Calm before the storm

Tuesday. It’s the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing in the Sea of Tranquility.

Say you’re in an airliner flying at 30,000 feet and realize that everyone on the plane has been incapacitated, including the pilots. (Maybe they all had the fish). Can you land the plane? Actually, it’s doable.

Shirley Leung reports that the MBTA has restored service to pre-pandemic levels. But despite an expensive marketing campaign, riders haven’t returned. Come fall, when more workers return to the office, this could be a problem, traffic-wise.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight into ‘space’ this morning was a success. After reaching apogee, the passenger module floated back to earth on parachutes at about 15 mph, until just inches above the ground, when a blast of air, like an airbag deployment, cushioned its touchdown. The rocket booster had previously separated and returned to earth, landing just like a rocket in a 1950’s sci-fi illustration. It was quite an impressive technological accomplishment.

After 50 people were shot over the weekend, Chicago police are trying something they say is “new and unique.” They’re going to tackle illegal gun trafficking. Imagine that.

And there are thick burgers and there are thin burgers. Thick burgers are juicy and tasty, but a disaster when you try to eat them. Thin burgers fit well in the bun but are too easy to overcook. What if science could help us to have the best of both worlds? Count me in!

Swag bag

Happy Wednesday. On this day in 1911, Harry Atwood flew from Boston to DC, landing on the South Lawn to meet a waiting President Taft.

Mickey Donovan received a warm welcome from Boston Fire this week.

Jon Santiago came out of the gates strong in the mayor’s race last winter with a bunch of statewide endorsements. But his prospects and polling have faded since then and now he’s dropped out. In other election news, frontrunners Kim Janey and Michelle Wu are selling t-shirts. Annissa Essaibi-George said she’s giving hers away for free.

REvil was one of the most active ransomware gangs in operation. And, poof, now they’re gone. It’s a mystery wrapped in an riddle wrapped in an enigma.

It’s marching season in Northern Ireland. Unionists are flexing and Sinn Fein is pushing back. Same as it ever was.

And NASA is reporting that a wobbly moon might put us under water. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Hot sounds

Sunday. Turn the AC on.

We should be breaking 90 degrees in the next few days here in the Boston area. But don’t cool off in the waters off Hull and Nantasket. The Lion’s Mane jellyfish are back.

Dan Sheehan covers the opening of The Record Co, a state of the art co-op music studio in Newmarket Square. What a great idea.

The Great American Think-Off happens next week. The questions are big but the barriers to entry are not.

Employers and employees are recalibrating their relationships. This time (for a change) it’s working out better for the employees.

And if you wake up very early next Thursday, you might get to see the “ring of fire” solar eclipse, happening just as the sun comes up.

Gravity vs comedy

Today is Tuesday, June 1st. CNN is 41 years old today.

A spirit of bipartisan cooperation is taking hold. At least when it comes to aliens.

The Mare of Easttown finale wrapped things up in a satisfying way. It was some of the best TV I’ve seen in awhile. And it nailed the accents, Rolling Rock and cheesesteaks. Philly got this amazing show and all we got was City on a Hill. Where’s the justice?

The market for cameras and lenses is changing. Since the low-end has been taken over by smartphones, manufactures are focusing on the high-end, emphasizing quality at a higher price. So the costs are rising for the people who still like to take photos with cameras, but the gear is getting better.

“Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this.”* Hiawatha Bray writes about a local firm that makes software that will allow a computer to read a person’s emotional state. No word on whether it can also read lips.

And here’s the column Bill Gates wrote describing the iPhone over ten years before his rival, Apple, introduced it. Very prescient (and a huge missed opportunity.)

Thank you for taking my call

Today is Tuesday. Groovy Tuesday.

Where do you stand? This better than average website will let you know.

While listening to the calm, reassuringly euradite voices on public radio you might imagine a relaxed professional environment happening behind the microphones. Not so, as the disputes at WNYC demonstrate. That shouldn’t surprise long time listeners of one of our own local NPR stations.

The grounding of the Ryanair flight in Belarus highlights the limits of groups like the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization. The grounding was a pretty clear treaty violation but there doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do about it.

Jason Torchinsky wants to know why new Ford pickups, right off the assembly line, in 2021, still have old fashioned radio antennas on their hoods. Turns out those types of antennas are best for AM radio and people who drive pickups like to listen to AM radio.

And here’s one more thing to worry about.