Harshing the mellow

A stormy Friday. Neil Young and Tonya Harding share a birthday today.

I love the idea that Taylor Swift is taking control of her catalog. Apparently today is a big day: the re-release of Red.

On a stop for DUI, a driver has a choice. Either take a breathalyzer or lose their license for six months. But for someone suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana there’s no such option. Governor Baker has filed a bill to change that. The Clardy bill, named after a Trooper killed by an impaired driver, would introduce sanctions for drivers who refuse tests for marijuana. There’s only one problem. A reliable test for marijuana impairment doesn’t yet exist. Oh, well. Cart first, horse later.

The shooting on the set of Rust struck a nerve with Emmett Folgert. He has some suggestions for preventing a repeat occurrence.

Could we turn the moon into a habitable planet? First we would need oxygen and, it seems, there’s plenty available. I hope someone pursues this.

And Seoul is thinking of embracing the Metaverse. What could possibly go wrong. (Don’t pick the umbrella!)

Transitory inflation

Thursday. Veterans Day.

The days are getting shorter. And now with daylight savings in effect, darkness comes even earlier in the evenings. But we do get a little more light in the mornings, unlike in Reykjav√≠k, where the sun doesn’t come up until almost 10 o’clock and then goes down at around the same time as it does here.

For those of us old enough to remember the stagflation of the 1970’s, the specter of runaway inflation looms as a serious threat. The latest numbers are not reassuring. A healthy rate of inflation is about 2%. The numbers for October show us jumping to over 6%. As recent as March it was below 3% before going up to around 5% over the summer. The trend is going in the wrong direction. Even the GameStop crowd is getting nervous. But then again, we’re recovering from a global pandemic and a constrained supply chain. You would expect higher rates as the economy restarts. Battleships don’t turn on a dime. And in the 1970’s, inflation was at around 20%. We’re nowhere close to that. All that said, it still bears watching. The only way out, if it does become entrenched, is a hike in interest rates and likely a follow-on recession. The ghost of Paul Volcker looks down.

The used car market has gone crazy. Kate Marino reports.

Farhad Manjoo writes about Apple’s latest chips, the M1 Pro and M1 Max. He thinks they’re transformative. I’ve been using a new Apple laptop with an M1 Pro chip and I have to agree with him. I have the entry-level model with lower specs and even that blows away any computer I’ve ever used, including an Intel-based pro desktop. It also has an amazingly bright screen, it’s quiet, cool and the battery lasts forever. It shouldn’t be this good.

And the West Side Rag has some scoop on the new West Side Story. Cool.

Ramping up

Today is Wednesday. Another week half-done.

We now have a time frame for when the final season of Better Call Saul will air. Another 2-part season.

Three officers shot in a standoff. Another stabbed earlier in the week. Two suspects shot dead by police. Crime might be down in Boston but these incidents show the volatility and day to day danger for law enforcement. Also, the mayor-elect has named her transition team. I couldn’t find anyone with any real public safety experience on the list, which seems odd given the urgency of naming a permanent commissioner.

Who are the swing voters? David Leonhardt looks at the data.

Lisa Kashinsky writes about where Charlie Baker is on running again and whether he’ll ever become an independent.

And this is why I hate Pinterest. Good to see I’m not alone.

Strictly for the birds

Happy Monday. Travel day.

A potato so big it has a name. Hint: it’s not MacKenzie.

Some folks from the GOP are up in arms about a public health announcement from Big Bird on vaccinations. Talk about triggered. Then, the NBC News article on this goes on to explain that there’s very little research on how Covid affects birds and chickens as if Big Bird is actually a… big bird. It’s going to be one of those weeks.

Here’s more on the Rivian truck from Chris Taylor. It’s a head turner, he says.

The pillow guy is at it again.

Benjamin Balthaser writes about his uncle’s Bronx accent. But there’s more here than that. His uncle sounds like a guy I would get along well with. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

And another asteroid is coming to destroy the earth. Paging Chicken Little. Someday one of these things will be real.