Joshua Keating updates his analysis of the war in Ukraine. Some of the likely scenarios on the table in his original take last March, such as a quick or even a qualified Russian victory, are now pretty much off the table. Some of the impossible outcomes, such as a complete Ukrainian victory, have moved from the impossible to the unlikely—but possible—category.
Wednesday. Today’s word is cerebral.
The Times looks at how museums are dealing with questions about the origins of some artwork. The MFA even has a curator for provenance.
With all that federal money for transportation infrastructure in the mix, lawmakers decided that it was time to connect the western part of Massachusetts with the eastern part. Currently it’s easier to get to western Mass by train from New York than it is from Boston.
The DeSantis slap at Disney reminds me of Curley trying to slap Moe and instead smacking himself. Why you…
How does Ukraine intelligence continue to beat Russia at their own game? Looks like they’re getting a little help from their friends.
And this website allows you to enter a phrase and have it translated into ten different languages and then back to English. It’s fun for a while. I entered “synergizing backward overflow.”
Sunday. This morning’s album is Sleepwalker by the Kinks.
Firearm deaths for people aged 19 and under rose 29% between 2019 and 2020. Shrug. Disney and math textbooks? Outrage.
And Apple is removing apps that haven’t been updated in some time. Better get in one last game of Snood.
Saturday. Today’s album is Daryl Hall’s Before After.
David Hume Kennerly on photography and war.
Last night I ran across this excellent studio performance by a band from Moscow doing a cover of Chicago’s ironic protest song Dialogue (Part I & II). In this case the two singers going back and forth are from Russia and Ukraine. The video is from 2019 but resonates strongly today, especially since one of the two singers, Serge Tiagnyriadno, is now on the ground defending Kyiv.
Gambling is doing well in Massachusetts.
And how did the Chick-fil-A cross the road? This is how.
Thursday. The word of the day is opportune.
Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter outright, now.
It’s budget season in these parts. Boston’s budget is pretty practical. Lots of necessary facility and infrastructure upgrades. Personnel costs dominate. Status quo. That’s not a bad thing. At the State House, despite overflowing coffers, the Governor’s plan for tax relief for for seniors, low earners, renters, and parents of dependent children was put off by legislators. Speaker Ron Mariano told Commonwealth Magazine that those tax cuts “weren’t necessary.”
Russia is blustering over Sweden and Finland joining NATO, throwing out the threat of moving nuclear weapons closer to the border. As if close to the border is worse.
And here are the winners of Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ macro photography contest. Wow.
Gilbert Gottfried has died. The Miles Davis of comedy.
Many Democratic cities are backtracking on defunding the police and instead are moving to hire more cops. It’s amazing what a couple of years and an increase in crime can do. And in Maryland, a last minute police reform bill has made everyone unhappy. Which means it’s probably solid policy.
Sam Tyler weighs in on an appointed vs. elected School Committee. As you might guess, the practical-minded Tyler favors the former.
The war in Ukraine looks, increasingly, like an ongoing conflict. The other war—the economic one—will continue on as well. Whether we’ll have the will to persist with it is yet to be seen.
And insider trading, crypto-style? Sure looks that way.
Monday. The second day of Squirrel Week.
Jet Blue is looking beat up these days. The question is: Is it just chipped paint from the weather or is it a crack in the fuselage?
Matt Viser on Kamala and Marty.
The jigsaw puzzle is almost finished but one important piece that was supposed to fit… just doesn’t. In this case, the puzzle is the Universe.
And what’s a good tip for a robot waiter? You tell me.
A sanguine Sunday.
It’s the start of Squirrel Week. Hold onto your hat.
Are Americans really worried about rising crime. Gallup says yes. Concerns about crime are at their highest level !!! (…since 2016.) In reality, their data show that crime worries are down significantly from 2001. But, you know, headlines. Also, those patterns of partisan reaction to crime are pretty interesting.
So what would happen if Russia and the US engaged in a broad nuclear exchange? The good news is, we wouldn’t have to worry about global warming anymore.
Constructor Theory. It’s a new way to think about physics and natural laws. Here’s an introduction.
An uncanny valley for… benches?
Inflation prognosticator Larry Summers recalls the early 1970’s when demand outstripped supply and then, unexpectedly, OPEC tightened oil markets. As he noted in an interview with Ezra Klein, “in many ways, that’s the right analogy for now.” It does certainly does have a familiar unwelcome ring to it.
Bitcoin is so 2020. It’s over. Ethereum is what the cool kids are into.
Maybe it’s just from the perspective of a guy getting up there, but this cellular rejuvenation thing seems like kind of a big deal.
And meanwhile, in Russia…
Friday morning. Happy birthday to Shecky Greene.
All those diplomats were really spies? Who woulda thought.
Tom Nagorski and Joshua Keating take on the mystery of why so many Russian generals are getting killed in Ukraine.
Robinhood is opening up the beta for crypto wallets. This could be interesting.
And, “Your Competitor Wrote The RFP You’re Bidding On”. File under: funny because it’s true.