The price of admission

Monday, March 17th. MLK Day.

Imagine People of Walmart in a virtual environment. It could be the killer app for the Metaverse.

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.

Right down the line

It’s a sanguine Sunday.

Dismantling. That’s a good word to describe what happened to the Pats last night.

Where does crypto currency fit in politically? Republicans love it and Democrats hate it. Also, Democrats love it and Republicans hate it. Sounds about right.

Google search trends during the pandemic tell us that the new normal involves roller skates and even more tequila.

Boris Johnson has not had a good week. Time for a ‘good news drop for damage control (although it might not be such good news for the BBC).

And The Onion could not have done better than this real-life scenario. It’s fascinating to imagine what’s going on in some of these people’s brains

Doom and gloom

Saturday. A cold day in the park.

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 agenda is in shambles, that’s not a good sign.

That big eagle, native to Siberia, that earlier was spotted along the Taunton River, is now in Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Birders are flocking to see it.

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.

Out in the cold

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.

Can’t cut loose without that juice

Thursday. Happy birthday to Rip Taylor, Sophie Tucker and Charles Nelson Reilly.

Are we getting less rational? Our words suggest we are. (It’s a supposition, not a conclusion.)

Electric power is generated by natural gas for the most part locally. But this week’s cold temperatures changed the equations, with nuclear, oil, hydro and even a little coal required for turning the turbines when demand jumped up. More pipelines would mitigate this but apparently people don’t want more pipelines.

The IRS is having a bad year. Expect backlogs and delays.

Gintautas Dumcius looks at the potential political churn in local politics in the coming year. There are a lot of moving pieces including a governors race and openings in the legislature. And in Boston there’s the first year agenda for the mayor, which includes a new police commissioner among other things. Should be quite a year.

And the mRNA technology used to develop Covid vaccines could be used to produce a vaccine for skin cancer. That would be amazing.