The biggest mask wins

Friday. It’s a state of mind. Happy birthday to Gandhi, Groucho and Greene.

Imagine living upstairs at Doyles? That’s the plan submitted by a developer. Condos upstairs, pints downstairs. A person could get into a rut.

The President and First Lady have tested positive for coronavirus.

Forget facial recognition. In these days of Zoom, the real invasive technology is AI-based facial analysis. This demonstration provided by the EU shows how your PC camera picks up all of your tells.

Brexit update: Things are stalled. Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline is in flux now.

And Subway sandwiches has run afoul of the Irish Supreme Court. The court ruled that the bread in their sandwiches wasn’t actually bread because of the amount of sugar it contained. It would be more accurately classified as a confectionary. Something like a donut sandwich. Can you imagine?

Transition of power

It is Thursday. Only 98 days left in 2020 and 88 until the start of winter.

Andrea Campbell is running for mayor. Good luck to her. A lot will depend on what happens with the presidential election.

And this presidential election will be like no other. I’m getting a very bad feeling about November and beyond. Is it too late for New England to join the EU?

On a happier note and on World Maritime Day, a father and son team of fishermen from Galway have made another sea rescue. They’re getting pretty good at this.

The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled its entire season. No live broadcasts to liven up the winter, unfortunately.

And to quote the Governor of Missouri, “You don’t need government to tell you to wear a dang mask.” Damm right! He and his wife have cancelled upcoming events after they both tested positive.

Bait and switch

Today is Thursday, September 17, Constitution Day.

In Minneapolis, where local politicians were calling for eliminating police earlier in the year, those same politicians are now asking, “Where are the police?”

Northern Ireland was always the sticking point for a functional Brexit and at this late date it still is. With a January deadline for the UK to leave the EU, Boris Johnson is reneging on the previous agreement for border controls along the Irish Sea. Businesses are not happy with the lack of a clear plan. The alternative to the previous agreement is, potentially, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, something few want. What a mess.

The president has a secret health plan. (That’s all you need to know. It’s secret.)

Daniel Sheehan profiles Ashmont Cycles amidst a biking boom and a neighborhood relocation.

And Olga Massov wants to rehabilitate the reputation of tiramisu. She has her work cut out for her. A good tiramisu can be wonderful but most are really very bad.

Skin in the game

Tuesday, I think. Right?

He was a nice guy that we all knew from TV.

There was shock and outrage from the defense bar after prosecutors asked for a higher bail for a homeless man accused of robbery when it became clear that the Massachusetts Bail Fund would pay his way. But I’m with the DA on this one. Bail is a surety to insure that the defendant will appear at trial. Why would an indigent person show up for a trial that could end up with them being convicted and incarcerated when they had nothing to lose by avoiding it?

The MBTA is scrambling to find money to keep the lights on. It looks like a little bit of creative bookkeeping may be involved.

The NYT reports that Irish government officials are dropping like flies in the wake of GolfGate. Who thought that a large private dinner gala for senior officials at a hotel in Clifden in the middle of a pandemic was a good idea? “This was in the context of people having been very compliant here with the coronavirus regulations, rather more so than in many other countries,” a professor at Trinity College told the Times. “Some people didn’t even go to parents’ or grandparents’ funerals.” So yes, I can see why people are upset.

And some putz on LinkedIn wrote that New York City was dead forever. “Are .. You .. Kidding .. Me?!”

A bridge to August

It’s Monday, July 20th, probably the best date on the calendar. It’ll be a hot one.

Billy Baker has yet another (great) story about greenhead flies.

Dan Primack and Nicholas Johnston use bullet points to explain how we blew it in preparing for the current outbreak. I continue to believe it’s all about testing, which we never really got right and which we’re still struggling with.

An Irish poem about yanks coming to visit in the days of coronavirus (via the Irish Post.) It’s a sad read.

The administration is revisiting that 100% tariff on European wine that was proposed and kiboshed a few months ago. It’s not what the bar and restaurant economy needs right now but it could still happen. On the local level there’s some good news for small breweries that wanted flexibility on distribution.

The Post looks at a new book on evolution that finds friendliness often beats fitness when it comes to survival. Dogs figured this out. Here’s the proof.

Oh, and on Friday the Internet broke. But now it’s fixed.

Part of the solution

Wednesday. RIP Carl Reiner.

Yesterday was a good day in Massachusetts. The first good day since March 20th. Nobody died from the virus.

