Cottage foods

Good Sunday morning. It’s Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s birthday. Also Björk.

Rock is dead. Mick Rock, photographer to the stars.

Selling homemade foods in Massachusetts is a regulatory nightmare. That might change thanks to a bill filed by State Rep Erika Uyterhoeven. It seems to make sense to loosen things up, but as always, the devil will be in the details on things like allergens and sanitation.

It’s not just the US that’s gone loopy. The Dutch are rioting over Covid rules.

Cara Buckley writes in the Times in praise of roundabouts (or rotarys as we call them.) Intersections are digital. Roundabouts are analog. It’s all about the flow. Of course there are exceptions.

And forget the Facebook Metaverse. The Meatverse is the place to be. It’s “the logical next step in human evolution, connecting people at a scale never attempted before.” Well then. Pass the gravy.

War footing

A mid-November Friday. Better get those turkeys and pies early this year.

So much for that trip to Hallstatt.

David Brooks went to a conference to see what the future of conservatism looked like. It wasn’t pretty. Actually, it was a bit scary. According to his recounting, future (and current) leaders on the right believe that the left is such a threat to the American way of life that extraordinary measures will be required to counter it. He describes the sentiment: “The country is under assault from a Marxist oligarchy that wants to impose its own pseudo-religious doctrine. If you try to repulse that with pallid liberalism, with weak calls for free speech and tolerance, you’ll end up getting run over by those who possess fanatical zeal, economic power, and cultural might.” So, basically, the people on the right want to save America from the people on the left, and are willing to destroy American democracy to do so. I don’t like where this is going.

I suppose you could do this with any of the big camera brands, but here are a bunch of iconic photos shot with a Leica.

The usually pragmatic and clear-headed Zeynep Tufekci waxes philosophical on the future of the US in the wake of a botched response to Covid.

And first it was bikers. Then spring breakers. Now Phish Heads are being pegged as super spreaders. Surrender to the flow.

Move fast and break things

Who doesn’t love a rainy Tuesday?

David Leonhardt reports that Covid cases are dropping in the US and worldwide. It could be the end of a peak in the mysterious two-month cycle. Or it could be something more promising. Fingers crossed.

Facebook went down yesterday. Then it came back up. It wasn’t a big deal for me, although I did get one annoying SERVFAIL before moving on. Cloudflare engineers watched in real time how the outage affected the Internet. In the real world, for a few hours there was less partisan cocooning and fewer cute dog videos. And we all survived.

Jonathan Franzen has a new book. It’s the first of a trilogy.

Andrew Yang has changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. But don’t try this at home, kids, he says.

And John Kraus too some photos of the night sky with his iPhone 13 Pro Max. Pretty impressive.

Gamifying the election

Good morning. It’s Saturday. Up and at ’em.

The Washington Post’s KK Ottesen interviews Marty Walsh.

Who should you vote for in the Boston mayoral election? You could acquaint yourself with the positions staked out by each of the candidates. Or, if that’s too involved, you could just take this pop quiz. Done. Back to Netflix.

The Biden administration wants to launch a massive effort to build up the country’s pandemic preparedness. You know, for the next pandemic. I’m not sure if the scale of this is a good idea or if it’s just the war on terrorism, part 2. Maybe we just need to do what we should have been doing in the first place.

IP-based 911 networks are the best, most modern communications technology for public safety call centers. Unfortunately, in many cases these systems are not ready for prime time. In New Orleans, they weren’t ready – period. AT&T should be accountable for this failure.

And when it comes to camera bags women photographers get no respect. Hillary Grigonis wants that to change.

Turbulent times

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy summer while it lasts.

Michael Keaton seems like an interesting guy. All over the map, but interesting.

Reports that ‘the Kennedy family’ were in favor of parole for Sirhan Sirhan might have been a little premature. I suspect the lawyers advocating for his release were pushing the narrative. Apart from the devastating impact the assassination had on the family at the time, the murder of RFK was also a big deal for the country. James Aloisi considers what could have been.

Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which features a story about how his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott is giving away billions of dollars from her divorce settlement from Bezos, mostly to struggling art organizations. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall during the pitch, approval and editing process for this story.

Ben Marks reviews Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography by Kim Beil (Amazon link.) Sounds like an interesting read. It covers the gamut, from daguerreotypes to Brownies to smartphones.

