Good government guys

Thursday. It feels like rain. Happy birthday to Peter Gabriel, Carol Lynley, Jerry Springer and Peter Tork.

Once again Globe food writer Devra First can’t seem to make it across the Neponset River, missing out on a lot of fine places to eat south of the city. (Delfino in Roslindale was a good choice, though.)

A CBO-like office for Massachusetts, to review the efficacy of proposed legislation? Sounds like a good idea, actually. And the names of the people involved should instill confidence.

Lyle Mays has died. I always loved his playing with Pat Metheny. The improvised melodies had a personality and there seemed to be a chemistry there. Some good examples: The Way Up; Speaking of Now; Imaginary Day – all great records and featured on today’s playlist.

Adam Gaffin reports on Cape Air’s quest to make a splash with a seaplane route between Long Wharf and the East River in NYC.

And the biggest industry event for mobile technology has been canceled because of the coronavirus. There won’t be a Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year. That’s a big deal.

Jumping the line

A cloudy Tuesday. Happy birthday to Rosa Parks, Betty Friedan and Alice Cooper.

Pity the poor platypus.

A bill heading to the MA legislature would make turnstile jumping a non-arrestable offense and lessen the overall penalties. It’s probably a sensible move but I still think that if we just made it cheaper and easier to pay, more people would pay.

The legitimacy of the outcome of an election is based on confidence in the process, as we all well know. So this is probably not a good sign.

A/B testing works well for software interface designs and things like headlines on web sites. But now it’s being used to determine what issues some newspapers cover. That doesn’t strike me right.

Tesla stocks are up this morning for an unknown reason. Could it be this? Semi-related: Here’s what one of their self-driving cars sees as it drives down the street. Pretty amazing.

And yesterday was Truck Day. A happy harbinger of Spring.

Addition by subtraction

Saturday, the first of February. Happy birthday to Don Everly, Boris Yeltsin and Lisa Marie Presley.

The European Union is a little bit smaller this morning. While you were sleeping, BREXIT happened. A ‘Brexodus‘ is underway in Brussels. And things in Northern Ireland are… complicated. But otherwise the breakup is going according to plan. (Don’t forget to update your euros.) I think Brexit was a horrible idea. But this type of bureaucratic overreach by the EU reminds me why it got started in the first place.

There will soon be 400 less parking spaces at the already-at-capacity Braintree MBTA station. You can’t argue with the need for maintenance but, from the South Shore commuter’s point of view, it takes using the T off the table. So much for less cars on the road.

Speaking of disruptive construction at a transportation hub, here are the South Station tower project phases laid out in a video. Get ready.

And is the coronavirus a bioweapon? This guy thinks so. UPDATE: looks like this conspiracy theory is circulating in the usual places.

Come on and take a free ride

Today is Tuesday. In 1998 an impeachment trial began in the Senate.

Don’t hate winter. Embrace it.

Free MBTA buses. It’s really not that bad of an idea, but I suspect it wouldn’t be feasible from a cost point of view. I would first lean towards something that would make payments much easier and a lot cheaper, not only on buses but on the entire system. Non-proprietary micropayments of some kind.

The FBI is once again asking Apple for help unlocking a phone. Sounds like they’re at least working together on it this time.

No, we’re not going to bomb cultural sites. I can’t believe this is even a discussion.

And live in concert, it’s your favorite dead musician.

No spots available

A Monday squeezed between Christmas and New Year. Weather-wise, it’s a good day to stay in if you don’t have to go out.

While you were relaxing by the fire over the holidays scientists were working on submitting their papers. Here are some of the most cited from last year.

If you want to take the T to work you have to get to the station. If you don’t live near the station you have to drive to it. And then you have to park. Many lots are full by the morning rush and because of supply and demand prices for parking go up. And that’s on top of your T pass. Eventually you run the numbers and find it’s cheaper, quicker and more convenient to just drive in and park. That’s unfortunate but it’s a reality for a lot of people.

The hype was overblown but the potential for a Y2K catastrophe was real. Looking back, it was thanks to the work of a lot of dedicated people that we averted disaster twenty years ago.

Boston had 38 murders so far in 2019. There’s a list of each of the victims compiled by Adam Gaffin. By comparison with similar sized cities, San Francisco had 32, Milwaukee‘s total was 98, Baltimore had 339 and Philly, a slightly bigger city, had 351.

And, from Tulare, CA to Quakertown, PA, an autonomous truck delivered the butter. It was the first cross-country autonomous freight run.