Damned if you do/don’t

Tuesday. Today’s word is peruse.

On May 29th, Governor Baker will end Covid Restrictions in Massachusetts, months earlier than expected. Only two weeks left for wearing masks in Boston. I’m not going to miss the fogged glasses and constantly tripping over my feet.

For good or bad, not much goes on at higher levels of the Boston Police Department without City Hall having a guiding hand in it, especially on legal and labor issues. It hasn’t always been that way but that’s the way it’s been for the last half dozen years. And here we are. Now, the one guy holding things together operationally at the BPD, a very capable person who probably doesn’t want the top job anyway, is getting blamed for doing what the team at City Hall told him to do. That doesn’t seem fair. And meanwhile, back at the ranch.

Initially a skeptic, NYT health writer Donald McNeil is giving the China lab-leak theory another, deeper look on his personal blog.

Apple is promoting it’s new lossless music service as a big improvement is the quality of the sound. But it can’t be that big a deal if the company’s own listening devices (Airpods, headphones, Homepods, etc.) won’t be able to use it. Huh?

And UFOs are in the news again thanks to 60 Minutes and a congressional report due next month. Can’t wait.

Let’s get normal for a change

Today is Friday, May 14th. The first vaccine was administered on this day in 1796.

Live Boston rounds up gunplay across the city over the last few days. But check out the photography. There are some amazing shots photos included.

There’s new guidance from the CDC. It’s all good news. We’re still masked in Massachusetts but we’ve taken one huge step in returning to normal: The aisles at Roche Brothers are back to two-way traffic. No more arrows on the floor. Hallelujah!

Another big ransomware attack, this time on the Irish Health Service. Not good.

Some members of Congress are trying to get more money for NASA‘s moon mission. There’s only one problem. NASA says it doesn’t need it.

And a Dogecoin millionaire believes in memes as money. “Memes are the language of the millennials,” he says. As someone a bit older, I’m fascinated by this and by NFT’s, and curious to see how it all plays out in the next several years.

Nearing a new normal

Today is Tuesday and that’s totally tremendous.

Voyager 1, which launched back in 1977, is phoning home from 14 billion miles away with information about plasma waves in interstellar space. That’s just crazy.

England, Northern Ireland and Scotland recorded no Covid deaths in the latest reporting period. (Wales is still catching up, reporting 3 deaths.) Closer to home, Massachusetts had 14 deaths but only 446 new cases. Just a few months ago we were looking at over 6000 new cases a day, so we’re certainly moving in the right direction. By August 1st the worst may be over.

Airline workers were on the front lines in the mask wars. Retail workers too. It’s amazing how selfish and petty people can be. These workers need a raise.

Remember all that rhetoric about blue state bailouts? We were told that states like California shouldn’t get pandemic relief because they couldn’t manage their own budgets? Flash forward: California has a $75.7B budget surplus. Sounds pretty well-managed to me.

And Donovan Leitch, who once had an incredible string of hit songs in the 1960’s, has now teamed up with David Lynch for a music video. There are no talking monkeys but it’s still very Lynchian.

Rights and obligations

Sunday. Happy Mothers Day.

Last night Elon Musk promoted Dogecoin on SNL as the future of currency. Then it crashed. The plot thickens.

Ex-Senate President Tom Birmingham believes that today’s students need more civics instruction. Can’t argue with that.

Beer designed to taste horrible and be consumed as personal performance art to make a point about climate change? Life is getting way too complicated.

Another big ransomware hit, this time against a fuel pipeline operator. Why aren’t these networks hardened against this kind of attack?

And it’s awfully quiet out there. (Doesn’t that usually means that a storm is coming?)

Framing it up

It’s Friday. Happy birthday to David Hume, Tchaikovsky and Totie Fields.

A future without passwords? Google would like us to get there. There’s got to be a catch, right?

When oil prices spiked a few years ago we all had to delve into the world of crude supplies, regional dynamics and refinery constraints to understand what was happening. These days it’s all about lumber. Emily Stewart educates us on timber supplies, closed or understaffed mills, hardwood from the north and softwood from the south, to help explain why prices are going through the roof.

So what the hell happened in this photo of the Bidens and the Carters? I would love to see the original, uncropped and uncorrected version. Obviously a very wide lens was used but judging by the portraits on the wall and other straight edges, software lens correction was also applied after the fact. Maybe the photographer should have dialed that back a bit.

An increase in spontaneous nuclear reactions in the remains at Chernobyl is concerning scientists. But even if the reactions increase exponentially, as scientists worry they could, any explosion should be contained by the concrete enclosure. The operative word there is should.

And Nuzzle, a link aggregation service for Twitter, is, unfortunately, shutting down. It’s parent, Scroll, was acquired by Twitter and they’ve decided to wind down the service. In The Verge, Dieter Bohn described Nuzzle as “beloved by a tiny set of very online news consumers.” Uh, that would be me.