What goes up

Today is Wednesday. It also happens to be Kiss a Ginger Day.

FiveThirtyEight wants to know: what happened to the eviction tsunami? It’s a good question regarding expert predictions, but no one is actually complaining that it hasn’t happened. Yet.

Adam Gaffin has been following the numbers from waste water treatment tests and it appears that they are a good leading indicator of covid cases in the area. The latest results from Deer Island suggests that we have indeed hit peak Omicron and that the numbers of positive tests should start receding. Stay tuned.

TV technology is taking another step forward. Quantum Dot displays are coming. The tech involved is cutting edge. I think they’re going to be very expensive at first but in time they should come down and be within reach.

With murders and firearm assaults up this year, people are wondering, what changed to cause this. Hmmm.

And another day, another asteroid coming to destroy the Earth. These near miss—but not really—stories are starting to become tiresome and highlight just how badly the media covers science.

Pick your poison

Sunday. The iPhone is 15 years old today.

Two Boston-area restaurants are battling it out—in LA.

Canadians who, for whatever reason, were hesitant to get their shots, are now waiting in line for one, as the vaccine requirement for cannabis and liquor stores approaches. Now that’s an incentive.

Eric Adams is taking a page from Willie Gross’ book on police/prosecutor relations.

Things have been going amazing well for the Webb Space Telescope. If all continues to go as planned it will be in its final position in a few weeks and then, after a five month calibration process, it should be ready to expand our horizons.

And nobody wants to be a member of the green out-group. So annoying.

Something is better than nothing

Friday. A beautiful snowy morning.

Things are looking up. A giant asteroid is not hurtling towards Earth. That’s good. But there’s a Russian rocket coming down. Actually, astronomers aren’t overly concerned about that too much either.

As promised, Mayor Wu has named her search committee for a new police commissioner. It seems like a reasonable mix of stakeholders, if maybe a little light on the practitioner side, with only ex-commissioner Ed Davis representing the law enforcement profession. But it’s good that things are at least moving in the direction of getting the department back on track.

Sweden has gone from ABBA and disco dancing to gangster rap and drive-by‘s.

Matt Murphy and Chris Lisinski have the deets on what’s happening at the Suffolk County Districts Attorney‘s office. Kevin Hayden is coming in as interim DA. A solid choice. And outgoing Rachael Rollins will be handing him some new, high profile projects.

And Leonardo DiCaprio is now a tree. Not a speaking part, I assume.

Out of the blue and into the black

Happy Wednesday.

January sucks and this January sucks worse than any other January. That’s the premise of a Globe story by Beth Teitell. Come on, Beth. Cheer up. Things could be worse, and they probably will be soon, so enjoy what you can in the moment.

Here’s some good news: The Webb Telescope is continuing its progress towards full deployment. The latest successful milestone occurred yesterday when the sun shield was assembled and put into place as the observatory heads towards its destination, the Lagrange point, a million miles from Earth.

The FAA has convinced AT&T and Verizon to delay the upgrade of their networks out of concern over aviation safety. But only for about two weeks.

It looks like Sheriff Tompkins will have a challenger from inside next time around.

And who do you think was interested in a movie about a recording session from half a century ago by a group of people now either dead or in their 80’s? Spoiler alert: It wasn’t teenagers.

Whack a mole

Twas the day before Christmas.

Gary Sampson had appealed his death sentence in 2017, for a crime that occurred in 2001. The appeal was still pending as of this week when Sampson died in federal custody.

The economy is at a weird place at the end of a weird year. People have cash and demand for goods is still high. With the supply of those goods constrained, prices go up. Econ 101. There are also more jobs than workers, so some many small businesses are in a precarious position. If we hike interest rates to stem inflation, small businesses will take the hit. It looks like a vicious circle.

The Webb telescope launch vehicle has rolled out to the pad and is now waiting on a 7:20 AM launch tomorrow. Hoping for a Christmas miracle.

And Trump’s SPAC is a Chinese company. Imagine that.

Devilish details

Tuesday. The word of the day is flippant.

Buccaneers and Patriots in the SuperBowl. I’m calling it here.

Mass and Cass is a major test for the new mayor. Neighborhood residents are impatient to see campaign rhetoric turned into action. But anyone who thinks that Wu’s team is going to swoop in and solve an intractable problem are bound to be disappointed. The same goes for those waiting for her to free the T. Governing might look easy, but it’s not.

Travel restrictions around Omicron might cause foreign students attending Boston-area colleges to miss the spring semester.

George Dvorsky thinks 2021 may have been the weirdest year yet in space. It was pretty weird—and that’s even before Michael Strahan blasted off. Also, there are a bunch of boring non-billionaire enthusiasts and volunteers working on their own space program. God speed.

And that Succession season finale? It’s not exactly a spoiler, but it’s all here in this image.

What the market will bear

Monday. Up and at em.

NASA is planning to blow up an asteroid next year. It’s a test of what we would do if one were headed for us. Fingers crossed.

Gas prices and politics have long been connected. Some people think the current administration is responsible for higher prices at the pump. This article implies that as economic activity and optimism rises, so do oil prices. When things look bad they go down. So maybe people just feel good about the economy. It’s actually slightly more complicated than that and there are other factors at play, but at the end of the day it’s just a supply and demand feedback loop.

A longevity bonus for an elected official? It’s kind of the opposite of term limits. “Asinine” is a good way to describe it.

Newly recovered tracking data raises fresh questions about the course of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 as it headed out to sea. It looks like the pilot went into a 20 minute racetrack pattern just off the coast of Sumatra. This doesn’t fit the current theories of what might have happened. Interesting.

And if you need someone eliminated, well, there’s an app for that. Or at least a fake website.

Strictly for the birds

Happy Monday. Travel day.

A potato so big it has a name. Hint: it’s not MacKenzie.

Some folks from the GOP are up in arms about a public health announcement from Big Bird on vaccinations. Talk about triggered. Then, the NBC News article on this goes on to explain that there’s very little research on how Covid affects birds and chickens as if Big Bird is actually a… big bird. It’s going to be one of those weeks.

Here’s more on the Rivian truck from Chris Taylor. It’s a head turner, he says.

The pillow guy is at it again.

Benjamin Balthaser writes about his uncle’s Bronx accent. But there’s more here than that. His uncle sounds like a guy I would get along well with. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

And another asteroid is coming to destroy the earth. Paging Chicken Little. Someday one of these things will be real.

Times of plenty

Monday. It’s a birthday for two 20th century artists, Pablo Picasso and Minnie Pearl.

More guns are being found in TSA baggage checks. Many of them are loaded. Not good.

Adam Gaffin went shopping for paper goods and didn’t find much, other than off brand products. Over at the Globe, Beth Teitell highlights a series of first-world supply chain disasters. Special birthday flowers are unobtainable. A dachshund is going without its hypoallergenic food. Sub-Zero fridges are scarce. There are no bar pretzels. No corn dogs. How will we live?

Down in Monterey: there’s a new Mac operating system for download today. Here are some of its features. If your computer is old, check here before trying to install it.

Tesla unreleased full self-driving mode from real world beta testing because of bugs. And they weren’t on the windshield. Meanwhile, another interesting electric vehicle, a truck, is being rolled out by different company, Rivian. I want one of these. Don’t need it, but I still want one.

And space isn’t what it used to be. No billionaires want to go there anymore. It’s too crowded with billionaires.