Have your kids seen the Milky Way?

Dear Boston and Boston TV Meteorologists,

The children and families of Boston haven’t seen the Milky Way in many years, but this natural wonder is right there waiting to be discovered.  As a community we are asking for a little cooperation from our local TV meteorologists to draw attention to the possibility…

Wouldn’t it be great to have a monthly weather forecast segment identifying a night good for seeing the Milky Way? Well it is possible!  Every month we have the new moon phase of the lunar calendar that produces the best conditions. The next such period begins July 20, and lasts for approximately 6 days, with the new moon (no moon) on July 23. Within that window a meteorologist can forecast the best atmospheric conditions for Boston’s Star Light Night.

This request came about as a result of our ongoing canvassing of Boston area residents for their novel ideas on how to improve community in Boston. One of the most popular suggestion was for a coordinated lights-out for 30 minutes so families can go out into their neighborhood and view the Milky Way – something that so many young people in Boston have never seen. But what night, and how do we get the message out? All it will take is a little coordination, a little cooperation and some trial and error in discovering good viewing spots. That’s where Boston TV meteorologists can help, by setting a date we can coordinate around.

We envision working with a Boston area TV meteorologist that viewers can tune in to and get the forecast for Boston’s next Star Light Night.  As a star gazing community, we can then organize local viewing parties and find the best spots away from street lights.  Of course, some months, because of prolonged cloud cover, there will be no suitable night – but that anticipation is part of the fun of watching the weather forecast isn’t it?

I would like to introduce Scott Feierabend, he’s the executive director of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) – the recognized authority on the night sky and light pollution. IDA is a member based organization widely supported by astronomers with many members in the North East. We reached out to Scott and the IDA about this proposal and they are keen to cooperate!  They are offering our local TV meteorologists any technical assistance they might need, and are happy to provide  background resources on the night sky and light pollution.

Interest in astronomy is likely to get a boost in the coming weeks with the approaching solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. We believe that this is a great time to trial this idea and get the children of Boston excited at the prospect of viewing the Milky Way.

Let’s make this happen Boston! Over to you TV mets…


Cooperation Day Boston

P.S. We have initially contacted channel 5 and channel 7 meteorologists and hope to get an answer soon. You can help to encourage them by sharing on social media. Thanks!

**Update** 11pm Thursday,  7 July. Boston channel 5 chief meteorologist Harvey Leonard has contacted us to say they are reviewing our request. Thanks Harvey!

Boston Reddit Responds

Analyzing r/boston’s response to improving life in the City

In an attempt to find new creative ways to increase cooperation in Boston we are canvassing Boston area residents for their ideas. On Tuesday, June 20, 2017 I posted the following question on reddit.com/r/boston

What’s your idea for how Boston area residents could cooperate to improve life in the city?

In case you aren’t aware r/boston has a community of 71K subscribers with relatively active commenting. r/boston can be a grumpy lot but let’s see what we got. This post elicited 1.5K views and over 120 comments. Let’s look at some of the most popular and interesting ideas. First a couple of the funny ones:

Don’t block the box and put down the fucking phone. — xentralesque

It’s clear that many people are frustrated by the traffic in Boston and poor driving etiquette. I have a feeling that this sentiment or something similar would do well as a Boston car decal.

Gir giving reddit some ideas

Yesterday, we met Kate with her dog Gir, and she suggested that we have the RMV require a drivers-ed refresher as part of the license renewal.  This would be a good way to remind citizens of some key behavior we want to reinforce…

Start invading and annexing the smaller cities around Boston. You’re first, Brookline! bienvenueareddit

The last town to be annexed into Boston was my town, Hyde Park, in 1912 – Thanks Hyde Park Historical Society. I don’t think Brookline could resist if we put our minds to it…

Now on to some of the more serious ideas:

More public drinking fountains and restrooms. It’s so weird that even as a historic tourism city we are very much lacking in those facilities. — cookiecatgirl

We had a lot of people answer our question with complaints about Boston City services and resources. Over the course of the last week we’ve spoken with many area residents who have stated that we need more restroom and fountain facilities and more signposts to find them. Is there an active policy by the City not to provide these facilities? Some residents wondered whether area businesses blocked the creation of these facilities to increase sales in their establishments. We are investigating and will report back on what we discover…

I would love to see more bike/pedestrian only roads/paths around the city. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely blessed with all the infrastructure. I would love for more roads to be closed off to cars. It gives that small city/village charm. — Lambastor

We’ve spoken to a lot of people in the 18 – 40 age range over the past week, and this has been one of the most popular proposals. A lot of them mentioned Portland as an example of a US city that has taken a lead on promoting cycling. Check out the Boston Cyclist Union  for updates on action.

