Halloween masks

Good Tuesday morning!! It’s the first day of fall. (That seemed quick.)

Leaves will soon be turning color and falling to the ground. Here’s the how and why.

What does the fall and winter look like as far as the virus goes? Andrew Joseph, writing in STAT, takes a long view into a number of possible futures. There are a lot of variables. But we should continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, and also, now, it might be beneficial to wear glasses.

Add Marco Rubio to the list of senators on the record opposed to pre-election court appointments. Not that it matters, apparently.

If you’re concerned about being tracked by advertisers, you may want to think about using a browser that blocks cookies and tracking pixels by default. Some sites are really egregious in what information they collect about you.

And, it appears that the government lost track of a 250 ton Chinese transformer. Meanwhile, this poor guy can’t get rid of a 700 pound safe.

Table scraps

Monday. Today is the International Day of Peace. Then tomorrow it’s back to normal.

Which books tend to sell the most copies? Bestsellers, obviously.

A new super high-end steak house is coming to Boston at a time when many smaller restaurants are closing. Salt Bae‘s Nusr-et, with locations in New York, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, and Mykonos, among others, is opening a spot on Arlington Street. Thousand dollar steaks, anyone? Scott Kearnan thinks there’s something wrong with this picture.

Black Lives Matter and Back the Blue don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And despite all the noise, for most people they’re really not.

Adtech and real-time bidding on user profiles is what makes the internet profitable. But it’s also a potential privacy disaster. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is pushing government watchdogs to clamp down on companies violating the rules around protected data. Which seems to be all the companies.

And starting in mid-October, tourists heading to Hawaii will get either an aloha or an aloha from officials, depending on the results of their coronavirus tests.

Floating variables

A cool quiet Sunday morning. Only 2 days of summer left.

Yesterday we linked to a story about Madaket Millie, a Nantucket woman who broke the mold. Today it’s Stagecoach Mary, a “hard-drinking, quick-shooting mail carrier.”

Andrea Campbell, the strongest of potential challengers to Marty Walsh, will announce her intentions on running for Mayor sometime this week. It’s a hard decision with a presidential election close by and Walsh’s name floated to leave his post to move to a cabinet position with Biden if he wins. My two cents? I think she would make a great mayor.

Thirty five years ago, Frank Zappa teamed up with John Denver and Dee Snider to defend musical expression.

The US death toll from coronavirus is nearing 200,000. Meanwhile, pandemic fatigue has settled in. But as Helen Branswell reminds us, we may be tired of the virus, but it’s not tired of us.

And using Apple Music on the iPhone can be a frustrating experience. Inscrutable. But a handfull of new features in iOS 14, detailed by Apple Insider, makes it slightly less horrible. Keep em coming.

An empty chair

Ah, Saturday. Avast, ye scurvy bilge rats.

Well, it’s official. Just having a smartphone in your pocket makes you stupid.

Sad news overnight about Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s passing. The politics around who will replace her on the court is about to become insane, 2020-style.

Speaking about 2020-style politics, there’s this in New Hampshire.

Nantucket in the 1970s was an interesting place. The Chicken Box and Prestons. Mitchell’s Books, The Hub. Beach parties just like the one in Jaws. Star Wars at the Dreamland Theater and those curly fries at The Brotherhood. You might see Fred Rogers or one of the Stillers in the checkout line at the Finast. But one fixture on the island was a little scary: Madaket Millie. We were warned not to get too close. Stan Grossfeld managed to make friends with her, though. Here’s an old article he wrote about Millie that recently resurfaced.

And the challenge of fighting large, distributed fires on the West Coast is exposing gaps in firefighting technology. It might be time for an upgrade from paper maps and pencils.

Generally displeased

Happy Friday. Rosh Hashanah begins tonight.

School custodians will be working their butts off this fall. Once the students return, high-touch areas in schools will need to be cleaned multiple times over the course of the day. And for school nurses, life is about to become much more complicated.

After the 2016 election, many people were concerned. Would Trump become more presidential? Was there anything to this Russian business? What was fake and what was real? There were no clear answers at that time but it did occur to me then that there was a good ‘canary in the coal mine’ to watch for: the Generals. Mostly Republican but usually non-partisan, they have to navigate through a changing political landscape over long careers, so they value discretion. They also tend to be principled and patriotic with a strong sense of what it takes to be a good leader. So, watch the Generals, I thought. It might be instructive. And here we are.

The New York Times is reporting that Iranian hackers have found a way to defeat app-based encryption on Android phones, giving them the ability to view information in Telegram and WeChat. Apparently malware, disguised as an Android app, was used to gain the access.

iOS 14 became available for download this week. If your iPhone is set for automatic updates you probably already have it installed. Here are the big new features and here are some smaller, more hidden improvements. And if privacy is important to you, this update sets new marks in protecting your data. Even in Iran.

And speaking of WeChat, it, and TikTok are banned in the US starting Sunday. There will be tears.