You break it, you own it

A spooky Sunday.

David Leonhardt has been tracking covid numbers and he says that although we may not yet be out of the woods, we’re definitely heading for a clearing. Jon Kamp and Brianna Abbott are seeing the same thing.

Daniel Nichanian, writing for New York magazine, explores the potential changes for public safety that a crop of new progressive mayors, including Michelle Wu, could bring in after the election. But other candidates in other cities are moving in another direction on crime. Meanwhile in St. Louis…

People travel as far as Iceland and Norway to see the northern lights. But thanks to increasing solar flares this week you may be able to see them in northern New England. That’s great. Here’s a forecast tool. The bad news is that the solar activity could trigger geomagnetic changes that could disrupt navigation and the power grid.

Following up on that Globe article on who goes where in Boston, hip, young travel site Thrillist wants its hip, young readers to go to Jamaica Plain, SoWa, Fenway, the Seaport, Somerville and Cambridge. Nothing recommended in Dorchester, Mattapan or Roxbury. Lonely Planet is just as bad.

And Neil Young has some new music on the way. (Separated at birth: Neil Young and Bill Belichick. It’s uncanny.)

Staying within the lines

Saturday. Not a great day out there.

How to survive from a venomous snakebite? It’s not quite the way they show it in the movies.

In an Ideas piece, David Scharfenberg uses cellphone GPS data to tell the story of how people move around in the city according to race. At least that was the claim in the headline and the opening. Unfortunately the actual article is mostly just anecdotes and formulaic conclusions.

Apple says it lost $6 billion due to chip shortages. And things won’t get better anytime soon. It takes time and billions of dollars to build new chip fabs. Think years, not quarters. Even BREXIT plays into the shortage. Intel was considering a locating a new fab in the UK but since the vote to leave the EU, the deal is off.

In the Washington Post, Joanna Slater writes about Rachael Rollins as a lightening rod with her confirmation now stuck in limbo. Her firebrand reputation proceeded her to Washington but the story of her being a pretty effective local prosecutor didn’t.

And Rick Steves is back on the road. That’s a very good sign.

Return on equity

Welcome to Friday. Today is Bob Ross‘s birthday.

Travel site ChubbyDiaries points us to the most underrated neighborhoods in Boston. Some of them are actually in Boston.

What happens when a good idea is taken to the extreme? Ryan Peterson explains the supply chain crisis in 20 tweets. He’s right on the money. Businesses got a little too lean before the pandemic hit.

The conservative editorial board at the Wall Street Journal wanted to explain why they published a letter to the editor by Donald Trump. They started out by mocking the liberal press before going on in point-by-point fashion to explain why everything Trump is saying about the election is completely insane. It’s a strange piece.

Fishing access, like the Northern Ireland Protocol, was one of those things that was supposedly worked out in BREXIT negotiations. But now the British are harrumphing over the seizure of a scallop boat caught fishing without a license in French waters. A deal’s a deal, guys.

And why do some dogs tilt their heads? It’s for the same reason Jack Benny didn’t hand over his money. They’re thinking.

Conflicting interests

It’s Thursday! Still lots of people without power along the coast.

$1000 worth of studio time for two timeless songs. A pretty good deal if you ask me.

The Dorchester Reporter looks at both sides of Question 1, which is the proposal to give the City Council more say on the budget. Andres Del Castillo of the group Right to the City Boston takes the yes side. Pam Kocher, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau takes the no side. My view is that approving Question 1 would hamstring future mayors on budget development and dilute the executive role of the mayor. But, oddly enough, both mayoral candidates have come out in favor of it.

Here’s another reality check on the popularity of the movement to defund the police.

Yasmin Amer writes for WBUR about DAOs, the companies that run like New England town meetings. Interesting. And a little scary.

And cigarette sales are up for the first time in 20 years. I’m sure there’s an interesting Venn diagram somewhere on the overlap between the people who smoke and those who won’t get vaccinated.

Weighing in

A windy, wet, Wednesday morning. Trees down all around.

The Boston area is gassy. It’s dangerous and definitely not great for the environment.

Bruce Mohl brings Charlie Baker into the conversation about some of Michelle Wu’s proposals, especially the ones that will depend on state buy in. Spoiler alert: He’s not enthusiastic. Also, on Baker’s decision about running for reelection, in an interview with Jim Braude he narrows it down to maybe yes, maybe no. “It’s complicated.”

Irreverent and influential Kennedy-era comedian Mort Sahl has died. He was 94.

Zaid Jilani has a sympathetic review in the Times of John McWhorter’s book on the anti-racism movement. Lots of discussion in the comments.

And here’s a word that does not exist. Whoa.

A bridge to somewhere

Today is Tuesday. A stormy day is in the forecast.

There’s another thing Apple is good at. Active shooter drills.

