The economy, stupid

Friday. Sunny and moderately not cold.

Big changes at the Metropolitan Police. Sounds like the timing was right for the commissioner to depart.

The economy is doing pretty well. That statement might sound wrong depending on your politics. Dan Primark writes, “Republicans think the economy is getting worse while Democrats think it’s getting better. Because the economy itself isn’t really what matters; who’s in charge of the economy is what matters.”

Irish Ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall’s book on James Joyce’s Ulysses is now available.

Bruce Mohl reports that the MBTA intends to raise the price of Charley cards $3 as part of the coming upgrade of its fare collection system. The increase would help pay for costs associated with the new billion dollar system. Meanwhile, fare revenue is up. Also, free fares are being expanded so some of that revenue will be down. Managing the T’s balance sheet sounds like a nightmare job.

And can we all agree now that blocking roadways is not a legitimate form of protest? Good.

You can go home again

A wonderful Wednesday.

Sidewalk dining sheds in New York are either a good thing that will be made permanent or a bad thing to be removed forthwith. I agree.

A former Irish minister for foreign affairs is pushing to lift restrictions on US citizens who want to retire to Ireland. The plan promoted by Charlie Flanagan would be open to Americans who can show a connection to Ireland, either through ancestry or cultural involvement, or even frequent travel, with an offer of citizenship after 5 years. Interesting.

In bumping up bag check fees, airlines have incentivized the use of carry-on bags. And more often than not these days those carry-on bags are big and bulky, which slows down boarding, costing airlines money. Delta has a pilot program in Boston to see if free bag checking will speed up the boarding process. I hope they didn’t spend a lot on consultants to come up with this.

The Washington Post reports that bananas are getting expensive at the Greater Boston Food Bank. Also, Superbowl guacamole is going to cost more this year as grocery store produce departments succumb to inflation.

And in Seattle, there’s a large intersection between people who drive Mazdas and those who listen to NPR. Strange.

Swag bag

Happy Wednesday. On this day in 1911, Harry Atwood flew from Boston to DC, landing on the South Lawn to meet a waiting President Taft.

Mickey Donovan received a warm welcome from Boston Fire this week.

Jon Santiago came out of the gates strong in the mayor’s race last winter with a bunch of statewide endorsements. But his prospects and polling have faded since then and now he’s dropped out. In other election news, frontrunners Kim Janey and Michelle Wu are selling t-shirts. Annissa Essaibi-George said she’s giving hers away for free.

REvil was one of the most active ransomware gangs in operation. And, poof, now they’re gone. It’s a mystery wrapped in an riddle wrapped in an enigma.

It’s marching season in Northern Ireland. Unionists are flexing and Sinn Fein is pushing back. Same as it ever was.

And NASA is reporting that a wobbly moon might put us under water. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

An impolitic discourse

It’s Wednesday. Cinco de Mayo. Squeeze that lime.

Ireland is opening up for tourism next month. And, conveniently, Air Lingus is running a flash sale on upcoming flights.

The BPPA are often their own worst enemy and are always a reliable villain in any discussion of policing in Boston. And while I have a lot of respect for Andrea Campbell and think she would make a good mayor, the fact remains that she threw the first punch in this Twitter fight.

In elections later this week, Boris Johnson may win the battle over ethical accusations but lose the war on keeping the UK a united kingdom.

Scripps Healthcare was reportedly hacked over the weekend. Medical providers and patients lost access to systems used to schedule visits or view test results. Not a lot of details were forthcoming but the recent trends by ransomware groups to steal data in addition to seeking money raised new concerns about patient information being exposed.

And the country of France lost a little ground in a recent land war with a farmer from Belgium. Call in the cartographers.

Troubling developments

It’s a sunny Saturday. The word of the day is fatuous.

Condé Nast Traveler picked Sconset beach on Nantucket as one of their 25 best island beaches. I always preferred Cisco or Surfside for swimming, or Dionis for beach parties (like the one in Jaws). No one I knew went to Sconset. It was for rich people (like the guy who wrote Jaws).

Violence is spreading in Northern Ireland. Very disheartening. Brexit and coronavirus restrictions are playing a role in the escalation. CNN’s Kara Fox breaks it down. David Trimble weighs in.

Florida Texas man tries to blow up the Internet.

Physicists working with Microsoft have published an interesting paper on the ultimate operating system: the universe. The thesis, in a nutshell, is that we are living in self-learning computational environment. I don’t know. Does it seem like there’s a lot of self-learning going on around us these days?

And Covid lockdowns have brought more than Zoom meetings. UFO sightings and close encounters went up too.