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.

A one-way mirror

Friday. Let’s just call it a week.

Travel site Matador writes about how great the North End is. But from an alternate reality. They insist on calling it Boston’s Little Italy. Very annoying.

The Legislature continues to mask its committee votes. Members insist that the normal sausage making requires it. They worry that how they vote on issues in committee might be misconstrued. Maybe, but aren’t these also the people that made the rules that require the official actions of all of the other public employees in the state be open for review – misconstrue or not? What’s good for the goose, right?

There are two sides to every story. But in this situation, only one side passes the smell test for Christopher Muther.

Bill Forry, editor of the Dorchester Reporter, has some thoughts about the current governing situation in the city.

And Heinz wants to know why buying hotdogs and buns always ends up in a mismatch. (I want to know why people think putting ketchup on a hot dog is an acceptable thing in a civilized society.)

Amature hour

A beautiful sunny Monday. And a quiet news day.

Subscribe to a car? Welcome to transportation as a service.

Wall Street Journal reporter Mike Bender’s new book details a blow up between Trump and General Milley. The more we learn the scarier our recent history was.

The story of Sriracha sauce. Interesting and inspiring. I always have a bottle of in the kitchen.

Now it’s Republicans who are defunding the police -and just to get back at Democrats.

And yes, they’re baack. Close the beaches. Cancel Fourth of July festivities. We’ll also need to get a bigger boat.

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.