Work ethic, social media fossils, and teens who are smarter than me

Today I hit publish on my first book of 2024, and my first book since 2022 (or 2021? it’s been a while).

It’s all very familiar to me. I did it so many times during the “growth phase” of my career, which spanned seven years or so. The amount of times I did it waned for a couple years, then dropped off entirely.

I began publishing in 2011.

There have been a lot of updates and improvements to general infrastructure since the last time I did it. The process is easier and more streamlined than ever.

Now I need to turn to the next book I’ll be publishing.

More about this later.


If I allow myself to spend time relaxing, having fun, hanging out with family, and (especially important) babying myself when I’m sick, then I have so much less time to work.

I used to work so much. It’s hard to reconcile how little time I spent on not-work things in the past.

The only way I can get multiple books out in a single year is by making significant cutbacks on other things I’ve come to enjoy.

I used to say that I had a blue collar work ethic, but I really, really don’t have that anymore. I’d just…rather sit around with my kids, playing games, watching John Oliver. Does it matter what I’d rather do? I didn’t used to think so.

I’d also like to get more activism in my time. But the question is…where? How? When? How do people manage to do it all? Does anyone manage to do it all?


One of my favorite drums to beat is “humans aren’t special/unique relative to other life forms.” In my ongoing adventures of reading what I want to believe into news articles, here we have a case for plants as somewhat intelligent life forms. (NPR)

It’s true that they communicate, react to stimulus, and behave in some ways like more complex animal life. I think it’s worth asking what, if any, impact this idea has on the way we treat plants.

Selfishly, I don’t want it to mean anything because I’m not always good at keeping houseplants alive. I’ve got enough Catholic guilt.


My offspring remarked upon ads for makeup brand E.L.F. on Roblox (pronouncing it “elf,” like the fantasy creatures). Roblox is working on increasing its value generally. They’re going to be integrating video ads for users over thirteen-years-old. (Variety)

This is the part of the business model where something that used to be awesome gets suckier and more annoying.


Two extremely cool teenagers have cracked more proofs for the Pythagorean Theorem. (The Guardian) Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson have added to our understanding of 2000-year-old maths.

What did you accomplish this week? I managed to stop wicked terrible heartburn. Once. Yep.


Remember when there were contaminated eye drops? Somehow the superbug has reached dogs. The weird part is that not all the dogs infected actually used eye drops. There are a lot of questions here. (Ars Technica) I think we need Dr. House.


Jack Dorsey has left the board of the Millennial retirement home social media. Instead, he wants to go suck some of Elon’s musk. He calls TSFKA Twitter “freedom tech,” and it mostly occurs to me how little the word “freedom” has meant throughout my life.


Chicago’s Field Museum is displaying a super important, super cool fossil. (Smithsonian Mag) Archaeopteryx shows signs of feathers in its surrounding slab, providing supporting evidence for evolution.

I recently encountered modern-day Archaeopteryx in the form of extremely angry Canadian geese. The whole “fight or flight” response in these geese appears to be entirely “fight.” We gave them space, hoping they would wander elsewhere, but instead they stood their ground and hissed at us. Monsters! Dinosaur monsters!


Chris Pine shows deference for “Princess Diaries 2,” (Variety) which is responsible for his career as an actor. He was overdrawn on his bank account when they offered him $65,000 to be the love interest for Princess Mia.

Thanks to this, we have now had many adorable movies featuring Chris Pine, who seems generally chill and cool and always willing to do genre work (especially in support of women).

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