Out in the cold on a hot day

Sunday. The first anti-matter particle, the positron, originally theorized by Paul Dirac, was discovered on this day in 1932 by Carl Anderson, who won a Noble Prize for it.

Did photographer David Ryan get into the dryer to take this photo? Is the woman loading the dryer so caught up in her work that she doesn’t notice a camera inside pointing at her? So many questions.

Retail, car rental, airlines, restaurants and communications are some of the major sectors that have been hit by bankruptcies due to the pandemic. The employees affected have been surviving economically through a federal unemployment supplement, which ended this week. Now Congress is bickering about what to do next. When our representatives deliver results, we like them. These days we don’t like them very much. I suppose that’s especially true if you’re out of a job.

Red Auerbach’s record of all-time wins has been eclipsed by Doc Rivers, another one-time Celtics coach, now with the Clippers. “Any time your name is with Red, you feel very fortunate,” he told ESPN.

There’s more drama around TikTok. Apparently the Microsoft deal is being reviewed by the White House pending any action on a potential US ban. Tic. Toc.

And at least Americans aren’t the only idiots in the world. The AP reports crowds marching in Berlin without masks demanding an end to the pandemic.

Failure is not an option

It’s Monday. Hot hot hot. Today’s word is Anomaly.

The Washing Post factiously asked, “If a Taylor Swift album drops in a pandemic, does it make a sound?” Here’s the answer.

Six months out and testing for Covid-19 is still a work in progress. They say you can’t manage what you can’t measure and since testing is how we measure the coronavirus spread it should come as no surprise that we’re having a problem with managing outbreaks. This is problem solving 101. The federal government gets a D-minus on this simple, solvable problem. Didn’t we go to the moon once?

Speaking of going to the moon, the Times maps out all the things of earthly origin that are making their way through space.

Stevie Nicks, who was in a very different Fleetwood Mac than the one Peter Green played in, paid tribute to the deceased guitarist on Twitter. “My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him. I always hoped in my heart of hearts that it would happen,” she tweeted. Here’s one of Green’s songs performed by Haim. Turn it up!

Scientists still don’t know why we dream. But they’re working on it. Here’s a new theory that swings for the fences but ends up grounding out.

The great obfuscator

Saturday. Get ready for a heatwave. Today’s word is jink.

Frank Baker gives his thoughts on the city budget and why he voted for it.

It’s expected that a certain percentage of people riding the MBTA would not be wearing masks despite the mandate to do so. But I would think employees and operators should be at 100% compliance. Meanwhile, the biggest brick and mortar retailers in the US are now requiring masks to enter their stores. And on the wearing of masks, the president says… well, your guess is as good as mine.

Headline: Fox attacks Washington Post.

The Times went a bit deeper today than Brian Krebs did yesterday on the Bitcoin hack. It turns out that the person Krebs focused on may have only been on the periphery and that the real culprit apparently stumbled into a Twitter Slack channel and walked away with system admin credentials, which he and others used to get OG usernames. There’s got to be more to this than we’re seeing.

Natalie Wolchover writes about the inside baseball of cosmology as scientists try to determine just how fast the universe is expanding.

And Phillip Reeve has some thoughts on what makes a good picture.

The little things

Tuesday. It could rain. On this day in 1881, Billy the Kid was shot and killed at Fort Sumner by Pat Garrett.

Here’s Biden‘s new ad targeting Texas. I think it’s pretty effective but there’s something missing. Where’s the scapegoating, name-calling, and negativity that we’ve come to expect in a political ad?

It’s nice to see that we’re using state of the art technology in the battle against the coronavirus. Mick Mulvaney, of all people, wrote an op-ed supporting additional funding to address the “testing problem in this country.” You know, the one that the administration says doesn’t exist. Anyway, when a vaccine is ready later this year (hopefully) we may not have enough glass vials to package and distribute it. Syringes may be a problem too. There is a plan to ramp up production. Fingers crossed.

State legislators are earning their paychecks these days. Too much to do, not enough time to do it and no money to fund whatever they’re able to do. One thing is clear. They are going to have to extend the session.

Science writer Lawrence Krauss wasn’t part of the group that signed the notorious letter on open expression of ideas. But he does have some thoughts on how it plays out in the sciences.

And a guy in India is so obsessed with photography that he lives in a giant camera and named his sons Nikon, Canon and Epson(?). I think Leica would be a nice name for a girl.

Palace intrigue

Monday. Can’t trust it. Today is the anniversary of the New York blackout of 1977.

Wired has a primer on the variables involved in herd immunity for Covid-19.

The White House is apparently trying to discredit Dr. Fauci by providing reporters a list of all the times he has been wrong. Pot, meet kettle. And how is the middle of a national pandemic a good time for this kind of weird, petty infighting?

Speaking of the White House, someone inside seems to have leaked to Jonathan Swan that the White House is obsessed with trying to prevent people from leaking.

Literary magazines come and go but I hope this one hangs in there.

Great photos and stories from Patrick Cashin, longtime photographer for the MTA in New York.

And some good news for a change: New York City reported zero deaths from coronavirus yesterday, the first time that’s happened since March 11th.