The big screen

Sunday, 7/11. Slurpee Day.

It’s time for city employees to go back to work. Some, anyway.

The Coolidge Corner Theater is back. That’s good. Being ‘engulfed by the screen’ is nice. But the Coolidge was always an outlier in the theater business. Kara Swisher isn’t so optimistic about the rest of the industry. Streaming is now where it’s at, she says. Being engulfed by your iPhone screen is the new moviegoing experience.

Google Maps or Apple Maps? I always prefered the former but privacy concerns may cause me to revisit that.

Two criminologist try to figure out why crime is rising. Lots of possibilities, but really, no one knows.

And, I know it’s only July, but it’s never too early to think about having fried chicken for Christmas.

Pixel imperfect

A lazy start to Saturday.

Worcester is the new Hollywood.

When it came to Nikon vs. Canon, I was always a Nikon guy. A lot has changed in the camera world since those days. Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic and even Leica are competing with the big brands. Nikon has struggled to stay relevant. Their recent product roadmap probably won’t help.

Bitcoin mining tended to be done in places where there were weird rules around electric use, often in third world countries. Texas now joins that list.

Tree House beer is legendary. It’s a destination beverage. They’re now the largest brewery in the state, outside of Boston. Previously you had to drive all the way to Charlton to sample one of their brews but now you can pick up some cans at their soon to open taproom in Sandwich.

And if you insist on arguing about politics on social media, do it on something like WhatsApp. You’ll never win on Facebook.

Paying homage

Friday on my mind.

It was only right to over-tip when restaurants were hurting. But now, as things are getting back to normal, what should the new normal be for tipping? I’d say, if you can afford it, just keep on over-tipping.

Coleman Herman delves into some legislative budget language to find an old-fashioned snub war going on between lawmakers and UMass trustees. My bet is on the guys on Beacon Hill who control the money.

A government report on UFOs is expected sometime this month. Here’s a spoiler from the New York Times: We still don’t have a clue.

F. Lee Bailey has died. He used to be a neighbor. His was the only house on the street with a helicopter garage.

And remember that long Twin Peaks scene of a man sweeping the floor? Over two minutes long. Only David Lynch could get away with that (well, maybe Tarantino). Apparently Lynch does not suffer advice gladly, on how long a scene should be.

Five year plan

It’s a Monday and it’s beginning to feel like summer.

A remake of A Christmas Carol set in the Braintree Mall? Bah, humbug.

Adrian Walker writes that the crisis in the Boston Police Department reflects terribly on Walsh and his closest aids. He also takes Kim Janey to task. But I would cut Janey some slack. She was handed a mess and too-quick decision making can have huge legal and financial implications. I think she’s correct in her measured approach. Her next big decision is who to appoint as commissioner. Will it be an insider or someone from the outside? I hope she’s thinking strategically rather than going for the quick fix.

Gene Weingarten is a kluger. I can relate.

The Washington Post ran a long article on the recent wave of ransomware attacks. Takeway: “Many [companies] are failing to deploy even basic best practices, such as requiring multifactor authentication for employees logging onto systems, patching vulnerabilities promptly, segmenting networks, keeping backups off line and testing them periodically to ensure they work.” This is one of those rare instances where it is appropriate to blame the victims.

And another modern myth is shattered. The man who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos maybe really didn’t. The”facts do not support the urban legend,” say people involved. Devastating.

Opportunity knocks

Today is Thursday. It’s a birthday for Aretha Franklin, Elton John and Howard Cosell.

Jack Nicholson hasn’t made a movie in 11 years. That’s too bad. A whole generation of very good actors are pushing into their eighties, as Ty Burr points out in his remembrance of George Segal.

Charlie Baker‘s approval rating slump is cited in an article at Politico by Stephanie Murray. She blames it on the absence of Trump, which I don’t buy. This is local politics mostly related to vaccine distribution. In any case, the governor’s dropping poll numbers are encouraging challengers, particularly Maura Healey. We’ll see. There are almost two years before the election and I’ll bet Baker’s numbers go back up before then.

This just in: Researchers have found that the media tend to emphasize bad news over good news. Apparently bad news keeps people engaged – they just keep coming back for more. (I think most of us have seen enough storm coverage to have figured this out for ourselves.)

It’s still too early to know if the large events scheduled for this summer on the South Shore will go on as planned. The Marshfield Fair is held towards the end of August and it’s probably safe. But the Levitate Music Festival is scheduled for early July. That one is going to be close.

And Florida woman is the new Florida man. The super-glued boxing glove was a nice touch.