It’s Monday, Bach’s birthday. Also time for some St. Matthew’s Passion.
After almost four decades someone found a new Easter egg in Windows 1.0. (The fact that someone was still using Windows 1.0 might be the bigger story.)
Apparently the Trump administration practice of putting politics over expertise also applies to Massachusetts Democrats. This is why people are cynical about politics.
The Odessa Journal celebrates 4 Ukrainian woman photographers.
Ukraine is facing a brutal onslaught as a frustrated Putin switches to Plan B. But Tom Friedman is even more worried about Plan C—and especially Plan D.
And in the exciting area of monetary policy, the New Yorker’s John Cassidy writes about Jerome Powell’s needle-threading on inflation and jobs.
Sunday, Sunday. Let’s have a parade.
The St. Patrick’s Day breakfast can be streamed here this morning.
In the TV show Servant of the People, a hapless history teacher stumbles into the presidency of Ukraine. The teacher is played by none other than Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who himself later in real life stumbled into the presidency of the Ukraine. It’s available on Netflix with subtitles and it’s worth watching if only to see how beautiful and vibrant Ukrainian society was before the war. The whole thing is really very weird but it puts images and stories like this and this into perspective, making them much more relatable and tragic.
Conti, Cozy Bear and the FSB, a nest of vipers.
Today’s assessment from the Institute for the Study of War is kind of a stunner: “Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign of this war. That campaign aimed to conduct airborne and mechanized operations to seize Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and other major Ukrainian cities to force a change of government in Ukraine. That campaign has culminated. Russian forces continue to make limited advances in some parts of the theater but are very unlikely to be able to seize their objectives in this way.” … They go on to say that Russia will need to pause and regroup with new forces and supplies to win this war, but they don’t seem to be doing that.
And the reviews are in for Apple’s Universal Control. I’ve tried it with two Macs and it does ‘just work.’
Saturday. Today is the anniversary of the time zone.
Press Watch to the NYT over its editorial on free speech: Shut up.
In the invasion of Ukraine, cyber warfare has been conspicuous by its absence. Or has it? Thomas Rid: “Some of the most consequential computer network breaches may stay covert for years, even decades. Cyberwar is here, but we don’t always know who is launching the shots.”
Kyle Chayka wonders if the cameras on the newer iPhones are just a little too good… so good they’re bad.
Military analysts continue to be surprised at the ineffectiveness of the Russian military. Also, John Ismay writes about how Ukrainian soldiers are using shoulder fired missiles to great effect, notably the NLAW, a British weapon made in Sweden by SAAB.
And here’s how to stop. This is important to know.
Friday morning. The word of the day is nascent.
The New York Times thinks America has a freedom of speech problem.
Molly McKew is worried that Putin will do something crazy.
The sanction-shuttered McDonald’s in Russia are being converted into a local chain called Uncle Vanya’s. Chekhov must be rolling in his grave.
Speaking of Uncle Vanya, Peter Marks writes about the movie Drive My Car, centered on the Chekhov play. It’s a long, dark, complex film that channels a long, dark, complex play. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.
And Arnold has a message for the Russian people. Very powerful stuff. Like something out of a movie.
Thursday, March 17. Éirinn go Brách.
The battle of Voznesensk. An amazing story. It reads like a WW2 movie.
This war is really not going according to Russia’s plan. In Voznesensk, hungry Russian soldiers went into resident’s homes searching for food before retreating under assault from volunteer Ukrainian forces that had out maneuvered them. The Russians fled so quickly that they left behind equipment and ammunition that could be later used against them. Poor logistics, bad tactics and failing morale were all on display. There are equipment shortages and manpower shortages on the Russian side. Many of the Russian soldiers are conscripts. (Conscription Day is April 1st in Russia, which will be a sad occasion for many families.) Body counts are rising. Four Russian Generals have been killed. None of this was in the plan.
The Webb Telescope continues to exceed expectations.
