Devilish details

Tuesday. The word of the day is flippant.

Buccaneers and Patriots in the SuperBowl. I’m calling it here.

Mass and Cass is a major test for the new mayor. Neighborhood residents are impatient to see campaign rhetoric turned into action. But anyone who thinks that Wu’s team is going to swoop in and solve an intractable problem are bound to be disappointed. The same goes for those waiting for her to free the T. Governing might look easy, but it’s not.

Travel restrictions around Omicron might cause foreign students attending Boston-area colleges to miss the spring semester.

George Dvorsky thinks 2021 may have been the weirdest year yet in space. It was pretty weird—and that’s even before Michael Strahan blasted off. Also, there are a bunch of boring non-billionaire enthusiasts and volunteers working on their own space program. God speed.

And that Succession season finale? It’s not exactly a spoiler, but it’s all here in this image.

Home rule

A subdued Sunday. It could be an interesting football game later this afternoon.

David Brooks wants to spend a ton of money on working class Americans.

Milton Valencia spoke to longtime City Councilor Matt O’Malley about his two city council colleagues running for mayor. “Both have very different but nevertheless effective leadership strategies that they’ve demonstrated in their time on the body,” he told the Globe. A career in diplomacy awaits. Yvonne Abraham goes a bit more out on a limb against Essaibi George by painting her as the ‘Old Boston’ candidate. Who do those townies think they are, right?

Andrew Yang confirms what we all long suspected: only sociopaths run for president.

What’s the latest news from Parcel P-3 across from police headquarters? Adam Gaffin has it. Once again developers are being invited to submit impractical proposals for an unbuildable project.

And no honor among thieves has been updated for the ransomware age.

Do your job

A crisp Thursday to close out September.

Facebook parsed and annotated the language in its own internal reports to make itself look less horrible than it really is. The company is scheduled for testimony before a Senate subcommittee next week.

New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan and James Lankford, from Oklahoma, have submitted legislation to require lawmakers to remain in Washington until the government is funded. Members would need to show up everyday for roll call, weekends included, until they fulfill their most basic responsibility of funding the government. Hmmm. I wonder if lawmakers will ever make this a law.

The Washington Post reports that if a government shutdown does occur, pandemic response measures should be protected. Crucial offices will still be open and treatment reviews will continue. Government health service workers, “overworked and exhausted after more than a year and a half of trying to contain the nation’s worse public health crisis in a century,” will show up for work but they won’t get paid. That’s the thanks they get.

Jennifer Szalai doesn’t like Steven Pinker’s new book, Rationality. She doesn’t like his words, she doesn’t like his logic, she doesn’t like his examples, she doesn’t like him. It seems almost… irrational.

And speaking of new books, this one on Kraft, Belichick and Brady should be a doozy. Just the excerpts are eye opening.

Forward pass

Wednesday. The pinnacle of the week. And the first day of September.

Ross Barkan recapitulates the fall of newspapers before tearing into the current state of social media-driven prestige journalism. A brutal take.

Cam, we hardly knew ye. Well, that’s not really true. Tara Sullivan writes about how much fun it was to cover Cam Newton. Chad Finn sees the calculation in Belichick’s decision to release him and Ben Violin looks forward to the Mac Jones era.

According to Apartment List, the Boston-Worcester-Manchester area is in the top ten list of US regions with the most super commuters, defined as people who drive 90 minutes or more to work each day. I’m just glad I’m not one of them.

Live Boston does a great job with crime reporting and especially with their on-the-scene photographs. But they need to brush up on their gang turf boundaries. I’ve been out of the mix for a while but since when is Sonoma or Maple Street part of H-Block? Humboldt, Harrishof, Holworthy, Harold. That’s H-Block.

And speaking of knowing your turf, Tom Acitelli wrote an article for Curbed Boston aimed at newcomers to the region that nails the local neighborhood scene. As a nitpicker, I’m impressed. Not something you see everyday.

