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(Boston.com)   "If a swimmer can get in and out of the [Charles River] without touching the squishy bottom, no tetanus shot is necessary"   (boston.com) divider line 48
    More: Sick, Charles River  
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8679 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jul 2013 at 10:16 PM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-07-13 10:00:11 PM
"Squishy Bottom" is the name of my Butthole Surfers cover band.
 
2013-07-13 10:18:38 PM
It's not 1966 anymore, but "Dirty Water" is still relevant ...
 
2013-07-13 10:20:00 PM
Wow.  I thought the quote in the tagline was a joke, but it's actually from the article.

Ew.
 
2013-07-13 10:20:41 PM
Sick is a suitable tag.

Scary might be a better one.
 
2013-07-13 10:20:49 PM
So you had time to green this but.....
 
2013-07-13 10:21:41 PM

Ambitwistor: It's not 1966 anymore, but "Dirty Water" is still relevant ...


I love that dirty water.
 
2013-07-13 10:21:56 PM

Kiwimann: Wow.  I thought the quote in the tagline was a joke, but it's actually from the article.

Ew.


YEs. the quality of headlines these days sucks. People just use the actual headline from the article or a quote from it.
All the creative submitters seem to be gone.
 
2013-07-13 10:23:11 PM
Sorry, all I saw was "Squishy Bottom" and I blanked out.

If anyone needs me I'll be...surprised.
 
2013-07-13 10:23:47 PM
Um. Nope.

web.mit.edu
 
2013-07-13 10:23:52 PM
Learned my lesson 20 years ago at the Colorado river. Keep your feet outta the muck. Got that damn toenail fungus

/yuck
 
2013-07-13 10:25:01 PM
Oh no, there is some sort of brown particulate matter coming from the riverbank! How did the Earth get covered in dirt? Quick, wash all the mud out of the river, into the Back Bay, and build some skyscrapers on it!
 
2013-07-13 10:25:21 PM

cretinbob: So you had time to green this but.....


It's over in the Entertainment tab.
 
2013-07-13 10:25:25 PM
I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.
 
2013-07-13 10:26:26 PM
One particular person's squishy bottom or just any squishy bottom you might come across?
 
2013-07-13 10:26:51 PM
The more people swim on it, the more public will demand they be able to swim in it.  I fully believe that recreational use of urban water is they key to cleaning it up.
 
2013-07-13 10:33:05 PM

Bung_Howdy: Learned my lesson 20 years ago at the Colorado river. Keep your feet outta the muck. Got that damn toenail fungus

/yuck


For some reason I have always been afraid of fresh water-- rivers, lakes, etc. But I can swim in the ocean with no problem. Same with seafood consumption: I prefer salt-water fish unless it is farm raised. It seems to be more instinct than some repressed childhood memory of dodging turds floating through the neighborhood "creek." Though I guess it could be from growing up in Ohio.

I need to move back to the desert.
 
2013-07-13 10:37:19 PM
Thanks, I'll stick to the Pacific Ocean, where all we have to worry about is sharks, sting rays, jelly fish, rip tides, killer whales and the occasional bacterial runoff from the first heavy rains.

It's a lot healthier out here.
 
2013-07-13 10:40:04 PM

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.


Same boat here. I used to do habitat restoration in the area north of Tijuana. One day someone showed me a chart of exactly how far the waste plume extends up the California coast, and I haven't gone in the water since.
 
2013-07-13 10:44:41 PM
Well, I'm currently vaccinated against tetanus, so theoretically I could touch the river's squishy bottom. It's not like I haven't slogged around in worse.

/Pine River, Gratiot County, Michigan
//I wore boots
///Wonder how it's doing lately...
 
2013-07-13 10:55:00 PM
Wait, if you touch bottom it requires a tetanus shot? And we're not talking about Wellesley coeds? Color me dumbfounded.
 
2013-07-13 11:15:17 PM
Once lived in Cambridge. Had to get a tetanus shot. Just looked at the river Charles.
 
2013-07-13 11:39:58 PM
www.craveonline.com
I don't know why, it just came to me.
 
