Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 11-17, 2020

We’re heading toward the weekend. Fortify yourself for the final stretch and get your mental corn popping.

BLM and pandemic-related items grouped for your convenience.

Grace Hauck wonders whether you’re celebrating Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and then makes the case for the 14 States honoring Native American history and culture. USA Today

Renée Gokey shares five ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Just because the day is past doesn’t mean you can’t keep celebrating. The Smithsonian Magazine

Reed Abelson and Abby Goodnough explain what would happen if the Supreme Court ends Obamacare (AKA the Affordable Care Act). Most of these negative outcomes will disproportionately affect marginalized populations. The New York Times

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, Nathaniel Rakich and Likhitha Butchireddygari explain why it’s so rare for police officers to face legal consequences for their misconduct. FiveThirtyEight

David Lammy: climate justice cannot happen without racial justice. TED

Juan Michael Porter II writes about racism and profiling on Katahdin: “We didn’t expect to see you.” Outdoors

Emily Cataneo provides a brief history of the women’s KKK. JSTOR Daily

Jess Romeo: the Taínos refused to grow food and the Spanish starved. Environmental racism in colonial times and its lasting effects. JSTOR Daily

Jedediah Purdy: environmentalism’s racist history. The New Yorker


Doha Madani reports that Johnson & Johnson pauses clinical trials for covid-19 vaccine due to participant’s illness. NBC News

Helen Branswell and Ed Silverman present seven looming questions about the rollout of a covid-19 vaccine. Stat

Ed Cara reports that an international WHO trial finds no benefit from remdesivir and other drugs in treating covid-19. Gizmodo

Jessica Wong: as school boards blend in-person and virtual classes, criticism emerges for the hybrid model. CBC

Jenny G. Zhang: coronavirus panic buys into racist ideas of how Chinese people eat. Eater

Olga Khazan explains how to tell if socializing indoors is safe. The Atlantic


Bob Berman says to watch the skies for Mars—it won’t be this close and bright again until 2035. The Farmer’s Almanac

Tour of asteroid Bennu. NASA Goddard

Marina Koren announces that NASA has finally made a toilet for women. The Atlantic

Livia Gershon: fossilized footprints found in New Mexico track traveler with toddler in tow. The Smithsonian Magazine

Emily Zarka: the origins of the zombie from Haiti to the US. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Ernie Smith explains why the plastic packaging you hate so much is still here. Vice

Ed Stoddard: the chinchillas and the gold mine. UnDark

Emma Stoye shares her favorite science-related photos of the month, including a covid-sniffing spaniel named Floki. Nature

Thank you for visiting and I hope you took 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.

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 27-Oct 3, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get your mental corn popping.

It’s been a week.

Doha Madani reports that the Breonna Taylor Grand Jury recording will be made public. The truth will out? Today

In 2019, Beverly Moran revealed how slavery’s lingering stain on the US Constitution spoiled Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal. In light of a certain president’s tax evasion … The Conversation

Colette Pinchon Battle warns that climate change will displace millions. Here’s how we prepare. On climate migration and environmental racism. TEDWomen2019

Abraham Lustgarten: where will everyone go? How climate refugees cross continents. ProPublica

Danielle Kurtzleben explains America’s yawning wealth gap in nine charts. From 2015. I wonder if anything’s improved since? Vox

Keesha M. Middlemass says, time’s up: childcare providers are not America’s mammy. The Grio

Orange Shirt Day 2020.

Kristy Kirkup and Tu Thanh Ha cover Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death following her abuse by hospital staff. Systemic racism and white supremacy in Canada. The Globe and Mail


Steven Kissler: will the common cold protect you from coronavirus? The Conversation

Mara Gordon offers this advice: don’t wait for a covid-19 vaccine to get your shots—you need your flu vaccine now. NPR

Olivia Stefanovich reports that covid-19 may delay Liberal pledge to end long term boil water advisories on First Nations. How complicated is it to ensure that everyone has clean water? CBC


Ryan W. Miller: three more bodies of water may have been discovered on Mars. USA Today

SciShow Space reports on the finding as well as what we’re learning about the Sun’s corona.