The Globe runs a remarkably simplistic story about diversity in the Boston Police Department. Events from more than thirty years ago are dredged up to illustrate the department’s “enduring reputation as a racist institution.” A forgone conclusion erasing years of hard-won progress by a reporter in the city for less than a year. The article is unfortunate because hiring a more diverse force is an important issue that should be the subject of a real public discussion. The BPD and the mayor are on record as wanting to change the breakdown of the department, but there are actual legal, political and bureaucratic obstacles to doing that, not to mention the recruiting challenges in the current atmosphere. That’s what the discussion should be about, not tired old cliches about foot dragging.

The merger of two long-established Dorchester parishes, St. Ann and St. Brendan, has been approved. The archdiocese is now asking for input on a name for the newly consolidated parish.

Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the US, is interviewed by the Washington Post. He talks about tweeting poetry, diplomacy during a pandemic and working with the current US administration. On the last point he was characteristically diplomatic.

And according to AnandTech, 400 terabyte drives are around the corner. It’s due to new technology for higher data density tape. That’s right, tape. What’s old is new again. File under: cold storage.

Playing catch-up

It’s Tuesday. Today’s word is fraternize.

Victoria Turk examines digital etiquette in the time of coronavirus. But the crew from Progressive Insurance really nails the reality.

The state budget normally comes out in April. But nothing about this year has been normal. A stop-gap, one month budget, meant to keep the government up and running, is making its way through the legislature while the administration continues its work on the main FY2021 budget.

In Massachusetts, we’ve flattened the curve – and then some.

US citizens traveling to Ireland are still under an order to quarantine. And they’re not joking over there. If you’re an Irish citizen wanting to travel to the US, well, forget it. You can’t come. That’s the scoop from Laoise Moore, the Irish general counsel to Boston, received by Ed Forry.

Well, no new hardware was announced, but a lot of new software features were previewed at the Apple event yesterday. Here’s a breakdown from 9to5Mac. Also, Dan Moren hones in on some of the little things you may have missed.

And The Grateful Dead is expanding its artistic range by introducing a new line of deodorant. You’ll smell like Sunshine. Even a blind man knows when the sun is shining.

One epidemiological unit

It’s Monday. May the 4th be with you.

Adrian Walker talks to both Marty Walsh and potential 2021 rivals, Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell, about how the crisis has changed the political landscape for the next Boston mayoral race.

The thing about coronavirus mitigation is that land borders don’t matter very much. How one jurisdiction acts, or doesn’t act, bleeds over to affect their neighbors. In Ireland, infection rates in the north and in the republic are showing how the different approaches each took are playing out across those the borders and giving rise to discussions about Irish unification.

Almost a quarter of Massachusetts workers have filed for unemployment, according to labor officials. That’s an incredible number.

Contact tracing will be a big part of any reopening. Here’s a primer from Dylan Scott.

And I was wondering why there were no MAGA masks so I googled. Here they come. We’re living in a Simpsons episode. Some people get the irony, others just like the colorful characters.

Proceeding as planned

Sunday, March 1st. It’s #DadgumThatsGoodDay.

Utah is reducing polygamy from a felony to a misdemeanor to bring the communities that practice it back into the mainstream. OK, I guess that makes sense.

The Boston Marathon is still on but just the fact that there are discussions about cancelling it shows the uncertainty hanging over the coronavirus. This year’s Tokyo Marathon is restricted to elite runners. Usually more than 40,000 athletes and fans show up. This is what it looked like today. St. Patrick’s Day parades are coming up. Boston is on track, as is Dublin, but other places are still assessing their plans to go forward. In Rhode Island, a person who recently returned from Italy has tested ‘presumptive positive‘ for coronavirus and is under quarantine. There’s another new case in Chicago. Local companies, universities and hospitals are cancelling travel and ramping up teleconferencing capabilities. First responders should be extra vigilant by wearing gloves and washing their hands frequently so as not to expose themselves or become a vector. And in China, some good with the bad.

New York’s plastic bag ban takes effect today. That’s a lot of bags.

$2k a month for a bedroom that’s also bathroom? Actually more like a bathroom with a bed in it. Housing prices are a real problem in London and also in Ireland, where scarcity is reshaping politics.

The New Yorker interviews Pam Grier.

And email is how you reset your passwords for other accounts, from Twitter to online banking. If it’s easy to get into your Gmail account, it’s easy to get access to all of your accounts. Make sure it’s a solid first line of defense.