Beggars Banquet

Friday. My day. It’s Billy Boston‘s birthday.

These new, suggested constitutional amendments are not crazy. But shouldn’t we try to fix the 2nd amendment before attempting any of these other nice things?

If you’re a billionaire, it seems, you can always get what you want. Robert Kraft is flying in a few hundred of his closest friends for a private birthday party with live music provided by the Rolling Stones.

Ethereum’s London hard fork has been successfully activated. MacKenzie Sigalos breaks down what it means. And she also updates on the upcoming ‘difficulty bomb’ for mining Ether.

Typos happen and that’s why we have editors. Or not, as this sentence from today’s Globe illustrates: “Boisvert was accused of pushing the officer who had approached on foot her at the time.”

And gambling has made a post-covid comeback in Boston. Encore has had its best quarter ever. I think that’s a good thing?

Too close to home

Thursday morning. Foggy and cool.

Now you can watch the video of the head of the NRA trying (and trying) to shoot a motionless elephant. Why would anyone want to shoot an elephant?

There was a shooting in Dudley MA, out by Sturbridge on the Connecticut border. The Boston Globe was all over it. There were also shots fired leading to an armed stand-off in Dorchester. Not a peep on that. Odd.

Michael Collins has died. He was on the first moon mission, the guy stuck in orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to walk on the moon. He led quite a life and people who knew him said he was an amazing guy.

Here’s the James Carville interview where he goes off on the political viability of wokeness.

And people usually like police dogs. But this police dog from Boston, now working for the NYPD, is not so popular. Looks like he’ll be sent to a farm where he can run free.

See no evil

It’s Tuesday. Have a dandy Devil Dog Day.

US population growth is slowing down but the population of the state has grown by almost a half million people according to the most recent census. As a result, Massachusetts will be able to maintain the current number of seats in the US House. The increase in population has mostly been in the eastern part of the state so lawmakers are drawing up plans to shift some district lines to even things out.

It was a busy week in the city as far as crime goes. Here are some headlines from Universal Hub just from the last few days:
Man shot in the side on Clarkson Street
Mattapan gunfire blitz leaves one shot, several cars, houses hit
Barrage of gunfire in Dorchester sends one bullet into a living room
Man shot somewhere south of Grove Hall
Gunfire in Roxbury sends bullet into house around the corner
Two shot on Glenway Street in Dorchester

Live Boston was also covering the neighborhoods over the weekend:
Over 200 rounds fired overnight as understaffed police work to keep up
Boston Police help save man’s life at BMC overnight
Car chase leads to crash on Dorchester Avenue
Neighbor caught in crossfire as Ormond St turns to shooting gallery overnight
Shooting on Glenway St leaves at least two injured

And from the Boston Globe in that same time frame:
Three men wounded in two overnight shootings in Boston
That’s it. These days the city’s paper of record appears largely blind or indifferent to violent crime in the city. Seems like a huge disservice to the people and neighborhoods affected.

The EU is working on a vaccine passport that Americans can use to travel abroad. Details are slim but I hope it doesn’t rely on those paper CDC cards that I keep losing.

Police in Washington DC have some kind of a server problem. The reports and statements about what happened are about as clear as mud but it sounds like ransomware. Speaking of ransomware, the payments demanded by hackers are rising. And people seem to be paying.

And where does a candle go when it burns? Inquiring minds want to know.


The hand that feeds you

The start of a Wednesday week. And a royal happy birthday to The Queen.

The verdict is in. But the problems with policing and race are far from resolved.

The Boston Public Library and U-Mass, Boston – both publicly funded – paid thousands on large ads in the Globe to bid a fond farewell to Marty Walsh as he headed to Washington. As reported by Commonwealth Magazine (not the Globe, obviously) both were quick to try to justify the expenditures. I imagine they even had straight faces when they did so.

This type of use may be an example of why Charlie Baker refused to jump on the ‘ban all facial recognition by law enforcement’ bandwagon.

Apple announced some new products yesterday. Very colorful computers. I’ll wait for the larger screens coming, presumably, later in the year.

And Ted Nugent somehow managed to catch a fake virus. We should all wish him a fake speedy recovery.

The measurement problem

On this Tuesday morning, the word of the day is Sisyphean.

Hey, big news: Michelle Wu is running for mayor. Who woulda thought?