Daylight Savings Time all year long or the status quo, springing forward and falling back? Actually there’s another option. Standard Time all year long. Sleep experts are in favor of this option. But it’s a dark future.
And a short parade is better than no parade at all. Farragut Road works for me.
Happy Wednesday. It’s a birthday for Amos Tversky and Jerry Lewis.
We could send a man to the moon but we couldn’t make a good rideable robotic mountain goat—until now. (So much to enjoy here, from the frenetic music to the woman waving to the crowd of photographers.)
Ed Markey, among others, submitted a bill to make Daylight Savings Time permanent year round. The Senate passed it. I’m on the fence. At the very least I’d miss the seasonal ritual. This idea was tried before, back during the energy crisis of the 1970’s. It was a popular idea then, too. Almost 80% of Americans were in favor of year-round DST at the time. Nixon signed it into law and in 1974 it went into effect. But within 4 months the country turned against it and by the end of the year the law was reversed and we went back to seasonal time.
Lingling Wei takes a look at China‘s economic position, both domestically and internationally, and how alignment with Russia complicates things for Xi Jinping. Europe is also taking notice.
Russia has responded to US sanctions by sanctioning a number of current and former US officials. The list of former officials that they’re going after seems to be narrowly selected. Apparently they’re targeting their enemies and sparing their allies.
And now the robots are making robots. This is how it begins.
Tuesday. The Ides of March.
Finders keepers. All $10 billion worth.
The headline begins, ‘Brutal.’ ‘Awful.’ ‘Purgatory.’ Is it a story about people living in Kiev as Russian rockets hit the city? No, it’s about people trying to find a reasonably priced apartment in the Boston neighborhood of their choice. File under: Tone deaf. Update: It appears that the Globe has changed the headline.
Robots are the latest hires at White Castle. Flippy, I assume, will be working the grill.
The woman who held a “stop war” sign on a Russian newscast has disappeared after she was charged and detained. Here’s hoping that she somehow got out of the country—but Russia’s history in dealing with dissidents argues against that outcome. Update: She’s been found.
And it’s that time of year again: time for spring cleaning… your brain.
Monday again. Pi Day.
Tom Brady is pulling a Garth Brooks. That was one short retirement.
I used to think Elizabeth Warren had her feet on the ground. This endorsement makes me think otherwise.
Swedes have traditionally been cool to the idea of joining NATO. But now, as Thomas Lassi reports, almost half are warming up to the idea.
Drew Litrell gives us some history on the first computer virus. MIT. Fall of 1988.
And for Nantucket, an island 30 miles off the coast, UPS is critical infrastructure. Too bad they forgot to buy a ticket for the ferry.
It’s a snow-covered Sunday in March.
The Washington Post introduces us to this generation’s much nicer version of Zukerberg and Saverin at Harvard. (Remember when the Globe had the resources and network to source a story like this?)
Peace is something Europeans have been taking for granted. Until now. German Lopez on the EU’s new assertiveness.
Andrei Kolesnikov writes about life in Moscow as sanctions kick in. Many Russians are still in denial. Others blame the West. But it will be hard going back to a Soviet-era economy after decades of “merry global consumption.”
This was a good year to get the flu vaccine wrong.
And the Guardian highlights twenty war photos from this week. Amazing work in the worst imaginable conditions.
Saturday. The word for today is uncouth.
An asteroid hit the earth this morning. Ground zero was somewhere near Greenland.
Marty Walsh’s guide for resolving a union dispute: Stay at the table and keep talking.
Holger Roonemaa and Michael Weiss write about the sorry state of the Russian effort so far. Francis Fukuyama doesn’t think there’s any possibility of a negotiated peace in Ukraine but he does there’s a decent chance that Russia will actually lose the war on the ground. Lucian Kim believes it was a massive intelligence failure that got Russia to this point.
The battle over free/low cost fares on the T drags on. The system General Manager says it could cost $50-$100 million dollars.
And honesty is the best policy in Japan. It’s absolutely un-American.