One lane, two ways

I’m really enjoying shooting with the Leica Q2 Monochrome. Although it’s a modern digital camera, it only takes black and white photos. There are no color filters on the sensor, which allows for greater sensitivity to light, more detail and a more subtle tonality. Anyway, I took the above photo this morning in the rain on the road heading out to Trouants Island. Here are a few more shots taken with the Q2-M over the last few weeks.

Scituate Harbor, April, 2021
Blueberry Island, North River, February 2021
Fourth Cliff from Damon’s Point, February 2021

Non-nuclear explosion

Wednesday. Today is the day Lincoln was shot.

People are flocking to that active volcano near Reykjavik, including many photographers. But lots of people are just there to watch and reflect on nature.

The attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant wasn’t just planted software. It seems that actual explosives were smuggled into the facility and placed strategically. The level of infiltration was deep and now the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for security at the plant, are looking pretty ineffective.

Bill Forry talked to Secretary Walsh about his commute and about being the ex-mayor of Boston.

It will be at least a year before the chip shortage eases. Meanwhile, automakers and medical equipment manufactures are scrambling. Bipartisan support is growing for moving chip fabrication to the US and having the government subsidise new facilities to make chips here.

And how does Massachusetts rank in terms of general popularity among Americans? Not as good as I would have thought. People. What do they know?

Take this job and…

It’s Monday. Let’s do it all again.

Sabine Hossenfelder transports us to another dimension. Part 1 of 2.

The New York Times spoke to Covid-stressed mayors, many of whom were from Massachusetts, starting with Donna Holaday from Newburyport. Thomas McGee of Lynn and Joe Curtatone of Somerville also weighed in, as did Thomas Bernard, the mayor of North Adams. Twenty percent of the mayors in Massachusetts are considering a different line of work.

Some guy won the golf thing.

The iPhone 12 has been out for almost half a year. When it was released many of us were excited about the camera improvements and rushed to check out the initial reviews. Sebastiaan de With, of Halide, has been using his iPhone camera for months now and offers a comprehensive and long-term review with lots of photos. Good read for photography nerds.

And, speaking of cameras, the ones on our laptops are pretty horrible. I mostly use my phone camera for Zoom calls because of its much higher quality. I always wondered why Apple hadn’t improved the quality of the cameras on the Macs. Maybe this is why.

Letters of transit

Welcome to Wednesday, the tallest day of the week.

Life in America must be pretty good if we’re allowing ourselves to focus on something as insignificant as a shortage of ketchup. Can’t get Heinz? Try some of this stuff. Or you can just make your own.

The idea of a vaccine passport sounds good. So where do you get one? Cities and towns are deferring to the state. The state is deferring to the feds. The feds are waiting for the private sector to get something going. The private sector have a number of competing ideas in the works and are waiting for the government to take the lead. Something has to give. Maybe Rick Steves can come up with a solution.

Meredith Conroy explores why people in Republican circles tend to be distrustful of the media. It seems a little counterintuitive since many of those same people are often glued to cable news or talk radio.

Speaking of media bubbles, North Korea has announced that it has completely eradicated the coronavirus. Wow!

And two of my favorites things, cycling and photography, came together for Roff Smith during the pandemic. He’s produced some very nice, evocative photographs of the English countryside.

Redefining success

Monday redux. Today is Vietnam War Veterans Day.

About that ship in the Suez Canal… well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

Researchers from New York University, Rutgers and Texas A&M used data from the Suffolk County DA’s office to determine if prosecution for low level offenses leads to recidivism – and the answer is yes, it does. The results ring true. The conventional wisdom is that prosecution for any offense will lead to recidivism. So lack of prosecution will likely reduce recidivism. Makes sense. The study is being seen as a vindication for District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who has formalized a policy of not prosecuting for some minor crimes. The research suggests that there are benefits for offenders who might otherwise become pulled into the criminal justice system. But the study doesn’t address how Rollins’ policies impact victims or overall crime rates, which is where critics say Rollins approach still falls short.

Digital photos are data. There’s the image and then there’s all that unseen meta-data. The BBC’s Jerone Andrews gives a good primer on all of thing your pictures can tell other people.

When it comes to how to board an airplane everyone is an expert. Back to front. Front to back. Window to aisle. Anything would be faster than what we have now. Research has been conducted. Mathematicians have calculated. Physicists have studied. Engineers have simulated. But, according to the CEO of American Airlines, the status quo is still the best way to do it.

And Volkswagen is readying the ID Buzz for 2023. I could see myself in one of these.