Chicken or the egg

It’s Sunday. The Pats kick off the season today with the Dolphins, at 1.

Dave Epstein advises us not to pull the air conditioner out, just yet. September, he says, is now more like a fourth month of summer than the first month of fall.

Small and large business groups in New York City are worried that the city is backsliding into what it was in the 1990’s and they want the mayor to do something about it. “Until the people come back, the streets aren’t safe. If the streets aren’t safe, the people don’t come back,” one executive said.

Craig Walker went on assignment for a photo essay on the conditions at Mass and Cass. It’s not a pretty picture.

Chrometophobia is a fear of cash. Dirty, filthy, germ covered cash. SoftBank is betting big on coronavirus-based chrometophobia in a cash happy Japan.

And an 81 year old congressman became an expert at Zoom. Minus mute/unmute.

Magneto and Titanium Man

Today is Saturday. The word of the day is foment.

Football is back. Jim McBride breaks dow what to expect for tomorrow’s Pats game. It’ll be interesting in more ways than one.

Strontium, Zirconium and Phosphorus are the nicknames Microsoft gave to the hacking groups operating out of Russia, China and Iran, respectively. These are the groups actively targeting the presidential election. “It is critical that everyone involved in democratic processes around the world, both directly or indirectly, be aware of these threats and take steps to protect themselves in both their personal and professional capacities,” wrote Tom Burt, the company’s Vice President of Customer Security & Trust, on the Microsoft blog.

Hey, here’s a crazy idea: a team of non-partisan experts from across government, epidemiology and health care, all focused on tackling the problems at the heart of a national emergency. Sort of like a Covid Manhattan Project.

In the 1990’s, the big names in cheap, mass produced PCs were Gateway and Dell. Gateway was the big kahuna and Dell the upstart. As competition heated up, Dell ate their lunch and eventually Gateway disappeared. But they’re back. Or, at least, the name is. Acer is now offering a Gateway branded laptop. Unclear if it comes in a cow box.

And eating in the great outdoors should continue into the fall as Charlie Baker has stated that he intends to sign an executive order extending the timeline for permitting outdoor dining. Now it’s up to the weather. Which, in an La Niña year, means, get out the snowblower.

Window of opportunity

Tuesday. Another hot humid day with temps in the 90’s.

Phoenix reached 115 in July and now they’ve broken the record for the most days of 110-plus temps in a year. But it’s a dry heat.

Massachusetts is in pretty good shape, Covid-wise. Infection rates are low, so much so that some parents are pushing back about keeping schools closed. But, as Helen Branswell warns us, winter is coming and if we let our guard down between now and then things could get “Dickensianly bleak.”

Jerry Taylor has some advice for Democratic strategists.

Swarms of small earthquakes happening at the southern end of the San Andres fault don’t always mean something big is coming, but each time it happens seismologists worry that this could be the time.

Wine windows are making a comeback in Italy. Designed for low-contact commerce in the time of the plague, they’re being reopened for serving lattes, gelato and, of course wine, in the time of coronavirus.

Gordian knot

It’s Wednesday, the 190th day of 2020. Just 176 more to go.

Why is Stella mad? Wait and she’ll tell you.

A list of prominent writers and artists have come together to write a letter in Harpers on the importance of, and need for, freedom of expression. Pretty clear cut, right? But another writer is apoplectic because the authors, in writing the letter, did in fact express themselves, making the premiss of the letter false. And others are speaking out against speaking up. It’s a controversy that encapsulates these times pretty well.

It looks like The Swamp is actually getting deeper.

Adam Gaffin reports on the slow trickle of museum openings, including the Gardner, Aquarium and Museum of Science.

And it’s officially hurricane season and it looks like it’s going to be a busy one. Of course it does.

Blowing in the wind

Wednesday. It’s National Frog Jumping Day. Cancelled.

The Guardian has a profile of Ian Dury, the “Count Dracula of vernacular.”

What are the pandemic dangers going forward? This is one of the clearest and most informative articles by an expert that I’ve read so far on where and how the virus spreads and what you can do to avoid it. The author, Erin Bromage, is an immunologist at UMass Dartmouth. Here’s another article by Bromage on the importance of testing in reducing infection rates.

Grounded airliners are screwing up weather forecasting.

People are understandably tired of staying home and are beginning to move around more. Here’s a map that shows where it’s happening. This could explain why the Michigan governor has been so strict. In any case what happens today will impact the infection rate three to five weeks from now. So we’ll see what happens then.

Everything is made of fermions and bosons. At least that’s what we thought. Physicists are now exploring the existence of a whole new family of particles, anyons. Who ordered that?

And 2020 graduates are having a tough year. But there’s doughnuts!