Doom and gloom

Saturday. A cold day in the park.

Kevin Hayden, the new, interim DA, talked to Adrian Walker.

Jonathan Stevenson and Steven Simon wrote an op-ed that suggests that we Americans are “whistling past the graveyard” on whether the union will hold through the next election. They’re not optimistic. And they’re not the only ones (and it”s not just the US). A World Economic Forum survey points to the erosion of social cohesion, a livelihood crisis and mental health deterioration as the most pressing threats in the next few years. “Only 16% of respondents feel positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world, and just 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate. Most respondents instead expect the next three years to be characterized by either consistent volatility and multiple surprises or fractured trajectories that will separate relative winners and losers.” Now there’s something to look forward to.

More cheerful news: When the New York Times says that the Democratic agenda is in shambles, that’s not a good sign.

That big eagle, native to Siberia, that earlier was spotted along the Taunton River, is now in Boothbay Harbor in Maine. Birders are flocking to see it.

And Elvis Costello has a new album out. It’s a remote work recording made by group members scattered around the planet that sounds like it was recorded by a live group in a small club. The new normal, I guess.

Something is better than nothing

Friday. A beautiful snowy morning.

Things are looking up. A giant asteroid is not hurtling towards Earth. That’s good. But there’s a Russian rocket coming down. Actually, astronomers aren’t overly concerned about that too much either.

As promised, Mayor Wu has named her search committee for a new police commissioner. It seems like a reasonable mix of stakeholders, if maybe a little light on the practitioner side, with only ex-commissioner Ed Davis representing the law enforcement profession. But it’s good that things are at least moving in the direction of getting the department back on track.

Sweden has gone from ABBA and disco dancing to gangster rap and drive-by‘s.

Matt Murphy and Chris Lisinski have the deets on what’s happening at the Suffolk County Districts Attorney‘s office. Kevin Hayden is coming in as interim DA. A solid choice. And outgoing Rachael Rollins will be handing him some new, high profile projects.

And Leonardo DiCaprio is now a tree. Not a speaking part, I assume.

Out of the blue and into the black

Happy Wednesday.

January sucks and this January sucks worse than any other January. That’s the premise of a Globe story by Beth Teitell. Come on, Beth. Cheer up. Things could be worse, and they probably will be soon, so enjoy what you can in the moment.

Here’s some good news: The Webb Telescope is continuing its progress towards full deployment. The latest successful milestone occurred yesterday when the sun shield was assembled and put into place as the observatory heads towards its destination, the Lagrange point, a million miles from Earth.

The FAA has convinced AT&T and Verizon to delay the upgrade of their networks out of concern over aviation safety. But only for about two weeks.

It looks like Sheriff Tompkins will have a challenger from inside next time around.

And who do you think was interested in a movie about a recording session from half a century ago by a group of people now either dead or in their 80’s? Spoiler alert: It wasn’t teenagers.

Cottage foods

Good Sunday morning. It’s Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s birthday. Also Björk.

Rock is dead. Mick Rock, photographer to the stars.

Selling homemade foods in Massachusetts is a regulatory nightmare. That might change thanks to a bill filed by State Rep Erika Uyterhoeven. It seems to make sense to loosen things up, but as always, the devil will be in the details on things like allergens and sanitation.

It’s not just the US that’s gone loopy. The Dutch are rioting over Covid rules.

Cara Buckley writes in the Times in praise of roundabouts (or rotarys as we call them.) Intersections are digital. Roundabouts are analog. It’s all about the flow. Of course there are exceptions.

And forget the Facebook Metaverse. The Meatverse is the place to be. It’s “the logical next step in human evolution, connecting people at a scale never attempted before.” Well then. Pass the gravy.

The new Boston

Sunday. Fun day. Also a pretty slow news day.

Ben Sisario got a look at Peter Jackson’s Get Back, a seven-hour Beatles documentary. (It looks like I’m going to have to sign up for the Disney Channel.)

Bostonians get a lot of entertainment from reports of storrowing. Nathan Phillips wants to take that all away. And Shirley Leung would like to see the downtown become a big residential neighborhood where we can all lay down on the grass in Post Office Square after a long day of telework. I would be down with that.

So apparently it’s not the medium or the message. They’re just giving people what they want. Maybe the problem is the audience. We have met the enemy…

I guess Rivian’s IPO went well. They now have a valuation that surpasses General Motors even though they’ve only shipped 150 cars.

And here’s another video from the Facebook metaverse. Oh, wait a minute.

You break it, you own it

A spooky Sunday.

David Leonhardt has been tracking covid numbers and he says that although we may not yet be out of the woods, we’re definitely heading for a clearing. Jon Kamp and Brianna Abbott are seeing the same thing.

