Tuesday, April 16, 2013


(Note: I'm going to try and avoid any obvious traumatic stress triggers, but I do point out something that hasn't been explicitly stated in the news yet, but is - for me - quite telling of what was intended by this act.)

I was going to finish up and post another Dispatch from the Dirt Lab today. But as I was putting some of the shots together, my Twitter feed erupted in a flurry of outrage, sadness, and confusion about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. I won't repeat words of sadness, or wisdom, but suffice to say there are many people saying and doing good things in the wake of unspeakable tragedy (in Boston, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere).

Neither will I speculate on who could do something like that. But one thing is abundantly clear to me. This was intended to hurt people. Lots of people. Here's a screenshot from marathonguide.com from last year's race:
And I'll link to the picture from the Boston Globe showing the race clock at the moment of the second explosion (there are enough images all over the web, I won't needlessly force people to see it again).

The time on the clock reads 4:09:56. The average time for the 2012 Boston Marathon was 4:18:27, the greatest number of finishers crossed the line at around the four hour mark. Regardless of whether the desired goal included anger and fear, this was intended to hurt as many people as possible. Average people. It makes me sick to think that someone (singular or plural) was able to view these numbers not as people, but as means to an end.

In times like this (of which there have been far too many around the world) I find solace in knowing there are real people doing good things.

Okay, enough about horrible things for now. I'm going to go work on some beautiful science and share it with others.

UPDATE: According to one of my friends who lives in Massachusetts, this idea was mentioned on the news there. Also, some runners were pointing out that last year's marathon was unusually hot. If you look through previous results, the average time ends up being a bit closer to 3hrs 50min, but the mode time, still peaks at around 4 hours.

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