Top heavy

Sunday. Today’s word is mirage.

Here’s another reason you don’t want to get Covid, even if you’re young and healthy: memory impairment.

In Massachusetts,the incumbent advantage gets a boost from how names are listed on the ballot. Margaret Monsell examines the practice, unique to this state, of always putting the incumbent’s name at the top.

Blogging about blogging: Brandon Quakkelaar writes about his love/hate relationship with social media (I can relate) and why you should just use blogs and RSS to get your information. Kev Quirk is on the same page. Stop writing multiple tweets, he says. Just make a blog post. They’re both right but I’m afraid the ship has sailed. Doomscrolling is here to stay.

A BU student looks at drug use on campus. It’s ubiquitous, writes Antonia Lehnert in the Daily Free Press, and schools need to offer more prevention and support.

And Albert Burneko is buzzing over a ridiculous new way of making coffee. We’ve come a long way from Folgers crystals. Or, maybe not.

Collateral damage

Friday has arrived. Seems like it was a long week.

La Niña is back. The forecast is for a cold, snowy winter.

There’s some good news on the Covid-adjacent front: the flu has been squeezed out during the pandemic. Masks, social distancing, etc. have caused some influenza varieties to become extinct, which could make development of the flu shot more effective in the future.

David Zucker writes that comedy is in an dire state and it needs to be resuscitated, hopefully before the 50th anniversary of Airplane!. It’s a few years away but he seems to want to get ahead of it.

According to Dominic Cummings, the UK never intended to abide by the terms of BREXIT regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol. Now, right on schedule

And it looks like police are going on strike in Chicago. I thought that was illegal.

Promises, promises

If it isn’t Thursday already. It’s the day Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.

Tara Sullivan thinks the Sox can go all the way.

In his recap of last night’s mayoral debate, James Pindell described Michelle Wu’s performance as a word salad. She talked but didn’t actually say anything. Kind of like a Belichick press conference, not very illuminating. Essaibi George tried to get Wu to be more specific but, like the reporters facing Belichick, she didn’t press hard enough.

Researchers may have found a new method to improve solar power cells, making them 1000% times more effective. That’s a lot!

A house in Dorchester is being considered as an historic landmark. It has distinctive architecture and was built in the 1880’s by John Fields (of Fields Corner). But that’s not why it’s being singled out for landmark status. It’s the former home of New Kids on the Block. That’s why.

And get ready for the latest wireless technology, wifi 6e. Bigger, better, faster.

The conventional wisdom

Wednesday, the pinnacle of the week.

Jolyon Helterman didn’t want to be that restaurant reviewer who slams a restaurant during the pandemic. Nonetheless.

Polls put Michelle Wu way ahead of Essaibi George for mayor. Apparently we haven’t learned our lesson about polls. I think this race might be closer than those polls suggest. And tonight is the debate. Let’s see how that goes.

A rude awakening from outer space? It can happen.

4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, an all-time high number. Why? Jeff Cox reports it was “because of health concerns and child care issues unique to the pandemic’s circumstances.” Time to put that government handout story to bed.

And, once again, everything we know is wrong.

Can’t get there from here

Mid week. Wednesday. Coffee Day.

What a way to win a marathon. When the frontrunners took a wrong turn, the guy trailing them stayed true to course – and won the medal.

The MBTA is getting dangerous. Crashes, derailments, bloody escalator incidents. And that’s just this week! There seems to be something systemically wrong. Filling the vacancies on the Board of Directors would help, as would better day-to-day management and financial control. The mayoral candidates also chimed in on the apparent chaos, according the the Globe, calling for more investment. Which might be hard to do if you’re also calling for cutting revenue. Every dollar counts.

The critics seem to like the new Bond movie. But he really should get a better phone from Q.

Why are supply chain bottlenecks so persistent? It’s complicated but Michael Cembalest of J.P. Morgan breaks it down to supply, demand and shipping costs. Apparently it’s more profitable for Chinese shipping companies to return containers empty than it is for them to refill them with all the stuff on the dock waiting to be exported.

And I always enjoy reading those clickbaity science headlines. Something ‘is happening and experts don’t know why.’ Sounds mysterious and a little scary. In this case, it turns out that the reason we don’t know why is because we don’t have any data to compare against. No mystery after all. But they did get me to read the article.