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Well. It’s been a wild few months for the MBTA. We at Hirsh know many of you commute in from other parts of Boston. (Some of our staff certainly do.) So, we decided to create some helpful guides so you can navigate the new school year– or even just navigate to class– with relative ease.

A picture of a map of the different Blue Bike stations in Downtown Boston

As long as the weather’s nice, biking part of your commute might be part of your commute plans.

And today, I’d like to bring your attention to… Blue Bikes! These bikes are all around Boston, and courtesy of the University, you can get a discount on a yearly membership (~60$ a year, whichy is cheaper than a monthly link pass with the MBTA)

Here is a more comprehensive map of the Blue Bikes available around the Greater Metro area. You can see a few of them are within a block from 145 Harrison Ave.

Watch out! The Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation reports any changes to bike paths or detours for the greater metro area. For instance, the Southwest Corridor Bike Path might have rolling repairs during September, so keep your eye on the MassDCR Twitter feed.

And, please: WEAR A HELMET!

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June 17th 2022 marks 247 years since the Battle of Bunker Hill (aka How Many Kids From New England Learned About the Concept of a Pyrrhic Victory). Considered by many to be the first true battle of the American Revolution, many thought the events starting the evening of June 16th would not result in a battle at all.

Bunker Hill Monument and Col. William Prescott statue

By Siddharth Mallya. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

British Army Commander General Thomas Gage was under pressure to end the colonial rebellion once and for all. Along with his fellow Commanders, he decided that the best plan of action would be to seize the high grounds surrounding Boston and use the positions to strategically crush and uprisings in occupied Boston. The plan was leaked and 1,000 colonial soldiers mobilized to seize the high ground in Charlestown, and fortify both Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill (the hill where the Bunker Hill Monument stands is actually Breed’s Hill; Bunker Hill is a few blocks away and is home to the Roman Catholic church St. Francis de Sales). While colonial revolutionaries worked through the night to reinforce their hold on the hills, well over 2,000 British soldiers were mobilized to Charlestown.

When the time came to engage, it is estimated that approximately 2,400 trained British soldiers faced off against 1,500 colonists, a mix of militiamen and locals. The bloody battle that ensued lasted approximately two hours, and resulted in massive casualties, numbering over 1,000 British fighters and more than 400 Revolutionaries. While British forces did seize the hills, the casualties they suffered facing off against the colonists were devastating, and led to substantial rethinking of how the occupying British would engage with colonial forces in battle.

There is so much more to tell about this pivotal battle of American Revolution, so if you are interested, check out this National Park Service article, this Timeline of the Revolution, and this Smithsonian Magazine piece debunking some of the tales you may have learned about the battle in history class.

Of course, the best way to learn about the Battle of Bunker Hill is to visit the Boston National Historic Park sites in Charlestown! There is major renovation work taking place in the Monument and Lodge, but you can still visit the site and the Museum across the street.

 

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The day that so many have been waiting for has finally arrived!

As of April 19, 2021, adults in every U.S. state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

This is an exciting time for many of us, who have been waiting (possibly impatiently) for our shot. But with so many people clamoring for appointments, how can you secure an appointment for that sweet, sweet vaccine?

Here are some proven tips from your already-vaccinated friends at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library**:

Good luck and good health everyone!

**please note that these resources are listed for informational purposes, and the Hirsh Health Sciences Library is not affiliated with any site or service listed above.

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Tax season is happening here in the United States! If you’re like me, and this is your first year filing your taxes as an independent (and you’re hoping for that sweet stimulus check this time!), then filing your taxes can seem like a complicated project. It is not as painful as you might expect. If you’ve just realized that you haven’t filed your taxes, these links below should help you navigate this process.

If you need free filing, this is the TurboTax Free File link; here is the H&R Block Free File link. These should cover both federal and state taxes. Depending on your income level and your student status, these should be free filing options for you. (I used one of them this year).

If you are filing in the state of Massachusetts, among other things, you’ll need to fill out a Schedule HC form. This proves you have health insurance. The vital numbers you’ll need is the name of your insurance, their Federal ID number, and your subscriber number. This is the form here.

For more information about the Federal Tax Filing, please visit their website here.

For more information about the Massachusetts State Tax Filing, please visit their website here. For questions about what and how you should be applying, you can call them directly.

The deadline for the 2021 Federal Tax return is May 17th, but if you start now you’ll be able to put it out of your mind! If, for any reason, you need an extension to file your taxes, you should make the request as soon as possible. You can do that here.

 

 

 

 

 

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We’ve passed the year mark into this pandemic, and although vaccines are rolling out, it might not feel fast enough. There are board exams, non-board exams, love lives, family lives, making sure you’re eating enough – a lot of different things that can stress a person out. What is one to do?

