renewal included tickets for this season's playoff games. I guess I was raised to be a tightwad.

posted by Howard_T at 10:32 PM on April 15

Phaedon, my sincerest apologies for seeming to speak for others, rather than myself. But while you describe me as "burn out" on violence, it sounds to me like you've becomed conditioned to these events taking place.

Honestly, if you knew me and was around me, you'd know I am far from burned out. I watch very little coverage of events like these because I agree, it's overkill based on ratings. I don't watch coverage because it's predictable: The media will eventually turn the person(s) responsible into cult heroes. I truly believe this is one of the main reasons these issues happen.

At the same time, I'm not going to refer to it as "horror porn" because that almost implies that it's not real. My major concern with regards to these events is because of compassion I feel for those impacted. Because I'm not on the spot to witness, first-hand, the carnage and devastation doesn't mean I don't sincerely feel for the innocent people who, in this case, were taking part in a running race, but wound up seeing others badly hurt or worse.

posted by dyams at 06:13 AM on April 16

More violent times? Less violent times? Who really knows.

People with data know. Did you read Grum's article?

Because I'm not on the spot to witness, first-hand, the carnage and devastation doesn't mean I don't sincerely feel for the innocent people who, in this case, were taking part in a running race, but wound up seeing others badly hurt or worse.

People who made a dark joke a few weeks ago can also feel empathy too. I, for one, find humour to be a pretty good coping mechanism for a world that doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes, and it's part of my grieving process as much as overreacting is part of yours. No one is more or less insensitive.

posted by dfleming at 07:14 AM on April 16

I've been on both sides of the divide. I was part of the dark humor brigade on here several days ago, but when Phil Jackson poked fun at Rick Pitino for ducking when the flashes and explosions went off at the end of the NCAA men's title game, I got angry at Jackson - at what I would now say was probably an excessive level.

posted by beaverboard at 08:16 AM on April 16

I've been on both sides of the divide.

I think everybody has been on both sides. We all have different triggers.

A lot of the media keeps running the explosions as background video as they report this story. I think I've heard the first blast 200 times.

posted by rcade at 08:39 AM on April 16

I don't have a link handy, but I've heard that authorities have a lead on at least one guy who might be directly responsible for the bombs. Justice here is what matters to me instead of the ongoing debate on dark humor here, with all due respect to the involved parties.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:06 AM on April 16

CNN has a story - but is careful not to call anyone a suspect yet.

posted by dfleming at 09:48 AM on April 16

I think I've recommended Paul Flannery on this site before (he covers the Celtics in addition to teaching journalism at BU), but I'll never recommend him as much as I do today:

"They, or whoever, tried to take that from us. Fuck that. We'll be out there again next year and the year after that and the year after that. "

posted by yerfatma at 10:54 AM on April 16

Nice gesture from the Chicago Tribune.

Oops, pipped by NoMich in today's Huddle.

posted by yerfatma at 11:15 AM on April 16

I, for one, find humour to be a pretty good coping mechanism for a world that doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes

I totally agree. I have a friend who "joked" today by saying his decision to not run in marathons has now been justified. I cringed a little and found it in poor taste, but still a bit funny. And that humor doesn't make yesterday's events any more or less serious than they already are.

I feel a ton of empathy and sympathy for those involved and won't feel vindicated until whoever was responsible has a car battery attached to their nuts.

posted by Ricardo at 01:31 PM on April 16

There's a photo of John Tlumacki taking the iconic photo of the downed runner.

posted by rcade at 02:44 PM on April 16

has a car battery attached to their nuts

I've got a nice set of jumper cables ready to go but 12.5 volts may be insufficient.

If you're thinking weight rather than voltage, make it a Prius battery.

posted by beaverboard at 03:10 PM on April 16

I've got a nice set of jumper cables ready to go but 12.5 volts may be insufficient.

Power = Voltage X Current. 12.5 volts will be more than sufficient to cause severe pain, and the effect can be enhanced by making sure the area is wet. This will lower the body's natural impedance and increase the current. You can also use the current squared X resistance, so even a small current passed through a high resistance does wonder. Every now and then at work I would get something touching the wrong place, and I could draw some magnificent arcs from a 28 VDC aircraft battery.

make it a Prius battery

Using a Prius battery (lithium-ion) is a good idea. If a L-I battery is discharged too rapidly or is overcharged, it will overheat and can burst into flame. Ask the engineers at Boeing what they have had to do to make the battery system on the 787 air worthy. Shorten up the jumper cables and put the battery in actual contact with the target area.

posted by Howard_T at 04:45 PM on April 16

Howard, we'll put you in charge of the electrical arrangements.

I'll make sure the area is wet.

posted by beaverboard at 06:48 PM on April 16

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