The price of admission

Monday, March 17th. MLK Day.

Imagine People of Walmart in a virtual environment. It could be the killer app for the Metaverse.

The recent court decision on public safety unions and vaccination mandates underscores a reality that many people, including Michelle Wu on the campaign trail, didn’t seem to understand. In city government, you can’t just do things from a management position (like all those police reform promises) without hard and often costly negotiations. Every… little… thing… has to be negotiated. Wu got a pass on implementation of the mandate from the court because of a public health emergency—but not on negotiations. Now comes the part where the city has to pay.

The trend line at Gallup does not look good for the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party.

In a sad story, Jeffery Parker, a former manager of the T’s subway systems and current leader of the Atlanta transit system committed suicide by stepping in front of a train.

And if you thought cable prices were bad, welcome to streaming.

Out in the cold

FFFFriday. Batten down the hatches, it’s going to be windy and frigid.

Jan Ransom, previously with the Globe, pulls video of the chaos inside Rikers for this series in the Times.

Life is cheap at Mass and Cass. Live Boston reports that 2 bodies were found by the crew dismantling the encampment. Wu is right to want to get those tents taken down and to put people into proper shelters.

Unions are still a potent force in Massachusetts politics. Shira Schoenberg follows the money.

A new Leica rangefinder was announced yesterday, something that doesn’t happen very often. This one is the M11, successor to the M10, which was released in 2017. I’m a big fan of Leica cameras and lenses but I’ll probably sit this one out. The sensor tech on the M11 is certainly impressive, but so is the price, at almost $9000 for the body alone.

And are algorithms killing the scientific method? Probably not, but they are changing it.

Can’t cut loose without that juice

Thursday. Happy birthday to Rip Taylor, Sophie Tucker and Charles Nelson Reilly.

Are we getting less rational? Our words suggest we are. (It’s a supposition, not a conclusion.)

Electric power is generated by natural gas for the most part locally. But this week’s cold temperatures changed the equations, with nuclear, oil, hydro and even a little coal required for turning the turbines when demand jumped up. More pipelines would mitigate this but apparently people don’t want more pipelines.

The IRS is having a bad year. Expect backlogs and delays.

Gintautas Dumcius looks at the potential political churn in local politics in the coming year. There are a lot of moving pieces including a governors race and openings in the legislature. And in Boston there’s the first year agenda for the mayor, which includes a new police commissioner among other things. Should be quite a year.

And the mRNA technology used to develop Covid vaccines could be used to produce a vaccine for skin cancer. That would be amazing.

What goes up

Today is Wednesday. It also happens to be Kiss a Ginger Day.

FiveThirtyEight wants to know: what happened to the eviction tsunami? It’s a good question regarding expert predictions, but no one is actually complaining that it hasn’t happened. Yet.

Adam Gaffin has been following the numbers from waste water treatment tests and it appears that they are a good leading indicator of covid cases in the area. The latest results from Deer Island suggests that we have indeed hit peak Omicron and that the numbers of positive tests should start receding. Stay tuned.

TV technology is taking another step forward. Quantum Dot displays are coming. The tech involved is cutting edge. I think they’re going to be very expensive at first but in time they should come down and be within reach.

With murders and firearm assaults up this year, people are wondering, what changed to cause this. Hmmm.

And another day, another asteroid coming to destroy the Earth. These near miss—but not really—stories are starting to become tiresome and highlight just how badly the media covers science.

Pick your poison

Sunday. The iPhone is 15 years old today.

Two Boston-area restaurants are battling it out—in LA.

Canadians who, for whatever reason, were hesitant to get their shots, are now waiting in line for one, as the vaccine requirement for cannabis and liquor stores approaches. Now that’s an incentive.

Eric Adams is taking a page from Willie Gross’ book on police/prosecutor relations.

Things have been going amazing well for the Webb Space Telescope. If all continues to go as planned it will be in its final position in a few weeks and then, after a five month calibration process, it should be ready to expand our horizons.

And nobody wants to be a member of the green out-group. So annoying.