Davy Jones Locker

Good day Sunday. Happy birthday to Robert Mitchum and Andy Warhol.

Vox covers the story of the demise and rescue of Stars and Stripes.

I noticed a headline recently that read, “Hero pilot ‘Sully’ warns America that Trump is heading for a crash.” So when I later saw a story with a title about Trump boats sinking I assumed that it was another cheesy metaphor about the campaign. But I was wrong. Boats were actually sinking. I guess those Trump flotilla boat owners didn’t see which way the wind was blowing. And how strongly.

In his yearly blog post, John Siracusa reviews chef’s knives, toaster ovens and ice cream scoops. So you don’t have to.

Remember when webcams were a thing? There are still some out there and the Boston Irish Reporter alerts us to one on O’Connell Street in Dublin, near the Spire, pointed towards the river. Looks like it’s raining.

And Sunday morning is as good a time as any to link to an article about Chekhov. The plays are sublime but his short stories are his real masterpieces.

Keep on keepin’ on

It’s Wednesday and what’s that big yellow ball in the sky?

From one to one million in one hundred days. Just amazing.

At least two more weeks of staying at home, according to governor Baker, who extended his order to at least May 18th. Universal Hub highlights the impact that the virus has had on Massachusetts compared to California, which has five times the population but less cases.

The Cambridge City Council was Zoombombed.

The federal government is printing money but cities and states may have to go begging. In the places without sufficient rainy day reserves it’s likely that jobs will be lost.

Starbucks is reopening for take out this month. At least that’s the plan. No more waiting in 40-car drive through lines, hopefully.

And if you’re looking for comforting children’s bedtime stories in these trying times, stay away from the Russian masters. Here’s the plot of one Tolstoy’s children’s stories, The Bird, as summarized by John Kuhner, “A boy catches a bird in a cage. His mother says he shouldn’t do that. He leaves the door of the cage open. The bird flies out, straight into a glass window, knocking itself out. It suffers for a few days, then dies. The end.” At least there’s a moral. Chekhov’s children stories also have an edge but, not surprisingly, the moral is ambiguous. I can’t imagine what a kid would make of a story like Kashtanka. But for an adult, these are all great reads. Even at bedtime.

Signs of spring

Wednesday, April 15th. The anniversary of the Marathon Bombings.

The Trump administration has cut funding to the World Health Organization in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. I’m with Bill Gates on this one.

Winters in Russia were brutal in the 19th century and many of Chekhov’s stories were set in early spring, a time of hope. So along with what’s happening in the world today, this is a good time to read them. Parul Sehgal reviews a new collection of stories but doesn’t particularly like the translation. He recommends versions translated by Avrahm Yarmolinsky but I’ve always liked the Constance Garnett versions. Here’s her translation of one of my favorite Chekhov’s stories, The Student. It’s a five minute read, at most. If you like it, check out Easter Eve or the masterpiece, The Bishop. All free online.

Economists weighed in for The Globe on how the Massachusetts economy will be impacted by coronavirus (greatly) and what a recovery will look like (nobody knows). There. Saved you five minutes.

Trump’s name will be printed on the stimulus checks in this election year. Now that’s some good exposure. Almost as shameless as Bill Galvin’s census PSA’s.

And if you’re having trouble unlocking your iPhone while wearing a mask, you may have to retrain its facial recognition system. There’s a trick to it, but it’s not hard to do.