There’s something in a Sunday makes a body feel alone.
The birds seem to be unusually verbose this summer. If you – like I – can’t tell the tweet of an eastern phoebe from that of a dark-eyed junco, here’s a handy app to sort things out.
Have public attitudes and behavior around drunk driving changed enough in the last thirty years to allow bars to reintroduce happy hour? The legislature is considering it. Polls are in favor. And with the availability of ride sharing these days, even MADD is open to the change. But Governor Baker is being a stick in the mud. And on this one I think he’s right.
British politics is fascinating these days. Left, right, center, Brexit, Boris. Even the US landscape seems predictable and boring in comparison.
Some people are hesitant to blame those that choose not to be vaccinated. Not me. I’m with the governor of Alabama. I think they’re the opposite of patriots.
And, does money buy happiness? Or does it buy unhappiness? It all depends. Wise words.
Happy Saturday! Today’s word is lexical.
Paul DeBole, for one, thinks the two month tax holiday is a great idea.
There was a drawing yesterday to determine the order that candidates will appear on the ballot for city elections in September. Gintautas Dumcius reports that the list for mayor will read, Essaibi George, then Spagnuolo, Campbell, Janey, Wu, Santiago, Cappucci and finally, Barros. Sometimes these small things can make a difference.
Chris Krewson writes about the future of local journalism. It has very little to do with newspapers.
A guy who shoots Canon believes he’s found the best prime lens ever. Surprise: it’s a Canon lens. He’s right about 50mm, though. That would be the place to start. But I would have ended up with this, the actual best prime lens ever made. (Or its smaller and even more expensive manual-focus cousin.)
And if you suspect that your phone has been infected with Pegasus spyware, there’s a way to check it out. Mitchell Clark explains the process.
Friday. Today’s forecast includes a slight geomagnetic storm, which could lead to possible power grid fluctuations and increased northern lights.
I’ve never been interested in any kind of vanity or low-number license plate. If you are, the RMV is running a lottery.
The Dorchester Youth Collaborative was one of the most impactful organizations that Boston has seen. It was a shame when it closed down but now it’s back, under the umbrella of MissionSAFE, but still with Emmett Folgert at the helm.
Spreadsheets. Love them or hate them.
The Washington Post counts the bullet casings in a dangerous part of DC. (I’m guessing, with a spreadsheet.)
And Maureen Dahill imagines Castle Island as the new Fantasy Island with seaplanes swooping into the harbor.
What is today? Thursday, I think.
The Baltimore Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition that was curated by the guards. This is cool in so many ways.
Between traffic and flooding, Morrissey Boulevard gets worse every year. And it all culminates at Kosciuszko Circle, the roundabout from hell. City planners are going to spend a half million dollars on a study for how to fix it. In other words, nothing is going to happen for a while.
Eswar Prasad writes about the end of cash and how the US is lagging behind other countries in the move towards digital currency.
The rise and fall of the IBM personal computer. Ancient history that took place not so long ago.
And Aston Martin‘s new configurator is getting good reviews. If you’re in the market for one, you can get just the car you want. If you’re not, you can still have some fun imagining what it would be.
Happy birthday, on this Wednesday, to Ernest Hemingway, Marshall Mcluhan and Don Knotts.
Crime is down in Boston, especially in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. At the same time firearm arrests are way up. So much for the narrative that cops are pulling back.
First the Legislature hoarded all the stimulus money, giving only about 5% to the Governor to spend on pressing issues. Now, adding insult to injury, Senate Ways and Means chair Michael Rodrigues is trying to box Baker in on how he can spend the reduced amount of money he was allocated. It all seems a little childish.
The Wirecutter has some recommendations for fast and reliable wireless routers. If you can dump your ISP’s router and avoid paying monthly fees, even better.
A designer bike lock sounds pretty cool. Probably expensive, too. And it only took a minute to pick. (Via BoingBoing.)
And Tom Brady is dissing Donald Trump. Some win, some lose.
Tuesday. It’s the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing in the Sea of Tranquility.
Say you’re in an airliner flying at 30,000 feet and realize that everyone on the plane has been incapacitated, including the pilots. (Maybe they all had the fish). Can you land the plane? Actually, it’s doable.
