Mind the gap

Happy Saturday. Enjoy the day.

British politicians have a tradition of meeting with their constitutions called political ‘surgeries.’ It’s become a deadly practice lately.

In the wake of a series of incidents, Boston voters were asked about safety on the T. It’s mostly safe, they said. But not very.

In the late 80’s, when Elon Musk was still a teenager, Buick came up with a dashboard touch screen that was way ahead of its time. It was pretty remarkable. Take a look.

Our news intake went up during the pandemic. Consequently, our mental health well being went down.

And the Russians keep screwing up at the International Space Station. Not good.

Throw money

Wednesday, October 6th. There’s still baseball happening.

Two endorsements: Markey for Wu and Trump for Diehl. The former may have some effect but the latter is just a curiosity in these parts.

The MBTA safety team has doubled in size, according to General Manager Steve Poftak, and the agency is spending three times what it had in previous years on capital projects. And yet safety issues are still regularly occurring and projects are lagging. So what’s the solution?

Following the lead of the Boston Public Library, the New York Public Library is eliminating all late fees. Bad news for Bookman.

The trillion-dollar coin is still a possibility. Fascinating. It would be minted in West Point and flown by helicopter to New York, where it would be deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank… assuming the guy carrying it doesn’t have any holes in his pockets.

And I didn’t know Muhammed Ali was an artist outside of the ring. He was.

Can’t get there from here

Mid week. Wednesday. Coffee Day.

What a way to win a marathon. When the frontrunners took a wrong turn, the guy trailing them stayed true to course – and won the medal.

The MBTA is getting dangerous. Crashes, derailments, bloody escalator incidents. And that’s just this week! There seems to be something systemically wrong. Filling the vacancies on the Board of Directors would help, as would better day-to-day management and financial control. The mayoral candidates also chimed in on the apparent chaos, according the the Globe, calling for more investment. Which might be hard to do if you’re also calling for cutting revenue. Every dollar counts.

The critics seem to like the new Bond movie. But he really should get a better phone from Q.

Why are supply chain bottlenecks so persistent? It’s complicated but Michael Cembalest of J.P. Morgan breaks it down to supply, demand and shipping costs. Apparently it’s more profitable for Chinese shipping companies to return containers empty than it is for them to refill them with all the stuff on the dock waiting to be exported.

And I always enjoy reading those clickbaity science headlines. Something ‘is happening and experts don’t know why.’ Sounds mysterious and a little scary. In this case, it turns out that the reason we don’t know why is because we don’t have any data to compare against. No mystery after all. But they did get me to read the article.

Vicarious victimhood

Tuesday. It’s a birthday for Davy Crockett, Robert De Niro and Mae West.

Weekend commuter rail is back. So are the riders. Bruce Mohl reports that Sunday ridership is back to 100% of what it was pre-covid on some lines.

There have been way too many instances of gunfire in the commercial areas of Boston recently. Newbury Street, Albany Street, Downtown Crossing. Too many guns and people stupid enough to use them indiscriminately. It’s only a matter of time before this will lead to a defining tragedy for the city.

Is doxing good or bad? I guess it depends on where you stand on the person getting doxed. Emma Beteul reports on efforts to make the practice illegal.

When it was introduced, the magnetic strip on a credit card was a huge technological leap for commerce. But now its going away. Mastercard gives us a history lesson and a look at the future.

And we’re altering and tweaking the genetic makeup of bugs. What could possibly go wrong.

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!