Transportation doublethink

Saturday, the first day of May. It’s Calamity Jane‘s birthday.

There’s a chicken shortage. And the price of wings is going through the roof.

Should city bus fares be free? In a healthy, financially self-sustaining system that might make sense. But the MBTA is not that and introducing free bus service brings lots of hidden costs. One transportation analyst interviewed by the Globe, Phineas Baxandall, says that those costs are not really costs. “You can define that as a cost, or you can define that as an enormous policy achievement,” Baxandall said. “In the face of possibilities of actually increasing transit ridership, it shouldn’t be seen as just a cost.” That sounds a lot like me trying to justify a new camera purchase to my wife.

Some voices are more soothing than others. (Gilbert Gottfried comes to mind as an exception that proves the rule.) The BBC explores the role our voices play in social settings.

Fireworks season is coming. The City Council is going to handle it this year.

And a group of folks in Japan decided to carry 6 ordinary stones around for 1300 years (scroll down for English). They started the project in 2014. Only one thousand, two hundred and ninety three years to go.

Put up or shut up

Friday. April is a wrap. Bring on the May flowers.

John Richards couldn’t stand by and watch while people abused the poor apostrophe. So he did something about it. Richards died earlier this week in Boston, England.

Everyone says cops make too much money. And everyone seems to be an expert on policing. But nobody wants to be a cop. A head scratcher.

Open office plans may not survive in the post-pandemic world. Google has some ideas on what the new office will look like. Think campfire circles and inflatable walls.

Andrea Campbell stuck her neck out and announced her run for mayor before the race opened up. Some are now encouraging her to drop out and consider a different job. Not likely, I’m guessing.

And Stephen Wolfram ran the numbers on the mystery of existence and he believes he cracked it. The Universe exists, he calculated, because it is inevitable that it exists. Thank you and good night.

Too close to home

Thursday morning. Foggy and cool.

Now you can watch the video of the head of the NRA trying (and trying) to shoot a motionless elephant. Why would anyone want to shoot an elephant?

There was a shooting in Dudley MA, out by Sturbridge on the Connecticut border. The Boston Globe was all over it. There were also shots fired leading to an armed stand-off in Dorchester. Not a peep on that. Odd.

Michael Collins has died. He was on the first moon mission, the guy stuck in orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to walk on the moon. He led quite a life and people who knew him said he was an amazing guy.

Here’s the James Carville interview where he goes off on the political viability of wokeness.

And people usually like police dogs. But this police dog from Boston, now working for the NYPD, is not so popular. Looks like he’ll be sent to a farm where he can run free.

The other side of summer

Thank God it’s Wednesday. And happy Superhero Day.

Boston Magazine‘s list of the 100 most influential Bostonians includes a guy who lives and works in Tampa, Florida. Kind of pushing the limits of ‘Bostonian’ there.

Things are looking up. On Friday restrictions begin to ease. Singing will be allowed. Later in the month, as the warmer weather kicks in, things will open up even more. Beer gardens, parades and street festivals will be allowed. By August almost all state-imposed business restrictions will be eliminated. But don’t throw away those masks. I think they’ll be around for some time.

One 80 year old rotten tomato spoiled the whole caprese salad for Citizen Kane.

Brian Chen tried out Apple’s new AirTags for tracking objects. They harness the new ultra-wideband technology in Apple’s U1 chip. The AirTags are cool but the potential of the tech is even cooler.

And if you’re travelling by air this summer, leave a little extra time to get through security. You’ll need it.

See no evil

It’s Tuesday. Have a dandy Devil Dog Day.

US population growth is slowing down but the population of the state has grown by almost a half million people according to the most recent census. As a result, Massachusetts will be able to maintain the current number of seats in the US House. The increase in population has mostly been in the eastern part of the state so lawmakers are drawing up plans to shift some district lines to even things out.

It was a busy week in the city as far as crime goes. Here are some headlines from Universal Hub just from the last few days:
Man shot in the side on Clarkson Street
Mattapan gunfire blitz leaves one shot, several cars, houses hit
Barrage of gunfire in Dorchester sends one bullet into a living room
Man shot somewhere south of Grove Hall
Gunfire in Roxbury sends bullet into house around the corner
Two shot on Glenway Street in Dorchester

Live Boston was also covering the neighborhoods over the weekend:
Over 200 rounds fired overnight as understaffed police work to keep up
Boston Police help save man’s life at BMC overnight
Car chase leads to crash on Dorchester Avenue
Neighbor caught in crossfire as Ormond St turns to shooting gallery overnight
Shooting on Glenway St leaves at least two injured

And from the Boston Globe in that same time frame:
Three men wounded in two overnight shootings in Boston
That’s it. These days the city’s paper of record appears largely blind or indifferent to violent crime in the city. Seems like a huge disservice to the people and neighborhoods affected.

The EU is working on a vaccine passport that Americans can use to travel abroad. Details are slim but I hope it doesn’t rely on those paper CDC cards that I keep losing.

Police in Washington DC have some kind of a server problem. The reports and statements about what happened are about as clear as mud but it sounds like ransomware. Speaking of ransomware, the payments demanded by hackers are rising. And people seem to be paying.

And where does a candle go when it burns? Inquiring minds want to know.