Cinematic endeavors

Today is Wednesday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Budweiser has announced that it is forgoing advertising for the Superbowl and donating the money it would have spent to help fund covid vaccination efforts, an advertisement itself, but a virtuous one.

For me, 2020 was mostly about catching up on TV shows. Since watching David Ehrlich’s brilliantly edited short video showcasing the 25 best movies of last year, I now have a lot of movies to catch up on. (And, yes, I got the ‘Directed by Robert Zemeckis‘ reference.)

As the coronavirus variant from the UK is spreading throughout Europe, people in the Netherlands are upset about new lockdowns and curfews. The otherwise boring, civilized and polite populace is boiling over into riots. Crazy.

Historian Jessica Boyall helps us get to know the Nantucket whalers (not the high school football team) through the records and art that they left behind.

And Larry DiCara has forgotten more about Boston politics than most of us ever knew. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

Jumping the turnstile

Today is Monday, Opposite Day.

It’s not exactly The Villages but I guess it’s the same basic idea. Who doesn’t love a parade on Opposite Day.

One of the big reasons that Uber and Lyft took off is because they were low friction. No cash, no special cards to carry. No long-term commitment. You use it when you need it and you know what it costs. Compare that to the MBTA, where you have to get a Charlie Card, put some arbitrary amount of money on it, even for a single ride, and then worry about the balance for the next ride. So it’s welcome news that the MBTA is at least in the very early stages of switching over to a contactless payment system. Just like in London and Chicago, two efficient systems I’m familiar with. And New York, where the payment system upgrade is also well underway. Mass transit should be cheap and easy to use – and pay for. This is a step in the right direction.

Superbowl teams have been warned to stay away from Tampa. One team might have a problem with that.

Some say that Elon Musk’s Starlink system is going to be a game changer. Others (especially in the Telecom sector) say it’s just hype. I don’t care either way. As long as it’s sustainable it will be another choice for getting connected, especially in remote settings.

And if you mix this hot sauce with mayo, you can make yourself a “thermonuclear bologna sandwich.” It looks like the guy that killed Bin Laden is trying to kill the rest of us.

Hello, is this thing on?

Today is Tuesday. Two weeks until the election.

Even with Brady and Gronk as headliners, for the Buccaneers it’s all about the defense.

Another debate? Why? What’s the point? At least there won’t be any crosstalk. It’s still an open question whether the president will even show up. I’m guessing he will. It’s crunch time. If you value your sanity, now might be a good time to shut down all social media. And I know that there’s more at stake in voting than a sticker. But I still want my sticker.

Marc Hurwitz reports that the Beachcomber on Wollaston Beach may be turned into a park. It would be a very small park. But anything would be an improvement over the way it looks now.

The president is threatening to fire Dr. Fauci, who he now calls “a disaster.” Just a week ago the Trump campaign was trying to exploit Fauci’s high credibility to boost the president’s image. I guess it’s opposite day in the White House again.

And apparently the turkeys are too big this year. That’s a problem, how?

Coming down to earth

Sunday. A day of rest. It’s Chuck Berry‘s birthday.

First the crash at McGoo’s and now another ‘drive-through’ in a different part of South Boston. I see a crackdown coming.

Massport was one of those agencies that seemed to have lots of money. The pandemic changed that.

Those football crowd noises that we hear on TV are not heard on the field. It’s quiet out there, and that’s leaving the defense at the mercy of the hard count.

Love these photos by Cambridge photographer Rosamond Purcel. Sometimes it’s the ordinary things that make the best subjects.

And it’s looking more and more like the New York Post is the new Wikileaks and Rudy Guiliani is now playing the role of Julian Assange. Nyet?

An unforeseen benefit

Today is Monday. Windows ME is almost old enough to vote.

Last week was a bad week in Baltimore.

Seasonal illnesses seem to be down this year. There’s an assumption that it’s because people are avoiding going to the doctor or to the ER because of coronavirus fears. People may be sick but they’re just not seeking treatment. But maybe masks and distancing are actually reducing the transmission of non-covid diseases too. That would be a nice side effect.

The New York Times resorted to side scrolling in a story about waiting in line. Very annoying.

In the wake of Tom Brady‘s losing debut as a Buccaneer, Jerry Brewer writes about how teams should best use aging superstar quarterbacks. “To maximize what they have left, the solution is to create a philosophy and system that allows them to be a part of the offense, not the entire show. Instead of depending on transcendent play from the quarterbacks, it’s most prudent to put them in positions in which they can reflect the talent you’ve put around them, distribute the ball with good efficiency and save their remaining gas for the game’s most important moments.” Makes sense to me but doesn’t account for egos.

And, no Peeps this year. That’s how bad things are.