Demand and supply

Happy Wednesday. Were nearing the end of August. Only 128 days left in the year.

Charlie Watts has died. A quiet guy and a great drummer.

Why are rents in Boston almost back to pre-covid highs? The students are returning, for one thing. Over at BU, Katrina Liu has some advice for the incoming freshmen: take naps.

NBC did a poll on who has been vaccinated. 69% of respondents reported getting the shot. More women than men. Politically, it breaks down as you would have expected with 88% Democrats to 55% Republicans admitting to being vaccinated. Granted the info here is self reported and polling in general hasn’t been very accurate lately… but the numbers are interesting.

The House passed the $3.5 trillion dollar budget. It’s just the first step in a long process.

And the Patriots are trading Sony Michel to the Rams. Is this a good idea? You have to assume/hope that Belichick knows what he’s doing.

Take a left at the Dunks

It’s Monday. Once again.

Jim McBride reports from Patriots training camp. It’s the Cam Newton / N’Keal Harry show.

Moving around Boston is hard. A Californian takes issue with our roads and transportation systems and gets a history lesson that reaches from the horse and buggy to the Big Dig.

Is this dizzying Emirates ad real? I was skeptical, as were others, but apparently it happened. Here’s a short behind the scenes video. Tom Cruise would be proud.

Rodents are inundating parts of Australia. Farmers are waging war, killing them en masse. But, as The Times Yan Zhuang points out, some Australian rats are getting a different treatment: The tickle treatment.

And there’s dumbness and there’s stupidity. One, apparently, is better than the other.

Let the sunshine in

Today is Thursday. And it’s National Grape Popsicle Day, to boot.

Adam Vinatieri is retiring. Good luck to him. He came through in the clutch for us many times.

There were 382 new Covid cases in Massachusetts yesterday, mostly among people between 20 and 40 years old. The numbers are low and dropping. The mask mandate ends this week. Events are being scheduled for the summer. The Marshfield Fair is on. Optimism abounds.

Russia claims its government agencies are undergoing an unprecedented hack.

More back and forth on the Massachusetts film tax credit. Keep it, dump it, tighten it up. Legislators are all over the map. Maybe they should invite Jackie Rohr in to make a speech on the topic. He seems like a pretty persuasive guy.

And who wants to go on a cruise? Are we ready, really?

Hot chocolate

Monday, Monday. Sometimes it just turns out that way.

Gronk went long and caught a 200 yard pass. From a helicopter. Now he’s in the Guinness Book of Records.

Relighting the Walter Baker sign in Lower Mills would be a nice gesture to the history of the neighborhood. What would be really cool, though, is if they could bring back the chocolate smell that permeated the area back in the day.

Heavy wet snow or high winds can take out power lines in these parts. But at least we don’t have to worry about beavers.

I had a trip booked to Paris at about this time last year. Of course it was cancelled. C’est la vie. It now looks like travel to Europe could open up for this summer, at least for those of us already vaccinated. Iceland is opening too. Fingers crossed. Also, the mask mandate for US airlines expires on May 11th. No one knows what the plan is, but I assume it will be extended.

And here’s something to think about: Why is the 0 key to the right of the 9 (just above the o) and not to the left of the 1?

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.

All things to all people

Tuesday. Who could hang a name on you.

Good for Bill Belichick.

Michael Jonas explores the pros and (mostly) cons of a Willie Gross run for mayor. But I wouldn’t underestimate his advantages. A sometimes conservative police chief with high name recognition and deep roots in the Black community, Gross could be in a unique position to pick off voters from across the spectrum.

The Consumer Electronics Show is virtual this year, as expected. Here’s coverage by Cnet, The Verge and the WaPo.

Texas and Louisiana are blanketed in snow. Madrid is digging out from almost two feet. And in Boston? Bare ground and no snow in sight. This is my kind of winter.

And don’t forget to buy those lottery tickets this week. Big money!