A bonus SRF, contentedness through mindfulness, a case of the sleepies

I’m having a really hard time motivating myself to do work-work today, since I finished off the Fated for Firelizards alpha yesterday and pushed a big update. It was an unusual spurt of work that I hope becomes more usual for me again. Problem is that it happened on a Monday, so my natural urge is to take time off…but I just had a weekend. I’d rather do a few days of light work and just get to the weekend.

The next item on my to-do list is really just to start pulling together the Author’s Cut, so I’m trying to remind myself all I *need* to do at the moment is start copying + pasting parts of the book. The urge to initiate is tricky to navigate, though. Especially since it demands standing at my standing desk right now and I’m sore.

So that’s why I’m here again, posting another Sara Reads the Feed. I’ve been marking a lot of articles that I don’t necessarily share, since I do multiple passes of curation to knock the number of articles down. But hey, why not post more if the time is there?

In regards to other ongoing projects-lite, I haven’t reviewed movies as much lately because I’m watching a lot more TV. Not Doc Martin, the greatest show ever made, because I wanted to zip through a rewatch of Lucifer. I’ll be back to that soon though. I might do an overall review of the TV show Lucifer in a single post; episode-by-episode or even season-by-season recaps are a bit more intensive, and I don’t have that much to say about this one. Lucifer is pure candy.


Psyche posted a thoughtful article about aging well.

One thing I learned from being *really* stoned for eight years straight is how to live life with limited cognition/ability. It’s not a tidy comparison for numerous reasons. However, it’s a long time impaired and often semi-verbal. I got myself into a State that I couldn’t leave daily, and I still managed to spend a lot of fulfilling time like that. Not by expecting myself to perform like when I’m sober, but by accepting what I can do, and being contented in it. (You’d think the weed contributes to fulfilling happy time. You’d be wrong.)

It’s really about being mindful. Appreciating what you have instead of what you don’t. And that’s basically where this article goes with aging as well.

To grow with age, I suggest practising various forms of mindfulness. Just as exercise for the body helps to maintain and improve physical health, mindfulness is mental training that flexes the mind for optimal health and wellbeing. It involves a curious investigation of the present moment – your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. The benefits include improved concentration, more awareness, an ability to stay focused on what is important, and the ability to meet challenges with kindness, humour, resilience and mental adaptability.


Speaking of addictive substances, I have to apologize for talking about former President Trump. He keeps falling asleep at his trial. Vanity Fair speculates it’s because he can’t have his usual 12 daily cans of Diet Coke (!!!). Food and drink aren’t allowed in the court room, and this is a criminal trial, so he has to be there and behave himself.

There’s something like forty-five grams of caffeine in the average can of diet soda; a dozen cans daily means he’s clearing at least 540g of caffeine each day he has them, and that’s assuming his *only* caffeine source is Diet Coke. He’s also known to use a type of cold medicine that is caffeinated (Snopes link because they talk ingredients).

According to the FDA, an adult should only have a max of 400mg caffeine/day, which you’d get from nine cans and a couple pieces of dark chocolate. They compare that to 3-4 cups of coffee, but that really depends on the size of coffee and brew.

Sensitivity depends on the individual. Everyone metabolizes it at a different rate. I can’t do 400mg/day. My heart goes *crazy* when I begin to approach that level of caffeine. Lately I’ve been keeping it to around 100mg/day (in black tea) in order to keep myself from having heart palpitations.

The point I’m getting at is that, yeah, losing access to his sodas could absolutely make him fall asleep in court. But I bet it feels amazing. Aside from the headaches, letting your body settle from stimulants is magic. Sleep feels restful, your heart is happy, your mood mellows. The dude needs a mellower mood.

Everyone loves Trump having a case of the sleepies. It’s a New Yorker cartoon. Colbert and Stewart each talked about it in their monologues last night, too. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see it on SNL too. Honestly? This monster is most endearing when he’s unconscious, so I get it.


Smithsonian Mag shares a scan inside of a full-term condor egg. The images are exquisite and stunning. What a beautiful little life form.

