The Mound That Gave Massachusetts Its Name

(Moswetuset Hummock, as seen from Quincy Shore Drive in the Fall.)

There seems to be consensus that Massachusetts is named after the indigenous people living in the area.

What is not unanimous is where the name of the tribe came from. It is commonly translated as “near the great hill,” possibly referring to the Blue Hills south of Boston. Alternatively, it is represented as “Moswetuset” from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy (shown above). Moswetuset means “hill shaped like an arrowhead.”

Whichever is the correct origin of the name, it is clearly rooted in the Earth.
hummock (noun)
: a low mound or ridge of earth; a knoll.

hill (noun) :
: a small heap, pile, or mound.

What’s With Love Locks?

(At the NY Waterway near the Brooklyn Bridge.)

Sweethearts write their names or initials on the padlock and throw away the key to symbolize a love that “cannot be broken.”

Apparently started 100 years ago when a soldier went to war and fell in love with another woman, breaking his vow to his sweetheart at home. Since then love locks were seen as a wish, if not a promise, to keep love safely “locked.”

It has become common in the last few years specially in tourist areas, that it has been considered a form of littering and even vandalism. There is a “No Love Locks” movement in Paris and other places.

Does it work? Maybe. Not in a superstitious way but in the psychological commitment that could come from the act. Something similar to marriage vows in front of family, friends and community. But I guess just like other expressions of commitment, it really depends on how serious the commitment was in the first place — and the desire to work together to make the relationship work. That’s much harder than putting a padlock on a fence.


Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

It’s Halloween weekend, and one place that takes it seriously is Salem, MA. After all, they’ve taken witches seriously in the past — the notorious Salem Witch Trials did result to the execution by hanging of several “witches.”


Halloween in Salem today is more like a party, though “witches” still make appearances, as in these photos taken a few years ago during Halloween.


There are other characters too!


Family portrait.


Text from hell.




It’s a fun place to visit during Halloween, a “transmogrifying” experience.


Clowns were popular then. I wonder what’s popular this year?