Finally,  we posted the popular ideas that we received when canvassing people on the streets of Boston:

Friendship hot-spots – This idea was initially proposed by someone new to the city wanting to find new friends. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on this idea and we are planning a trial run for later in the month. We will set up a friendship hot-spot in a public space in downtown Boston. More to come on this…

No Light Night – The Boston area has a lot of light pollution and many younger people have never seen the Milky Way. The idea here is that on a night designated by a local TV meteorologist as ideal for star gazing (no moon, very clear conditions) and in conjunction with our new friends at www.darksky.org, we turn out our lights for 30 minutes and families head out into the neighborhood to see the Milky Way. Many neighborhoods have street lighting that will make this difficult, but there are areas where the worst of the pollution can be avoided – local cemeteries or parks. We are currently working with www.darksky.org to plan this and we are approaching some of the local meteorologists to see if they will add a star gazing forecast to help us coordinate efforts. More to come on this…

Follow our work #cooopday and get involved : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fediverse,

Do you have an idea for how we can increase cooperation in society? Let us know at coopdayboston@gmail.com

Frequently asked questions

Who do you represent?

Ourselves as individual citizens, and as a team, we are not affiliated with any institution, political philosophy or group of any kind.

When is cooperation day?

It’s a sentiment. It’s both today or a future date. Ideally, it’s every day.

Why cooperation?

The problems we face in society are both complex and hard to formulate a response to. Also, getting political agreement is difficult when so many are not engaged. But by cooperating today, we can create the environment for more, and deeper cooperation tomorrow. By focusing on what we agree to now, we can create the community and bonds to solve the more difficult tasks naturally, sooner. See science of cooperation.

What do you want?

We want to promote an increase in cooperation in our society. We are gathering ideas to promote cooperative activity for others to undertake. If you have an idea, share with us, and share on your social media using the hashtag #coopday. Thank you! We also want you to test out the idea of increasing cooperation in your own life. Take the cooperation challenge.

Do you have any affiliation with European Cooperation Day?

No affiliations with any groups of any kind whatsoever.

Cooperation Day Boston

How can we increase cooperation in and around Boston and make life better for everyone? Let’s start by asking the people of Boston for their ideas…

On Thursday 15, June 2017 we launched our introductory video, and Cooperation Day Boston began canvasing the people we met as we walked through Boston Common.  We had some handmade signs and our cooperation day banner.  The banner was made by volunteers at Spontaneous Celebrations for the Wake Up The Earth (WUTE) festival earlier in May.  In the spirit of cooperation, we were offering gifts of very tasty (really good) fortune  cookies, with a range of fortunes relevant to our altruistic goals.


Here are some of the people we met and the ideas they gave or favored:

Part 1

Lauren has recently moved to Boston and is working as a personal fitness trainer. Lauren would like to see informal public friendship hot-spots – as opposed to wifi ones – where people can more easily say hello, strike up a conversation or talk about cooperation…


Monique and Clarissa really liked the idea that increasing cooperation in the city might have a big impact on how friendly and tolerant people are…



Aldair and Chris struck up a great conversation about social activities and festivals that people could organize for themselves or their communities…




Park Ranger Steve was excited and thought that we should get the Mayor’s Office involved. He thinks that Mayor Walsh would be supportive because it’s a great way of getting good ideas for the City. He also said that the Friends of the Public Garden are always looking for these type of ideas and we should tell them about Cooperation Day.

Part 2 – coming soon…

Do you have an idea for Cooperation Day? Post your idea on social media with the tag #coopday and we will pick it up and share it!