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November 2008

Bunker Hill TV Pilot

There was a blurb in last week's Charlestown Patriot Bridge about an open casting call for some Townies to appear as extras in an upcoming TV pilot, Bunker Hill.
I guess I missed this news about Donnie Wahlberg's new TNT show about as a cop who goes back to his Boston home to deal with corruption and organized crime (also stars Brian Dennehy and Bridget Moynihan).

This could be the first of several new Hollywood shows focused on crime dramas and blue collar neighborhoods - topics that are seemingly more relatable to the viewing public in times of economic downturn. Apparently, shows portraying over-the-top wealth are out (e.g., Dirty, Sexy Money) are out, and ones with a working class feel (like Roseanne or All in the Family) are in.

[photo credit: happy via]

Queen Rania

How cool is Jordan's Queen Rania? Queen rania

Earlier this year she started a Youtube channel in order to publish a daily video web cast and blog, challenging stereotypes of the Arab and Muslim world and encouraging dialogue across cultures.

Now, she has received YouTube's first Visionary Award in recognition of her efforts and has posted a hilarious "why I created this Youtube Channel" video that's reminiscent of David Letterman's Top 10 Lists.

It's good to see another Royal video blogging; and kudos to social media for making this world a smaller place.

Avoid Towing with SWEEP:BOS

SweepbosIf you live in the city, you know what a hassle owning a car can be. Beyond the traffic, potholes, and high insurance rates, there is the ever-present joy of trying to find street parking.

If you're lucky enough to find a spot - particularly in congested neighborhoods like Beacon Hill or the North End - you may be tempted to leave your car there for days or weeks at a time, only to find that it's been towed thanks to the city's aggressive street sweeping program (there's some lively dialog about this over on UniversalHub).

Well, worry no more! My friend Chris has unveiled a new iPhone app, SWEEP:BOS, that will help you keep track of those pesky street cleaning schedules and avoid towing fees. Features include:

  • Saving your vehicle's parked location
  • Conversion of days/times to actual Next Sweep Dates (i.e. 1st & 3rd Tues to Tues, Oct 6th, 8AM-12PM)
  • Adding/editing streets, blocks and sweep day/times
  • Adding/removing neighborhoods
  • Snow Emergency Route information
  • Street sweeping color notification (Green = 7 days out, Yellow = 3 days out, Red = 24 hours out)
  • Neighborhood information updated regularly and available for download

 It also has a clever parking-ticket design:

Sweepbos1 Sweepos2

Boston area neighborhoods currently available:

  • Allston/Brighton
  • Back Bay
  • Beacon Hill
  • Cambridge
  • Charlestown
  • Dorchester (north/south)
  • East Boston
  • Jamaica Plain/Roslindale
  • North End
  • Roxbury
  • South Boston
  • South End

More neighborhoods (and hopefully a Blackberry version!) are in the offing. See photos of the app (plus its many fans!) on Facebook or just get it now at  iTunes or Apptism.

TripAdvisor Causes

I've blogged before about TripAdvisor's savvy promotions group; well - they're at it again. I received the below email recently, sent by my friend Shibani:


I of course clicked through to vote, and landed here:


Here's the scoop: TA wants to leverage its millions of site visitors to do some good in the world. It has identified the above 5 causes, and has asked the TA community to vote on the most worthy cause, which will then receive a $1 million gift (and I believe I read somewhere that the other 4 will still get a smaller gift, even if they don't win the vote). It's a really nice philanthropic campaign that brings to life TA's mission: leave more than your footprints behind when you travel – by making a difference in your community and the places you visit.

So head on over to TripAdvisor Causes and cast your vote - and do it quickly! Polls close on Sunday, November 9th. As an added bonus, you'll gain access to their 2008 Travelers Choice guide, which profiles the world's best hotels, based on TripAdvisor's user reviews.