Lining up the shot

Friday. It’s a birthday for Joe Biden, Robert Kennedy and James Michael Curley.

Flash was everywhere on the internet at one point but soon it will be history. Which is why the Internet Archive has decided to turn it on. (h/t Rob Beschizza.)

Pfizer plans to submit its vaccine for approval today. Moderna won’t be far behind. And people in high-risk groups could be receiving it within weeks. That’s big news. Here are some details about the process.

Spencer Buell reports on a brouhaha at an exclusive golf club in Mashpee where rumors are circulating that the club may be sold and turned into a dog park – or worse… a yoga retreat.

Apple is moving forward with App Tracking Transparency, despite some companies objections. The public will benefit when advertisers can’t track you across devices, but apps like Facebook, that profit by collecting your data, are against it. Which is why I’m for it.

And researchers are exploring the smells of history. Apparently Napoleon never went into battle without splashing on his favorite cologne.

Troubled waters

Thursday. It’s World Philosophy Day and World Toilet Day.

Here we go again. The psychology of empty shelves.

Emily Sweeney provides an interesting story to take our minds off everything else: Is this lighthouse, which falls well within US boundaries, a part of Hull, or any other town? If it isn’t, is it part of Massachusetts? And if it is part of the state, should it be incorporated as it’s own municipality? (Also, whoever is running the website should get a prize for the over-the-top graphics.)

If you visit Google today, don’t swat at the screen.

Reviews are coming in for the iPhone Pro Max camera system. The best one is from the folks that make the camera app Halide. Other reviewers have focused on the size of the phone. How big is it? When I put it on the passenger seat while driving, the seat belt alarm goes off. True story.

And Jonah Goldberg says (in a paywalled article, but you get the gist) that people on the left should read more people on the right and vise versa. That’s certainly sound advice at any time, but these days it could induce psychological whiplash.

Stuck in the middle

It’s Wednesday, Nov 18. The day, in 1978, when the Kool-Aid came out.

It’s that time again. Here are the worst popular passwords of 2020.

The landlord at Quincy Market, Ashkenazy, was over two million dollars behind in payments to the city and had been given notice to pack up and leave. Coleman Herman reports that they’ve paid up and the city is dialing back the threat. But the landlord is still not collecting rent from hard-hit merchants and hasn’t done so since April when the pandemic hit. So something still has to give.

It really is disappointing that free or low-cost testing is not more readily available in Massachusetts at this point. The Governor blames federal constraints but this is a failure all around.

Ryan Bray writes about Roxbury’s own Apache Studios, a hole in the wall on Norfolk Street that helped define the sound of 1980’s.

And speaking of the 80’s, remember this classic update to Who’s On First courtesy of Frank Drebin? “Who fired twice? Once.”

Relegated to irrelevance

Today is Tuesday. The most unprestigious day of the week.

Costco has some good deals. Even for rich people.

The state GOP lost five seats in the Legislature in 2020, leaving just three Republicans in the Senate. Matt Stout reports that party leadership is rethinking its approach to focus more on party unity and less on red cap RINO rhetoric.

Joe Biden has a point of view on investigating or prosecuting Trump when he becomes a private citizen and I think it’s a healthy one, meant to unify the country. Whether the outgoing president or his followers will cooperate in the whole unity thing is up in the air for now.

Mike Campbell has found his own voice, post Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and that voice sounds a lot like Tom Petty.

And now that I’m retired, my inbox is not nearly as frenetic as it once was (I’ve gone from inbox zero to zero attention to my inbox.) I was always fascinated by the possibilities of the GTD way of working but I never completely got it down. Cal Newport talks to Merlin Mann in this New Yorker piece about the pitfalls of productivity.

A logical conclusion

Monday once again. Today’s word is snivel.

SpaceX launched successfully last night. It’s a big deal for NASA.

WBUR has an interesting story on Latino support for Trump in Massachusetts. They quote a Lawrence resident who says, “Papa Trump gives more benefits than Obama, Papa Trump is more favored for Spanish people than Biden,” adding also that he believes that Democrats favor socialism. Good to see people are thinking things through.

In other counterintuitive news: Man with conviction for election fraud claims election fraud.