2013-07-13 11:41:06 PM
www.gq.com

Giddy up!
 
2013-07-13 11:44:42 PM

broken jebus: [www.gq.com image 635x400]

Giddy up!


You WIN.  Thread over.
 
2013-07-13 11:47:48 PM

real_kibo: Oh no, there is some sort of brown particulate matter coming from the riverbank! How did the Earth get covered in dirt? Quick, wash all the mud out of the river, into the Back Bay, and build some skyscrapers on it!


You wish it was mud.
 
2013-07-13 11:56:25 PM

92myrtle: Well...Whitey's locked up now so you're not as likely to step on a body chained to cinderblocks as you were back in the 70's.


Beantown also has a real water treatment system now, so you won't be sharing a swim with tampon applicators and brown trout.
 
2013-07-14 12:14:30 AM

theorellior: 92myrtle: Well...Whitey's locked up now so you're not as likely to step on a body chained to cinderblocks as you were back in the 70's.

Beantown also has a real water treatment system now, so you won't be sharing a swim with tampon applicators and brown trout.


So they've eliminated that fishy smell?
 
2013-07-14 12:18:03 AM

92myrtle: ChrisDe: theorellior: 92myrtle: Well...Whitey's locked up now so you're not as likely to step on a body chained to cinderblocks as you were back in the 70's.

Beantown also has a real water treatment system now, so you won't be sharing a swim with tampon applicators and brown trout.

So they've eliminated that fishy smell?


Yes, but the capsized college crew team boats do smell a little douchey.


They shouldn't use canoes.
 
2013-07-14 12:43:33 AM

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.


Is it just wishful bullshiat, or is it true that the Charles is cleaner than it was 30 years ago due to extensive biowhatever cleaning efforts by the EPA?
 
2013-07-14 12:43:56 AM
Isn't the Charles sorta America's Ganges? We did throw a bunch of British Redcoats in there at some time in the past, right?
 
2013-07-14 12:47:53 AM
That stuff on the bottom?
Now we know where Whitey dumped the bodies!
 
2013-07-14 01:34:53 AM

OtherLittleGuy: Is it just wishful bullshiat, or is it true that the Charles is cleaner than it was 30 years ago due to extensive biowhatever cleaning efforts by the EPA?


Well, it is cleaner... but that leaves quite a bit of gray area as to exactly how clean it is.
 
2013-07-14 01:53:28 AM
So, how does this river compare with the Ohio? Because I live next to the Ohio and it's gross. Which sucks, it'd be a great place to hang out if it didn't smell like acid rain and look like a landfill.
 
2013-07-14 02:00:40 AM

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.


A friend of mine was on the MIT women's crew team back in the early 90s.  She got a splash of Charles water on her black compression shorts she was wearing during practice.  When she got back to the dorm, the splash marks had bleached out pink spots on the shorts.

I made a point after that to avoid any river-based activities for the duration of my residence in Boston.


/I'd see dead fish floating downriver occasionally, too.  Nasty.
 
2013-07-14 02:17:02 AM
old news...
 
2013-07-14 02:19:54 AM
As a lesson in environmentalism, our 4th grade teacher filled a barrel of water with ingredients designed to mirror boston harbor's state of contamination. There were chunks in the barrel. Chunks. Boston water in the 80s and 90s was a thing to behold.
 
2013-07-14 04:05:06 AM

UsikFark: You wish it was mud.


You don't know me -- I wish it were something far more disgusting, and therefore more interesting, than either mud or poo. Sadly, science has yet to invent the antimatter equivalent of Magic Shell.
 
2013-07-14 04:07:20 AM
"We're orange"

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-07-14 06:21:35 AM

Thai_Mai_Xhu: That stuff on the bottom?
Now we know where Whitey dumped the bodies!


It is the bodies.
 
2013-07-14 08:07:33 AM

Bonzo_1116: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.

A friend of mine was on the MIT women's crew team back in the early 90s.  She got a splash of Charles water on her black compression shorts she was wearing during practice.  When she got back to the dorm, the splash marks had bleached out pink spots on the shorts.

I made a point after that to avoid any river-based activities for the duration of my residence in Boston.


It's gotten better since then...I've rowed in the Head of the Charles with no undue splotching :)

Mind you, I'm not about to drink that water, not yet, anyway.

Supposedly, once they've got the Charles on track, they're going to work on the Mystic River; that'll be a REAL challenge, since I don't think there's enough flow to get it clean...you'd have to shut down a couple of commercial marinas for years with the river at its "natural" throughput.
 
2013-07-14 09:17:44 AM

Bonzo_1116: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work at MIT. I am familiar with a small fraction of what gets accidentally released into the river, and as a result I'm not sure you could pay me to get so much as splashed by that water.

A friend of mine was on the MIT women's crew team back in the early 90s.  She got a splash of Charles water on her black compression shorts she was wearing during practice.  When she got back to the dorm, the splash marks had bleached out pink spots on the shorts.

I made a point after that to avoid any river-based activities for the duration of my residence in Boston.


/I'd see dead fish floating downriver occasionally, too.  Nasty.


As a rower who practices on the Mystic River in Somerville, MA and rows on the Charles as well, I can tell you that getting splashed by water is a very regular occurrence.  I'm sure something else got on your friend's shorts that caused that.

A fair amount of the rivers in the Northeast were used for industry during the industrial revolution.  They just dumped things in the water as the thought was the current would take it out to the ocean and all would be good.  We know now that reality is much, much different.  Where I row on the Mystic and Malden Rivers, there were a number of different factories that practiced this dumping.  I've spoken to the different groups advocating a clean up of the rivers and do regular testing of the water.  The fact is the water actually isn't all that bad.  If you don't disturb the sediment, you're good.  (And there's some NASTY stuff in there.)  To clean that would take years with millions of dollars to do it.)

I've also taken (accidental) swims in both rivers.  (Slipped off a dock in Malden and flipped a boat in the Mystic.)  Everything still works, no extra fingers or toes, and I don't glow in the dark...yet....
 
2013-07-14 11:01:13 AM
I grew up right next to the charles.  Lots of chemical companies and other manufacturers dumped whatever they wanted into it, and raw sewage was also pumped right in.  We were taught in the 60's to not go in the water or eat any fish out of it.  I did catch some fish, but they were often deformed.

I don't think that stuff washes away in a few decades.

As an extra incentive, while the back bay/river area isn't open to the ocean, they do open locks to allow boats to travel between the back bay and the atlantic.  While boating in the back bay once my outdrive hit something around the 10-12' range, which kicked the whole outdrive up out of the water and something roiled around for a few minutes but never became visible.  At that size it was either a bull shark or one of those giant maneating catfish that Jeremy Wade often hauls out of the amazon.
 
2013-07-14 11:46:38 AM
assets.rollingstone.com

Not interested in floating down the Charles....how's the Mystic doing these days?
 
2013-07-14 12:03:31 PM
I learned to sail on the Charles, and consequently went swimming in there. Lived to tell the tale.
 
2013-07-14 12:37:55 PM

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: Bung_Howdy: Learned my lesson 20 years ago at the Colorado river. Keep your feet outta the muck. Got that damn toenail fungus

/yuck

For some reason I have always been afraid of fresh water-- rivers, lakes, etc. But I can swim in the ocean with no problem. Same with seafood consumption: I prefer salt-water fish unless it is farm raised. It seems to be more instinct than some repressed childhood memory of dodging turds floating through the neighborhood "creek." Though I guess it could be from growing up in Ohio.

I need to move back to the desert.


Same here. I like seafood, not lakefood. Don't like to swim in the water I drink.
 
2013-07-14 01:08:40 PM
Curse you tetanus!

pixel.nymag.com
 
2013-07-14 07:14:50 PM
Took a swim once during my childhood in the Rock River in Moline.  I had the same experiences swimming around floaty dead fish.  I came out of the river with a brown ring around my body where the water level was.

/yuck
 
2013-07-15 06:14:23 AM
richw:

Hey, if you're the RW I think you are, check yer email; I want my GGRC chair :)
 
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