Well good news: we have a few ideas for you!

First of all, there’s the Tufts Health & Wellness group. They’ve put together this page on stress and anxiety. It has resources, included guided meditations and tips on managing stress on the go. Definitely worth your time to check out!

Secondly: take a drink of water right now. Hydration is important, and not to be undervalued!

Perhaps you’re someone like me, who occasionally just wants nice calm scenes to look at in the background, while they work on other things. Well regardless of the weather or your ability to make it somewhere you find relaxing, good news: we have technology to help! Explore.org has a whole YouTube channel of various nature cams. The feeds seem to primarily be at rescues, so if you’re into wolves, you’ll see wolves. Eagles? They got that. Or maybe you just want to watch a bunch of kittens play together? I have that feed up as I write this!

There is a very wide variety of cameras available, of course, because people are people. Thrillist has a great write-up of a ton of live stream cams for you.

Finally, you could always put your printing allotment at the library to use, and get yourself some coloring pages to print out and color in. For example, Crayola has a whole section of free pages. Or if you wanted to support small business, you could always run a search on Etsy or similar sites. (Fair warning though: there’s no guarantee about whether your results will be safe for work.)

We here at Hirsh Library hope you’re able to relieve any stress as well as you can, and hope your Aprils are as low stress as highly-motivated graduate students in demanding programs can possibly be!

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Instead of a prank for you, we have true fun facts about April Fools!

In France, they say “Poisson D’Avril” or April Fish! This same thing in Italy is “Pesce d’aprile.”

Do you have any “April Fools” phrase equivalents in your country or culture? Leave a comment down below!

 

 

** Please enjoy this repost, chock-full of Boston Massacre info! While 2021’s social-distancing rules prevent Revolutionary Spaces from holding the annual reenactment in front of the Old State House, if you are interested in the events of 1770, Crispus Attucks Day, and the wider history of the fight for racial and social justice in Boston, join Revolutionary Spaces March 5th at 5:00 pm for Grief, Remembrance, Justice: the Boston Massacre Anniversary. This panel discussion will reflect on the legacy of Melnea Cass and will be held via Zoom. **

…Your estates and your freedom, your children and Wives; A story I’ll tell you that’s truth now indeed, And when you hear of it your hearts will bleed.

The above comes from A Verse Occasioned by the late horrid Massacre in King-Street, a broadside published in Boston in 1770 to express outrage over the events of the evening of March 5th, the event we now know as the Boston Massacre. On the evening of March 5, 1770, a row broke out in front of the Custom House on King Street (now State Street) in Boston. Accounts of what provoked the trouble are mixed, but most include a soldier striking a boy, and a mob of Bostonians replying by hurling both snowballs and insults at the soldier. As the crowd grew more hostile, more soldiers were called in, and eventually nine armed British soldiers faced a rowdy group of over 50 colonists. Eventually, the soldiers fired into the mob, and when the casualties were totaled, five men were dead and six more were injured. The events of that March evening were seized upon by Boston radicals, and spun to create even more animosity toward the Crown. One of the most famous pieces of propaganda is Paul Revere’s compelling (if inaccurate) depiction of the event, which circulated wildly in the spring of 1770.

Colored engraving of British soldiers wearing red coats firing into a crowd in front of the building now known as the Old State House in Boston. There is also a dog.

Paul Revere, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street, March 5, 1770.” Boston, 1770. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Of course, this event took place a short walk from the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. Commemorate this event with a Boston Massacre Study Break! Start on the Freedom Trail, and visit the Boston Massacre Marker on the corner of State and Congress Streets, right near the Old State House. Head back toward campus on Tremont Street, and stop in at the Granary Burying Ground. You’ll find the grave marker for the victims of the Massacre next to Samuel Adams. You can also visit with John Hancock and Paul Revere while you’re there. As you follow Tremont toward Boylston Street, take a detour into Boston Common at Avery Street, and enjoy the beautiful Boston Massacre/Crispus Attucks Monument, erected in 1888.

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Hanukkah starts this evening at sundown and ends next Friday, December 18th. Also known as the “festival of lights,” Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century B.C.E., when one night’s worth of oil miraculously lasted for eight nights. Here’s a brief rundown of the story and traditions if you want to know more!

Foods fried in oil are a staple of Hanukkah celebrations (latkes, anyone?), but since we’re a health sciences library, we thought we’d share some ideas we’ve found for healthier Hanukkah foods:

Healthy Takes on Traditional Hanukkah Recipes from Chowhound

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Hanukkah Meal a Healthy Feast from Real Simple

18 Vegan Hanukkah Recipes from One Green Planet

Apricot Gelt from Martha Stewart

However, because it is a holiday, we can’t resist sharing the only sufganiyot (jelly doughnut) recipe you’ll ever need.

