Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 19-25, 2020

And here we are, at the end of July. You’ve survived another month of #pandemiclife. I hope you’ve found some way to come to terms with our ever-evolving new normal.

It’s time to reward yourself and get your mental corn popping!

Robert Evans: what you need to know about the Battle of Portland. Bellingcat

Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man. White parents raising Black and bi-racial kids. Just do yourself a favour: watch all six episodes and then subscribe. Emmanuel Acho

Channon Hodge and Tawanda Scott Sambou: these Black female soldiers brought order to chaos and struck a blow against inequality. CNN

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responds to Rep Ted Yoho (in defense of women, everywhere). Systemic misogyny enables systemic racism.


Kaleigh Rogers explains how to make indoor air safer. FiveThirtyEight

A Dublin doctor effectively (and simply) debunks the idea that a face mask (or several) lowers oxygen levels or negatively affects the ability to breathe. Eyewitness News

Zoria Gorvett: the people with hidden immunity to covid-19. BBC

Maggie Koerth says, every decision is a risk and every risk is a decision. FiveThirtyEight

Carly Silver: before vaccines, variolation was seriously trendy. It’s okay. I had to look it up, too 😉 JSTOR Daily


Eugene S. Robinson wonders, what do killer robots dream of? Ozy

Mars in 4K. Elder Fox Documentaries

Sean Fleming: this is now the world’s greatest threat—and it’s not coronavirus. The World Economic Forum

Matt Simon considers the terrible consequences of Australia’s uber-bushfires. Wired

Christina Larson reveals that the mating call of the Ecuadorian hummingbird is ultrasonic. AP News

Andy Boyce and Andrew Dreelin: ecologists dig prairie dogs, and why you should, too. The Smithsonian Magazine

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I’ll be tackling my next chapter update for July. I may not get it out on time, though, because I have an exam due on Sunday (more on that in the update).

Until then, be well and stay safe, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 22-28, 2020

In need of some distraction? You’re in luck. Thoughty Thursday is here to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Alex Beard: can AI ever replace the classroom? The Guardian

Laura Millan Lombrana: the post-virus economic recovery could be a green one. This is the hope of many people I know. Bloomberg

Elizabeth Landau discovers that the Fibonacci sequence is everywhere—even the stock market. The Smithsonian Magazine

Allison Meier: 18th Century lovers exchanged pictures of their eyes. JSTOR Daily

Stevie Keen shares ten photography projects you can do at home. Amateur Photographer

Eric Gross shares photographs of frozen waves in an alpine Colorado lake. PetaPixel

Jessica Stewart shares enchanting photos of Madeira’s Fanal Forest and its 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

How Earth’s tides gave us life as we know it. SciShow Space

Tom Ward takes us inside Victor Vescovo’s mission to reach the bottom of all the world’s oceans. Wired

Ruth Doherty reports that Google Earth has released virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. Country Living

Stella’s best leaf jumps of all time 🙂 Joy!

Lydia Schrandt shares ten of the best animal live cams for you to watch. 10 Best

PBS Eons answers the age-old question. The egg came first.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you take away some inspiration for your next creative project, or just some interesting reading and entertainment to ease your isolation.

This weekend, I’ll be diving into my March next chapter update.

Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. Now, more than ever, the world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 19-25, 2020

Let’s get your mental corn popping. That’s right, it’s thoughty Thursday, and you know what that means … Friday’s right around the corner!

Why trauma survivors can’t just “let it go.” The Mighty

Elena Renken: most Americans are lonely, and our workplace culture may not be helping. NPR

James Hamblin considers China’s unprecedented quarantine of Wuhan in the hope of halting the spread of coronavirus. The Atlantic

John B. Judis offers a warning from the 60s generation. The Washington Post

John Henley reports that overtourism in Europe’s historic cities sparks backlash. The Guardian

SciShow examines why humans menstruate (when most other mammals don’t).

SciShow Psych looks into REM sleep behaviour disorder.

Rebecca Heilweil explains how AI can help find opioid sellers online … and wildlife traffickers … and counterfeits. Vox

Archaeology World shares images of 14000-year-old bison sculptures found in Le Tuc D’Audoubert cave in Ariege, France.

SciShow considers the causes of crown shyness.

