Cops and robbers

Wednesday. It’s a birthday for Butch Cassidy, Seamus Heaney and Al Green.

Gilbert Gottfried has died. The Miles Davis of comedy.

Many Democratic cities are backtracking on defunding the police and instead are moving to hire more cops. It’s amazing what a couple of years and an increase in crime can do. And in Maryland, a last minute police reform bill has made everyone unhappy. Which means it’s probably solid policy.

Sam Tyler weighs in on an appointed vs. elected School Committee. As you might guess, the practical-minded Tyler favors the former.

The war in Ukraine looks, increasingly, like an ongoing conflict. The other war—the economic one—will continue on as well. Whether we’ll have the will to persist with it is yet to be seen.

And insider trading, crypto-style? Sure looks that way.

Inflation theory

Tuesday. It’s National Grill Cheese Sandwich Day!

Even though this is Squirrel Week, the Times is featuring pigeons. Very disrespectful, don’t you think?

A report this morning on the consumer price index is expected to show inflation at an ‘extraordinarily elevated‘ level. It could be pretty ‘nasty,’ some say. Who could have seen this coming?

How to build your own cathode ray TV set, circa 1933. Sounds easy. Not.

Ethereum is moving closer to the merge. It might even be real this time.

And over at BU, they’re creating “a real love atmosphere.” What would John Silber say about all this?

What’s old is new again

Saturday morning music: Darlingside’s Extralife and The Best of Bread.

An uncanny valley for… benches?

Inflation prognosticator Larry Summers recalls the early 1970’s when demand outstripped supply and then, unexpectedly, OPEC tightened oil markets. As he noted in an interview with Ezra Klein, “in many ways, that’s the right analogy for now.” It does certainly does have a familiar unwelcome ring to it.

Bitcoin is so 2020. It’s over. Ethereum is what the cool kids are into.

Maybe it’s just from the perspective of a guy getting up there, but this cellular rejuvenation thing seems like kind of a big deal.

And meanwhile, in Russia

Out in front

Friday morning. Happy birthday to Shecky Greene.

All those diplomats were really spies? Who woulda thought.

Tom Nagorski and Joshua Keating take on the mystery of why so many Russian generals are getting killed in Ukraine.

With one ex-Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation taking over the New York subway system, another is pushing to electrify this state’s regional rail system.

Robinhood is opening up the beta for crypto wallets. This could be interesting.

And, “Your Competitor Wrote The RFP You’re Bidding On”. File under: funny because it’s true.

Reasons to be cheerful, part 4

Rain, rain, rain. A snarky and cynical Wednesday.

All the adults were up in space.

On the economic front: “Consumers are spending, businesses are investing, and wages are rising at their fastest pace in decades.” So run for the hills.

Just like with public records, the Legislature doesn’t play by the same rules as most of the rest of state and local government when it comes to unionization. That’s probably because they make the rules.

This Worldcoin thing seemed to have potential. Just scan everyone’s eyeballs and pass out money. What could go wrong?

And Elon Musk is on the board of Twitter. Yup.

War is hell

Monday. Today’s word is salient.

Running a national government with absolutely no experience is easy. It’s just like running a social media company. You bring in the best people. In both cases the results will speak for themselves.

Images from Bucha, taken by a Washington Post photographer on the ground. Staggering.

Erica Pandey writes about crypto, which might seem very faddish these days but is not merely a flash in the pan. “Some of the world’s smartest young minds aren’t going to law school or Goldman Sachs — they’re going into crypto.”

Today’s Apple seems to be firing on all cylinders and decimating competitors. Neil Cybart considers why.

And maybe we can learn a thing or two from people who think that nothing is true. (But I doubt it.)

Painted into a corner

Today is Tuesday. Susan B. Anthony Day.

Helen Branswell writes about why the Covid vaccines were a “freaking miracle.” Donald Trump even gets some credit.

I think Joan Vennochi is being a little unfair to Michelle Wu for her stance on unions and vaccination mandates. I believe Wu came into office with a lack of understanding of how heavily unionized the city is and how little management prerogative she would have in these situations. I don’t think she’s backing down as much as adjusting to reality. I assume her legal and finance teams are explaining the costs of ripping up contracts and violating established labor practices. It might be bad optics/politics to pull back, but it’s sound management.

The economy is reviving, especially small business. But it’s a different economy and small businesses in city centers are not doing as well.

One guy found a bug in an Ethereum layer 2 function that would have allowed him to generate an infinite amount of Ether. But he did the right thing and reported it, receiving a $2 million dollar bug bounty.

And why do we round off sharp corners? Well, because.

Paying the bills

Monday morning. The Superbowl is over. Spring is on the horizon.

Yesterday was a very snowy day. It was unexpected. Dave Epstein admits he got the forecast wrong. And that’s why he loves meteorology.

The game was way better than the commercials. As Maura Judkis and Sonia Rao write, this was a collection of ads pandering to millennials, who are now old enough for that honor. The references ran from The Cable Guy to The Sopranos. There was a floating QR code for Coinbase. Lots of big money celebrity cameos from the likes of Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Lindsay Lohan. And the obligatory Alexa as Hal commercial from Amazon. Overall they all seemed to try just a little too hard. But, of course, that’s coming from someone not in the target demo.

Michael Lopp on remote work. This is one of the best things I’ve read recently.

Anne Applebaum channels Churchill in writing about how to deal with Stalin Putin.

And on this Valentines Day, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a bottle of meat juice. Especially if you have a deranged stomach.

The pressure builds

Saturday. Birthdays for Bill Russell, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.

First it was beer, chips, fast food, cars. Then tech and internet companies began to pay out the big bucks to run commercials. (Remember those GoDaddy ads?) Now it’s time for crypto and NFTs to take center stage. The problem is that people now just go to their phones to watch TikTok during the commercial breaks.

How big a threat is inflation? It depends on who you ask. Some think it would be a positive development, at least for for younger people stuck with stagnant wages, student loans and high home mortgages. Wages go up while liabilities remain fixed, giving them more money to pay off loans. But food and other costs also rise. And even if allowed to run for a while, inflation can’t go on forever or allowed to become runaway. And to prevent that, apparently, we’ll need a recession. It could be a big one. It could be a small one. It’s very complicated. And uncertain.

Mayor Flynn at the helm? Déjà vu all over again.

Another big milestone for the Webb Telescope. Sensors are up, working and sending data. Next: calibrating the mirrors.

And Marc Hurwitz reports on the opening of a new public house in Maynard called the Bull Spit Taproom. What’s in a name?

Patrolling the metaverse

Today is Thursday. It’s a birthday for Jimmy Durante, Uzo Abuda and Laura Dern.

Forget the lifting of mask mandates. How will we really know when the pandemic is over? Check to see if the Massachusetts State House has reopened.

Dorchester Reporter correspondent Adam Gaffin reports on an interesting gang unit case where an officer did some undercover work on Snapchat that resulted in the recovery of a gun and arrest of the man who possessed it. The highest court in the state allowed the gun to be admitted but refused to take a bright line rule on social media investigations, instead taking a more thoughtful, case by case approach to the rules of evidence in the virtual world.

In Hudson, Ohio, a proposal to allow ice fishing is generating concern about the inevitable wave of prostitution that will follow.

Don’t believe the crypto hype. The BBC did and it came back to bite them.

And apparently millennials are not interested in vino. As boomers recede, the wine industry is concerned about losing all of its customers. Maybe they need a reboot of Sideways. Pinot Noir anyone?