What's Good?

The first of December, and the last news round-up of the year as I'm actually going to take some time off. And that, my friends, is good

Happy Friday! Happy December! What's good?

I had my first bike crash on Monday. I'm good. The bike is good. No one saw me, so no damage was done, even to my ego. It was completely my fault: I rode down a hill that was far too steep — indeed, I'd had to walk my bike up it, which surely was a sign that I had no business riding down it. The path was covered in wet leaves; my bike has rim brakes; and to the surprise of no one, I started to fish-tail. So I just sort of dumped the bike over onto my left — thankfully I wasn't going very fast at all. It wasn't until I got home and got in the shower that I realized I'd even scraped my knee and my wrist. And it was then, I had a real "oh shit" moment — not because I'd broken anything, but because with all the training I'm doing and all the speed and strength I'm gaining, I'd sort of forgotten that I'm an old lady and that falling and crashing can be very, very bad (for anyone, yes, but for post-menopausal women in particular). (I confess I did Google "how do you know if you've broken a bone" because I have no idea. I still have no idea — I'm not a doctor. Nor do I play one here on Substack.)

This is one of the reasons why I "lift heavy": it promotes bone density (among other benefits). It's never too late to start, The Washington Post reminded us this week — sarcopenia (i.e. muscle loss) is not inevitable, and old people can actually still build muscle.

In other sports and fitness news: "Runners are swallowing data-tracking pills to create better watches," according to Running Magazine. Are they? I mean, I guess we’ve decided that it’s not enough to drop $500 on shoes that you can wear for one marathon. Now we’re going to ingest and excrete our technology. Speaking of problematic things occurring at the junction of sports and technology: "Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers," says Futurism. There's some sports/tech-adjacent news about Mark Cuban, I guess, if you're keeping track of the whole venture-capitalist-sports Venn diagram. I dunno. I don’t track baseball. Or basketball. Or whatever sports ball. Farther afield from sports, sure, but still related to the things that investment capital destroys: after 151 years, Popular Science magazine will no longer be available for purchase. Oh well. As long as we ignore/defund history, we can keep pretending that technology — fitness or otherwise — is innovative.

Important snack updates: What's in Jennifer Garner's bag?

What's in Cookie Monster's cookies?

Other, more frustrating food news: "The Science Behind the Dreaded Red Wine Headache."  "Americans Love Avocados. It’s Killing Mexico’s Forests."

I picked up my first CSA since moving to New York last week. And in it was a rutabaga about the size of my head. The only thing I know to do with the vegetable is make Cornish pasties. Needless to say, I’m going to be making a lot of fucking pasties this weekend...

Coming soon: a look back at the year’s biggest trends in food and fitness tech. There'll be much about Ozempic, unfortunately. Something about cottage cheese. And something about the "oh shit we're getting old" crisis that GenX tech bros like Elon Musk and Marc Andreessen are having too. Longevity tech — folks are going to try to make it a "thing" (even for dogs apparently) even though it's not really a thing.

And listen, I am not a big fan of seasonal giveaways and gift guides — or rather, I resent the pressures on writers to churn out seasonal content. (Also not a big fan of consumerism, to be honest.) (Also: hahaha that every year, I write these “top trends” posts.) But here's your Second Breakfast gift: no paywall for the month of December. Fewer newsletters too as I'm going to take a little break over the holidays — that's a gift for your email inbox. I have some other changes coming in the new year, thanks to your feedback. More details soon.

Incidentally, Jonathan Katz writes in The Atlantic that "Substack has a Nazi problem,” and while I have heard many prominent writers talk about their plans for moving their newsletters elsewhere, that's not currently in the works for me. (Our whole society, but particularly the tech industry, has a Nazi problem. Moving platforms isn't exactly a fix for that. Also I think they should GTFO, not me.) Katz has more on the topic on his Substack too — more about the timing of Substack’s embrace of *cough cough* politics with funding from techno-authoritarian Marc Andreessen (funding and staffing from his VC firm). “Free speech” to the tech sector quite literally means support for and promotion of fascist ideas — “contrarianism,” they like to call it.

My writing has always explored the ways in which the ideology of Silicon Valley shapes the technologies and stories they try to sell us — lots to unravel about how this works for the body politic and our literal bodies.

Anyway, enjoy your weekend. I'm running my last race of the year on Saturday: the Ted Corbitt 15K. Good luck to all my friends running CIM.

Hydrate, even though the temperatures (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) are colder. Eat. Rest. We have a lot to fight for.