Kid gloves

Thursday. It’s the Queen’s birthday. Also Charles Grodin.

Joann Muller: Batteries are the new oil.

Catherine Carlock and Shirley Leung delve into Michelle Wu’s new pick to lead the BPDA and the mayor’s vision for development. Funny, I didn’t see the word “abolish” come up once in the story.

I agree with Farhad Manjoo. Riding a bike in America should not be this dangerous.

Incomes in Massachusetts are in the top five in the country. Even our poorest towns have higher average income than many states’ medians.

And Avi Loeb is in the interstellar extraterrestrial news again, thanks to a military memo. Don’t look up.

Invisible battles

Saturday. Today is the anniversary of the time zone.

Press Watch to the NYT over its editorial on free speech: Shut up.

In the invasion of Ukraine, cyber warfare has been conspicuous by its absence. Or has it? Thomas Rid: “Some of the most consequential computer network breaches may stay covert for years, even decades. Cyberwar is here, but we don’t always know who is launching the shots.”

Kyle Chayka wonders if the cameras on the newer iPhones are just a little too good… so good they’re bad.

Military analysts continue to be surprised at the ineffectiveness of the Russian military. Also, John Ismay writes about how Ukrainian soldiers are using shoulder fired missiles to great effect, notably the NLAW, a British weapon made in Sweden by SAAB.

And here’s how to stop. This is important to know.

Politics on the margins

Sunday, November 7. Today’s word is soporific.

The Globe is being very nice to Kim Janey this morning. But isn’t it a little late for that?

The Squad made a big, empty gesture, voting against the infrastructure bill. Fortunately a handful of Republicans stepped up. What a world. Maureen Dowd writes about the problem of Democrats not being able to get out of their own way. And the show’s not over yet. Let’s see what happens with the spending bill.

Mobile devices with mini-computers have taken over the world. Our cars are full of computers. Even toasters have computers in them. Where are all those microchips coming from? That, writes Christopher Mimms, is the problem.

Wording in one section of the infrastructure bill, related to tax reporting requirements, is alarming some crypto watchers.

And I really hate biking up hills. Wind and hills. No thanks. But there are cyclists that love climbing hills. There’s even a blog highlighting the best, hardest hills. I don’t get it. For me it would be like reading ‘getting punched in the stomach’ magazine. But, to each his own, I guess.

Free wheeling

Friday. The end of a long, hot week.

The Globe reports that rain, sharks, coyotes, and a resurgent virus didn’t damper tourism on the Cape this summer. Good to hear.

We all know that ‘Boston Magazine’ is not a magazine about Boston. But ‘Affluent Suburbs to the North and West of Boston Magazine’ doesn’t have the same sort of ring to it. Anyway, of the five Boston bike shops featured in this story, I’m impressed that a couple are actually in Boston. But why feature only 5 shops? What about Landrys, or Bike Barn or Bikeway or Crimson or Bikes Not Bombs or Serious Cycles or Bicycle Link or Grace Bikes, etc, etc.? There are hundreds of great bike shops in the Boston area and no indication as to why these featured five stand out.

Dan Kois reports that Netflix has been getting pretty clickbaity lately. I’ve noticed this too.

With Charlie Watts’ passing at 80, just as the Stones were getting ready to go on tour (currently rehearsing in Foxboro), I was curious as to the ages of the rest of the band. Ronnie Wood is 74, Keith Richards, 77 and Mick Jagger is 78. No spring chickens.

And the hacker responsible for the latest T-Mobile breach says that the carrier’s security is awful. Also, he’s crazy. That doesn’t mean he’s not right, though.

Vox populi

Thursday, July 1st. It must be summer.

The City Council finally passed the budgetyesterday afternoon. It takes effect today. That was close. Lydia Edwards had the best line going into the process. “I think this budget will pass—like a kidney stone.”

Joan Vennochi looked a little deeper at that Globe/Suffolk poll. The Globe has been pillorying the police department and Marty Walsh but voters still like Walsh and approve of the job police are doing. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a mishandling of the commissioner transition or that there weren’t serious incidents of corruption in the department over the last decade. But as voters seem to understand, it’s a matter of proportion. Of all the issues on voters minds, the poll shows that police reform is at the very bottom. As Vennochi puts it, “These poll results […] may also say something about the media not seeing the political forest for the scandalous trees.”

After an international manhunt they finally nabbed the Tour de France sign holder. They should give her a very stern talking to.

There were some crazy clouds last evening as the heat wave broke. Of course John Tlumacki captured an amazing image. Speaking of Tlumacki and heat waves, check this great image from 1985 with a recounting of how he caught it.

And Fortune favors the online fortune tellers. I have to assume that they saw this coming.

Out on the street

Wednesday. Top of the week to you.

Robert Marchand has died. He was 109. Marchand was a cyclist who set records well after hitting 100 years old. Inspirational.

So a judge has ruled that the acting mayor can fire the police commissioner. That makes sense, of course. But now what happens to Dennis White? Even if a mayor should be able to dismiss a police commissioner as a department head, under civil service rules firing a police officer requires due cause and lots of process. Can White return to his civil service rank or did he relinquish that when he took the commissioner’s job?

Scott Johnson explains everything you need to know about battery tech and how it’s getting better by the day.

As far as reform efforts in the Boston Police Department go, an update has been posted to the BPDNews website. People like to say that nothing is being done or that the department is dragging its feet but in actuality it looks like they’re doing a lot.

And the first rule of Bite Club is you have to talk about Bite Club.

Letters of transit

Welcome to Wednesday, the tallest day of the week.

Life in America must be pretty good if we’re allowing ourselves to focus on something as insignificant as a shortage of ketchup. Can’t get Heinz? Try some of this stuff. Or you can just make your own.

The idea of a vaccine passport sounds good. So where do you get one? Cities and towns are deferring to the state. The state is deferring to the feds. The feds are waiting for the private sector to get something going. The private sector have a number of competing ideas in the works and are waiting for the government to take the lead. Something has to give. Maybe Rick Steves can come up with a solution.

Meredith Conroy explores why people in Republican circles tend to be distrustful of the media. It seems a little counterintuitive since many of those same people are often glued to cable news or talk radio.

Speaking of media bubbles, North Korea has announced that it has completely eradicated the coronavirus. Wow!

And two of my favorites things, cycling and photography, came together for Roff Smith during the pandemic. He’s produced some very nice, evocative photographs of the English countryside.