Last night was the final debate before the mayoral election. More feistiness. WBUR has their wrap up. Here’s what the Globe said. And the Herald. And UH. Essaibi George continued to push Wu on the issues of low-level, day-to-day governing, while Wu continued to talk big picture initiatives. I don’t disagree with Wu’s vision but I do subscribe to the Tom Menino hierarchy of governing. Solid financials, public safety, constituent services and investment in infrastructure first. Then you can start to tackle the higher level stuff. Otherwise it’s all just aspirational.

Hertz, just out of bankruptcy, spent over $4 billion dollars on 100,000 new Teslas. They paid full price, no discounts. What a country.

The Dorchester Reporter went to look for Willie Gross‘s record of voting in the preliminary and couldn’t find it. George Regan had an explanation. He said a poll worker wouldn’t let the ex-police commissioner vote because his drivers license showed an old address. Why would they ask him to show a license? The Secretary of State’s website says that a poll worker might ask for ID if they had a reasonable suspicion that leads them to suspect an identity problem. I guess that poll worker just didn’t recognise the most recognizable guy in the city.

And it’s the ransomware gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They must have wondered why no one was paying.

Times of plenty

Monday. It’s a birthday for two 20th century artists, Pablo Picasso and Minnie Pearl.

More guns are being found in TSA baggage checks. Many of them are loaded. Not good.

Adam Gaffin went shopping for paper goods and didn’t find much, other than off brand products. Over at the Globe, Beth Teitell highlights a series of first-world supply chain disasters. Special birthday flowers are unobtainable. A dachshund is going without its hypoallergenic food. Sub-Zero fridges are scarce. There are no bar pretzels. No corn dogs. How will we live?

Down in Monterey: there’s a new Mac operating system for download today. Here are some of its features. If your computer is old, check here before trying to install it.

Tesla unreleased full self-driving mode from real world beta testing because of bugs. And they weren’t on the windshield. Meanwhile, another interesting electric vehicle, a truck, is being rolled out by different company, Rivian. I want one of these. Don’t need it, but I still want one.

And space isn’t what it used to be. No billionaires want to go there anymore. It’s too crowded with billionaires.

Top heavy

Sunday. Today’s word is mirage.

Here’s another reason you don’t want to get Covid, even if you’re young and healthy: memory impairment.

In Massachusetts,the incumbent advantage gets a boost from how names are listed on the ballot. Margaret Monsell examines the practice, unique to this state, of always putting the incumbent’s name at the top.

Blogging about blogging: Brandon Quakkelaar writes about his love/hate relationship with social media (I can relate) and why you should just use blogs and RSS to get your information. Kev Quirk is on the same page. Stop writing multiple tweets, he says. Just make a blog post. They’re both right but I’m afraid the ship has sailed. Doomscrolling is here to stay.

A BU student looks at drug use on campus. It’s ubiquitous, writes Antonia Lehnert in the Daily Free Press, and schools need to offer more prevention and support.

And Albert Burneko is buzzing over a ridiculous new way of making coffee. We’ve come a long way from Folgers crystals. Or, maybe not.

Forgone conclusion

Saturday. Happy birthday to Weird Al.

The next victim of supply chain shortages? The color blue.

The Globe has endorsed Michelle Wu. Who saw that one coming? In its editorial on the endorsement they pretty much admit that her campaign platform is pie in the sky. But, they note, at least she can negotiate a new contract with the police unions. Actually, the negotiated contract is only a very small part of the relationship between the city and the unions. Past practice, established labor law and union-friendly arbitrators are the real drivers. So if Wu actually does what she says she will, get ready for some big payouts down the road.

The iPod is 20 years old today. For us music lovers, it was a game changer. Today it lives on in different forms.

A new $49 million dollar pedestrian bridge is going up between Somerville and Everett, near the Encore casino. But the best part is that the folks at Boston Magazine got to use the headline… “GONE-dola: The Link between Somerville and the Encore Will Be a Bridge.”

And the Red Sox are calling it a season. At least they made into October. Well into October.

Turn of a phrase

Thursday. The weekend is in sight.

Here in Boston, when you’re thirsty, you head down to the corner spa to get a boss of tonic.

WBUR’s Anthony Brooks profiles Annissa Essaibi George. It’s kind of a puff piece. At least it’s an honest one. Not one paragraph begins with ‘but.’

The CDC says that we should throw away all of our onions if we don’t know where they came from. What, like Roache Brothers? Apparently there’s a salmonella outbreak involving onions from Mexico. Massachusetts has already has seen some cases.

In Russia, a lockdown isn’t a lockdown. It’s a holiday.

And A&W has apparently been stewing for 40 years over the failure of the 1/3 lb burger. But now, with the 3/9 lb burger, they think they’ve finally nailed it.