Yelling fire in a crowded theater

Today is Sunday. A bright, cool day. And only 221 days left until New Year’s.

This is the week that the US will likely record its 100,000th death.

Data suggests that the badly ad-libbed March 11th Oval Office speech may have been the trigger for much of the outbreak in the US. The inaccurate information broadcast that night caught everyone by surprise and spread panic as people rushed onto flights home from an already infected Europe before the transportation system was ready to handle those crowds safely.

Today we’re watching television and movie productions that were filmed pre-covid. Eventually the shows in the can will run out. Studios are trying to figure out how to get back to work safely before that happens.

The virus may end up making Boston more like Paris. In a good way.

And if you thought flying was tedious in the past, get ready for what’s coming. Christopher Muther fills us in.

The beginning of Start

Today is Tuesday. It’s also the day Anne Boleyn lost her head.

Welcome to the world of post-civility politics. It’s too bad. I’m old enough to remember a time when adults acted like adults and public figures at least attempted to appear gracious.

The Globe gives us the key takeaways from Baker’s incrementalist reopening plan announced yesterday. Reaction-wise, most business owners are cautiously optimistic but there are also some complaints, especially from gym owners.

Ken Osmond, the actor who played Eddie Haskell, has died.

Apparently it’s not a good time to buy a bicycle. Most places are completely sold out. But if you’re already out there on your bike, it’s a lot easier to get around, especially in the city.

A PERF analysis found that during the lockdown crime went down in many places, but not all. In Boston there were fewer arrests but in reading Universal Hub, there seems to be a lot more violent activity in the last few days. Maybe it’s just spring.

And Matthew Gilbert takes us down to blooper town.

American carnage

Good Good Friday. Sunny in the morning but rain later. RIP Mort Drucker.

Saturday Night Live is back with new episodes starting tomorrow. What it will look like in the era of social distancing is something of a mystery.

Yesterday, 799 people died from Covid-19 in New York, according to Governor Cuomo. That may be a significant undercount of the actual numbers. In Massachusetts there were 77 deaths Thursday but Governor Baker warns that we’re still on the upslope and the numbers will rise. At the same time the president wants to reopen the country much quicker than experts, and even his own advisers, believe would be safe. And he doesn’t think an ongoing program of testing is necessary (except for his own circle, apparently.) I think most governors will just ignore him.

In fact, that woman from Michigan is imposing the most stringent travel restrictions in the country, so far.

Germany is gearing up to run the world’s first nationwide antibody testing effort. In Massachusetts we are at least a month out.

And watch out for fleeceware in the iPhone app store. Free trials can be very expensive.

Not too hot, not too cold

It’s Thursday, and it’s the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre.

The Irish Film Festival is coming to the Somerville Theater on March 19th, running until the 22nd. Moviemaker called it “One of the Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.”

After Tuesday’s election, Bruce Mohl reviews the impact of Governor Baker’s super PAC, which promotes moderate centrists of both parties. The results? Right down the middle.

I don’t think anyone actually believed the official numbers from Iran on how many were infected with coronavirus. 3000? More like 30,000. In China, social media propagandists are revising the history of the virus to imply that it originated in the US. Airlines are cutting flights but are showing some flexibility with rescheduling. And don’t worry about that Amazon package sent from China. The virus wouldn’t survive the trip. It does turn out, though, that maybe you can give the virus to your dog. Or maybe not.

Investor and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio has some thoughts on the potential economic impact of the virus.

If you’re thinking about buying a new TV, this series on demystifying technical terms might be a good place to start your research. There are four parts: 1- Screen size, resolution, and speed; 2- Display types and technologies; 3- Color standards, definitions and 4- LED backlighting.

And The Wirecutter looks across all categories to give us a list of the their longest running best products.

An expensive education

Thursday, February 6. It’s International Frozen Yogurt Day!

The BSO is old and stodgy. No surprise there. Scott Kearnan suggests that an upcoming change in leadership might provide an opportunity to spice things up a little bit. I hope so. A little Philip Glass sometime would be nice.

The School Department‘s ask of $1.26 billion for FY21 is a big chunk of the overall city operating budget, which runs in the order of three and half billion. I know schools are expensive but this seems, proportionally, a little high.

Apple stock took a jump yesterday based on optimism about wearables. And that was before the news that Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry by a wide margin. I knew Apple watches were popular but I didn’t know they were that popular.

The NYPD is moving from paper notepads to an iPhone app. This is a big and important shift in how officers document their work. I assume the app and back end have been extensively tested for reliability. Let’s hope so.

And City on a Hill is in town filming season two. Some of those old prop cruisers are before even my time.

From gold to bronze

January 19th. Sunday. A day of rest and popcorn.

Self driving cars? Never say never.

Charlie Baker has been dethroned as the most popular governor in America. But it was close. It’s actually a three-way tie for highest favorability but Baker’s unfavorable numbers pushed him down overall to number three, behind Mark Gordon of Wyoming and Larry Hogan of Maryland.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is back for season 10 this evening. The trailer bodes well.

The drama at Reddit Boston continues. And now there’s a breakaway sub.

Brian Chen advises us not to be over-reliant on the cloud. If, at some point, you decide to cancel your subscriptions you could lose a lot of data if that data is not backed up locally. So do that.

Fox Business counts two billion reasons how Bloomberg can unseat Trump.

And while local TV newscasters are in a lather over several possible inches of snow this weekend, the folks in Newfoundland really have something to complain about.