Do your job

A crisp Thursday to close out September.

Facebook parsed and annotated the language in its own internal reports to make itself look less horrible than it really is. The company is scheduled for testimony before a Senate subcommittee next week.

New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan and James Lankford, from Oklahoma, have submitted legislation to require lawmakers to remain in Washington until the government is funded. Members would need to show up everyday for roll call, weekends included, until they fulfill their most basic responsibility of funding the government. Hmmm. I wonder if lawmakers will ever make this a law.

The Washington Post reports that if a government shutdown does occur, pandemic response measures should be protected. Crucial offices will still be open and treatment reviews will continue. Government health service workers, “overworked and exhausted after more than a year and a half of trying to contain the nation’s worse public health crisis in a century,” will show up for work but they won’t get paid. That’s the thanks they get.

Jennifer Szalai doesn’t like Steven Pinker’s new book, Rationality. She doesn’t like his words, she doesn’t like his logic, she doesn’t like his examples, she doesn’t like him. It seems almost… irrational.

And speaking of new books, this one on Kraft, Belichick and Brady should be a doozy. Just the excerpts are eye opening.

Meet the new boss

Wednesday, September 15th. Halfway through the best month of the year.

Norm MacDonald has died. A comedic master. Here he is in top form on Letterman’s last show. And then there’s the moth joke. Lots more to be found on his YouTube channel.

And we’re down to two. Wu and Essaibi George. Lots of talk about this being a historic victory for women of color, but it seems to me that this is just a slightly different version of the status quo. I think the battle between Campbell and Janey led to a missed opportunity for historically underrepresented parts of the city to play a larger role.

Facebook continues to reinforce the idea that they are just a rotten company.

Intermittent fasting seems to be very popular. But the real benefits, apparently, come from hardcore fasting. I don’t know if I could go four days.

And the Wirecutter doesn’t think you need the new iPhone 13. They’re probably right, too.

Making a living

Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer.

The upstarts are unseating the incumbents, who were formally the upstarts. The cycle of life. TikTok.

The Washington Post takes a Labor Day look at the Great Reassessment of Work. People are looking for work but there’s a shortage of workers. How can that be? The devil, as usual, in the details.

The Freedom Phone. It’s an actual thing. If, that is, you’re gullible and have money to throw away.

A new Bluetooth vulnerability, being called Braktooth, could use the protocol to remotely crash devices or, in some extreme cases, allow malicious code to be executed. More details here. Impacted vendors were notified and given 90 days to develop and release patches before the announcement. Some did. Some didn’t. Some say they’re still working on it.

And in Australia, the sharks are winning.

Forward pass

Wednesday. The pinnacle of the week. And the first day of September.

Ross Barkan recapitulates the fall of newspapers before tearing into the current state of social media-driven prestige journalism. A brutal take.

Cam, we hardly knew ye. Well, that’s not really true. Tara Sullivan writes about how much fun it was to cover Cam Newton. Chad Finn sees the calculation in Belichick’s decision to release him and Ben Violin looks forward to the Mac Jones era.

According to Apartment List, the Boston-Worcester-Manchester area is in the top ten list of US regions with the most super commuters, defined as people who drive 90 minutes or more to work each day. I’m just glad I’m not one of them.

Live Boston does a great job with crime reporting and especially with their on-the-scene photographs. But they need to brush up on their gang turf boundaries. I’ve been out of the mix for a while but since when is Sonoma or Maple Street part of H-Block? Humboldt, Harrishof, Holworthy, Harold. That’s H-Block.

And speaking of knowing your turf, Tom Acitelli wrote an article for Curbed Boston aimed at newcomers to the region that nails the local neighborhood scene. As a nitpicker, I’m impressed. Not something you see everyday.

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.