The luck of the Irish

Tuesday, March 17th. Erin go Bragh. And all the pubs are closed.

Canada is closed and Mexico is considering closing its border with the US.

Don’t drop your iPhone. Apple stores are also closed until further notice.

What will the worldwide shutdown do to the global economy? It’s still an open question. In a Times article, Neil Irwin highlights the basic underpinning of any economy, “One person’s spending is another person’s income,” and takes it from there.

Bye bye Tom Brady. Not such a big deal really, in context.

An interesting and important fact about Covid-19: some infections are mild and the people that have them are less infectious to others. Many of these mild cases are under the radar. But when they do spread to another person, that new infection is not necessarily mild.

Old people are complaining about young people. Young people are complaining about old people. Sounds about right. Some people seem to think they’re going to need a gun to defend their toilet paper. I doubt that will be necessary. This is not an apocalyptic every-man-for-himself scenario. This is more of a we’re-all-in-this-together-let’s-all-pitch-in situation. Taylor Swift is helping. And supermarket workers. Also Gov. Mike DeWine. Not helping? …Ron Paul, Softbank and people who spread stupid rumors.

And, if you watch anything today, watch this.

Supply and demand

Saturday, March 14th… Pi day.

Bill Gates is stepping down from the Microsoft board. It’s the end of an era.

Just a few quick updates today. We’re all exhausted and anxious enough as it is. This chart comparing Italy’s rate of coronavirus spread to what’s happening in the US is pretty ominous if it holds up. The hope is that the extensive cancellations and social distancing will blunt the impact for us. Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma is donating a million masks and half a million test kits to the US. At the other end of the spectrum, this couple is profiteering from the virus.

If you’re homebound and looking for something to watch, the new season of Westworld starts tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know in case you forget where they left off, which wouldn’t be hard.

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, has not been cancelled. It’s just going virtual.

And in Pembroke Pines, there’s an APB out for a cow. Faster than it looks, they say.

Winnowing the field

Wednesday, March 4th. The day, in 1966, that John Lennon put his foot in his mouth.

Brady for Garoppolo? Works for me.

With Biden’s strong showing we’re definitely down to two now in the race for the Democratic nomination. The stock market is even anticipating a ‘Biden bounce‘ today, although I’d be cautious about that with everything else that’s going on. It doesn’t look good for Warren. And Bloomberg will probably end his campaign, which makes sense. The only reason he was needed in the race was as insurance for moderates that Biden wouldn’t crash out. That youth surge for Sanders didn’t seem to materialize. According to Aaron Blake, only about 1 in 8 voters yesterday was under 30. More than two-thirds were over 45. Old people vote.

John Gruber and Jason Snell raise a good point. Apple may have to cancel WWDC. Having people fly in from around the world to northern California sounds like a very bad idea this year.

Tyler Cowen astutely breaks us down into two groups regarding the coronavirus: “growthers” who, based on data and forecasting, believe we are facing a potential crisis and “base-raters” who draw on common sense and experience and are much less concerned. I know I’m concerned.

And there are a wealth of options for good Vietnamese food in Boston. Although the restaurants in Allston and Cambridge might be fancier, the best food is in Dorchester.

Eliminating the middleman

Friday! But a bit rainy.

A study from the HBS tells us that buying luxury goods makes us miserable. And yet.

The push is on in Massachusetts to eliminate brokers fees for apartment rentals. New York just did it. The MA legislature seems to want to protect the brokers, many of whom would go out of business without the fees. So what. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the renter to pay the fee. Let the landlord pay if a broker was involved or allow the renter to engage a broker and then have to pay the fee, as in New York. But requiring the renter, sight unseen, to pay the entire broker fee is just wrong.

Apparently there’s a new Apple TV in the works. That’s the device and not the app or services of the same name. Confusing, right?

If you think things are bad now, then just wait. Lots of post-Iowa doom and gloom. I’m not as pessimistic as some but you can count me as concerned.

And on this anniversary of the second day of the Blizzard of 78, the one I spent stranded at someone’s house after bogging down on the turnpike in the middle of the night, here’s an old WGBH clip featuring Shelby Scott.

An expensive education

Thursday, February 6. It’s International Frozen Yogurt Day!

The BSO is old and stodgy. No surprise there. Scott Kearnan suggests that an upcoming change in leadership might provide an opportunity to spice things up a little bit. I hope so. A little Philip Glass sometime would be nice.

The School Department‘s ask of $1.26 billion for FY21 is a big chunk of the overall city operating budget, which runs in the order of three and half billion. I know schools are expensive but this seems, proportionally, a little high.

Apple stock took a jump yesterday based on optimism about wearables. And that was before the news that Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry by a wide margin. I knew Apple watches were popular but I didn’t know they were that popular.

The NYPD is moving from paper notepads to an iPhone app. This is a big and important shift in how officers document their work. I assume the app and back end have been extensively tested for reliability. Let’s hope so.

And City on a Hill is in town filming season two. Some of those old prop cruisers are before even my time.