And is Facebook the new AOL? Closed garden, lots of older users, etc. Sure looks that way. Now we need something new to come along to disrupt it, just like the web did to AOL back in the day.

Shuffling the deck

Sunday. Today is the 55th anniversary of the last show of the Beatles final tour.

It’s still August but the Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a snowy January and a “winter whopper” in late February. Now there’s something to look forward to.

A new poll in the mayor’s race shakes things up a bit. But most people are still undecided.

From today’s Globe: “Police investigating two homicides; city shuts down nightclub from shooting.” Usually when The Boston Globe publishes a headline reading that way, the city it would be referring to would be Boston, right? This one is about Providence, a city in an entirely different state. Baffelling. But that’s OK. The Dorchester Reporter has the Boston news covered.

Kathy Ryan took black and white photos of the covid-abandoned New York Times offices. Beautiful work.

And MSG has gotten a bad rap. It’s a good source of umami and is perfectly safe. Actually it can have health benefits, as it allows you to cut down on salt. I’m in.

Ups and downs

Saturday. The weekend, part 1.

After more than two decades, Beat the Press has been cancelled. Regular participant Dan Kennedy provides an update.

The Globe’s story on what the 2021 census numbers mean for Boston offers lots of anecdotes, off the cuff speculation and extrapolation but not much valid insight. You would be better served with this (albeit not fully updated) dataset. Or this from the Washington Post. Just type in Boston, MA.

Anticipation is a fun. The Dutch know it. They have a word for it: voorpret. Amazon knows it too. That’s why they have the Track Package button.

Everyone is familiar with GPS, the US government system of satellites for location and navigation. Most people don’t know that there are other systems. The EU has Galileo. China has BeiDou. Japan has QZSS and Russia has GLONASS. Which one is better? Who cares. You can use them all at the same time, as Nikon is doing with its new cameras set to use GNSS, the Global Navigation Satellite System. Maybe others will follow suit.

And we have a new Pope. Two, actually.

Ordering of the list

Happy Saturday! Today’s word is lexical.

Paul DeBole, for one, thinks the two month tax holiday is a great idea.

There was a drawing yesterday to determine the order that candidates will appear on the ballot for city elections in September. Gintautas Dumcius reports that the list for mayor will read, Essaibi George, then Spagnuolo, Campbell, Janey, Wu, Santiago, Cappucci and finally, Barros. Sometimes these small things can make a difference.

Chris Krewson writes about the future of local journalism. It has very little to do with newspapers.

A guy who shoots Canon believes he’s found the best prime lens ever. Surprise: it’s a Canon lens. He’s right about 50mm, though. That would be the place to start. But I would have ended up with this, the actual best prime lens ever made. (Or its smaller and even more expensive manual-focus cousin.)

And if you suspect that your phone has been infected with Pegasus spyware, there’s a way to check it out. Mitchell Clark explains the process.

Don’t Fauci my Florida

A quiet, peaceful Sunday morning.

Exchange programs usually bring students together from far flung, exotic places. You know, like Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. But apparently not Russia.

Florida is now leading the nation on Covid infections, with an average of 6,500 new cases a day. Are we surprised? Arkansas is giving Florida a run for its money. Across the country, but particularly in places resistant to taking reasonable health precautions, cases are up almost 70%. The head of the CDC calls it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Darwin is just shaking his head.

The Phoblographer features 6 really good street photographers. Check out Ale Ruaro, especially.

Google Maps is recalculating the route to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, to avoid sending people over a cliff.

And youse guys will be happy to know that there are over 300 new words added at You-uns and y’all will be pleased as well.

Pixel imperfect

A lazy start to Saturday.

Worcester is the new Hollywood.

When it came to Nikon vs. Canon, I was always a Nikon guy. A lot has changed in the camera world since those days. Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic and even Leica are competing with the big brands. Nikon has struggled to stay relevant. Their recent product roadmap probably won’t help.

Bitcoin mining tended to be done in places where there were weird rules around electric use, often in third world countries. Texas now joins that list.

Tree House beer is legendary. It’s a destination beverage. They’re now the largest brewery in the state, outside of Boston. Previously you had to drive all the way to Charlton to sample one of their brews but now you can pick up some cans at their soon to open taproom in Sandwich.

And if you insist on arguing about politics on social media, do it on something like WhatsApp. You’ll never win on Facebook.