Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth

October 28, 2004

Photos and Videos from the Red Sox Celebration at Kenmore Square

Filed under: Personal News,Video — Andy Carvin @ 9:37 am

Red Sox fan celebrating
It’s less than 24 hours since the Red Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years, and the helicopters continue to hover over our apartment near Fenway Park. I’ve never seen a city so happy: every is smiling, saying hello to each other, making eye contact — almost unheard of in Boston!

Bagpiper celebrating
To commemorate last night’s big win, I’ve created a new website, Cursed No More: Celebrating the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Championship. The website includes my photos from last night’s festivities by Fenway Park, as well as a bunch of video clips that capture the excitement felt throughout the evening. Hope you enjoy it!

Red Sox Win!!!!!!

Filed under: Citizen Journalism,Personal News,Sundries and Such — Andy Carvin @ 1:38 am

They did it! The curse is reversed, the ghost of Ruth nailed back in his coffin — the Red Sox have won their first World Series in 86 years. I am truly overwhelmed.

It’s just after 1am, and my neighborhood is rumbling: half a dozen helicopters hovering overhead, thousands of people carrying brooms and signs marching towards Kenmore Square.

Once again, Susanne and I watched the game at An Tua Nua, an Irish bar just a few blocks from Fenway Park. The bar was packed with probably 500 people, most of them college students covered in Soxware. For four hours, we parked ourselves in front of a giant projection screen, cheering and yelling and screaming and hooting with the mob. Up until the sixth or seventh inning, I tried to keep my reserve and not get my hopes up, even though everything seemed to be going our way. But as soon as several guys brought out their brooms and started to sweep the floor in unison, we all knew this would indeed be the night. A sweep to end all sweeps, a win to end nine decades of frustration and despair.

The crowd erupted with increasing enthusiasm with each successive out. When the game finally finished, the bar exploded: 500 people simultaneously jumping for joy, awash in beer and tears and hugs and cellphones. I have never seen so many frat boys sob with joy.

Video – Red Sox Win

We stormed out of the bar and hit the streets. Hundreds of people were already outside the bar, streaming east towards Kenmore Square. We joined the throngs of ecstatic fans, following one tall redhead carrying a broom with pride. Reaching the square, we found ourselves with a bagpiper, playing Scottish jigs and Queen songs as the crowd cheered him on.

The hundreds turned to thousands; the thousands became tens of thousands. Susanne and I soon got split up in the crowd. Within moments there were 20,000 people between the two of us; there was no point in trying to find each other.

I looked up in the sky and was blinded by three, four, five, eight floodlights pouring down from the helicopters. People were climbing the fences along the overpass, yelling into their cell phones, high-fiving everyone who passed by. A young woman thrusts a cigar in my face; I take a puff and smile as it was yanked from me, vanishing into the crowd. Three guys jump from a lamp post on top of us, surfing the crowd until a cop gave one of them a polite warning jab in the thigh.

Cops were everywhere, lining the streets, blocking Yawkey Way and Brookline Ave. I was in a bottleneck, squeezed amongst thousands of cheering people. It was exhilarating, scary, thrilling, the most magical moment. I was in the center of the universe.

Knowing I couldn’t go any further down Brookline Ave, I turned around and joined a chain of college students, locked arm in arm like an elephant parade, allowing the momentum of the mob suck them through the crowd. Everywhere else was deadlock, gridlock, a crush of humanity, but somehow I slid through the mass, ducking as a tall man fell from a signpost, having been swatted by another cop. To the left, I heard someone yell “Pepper spray!” and people lurched forward, trying to get out of the way. A young man fell to the ground, clutching his eyes.

Taking advantage of the sudden momentum, I moved towards the Uno’s restaurant, which was boarded up with plywood. A group of cops in riot gear guarded the entrance, gingerly pushing the crowd whenever it lurched towards them.

“Thank you for doing your job,” a group of students said to them; another group chanted, “Please don’t shoot us! Please don’t shoot us!”

There might have been 100,000 people in the square by 12:30am; thousands more continued to stream from Brookline. I’d been separated from Susanne for at least 30 minutes, and decided I better rendezvous at home, as had been our plan.

I made my way through the crowd in fits and starts; eventually the crowd thinned, and I was able to walk the three blocks back to our apartment.

