One for the road

There’s something in a Sunday makes a body feel alone.

The birds seem to be unusually verbose this summer. If you – like I – can’t tell the tweet of an eastern phoebe from that of a dark-eyed junco, here’s a handy app to sort things out.

Have public attitudes and behavior around drunk driving changed enough in the last thirty years to allow bars to reintroduce happy hour? The legislature is considering it. Polls are in favor. And with the availability of ride sharing these days, even MADD is open to the change. But Governor Baker is being a stick in the mud. And on this one I think he’s right.

British politics is fascinating these days. Left, right, center, Brexit, Boris. Even the US landscape seems predictable and boring in comparison.

Some people are hesitant to blame those that choose not to be vaccinated. Not me. I’m with the governor of Alabama. I think they’re the opposite of patriots.

And, does money buy happiness? Or does it buy unhappiness? It all depends. Wise words.

A living wage

Monday, Monday. That day you can’t trust.

Planet Money tackles inflation.

A Globe story on government benefits for workers during the pandemic has a point of view. In the print version it concludes right at the beginning that there’s “Little evidence extra cash is keeping most recipients from returning to work.” This, of course, is in opposition to a GOP narrative. I happen to agree with the Globe’s POV in general terms. People in low paying service jobs need to be paid a sustainable wage. And in the meantime, it’s appropriate that the government help fill the gap. But despite the many anecdotes provided by the Globe, the underlying data contained in the story suggests that for many, the extra cash is keeping them from returning to work. So what? This doesn’t mean that the Republicans win. It means that the system is screwed up. We shouldn’t feel that we we need to stretch the truth merely to defend partisan talking points.

In 1972, researchers at MIT predicted that society would collapse sometime this century. Looks like we’re right on schedule.

Saudi Arabia is asserting itself in Tunisia by providing funding for vaccines. There’s a modern commercial neighborhood in Tunis that was developed by the Saudis. The deal was that in that neighborhood, no alcohol could be served. I don’t know if there’s are any such restriction attached to the vaccines but I do know that despite the prohibitions, you could still easily get a drink in Berges du Lac.

And apparently, an “awkward get-together” occured between Aerosmith and Donald Trump detailed in this very awkward article. Steve Tyler was Trump’s personal guest. Joe Perry muscled in and ended up being offended by Trump’s crudeness. Throw in a threat of lawsuits over using the group’s songs. It’s all just very bizarre.

Don’t Fauci my Florida

A quiet, peaceful Sunday morning.

Exchange programs usually bring students together from far flung, exotic places. You know, like Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. But apparently not Russia.

Florida is now leading the nation on Covid infections, with an average of 6,500 new cases a day. Are we surprised? Arkansas is giving Florida a run for its money. Across the country, but particularly in places resistant to taking reasonable health precautions, cases are up almost 70%. The head of the CDC calls it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Darwin is just shaking his head.

The Phoblographer features 6 really good street photographers. Check out Ale Ruaro, especially.

Google Maps is recalculating the route to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, to avoid sending people over a cliff.

And youse guys will be happy to know that there are over 300 new words added at Dictonary.com. You-uns and y’all will be pleased as well.

Playing with fire

An early summer Sunday. Today’s word is desiccate.

What’s the worse address in the US these days? I, for one, wouldn’t want to be living in the sister building to the one that collapsed on Miami Beach.

In a Times opinion piece that reads more like an investigative report, Zeynep Tufekci tries to connect the dots around virology research, SARS, bats, China and Covid-19. Lots to unpack there.

Want to grill the perfect steak? Follow the science.

I was sorry to hear that Janet Malcolm died last week. She was one of my favorite writers and a fellow appreciator of Chekhov.

And it’s official. Social media is destroying civilization. Like if you agree.

Big Brother in motion

It’s Thursday. Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

James Aloisi says it’s time to lose the masks on public transportation.

The Globe reports on couple of local tech companies that are joining up to track driver behavior for insurance companies. “Both companies’ core products are apps on smartphones that use the sensors in the phones to collect data about how people are driving, such as whether they are speeding, frequently braking hard, or picking up their phones to text when they should be paying attention to the road.” Uh-oh. Some people are going to get a big premium hike.

Brian Krebs tells the strange tale of Alla Witte, a 55 year old mother of two who was writing the code for a ransomware gang. A real-life Walter White.

New polling for Boston’s mayoral race shows the power of incumbency. Kim Janey now leads slightly over Michelle Wu. Then again, another poll puts Essaibi George in the lead. So it’s really too early to tell. But the front runners are at least starting to come into focus. Adam Gaffin rounds up other election news.

And advertisers want into your dreams. You might want to move that smart speaker out of the bedroom.