Category Archives: News

Staying Safe At Night

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by Anna in News
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Here are some basic rules to keeping yourself safe while you’re walking home at night.

1.) Walk with a friend or a group of people. Attackers are less likely to do anything if there is more than one person present.

2.) Project confidence.

Violent criminals prey on those who look weak and vulnerable. Know where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. Don’t look lost, even if you are lost, project confidence that you can handle yourself and that you know the streets you’re taking. If this isn’t possible, take the T, or catch a cab. Having to pay a little extra to get wherever you’re going is worth it when you know you’ll arive safe and sound.

3.) Avoid dark areas.

Crooks like to keep themselves hidden, so you and the police can’t see them when they attack. When you decide to take the dark ally as a shortcut, no one will see you if something should happen and no help will come running. Take the extra long route home and get your exercise! It’s safer that way.

4.) Wear sensible shoes.

Should someone try to attack you at night, wearing sneakers, or even ballet flats, can help you outrun the criminal more than fashionable heels. Wearing heels slows you down dramatically, keeps you off balance, and makes it easier for you to fall and twist your ankle. Ballet flats are easy to throw into a tiny purse, so if you can’t carry a good pair of sneakers, at least make sure you always have a pair of ballet flats with you. Plus, at the end of your night out, your feet and the rest of your body will thank you for taking off those painful heels!

5.) Be aware of your surroundings.

Be confident. But don’t be so over confident that you put your headphones on and tune out the world. This lets an attacker sneak up behind you when you’re distracted and not paying any attention, leaving you open to attack. If you just have to have your music on while you walk, keep the volume down as low as you can and be constantly aware of where you are, and who’s near you. Keep an eye on other pedestrians, but also notice cars too. It’s not hard to miss a car turning while you’re trying to cross the street. If the driver isn’t paying attention, or doesn’t have enough time to stop, you could get hit.

6.) Keep your cell phone charged.

Talking on your cell phone is another distraction. It shows attackers you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, and shows off what type of expensive gadgets you carry on you. Don’t show off something you don’t want stolen. It will open you up to attack that much more than if you don’t have that super new iPhone in use. This is also true at busy T stations. Transit Police are always warning passengers not to wear headphones, or show off their gadgets by using them. Busy station, or empty station. If it’s a busy place, the crook can easily disappear into the crowd, and if it’s an empty station, there’s no one to help you should you get hurt. That being said, if someone wants your device, remember, it’s not worth getting hurt over, or even killed. Let them have it. You can always call your cell phone provider when you get home and cancel your service. You getting home alive and well is the important thing.

That being said, keep your cell phone charged and ready should something happen. That way you’ll be able to call for help right away. And if you do need to call for help, the first number you should dial is 911. Don’t call your parents, or your best friend. If you’re hurt, or you’ve just had your iPod stolen from you, call the police first.

7.) Carry a deterrent.

Carry a flashlight with you, especially if you know you’ll be out at night a lot. At the very least, a penlight that attaches to your keychain is best for lighting up the path in front of you, showing the face of a would-be attacker, and helping you get a house key or a car key into a lock faster than fumbling in the dark. Would-be attackers want to stay in the dark, so that you cannot identify them later on. If you shine a flashlight into their face, you’re more likely to get a better description of them, which is not something they want. It also shows you have confidence. The longer you fumble with a key at the door, the more opportunities you’re giving an attacker to hurt you, or get into your house. And if you carry a larger flashlight, if you need it, it can become a way to defend yourself.

8.) Crosswalks were invented for a reason.

Always use the crosswalk, and always wait until the signal says it’s okay for you to cross. Crossing against the light, or out of a crosswalk is the fastest and surest way to getting hit by a car. Drivers aren’t looking for pedestrians outside of the crosswalk, because you shouldn’t be there. When they have the greenlight, they’re not looking to slow down when they approach a crosswalk. And remember, not every driver believes in red lights either. When you are crossing the street, look both ways, even when you do have the light to walk. You never know when some dark car is going to come speeding along at night without its lights on. In a city it’s very easy to forget to turn your headlights on. What it comes down to again, is always knowing your surroundings.


Top phone numbers to have stashed in your pocket or on your phone’s memory:

Emergency: 911

MBTA Transit Police Emergency Line: 617 – 222 – 1212

MBTA Lost and Found: 617 – 222 – 3200 (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM Mon-Fri)


*Pieces of this post are from The Graveyard Shift blog kept up by retired police officer, Lee Lofland.

Today is National Popcorn Day!

Posted on January 19th, 2013 by Anna in News
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Yep, you heard me right. National Popcorn Day is today. Though apparently the date isn’t entirely set in stone. According to The Popcorn Board  the day is celebrated at the end of January, but no one is sure who started the tradition and what the original date actually is. So, in lieu of elusive facts, January 19th is the day currently used.

