Kid gloves

Thursday. It’s the Queen’s birthday. Also Charles Grodin.

Joann Muller: Batteries are the new oil.

Catherine Carlock and Shirley Leung delve into Michelle Wu’s new pick to lead the BPDA and the mayor’s vision for development. Funny, I didn’t see the word “abolish” come up once in the story.

I agree with Farhad Manjoo. Riding a bike in America should not be this dangerous.

Incomes in Massachusetts are in the top five in the country. Even our poorest towns have higher average income than many states’ medians.

And Avi Loeb is in the interstellar extraterrestrial news again, thanks to a military memo. Don’t look up.

Cannon fodder

Good morning. Thursday, March 31. Out like a lamb.

Shocker: the latest North Korean missile test might have been a fake.

Tomorrow is conscript day in Russia. Unwelcome news for many families. Over a hundred thousand young people will be inducted into the Russian military whether they like it or not. It also marks the end of the term for existing conscripts but it’s unclear if they will be released as fighting continues.

As someone who is retired, coffee is no longer just a work drug for me. It’s something to savor and enjoy. Tim Carman is encouraging everyone to approach coffee that way.

Tunisia‘s constitution is only a few years old but the country is slipping back into autocracy. The president dissolved parliament and has called for a new(er) constitution.

And there’s an updated message going out from Earth to the aliens, wherever they are. And no, it’s not asking them to dig up dirt on Biden.

Contingency planning

Today is Wednesday, March 30th; the anniversary of Steward’s Folly.

Dan Primack at Axios scooped the John Henry-owned Globe on a story about Fenway going carbon neutral. How did that happen?

Finland and Taiwan are taking their lessons from Ukraine.

It’s always helpful to consider the contrarian view. In this case, Bret Stephens entertains that Putin may be miscalculating like a fox.

As you might recall, Trump launched his social media site in February. But he still hasn’t yet made a post on it. It’s looking more and more like this whole thing was a scam from the get go.

And American astronaut Mark Vande Hei has landed safely, coming down in Kazakhstan after hitching a ride on a Russian spacecraft. It’s a crazy world.

A halfhearted effort

Thursday, March 17. Éirinn go Brách.

The battle of Voznesensk. An amazing story. It reads like a WW2 movie.

This war is really not going according to Russia’s plan. In Voznesensk, hungry Russian soldiers went into resident’s homes searching for food before retreating under assault from volunteer Ukrainian forces that had out maneuvered them. The Russians fled so quickly that they left behind equipment and ammunition that could be later used against them. Poor logistics, bad tactics and failing morale were all on display. There are equipment shortages and manpower shortages on the Russian side. Many of the Russian soldiers are conscripts. (Conscription Day is April 1st in Russia, which will be a sad occasion for many families.) Body counts are rising. Four Russian Generals have been killed. None of this was in the plan.

The Webb Telescope continues to exceed expectations.

Daylight Savings Time all year long or the status quo, springing forward and falling back? Actually there’s another option. Standard Time all year long. Sleep experts are in favor of this option. But it’s a dark future.

And a short parade is better than no parade at all. Farragut Road works for me.

Play ball!

Saturday. The word for today is uncouth.

An asteroid hit the earth this morning. Ground zero was somewhere near Greenland.

Marty Walsh’s guide for resolving a union dispute: Stay at the table and keep talking.

Holger Roonemaa and Michael Weiss write about the sorry state of the Russian effort so far. Francis Fukuyama doesn’t think there’s any possibility of a negotiated peace in Ukraine but he does there’s a decent chance that Russia will actually lose the war on the ground. Lucian Kim believes it was a massive intelligence failure that got Russia to this point.

The battle over free/low cost fares on the T drags on. The system General Manager says it could cost $50-$100 million dollars.

And honesty is the best policy in Japan. It’s absolutely un-American.

Led by the nose

Happy Sunday!

Dowd: Can Dems Dodge Doomsday?

Forensic linguists have identified the person, or persons, behind QAnon: Paul Furber and then, later, Ron Watkins. Two nobodies who were making it all up as they went along. But some of us already knew that.

Washington DC Police Chief Robert Contee was grilled by the City Council on his running of the department and on rising crime. As the Post notes, “Some of those same council members who two years ago supported a budget to cut police funds to confront crime as a public health crisis, which police say led to the smallest force in two decades, are facing an uprising of constituent anger, and some have now called for more investment in police.”

Scott Galloway is bullish on Apple. A trillion dollars in revenue?!? Too much.

And the astronaut pen featured on Seinfeld is a real thing. The Fisher Space Pen. Here it is in action.

Smooth descent

Today is Saturday. The word of the day is nonchalant.

For Gretchen Whitmer, success is the best revenge.

There were less than 2000 new cases reported yesterday, down from a precipice of almost 30,000 a little over a month ago. Boston is lifting its vaccine mandate. Good news all around.

Space junk is starting to become a real problem.

Mike Allen reports on more calls for Democrats to shift towards the center to forestall a potential Republican sweep. If it’s not too late.

And although it was 60 degrees this week, we’re in high winter. Matt Dinan reflects on the season and Jessica Wapner searches for strategies to stay warm, or even hibernate through to spring.

The pressure builds

Saturday. Birthdays for Bill Russell, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.

First it was beer, chips, fast food, cars. Then tech and internet companies began to pay out the big bucks to run commercials. (Remember those GoDaddy ads?) Now it’s time for crypto and NFTs to take center stage. The problem is that people now just go to their phones to watch TikTok during the commercial breaks.

How big a threat is inflation? It depends on who you ask. Some think it would be a positive development, at least for for younger people stuck with stagnant wages, student loans and high home mortgages. Wages go up while liabilities remain fixed, giving them more money to pay off loans. But food and other costs also rise. And even if allowed to run for a while, inflation can’t go on forever or allowed to become runaway. And to prevent that, apparently, we’ll need a recession. It could be a big one. It could be a small one. It’s very complicated. And uncertain.

Mayor Flynn at the helm? Déjà vu all over again.

Another big milestone for the Webb Telescope. Sensors are up, working and sending data. Next: calibrating the mirrors.

And Marc Hurwitz reports on the opening of a new public house in Maynard called the Bull Spit Taproom. What’s in a name?

Earthquake insurance

Today is Tuesday. Opposite Day.

If Brady is a maybe on retirement, it sounds like Gronk is definitely a probably.

According to an Axios review of social media interactions, politicians who are moderate, competent and boring don’t stand a chance. That doesn’t bode well. Neither does this. The ground is rumbling.

Another milestone for the Webb Telescope. It has arrived at its destination at L2. Joe Pinkstone, writing for The Telegraph, tried to explain what L2 was but he didn’t quite get it right.

2021 was a banner year for ransomware. To make things worse, of the people notified that their account had been compromised in a breach, only about half bothered to change their passwords.

And those long promised flying cars are almost here. Right. I’ve heard that before. And it wan’t even Opposite Day.

The final frontier

Today is Sunday. Not much happening.

Eric Adams had promised to take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin. Not great timing on his part.

The Webb Telescope continues to self assemble according to plan as it heads to its destination at L2. Mirrors are now fully deployed. (What’s L2, you ask? It’s a Lagrange Point. William Neff explains.)

The Russians are coming, the Russians are comingupdated for 2022… Irish version.

Speaking of Russia, Joshua Keating tells us what to look for in the Ukraine situation as things get twitchy in Europe. Once again, it comes down to oil supply.

And the LHC usually gets all the attention, but a new particle accelerator coming on line at Michigan State might shed light on what comes after the Standard Model.