Weekend 10.23

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Mike has declared Sundays as Family Documentary Watching Night. Mike being Mike, of course, chose NOVA’s The Planets, a five-part series on the planets in our solar system. It is both fascinating and…depressing.  

Deeply depressing.

It turns out, as our Sun ages, it not only gets hotter, but it also grows in size. Which means, one day (roughly 5 billion years in the future), our Sun will grow SO LARGE it may even encompass the Earth.

NOVA’s documentary helpfully animates this mind-bending fact by showing a potential time-lapse of billions of years, as our Sun swells, overtaking Mercury…then Venus. Eventually it swells riiiiiiight up next to our Earth.  

Scientists aren’t quite sure if the Sun will swallow the Earth whole, or if it will merely brush up next to it. Margin of error, you know. In either case, by then, Earth will not support life. (Here’s an article that explains a few possible end-of-Earth scenarios.)

Even more mind-blowing?? Run this scenario backwards: are there planets that once existed billions of years ago — when our Sun was a cooler, smaller, baby sun — that have since been swallowed up? Could it be that our Solar System once contained planets closer to the Sun than Mercury? Planets we’ll never know existed? Could life have even thrived on those planets?

It’s bizarre. To think that life could have existed, for billions of years, on a ghost planet that has long-since been swallowed by our Sun…is mind-blowing, to say the least.  

Fascinating stuff.

So this is what we were doing last Sunday, and then on Monday, I read an article in The Atlantic about how the new mRNA vaccines could be the key for curing cancer

As a cancer survivor myself, I read a lot of articles on emerging cancer treatments. At this point, it’s one part hobby (Hi! Not a Doctor!), one part compulsion (read: prob not entirely healthy) but it’s mah thing, so to speak.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve read something that sounded truly exciting. And this technology sounds…truly exciting.  

Not only are BioNTech’s founders (the company that partnered with Pfizer on the COVID vaccine) involved in developing mRNA vaccines to target cancer cells in general, but they’re making individualized mRNA cancer vaccines on a per patient basis

Every cancer patient has their own mutations, like a fingerprint. We biopsy the tumor, sequence it, and design a unique, individualized vaccine for each patient,” the BioNTech founders explain.

The current timeline for these individualized mRNA vaccines (from tumor biopsy to delivery) is only four to six weeks(!!).  

Granted, this team is only looking at a few specific cancers right now, and they’re only in Phase 2 trials, but I haven’t read anything this hopeful in a very long time.

The BioNTech founders referred to COVID-19 as “low-hanging fruit” for the mRNA technology. In other words…we may have gotten really lucky with COVID (even though it doesn’t yet feel that way).

So…yeah. It’s been a weird week. Space and time and cataclysmic, planet-ending events…to using the smallest fragments of life to cure cancer or stop a worldwide pandemic.

And I find myself, amidst the surreal, upside-down sensation any study of the solar system brings, holding a small, wild hope in my heart. Hope that we will find our way out of this mess. Hope that we usher in a new era of creative thinking and innovative problem-solving. An era that results in a level playing field, simply because it’s required, simply because we cannot afford for new ideas to be lost.

If scientists are right, we only have about a billion Earth-years left*.

Tick, Tock.


French for fancy. My Mom and I just happened upon Fleurette peacoats at Nordstrom Rack (a brand I’ve been drooling over for ages)and they’re so freaking good we each got one. These coats are seriously gorgeous (typically retailing for $800) but they’re currently on sale for $300. Mom bought the navy, and I found a random red one stuck in a corner of the store. The red peacoat isn’t available online, but Saks OFF has Fleurette’s red car coat; it is a really pretty red.

Speaking of red…oxblood? My Vince t-shirt dress (purchased a couple of years ago) is still going strong in my closet. If you missed it, I just found the exact same Vince t-shirt dress, but in oxblood. This dress looks amazing with sneakers or tall boots (and you can easily throw a coat or cardigan on top). Oxblood will work with either black or brown boots, too.

25% off Naadam. One of my fav retailers for sustainably made cashmere is having a friends & family sale this weekend. Included is one of the thickest, coziest cashmere sweaters of all time, as well as matching joggers (see how the set fits me here). I wore both pieces a ton all winter — highly recommend. ps. That pretty cashmere boatneck sweater is also on sale. Size up one size to really get it off your shoulder; I also like that this piece can be knotted at the waist.

A question. What type of underwear does one wear with this dress? Asking for a friend.

OK but this brand, tho: Has anyone tried the brand Naked Wardrobe? In addition to the underwear-less dress above, they have one seriously cool sweatshirt dress. I kinda love it.

It’s a tie. And the award for the craziest jeans I’ve seen this week goes to…either Rick Owen’s furry-leg jeans (my words), OR Victoria Beckham’s Patchwork Flares with their odd concentration of patches around the…ahem…area. (Don’t miss the back view.)

RIP, 15-Year-Old Tights. I’m finally replacing my gorgeous Wolford lace tights, NOT because I’ve found a similar pair (grrr) but because I found Wolford tights for 60% off (or more) at Saks OFF. If you want seriously beautiful twists on fishnet tights that also last forever…Wolford. I think I like this pair best.

What I’m wearing right now. Zella’s longsleeve tee and Vuori leggings. That Zella tee just came back into stock in a bunch of new colors but…I still like the black best.

Sorels most likely to sell out: Sorel Explorer II Joan Cozy Insulated Boots (in ‘delta fawn,’ aka tan). There’s also a few more sizes at Backcountry or Zappos.

Last minute Halloween Party idea? Em’s got us covered. She did this last year, and it’s pretty much perfect.

My fav pumpkin cookies. I’ve been making some version of this pumpkin cookie recipe for years…but have recently started making it vegan. Either way, these are seriously delicious pumpkin cookies…soft and pillowy, with cream cheese frosting on top. YUM. (This recipe is a good vegan one.)

Gift Ideas?? We just launched a whole page with our best gift ideas for 2021, as well as all of the gift guides’ we’ve been churning out. We’ll keep this page updated throughout the season, so check back.

Enjoy the last week of October!

xo,

S

ps. The photo was taken by Mike, in Big Bay Michigan, one summer night. Isn’t the Milky Way glorious???

8 COMMENTS

  1. As mama to a little cancer survivor I am super interested in going down the rabbit hole re: vaccines and cancer treatment/cures. We’re not out of the woods yet. Thank you for sharing!

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