Not out of the woods

Thursday is upon us. It’s National Shawarma Day.

There’s new music from Stevie Wonder.

The South Shore is seeing an increase in cases. Marshfield, Hanover and Plymouth are in the high-risk category now, with Duxbury and Scituate not far behind. The death rate in Massachusetts, even with its concentration of quality hospitals, is higher than in surrounding states, which is a bit of a mystery. Nationally, it looks like the US is heading for a third peak. And Germany, Ireland and the UK are also bracing for more cases.

Ryanair is closing its bases in Shannon and Cork, at least for the winter, with more cuts expected to come.

I listened to the entire hour-long questioning of the guy who turned the supposed Hunter Biden laptop over to Guliani and the New York Post. (The journalistic badgering and cajoling made me uncomfortable and reminded me of Janet Malcolm’s writing. I guess that’s just the sausage getting made.) Maybe it’s my suspicious nature, but it’s clear to me that this whole fake laptop story was a plant, probably involving overseas actors. October surprise indeed.

And if some industries are thinking of leaving New York, Big Tech is bucking the trend by expanding its presence in the city. And they’re no dummies.

Enemy of my enemy

All’s quiet on this crisp October Sunday morning.

Employee of the month is good but Employee of the Year is very impressive. So congrats to Dr. Fauci.

This is probably not the endorsement the campaign was looking for but the Taliban is all in for Trump. “When we heard about Trump being COVID-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better,” a Taliban senior leader said. The Taliban was worried for the president. Isn’t that nice.

Peter Askew worked in technology. Now he sells onions and he’s doing quite well.

Broadway is still closed. It looks like you’ll have to wait until the fall of next year to see most shows. New York’s tourism industry is just getting killed.

And meet the new swamp. (Same as the old swamp.)

Chicken or the egg

It’s Sunday. The Pats kick off the season today with the Dolphins, at 1.

Dave Epstein advises us not to pull the air conditioner out, just yet. September, he says, is now more like a fourth month of summer than the first month of fall.

Small and large business groups in New York City are worried that the city is backsliding into what it was in the 1990’s and they want the mayor to do something about it. “Until the people come back, the streets aren’t safe. If the streets aren’t safe, the people don’t come back,” one executive said.

Craig Walker went on assignment for a photo essay on the conditions at Mass and Cass. It’s not a pretty picture.

Chrometophobia is a fear of cash. Dirty, filthy, germ covered cash. SoftBank is betting big on coronavirus-based chrometophobia in a cash happy Japan.

And an 81 year old congressman became an expert at Zoom. Minus mute/unmute.

Third person limited

Tuesday, August 8. Paul Dirac was born on this date, as was Roger Penrose.

John Clayton doesn’t think the Patriots will make the playoffs this year. It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future, but based on nothing but blind faith, I think they’ll go to the Super Bowl.

Marty Walsh has announced that Michelle Wu called him to tell him that she’s running against him for mayor next year. Wu hasn’t confirmed or denied. Strange. There doesn’t seem to be any love lost between them so this announcement is a head scratcher. My bet is that Walsh moves to a position with the Biden administration sometime before the next mayoral election. The council president would then assume the position of acting Mayor, like Menino did when Ray Flynn went to the Vatican. That would be Kim Janey, not Wu. So how does Wu’s call, Walsh’s preemptive announcement, and her non-confirmation figure into all this? I have no idea, but city politics is starting to get interesting again.

In New York, three members of Bill de Blasio’s administration have expressed an interest in his job. The latest is his head of sanitation.

There may be an Apple press release this morning announcing new watches and iPads. Something to hold us over until the iPhone 12 is unveiled later in the fall.

And The Guardian went to look for old science fiction movies that predicted our present. Strangely, they missed the one that hit the bullseye.

A forest over the river

Saturday morning. Clouds and rain this weekend as the remnants of Laura come through. Good. We need the rain.

The Keep America Great website isn’t what you think. Here’s why.

There may be big changes afoot for the Brooklyn Bridge. Cyclists have always had a hard time moving through the tourists on the upper deck who are constantly wandering into the bike lane. One part of the new plan, selected after a competition, would move bikes into dedicated lanes on the lower deck. Other changes include a new central plaza on the bridge and much more greenery. It worked for the High Line so why not the Brooklyn Bridge.

The FDA is a hot political mess. Just what we need.

In the Scottish Highlands several years ago, I watched a man stacking rocks along the side of the road near a scenic viewpoint. A tour bus stopped and the guide got out and starting kicking the cairns over, sparking an argument leading to a near fistfight. The man stacking rocks explained that he stops here every year and the stacks are his memorials to a dead family member. The guide insisted that the cairns were creating a breeding ground for mosquitos. To make a long story short, it turns out that they were both right.

And if you’re looking forward to the new iPhones with 5G coming this fall, you might find that they won’t access the faster service without an upgrade to your plan. I guess someone had to pay for that build-out.