 

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy(-ish) Hanukkah from the Hirsh Health Sciences Library!

 

June 17, 2020 is the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, an event we mark in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Bunker Hill Day. With in person celebrations and exploration is understandably off the table this year,  here are the Top Ten Things You Should Know About Charlestown and the Battle of Bunker Hill according to our Head of Research & Instruction and Charlestown denizen, Becky Morin

1) The Battle of Bunker Hill was mostly fought on Breed’s Hill. That’s where the Monument is. Bunker Hill is actually taller and steeper, and is home to the lovely Saint Francis de Sales, a beautiful Roman Catholic church dedicated in 1862. If you don’t know which hill is which, we know you’re a tourist.

Bunker Hill Monument and Col. William Prescott statue

By Siddharth Mallya. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

2) Charlestown was actually not part of the City of Boston when the Battle took place. Charlestown is OLDER than Boston (as any proud Townie will gladly inform you), and did not become part of the City until 1874.

3) Charlestown is where Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride really kicked off. He was ferried in a rowboat from Boston, landing near the Charlestown Battery, where he picked up a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin, a lifelong Charlestown resident.

4) There is debate as to why the Colonial forces fortified Breed’s Hill instead of Bunker Hill, although many think it is because Breed’s Hill is closer to Boston. The British had planned the siege to capture Bunker Hill, as they wanted to dig in fortifications on the area’s highest points.

5) It took the British three attempts to capture Breed’s Hill, even though their numbers were far greater than the Colonial forces.

6) Charlestown burned after the Battle, the first of two major fires to strike the community.

7) Proud Charlestown residents still fly the Bunker Hill Battle Flag.

Bunker Hill Flag

By DevinCook at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

8) While the British defeated the Colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill, they suffered severe casualties and the Siege of Boston came to a stalemate.

9) The Bunker Hill Monument (which you now know is on Breed’s Hill) is 221 feet tall and was completed in 1842.

10) Beloved French hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, is said to be buried beneath a sprinkling of soil from Bunker Hill, procured by his son.

Want More?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-true-story-of-the-battle-of-bunker-hill-36721984/
http://charlestownhistoricalsociety.org/history/historic-timeline/
https://www.masshist.org/revolution/bunkerhill.php
https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun17.html

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**Please enjoy this repost from five years ago, as we now commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre! The slate of events for the 2020 commemoration can be found here: https://www.bostonhistory.org/massacre250.**

You true SONS of LIBERTY, who value your Lives,
Your estates and your freedom your children and Wives ;
A story I’ll tell you that’s truth now indeed,
And when you hear of it your hearts it will bleed.

The above comes from A Verse Occasioned by the late horrid Massacre in King-Street, a broadside published in Boston in 1770 to express outrage over the events of the evening of March 5th, the event we now know as the Boston Massacre. On the evening of March 5, 1770, a row broke out in front of the Custom House on King Street (now State Street) in Boston. Accounts of what provoked the trouble are mixed, but most include a soldier striking a boy, and a mob of Bostonians replying by hurling both snowballs and insults at the soldier. As the crowd grew more hostile, more soldiers were called in, and eventually nine armed British soldiers faced a rowdy group of over 50 colonists. Eventually, the soldiers fired into the mob, and when the casualties were totaled, five men were dead and six more were injured. The events of that March evening were seized upon by Boston radicals, and spun to create even more animosity toward the Crown. One of the most famous pieces of propaganda is Paul Revere’s compelling (if inaccurate) depiction of the event, which circulated wildly in the spring of 1770.

Paul Revere, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street, March 5, 1770.” Boston, 1770. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Of course, this event took place a short walk from the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. Commemorate this event with a Boston Massacre Study Break! Start on the Freedom Trail, and visit the Boston Massacre Marker on the corner of State and Congress Streets, right near the Old State House. Head back toward campus on Tremont Street, and stop in at the Granary Burying Ground. You’ll find the grave marker for the victims of the Massacre next to Samuel Adams. You can also visit with John Hancock and Paul Revere while you’re there. As you follow Tremont toward Boylston Street, take a detour into Boston Common at Avery Street, and enjoy the beautiful Boston Massacre/Crispus Attucks Monument, erected in 1888. If your interest is piqued, there is a full day of (ahem) “family friendly events” planned at the Old State House Museum, including activities for little ones and culminating in the annual reenactment of the Boston Massacre at 7:00 pm this Saturday.

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