We can make it happen

Saturday. Today’s album is Daryl Hall’s Before After.

David Hume Kennerly on photography and war.

Last night I ran across this excellent studio performance by a band from Moscow doing a cover of Chicago’s ironic protest song Dialogue (Part I & II). In this case the two singers going back and forth are from Russia and Ukraine. The video is from 2019 but resonates strongly today, especially since one of the two singers, Serge Tiagnyriadno, is now on the ground defending Kyiv.

Gambling is doing well in Massachusetts.

Elon Musk is not going to buy Twitter. Benjamin Powers and Maggie Severns think he’ll regret even trying. Kara Swisher isn’t so sure about that.

And how did the Chick-fil-A cross the road? This is how.

Cash flow

Thursday. The word of the day is opportune.

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter outright, now.

It’s budget season in these parts. Boston’s budget is pretty practical. Lots of necessary facility and infrastructure upgrades. Personnel costs dominate. Status quo. That’s not a bad thing. At the State House, despite overflowing coffers, the Governor’s plan for tax relief for for seniors, low earners, renters, and parents of dependent children was put off by legislators. Speaker Ron Mariano told Commonwealth Magazine that those tax cuts “weren’t necessary.”

There were lots of allegations of voting shenanigans investigated after the last presidential election and some were actually found to be legitimate.

Russia is blustering over Sweden and Finland joining NATO, throwing out the threat of moving nuclear weapons closer to the border. As if close to the border is worse.

And here are the winners of Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ macro photography contest. Wow.

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.

Good news bias

Saturday morning music: Something/Anything by Todd Rundgren.

St. Brendan’s was once a powerful center of Irish Catholic life in Dorchester. Today it’s hanging on by a thread. Lauren O’Brien makes an appeal to the Cardinal to keep it open.

Inflation. War. Oil anxiety. God forbid we should concentrate on some positive economic news.

Walgreen’s is moving towards having robots mix prescriptions. In Japan, robots will bring your food. Elon Musk’s says his most important project this year is the development of a humanoid robot. It’s happening

One good thing to come out of the pandemic is better access to government through live streaming and remote access meetings. Let’s keep that going.

And anyone can be a great photographer. All it takes is a smart phone and lots of bad photos.

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.

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.

You break it, you own it

A sunny Tuesday. It’s Daniel Webster‘s birthday.

The electric car revolution is coming. But only 8% of the batteries needed for it are produced in the US. China is responsible for 76%. We seem to be at a slight disadvantage.

The Brookline Police Department is in crisis. Union leaders complain that they are being reformed into the ground and micromanaged by elected officials. Danny McDonald reports that a member of one of the two reform task forces promotes moving “toward not needing an armed police force,” which would be municipal malpractice. Meanwhile, criminologists grappling to explain the dramatic rise in murders nationwide are narrowing on three factors: Covid, more guns and policing. In Boston and Brookline murders are down, not up. We have Covid. The guns are out there. That leaves policing as the critical differentiator.

Everyone has a phone camera. But not everyone has a 90’s-era digicam. So if you want to stand out on Instagram, apparently you need to post low quality images taken with a crappy camera.

Getting unemployment benefits out the door when Covid hit was a huge and critical challenge and done mostly successfully. But $2.7 billion in overpayments is a big amount and it won’t be easy to get it all back.

And when it comes to Covid shots, third time’s a charm. Four… is too much.

Re-renegotiation

It’s New Year’s Eve Friday.

Evan Allen plays Clarice Starling to Anthony Pledger’s Hannibal Lecter in this strange but beautifully written Globe story.

They probably won’t win in the court of public opinion but public safety unions are pushing back at Mayor Wu’s vaccine mandate. Wu doesn’t appear to be backing down. This battle will likely set the tone for the administration’s upcoming labor negotiations with police and firefighters.

Axios and Google Trends provide a nice visualization of our collective attention span over the past year.

On the Covid front, the numbers are looking bad (21,137!) but there’s also some potentially good news. And this is also interesting: “For most people, an Omicron positive case will feel much more like the common cold, starting with a sore throat, runny nose and a headache,” said an epidemiologist at King’s College in London. Cross off lack of smell and taste from the list of characteristic symptoms.

And this is a nice introduction to computational photography. If your friends are foliage.