Damian Carrington reports that a new super-enzyme eats plastic bottles six times faster. Is true recycling possible? The Guardian

Marthe de Ferrer: what is the blue heart of Europe and why does it need saving? EuroNews

Samy Magdy: archaeologists find 27 ancient coffins near the Step Pyramid of Djoser. Afar

Emily Zarka explains how gargoyles became monsters. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Kirsten Corely says, this is how you love someone with anxiety. Thought Catalog

SciShow Psych explains what aphantasia is.

Erica Gies explains why the National Park Service wants to cull tule elk. National Geographic

Matt Simon: fish form social networks—and they’re actually good. Wired

The BBC tells the tail (pun intended) of the cat who hitched a ride on a world-wide tour.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park removes swearing parrots from public view. BBC

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you found something to support 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.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 13-19, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation of random stuff intended to get your mental corn popping.

Nina Bahadur explains how Black doulas are fighting the maternal mortality crisis. CBS

Rashawn Ray interrogates what defunding the police means and does the idea have merit? Brookings

Evie Muir: racial gaslighting and microaggressions can’t be ignored any longer. Refinery 29

Margot Gage Witvliet: I’m a covid-19 long-hauler and an epidemiologist—here’s how it feels to have symptoms for months. (Included in the BLM section because there are elements of racial gaslighting at play.) The Conversation


How and when will we have a covid-19 vaccine? ASAP Science

Sarah Newey and Paul Nuki explain how the pandemic set global development back 25 years in 25 weeks. The Telegraph

Sophie Haigney: the pandemic is transforming how Americans use public libraries, parks, and streets—and it’s depriving vulnerable people of space when they need it most. Insider

Minda Zetlin shares five habits that will help you stay focused all day and Traci Stein explains why they work. (To help with covid brain.) Inc.


Why do we dream? Amy Adkins | TED-Ed

Nina Totenberg reports on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, champion of gender equality, at 87. NPR

Hope Reese interviews Noam Chomsky about his new book: there’s reason for hope. JSTOR Daily

Nadia Drake: possible sign of life on Venus stirs heated debate. National Geographic

Jonathan Amos wonders, will private firms win the race to Venus? BBC

Dark matter is even stranger than we thought. SciShow Space

Ian Bogost: your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. The Atlantic

Rachel Lovell explains how nanoclay turns desert into farmland in the UAE. BBC

Enjoy some frissons musicale with this Pentatonix cover of Tears for Fears’ Mad World.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you’re able to 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!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 6-12, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, a convenient way to research, inspire creative Ideas (what I call popping your mental corn), learn something cool, or otherwise support your creativity.

For the past several months, I’ve isolated posts related to anti-racism and the pandemic for your convenience.

Dani McClain shares some advice on how to talk to kids about racism and police violence. The Atlantic

Gabriela Fowler explains what it feels like to “pass as white” when you’re mixed race. Buzzfeed

How the death of George Floyd sparked a street art movement. The Smithsonian Magazine

Daniel King shares Ashima Yadava’s portraits of survival. Mother Jones


Rebecca Renner explains why every year—especially 2020—feels like the worst year ever. Doomscrolling, anyone? Anyone? Beuller? National Geographic

Why is it so hard to remember things right now? SciShow Psych

Eleanor Cummins says, the office will never be the same. Popular Science

Alexandra Jones: Jessica Meir returned from the ISS to a pandemic-ridden Earth. The Face

Tammy Chen is a dentist who’s seeing more cracked teeth. How is that connected to the pandemic? The New York Times


The biggest lie about renewable energy. ASAP Science

Paul Vallely explains how philanthropy benefits the super-rich. The Guardian

Alan Yuhas reveals that Roanoake’s “lost colony” was never lost (according to a new book). The New York times

Kat Lonsdorf revisits Fukushima: the ghost towns behind the gates. NPR

Amber Dance considers experiments on mice in space and how they’ll keep human bone and muscle strong on the ISS. Knowable

