Friday. The first DeLorean rolled off the assembly line 41 years ago, today.
The Dorchester Reporter takes both sides in dueling op-eds on rent control in Boston. Melvin Viera is against. Lew Finfer is for.
We have met the enemy and, well you know… A Quinnipiac poll found that the only thing we can all agree on is that we can’t agree on anything. 58% of Americans, across the board, think the nation’s democracy is in danger of collapse because of the country’s divisions. So how do we get back on track? A bunch of independent voters that the Times interviewed had a few suggestions.
Can gender equality inform snow removal? Turns out it can, and everyone benefits.
Marty Walsh said he isn’trunning for governor on the same day that Maura Healey announced that she would be. Meanwhile, Adam Gaffin reminds us of ‘the curse of the AG‘ while Andrea Campbell considers running for the soon to be open Attorney General position. Join us tomorrow for another episode of As the Political Landscape Turns.
And, Bill Murray showed up for an impromptu show in Washington Square Park the other day. I think that means six more weeks of winter.
Robot umpires are coming to Major League Baseball. What could possibly go wrong.
With Omicron in retreat, David Leonhardt thinks it’s time to ask the questions: “When should schools resume all activities? When should offices reopen? When should masks come off? When should asymptomatic people stop interrupting their lives because of a Covid exposure? Above all, when does Covid prevention do more harm — to physical and mental health — than good?” We’re almost there. But not quite.
Joan Vennochi calls out selective outrage bias when it comes to disruptive protests.
The state of popular music in 2021 is not great. Each Friday I scan iTunes new releases and listen to random albums from artists I never heard of. Every so often I find a gem. But not very often. Ted Gioia goes a little deeper than me. He listens to several hours of new music every day. There are plenty of great young musicians releasing music, he says, but “the music industry has lost its ability to discover and nurture their talents.” As a result,most industry growth is in old music and old musicians. That”s not a healthy thing.
And it looks like Barney Fife’s evil brother has taken over a small town police department in Alabama. Maybe Goober could take that SWAT truck apart and reassemble it inside the courthouse.
If Bono is embarrassed, imagine how the fans must feel.
The 5G upgrade that Verizon and AT&T want to introduce—and that the airlines desperately want to stop—is a head scratcher. Do the FCC and FAA even talk to each other? How is it that a long planned rollout of technology in two highly regulated industries is now a crisis that no one saw coming? Randall Bloomquist has his suspicions.
The electric car revolution is coming. But only 8% of the batteries needed for it are produced in the US. China is responsible for 76%. We seem to be at a slight disadvantage.
The Brookline Police Department is in crisis. Union leaders complain that they are being reformed into the ground and micromanaged by elected officials. Danny McDonald reports that a member of one of the two reform task forces promotes moving “toward not needing an armed police force,” which would be municipal malpractice. Meanwhile, criminologists grappling to explain the dramatic rise in murders nationwide are narrowing on three factors: Covid, more guns and policing. In Boston and Brookline murders are down, not up. We have Covid. The guns are out there. That leaves policing as the critical differentiator.
Everyone has a phone camera. But not everyone has a 90’s-era digicam. So if you want to stand out on Instagram, apparently you need to post low quality images taken with a crappy camera.
Getting unemployment benefits out the door when Covid hit was a huge and critical challenge and done mostly successfully. But $2.7 billion in overpayments is a big amount and it won’t be easy to get it all back.
And when it comes to Covid shots, third time’s a charm. Four… is too much.
The recent court decision on public safety unions and vaccination mandates underscores a reality that many people, including Michelle Wu on the campaign trail, didn’t seem to understand. In city government, you can’t just do things from a management position (like all those police reform promises) without hard and often costly negotiations. Every… little… thing… has to be negotiated. Wu got a pass on implementation of the mandate from the court because of a public health emergency—but not on negotiations. Now comes the part where the city has to pay.
The trend line at Gallup does not look good for the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party.
In a sad story, Jeffery Parker, a former manager of the T’s subway systems and current leader of the Atlanta transit system committed suicide by stepping in front of a train.
And if you thought cable prices were bad, welcome to streaming.
I’ve posted a short exhibition of photos I took in China back in 2005. The photos are in black and white. It captures a country with one foot in the past and one in the future as it was just beginning its vast modernization.
Kevin Hayden, the new, interim DA, talked to Adrian Walker.
Jonathan Stevenson and Steven Simon wrote an op-ed that suggests that we Americans are “whistling past the graveyard” on whether the union will hold through the next election. They’re not optimistic. And they’re not the only ones (and it”s not just the US). A World Economic Forum survey points to the erosion of social cohesion, a livelihood crisis and mental health deterioration as the most pressing threats in the next few years. “Only 16% of respondents feel positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world, and just 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate. Most respondents instead expect the next three years to be characterized by either consistent volatility and multiple surprises or fractured trajectories that will separate relative winners and losers.” Now there’s something to look forward to.
More cheerful news: When the New York Times says that the Democratic agendais in shambles, that’s not a good sign.
And Elvis Costello has a new album out. It’s a remote work recording made by group members scattered around the planet that sounds like it was recorded by a live group in a small club. The new normal, I guess.
FFFFriday. Batten down the hatches, it’s going to be windy and frigid.
Jan Ransom, previously with the Globe, pulls video of the chaos inside Rikers for this series in the Times.
Life is cheap at Mass and Cass. Live Boston reports that 2 bodies were found by the crew dismantling the encampment. Wu is right to want to get those tents taken down and to put people into proper shelters.
Unions are still a potent force in Massachusetts politics. Shira Schoenberg follows the money.
A new Leica rangefinder was announced yesterday, something that doesn’t happen very often. This one is the M11, successor to the M10, which was released in 2017. I’m a big fan of Leica cameras and lenses but I’ll probably sit this one out. The sensor tech on the M11 is certainly impressive, but so is the price, at almost $9000 for the body alone.
And are algorithms killing the scientific method? Probably not, but they are changing it.