Pay as you go

Happy birthday, on this Wednesday, to Ernest Hemingway, Marshall Mcluhan and Don Knotts.

Crime is down in Boston, especially in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. At the same time firearm arrests are way up. So much for the narrative that cops are pulling back.

First the Legislature hoarded all the stimulus money, giving only about 5% to the Governor to spend on pressing issues. Now, adding insult to injury, Senate Ways and Means chair Michael Rodrigues is trying to box Baker in on how he can spend the reduced amount of money he was allocated. It all seems a little childish.

The Wirecutter has some recommendations for fast and reliable wireless routers. If you can dump your ISP’s router and avoid paying monthly fees, even better.

A designer bike lock sounds pretty cool. Probably expensive, too. And it only took a minute to pick. (Via BoingBoing.)

And Tom Brady is dissing Donald Trump. Some win, some lose.

Calm before the storm

Tuesday. It’s the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing in the Sea of Tranquility.

Say you’re in an airliner flying at 30,000 feet and realize that everyone on the plane has been incapacitated, including the pilots. (Maybe they all had the fish). Can you land the plane? Actually, it’s doable.

Shirley Leung reports that the MBTA has restored service to pre-pandemic levels. But despite an expensive marketing campaign, riders haven’t returned. Come fall, when more workers return to the office, this could be a problem, traffic-wise.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight into ‘space’ this morning was a success. After reaching apogee, the passenger module floated back to earth on parachutes at about 15 mph, until just inches above the ground, when a blast of air, like an airbag deployment, cushioned its touchdown. The rocket booster had previously separated and returned to earth, landing just like a rocket in a 1950’s sci-fi illustration. It was quite an impressive technological accomplishment.

After 50 people were shot over the weekend, Chicago police are trying something they say is “new and unique.” They’re going to tackle illegal gun trafficking. Imagine that.

And there are thick burgers and there are thin burgers. Thick burgers are juicy and tasty, but a disaster when you try to eat them. Thin burgers fit well in the bun but are too easy to overcook. What if science could help us to have the best of both worlds? Count me in!

The big screen

Sunday, 7/11. Slurpee Day.

It’s time for city employees to go back to work. Some, anyway.

The Coolidge Corner Theater is back. That’s good. Being ‘engulfed by the screen’ is nice. But the Coolidge was always an outlier in the theater business. Kara Swisher isn’t so optimistic about the rest of the industry. Streaming is now where it’s at, she says. Being engulfed by your iPhone screen is the new moviegoing experience.

Google Maps or Apple Maps? I always prefered the former but privacy concerns may cause me to revisit that.

Two criminologist try to figure out why crime is rising. Lots of possibilities, but really, no one knows.

And, I know it’s only July, but it’s never too early to think about having fried chicken for Christmas.

Hands out

It’s a beautiful sunny Wednesday.

Discussions about crime in San Francisco are getting nasty.

Now that legislators are holding on to federal stimulus money to disperse as they see fit, they will have to deal with the special interests lining up for their slice of the pie. And they all want a big slice. Meanwhile, the governor has been allocated only about 5% of the money to apply to strategic initiatives like housing. That’s a shame, says the Globe Editorial Board. I agree.

Rank-choice voting has been dealt a setback after election officials in New York screwed up their vote tallying process. The screw up may not have had anything to do with rank choice but the unfortunate association is now in place. Eric Adams is projected to win the primary but a hand count will be required.

The Apple fitness and watch apps track active calories, exercise and standing as the primary health metrics. Steps are not one of the big three. I always wondered about that as I walked in circles in the living room trying to get my 10,000 steps each day. Now, it looks like Apple knew something I didn’t. 10,000 steps is not really that big of a deal.

And Alexandra Petri considers what a Fox weather channel might look like. Dark clouds, indeed.

The shortest distance

It’s a Tuesday. We’re hooked on aphelion.

The workplace has changed significantly in the last year or so. Tech companies serving that sector have had to be very adaptable to survive.

As some people using public transportation begin to come back into the office, they’re finding their Charlie Cards expired. Why do Charlie Cards expire? Why do we need cards at all? It doesn’t sound very efficient. You should be able to use your phone or watch to pay. I know… it’s in the works. The T says next year for some stations. By 2024 the entire system will be up and running. But sooner would be better.

There’s one company holding all the chips. It’s not who you think.

150 people were shot over the holiday weekend. 95 of those were in Chicago, which actually saw a reduction in firearm violence from last year.

And why do ransomware gangs keep hitting us? For the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks.