Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 4-10, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation that pops your mental corn 🙂

BLM-related posts and pandemic-related posts separated out for your convenience. Educating yourself is the least you can do.

Mako Fitts Ward examines the power of the intersectional protest image. JSTOR Daily

Jennifer Schuessler: Mellon Foundation to spend $250 million to reimagine monuments. The New York Times

Maya King hopes the Democrats don’t lose the battle over voter suppression. Politico

Kim Gallon: the Black press and disinformation on Facebook. JSTOR Daily

What is the QAnon conspiracy theory? CBS News

Janice Gassam Asare cites five reasons the “pipeline problem” is a myth. 2018. Again, these aren’t new issues. Forbes

John Paul Tasker reports on Annamie Paul’s historic election as the first Black [+Jewish+woman] leader of the Green Party [or any Canadian political party, for that matter]. CBC


Maan Alhmidi: teachers are concerned for their health and the quality of education as they deal with the challenges of the pandemic. The Globe and Mail

Kalyn Belsha says that teaching in-person and virtually at the same time is an instructional nightmare. ChalkBeat

How do pandemics end? BBC

Becky Little explains “mask slackers” and “deadly” spit: the 1918 flu campaigns to shame people into following the new rules. History

Sara Chodosh: it’s never been more important to get your flu shot. Popular Science

Lydia Wheeler: covid “long-haulers” ask who pays when sickness just won’t end. Bloomberg Law


Simi lists 30 signs of soul exhaustion. Medical News

What causes panic attacks and how can you prevent them? Cindy J. Aaronson TED-Ed

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Madeline K. Sofia: the Nobels overwhelmingly go to white men—this year’s prize for medicine was no exception. NPR

Joel Achenbach reports that Andrea Ghez is among the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics for her work on black holes. The Washington Post

Dr. Becky delves into the work done to earn that Nobel.

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Mark Katkov cover the Nobel Prize for Chemistry win for Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their genome editing research. NPR

And … the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize goes to the World Food Program. Adela Suliman for NBC News.

Olivia Rosane shares a video of a meteoroid bouncing off Earth’s atmosphere. EcoWatch

Rory Sullivan and Sharon Braithwaite report that scientists have found intact brain cells in a man killed in Vesuvius eruption nearly 2,000 years ago. CNN

These 100-million-year-old microbes are still alive. (I think I shared an article on this a few weeks ago …) SciShow

Hedy Phillips: yep, just like humans, dogs can give blood. More than half my life ago, I worked in an emergency veterinarian clinic. They kept two blood donor cats on site and assessed surrendered or stray dogs (animal control was the next building over) for blood donor suitability. SugarPop

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

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 20-26, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

BLM and covid-19 sections precede more general links.

Tessa Duvall offers a fact-check on the Breonna Taylor case. USA Today

Dylan Lovan, Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, and John Minchillo report on the two Louisville officers shot during the Breonna Taylor protests. Why? “The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a Black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend. The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.” AP News

Russell Contreras reveals how the story of the underground railroad to Mexico is gaining attention. Associated Press

Jacinda Townsend explains how the Green Book helped Black travellers navigate a segregated nation. Yes, this is from 2016. These conversations aren’t new. The Smithsonian Magazine

Sam Levine explains how Republicans gutted the biggest voting rights victory in recent history. Voter suppression/poll taxing in action. The Guardian

Mohammed Elnaiem revisits the death of South African activist Steve Biko. JSTOR Daily


Nicole Karlis reports that a covid vaccine may only last for a year based on the most recent findings. Salon

Olga Khazan: a failure of empathy led to 200,000 deaths. It has deep roots. The Atlantic

How losing your job changes you. SciShow Psych

Richard Herzog explains how Aztecs reacted to colonial pandemics. JSTOR Daily


Richard Wolf calls Justice Ginsberg a superhero who never quit as she returns to Supreme Court one final time. Ginsberg is the first woman to lie in state. USA Today

Jackson Katz: violence against women—it’s a men’s issue. This TED talk is from 2012. Have we made significant progress since? TEDxFiDiWomen 

Ruth Tam advises you to lift your head and lower your arms—you just might feel better. NPR

Meghan Keane explains how to say no, for the people pleaser who always says yes. NPR

Stephen E. Nash: what fire archaeology tells us about the bringing of the American West. Atlas Obscura

The truth about dog years. SciShow

Thieving pikas in the Rockies. Because pikas are CUTE! The Nature of Things | CBC

Sarah Miller Llana considers the Sudbury model: how one of the world’s major polluters went green. Christian Science Monitor

It’s probably not life on Venus … but it could be. SciShow Space

Thor Benson reveals project A119 and the time we almost nuked the moon. Wild. Digital Trends

Alex Sanz: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins intends to vote from the ISS. AP News

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

This weekend I should be posting my next chapter update for September (!) Seriously, where has the time gone?

Until then, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 6-12, 2020

Welcome to tipsday, my humble curation of informal writerly goodness.

Before we get to the resources, Black and Indigenous (and all other racialized or marginalized) lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

We’re officially six months into #pandemic life and here in the northeast, we’re waiting for the other show to fall following the return to school last week. We’re already experiencing a bump in infection numbers, likely due to covid exhaustion and the relaxation of safety measures over the Labour Day long weekend.

Wear your masks, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands. We don’t have a vaccine yet.

Now let’s move on to supporting your creative endeavours.

Jael McHenry: is writing work? The answer is not as simple as you’d think. Jim Dempsey wants you to edit at your own pace. Then, Juliet Marillier offers some advice on writing a many-stranded story. Kathryn Craft shares a quiz actually helpful for writers. Later in the week, David Corbett discusses love, hope, and the dystopian darkness. Writer Unboxed

The “bury your gays” trope, explained. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares the 15 steps she uses to self-publish. Helping Writers Become Authors

Yen Cabag is creating believable characters. Elizabeth Spann Craig

The Disney princess trope, explained. The Take

Laurence MacNaughton shares the three-minute scene fix. Fiction University

Jami Gold wants you to explore your options for story conflict. Writers Helping Writers

Inigo vs. Westley: perfectly subversive. Why is this in tipsday? It’s all about storytelling through fight scenes! Jill Bearup

Angela Yeh believes that poetry can change the world. Later in the week, Sara Farmer interviews Ausma Zehanat Khan. DIY MFA

Chuck Wendig muses on plot and character (and giving writing advice at the end of the world). Terribleminds

Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes: fiction faves of the espionage pros. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle explains how our stories abandon morality for gray-colored lenses. Then, Oren Ashkenazi analyzes the terrible movie climaxes from Marvel’s phase one. Mythcreants

Shaelin Bishop shares six misconceptions she had about writing. Shaelin Writes

Nina Munteanu considers cymatics and how frequency changes the very nature of matter and energy.

Anne Ray takes us on a journey from La Jetée to Twelve Monkeys to covid-19. JSTOR Daily

This first episode of the new season was awesome! Desmond Cole, Saleema Nawaz, and John Elizabeth Stintzi. Shelagh Rogers, The Next Chapter, CBC.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work(s) in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 26-Aug 1, 2020

We’ve nearly made to the end of another week of #pandemic life. Console yourself and welcome the weekend by getting your mental corn popping.

Tarannum Kamlani: The Book of Negroes is more relevant than ever as Black lives matter takes centre stage. I watched the mini-series and I’m reading the book. Marvelous! CBC

Emmanuel Acho talks with Carl Lentz about race and religion. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Isabel Wilkerson reveals America’s “untouchables” and the silent power of the caste system. The Guardian

Josh Jones: W.E.B. Du Bois devastates apologists for confederate monuments and Robert E. Lee (1931). Open Culture


Natasha Hinde says, you can still burnout while working from home. The Huffington Post

Kate Starbird shares some lessons from the pandemic: disinformation campaigns are a blend of truth, lies, and sincere beliefs. The Conversation

Amy McKeever lists the covid-19 vaccine developments to follow. National Geographic


Joan Donovan explains why Congress should look at Facebook and Twitter. MIT Technology Review

Cait Munro explains how black and white photography became a complicated symbol of female empowerment. “This kind of vague hashtag activism also recalls the great black square debacle of a few months ago, in which a bunch of people posted black squares alongside #blacklivesmatter in supposed solidarity with the movement, only to drown out important information about nationwide protests by flooding feeds and relevant hashtags with, basically, nothing. The black square then became something of a symbol for performative wokeness, and now is mostly a punch line leveled against white people who do too much without really doing anything at all.” Refinery 29

Biological sex is a spectrum, too. Not new, but interesting. SciShow

Amelia Soth reveals the socially sanctioned love triangles of Romantic-Era Italy. JSTOR Daily

Carly Silver: this is how they wiped themselves in ancient Rome. JSTOR Daily

Kate Yoder considers the surprising reasons people ignore the facts about climate change. Grist

Matt Simon: mad scientists revive 100-million-year-old microbes. Wired

Veritasium explains how scientists found the missing matter (not dark matter) in the universe.

Jenny McGrath interviews Kate Greene about her four-month stay in a simulated Mars habitat and what she learned. Digital Trends

Jamie Carter explains how many people will be needed to colonize Mars. Forbes

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to took away something to inspire your next creative project.

As you might have surmised by now, my next chapter update will be a week late. It was unavoidable. You’ll find out why this weekend (I promise!).

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, July 12-18, 2020

Happy Friday eve! Without further delay, it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

An example of how white supremacy privileges things over humans. Black Lives Matter Toronto holds a press conference after three protestors are arrested for “defacing” statues. Don’t even look at the comments on this one if you’re not prepared to be triggered. CTV

Mary Hynes interviews Ijeoma Oluo on Tapestry. CBC

Ashawnta Jackson explains what the first Black-owned bookstore had to do with the underground railroad. JSTOR Daily

Sarah Gilbert: civil rights activist and politician, John Lewis—a life in pictures. The Guardian

Sonia Saraiya interviews Viola Davis: my entire life has been a protest. Vanity Fair

Paul McGuinness reveals the power of protest songs. uDiscover Music


Amy Greer, Nisha Thampi and Ashleigh Tuite: we can get children back to school full time, if we put the right strategy in place. The problem is, no one can agree on what that strategy is … The Globe and Mail

North Bay OPP charge Florida couple with failing to self-isolate. CBC

What happened when we all stopped, narrated by Jane Goodall. TED.Ed


Adam Mann: the universe’s clock might have bigger ticks than we imagine. Scientific American

Mary Robinette Kowal does a dramatic reading of her “peeing in space” Twitter thread for Uncanny Magazine. It is hilarious.

David Szondy: 75 years ago, the Trinity atomic bomb test changed the world forever. New Atlas

Mark Wilson says knock codes were supposed to be more secure than passwords or PINs, but they’re surprisingly easy to hack. Fast Company

Catie Keck shares everything we know about the 2020 Twitter hack (so far). Gizmodo

Nathanael Johnson: the population bomb didn’t detonate, but it turns out there’s a new problem. Grist

Feargus O’Sullivan goes behind the accidentally resilient design of Athens apartments. CityLab

Sophia Smith Galer reveals the accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy. BBC

SciShow busts the “alpha dog” theory.

Jimmy Thomson says, one solution to the world’s climate woes is Canada’s natural landscapes. The Narwhal

Alexandra Witze: how humans are altering the tides of the oceans. BBC

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 12-18, 2020

Black Lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. I believe this more than ever. I’m not going to stop putting this important message out there until it’s true.

Regardless of whether your area of the world has never closed, is reopening, or is still under some degree of lockdown, please, for the love of all you hold dear, wear a mask.

As for schools, I sincerely believe the safest way forward is to keep all classes virtual. I know this isn’t a popular stance, but we know how quickly a common cold, or the flu proliferates in a classroom. And this is covid. We still don’t know the long-term effects of this virus.

I also know that virtual learning presents its own challenges. This will require a sea change for parents, teachers, schoolboards, employers, and governments and I think leaving these important discussions to this late date was naĂŻve on the part of many. Ignoring the issue is not going to make it go away.

Having said that, Sudbury hasn’t had any new cases reported since about June 22 or so. We’ve only had 67 conformed cases and two deaths. It might be more reasonable to consider modified, in-person classes here, but I’d like to wait on the possible impact of phase three of reopening before we go there. Those numbers have yet to be publicized.

Now, onto the informal writerly learnings!

Kris Maze shares seven unstoppable YA plot ideas to make your novel fabulous. Barbara Linn Probst is editing for theme: search and employ. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth A. Harvey explores a writer’s sense of place: where I ought to be. Jim Dempsey is writing and napping. Sophie Masson shares what she’s learned about presenting online workshops. Then, Juliet Marillier tells a tale about finding resilience: a dog story. Writer Unboxed

Gender and Jurassic Park. Cold Crash Pictures

Janice Hardy explains some story rulez: the two things every novel needs to do. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman stopps by: how emotional wounds can steer a character’s job choice. Fiction University

The female friendship revolution. The Take

Peter von Stackelberg shares an intuitive four-step process for creating vibrant scene structure. Helping Writers Become Authors

Andrew Noakes offers six principles for writing historical fiction. Jane Friedman

Lindsay Ellis looks at Tolkien’s constructed languages. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Leanne Sowul wants you to commit to self-education about racism and anti-racism. And here’s my latest Speculations: ten Black science fiction and fantasy authors to read now. Then, Gabriela interviews Django Wexler: using fantasy to “literalize” the metaphor. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle explains why storytellers fail at grimdark and how to fix it. Then Bunny and Oren Ashkenazi team up: five reasons your story shouldn’t deny that it’s a story. Mythcreants

Deborah Ahenkora is slaying the dragons of hate with words. CBC Books

Aya de Léon: crime fiction is complicit in police violence, but it’s not too late to change. Electric Literature

Jeana Jorgensen describes what happens when fairyland is not for you: on escapism, fantasy, and survival. The Wrangler

Paula Findlen explores Petrarch’s plague: love, death, and friendship in a time of pandemic. The Public Domain Review

Thanks for visiting, and I hope that you found something to support your current work in progress (whatever stage it’s in).

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 17-23, 2020

It’s thoughty Thursday! That means tomorrow is Friday. Welcome the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Lauren Grush introduces us to the two NASA astronauts Space-X will launch into orbit. The Verge

SciShow Space explains how some stars are eaten from the inside.

Yohana Desta interviews Janelle Monáe: artist in residence. Vanity Fair

Michael Bond explains why humans totally freak out when they get lost. Wired

Leah Collins shows you how to make your own ink from foraged spring plants. CBC

Terry O’Reilly discusses the secret language of flowers in Victorian England. Listen to the whole episode 🙂 It’s fascinating. CBC’s “Under the Influence”

This is one documentary I needed to find: Judi Dench talking about trees is as brilliant as you’d think. Eeeee! Joy! It was posted to Facebook! BBC

Nell Greenfield Boyce: herd of fuzzy, green “glacier mice” baffles scientists. NPR

Becky Ferreira warns that trillions of cicadas are going to rule America. Bow, humans! Vice

The animals caught on these wild webcams are adorbs! CBC

Kate Bubacz: how Joel Sartore works to document species before they go extinct. Beautiful photos! Buzzfeed

Aleta Burchyski shares how she became a backyard birder (so you can become one, too). Outside

Physics Girl has some more at-home experiments for you to try.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you take away something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, 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, April 26-May 2, 2020

We’re heading toward the end of another week. Get ready for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping. Or just entertain yourself. There’s never any pressure with thoughty Thursday 🙂

May first was Beltane. Claire Schofield explains when the Gaelic May Day festival is, blessings, rituals, and pagan origins. The Scotsman

Rosie Flanagan considers the impossible architecture of dreams. gestalten

How science is trying to understand consciousness. SciShow

Cynthia Gorney reveals the funky science of yeast, the gassy microbe behind your bread. National Geographic

Laura Regensdorf interviews Jessica Meir about returning home to a completely different planet. Vanity Fair

Carol Off interviews David George Haskell, who says trees have their own songs. CBC, “As It Happens”

Dave Deibert reports on the first bison calf born on Wanuskewin land since 1876. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

I’m just a wee bit sceptical about this one, but TimeOut claims that animals are reclaiming cities now that humans are staying inside more.

Karen McVeigh: silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise. The Guardian

True facts about killer surfing snails. Ze Frank

Lydia Schrandt lists ten wild animal cams that will take you on safari. USA Today 10 Best

Michael Waters explains why your pet is acting like a weirdo now that you’re working from home. Vox

Kermit – The Rainbow Connection. The Muppets

Thanks for stopping by and a hope that you’ve taken away something to inspire your next creative project, even if it’s in the percolation stage. Percolation is important.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 15-21, 2020

I hope you’re all staying safe and well in these troubling times. If you’re self-isolating or quarantining, you’ve probably already had a chance to see all the informal writerly learnings I share. If you haven’t, please see this as a helpful resource to spend you time productively if you’re having trouble concentrating for long stretches of time.

I am still working, but I work in employment that has been considered a critical service and, unfortunately, our virtual network is at capacity. Still, several of my colleagues are off because of the school and day care closures and I maintain social distancing to the degree possible. I bring lunch from home and eat at my desk. I have not travelled. When I don’t work, I only leave the house to walk the dog. My spouse is our designated shopper and is also taking care of shopping for our Moms. We’re all being as safe as we can.

Vaughn Roycroft: it’s the end of the world as we know it (and writing feels fine). Dave King says, do it again, do it again! Some practical advice about writing series. Barbara Linn Probst: 36 debut authors tell it like it is. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland tackles five questions about how to manage multiple points of view in your stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

Then, she suggests five inspirational reads (if you’re self-isolating or quarantining).

And … six happy movies or series. This video came first, actually. Katie starts off by explaining her covid-19 inspired idea for a video series.

Emily E.J. Wenstrom: writing unlikable characters readers will root for. Jane Friedman

Lucy V. Hays explains why all writers need a structural toolbox. Writers Helping Writers

Shaelin discusses how to plan a series. Reedsy

And … the trilogy, specifically. Reedsy

Leanne Sowul helps you write through depression. Pamela Taylor wants you to create authentic details about food. Then, Gabriela Pereira interviews E.J. Wenstrom about bringing a fantasy series to a close. Rosie O’Neill shares five ways to rekindle inspiration for your current writing project. DIY MFA

Then, E.J. Wenstrom visited Fiction University to explain how she tricked her pantser brain into plotting.

Oren Ashkenazi provides six tips for avoiding repetitive conflict. Mythcreants

She never wrote more than a page a day, but now, Eden Robinson has a Canada Reads finalist book. CBC

Stay safe and be well. Take care.

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 22-28, 2019

Welcome back! It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Michael Hobbes: everything you know about obesity is wrong. Huffington Post

Arvin Ash explains why we dream.

Erin Brunch explains how the “feelings wheel” reveals the complexity of your emotion. Confession: I was more interested in this for character development rather than personal development. Well and Good

SciShow Space news considered the impact (pun intended) of an ancient asteroid on Earth and the possibilities for feeding people on Mars.

Joe Pappalardo takes a squirm-inducing look at the parasites trying to control our brains. Popular Mechanics

Melissa Kent: Autumn Pelletier tells world leaders to “warrior up” to protect water. CBC

Paige Embry reports on the honeybee’s most fearsome enemy. UnDark

Michael S.A. Graziano considers the octopus: an alien among us. Literary Hub

Ze Frank gives us the True Facts of the ogre-faced spider.

A Space of Their Own, a New Online Database, Will Feature Works by 600+ Overlooked Female Artists from the 15th-19th Centuries. Open Culture

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inform or inspire you next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019