Gerardo Carrillo: “mammoth central” found at Mexican airport construction site. The Washington Post

Sarah Bahr announces that the Met will hire its first full-time Native American curator. The New York Times

Thanks for visiting and I hope you took away something to support 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, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday! Revive yourselves for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Theresa Waldrop shares the latest news about the Portland protest shooting death. CNN

Safia Samee Ali: where protesters go, armed militia and vigilantes likely follow with little to stop them. NBC News

Ashitha Nagesh explains how “hyper-liberal” Portland’s racist past is resurfacing. BBC

The peace reporters. Videos of police violence at #BLM protests with the testimony of the people who took them. Content warning on this one. The videos of police violence are difficult to watch. They’re optional, though. You can just read the words of the people who took the videos and get a sense of what it means to be a witness in these difficult situations. The Verge


Jesmyn Ward waxes on witness and respair: a personal tragedy followed by pandemic. Vanity Fair

Why Tuesday feels like July and sometimes never during covid (how we perceive time). It’s Okay to be Smart

Jessica Stillman: the Greeks had a word for the specific kind of bad you’re feeling right now. Acedia. Inc.

Patrick Adams wants us to meet Gertrude Elion, the woman who gave the world anti-viral drugs. National Geographic


Heidi Wachter explains why we need to fill the greenspace gap. Shondaland

Studying the brain with quantum mechanics. SciShow Psych

Rachel Kraus wonders, what is an algorithm, anyway? Mashable

Jess Romeo sheds light on the long history of comet phobia. JSTOR Daily

Emily Zarka introduces us to Spring-Heeled Jack. PBS Storied | Monstrum

Daniel Oberhaus: gravity, gizmos, and Jim Woodward’s grant theory of interstellar travel. Wired

The Martian crustal dichotomy. SciShow Space

Carrie Whitney introduces us to the man behind the legend of Sitting Bull. How Stuff Works

Chadwick Boseman, rest in power. New Rockstars

Leah Greenblatt pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman: his life, his legacy, and his iconic roles. Entertainment Weekly

Stan Horaczek explains how cats and dogs see the world. Popular Science

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you took 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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Starting a short week with a Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday is tough. Fortify yourselves with some informal writerly learnings.

First: Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

#pandemiclife is entering its sixth month and there’s no end in sight even though everyone has covid brain and is exhausted by the restraint and safety restrictions.

Today marked the return to schools for most children in Ontario. I wish them well, but I still worry. We’ve been told to expect a bump in infections, like it’s acceptable to sacrifice children’s and teachers’ and their families’ health.

Please wear your masks, respect social distancing, wash your hands, and stay safe.

Nancy Johnson explains what it’s like writing while Black in times like these. Kristan Hoffman hopes you’ll try these ideas to stay active in your writing life. Donald Maass wonders what—and how much—belongs in your novel? Erika Liodice explains how to give an out-of-print book new life through self-publishing. Liza Nash Taylor says she’s late to the party: on being a debut novelist at 60. Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland shares seven considerations for your antagonist’s motivations (which will save you so much trouble). Helping Writers Become Authors

Orly Konig: suspenders for pantsers. Fiction University

James Scott Bell describes hanging upside down and other creative moves. Writers Helping Writers

The feminist trope explained. The Take

Jenn Walton: sweet writing is made of dreams. Then, Brenda Joyce Patterson explains how to establish a literary mentorship. Later in the week, Neha Mediratta wonders, are you giving yourself a chance? Then, A.R. Taylor offers five tips for creating your villain. DIY MFA

What is a motif? How is it different from theme and symbol? And how can you use motif in your writing? Reedsy

Joe Ponepinto advises that if you want to avoid rejection, take the writer out of the story. Jane Friedman

Angie Hodapp says, your protagonist must fail. Pub Rants

Jami Gold considers the black moment: understanding our options.

Shaelin explains how to raise your story’s stakes. Reedsy

Chris Winkle lists nine options for high stakes conflict without violence. Oren Ashkenazi: The Umbrella Academy shows us why it’s important to plan your powers. Mythcreants

Kristen Lamb explains how story forges and refines character.