Following the reports on the Pfizer vaccine comes news from Moderna that their vaccine is also better than 90% effective. In the meantime, though, things are getting worse, especially for people in the service industry. No customers plus no stimulus equals no jobs.

And if you thought the iPhone was expensive, try this phone, for $4000. I don’t think there’s an installment plan or carrier subsidies.

The art of the impossible

Sunday. Mid-November. 319 down and 46 days to go in 2020.

Danny McDonald looks at what it takes to go from the City Council to the Mayor’s Office. Luck certainly helps. And money.

Anthony Amore, a member of the loyal opposition in Massachusetts politics, suggests ideas to help make voting more fair for republicans in state elections.

Tucker Carlson was all furrowed brow over dead people voting in Georgia. But actually the dead are alive. It’s an election miracle!

Vulture provides a history of the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy sketch. There are 15 in total and they’re all hilarious.

And this is probably one of my favorite Trump tweets. Just mind-bogglingly incoherent public art.

A chance occurrence

Saturday. Diwali begins today. Just in time.

Joe Biden may be too Irish for some conservative British politicians. (I didn’t know his family came from Ballina, a nice little town in the west. If you go, stop in The Loft on Pearse Street for a pint.)

That certain young people, seeming at random and without comorbidities, die from Covid-19, is still a mystery. Scientists are honing in on a possible suspect, autoantibodies.

Trump has put Giuliani in charge of the election lawsuits. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, my iPhone 12 Pro Max arrived and here’s my review: It’s big. Even bigger than I thought it would be. I haven’t put the camera through its paces yet, but DXOMARK has. They give it high marks.

And police in Italy made fast work of getting a donor kidney to its recipient. That is one hell of a patrol car.

Shooting the messenger

It’s Friday the 13th. 2020. A double whammy.

Marc Hurwitz reports that a new bahn mi spot is opening in Quincy, on Hancock Street, near Elm.

So, about all those election shenanigans; The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Association of Secretaries of State and the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, among others, released a joint statement: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” The response from the White House? You’re fired!

The state raised the bar on how cases are measured for designating high risk communities. Now virus numbers are rising to meet the new thresholds.

Someday we won’t have to tag animals in the wild for tracking studies. We’ll use webcams, machine learning and facial recognition. It’s started with dogs and now bears are getting into the act.

And if you’re thinking that maybe it’s safe to go on a Caribbean cruise, well, keep thinking.

Shuffling the deck

Thursday morning. It’s a birthday for Charlie Manson and Tonya Harding.

The residents of Hull would be especially hard hit by proposed MBTA cuts to commuter ferries.

Matt Stout surveys the field of local politicians who could be heading to a job with the Biden administration and how that could remake the local political scene, from a new mayor to a republican senator from Massachusetts.

This recently spotted online skimmer designed to steal your credit card info looks very genuine. The giveaway, as always, is that it’s asking for information it should, in principle, already have.

Charlie Baker took the middle way with his decision to close restaurants after 9:30 rather than shutting them down altogether. Marc Hurwitz writes that the half-measure still might not be enough to keep the restaurants going, nor enough to stop the spread of the virus.

And when Joe Biden gave his speech last week there was a spectacular drone light show above the stage. It was both technically challenging and logistically complex to execute but it looked amazing. This is the team that pulled it off.

Divided we fall

Wednesday. The hump of a long week.

It’s Veterans Day. Many businesses are offering deals for those who served. Also, veterans and Gold Star families now have lifetime passes to national parks. That’s great news. I’ll have to dig out my DD214.

This Brookings analysis of the political divide after the election says it all. We should just settle in for continued partisan sniping across the divide, more government gridlock and increased economic stagnation. The thing that most people, on both sides, don’t realize, is that this situation is unsustainable for the country as we know it.

Watch Dave Grohl get his butt handed to him by a ten year old girl.

I must have missed the tweet on this one. A watchdog group was invited by the Trump administration to observe the election and not only did they not see any serious irregularities, they gave the process high marks. (Reported by the Wall Street Journal.)

And do you really need another t-shirt? For compulsive online shoppers the new excuse is ‘the AI made me do it.’