So for all of you popcorn loving people, and who doesn’t love popcorn, here are some really awesome ways to make popcorn. It’s easy, it’s fast, and hey, tell your mother it’s healthy too!

Just want to run to the store and grab the microwavable kind? Well, I’ve got news for you. That stuff has apparently been linked to some very serious health risks. But, there is another way you can make microwavable popcorn, without the scary risks. Another good thing about this super simple recipe: It’s cheaper! Here’s how:

Pour 2 tablespoons of kernels into a paper lunch sack. Fold the top over once and tape closed. Place in the microwave, tape side down, and hit the popcorn button. Stay close and listen until the pops are three seconds apart. Stop the microwave.

Once it’s done, put the popcorn in a bowl, melt a tablespoon or two of butter in the microwave and pour over your popcorn. Add salt to taste and mix well. Enjoy!

Tired of the same thing every time? Try these spicy versions:

Chile-Lime Popcorn
Top popped corn with lime zest, chile powder, and a sprinkle of cayenne. Toss to combine.

Sugar & Spice Popcorn
In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter with sugar and ground cinnamon. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over popcorn and toss well to coat.

These simple recipes were found here.

October is LGBTQ History Month!

Posted on October 19th, 2012 by Anna in News, Teen Services
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 October is LGBTQ history month, and today, Friday October 19, is Spirit Day! Show your LGBTQ spirit by wearing violet or purple or by changing your profile pictures to show something that is violet or by giving your picture a purple hue.

A brief History of the Rainbow Flag and those who created it:

“A true flag cannot be designed – it has to be torn from the soul of the people.” – Gilbert Baker

Who is Gilbert Baker? He’s the man who originally created the rainbow flag we now accociate with LGBTQ Pride.

In 1977 Harvey Milk was elected to the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors. He was the first openly gay man elected to a high public office in a major United States city. Once elected, he asked his friend, Gilbert Baker, to make a symbol of pride for the gay community as Baker had become very proficient with a sewing machine after his honorable discharge from the Army. Milk wanted a positive alternative to the pink triangle, which had been originally used in Nazi Germany to label gay men and was then “taken back” in the early 1970’s by gay men themselves.

Baker dyed the fabrics of the new flag himself and, with the help of volunteers, stitched together eight strips of brilliant color into a huge banner that spoke volumes: hot pink stood for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise blue for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.

A few of his handmade Rainbow Flags were flown in the 1978 “Gay Freedom Day” Parade in San Francisco. Baker then sought out the Paramount Flag Company to see about mass producing the flag. However, the hot pink color was not readily available commercially so the company produced a seven striped flag instead.

On November 27, 1978 tragedy occured when Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mascone were assassinated at the San Fransisco City Hall.

Filled with grief and rage, the Gay Freedom Day Committee (now called San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee) quickly decided that the Rainbow Flag should be flown from the light poles along both sides of Market Street for the 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade. To make it look right, they split the colors onto two flags, flying each of the three-striped flags on alternate sides of the street. They had to eliminate the indigo stripe to make an even six colors, and since then, we’ve stuck with those six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet.

This is a campaign button for Harvey Milk from the 1970’s before he cut his hair and shaved his mustache.

They always say behind every man is a woman. It’s an age old phrase, even if a bit sexist. But for Harvey Milk, that woman was actually a man named Scott Smith who was his business partner in the camera shop they owned together, his partner in life, and the man who helped to run his political campaigns behind-the-scenes. Here, Scott is on the left with Harvey embracing him from behind.

And last, but certainly not least, here is a picture of Gilbert Baker and his famed rainbow flag.

*The flag shown in the picture at the top of this blog post was sewn by Gilbert Baker for the 2003 Key West PrideFest in celebration of the 25th aniversary of the original flag. It is the world’s largest pride flag sitting at 1.25 miles long! Since 2003, sections of the Key West Pride flag have appeared at Pride events all over the world.

The View From Space – A Video

Posted on August 2nd, 2012 by Anna in News
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Ever wondered what Earth looked like from the International Space Station? Well, now you can see it for yourself! The link below shows a video taken from the ISS. It shows some lightning storms and the Northern Lights! This is definitely not something you want to miss out on!

Space Video

Teens in the News: Do Teens Have the Right to Protest?

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Akunna in News


Malik Ayala, 16, from the  Bronx, was given a summons by the NY Police Department for handing out fliers about a protest against the closure of his school, Lehman High. If convicted, he could go to jail for fifteen days. Don’t teens have the right to protest? Shouldn’t high school students have a say in whether their schools stay open?

Check out this article  about how he and other students are standing up for their right to protest  for good schools.