Feeding the cats two hours past their dinner time, I watched in amazement as Fox Sports replayed the last moments of the game while showing a small-screen image of the crowds at Kenmore. The helicopters continue to hover overhead, Jimmy Fallon is having an ecstatic breakdown on live TV; Susanne has made her way home.

I can’t believe I’ve been able to type this; my hands are still shaking with excitement. The Red Sox won the World Series. Hell has frozen over, and life is so, so sweet…. -andy

October 21, 2004

A Miracle in the Bronx

Filed under: Personal News — Andy Carvin @ 9:40 am

“Somebody needs to fire Johnny Damon,” I remember saying to Susanne several days ago, after the Red Sox outfielder had whiffed another at-bat. “And Mark Bellhorn while they’re at it.”

Like so many lifelong Red Sox fans, I was frustrated. Damn Frustrated. Ever since watching that ball go through Buckner’s legs nearly two decades ago, I’d questioned whether the Sox would ever get it right. Last year just exacerbated that sense of doubt. My faith had lapsed long ago.

So as the Red Sox fought their way back against the Yankees in game four, I felt very happy for them that they were regaining their dignity, but I refused to let myself believe they really stood a chance of capturing the pennant. The players said they’d take it one day at a time, which seemed like sound advice, but in my heart I knew that Beantown was setting itself up for another heartbreak.

Then I watched game five, just down the street from Fenway at An Tua Nua. When they finally won after nearly six hours of play, we rushed into the streets and joined the throngs of people exiting the park. Like I wrote in my blog that night, it was like Paris for New Years 2000. Sheer joy, sheer revelry. (I even screamed “Bonne ann┼Że!” in the Red Sox parking lot.) Of course, the Sox had two games to play in the Bronx, so I decided to enjoy the moment and not worry about the potential let-down that lay ahead.

But as game six played itself out, with Curt Schilling pitching a masterful game as blood ran through his sock, I realized that while my faith had been shaken badly over the years, this team’s faith had not. Stat for stat, they may not have been the better of the two teams — I still am in awe by the Yankee’s lineup — but the Sox had a fighting spirit that burned in their souls. It was a spirit that seemed sorely lacking whenever you watched Jeter, A-Rod or Matsui at bat. They may be great players, but their hearts didn’t seem in the game. And as Schilling left the mound for the last time, I felt that ray of hope. Is this really the year?

Last night’s game was sheer anxiety. It didn’t matter they spanked the Yankees from every conceivable angle; even until the bottom of the ninth I wondered exactly what the Yanks would do to pull it off. In retrospect the anxiety made no sense, but 86 years of history tugged at my rationality. I had to spend the rest of the inning standing; I just couldn’t sit down knowing what was about to happen. The Red Sox were really going to beat the Yankees and go to the World Series.

My mom called me at midnight from her hospital room in Florida, in the final commercial break before the game ended. She was recovering from surgery and had a bit of a fever, but she sounded on top of the world. The game wasn’t over, but for all intents and purposes, we knew it really was.

“Your grandfather is smiling right now,” she said. He was a star high school pitcher in Worcester back in the 1930s, and even tried out for the Boston Braves, just before he got drafted – by the army. The Red Sox last won the Series when he was six years old, and he spent the remaining 72 years of his life wondering if they’d ever do it again.

They haven’t done it yet, Grandpa. But they beat the Yankees in seven, and that’s one hell of a start…. -andy

October 20, 2004

More Robots!

Filed under: Sundries and Such — Andy Carvin @ 9:41 am

A new report from the UN suggests that the number of robots will increase sevenfold by 2007. I better start saving up for six more Roombas, then… -andy

October 19, 2004

My New URL:

Filed under: Personal News — Andy Carvin @ 9:42 am

Some of you may have noticed a slight change to my blog. A few weeks ago, I bought the domain name so I could start using it as a new shortcut to my blog. The original address,, still works, but it was always a little hard for people to remember. There’s no need to update your bookmarks or anything since both addresses will work, but hopefully will make it easier for people to figure it out. Same bat content, same bat channel; just a different bat URL… -andy

October 18, 2004

Fenway Chaos!

Filed under: Personal News,Video — Andy Carvin @ 11:43 pm

fenway videoIt’s just before midnight on Monday night and Susanne and I just returned from Fenway Park. No, we didn’t have tickets to the Red Sox game, but as soon as we realized the game was going into extra innings, we bolted from our apartment and sprinted the four blocks to the Irish pub An Tua Nua. Located as close as you can get to the Fenway parking lot, the bar was a wild mix of Red Sox fanatics and a troupe of black-leather goths, all united in Bostonian team spirit.

