A tour de force of dropped r’s

It’s a bright, sunny, spring Sunday morning.

The New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, is now over 5 billion miles from earth. It just cleared the orbit of Pluto and it’s still taking photos and sending them back to us. Amazing.

The Showtime series City on a Hill, starring Kevin Bacon, was given a $3 million dollar tax break in 2018. Since then they’ve mostly been filming the series set in Boston somewhere other than Boston. What’s supposed to be Bromley-Heath looks a lot like New York. Without the local scenery all we’re left with is the overacting, over-the-top accents, bad writing and cartoonish portrayal of an important chapter in Boston’s history. I look forward to it each week.

Matthew McConaughey for governor of Texas? The polls say yes. Could be the role of a lifetime.

Prince Phillip was carried to rest in a Land Rover rather than a hearse, per his wishes. He was a big fan of Land Rovers. But his original car was a British Standard that he bought for 12 pounds in 1940. It still runs.

And according to Zoe Carpenter, misinformation is destroying our country. As they say, the remedy for misinformation is more misinformation. Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall.

Non-nuclear explosion

Wednesday. Today is the day Lincoln was shot.

People are flocking to that active volcano near Reykjavik, including many photographers. But lots of people are just there to watch and reflect on nature.

The attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant wasn’t just planted software. It seems that actual explosives were smuggled into the facility and placed strategically. The level of infiltration was deep and now the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for security at the plant, are looking pretty ineffective.

Bill Forry talked to Secretary Walsh about his commute and about being the ex-mayor of Boston.

It will be at least a year before the chip shortage eases. Meanwhile, automakers and medical equipment manufactures are scrambling. Bipartisan support is growing for moving chip fabrication to the US and having the government subsidise new facilities to make chips here.

And how does Massachusetts rank in terms of general popularity among Americans? Not as good as I would have thought. People. What do they know?

Pie in the sky

Friday. This week’s a wrap.

Tourists are returning to New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New Orleans. What about Boston? Uber and Lyft rides are getting harder to find in the city. That could be a good thing.

Kim Janey was asked about eliminating fares on the T. She’s in favor. But it’s going to cost money, she admitted to listeners on GBH radio. She would look for federal money to subsidize free bus service in the short-term. There is an argument to be made that public transit should be a free-to-use public amenity but I don’t think we’re anywhere close to having a sustainable financial model to support that idea.

The last 14 months wasn’t an aberration. According to intelligence analysts it was a trailer for the future.

Comedy writer Anne Beatts has died. I was a fan of her work since the early days when she wrote at the National Lampoon.

And Neuralink, Elon Musk’s mind chip company, put an implant into a monkey’s brain that allowed it to play video games by thought. So this is how it begins.

Bullish on Boston

A terrific Tuesday. Sorry, Charlie.

Joan Vennocci says that she’s not a fan of Don Chiofaro‘s proposed tower on the waterfront but at least he’s investing in the city. She makes a good point.

2020 was not a good year for the food trucks in Boston. But, as Daniel Kool informs us, warm weather and stepped-up vaccinations are raising hopes for a more prosperous 2021. “There is a sense that the tide is turning. We don’t think it’s going to be like a light switch going on, but we do have hope for the future,” one truck owner said.

In South Boston, a whole new neighborhood is taking shape in the previously industrial area along Dorchester Ave. and Old Colony. One of the new tenants is Castle Island Brewing, which will open a taproom and restaurant.

Massachusetts tax revenues exceeded projections by more than a billion dollars. This is a good time to have a few extra dollars in the rainy day fund. Colin Young, writing in Commonwealth Magazine, also notes that overall business confidence is rising in the state, another good sign.

And Marc Hurwitz reports that, in Quincy, the Yummy Cafe is being taken over by Mr. Pickled Fish. Yum.

Fixing potholes

Monday, April 5th. Kurt Cobain, Alan Ginsburg and Saul Bellow all died on this date.

Airlines and hotels have reduced their capacities. Post-pandemic demand for travel is about to surge. Supply, meet demand. Travellers should prepare for higher prices.

Kim Janey is out in the street, attending events and making appearances as the acting mayor. Danny McDonald interviewed a bunch of political insiders and they all agree that if she does run for the job (which, of course she will) that this visibility will give her an edge over the other candidates. They point to the similar situation that Tom Menino was in as acting mayor when Ray Flynn left to take a job in the Clinton Administration. But Tom Menino had a hook. He was the urban mechanic and he used his time as acting mayor to demonstrate that he could be effective in that role. It was what differentiated him from the other candidates. Janey will need more than just higher visibility. She’ll need a hook to make her stand out from the crowd.

Still no inspection stickers. Applus is quiet. The RMV is deflecting. Not a good situation.

Its original name was Harbor Lights. The list of artists that performed there includes Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Radiohead and Billie Eilish. Later, the name of the place was changed to Bank of Boston Pavilion. Then BankBoston Pavilion. Then Fleet Bank Pavilion. Then Bank of America Pavilion… Blue Hills Bank Pavilion… Rockland Trust Pavilion. Now it has a new name, the Leader Bank Pavilion. Maybe we should just call it the increasingly more obscure financial institution music venue. IMOFIMV. It would be easier to remember.

And how long would it take to walk all the way around the moon? Of course someone has done the calculations.