Elbows flying

A fine Thursday it is. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville was premiered on this day in 1816. (Not to be confused with the Barber of the Upper West Side. )

South Korea may be the new jumping off point for the coronavirus.

The Nevada debate was quite a show. Bloomberg obviously was uncomfortable and unprepared for the intensity of the attacks against him. Warren seemed a little too focused on scoring points. Sanders sloganeered. Biden didn’t sound bad but was generally ignored. Klobuchar staggered under assaults on her record. And Buttigieg? I think he actually did a pretty good job. I was rooting for Bloomberg but was pleasantly surprised by Buttigieg. But it’s just one debate. More to come.

I remember when email was fun. For about ten minutes.

The new hands-free driving law goes into effect this Sunday. Here are some do’s and don’t’s from the Globe. And a few more from WBUR.

And Weird Al never gets old. Or less weird.

Civics 101

Today is Wednesday. It’s the 19th of February. No snow in the forecast, at least until March. Famous last words considering we’re in New England.

Trillium and Treehouse, two Massachusetts breweries, were at the top of a list of the 100 best breweries in the world. It seems like New England is now the Tuscany of beer.

The president runs the executive branch and the DOJ is under that branch so, yes, technically he is the chief law enforcement officer. But NASA is also in the executive branch so would the president also be the chief astronaut? There’s a difference between having a title and the responsibility of office and assuming an actual expertise in an area.

Rachael Rollins reflects on her first year in office for Commonwealth Magazine.

New license plates in Ontario have a unique property. The numbers disappear when lit by headlights. (It’s a bug, not a feature.)

And Christopher Muther says it’s time to do away with reclining seats on planes. I agree. The costs outweigh the benefits.

Mad as a hatter

Today is Tuesday. Happy birthday to Cybill Shepherd, Milos Forman, Yoko Ono and Irma Thomas.

Dogs are the new reality TV stars. They don’t care. They have no idea.

The Boston-based saga of John Wilkes Booth and the man who killed him, a hat maker named Boston Corbett, is recounted by Adam Gaffin. A great read and well researched. I didn’t know any of this.

Science journalism has become pretty bad. It’s filled with clickbait and sensational headlines announcing new life-changing technologies and miracle cures. It’s hard to distinguish the real from the hype sometimes. That said, I hope this is real. It could be a game changer.

Both versions of True Grit were good movies but the book was better. The author, Charles Portis died this week at 86. I also liked his novels, Dog of the South and Norwood. If you’re looking for something to read you should check him out. He’s been called America’s least-known great writer.

And there are 10 websites that website designers think need to be updated. Stop right there. Please don’t touch Craigslist or Wikipedia or Hacker News. They’re just fine. But please do fix IMDB. It’s painful. The rest? Who cares.

All politics is local

Monday. President’s Day. A good day to buy a mattress.

It pays to read the fine print. Usually nobody does. That’s what they were counting on.

The Globe highlights City Councillor Frank Baker. I think they get it mostly right. He’s a traditionalist. Baker and I have had our run-ins but he’s a straight shooter and an advocate for his constituents. If I lived in District 3, I’d vote for him.

No coronavirus update today. But here’s a reminder on how to wash your hands.

As Bloomberg becomes more viable, opposition research is ramping up. The hits will likely come fast and furious and from all directions. What would you expect for a lifelong Democrat who jumped over the aisle to become a Republican, then an independent, and is now running as a centrist Democrat indifferent to party control. That’s a lot of jilting. Attacks might not come from the other candidates directly because they fear Bloomberg’s spending power. But leaks to journalists and proxy attacks will certainly begin to increase.

The NYT health columnist looks at the benefits of intermittent fasting.

And if you happen to be near Yosemite this week, Saturday will be the best day for taking a firefall photo at Horsetail Falls. If you can get a spot. And, if there’s any water in the falls. (Some Examples from Flickr.)

That ship has sailed

It’s Sunday. A sunny day. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified on this day in 2005. Also, in 1978, the first computer bulletin board came on line.

Birds have figured out how to reduce fake news via retweeting.

The passengers on the coronavirus cruise ship are all getting iPhones. A different cruise ship, docked in Cambodia, is now finding cases of coronavirus among its passengers. Many of them are in the wind, heading back to their home countries. In the US, more testing is being planned. In the UK, a contingency plan is in the works.

