Flash in the pan

A bright Sunday morning. The last day of the first month of the new year.

This meme went around in the fall when there were long lines at testing sites. It was funny because it was true and now it is true.

Michael Santoli says that the social-media-driven market activity from last week was a blip. It won’t persist and certainly won’t impact the larger stock market. Those sound like famous last words. Morgan Housel sees GameStop as the anti-Sears. Sebastian Mallaby defends the establishment. Politicians are on their soapboxes and the regulators will be coming. Just like they did for onions.

Aaron Dale and Emily Norton believe that a career as a wastewater operator is the way to go. Young man, I have one word for you: sewage.

There are too many satellites now and new ones are being launched all the time. I’m exited about the Starlink array but it’s also part of the problem. The UN is in charge of maintaining order up there, so there’s that.

And Geoff Edges talks to the other Davies brother of Kinks fame. What ever happened to that little green amp?

Out of the blue

It’s a chilly Friday and the birthday of the great Anton Chekhov.

Wall Street is rolling out new rules in the wake of the GameStop kerfuffle. Matt Taibbi also weighs in.

Willie Gross usually does things big. His retirement announcement came as a surprise and seemed uncharacteristically subdued. Nobody wants to be a lame duck so the timing, coinciding with the end of the Walsh administration, does make sense in the world of Boston politics. I’ve known Willie for many years he’s always been a man of integrity and generosity. I wish him well in his retirement.

Remember D.B. Cooper? He was the hijacker who jumped out of an airliner with a parachute and $200,000 never to be heard from again. The guy many thought was the most likely suspect just died.

What’s the difference between physics and politics? When a physicist loses a bet, even one over something as complex as the black hole information paradox, and maybe something they have staked their entire career on, they quickly pay up when presented with the evidence that they were wrong. People in politics renege and stick to their original talking points even in the face of indisputable evidence. I’m guessing nobody ever confused Harlan Hill with Stephen Hawking.

And it’s not exactly the flying car we were promised, but I’ll take it.

Market psychology

A Thursday in late January. It’s the 35th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.

Joan Vennochi seems to have some issues with Charlie Baker. She’s right about one thing. Baker, a Republican, understands Democratic voters in Massachusetts way better than most Democratic politicians do.

Watch out, Reddit. William Galvin has the whole GameStop thing on his radar. Is it stock manipulation? Maybe. But it’s not wildly unlike what happens in financial markets and on CNBC everyday. We think that the price of any given stock is governed by market forces like profitability and growth trajectory. But more often than not it just comes down to a group of people deciding something has value. Herd mentality. In the case of GameStop it’s just a different herd.

If you ever have an expensive camera stolen, you can use the metadata from an old photo to see who is using it now. Very clever.

Preliminary results from a randomized, controlled trial showed no benefits to using Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. In some cases it made things worse. Oklahoma is just now figuring this out.

And the photo accompanying a Globe story on shark attacks was pretty graphic for my morning coffee. They definitely needed a bigger boat.