A question of balance

It’s Monday, Memorial Day. Enjoy the long weekend.

When the cure is worse than the disease: Cookie consent pop-ups are destroying the Internet.

In the 50 cities with the best work/life balance, Boston comes in at #31. Not too bad. (But that’s down from #22 the previous year.) Helsinki has the best ranking. Hong Kong the worst. Among cities in the US, Boston comes in at #5, just after Seattle.

Web design, dark patterns and the New York Times. Nir Eyal has some thoughts.

Kroger is offering people the chance to win a million dollars and free groceries if they come in to get vaccinated. They also give their employees a $100 dollar bonus to get the shot. That’s in contrast to some local grocery chains that won’t even give their workers time off to get vaccinated (I’m looking at you, Stop and Shop.)

And a rap-war shooting at a concert in Miami left 2 dead and 20 wounded. That’s a problem.

Dust settling

Friday, May is winding down. RIP Harambe.

Amusement parks are opening tomorrow. Hold on to your hat.

Boris Johnson’s former top aide, Dominic Cummings, doesn’t paint a very complementary picture of his boss. He botched the initial response to Covid, among other things, said Cummings, who described Johnson’s governing style as a shopping cart “smashing from one side of the aisle to the other.” And Vanessa Barbara, who covers politics in Brazil, portrays that country’s response to the virus as “nefarious and absurd, deadly and appalling.” We also know what happened here in the US, with the bleach injections and all. Generally we get the leaders we deserve but nobody deserved all this.

The state budget has passed the Senate, 40-0. Now to the House.

If you happen to be in Atlanta, the High Museum is running an exhibition of women photographers titled Underexposed. Even if you’re not in Atlanta, you can see some of the images here.

And remember those pre-election economic stimulus tax deferments? It’s now time to pay up.

Let the sunshine in

Today is Thursday. And it’s National Grape Popsicle Day, to boot.

Adam Vinatieri is retiring. Good luck to him. He came through in the clutch for us many times.

There were 382 new Covid cases in Massachusetts yesterday, mostly among people between 20 and 40 years old. The numbers are low and dropping. The mask mandate ends this week. Events are being scheduled for the summer. The Marshfield Fair is on. Optimism abounds.

Russia claims its government agencies are undergoing an unprecedented hack.

More back and forth on the Massachusetts film tax credit. Keep it, dump it, tighten it up. Legislators are all over the map. Maybe they should invite Jackie Rohr in to make a speech on the topic. He seems like a pretty persuasive guy.

And who wants to go on a cruise? Are we ready, really?

Billion here, billion there

Happy Sunday. It’s World Turtle Day.

A NYT article on future population projections: “Imagine entire regions where everyone is 70 or older.” The future sounds like a nightmare. Hopefully I’ll be part of it.

There’s quite a bit of money coming into the state from the American Rescue Plan. How to spend it is the question. There are a few things that it can’t be spent on but otherwise there’s a lot of flexibility. Budget watchers stress transparency and close coordination between the governor and legislature to avoid a pork barrel feeding frenzy. Shira Schoenberg breaks it all down.

Apple is revising its position on whether HomePods will be able to play lossless music. The company says that with a future software update they will – I think. It’s all very complicated and, if you’re not a super audiophile, probably not worth worrying about.

Back in the day 911 centers were funded from a surcharge on landline phone bills. When people started dropping landlines for cellphones the money dried up and new laws had to be passed to shift the surcharges to mobile accounts. Now, as we transition from gas to electric vehicles, we may be facing a similar situation with the gasoline tax used to fund road maintenance.

And it’s not a flying car exactly, but if you have a million and a half burning a hole in your pocket you can pick up one of these sleek little private jets. Zoom zoom.

HORN BROKEN: Watch for finger

Wednesday of the week. It was a dark day for Massachusetts in 1780.

The Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines are even more effective than previously thought. A single shot is 84% effective. Two shots gets you to 94%. Amazing.

A Boston Magazine reader asks Matthew Baker how Massachusetts can improve its image and be more friendly to outsiders. Wait, who says we’re not friendly? Anyway, Baker ponders the question before doubling down on the status quo. Good man.

Charles Grodin has died. Here he is on Letterman. His appearances were always fun to watch.

The Times editorial board takes a dim view of the New York Pride organizers’ decision to bar police officers from participating in their events this year. I agree.

And Obama, who was presumably read in on everything the government knows about UFOs, was asked by James Corden what he thought. “We can’t explain how they move, their trajectory,” the former president said. “They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so I think that people still take seriously, trying to investigate and figure out what that is.” Imagine what he knows and can’t say.