I remember couple of years ago when HQ Trivia was the next big thing. Not so much now.

Getty Images is being sued by a photographer who alleges they appropriated her images and then tried to charge her for her own use of them. The photographer had actually donated the photographs to the Library of Congress to provide complete free public access. She is suing for a billion, but that’s because Getty allegedly has a history of doing this sort of thing.

And, applications are being accepted at NASA for the next generation of astronauts. Unfortunately, I think I missed the boat.

Gondola encore

Saturday. A cold one. RIP, Richard Feynman, McLean Stevenson and Wally Cox.

John Ellement provides us with a nice Valentine first date story.

Boston area Gondola advocates are going to keep throwing proposals against the wall until one of them sticks. And here’s one that might: as a way to get from the Orange Line to the casino. Picture yourself floating peacefully over a moonlight dappled Mystic after a night of burning money in Everett.

A billion dollar wall vs. a five dollar ladder.

It’s been a rough year for local newspapers around the country. Margaret Sullivan writes about the overall problem and Nicholas Lemann goes deeper into how we got here and what could be next.

And if you’re worried about smart devices listening to everything you say, there’s a jamming device that you can wear as a bracelet. And it’s so sleek and fashionable.

Taking payment up front

Friday the 14th. Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget.

One New Yorker is happy, on balance, with Bloomberg’s legacy as mayor. I suspect this view is pretty common among people there.

It appears that the Globe is being a little aggressive in collecting subscription fees, sometime charging people earlier than they should. Lots of complaints over at the BBB. You have to love the cut-and-paste, “Hello I apologize…”, response to many of the complaints. But at least they’re replying. (Via Reddit).

It’s a vision of the future, straight from the past. This would’ve made perfect sense to a sixteenth century futurist.

The Boston to New York seaplane service received final approval from the BPDA.

And if just thinking about mechanical engineering gives you a headache, you may be pleasantly surprised by this blog post from Bartosz Ciechanowski. He makes tangential forces and angular velocity fun. Seriously.

Good government guys

Thursday. It feels like rain. Happy birthday to Peter Gabriel, Carol Lynley, Jerry Springer and Peter Tork.

Once again Globe food writer Devra First can’t seem to make it across the Neponset River, missing out on a lot of fine places to eat south of the city. (Delfino in Roslindale was a good choice, though.)

A CBO-like office for Massachusetts, to review the efficacy of proposed legislation? Sounds like a good idea, actually. And the names of the people involved should instill confidence.

Lyle Mays has died. I always loved his playing with Pat Metheny. The improvised melodies had a personality and there seemed to be a chemistry there. Some good examples: The Way Up; Speaking of Now; Imaginary Day – all great records and featured on today’s playlist.

Adam Gaffin reports on Cape Air’s quest to make a splash with a seaplane route between Long Wharf and the East River in NYC.

And the biggest industry event for mobile technology has been canceled because of the coronavirus. There won’t be a Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year. That’s a big deal.

A day late and a dollar short

Wednesday. Halfway to Friday. And it’s International Darwin Day. Evolve.

LAFD is buying an electric fire truck. Charge those lines.

Supporters say that Deval Patrickjust needs to get known“. Really? I think it’s a little bit late in the game for introductions, especially if you’re one of the guys that doesn’t have a billion dollars to blow on ads. UPDATE: He dropped out later in the day.

Part of the enjoyment of a football game on TV is the flow of game data. It has to be displayed in a way that informs but doesn’t overload the viewer or distract them from the actual game. And it has to look good. Some networks are better at this than others. ESPN is the worst. CBS is good and Fox is the best, in my opinion. John Teti, writing at The Outsider, examines how Fox changes its look to stay up to date.

The coronavirus cruise ship looks like a petri dish experiment. A single infected person came on board. Now, 175, more than a third of the passengers, are infected. And even though the confirmed cases are quarantined, new infections are still popping up – 40 as of this week.

The Globe has a small mention of a “malware attack” that brought down a network at Children’s Hospital. Sounds like a ransomware incident. The affected system is associated with a regional group of pediatricians and is not the primary network at the hospital. It’s still down as of this morning.

And Andrew Yang is out. So I guess this means that Norm MacDonald’s endorsement is up for grabs.