Not as I do

Today is Tuesday, April 19. It’s National Garlic Day.

No masks on planes? It’s probably time, but I wouldn’t judge anyone who wanted to still wear one.

Commonwealth Magazine did an after-action on it’s story about the Globe and Philip Morris. The original story by Herman Coleman looked at the Globe running sponsored content paid for by Philip Morris and the objections by scientists quoted in those stories that they didn’t know about the tobacco company connection. Initially, the Globe was contacted by Herman but simply refused to comment. Then, after publication of Herman’s story, the paper collected their response to refute the allegations. Imagine if every subject of a Globe story did that? And now, in its wrap up, Commonwealth again contacted the Globe to get their take. Their response? You guessed it. No comment.

81 year-old Ringo Starr is hitting the road again this summer. And it’s not a light tour.

Thomas Friedman finds that the anti-fragile West seems to be doing better in the face of modern challenges than the less resilient, authoritarian societies in Russia and China.

And if you like the taste of salt but want to cut down, these electric chopsticks are for you.

Timing is everything

Easter Sunday. With all the frills upon it.

The Pope is warning against a nuclear annihilation of the human race in his Easter message. Not a sermon to sleep through.

Today, the Globe runs a story about how the city of Boston and Mayor Wu are hamstrung by state laws limiting municipal power. And they’re right. It is a ridiculous situation. But it’s not a new situation. Maybe a better time for this story would have been back when all those campaign-trail promises were being made.

Lucas Mann teaches English at UMass Dartmouth. He has a thing or two to say about the atmosphere on campus in these times of political correctness and restrictions on speech. His message: In most schools it’s not that big of a deal. Relax. The kids are alright.

The Times and the New Yorker have stories about the manhunt for Frank James after the subway shooting last week. The New Yorker also has an interview with a witness. Scary stuff.

And here’s a wholesome Easter egg hunt tale.

He said, she said, he said

Tuesday. The day after Monday.

This is worth reading. It’s depressing… but it’s worth reading.

First the Globe refused to comment on allegations of misleading scientists quoted in a story sponsored by Phillip Morris. But then, after having time to get their defenses together, the paper retorted and now the scientists at the center of the story are unavailable for comment. Welcome to the era of sponsored content and post-journalistic journalism.

Francisco González, founding member of Los Lobos, has died.

The Cybertruck may be history but the DeLorean is rising from the ashes.

And Holi is always great for colorful photos. Taylor Coester doesn’t disappoint.

No comment

Monday. It’s a birthday for Maxim Gorky, Dan Dennett and Lady Gaga.

The big news at the Oscars was a slap.

Coleman Herman reports on a story about local scientists who felt they were misled by the Globe on their participation in a sponsored story paid for by tobacco company Phillip Morris. Sophisticated readers can easily spot these ads masquerading as legitimate reporting but you would have to assume that people fall for the trap, otherwise why are companies paying for them. Herman adds that the Globe did not respond to requests for comments.

More peace talks are scheduled for this week. There’s already an argument about what day they will start. Next they’ll have to agree to the shape of the table.

President Biden wants to distance himself from those who want to defund the police. His 2023 budget plan is a good start in that direction.

And Ted Widmer profiles Stu Sutcliffe, the Beatle that never got to Get Back.

Franchised fiasco

Saturday. It was worth the wait for the weekend.

In today’s Boston ‘Metro’ news, a musician from Los Angles died— in South America. I don’t know why the Globe even bothers to organize their news by sections.

The Washington Post covers the de-globalization of Russia as Western brands flee the country. There’s a new codicil to the Thomas Friedman rule that countries with McDonalds don’t attack each other: When they do, the McDonalds’ have to close. As far as coffee goes, Starbucks has suspended all operations in Russia. But as of today, Dunkin’s is still serving up Moscow mocha-chinos.

Mike Evans writes about the appeal of the Leica M9, one of my all time favorite cameras.