Of course, we had no idea the game would go on for another five innings, giving us plenty of time to curse Derek Jeter and agonize over David Ortiz getting robbed twice. So it was poetic justice that Ortiz batted in Johnny Damon to wrap up the game after nearly six hours of play.

The bar erupted into joyous pandemonium; we reveled in the moment for a while before grabbing our coats and sprinting yet again for the Fenway parking lot. As soon as we got outside you could here the roar of tens of thousands of people exiting the game; within a matter of moments we were in the thick of the crowd, celebrating like it was Paris for New Years 2000. (Quite seriously, I haven’t seen anything like it since that very moment.)

We joined the crowd and followed it down Brookline Ave, enjoying the hordes of fans all the way back to our apartment, about a mile to the west. Along the way I took photos and video clips which I’m uploading at this very moment; so by the time you read this you should be able to click that link and see some of the footage I captured.

Wish I could get some sleep, but I’m still too pumped to relax… -andy

Battle and Hum

Filed under: Personal News — Andy Carvin @ 8:44 pm

For those of you watching the Red Sox battle the Yankees on TV, have you noticed the industrial hum while listening to the game? It kinda sounds like the background hum of the ship on Star Trek: The Next Generation. If you don’t hear it, listen to the game carefully and wait for a commercial break, and you’ll notice its absence as soon as they go to a commercial break.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that my entire apartment sounds like that at the moment — and it’s not because I’m watching the game. It’s coming from outside.

You see, we live less than a mile away from Fenway, and the entire neigborhood sounds like we’re all hording electrical generators in our backyards. At first I thought it was just coming from the TV, but then I turned down the volume and noticed that I could hear the same hum in every room of our apartment.

What’s causing it, you might ask? I’m not positive, but if I ventured a guess (and I will, since that’s what blogging’s all about), it’s the numerous blimps and helicopters hovering over the neighborhood. The last time I looked outside, there were two blimps and at least one helicopter hovering over Fenway. Since they have to travel in wide arcs over the sky, they’re constantly coming into the airspace over our apartment: hence the perpetual hum. I’d noticed a similar phenomenon during previous Sox games, but with the attention of the entire sports universe focused on Fenway, there’s more air traffic than usual over Kenmore Square and eastern Brookline.

It’s strangely comforting hearing that hum outside; after going to bed last night around 11:30pm I certainly didn’t expect a repeat of it. If I were an optimist, I’d say I’d hope to hear it again some time next week. But that would betray the whole ethos of being a Red Sox fan, right? -andy

October 17, 2004

Tissa Hami and the Ramadan Song

Filed under: Sundries and Such — Andy Carvin @ 9:45 am

Tissa HamiThe BBC website has an article about a group of Muslim stand-up comics who recently staged a show in South Carolina. The trio of comics brought the house down with their unique humor, a combination of religious inside jokes (“So there was this guy praying next to me at the Mosque…”) and witty critiques of the post-September 11 landscape.

The most interesting comic of the bunch is an Iranian-American woman named Tissa Hami, who hits the stage sporting a full-length black hijab (though she breaks the ice with the audience by saying she sometimes sports a slightly shorter hijab when she’s feeling kind of “slutty”). Hami has even penned a take-off of Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” appropriately titled “The Ramadan Song.” Here’s a taste of it:

When you feel like the only kid in town without a menorah or tree

Here’s a list of people who are Muslim just like you and me

Mohammad Ali prays toward Mecca

So does Aladdin, and my sister’s best friend Becca

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gives praise to Allah

So does much of Africa but not Nelson Mandela

When you’re down on your knees, tired of praying on the floor

Remember you were once joined by Tupac Shakur

Who needs the Dreidel Song or Winter Wonderland?

When you can sing along with the American Taliban (he converted)

Put your turban on, it’s time for Ramadan

Jerry Lewis has a telethon, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan

Martha Stewart, not a Muslim

If she wore a burka, it would really really puzzle’em…

It turns out that Tissa Hami is based here in Boston, and is about to start a stint as the comic-in-residence at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge. I may have to check her out while she’s performing there; it’s not often you get to see a new cultural thread get woven into the fabric of American comedy…. -andy

October 15, 2004

EdWeb and My Blog Turn 10 This Week!

