No end in sight

Joshua Keating updates his analysis of the war in Ukraine. Some of the likely scenarios on the table in his original take last March, such as a quick or even a qualified Russian victory, are now pretty much off the table. Some of the impossible outcomes, such as a complete Ukrainian victory, have moved from the impossible to the unlikely—but possible—category.

Stuck in the middle with you

De Gaulle resigned on this date in 1969. And then he went to Ireland.

In the most recent French election, despite some rotten tomatoes, the center held. Matthew Yglesias draws some parallels to what’s happening in the US.

Here in Massachusetts it looks like the center is holding as well. For now, anyway.

Great. Everything will be able to make noise now that a team at MIT found a way to create loudspeakers from anything, even a sheet of paper. One consolation is that the same technology can also provide noise cancellation.

I think, maybe, we waited just a little too long to tackle inflation after covid. In the meantime, a war popped up in Ukraine and upset the global economy. And now the cure is going to be doubly painful. I told you so.

And, I’ve been writing or posting here every day for about two and a half years. I think it’s time for a little intermittence.

Can’t get there from here

Wednesday. Today’s word is cerebral.

The Times looks at how museums are dealing with questions about the origins of some artwork. The MFA even has a curator for provenance.

With all that federal money for transportation infrastructure in the mix, lawmakers decided that it was time to connect the western part of Massachusetts with the eastern part. Currently it’s easier to get to western Mass by train from New York than it is from Boston.

The DeSantis slap at Disney reminds me of Curley trying to slap Moe and instead smacking himself. Why you…

How does Ukraine intelligence continue to beat Russia at their own game? Looks like they’re getting a little help from their friends.

And this website allows you to enter a phrase and have it translated into ten different languages and then back to English. It’s fun for a while. I entered “synergizing backward overflow.”

Double dribble

Welcome to Tuesday.

What happened to the Twitter poison pill? Apparently there was a $44 billion dollar antidote.

Herkimer, New York, is claiming that it’s the birthplace of basketball. Springfield and James Naismith may have something to say about that. And—it’s called basketball, not crateball.

Even with full coffers, the Massachusetts legislature is resisting calls for tax relief in the face of inflation and high gas prices. Meanwhile, on the federal side

Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal have teamed up again. Even better, they’re paying tribute to two other greats, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

And Vietnamese food drive-through restaurants? Yes, please.

Staked out positions

Happy Monday!

Heather Kelly provides a short but helpful list of home help desk tasks we should be on top of. (Have you tried turning it off and on again?)

I assume that the OPAT isn’t in the tank for the police. And yet it also isn’t finding lots of misconduct. The reaction from police critics is predictably strained.

Elon Musk and the Twitter board have been negotiating all weekend. We may learn today about a deal.

Apple Pay‘s, tap to pay, could soon work both ways. Tap to pay and tap to receive. Convenient.

And some people are concerned about unhealthy fast food coming to Mattapan Square. I guess if you want something healthy you could walk across the street to Simco‘s.

Priorities

Sunday. This morning’s album is Sleepwalker by the Kinks.

Covid giveth and Covid taketh away. It happened for Netflix and it happened with chicken wings.

Firearm deaths for people aged 19 and under rose 29% between 2019 and 2020. Shrug. Disney and math textbooks? Outrage.

One day there’s a housing crisis in Massachusetts. The next day it’s all about community character and the threat of poorly designed and incongruous housing projects.

The Belarusian Rail War against the Nazi’s was the inspiration for the more recent successful train war against Russia.

And Apple is removing apps that haven’t been updated in some time. Better get in one last game of Snood.

Assumed knowledge

Friday. Today’s word is simulacrum.

Universal Hub highlights a million dollar listing for a house in Hyde Park. The interior shots are… interesting.

Today’s Globe beef: a story about scientists pushing for more focus on the role of T cells in the fight against Covid. Interesting. But what are T cells? Strangely you won’t find out from reading the article. I found the answer in the comments, of all places.

The Twitter board told Elon Musk to come back when he was serious about financing. He’s back.

British lawmakers may be getting ahead of themselves with a new law that would allow the operators of self-driving cars to watch TV while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there are no self-driving cars (yet).

And Ron DeSantis says math should be about getting the right answer, not about how you feel. For Florida residents, the math for the Disney dispute will add up to an extra billion dollars in taxes. I wonder how they’ll feel about that.

Kid gloves

Thursday. It’s the Queen’s birthday. Also Charles Grodin.

Joann Muller: Batteries are the new oil.

Catherine Carlock and Shirley Leung delve into Michelle Wu’s new pick to lead the BPDA and the mayor’s vision for development. Funny, I didn’t see the word “abolish” come up once in the story.

I agree with Farhad Manjoo. Riding a bike in America should not be this dangerous.

Incomes in Massachusetts are in the top five in the country. Even our poorest towns have higher average income than many states’ medians.

And Avi Loeb is in the interstellar extraterrestrial news again, thanks to a military memo. Don’t look up.

Hostile takeover

Wednesday, 4/20. The high point of the week.

The Wirecutter reviews… snacks.

I have to admit that I didn’t get the joke when Elon Musk tweeted “Love Me Tender” last week. But reading Matt Levine’s latest on the Musk Twitter takeover, I now get it. There’s so much that I didn’t know about the M&A world. A must read. As Levine points out, there are a lot of obstacles ahead for Musk if he wants to buy Twitter. But John Cassidy wouldn’t bet against him.

Joan Vennochi is scratching her head over Charlie Baker’s tacit endorsement of Tom Hodgson for Sheriff in Bristol County. File under: Politics. Strange bedfellows.

Midnight Train to Georgia is still one of the best songs ever recorded. Danyel Smith, with an homage. Whoo whoo.

And Delta is looking at Starlink for in-flight connectivity. Another Musk company. Every day is 4/20.