The mating dance of the puffin. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I’ll be working on my next chapter update for the first month of the new decade (eee!). Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 12-18, 2020

This week, I found lots of resources to get your mental corn popping.

Zwikar Oli reports for the Plaid Zebra: moss-growing concrete absorbs CO2, insulates, and serves as vertical garden.

Alex Landon considers similar installations in London: artificial trees absorb as much pollution as 275 regular trees. Secret London

Nathan Bahadursingh says that urban farming is the future of architecture. Architizer

Greta and George

Gosia Wozniacka warns about the dark side of compostable take-out containers. Eater

Alex Ross considers the past and future of the world’s oldest trees. The New Yorker

Five things ravens do. The Raven Diaries

Christian Cotroneo tells the tale of the astonished divers who encounter a massive jellyfish off the coast of England. Mother Nature Network

Chelsea Whyte explains how we can tell where a whale has travelled by the themes in its song. New Scientist

True facts about the ostrich. Ze Frank

Eben Disken: wombats are the improbable heroes of the Australian bushfires, hiding other animals in their burrows. Matador Network

Greg Hogben explains how we broke our promise to Harry. My Daughter’s Army

Melissa Pandika: why does my body jerk when I’m falling asleep? Mic

Joseph Stern shares his perspective on dying in the neurosurgical ICU. The New York Times

Kathrin Glösel: Finland ends homelessness and provides shelter for all in need. Scoop.Me

Anne Quito reviews a survey of 20,000 creatives that suggests group brainstorming is a giant waste of time. Quartz

John Pavlus: computers are learning to see in higher dimensions. Wired

Kelly Richman-Abdou shares five powerful paintings by underappreciated female artist Artemesia Gentileschi. My Modern Met

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something you can use to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 28-Aug 3, 2019

And now, it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

‘They have become the new religion’: Esther Perel says we expect too much from relationships. “Out in the open” with Piya Chattopadhyay on CBC.

Why the trend of surveilling strangers online proves we are horrible. This ties in to the post I shared by Kim Fahner last week and why we should resist objectifying others for our amusement or sense of superiority. “Spark” with Nora Young on CBC.

Allie Volpe explains why kids invent imaginary friends. Guess us writers just never grew up 😉 The Atlantic

SciShow Psych looks at the differences between men and women who are diagnosed with ADHD.

Ethan Siegal: today is not 24 hours long. Forbes

Dr. Becky observes the cartwheel galaxy. Space is weird

The BBC reports on the discovery of a clay tablet on which the oldest extract of Homer’s Odyssey has been found. Struggled for a while over whether to post this in Tipsday or here on Thoughty Thursday, but the latter won out, because archeology.

Chris Dawson: North Bay unrolls its first accessible beach mat. The Northern Life

Jeffery DelViscio explains how a bionic hand helps amputees “feel” again. Scientific American

Martin Giles wonders, is AI the next big climate change threat? We have no idea. MIT Technology Review

Massive ice melt caused by heatwave over Greenland. CBC

Kent German explores the relationship between redwoods, birds, and microphones in the quest to save an endangered species. CNET

SciShow makes a dog Q&A compilation 🙂

Because tardigrades! Chubby, misunderstood, and not immortal. Journey into the microcosmos

Thanks for visiting and I hope you found some inspirational fuel for your next (or current) creative project.

Until tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 2-15, 2018

Last week, I had two skimpy links to offer. As I said, my brain refused to brain in the week following NaNoWriMo. This week, the neurons mustered, and so I have a reasonable selection of stuff to pop your mental corn 🙂

The Guardian editorial staff shares its view on editing human DNA: a bad idea, and badly executed.

This “city” for people with dementia is the future of memory care. Katherine Schwab for Fast Company.

More neuroscience with Shannon Odell. Your brain on hangovers. Inverse

 

David Paul Kirkpatrick is breathing in the light. An instruction in the “Golden Flower” meditation. Better Humans/Medium

Matt Novak: how did Mary Queen of Scots send her secret messages? Paleofuture

Lizzie Philip takes a close-up look at the most influential medical book of the 16th century. Atlas Obscura

Robert Iriondo: differences between AI and machine learning and why it matters. Data Driven Investor

Brandon Specktor reports that Earth’s mysterious “deep biosphere” harbours millions of undiscovered species. NBC

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its baby powder. Lisa Girion for Reuters.