During the Iraq war priceless antiquities were lost. In Ukraine a different set of cultural artifacts were destroyed. A smaller tragedy maybe, but still a tragedy.

And here’s William Shatner‘s all time favorite album playlist. It’s a trip down memory lane.

Invisible battles

Saturday. Today is the anniversary of the time zone.

Press Watch to the NYT over its editorial on free speech: Shut up.

In the invasion of Ukraine, cyber warfare has been conspicuous by its absence. Or has it? Thomas Rid: “Some of the most consequential computer network breaches may stay covert for years, even decades. Cyberwar is here, but we don’t always know who is launching the shots.”

Kyle Chayka wonders if the cameras on the newer iPhones are just a little too good… so good they’re bad.

Military analysts continue to be surprised at the ineffectiveness of the Russian military. Also, John Ismay writes about how Ukrainian soldiers are using shoulder fired missiles to great effect, notably the NLAW, a British weapon made in Sweden by SAAB.

And here’s how to stop. This is important to know.

Trapped like a rat

Friday morning. The word of the day is nascent.

The New York Times thinks America has a freedom of speech problem.

Molly McKew is worried that Putin will do something crazy.

The sanction-shuttered McDonald’s in Russia are being converted into a local chain called Uncle Vanya’s. Chekhov must be rolling in his grave.

Speaking of Uncle Vanya, Peter Marks writes about the movie Drive My Car, centered on the Chekhov play. It’s a long, dark, complex film that channels a long, dark, complex play. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.

And Arnold has a message for the Russian people. Very powerful stuff. Like something out of a movie.

We have our own problems

Tuesday. The Ides of March.

Finders keepers. All $10 billion worth.

The headline begins, ‘Brutal.’ ‘Awful.’ ‘Purgatory.’ Is it a story about people living in Kiev as Russian rockets hit the city? No, it’s about people trying to find a reasonably priced apartment in the Boston neighborhood of their choice. File under: Tone deaf. Update: It appears that the Globe has changed the headline.

Robots are the latest hires at White Castle. Flippy, I assume, will be working the grill.

The woman who held a “stop war” sign on a Russian newscast has disappeared after she was charged and detained. Here’s hoping that she somehow got out of the country—but Russia’s history in dealing with dissidents argues against that outcome. Update: She’s been found.

And it’s that time of year again: time for spring cleaningyour brain.

A pivot from peace

It’s a snow-covered Sunday in March.

The Washington Post introduces us to this generation’s much nicer version of Zukerberg and Saverin at Harvard. (Remember when the Globe had the resources and network to source a story like this?)

Peace is something Europeans have been taking for granted. Until now. German Lopez on the EU’s new assertiveness.

Andrei Kolesnikov writes about life in Moscow as sanctions kick in. Many Russians are still in denial. Others blame the West. But it will be hard going back to a Soviet-era economy after decades of “merry global consumption.”

This was a good year to get the flu vaccine wrong.

And the Guardian highlights twenty war photos from this week. Amazing work in the worst imaginable conditions.

Meet the new war, same as the old war

A snow-covered Saturday.

Dorothy Wickenden went to visit Wendell Berry. It’s been a while since I read Berry and I’m reminded of how much I enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll jump back into the world of Nathan Coulter and Jaber Crow this spring.

Thomas Friedman, who’s been around a few conflicts, writes about Putin’s strategy and how it may play out in a technologically and economically connected world. It’s an updated version of his globalization theory from the late 90’s. He considers a range of contingencies on how modern war is both different and the same as wars of the past. But I think Friedman’s argument that technology and social media could slow the invasion or shame Russia into retreat is overblown. Putin will just shut down the cell networks until he has full control of the message.

Sahil Bloom has a quick primer on SWIFT and the implications of cutting Russia out of it.

Sean Penn is in Ukraine filming a documentary. He’s nuts, for sure, but his life certainly is an adventure.

And the Bugs Bunny Film Festival is back at the Brattle. The Dig has some highlights.