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Somerville’s Budget Problem

If Somerville’s city council tries to make moderate cuts to the police budget this year, the Mayor will respond by defunding the crossing guards. He’ll blame the council for making him do it. It’s classic bullying and budgetary hostage taking and it sucks. In order…

Race Riots

My mother used to tell stories about the 1967 race riots in Detroit. She was 17 years old, living with her parents at 7 mile and Woodward. She told me how the National Guard rolled tanks down the street while her grandfather hid in the…

Reopening

Please remember, as you decide how to act in the coming days and weeks: We are not re-opening because we beat the virus. There is not adequate testing. There is no vaccine. There is no demonstrated treatment or cure. From a medical perspective, we are…

Not backward

I’ll be honest, I don’t want to go back to the “normal” we had in February. I was killing myself with business travel. It was a slow sort of killing … but killing nonetheless. I was on a train most weeks and a plane most…

Avoidable

The thing that really frustrates me about the crises I’ve seen in my life is that, by and large, the financial devastation is 100% avoidable. Absolutely, 100% avoidable. Covid-19 has killed hundreds of thousands of people. That’s real and it’s not up for debate. I…

No magic bullet

Getting serious for a moment: It’s time to stop pretending that, if we can only hold out long enough, everything is going to go back to exactly how it was before this pandemic. It is not. Please ignore what our so-called leaders are saying about…

COVID-19

The epidemic has really put a dent in my blogging. I’m amazed at the people who have been able to maintain their usual steady, productive output. For my part, I feel like I’m running on about half my usual emotional / mental capacity. I make…

The Ben Franklin Awards

Once a year, bioinformatics.org gives the “Benjamin Franklin” award to a person whose practice has “advanced open access in data and methods for life sciences.” There’s no cash prize, and the recipient doesn’t even get to give a talk. It usually gets presented in the…

Preparations

Okay, so the trip is real. Tickets have been purchased. I’m totally confident that I can work the clutch and the brakes on this machine until about noon on Saturday. That’s a good 36 hours about which I have confidence. Better than usual. On Friday…

Men silencing men

People sometimes ask what motivates me to speak out publicly as an advocate and an ally to women and other underrepresented groups. Sometimes these questions are sincere. Mostly they are not. As I have found my voice on this topic, I have become aware of…