Christine Ro: the psychology behind stalking. Vice

And on that disturbing note, that was thoughty Thursday.

Until next Tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 9-15, 2017

Pop that mental corn! It’s good for you!

Petula Dvorak: Mary Magdelene has been reviled as a prostitute. That’s not how she was portrayed in the Bible. The Washington Post

Angela Gemmill reports on the latest developments on a new combined art gallery and library for Sudbury. CBC

Drew Hayden Taylor considers smudging to be spiritual, but not religious. The Globe and Mail

Caitlin Thompson reports on the Heiltsuk village that is three times older than the pyramids and what it means for indigenous oral history. Coast Mountain News

Michaeleen Doucleff explains how scientists cracked a 50 year old mystery about measles. NPR

Andrew North: how Mongolia is getting palliative care right. Quartz

Belinda Luscombe: Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Option B, is a guide for finding life after the death of a loved one. Time

Robyn Reisch explains why intelligent people choose to be less social. Intelligence.com

Dan Dowling says, here’s why you can’t stay focused. Entrepreneur

Olga Khazan examines recent studies that may prove difficult childhoods can improve cognition. The Atlantic

Alice G. Walton lists seven habits that may actually improve brain function. Forbes

Yes, you can measure white privilege. Michael Harriot for The Root.

Stephen Hui: five reasons why we should stop calling white people “Caucasian.” The Georgia Straight

Hannah Devlin discovers why AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases. The Guardian

Natalie Wolchover covers the retiree who discovered an elusive mathematical proof. Wired

Rob Waugh: Hubble just spotted something massive coming out of Uranus. Yes, you may giggle. Metro

Phil Plait shares a video from the ESA’s Gaia project: how the sky may look in 5 million years. Blastr

Physicists say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass. Holy crap is right. Fiona MacDonald for Science  Alert.

It’s okay to be smart looks at the relationship between dogs and humans.

 

And minute earth cover the feline side of the tale. Tail?

 

See you on the weekend!

Be well, my lovelies 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 12-18, 2017

Time to warm the ole brain pan. There’s mental corn that needs popping.

Arnie Seipel shares the dark origins of Valentine’s Day. NPR

Daniele Cybuskie relates three fairy tale romances in honour of Valentine’s Day. Medievalists.net

Henry Rollins: what side of history do you want to be on? LA Weekly

Mario Livio reports on the discovery of Winston Churchill’s lost essay on alien life. Nature

Tom Hale shares these stunning aquatic vistas by finalists of the underwater photograph of the year competition. IFLS

Cats sailed with the Vikings to conquer the world. Bec Crew for Science Alert.

Katy Evans reports on how dogs and monkeys judge you on how you treat others. IFLS

Do crows have funerals? You betcha. Ask a Mortician

 

Tom Hale encourages you to observe the evidence of evolution in your own body. IFLS

Lesley Alderman: the year of conquering negative thinking. The New York Times

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the people who never forget and what they’re teaching us about memory. The Guardian

Sarah Knapton: our seas have become a plastic graveyard, but can technology turn the tide? The Telegraph

Google’s “DeepMind” AI understands the benefits of betrayal. Robin Andrews for IFLS.

I admit it. I was #furiouslyhappy to find this list of more than 150 learning resources compiled by Janet Alexandersson for Medium.

Here’s hoping creative connections are being made.

See you on Saturday for more WorldCon 2016 reportage.

Stay strong, be kind, and be well!

thoughtythursday2016

WorldCon 2016: Humans and robots

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

Panellists: Kevin Roche, G. David Nordley, Brenda Cooper (moderator), Walt Boyes, Jerry Pournelle

humansandrobots

Joined in progress …

KR: They have built and programmed competent bartending robots.

GDN: There’s an S-curve with any technological development. If you picture the letter S and start from the bottom of the letter, robotics is at the first upsweeping curve.

WB: Google is the largest robotics company in the world. Boston Robotics sells services in robotic hours.

