Measuring and managing

Friday. Exhale.

With marijuana decriminalized in many places, drug-sniffing dogs are finding themselves out of a job.

Shira Schoenberg reports on an interesting initiative involving prosecutors in Berkshire County: A data analysis of plea bargains. If you thought police data was disjointed and hard to access, wait until you try to figure out what prosecutors are up to.

Is the protein folding problem solved? That would be sort of a huge deal. Here’s some background.

The other day I noticed that the signage for the Kinsale Pub on Center Plaza was still up, despite it being closed since last fall. That seemed optimistic. And now Marc Hurwitz is reporting that it could be reopening at some point in the near future.

And the Moynihan Train Hall is beautiful to look at. But it’s hard to find a place to sit down.

Too many cooks

Monday. Today is the holiday. A day off and, for many, the start of a vacation.

According to WBSM News, the Marshfield Police were sent to Facebook jail. (I’d like to put the person in charge of the WBSM page into website jail. Pop-up much?)

The City Council is one step closer to expanding its role from advise and consent on the city budget to becoming an appropriations body. It’s not a small matter and voters should understand the implications.

Fresh drinkable water desalinated from seawater in minutes? This seems like it could be a big deal.

The state legislature pushed through police reform but now seems to be stuck in the mud on legislative transparency reform.

And after Instagram declared that it wanted to concentrate on video, some photographers are pulling up stakes and moving to Twitter. But I think most will stay put.

Playing with fire

An early summer Sunday. Today’s word is desiccate.

What’s the worse address in the US these days? I, for one, wouldn’t want to be living in the sister building to the one that collapsed on Miami Beach.

In a Times opinion piece that reads more like an investigative report, Zeynep Tufekci tries to connect the dots around virology research, SARS, bats, China and Covid-19. Lots to unpack there.

Want to grill the perfect steak? Follow the science.

I was sorry to hear that Janet Malcolm died last week. She was one of my favorite writers and a fellow appreciator of Chekhov.

And it’s official. Social media is destroying civilization. Like if you agree.

Ships in the night

Good morning. It’s Thursday.

Here’s a list of Bill Gates favorite songs. Looks like Steve Jobs was right.

Scientific American is running more UFO articles. In one, John Gertz writes that the objects Navy pilots are seeing are probably robotic drones dropped off in the neighborhood by aliens to study us. In another article, Avi Loeb makes a connection between Oumuamua, the mysterious asteroid-like object that flew through the solar system in 2017, and the recent pilot sightings. Loeb believes that it’s possible that Oumuamua was a supply ship of sorts, sent to drop off the alien ships in our vicinity. These articles are much more meaty and speculative than what’s expected to be in the actual Pentagon report on military UFO sightings, due out this week.

The Steamship Authority is now stating that they did not pay the ransom on their systems. Unless they somehow obtained a decryption key, rebuilding their systems from the ground up must have been a lot of work.

A Republican investigation into election fraud in Michigan during the presidential election found no indication of fraud. “Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan.” And… “The committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain.” Good advice.

And a healthy breakfast should include lots of chocolate. I’m beginning to feel like Miles Monroe.

Feeding time

Friday. It’s a wrap.

We’re number two! (Drats! Beaten by New Jersey.)

Sometimes a windfall comes with headaches. The Governor wants to divvy up $5 billion in federal assistance with the legislature. Legislators want it all. Baker is ready to start spending. He’s identified a number of critical needs that can be addressed quickly. Lawmakers want to be more “deliberate” with the money, spending it over time. Meanwhile, groups who haven’t been targeted for any of the funds are already complaining.

One password. That’s all that was protecting some of New York’s most confidential data.

I thought we had completely decoded the human genome. I was wrong. Actually, there was about 8% of our DNA that scientists put aside because it was extra challenging to decode and it wasn’t thought to be all that important. Now they’ve completed that last bit and scientists are sorting through it with the hope of finding something interesting.

And you could do worse than accepting book recommendations from David Deutsch.

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