Sausage making in a windowless room

Good morning on this beautiful Thursday.

Annabel Battistella, otherwise known as Fanne Foxe, died this week at 84. Her 1974 performance at the Pilgrim Theater in the combat zone, with Wilbur Mills in attendance, rocked the national political scene.

What happens in committee stays in committee. Arguments about transparency on Beacon Hill are getting personal. On the matter of releasing public testimony transcripts, CommonWealth Magazine reports that one rep said that it would be an undue burden on staff and that they didn’t have the technical capacity to do it. Coming from a member of the body that passed legislation requiring all the other government agencies in the state to jump through those same hoops, that seems just a tiny bit hypocritical.

Reply All seems to be spiraling. It was a great podcast as a quirky upstart, then it got ambitious, taking on more complex, important stories, attracting larger and larger audiences and raising expectations beyond what they could deliver while still staying true to themselves. An unfortunate, but familiar, story arc.

Alexis Madrigal poses an interesting question: How will we know when the pandemic is over? It’s not too early to start thinking about this. Personally, I’m looking forward to going places and eating things.

And the MIT Technology Review points out 10 technology breakthroughs you might have missed. This really is a good time for science and technology, despite all the political noise.

Supporting the team

Wednesday. Sunny and spring like. Today’s word is fathom.

We may have botched the response to Covid-19, but the good news is that, at least in England, we seem to have eliminated the flu!

In-person sports could be coming back, according to a tease from the governor. Will it be Bruins… or Celtics? Or will we have to wait for a summer game at Fenway. Foxboro in the fall? I’d settle for getting back to normal even by then.

Attorney General Maura Healey is flexing. Matt Stout suggests it might have something to do with a potential gubernatorial shot in 2022.

A new restaurant, Noami, is slated to open in the Derby Street shops in Hingham by the summer. Marc Hurwitz reports that it will be operated by the same team that runs restaurants in Chinatown, Cambridge and at Logan Airport. Good restaurants moving out into the suburbs seems to be a trend. Spread the wealth, I say, especially on the south shore.

And a court has ruled against drummer Joey Kramer, who will not be playing with Aerosmith at the Grammys. It’s a sad story.

Teflon Charlie

Today is Tuesday. It’s International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Cam Newton says he’s still in the game. We shall see.

Everyone, from legislators to columnists, is slamming Charlie Baker. But according to polls, among voters he’s still very popular, despite all the issues around vaccine distribution.

The upcoming MBTA service cuts, especially on the commuter rail, are being reworked to provide less trains during rush hour but more regularly scheduled runs throughout the day. It’s an interesting approach, but it’s still an open question whether it will save money while attracting new riders, as the T hopes.

In the smartphone sales race, Samsung always sold more phones while Apple made the most profit on the fewer iPhones it sold. Now, for the first time in a long time, Apple is selling more phones than Samsung – and still selling them at the same higher profit margin.

And the engineering effort required to land the Perseverance rover on Mars was simply amazing. Watching this video of it actually happening is no less amazing.

Tentacles of doom

It’s Saturday in a winter wonderland. Happy birthday to Charles Barkley, Patty Hearst and J. Geils.

Kim Janey is off to a good start. Chris Osgood is a ‘get things done’ type of guy who is also easy to work with. And he knows his way around city government. Great choice for chief of staff.

First there was the fail whale. Now we have the much less alliterative “four-armed octopus of doom” to alert us to the broken Massachusetts vaccinate appointment website. The state technology team and software vendor PrepMod continue to trade blame. “It wasn’t our octopus,” a PrepMod spokesperson told the Globe.

Watching the birds waiting for their turn at the feeders this morning I wondered how they keep their feet warm. Apparently it’s all in the circulation.

Here’s something new to worry about. The earth’s magnetic field is due for a shift. Way overdue, actually. Previously scientists didn’t think a pole reversal would be a big deal but a new study is starting to raise alarms. Think Texas, but worldwide and indefinite.

And it’s been 45 years since Frampton Comes Alive! came out. It’s aged like Boone’s Farm.

Blindsided

Friday. Snow is faintly falling.

In an impressive piece of hard hitting journalism, Boston.com ferrets out the best places to cry in the Boston area. There’s even a map. They put a marker on the entire town of Hanover with no explanation. Weird. But then again, so is this entire premise.

There are more problems with the Massachusetts vaccine website. It crashed under load on the day vaccines were opened up to everyone over 65. The state used PrepMod software to set up the site. Hiawatha Bray reports that the company blamed the breakdown on “a sudden and unprecedented surge in traffic to the site.” Meanwhile, a woman who set up a similar website from her kitchen, for free, said her site didn’t crash because she designed it to work off an Internet cloud-based system that has ample capacity for traffic spikes. “Our site is doing just fine, which is great and to be expected, We had, like, thousands of requests per minute.”

Bad news: the Brotherhood of Thieves, on Nantucket, is closing. They lost their lease, so even if they do manage a comeback, it won’t be in the same location.

Perseverance rover made it to Mars. There were some tense moments. Then applause.

And Kalashnikov, maker of the of the AK-47, is releasing a new gun. It has wi-fi and bluetooth and can pair with your phone. Just what we needed.