Flappy Bird on Playdate, Lizzo isn’t lazy, and so-called AI in Furiosa

My family spent the first two days of this three-day weekend binging all four seasons of Star Trek: Lower Decks. I saw some fans on Bluesky talking about streaming ST:LD to boost numbers, hoping we can get more seasons, and my entire family likes the show so it was convenient anyway.

Man, I love that show. It’s truly our perfect Trek.

That is a lot of TV, though. I think my body is now couch-shaped.


Most of the homeschooling I’ve done with my teenager is focused on history, media analysis, literacy, evaluating sources, and other things that I’m good at. We haven’t really been doing math at an appropriate level. Our family has some very specific oddball learning disorders, and trying to figure out how to do math around that has been a challenge.

I actually really like math, and I’m not bad at it. But most math concepts after the early grades can’t be taught naturalistically. You can work on numbers with wee kids at the grocery store, while cooking, etc. Getting into complicated stuff demands simply sitting down with paper to do the work.

This morning I spent a while making brand-new math worksheets so we can do maths this week. I used to make worksheets for myself, for fun (yes, I am a nerd), so all the formatting and whatnot is something I do easily. I’m using a common core workbook to provide the problems, but I’m eliminating repetition, and I’m simplifying explanations of the concepts that I find on reputable websites. Luckily there is lots of help in math for this age level. I just need to reshape it so that I can dodge the learning blocks appropriately. (I hope…)

I’m also adding in cat jokes to make it more relevant to my kid’s interests. And mine. Cat jokes are great.


Someone made a Flappy bird clone for Playdate. (Engadget)

In other small consumer device news, the Kobo Clara Color looks like a nice e-reader. (Engadget) As an author, I really like Kobo’s book subscription reading service. I might actually end up getting a Kobo next time I’m shopping for an e-reader.


While talking to NPR Books, Stephen King said he thinks you can’t gross out the American public — you can’t go too far. Playfully, I say that I’m really gonna test that with my book Insomniac Cafe. I don’t even know if publishers will wanna touch it. But I’m trying to be so, so gross. I think I can go too far. It’s one of my class skills.


Memorial Day Weekend movies didn’t do so hot. (Variety) Furiosa’s not pulling people into the theater, and neither is Garfield, although the latter is better at it. I think Garfield is a pretty good example of the way that families with young kids will see basically anything kid-oriented because it’s just Something To Do with the kids. Still, the movie industry isn’t happy with the returns.

Talking about Furiosa, which was a perfectly fine movie, AI usage is cited for putting the older actress’s face over the younger’s. (Variety) Generally this is probably one of the better uses of AI, since it’s not theft, and it’s building off older tools that movies have been using since Benjamin Button. The usage was effective for me. It looked fine.

I’m still disappointed to hear it honestly. It’s a shame that they diminished Alyla Browne’s ability to be seen, since I found her to be my favorite of the movie’s two Furiosas. I don’t think having different faces between different ages has ever really hurt movies, period. It doesn’t seem necessary. Everyone knows that movies aren’t real.

Also: I thought they didn’t use Charlize Theron because she’d have visibly aged so much since Fury Road, but apparently they don’t mind changing someone’s face? Maybe George Miller just resented her (Vanity Fair) for being annoyed at her co-star’s unprofessional behavior. I’m totally Team Charlize on that. And if we’re gonna be de-aging Harrison Ford when he’s 120 year sold, why not woman action stars?


AI continues to spread. I know Apple is planning more AI in iOS, and I’ve been wondering what that’ll look like (and whether it will lead to my total Ludditification). It sounds like AI emoji are one of the use cases. (Engadget) Eh, okay.

Right now AI seems to be a hot thing for the money guys, so I think that a lot of companies are slapping the AI label on things that are not explicitly the AI I’m worried about. I don’t want the IP-thieving, most resource-intensive AI. But I’ve been using autopredict and other algorithmic stuff for ages. I’m really not a total killjoy about tech. AI emoji are probably fine.

I don’t like the way Google’s formerly useful search engine is using AI summaries. Here’s an Ars Technica article about how to use a slightly better Google search again.


South Park got into the whole medicalization of fatness thing lately, and they basically posed it as Ozempic vs Lizzo. To paraphrase: You take Ozempic if you don’t wanna be a fatass; you listen to Lizzo if you want to be a lazy fatass. (The Guardian)

Lizzo isn’t my favorite, but let’s be real. This woman isn’t lazy. She’s just fat. She’s quite active as a dancer and does lots of exercise. She’s one of the pop stars who really performs! You get skinny by eating less (sometimes way less) but exercise has less an impact on size than it does body composition.

Also, when my eating disorder was at its worst, I really did find Lizzo’s music to be a helpful part of my recovery. Believe it or not, it’s okay to like yourself at any size. Shocking, I know.

I suppose there’s no point in observing that South Park is edgelordy neckbeard nonsense as usual, but I just had to give Lizzo credit where credit is due.

Also, as you’d expect, the very-expensive Ozempic products are only a long-term solution if you keep taking them forever. (NPR) That’s not necessarily an issue. There are lots of medical conditions where you need permanent medication. But something like Synthroid and insulin are a *lot* more accessible than semaglutide products. Price alone is driving more Americans to avoid healthcare. (Quartz) Also, this class of weight loss drugs has potentially severe side-effects like gastropareisis (Quartz), so it’s not a solution for everyone.

So maybe we should stop shit-talking fat people for being fat and accept it’s okay to love yourself however you are. Concern trolling over health is basically never benevolent — or anyone’s business — and fatness isn’t as noteworthy a character trait as our society pretends.

If it helps, Psyche has an article about feeling more at-home in your body.


Rich people really hate when others shame them. So they went to Congress and asked for anonymized private jet data. Congress said “Sure! We know who’s in charge here.” (Quartz)

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