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Sunday, October 8, 2006

Cyberscenes: Forbidden Newton

REGION

October is like a sort of reverse spring for the local blogosphere. Bloggers who've been dormant for weeks and even months suddenly burst forth like so many crocuses.

It also appears to be a time when local blogs turn their focus to local issues and we see a lot less musings about random esoterica and the ideal lobster roll. (Although not completely. One Watertown blog did have a recent posting about the history of ``Scottish financial services innovations.")

Last week, the Garden City blog (thegardencity.net) alerted users about a rare opportunity to view a piece of Forbidden Newton.

Given all the conspiracy talk and mystery surrounding the Masons (anyone see the movie ``National Treasure?" ) a lot of us are more than a wee bit curious about what they are all about. Particularly those of us who frequent Newtonville and drive past the massive Masonic Lodge building, with its signature brick tower and ornamentation of gargoyle faces.

``I drove by this week to see a strange sight, a sign offering an open house for this coming weekend," blogger Chuck wrote. ``Not only did I think it odd, but I hoped to go, since it's a rare opportunity to enter a space that is so prominent yet so off limits. Though, it appears that they do occasionally open up the facility for some uses. I'm hoping to stop by . . . I'm insanely curious."

One of those uses, as it turns out, was a recent amateur radio (i.e., ham radio) and electronics auction. Omigod! Mystery solved! The Masons are a secret society of nerds.

Read more about what local bloggers are posting in Ralph Ranalli's Cyberscenes column. Ralph Ranalli is a reporter and web producer for Globe West and manages the Westword blog.

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