Despite the beautiful weather, trips, vacations, and the lure of outdoor sunshine, Susanne and I completed a pretty good set of posts this month. A surprising number of them were about business and technology, given the time of year. In summer our thoughts usually turn away from the office and toward that outdoor sunshine or cooking or movies. Plus beaches, mountains, boats, picnic baskets, and tennis courts.
Here’s the roundup of July 2015 posts so you can catch up on any you missed. Plus, a few updates are included as a summer bonus.
Animals and Wildlife
- Cecil the Lion Sleeps Forever
Zimbabwe has asked for the extradition of Walter J. Palmer and we have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe. That country wants him to stand trial for violating local hunting laws.
A petition to Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch supporting the extradition has acquired over 175,000 signatures, including mine. The mighty hunter remains in seclusion but U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers want to talk to himas well. Does anyone know where Dr. Palmer is hiding?
BTW: If you thought the subject of this post was disgusting, it gets worse. Listen to WBUR’s OnPoint for Tom Ashbrook’s story on “canned” lion hunting in Africa. Basically, they raise lions in captivity and use the cubs in petting zoos so the animals are accustomed to human contact right from the start. Adults that are not so cute and sorta dangerous are killed in “hunts” where people pick out their lions online, pay thousands of dollars, travel to South Africa, and shoot lions that are basically tame and have been penned in small areas or tranquilized. The “hunters” just walk up to the lion and shoot it. Now you know why I put the word in quotes. Toward the end of the story, though, a caller had a really great suggestion for putting an end to the trophy hunting that is decimating African wildlife.
Books, Movies and TV
- 5-Movie Scoreboard
- Real-Life Ballers
- Downtown American Lit
I have added a new business to my fictional Main Street based on locations made famous in American Literature. It’s a movie theater, The Royal, from Larry McMurtry’s book, The Last Picture Show. The novel was turned into a movie in 1971 starring Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, and Cybill Shepherd. I’m still looking for suggestions from well-read fans. There’s lots of real estate available in Downtown American Lit.
Business and Technology
- The OPM Data Hack
Despite my cyncism about official accountability, Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta resigned her position on July 20 as the scope of the data theft widened. Beth Cobert is serving as acting director of OPM.
- Airline Collusion
Airlines have cut more than 11,000 flights to and from smaller cities in the South and Midwest, reducing capacity in pursuit of profits. The smaller hubs have “taken big hits” making the few flights that remain more expensive because there are also fewer connections and the equipment will be more crowded, making those flights unpleasant. The four major carriers did this in unison all while denying that they are colluding.
- The Unfriendly Skies
All the competition among the airlines is now focused on first-class passengers at the expense, of course, of the rest of us. To make room for “a ridiculous level of opulence” up front, the airlines are not only jamming narrower seats closer together, they are removing padding. The Boston Globe’s Christopher Muther tells us that these seats are, “about as comfortable as sitting on a park bench for a long-haul flight.”
Family and Friends
Health and Safety
- The Semicolon Project
- Nowhere to Go
The Boston Public Market on Congress Street is now open and offers free public restrooms.