JP: With regard to artificial intelligence (AI), every time we started something that looked like AI, people said nope, that ain’t it. Unemployment is higher than the statistics report. In the near future, over half of jobs will be replaced by robots or other automation. The unemployable won’t be visible. They won’t be looking. We’ve not lost jobs to overseas corporations, or not as many as we think. We’ve lost jobs to automation. The “useless” class is on the rise. Look at it this way, an employer saves an employee’s annual salary and spends maybe 10% of it to maintain a robot doing the same work. They’d need one human to service 20 robots.

BC: How do you assign value to human work?

WB: In 1900, the second industrial revolution saw farm workers move to the cities and the factories. The real issue is a philosophical one. We’ve been assigning value to people by the work that they do. A corporate lawyer has, subjectively, greater value than a garbage man. What happens when automation and artificial intelligence replaces both?

KR: When workers are underpaid, the social contract bears the cost. Increasing the minimum wage and increased automation are exposing the dirty little secret. People need to be valued differently. Teachers and artists, in particular, can’t be replaced.

GDN: The top level docs of our society assign value to every citizen. The big question is how do we realize that? The recession has meant fewer tax dollars dedicated to the arts and infrastructure. We have to have the social conversation.

JP: Will advances in artificial intelligence implement Asimov’s three laws? Drones don’t use the three laws. IBM created an AI that beat a human at go [the game]. They took two machines, programmed them with the rules of the game, and let them play each other. After ten million games, they could functionally beat anyone. If you ask a robot to stop humans from killing each other, what’s to stop the robot from coming up with the solution to kill all humans? We have to proceed carefully.

KR: Watson won Jeopardy. Its job is to parse huge amounts of information and look for patterns. It’s humans who decided to test the system by putting it on the show.

GDN: Right now, computers are still, by and large, working on bookkeeping tasks. As we get to the point where we have to consider the three laws, we have to be cautious.

WB: We have to expand out definition of robotics. We have the internet of things with programmable thermostats and refrigerators we can access through our phones. Though still imperfect, we have self-driving cars. We need to figure out how to program morality.

GDN: Human beings don’t consistently make the same moral choices. Fuzzy logic and data sets would be required. Positronic brains would have to deal with potentialities.

KR: We don’t have an algorithmic equivalent for empathy.

And that was time.

Next week, we’re going to explore the steampunk explosion 🙂

Until then, be well, be kind, and be awesome!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 2-8, 2016

Thoughty Thursday’s all over the map!

The Vintage News reports that Amelia Earhart’s remains may have been found on an island.

Gabriel Samuels reports on a piece of engraved wood that suggests a Persian taught math in Japan 1,000 years ago. The Independent

Medievalists.net compiled this comprehensive list of online resources for researching the Black Death.

Medievalists.net shared this entertaining piece on Viking nicknames. My favourite? Eystein Foul-Fart 🙂

And, for the hat trick, Medievalists.net explains why cats were hated in medieval Europe.

An oldie from Barbara G. Walker of Church and State (2008!): local wise women who carried on ancient traditions were exterminated by Christianity.

Margaret Rhodes invites us to obsess over this infographic about the history of alternative music. Wired

Jonathan Jones looks at the legacy of painter Artemesia Gentileschi. The Guardian

Azeen Ghorayshi reports that transgender children as young as three are getting the help they need. Buzzfeed

Katrina Schwartz wonders why we’re so obsessed with teaching kids cursive handwriting. Mind/Shift

America is obsessed with happiness and it’s making everyone miserable. Ruth Whippman for Vox.

What it’s like to have “high-functioning” anxiety. The Mighty

 

Baby Boomers may be more susceptible to treatment-resistant depression. Anna Gorman for CNN.

Myke Cole writes about PTSD. This is from a few years ago (2013) but it’s still relevant.

Dominik Parisien shares his experience with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Uncanny

Justin Gammill lists ten things to keep in mind when loving a highly creative person. I heart intelligence

Paul Stamits talks about how fantastic fungi can save the world.

 

Bees are demonstrating problem-solving and transmission of knowledge. Daily Science

Scientists declare the dawn of the human-influenced epoch. Damian Carrington for The Guardian.

AI and deep machine learning are changing your life. Roger Parloff for Fortune.

What Emma Thompson learned from spending a week in the arctic. Time

Beware of dog, indeed. Upshout

Adieu until Saturday.

Be well until then 🙂

Thoughty Thursday