A living wage

Monday, Monday. That day you can’t trust.

Planet Money tackles inflation.

A Globe story on government benefits for workers during the pandemic has a point of view. In the print version it concludes right at the beginning that there’s “Little evidence extra cash is keeping most recipients from returning to work.” This, of course, is in opposition to a GOP narrative. I happen to agree with the Globe’s POV in general terms. People in low paying service jobs need to be paid a sustainable wage. And in the meantime, it’s appropriate that the government help fill the gap. But despite the many anecdotes provided by the Globe, the underlying data contained in the story suggests that for many, the extra cash is keeping them from returning to work. So what? This doesn’t mean that the Republicans win. It means that the system is screwed up. We shouldn’t feel that we we need to stretch the truth merely to defend partisan talking points.

In 1972, researchers at MIT predicted that society would collapse sometime this century. Looks like we’re right on schedule.

Saudi Arabia is asserting itself in Tunisia by providing funding for vaccines. There’s a modern commercial neighborhood in Tunis that was developed by the Saudis. The deal was that in that neighborhood, no alcohol could be served. I don’t know if there’s are any such restriction attached to the vaccines but I do know that despite the prohibitions, you could still easily get a drink in Berges du Lac.

And apparently, an “awkward get-together” occured between Aerosmith and Donald Trump detailed in this very awkward article. Steve Tyler was Trump’s personal guest. Joe Perry muscled in and ended up being offended by Trump’s crudeness. Throw in a threat of lawsuits over using the group’s songs. It’s all just very bizarre.

Don’t Fauci my Florida

A quiet, peaceful Sunday morning.

Exchange programs usually bring students together from far flung, exotic places. You know, like Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. But apparently not Russia.

Florida is now leading the nation on Covid infections, with an average of 6,500 new cases a day. Are we surprised? Arkansas is giving Florida a run for its money. Across the country, but particularly in places resistant to taking reasonable health precautions, cases are up almost 70%. The head of the CDC calls it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Darwin is just shaking his head.

The Phoblographer features 6 really good street photographers. Check out Ale Ruaro, especially.

Google Maps is recalculating the route to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, to avoid sending people over a cliff.

And youse guys will be happy to know that there are over 300 new words added at Dictonary.com. You-uns and y’all will be pleased as well.

The money go round

Saturday. It’s July 17th, which, of course, makes it Yellow Pig Day.

Rachael Cohen harkens back to the good old days of… Scott Brown? That’s how out of the mainstream the current Massachusetts GOP has become.

The state budget has been signed into law, two weeks after it went into effect. Governor Baker made some changes to what had been sent to him, but a veto is unlikely. And, finally, the film tax credit was settled. It’s now a permanent thing.

Ben and Jerry were unabashed social justice warriors. But the company they founded seems to be having an uncharacteristic crisis of conscience over an Israeli franchise.

A cache of ancient bitcoin” has been discovered moving around in the ledger. No, it’s not from an archeological dig, it’s from a wallet that’s been dormant since 2011, which in bitcoin terms is ancient. The interesting part of all this is that it could be part of the fortune owned by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, an indication that he might still be out and about somewhere.

And forget the iPhone. Now there’s the Freedom Phone. Such a deal.

Measuring and managing

Friday. Exhale.

With marijuana decriminalized in many places, drug-sniffing dogs are finding themselves out of a job.

Shira Schoenberg reports on an interesting initiative involving prosecutors in Berkshire County: A data analysis of plea bargains. If you thought police data was disjointed and hard to access, wait until you try to figure out what prosecutors are up to.

Is the protein folding problem solved? That would be sort of a huge deal. Here’s some background.

The other day I noticed that the signage for the Kinsale Pub on Center Plaza was still up, despite it being closed since last fall. That seemed optimistic. And now Marc Hurwitz is reporting that it could be reopening at some point in the near future.

And the Moynihan Train Hall is beautiful to look at. But it’s hard to find a place to sit down.

Photo finished

Today is Thursday. Hot fun in the summertime.

There’s plenty of quality ice cream in the Boston area. An aestival bounty.

Meg Irons reports that the Janey campaign has gained the support of the Arroyo family, which should help with the large, mostly undecided Latino vote in Boston. Also, in a report that Jon Santiago dropped out of the race earlier this week, the Globe mistakenly ran an accompanying photo of still-in-the-race John Barros, rather than Santiago. Ouch.

Windows as a cloud service for business makes sense. It would have made even more sense in 2015.

J.B. Smoove thought he was signing up for an appearance on Shark Tank. But it was really Shark Week. He explains: “It was relayed the wrong way, and then re-relayed the wrong way, and then it was relayed the right way but I still wanted to hear the relay of the wrong relay, you know what I’m saying? So in my mind, even though I heard Shark Week, I still wanted to hope and pray that it meant a weeklong version of Shark Tank.” …That actually makes sense to me. I can relate.

And Ted Lasso was the perfect show for 2020. It was just what we needed. Now it’s back for a second season, starting next week. The question is, do we still need cheering up?