Rachael Rollins, Byron Rushing and Juana Matias argue for better data from courts and prosecutors. You can’t fix what you can’t measure, they say. This was a problem 20 years ago. A lot of people have worked at remedying the situation over the years but were stymied by funding constraints and bureaucratic inertia. So, good for them for highlighting, and hopefully tackling, the issue.

Mike Caputo obviously needs help. Unfortunately, he’s the guy in charge of providing it.

There was an MIT angle, so I guess it was OK for the Globe to run the ‘signs of life on Venus‘ story as a Metro item. But Venus is definitely outside the increasingly expanding Boston metro area, which, as of late, includes Rhode Island.

A sharp 911 tele-communicator, and an Apple Watch teamed up to save the life of an Arizona officer.

And speaking of Apple watches, there’s an event to announce new models today. I’ll be tuned in.

Flattening the curve

Good morning. It’s Wednesday. Happy birthday to Vannevar Bush, Lawrence Welk and Shemp Howard.

How bad is traffic in the Boston area? We’re number 1!

US Coronavirus cases are up to just over 1000. That doesn’t seem like such a big deal in a country with hundreds of millions of people. But the number was 547 just four days ago, 233 two days before that and only 35 a couple of weeks ago. It is increasing exponentially and the important question is, where does it level out? The answer is, of course, complicated. This short video might help you wrap your head around it. The last slide is key.

Unfortunately we’re still not testing as much as other countries so any numbers we have aren’t as reliable as they could be. For those who compare the new virus numbers to the flu and wonder why things are being cancelled, the chart in this story might provide your answer. A bulge in cases, especially from a super-spreading event, could overwhelm the healthcare system. This has already happened in Italy where hospitals are under siege.

I referred to the virus as a black swan the other day. I’m told it is actually a gray rhino because we should have seen it coming.

This morning the Globe tells us all about – but doesn’t show or even link to – new NASA satellite photos of Cape Cod in the spring. Here are those NASA Photos.

And a court has cleared Led Zeppelin of charges that they plagiarized the opening riff of Stairway to Heaven, overturning a previous ruling that they had. The forests will echo with laughter.

Taking payment up front

Friday the 14th. Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget.

One New Yorker is happy, on balance, with Bloomberg’s legacy as mayor. I suspect this view is pretty common among people there.

It appears that the Globe is being a little aggressive in collecting subscription fees, sometime charging people earlier than they should. Lots of complaints over at the BBB. You have to love the cut-and-paste, “Hello I apologize…”, response to many of the complaints. But at least they’re replying. (Via Reddit).

It’s a vision of the future, straight from the past. This would’ve made perfect sense to a sixteenth century futurist.

The Boston to New York seaplane service received final approval from the BPDA.

And if just thinking about mechanical engineering gives you a headache, you may be pleasantly surprised by this blog post from Bartosz Ciechanowski. He makes tangential forces and angular velocity fun. Seriously.

Good government guys

Thursday. It feels like rain. Happy birthday to Peter Gabriel, Carol Lynley, Jerry Springer and Peter Tork.

Once again Globe food writer Devra First can’t seem to make it across the Neponset River, missing out on a lot of fine places to eat south of the city. (Delfino in Roslindale was a good choice, though.)

A CBO-like office for Massachusetts, to review the efficacy of proposed legislation? Sounds like a good idea, actually. And the names of the people involved should instill confidence.

Lyle Mays has died. I always loved his playing with Pat Metheny. The improvised melodies had a personality and there seemed to be a chemistry there. Some good examples: The Way Up; Speaking of Now; Imaginary Day – all great records and featured on today’s playlist.

Adam Gaffin reports on Cape Air’s quest to make a splash with a seaplane route between Long Wharf and the East River in NYC.

And the biggest industry event for mobile technology has been canceled because of the coronavirus. There won’t be a Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year. That’s a big deal.

Cropped Tops

While looking at the Globe online this morning I noticed the unusual composition of this photo.

I can see the top of someone’s head at the bottom of the image. Maybe that person wasn’t relevant to the story and they were cropped out, resulting in the weird unbalanced framing.

But no. Below is the full image from the story. And it’s a great shot, by Jen Murphy, of the whole team! So if a horizontal crop was needed, why not something like the one outlined in yellow? It would have been perfect.

The decision to crop out the bottom two thirds of the photo doesn’t make sense. Maybe it has something to do with the CMS or deadlines, but it just seems odd to me. Are photo editors still a thing or is it all automated now?

Oh, and here’s another strange one in the Globe today…