Promises made

Thursday morning. I already know what I’m having for lunch.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin wants to use polling places as vaccination centers. Of course someone would have to go on TV to publicize the program.

Looking back on the last four years, the one thing that stands out from all the political noise is the national debt. Trump came into office with a promise to eliminate it within two terms. Instead he increased it by $7.8 trillion. That’s $23,500 of new debt for every American. Sure, the pandemic contributed to the spending but the debt was already out of control even before the first positive test.

In related news, we’re not going to the moon and there’s only been 40 miles of new wall built. Also, Obamacare. Very few politicians accomplish everything they promised on the campaign trail but Trump has made so many outlandish and undelivered promises that it merits note.

Guess a forgotten password and unlock $220 million dollars worth of bitcoin. Guess wrong and it all goes up in smoke. Talk about stress.

And a recent scientific study reveals that marijuana use correlates with junk food consumption. Eureka! Now pass the XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos®.

Meet the new boss

Monday, right? The word of the day is mimesis.

The Boston business community, which was initially suspicious of Marty Walsh’s labor origins, now gives him high marks. The next mayor may not be so business-friendly.

Speaking of the next mayor, Willie Gross is considering throwing his hat into the ring. He’s been thinking about it for some time but with Walsh leaving he can now say it out loud. Gross would have to resign as police commissioner or take a leave of absence to run. Mickey Roache, a popular police commissioner in the nineties, did that. He came in 7th in the preliminary election.

Will we look back on the pandemic as the beginning of a revolution in medicine? Some scientists think so.

Parler is being cut out at every level. They’re crying fowl, framing it a a suppression of free speech. Its not. It’s more like survival of the fittest speech. Parler is just a poor imitation of Twitter. On top of everything else, this week hackers have scraped all of Parler’s data, including deleted posts and videos with location metadata. So their security isn’t very fit either. That data breach could be a big deal for investigators and embarrassing for some people.

And if you’re like me you have recurring subscriptions that you may have forgotten about. Here are some apps that might help get that under control.

Valuable advice

Welcome to the weekend. Saturday, December 5, 2020 edition.

No more small horses, peacocks, platypuses, turkeys or bearded dragons on airplanes. And that’s fine by me.

The MBTA advisory board says, ‘not so fast‘ on the agency’s plan to cut service. The board thinks the T should reshuffle its priorities to maintain service levels by delaying expensive projects and cutting fat in other areas. I couldn’t agree more.

This study is being billed as a breakthrough in potentially reversing age-related cognitive decline.

Kara Swisher weighs in on Warner Brothers‘ plan to release films in theaters and streaming at the same time. This looks like the future.

And the state budget was finally passed. Not bad. Only five months late.

Suspending disbelief

Saturday morning. Today’s word is capitulate.

Winter is still about three weeks away. After December 21st, which is the shortest day of the year, the days will begin to get longer. But between now and then we’ll lose another 19 minutes of sunlight.

This is a great opening paragraph, by Toluse Olorunnipa writing in the Washington Post.

President-elect Joe Biden, a state-college graduate who was once the poorest man in the U.S. Senate, is facing accusations of elitism from Republicans after defeating a billionaire incumbent with an Ivy League degree — a sign of how the politics of populism have been upended and redefined by President Trump.

Up is down. Down is up. Everyday is opposite day in this political environment.

Google seems to be slowly moving towards a subscription services model, and potentially away from advertising. We may look back on the last couple of decades as that weird time when stuff like email and search used to be free.

The Trump campaign paid $3 million for a partial recount in Milwaukee County and ended up losing votes. File under: Be careful what you ask for.

And scientists are proposing a neural network-based system that will produce “extreme summarization” of scientific papers. It’s called TLDR generation and it’s summarized in a 14 page paper.

Wishful thinking

Tuesday morning. Counting down one week until the election.

The work laptop is for work. The non-work laptop is for everything else. And never the twain shall meet.

New case numbers continue to rise in Massachusetts. Yesterday’s number was 1216. Back in the first week of October things were looking good. Numbers were even trending down. In the last week of the month we’re heading in the opposite direction. I don’t think we’ve turned the corner.

Massachusetts New Daily Coronavirus Cases for October

And nationally, with the exception of Mississippi, every state is now in the red. (Again, go through the buttons from ‘3 Months Ago’ and then forward in time to see how dramatically things have changed since August.) Hospitalizations are increasing, an election is looming and market-watchers are concerned. Buckle up, here we go.

Taylor Swift‘s career, it appears, is pandemic proof.

London-based financial writer Stephen Clapham says that, despite cash infusions from the parent company, Trump’s UK resorts are in trouble.

And there’s water on the moon. Moon water. Sounds like an Elon Musk/Poland Springs collaboration.