A lot can go wrong during hatching, which is why veterinarians who run California condor breeding programs in the United States keep a close eye on developing eggs. Several weeks ago, an egg being monitored by the breeding team at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance started to raise alarm bells—the chick, it seemed, had gotten into a contorted position.

To assess the situation—and the bird’s survival prospects—specialists placed the California condor egg in a computed tomography (CT) machine, revealing a detailed, three-dimensional view of what was happening inside.

Don’t worry; baby Emaay hatched successfully under the care of the biological parents and is doing well by all accounts.


FNAF2 is on its way. (Variety) No surprise there: the first one performed quite well in the box office. Blumhouse is smart with this one. They calculated that pleasing *only* hardcore FNAF fans would be enough to support the flick, and they were right. So they set the budget appropriately, wrote it for the fans and nobody else, and walked away with lots of bank.

I didn’t mind FNAF, though I wasn’t the audience. I still prefer Willy’s Wonderland though.


NASA is trying to figure out a good way to get samples back from the Marsian surface. (Ars Technica)

Their current plans don’t look viable after all, and the whole mission is at risk. Eleven billion dollars to only get samples back by 2040 is not, apparently, going to work for everyone involved.

The most recent iteration of the Mars Sample Return mission involves two launches. One would take place in 2030 with a European spacecraft that will orbit Mars and wait for the second mission—the responsibility of NASA—to depart Earth in 2035 with a Sample Retrieval Lander (SRL). The second launch would involve a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), the rocket necessary to launch samples off the red planet and into space.

The lander would deliver the MAV to the Martian surface, and the Perseverance rover, already on Mars, will deliver sealed tubes of rock and soil specimens into a container for the trip back to Earth. The MAV would then launch the material into orbit around Mars, where the European-built Earth Return Orbiter would rendezvous with the sample container and pick it up for the journey home.

These launches were previously scheduled to occur two years apart in the late 2020s, but those target dates are no longer attainable with the current plan and budget, officials said Monday.

So what are they gonna do? No really, what are they going to do? They’d love to get more ideas, and they’re reaching out to private companies for help.

As soon as Tuesday, NASA will release a solicitation for the private sector to propose ideas to bring back Perseverance’s samples. Companies with the best ideas will receive some NASA funding later this year to support 90-day studies, and these reports will inform agency leaders on how to proceed with the Mars Sample Return. NASA could be ready to make decisions on a new architecture by the end of the year.

“We are opening up the aperture and allowing industry to propose concepts,” said Nicky Fox, head of NASA’s science mission directorate. “Yes, we would be OK with a higher risk posture. I’m definitely looking at things that have high heritage, the kind of tried and true architectures and elements of architectures that maybe have worked in the past, different ways of doing the various elements, a smaller Mars Ascent Vehicle.”


The New York Review of Books talks about “Tom’s Men,” as in, Tom of Finland, an iconic gay artist of the 20th century. The author killed it with this article; descriptions of his work are as vivid as the illustrations themselves.

His pants are pulled down over his feet like a ruched satin shade. His hips are slung to one side in classic contrapposto, showing off the bounciest bubble butt you ever saw. His tiny waist is just glimpsed beneath the bottom of a sailor’s white shirt, which covers an improbably broad back that curves in a long “S” from neck to pelvis. His head, perched in profile as he looks over his right shoulder, has features of exaggerated, cartoonish masculinity: short straight nose, full pouting lips, strong jaw, pronounced chin, angular sideburns. His cap slides down over his forehead with an attitude of arrogant nonchalance as he revels in the pleasures of being beautiful and being seen. It’s so hypermasculine that it bends toward high femme, the pose and the voluptuousness recalling the Venus Callipyge—“Venus of the beautiful buttocks”—a Roman marble statue of the love goddess lifting her dress and allowing mortals to marvel at otherworldly perfection.


It kinda looks like a Netflix true crime documentary may have fabricated images of a real person using AI, according to Engadget. The image posted certainly does have AI hallmarks, though more information is certainly necessary, since this would be such a lurid use of the technology.


Another sign of a flagging free internet: The FCC is apparently cool with ISPs charging people more money for guaranteed high-speed gaming. Ars Technica explains why this is a problem.

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