Journalist Report – December 24th

Journalist Report

Ben Durkee, Crew 218 Journalist

Sol 02

The meteorological crystal ball predicted some nasty weather for today, so we were unauthorized to have any EVA’s to avoid being caught in it. On the bright side, this meant we were able to sleep in a bit today.

We metamorphosed from our sleeping bag cocoons toasty and well-rested this morning. Since we were to be cooped up in the Hab all day, we began our morning with some yoga and breathing exercises to stay in shape. After following our rigid Excel spreadsheet of lethargic calisthenics, we tackled our day in a meditative state.

This zen didn’t last long, though, as the heavens promptly opened and proved the forecast right. Apparently, when it rains on Mars, it pours (in a solid-state). Albeit destructive to our scientific progress, we couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of a Martian snowfall.

Since we had already warmed up our bodies, it was time to sharpen our minds. We whipped out a puzzle to pass the time and may have bitten off more than we could chew. This Mars-themed jigsaw has proven very difficult, what with it being 60% non-descript black space. After a while we all started getting lost in the void of ebony puzzle pieces.

We only have two personal research projects that can be performed without EVA, so LuzMa and Shefali peeled off to work on those as we decided we needed a break from the puzzle. I’m genuinely unsure and impressed at how they had the mental fortitude to be productive after all that – at that point the puzzle had sapped me of all my (admittedly scarce) brain power. Unfortunately Shefali’s research met an untimely roadblock due to computer issues, but I gather that LuzMa’s work is going well!

As I write this, we are finishing dinner and preparing to dive back into the mind-bending cardboard abyss. The snow is slowing, but it has accumulated more than enough to keep us in here for another Sol at a minimum. Though we are confined to the Hab tomorrow, we can only embrace the variables out of our control and enjoy a lovely White Christmars on the red planet.

I’m sure the audience on Earth are waiting with bated breath to hear how the puzzle saga continues, so I will be sure to keep you posted. Consider it a Christmars gift from me to you.

Happy holidays!