Nearing a new normal

Today is Tuesday and that’s totally tremendous.

Voyager 1, which launched back in 1977, is phoning home from 14 billion miles away with information about plasma waves in interstellar space. That’s just crazy.

England, Northern Ireland and Scotland recorded no Covid deaths in the latest reporting period. (Wales is still catching up, reporting 3 deaths.) Closer to home, Massachusetts had 14 deaths but only 446 new cases. Just a few months ago we were looking at over 6000 new cases a day, so we’re certainly moving in the right direction. By August 1st the worst may be over.

Airline workers were on the front lines in the mask wars. Retail workers too. It’s amazing how selfish and petty people can be. These workers need a raise.

Remember all that rhetoric about blue state bailouts? We were told that states like California shouldn’t get pandemic relief because they couldn’t manage their own budgets? Flash forward: California has a $75.7B budget surplus. Sounds pretty well-managed to me.

And Donovan Leitch, who once had an incredible string of hit songs in the 1960’s, has now teamed up with David Lynch for a music video. There are no talking monkeys but it’s still very Lynchian.

Vicarious victimhood

It’s a rainy Monday. Today’s word is shrive.

What can you do about a bad judge? Not much. One guy from Groveland is trying to change that.

Two stories today on policing and politics. The first revolves around last week’s shooting in Times Square and how candidates for mayor are using it to showcase their support for public safety and the NYPD. The other looks at how most of the 12,000 police departments across the country are not like the NYPD. 90% of departments in the US have less than 50 officers. Unlike in many countries, policing here is decentralized. While that may be good in that allows local police to be closer and more responsive to their communities, it can also make reform challenging. Bug/feature.

Did Tucker Carlson get vaccinated? Inquiring minds want to know.

That ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline was a bigger deal than I thought. It could impact oil prices in the US and might lead to discussions about diplomatic or military retaliation. It’s also prompting requirements for companies operating as critical infrastructure to harden their networks against these attacks. Finally.

And LiveBoston617 reports on the arrest of a man from Leominster for gun possession. How would you describe the gun he was found with? It was… kinda funny looking. Ya. Funny looking.

Rights and obligations

Sunday. Happy Mothers Day.

Last night Elon Musk promoted Dogecoin on SNL as the future of currency. Then it crashed. The plot thickens.

Ex-Senate President Tom Birmingham believes that today’s students need more civics instruction. Can’t argue with that.

Beer designed to taste horrible and be consumed as personal performance art to make a point about climate change? Life is getting way too complicated.

Another big ransomware hit, this time against a fuel pipeline operator. Why aren’t these networks hardened against this kind of attack?

And it’s awfully quiet out there. (Doesn’t that usually means that a storm is coming?)

Scattered to the wind

Saturday. At the weekend, as they say.

A Chinese satellite is expected to crash to earth tonight. It’s unlikely to hit anywhere near Boston. But it’s not impossible. Plan accordingly.

Danny McDonald tries to read the tea leaves on how Marty Walsh supporters will vote now that Marty is not in the race. Even this late in the game, it’s still too early to tell.

LiveBoston617 covers a shooting in Roxbury. (H-Block is a gang turf, not a neighborhood in Boston.)

I’ve never wanted to be this guy. Variety is the spice of life.

And the impulse to conform is a real thing. I knew the mask mandate had been lifted but, walking around the city, everyone was wearing a mask. So I wore a mask. Baaaa.

Framing it up

It’s Friday. Happy birthday to David Hume, Tchaikovsky and Totie Fields.

A future without passwords? Google would like us to get there. There’s got to be a catch, right?

When oil prices spiked a few years ago we all had to delve into the world of crude supplies, regional dynamics and refinery constraints to understand what was happening. These days it’s all about lumber. Emily Stewart educates us on timber supplies, closed or understaffed mills, hardwood from the north and softwood from the south, to help explain why prices are going through the roof.

So what the hell happened in this photo of the Bidens and the Carters? I would love to see the original, uncropped and uncorrected version. Obviously a very wide lens was used but judging by the portraits on the wall and other straight edges, software lens correction was also applied after the fact. Maybe the photographer should have dialed that back a bit.

An increase in spontaneous nuclear reactions in the remains at Chernobyl is concerning scientists. But even if the reactions increase exponentially, as scientists worry they could, any explosion should be contained by the concrete enclosure. The operative word there is should.

And Nuzzle, a link aggregation service for Twitter, is, unfortunately, shutting down. It’s parent, Scroll, was acquired by Twitter and they’ve decided to wind down the service. In The Verge, Dieter Bohn described Nuzzle as “beloved by a tiny set of very online news consumers.” Uh, that would be me.