Shirley Leung reports that the MBTA has restored service to pre-pandemic levels. But despite an expensive marketing campaign, riders haven’t returned. Come fall, when more workers return to the office, this could be a problem, traffic-wise.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight into ‘space’ this morning was a success. After reaching apogee, the passenger module floated back to earth on parachutes at about 15 mph, until just inches above the ground, when a blast of air, like an airbag deployment, cushioned its touchdown. The rocket booster had previously separated and returned to earth, landing just like a rocket in a 1950’s sci-fi illustration. It was quite an impressive technological accomplishment.
After 50 people were shot over the weekend, Chicago police are trying something they say is “new and unique.” They’re going to tackle illegal gun trafficking. Imagine that.
And there are thick burgers and there are thin burgers. Thick burgers are juicy and tasty, but a disaster when you try to eat them. Thin burgers fit well in the bun but are too easy to overcook. What if science could help us to have the best of both worlds? Count me in!
Monday, Monday. That day you can’t trust.
Planet Money tackles inflation.
A Globe story on government benefits for workers during the pandemic has a point of view. In the print version it concludes right at the beginning that there’s “Little evidence extra cash is keeping most recipients from returning to work.” This, of course, is in opposition to a GOP narrative. I happen to agree with the Globe’s POV in general terms. People in low paying service jobs need to be paid a sustainable wage. And in the meantime, it’s appropriate that the government help fill the gap. But despite the many anecdotes provided by the Globe, the underlying data contained in the story suggests that for many, the extra cash is keeping them from returning to work. So what? This doesn’t mean that the Republicans win. It means that the system is screwed up. We shouldn’t feel that we we need to stretch the truth merely to defend partisan talking points.
In 1972, researchers at MIT predicted that society would collapse sometime this century. Looks like we’re right on schedule.
Saudi Arabia is asserting itself in Tunisia by providing funding for vaccines. There’s a modern commercial neighborhood in Tunis that was developed by the Saudis. The deal was that in that neighborhood, no alcohol could be served. I don’t know if there’s are any such restriction attached to the vaccines but I do know that despite the prohibitions, you could still easily get a drink in Berges du Lac.
And apparently, an “awkward get-together” occured between Aerosmith and Donald Trump detailed in this very awkward article. Steve Tyler was Trump’s personal guest. Joe Perry muscled in and ended up being offended by Trump’s crudeness. Throw in a threat of lawsuits over using the group’s songs. It’s all just very bizarre.
A quiet, peaceful Sunday morning.
Exchange programs usually bring students together from far flung, exotic places. You know, like Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. But apparently not Russia.
Florida is now leading the nation on Covid infections, with an average of 6,500 new cases a day. Are we surprised? Arkansas is giving Florida a run for its money. Across the country, but particularly in places resistant to taking reasonable health precautions, cases are up almost 70%. The head of the CDC calls it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Darwin is just shaking his head.
The Phoblographer features 6 really good street photographers. Check out Ale Ruaro, especially.
Google Maps is recalculating the route to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, to avoid sending people over a cliff.
And youse guys will be happy to know that there are over 300 new words added at Dictonary.com. You-uns and y’all will be pleased as well.
Saturday. It’s July 17th, which, of course, makes it Yellow Pig Day.
Rachael Cohen harkens back to the good old days of… Scott Brown? That’s how out of the mainstream the current Massachusetts GOP has become.
The state budget has been signed into law, two weeks after it went into effect. Governor Baker made some changes to what had been sent to him, but a veto is unlikely. And, finally, the film tax credit was settled. It’s now a permanent thing.
Ben and Jerry were unabashed social justice warriors. But the company they founded seems to be having an uncharacteristic crisis of conscience over an Israeli franchise.
“A cache of ancient bitcoin” has been discovered moving around in the ledger. No, it’s not from an archeological dig, it’s from a wallet that’s been dormant since 2011, which in bitcoin terms is ancient. The interesting part of all this is that it could be part of the fortune owned by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, an indication that he might still be out and about somewhere.
And forget the iPhone. Now there’s the Freedom Phone. Such a deal.
With marijuana decriminalized in many places, drug-sniffing dogs are finding themselves out of a job.
Shira Schoenberg reports on an interesting initiative involving prosecutors in Berkshire County: A data analysis of plea bargains. If you thought police data was disjointed and hard to access, wait until you try to figure out what prosecutors are up to.
Is the protein folding problem solved? That would be sort of a huge deal. Here’s some background.
The other day I noticed that the signage for the Kinsale Pub on Center Plaza was still up, despite it being closed since last fall. That seemed optimistic. And now Marc Hurwitz is reporting that it could be reopening at some point in the near future.
And the Moynihan Train Hall is beautiful to look at. But it’s hard to find a place to sit down.