Daniel Nichanian, writing for New York magazine, explores the potential changes for public safety that a crop of new progressive mayors, including Michelle Wu, could bring in after the election. But other candidates in other cities are moving in another direction on crime. Meanwhile in St. Louis…

People travel as far as Iceland and Norway to see the northern lights. But thanks to increasing solar flares this week you may be able to see them in northern New England. That’s great. Here’s a forecast tool. The bad news is that the solar activity could trigger geomagnetic changes that could disrupt navigation and the power grid.

Following up on that Globe article on who goes where in Boston, hip, young travel site Thrillist wants its hip, young readers to go to Jamaica Plain, SoWa, Fenway, the Seaport, Somerville and Cambridge. Nothing recommended in Dorchester, Mattapan or Roxbury. Lonely Planet is just as bad.

And Neil Young has some new music on the way. (Separated at birth: Neil Young and Bill Belichick. It’s uncanny.)

Conflicting interests

It’s Thursday! Still lots of people without power along the coast.

$1000 worth of studio time for two timeless songs. A pretty good deal if you ask me.

The Dorchester Reporter looks at both sides of Question 1, which is the proposal to give the City Council more say on the budget. Andres Del Castillo of the group Right to the City Boston takes the yes side. Pam Kocher, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau takes the no side. My view is that approving Question 1 would hamstring future mayors on budget development and dilute the executive role of the mayor. But, oddly enough, both mayoral candidates have come out in favor of it.

Here’s another reality check on the popularity of the movement to defund the police.

Yasmin Amer writes for WBUR about DAOs, the companies that run like New England town meetings. Interesting. And a little scary.

And cigarette sales are up for the first time in 20 years. I’m sure there’s an interesting Venn diagram somewhere on the overlap between the people who smoke and those who won’t get vaccinated.

Otherwise unremarkable

Friday, October 1st. Bundle up.

A former president‘s legal problems ended with a conviction and house arrest. Imagine that?

Michelle Wu has been ‘othered‘ by Annissa Essaibi George. Apparently that’s a bad thing. But it’s just differentiation. It’s what politicians do. At the end of the day you have to choose one – or the other?

Where you are and where you go is valuable data. And the apps on your phone are providing that location data to the people who resell and profit from it. Remember, Candy Crush does not need to know your location.

Symphony Hall is reopening this weekend with a free concert. And there’s a new CEO at the helm. Here’s the schedule for the coming year. There’s some good stuff on tap (but still no Philip Glass, unfortunately.)

And, here come the drones.

Plausible deniability

Happy Tuesday. Amy Winehouse would have been 38 years old today.

Joe Perry, the last of the south shore holdouts from Aerosmith, is selling his Duxbury house. Only $4.5 million and it comes with a recording studio and guitar shaped pool.

Mel King endorsed Acting Mayor Kim Janey while the Willie Gross super PAC is going to the mat for Essaibi George, despite her disavowal. George Regan and his little dog also make an appearance. Election day is here. At least for the prelim. That guy from all those commercials predicts a turnout of 100,000.

Hot nights. Another effect of climate change.

Apple is announcing new iPhones today. Privacy activists are leveraging the event with protests at Apple Stores, including the one in Boston, to bring attention to the CSAM scanning issues even though Apple put that initiative on hold.

And if your career goal is to be a bank teller, you may want to rethink your plan.

Free wheeling

Friday. The end of a long, hot week.

The Globe reports that rain, sharks, coyotes, and a resurgent virus didn’t damper tourism on the Cape this summer. Good to hear.

We all know that ‘Boston Magazine’ is not a magazine about Boston. But ‘Affluent Suburbs to the North and West of Boston Magazine’ doesn’t have the same sort of ring to it. Anyway, of the five Boston bike shops featured in this story, I’m impressed that a couple are actually in Boston. But why feature only 5 shops? What about Landrys, or Bike Barn or Bikeway or Crimson or Bikes Not Bombs or Serious Cycles or Bicycle Link or Grace Bikes, etc, etc.? There are hundreds of great bike shops in the Boston area and no indication as to why these featured five stand out.

Dan Kois reports that Netflix has been getting pretty clickbaity lately. I’ve noticed this too.

With Charlie Watts’ passing at 80, just as the Stones were getting ready to go on tour (currently rehearsing in Foxboro), I was curious as to the ages of the rest of the band. Ronnie Wood is 74, Keith Richards, 77 and Mick Jagger is 78. No spring chickens.

And the hacker responsible for the latest T-Mobile breach says that the carrier’s security is awful. Also, he’s crazy. That doesn’t mean he’s not right, though.