Filed under: Personal News — Andy Carvin @ 9:46 am

Hi everyone,

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of my educational website, EdWeb: Exploring Technology and School Reform, and my personal website/blog, Andy Carvin’s Waste of Bandwidth.

For those of you who weren’t online then, in the summer of ’94 I was on Northwestern’s Annenberg-Washington fellowship at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), where I was encouraged to find a research project and self-publish. I decided to look at the confluence of education technology, school reform, attempts to overhaul telecom policy and the birth of the “information highway.”

Over the course of that summer, I spent a lot of time emailing people on various listservs and researching gopher servers to collect my data. A handful of very kind people — Bonnie Bracey of the NII Advisory Council, Patsy Wang-Iverson of Research for Better Schools, Larry Irving at NTIA, Jamie Wilkerson at Kidlink, Larry Anderson at Mississippi State — all took the time to reply to my questions and help me think through these issues, which as a lowly grad student were still quite new to me.

Based on all the information I collected, I wrote a series of essays about education, telecom reform, this new “World Wide Web” and what it would mean for schools, etc, then broke them down into small blocks of information that would be hyperlinked together, modeling them on “Engines for Education,” a hypertext book written by a former Northwestern professor of mine, Roger Schank.

Since CPB didn’t have a web server at the time, I learned HTML and converted my rickety old Mac into a server. Along with the collection of essays, I created Andy Carvin’s Waste of Bandwidh, a personal web page to update friends and family about what I was doing at any given time. Every now and then I’d update it with a new blurb: a link to an essay I’d written, a travelogue, conference updates, etc. (After many years I got sick of hand-coding the page, so I converted it to a blog so posting would be more automated.)

Both EdWeb and Andy Carvin’s Waste of Bandwidth went online the week of October 12, 1994. I announced it on several education listservs, including edtech and lm_net. A copy of my original announcement can be found in my October 1994 blog archive.

Little did I know it at the time, but EdWeb set me off on a new career path. The response to the site was overwhelming. It was the first website reviewed by Harvard Education Review, and was plugged by Esther Dyson in her writings about the Internet. I began to get so many emails from people wanting to talk about the role of the Web in education, I created an email discussion list, WWWEDU, which will celebrate its 10th anniversry this December 1st.

Soon my fellowship at CPB turned into a full-time job as a program officer developing grant programs to promote constructivist edtech initiatives and community networking grants to fund the development of locally relevant content. That work later led to my five years at the Benton Foundation, before moving up to Boston with Benton’s Digital Divide Network to launch the EDC Center for Media & Community last February. Who knew that a crudely designed website would lead me this way… :-)

Over the years, EdWeb and my Waste of Bandwidth moved from a server at CPB, to CNIDR in North Carolina, to Global Schoolhouse in southern California, and finally back to North Carolina as part of the UNC Sunsite/ project. Ibiblio still hosts all of my content for free, as did the others, and I’m grateful for their assistance over the years.

With all the other projects I do now, EdWeb is largely a snapshot in time, a look at the issue of education technology as it was being examined during the early years of the Internet. Meanwhile, I still use my EdWeb domain to host my blog and a collection of other websites, including travelogues and my history of the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge, From Sideshow to Genocide. I’ve recently set up as a shortcut to my blog, but it’s still hosted at EdWeb as well.

So if you haven’t visited in a while, please come to and take a walk through my small contribution to edtech. And if you get a chance, post a comment on my blog and say hello when you get a chance… -andy

October 14, 2004 Kicks Into High Gear

Filed under: Personal News — Andy Carvin @ 9:46 am

spokes4votesMy buddies at the Omidyar Network never cease to amaze me. About 24 hours ago, I reported that several forum members were discussing a strategy to mobilize biking enthusiasts to help get out the vote on election day. It seemed like a great idea — if it only had a cool name and a website to get the campaign going.

Well, I went to bed, woke up this morning and quickly discovered that the idea had quickly evolved into

Operating under the slogan, “Get on your bike and ride the streets like Paul Revere,” Spokes4Votes wants to encourage as many people as possible to hop on their bikes on election day, ride around to cafes and other hangouts, encouraging people to vote, while swinging by the local bicycle shops to rope in other volunteers. For people who want to do their part but haven’t gotten involved in a campaign, it’s a great way to promote civic participation — and get some exercise in the process.

So come November 2, do your civic duty and vote. Then get on your bike and earn some political karma by getting others to do the same — then ride like the wind, baby…. -andy

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