The plot against America

It’s Sunday, May 31st. Covfefe is 3 years old today.

Can your Fitbit tell you if you have Covid-19? Maybe. They’re working on it.

The FBI has reportedly uncovered a new Al-Qaeda plot: The terrorist group is planning to sit at home and watch the collapse of United States on TV. Yes, it’s from The Onion, but this one stings a little bit.

Boston-area photographer Elsa Dorfman, whose photos hang in the Museum of Fine Art, has died.

A lot of people have had enough. They’re over it.” You know, the masks, the lines, the Clorox wipes, the “tragic hair, the diminished hygiene, the endless construction next door, the Zoom meetings from hell…”. But even when it is over, you still have to wash your hands.

And if you’ve ever mocked the poor wording and misspellings in those Nigerian prince emails, then you’ve been successfully sorted out of the process. Apparently the scammers are smarter than you think.

A cautious approach

A good Saturday to you. Today’s word is Gamut.

In Boston and across the state it looks like the velvet glove approach to enforcing restrictions worked out just fine.

Phase 2 begins in a week. Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to accept customers if they adhere to the guidelines of the reopening plan. More details will be provided by the governor on Monday. I’m looking forward to dining out but curious to see how the experience will be different. This is a perfect time for sitting outdoors, and it’s safer, too.

The SpaceX launch is on for this afternoon after being postponed from last week. It’s scheduled for 3:22 PM Eastern. Here is a link to live coverage.

RAND, the think-tank, weighs in on the privacy aspect of contact tracing apps. It’s a pretty high level overview.

And, one of the people at the Lake of the Ozarks party has tested positive. I would hate to be the contact tracer for that case.

Nowhere to run

A Friday. Today is the anniversary of the Eddington experiment that confirmed Einstein’s General Relativity theory.

This study from Ireland is good news for schools reopening in the fall.

The Boston Marathon is canceled. But you can run it alone somewhere else and still get a t-shirt and a medal.

Remote work is great but don’t count on that promotion.

A Globe poll showed that many people are going to focus on local vacations this year. But book early if you plan to take the ferry to the cape. And if you’re going to Hull, bring your own ice cream.

And the Twitter wars are officially on. Ars weighs in on how will this play out.

Testing the nation

Today is Thursday. I already know what’s for dinner tonight.

Dave Winer has some thoughts on the fate of the woman from the Ramble. So does the man she accosted. I agree with both. Let’s call it a teachable moment.

Between now and when a vaccine is available we’ll need to coordinate around testing. Most countries are taking this on as a national effort but here in the US it has become a campaign issue. Biden has a plan for the federal government to take on testing. The Trump administration wants the states to handle. Here’s the plan for that. Now we’ll wait to see what, if anything, happens.

The president, who was elected on a platform of deregulation and against government over-reach, and who has tweeted or retweeted more than ten times in the last 12 hours, wants to regulate Twitter, which he says (on Twitter) is stifling his free speech. Is it just me?

The Wirecutter reviews the best home hair clippers a week after the barbershops re-opened. Now they tell us.

And a 103 year old Massachusetts woman beat Covid-19. To celebrate, she cracked a Bud Light.

Facing an uphill battle

Thank God it’s Wednesday. The high point of the week.

Bruce Mohl checks the temperature of the state Republican Party. The prognosis does not look good. In fact it’s a Code Red.

Universal Hub has the latest on Cumberland Farms’ initial victory in the courts to allow a ballot question that would greatly increase the availability of beer and wine in grocery stores.

The Post profiles the two astronauts scheduled to lift off in the SpaceX capsule today. Live coverage of the launch is here.

Las Vegas is getting ready to open up again. Not sure how you play cards without touching the cards, though.

And virtual crowd noise is coming. Can virtual face painting be far behind?

In for the long haul

Tuesday. It was 53 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.

Which country is responsible for the most metal albums per capita? This is a fascinating visualization. I have questions.

One of the benefits of having a few years under your belt is that you get a little bit of perspective. The Washington Post is reporting that, because of the virus outbreak, people may start leaving New York for good. This is the same New York that, just in my memory, survived bankruptcy, garbage and transit strikes, urban blight, blackouts, crime waves and terror attacks. Not to mention alligators in the sewers. New York will be fine.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb, who played on Kind of Blue, has died.

So what happens when the president steps over the line and seriously violates the terms of service on Twitter? Would they kick him off? Could they? Kara Swisher weighs in. This could get interesting and very messy.

And you know you can’t afford a car when the sunroof option is an extra $20,000 and the sticker price is more than some small jets.

Yelling fire in a crowded theater

Today is Sunday. A bright, cool day. And only 221 days left until New Year’s.

This is the week that the US will likely record its 100,000th death.

Data suggests that the badly ad-libbed March 11th Oval Office speech may have been the trigger for much of the outbreak in the US. The inaccurate information broadcast that night caught everyone by surprise and spread panic as people rushed onto flights home from an already infected Europe before the transportation system was ready to handle those crowds safely.

Today we’re watching television and movie productions that were filmed pre-covid. Eventually the shows in the can will run out. Studios are trying to figure out how to get back to work safely before that happens.

The virus may end up making Boston more like Paris. In a good way.

And if you thought flying was tedious in the past, get ready for what’s coming. Christopher Muther fills us in.

A long hot summer

Today is Saturday. Memorial Day weekend. It’s OK to wear those white pants.

Anthony Fauci made a virtual visit to the Kennedy School this week to brief mayors about what the summer has in store for their cities.

In Boston, the start of the season has been a violent one. A “ticking time bomb,” is how the DA describes the situation.

George Will is giving Joe Biden advice on who he should pick for a running mate. Gina Raimondo is actually not a bad choice. Unlikely, but not bad.

European football shows us what American football might look like this year. No crowds. No noise. Less contact between players. (Not sure how they’ll pull that last one off.)

And Siri, as a smart assistant, is not very smart.

Mission Accomplished

Friday. Birthday wishes to Morrissey, Richard Wagner and Sun Ra.

In many cities this springtime was a quiet time. The silence was interrupted only by bird songs and clapping each night at 7 PM. The Times lets us listen in and enjoy the silence.

A Globe story headline, ‘We’ve prevailed’: Trump’s claims of success against coronavirus pose political risks, seems to imply that people are actually paying attention to, and assessing for accuracy, what the president has said. Good one.

Adam Gaffin reports that the Boston Athletic Association released a statement, noting that it was indeed a statement.

In the last few days Google Trends has been blowing up with this parallel universe business. You know, the place where time runs backwards? Disregard. Science journalism is a swamp of clickbait.

And McSorley’s is reopening today. That’s some good news.

Hair today, gone on Monday

Is it Thursday? Yes, it’s Thursday. The day, in 2011, that nothing happened.

The Globe provides tips for taking road trips this summer. You’re going to need a big trunk for all the stuff they think you should bring. And apps to find decent bathrooms.

Spencer Buell, writing in Boston Magazine, wonders whether it’s safe to get a haircut when barber shops open on Monday. I think the real question is whether you’ll be able to get an appointment.

Antibody tests and viral tests are two different tests. In simple terms, one checks whether you have the virus, the other whether you have developed antibodies as a result of having previously had the virus. Both are important for calibrating reopening plans and we should be testing for both but, as The Atlantic reports, test numbers released by the CDC have the two all mixed up. “This is a mess,” the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute told the magazine.

There weren’t many republican lawmakers in the Massachusetts legislature and now there are even fewer.

And the Apple/Google contract tracing framework was released yesterday in a software update for your phone. Three states are already working on apps for it, Alabama, South Carolina and North Dakota.