Rahil Sheikh introduces us to Kuli Kohli: “They wanted to drown me a birth—now, I’m a poet.” BBC

Thank you for visiting and I hope that you found something that will support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 23-29, 2020

It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping.

Michael Tesler reports that support for Black Live Matter surged during the protests but is now waning among white Americans. FiveThirtyEight

Sarah Midkiff goes inside the Portland protests, separating fact from fiction. This is almost a month old. I think election hijinx are overtaking #BLM related news. Until this past weekend, when protests took precedence again. Refinery 29

Black lives matter: NBA walkout sparks historic sports boycott in US; Osaka withdraws, tennis halted. The boycott was short-lived, but sports teams are attempting to use their platforms to keep the message of #BLM front and centre. The Scroll

The national anthem protests, part 1, with Roger Goodell. Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man

And part 2.

Rebecca Ruiz explains why everyone should understand racial trauma right now. Mashable

N’dea Yancey-Bragg reveals five things you didn’t know about the March on Washington and MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. USA Today

Amy McKeever says that voter suppression has haunted America since its founding. National Geographic

Related: Matthew Wills reviews the suppression of Native American voters. JSTOR Daily


Jasmine Baker moved into her dorm at UNC Chapel Hill at the beginning of August. Two weeks later she, and just about everyone she knew, had covid-19. Slate

Matthew M.F. Miller explains how the pandemic has immeasurably altered our relationship with tech. Shondaland

Mary Mammoliti explains what it’s like to be blind in a socially distanced world. Refinery 29


Naomi Scherbel-Ball: Africa declared free of wild poliovirus. BBC

Katherine Ellison wonders who’s caring for the carers. Knowable

Zaria Gorvett explains why modern medicine ignores transgendered people. BBC

Abigail Bassett helps you determine whether someone is actually “toxic.” Shondaland

Is success hard work or luck? This actually plays into our perception (or lack thereof) of our privilege. Veritasium

Martha Mendoza and Frank Baker: massive northern California wildfires rage on. AP

Nell Greenfield Boyce: water, water, everywhere—and now scientists know where it came from. NPR

Joshua Sokol profiles the worst animal in the world: the mosquito. The Atlantic

Lesley Evans Ogden reports on the sea otter rescue plan that worked too well. BBC

Eva Botkin-Kowacki: herd community means there’s more to cows than we thought. Christian Science Monitor

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you were able to take away something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my August next chapter update. Until then, be well and stay safe.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 16-22, 2020

It’s time to get you mental corn popping.

Guy Kawasaki interviews Kathryn Finney for the Remarkable People podcast.

Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughy. Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man

Luke Noronha examines life after deportation: no one tells you how lonely you’re going to be. The Guardian

Amy Thomas wonders, as statues are torn down, which monuments should we visit? National Geographic

Mohammed Elnaiem: on Black power in the Pacific. JSTOR Daily

Laura Pitcher: the history of the colour white and the women’s suffrage movement. Teen Vogue

Bonnie Berkowitz shares several things you didn’t know (or forgot) about how women got the vote. The Washington Post

Jewel Wicker lists the 16 best quotes about women of colour deserving the right to vote. Teen Vogue


Locally, Nancy Johnson writes a letter to the editor: are we doing enough to control the pandemic? The Sudbury Star

Olga Khazan: America’s terrible internet is making quarantine worse. Why millions of students still can’t get online. The Atlantic

Emma K. Atwood and Sarah Williamson: plague and protest go hand in hand. JSTOR Daily


Elizabeth Yuko explains how to embrace uncertainty, even if you’re nervous. Life Hacker

Billie Eilish – My Future. Not what I was expecting. In the best way 🙂

Richard Hollingham: the pioneering surgeons who cleaned up filthy hospitals. BBC

Meilan Solly invites you to peer into the past with photorealistic portraits of Roman emperors. The Smithsonian Magazine

Karen Gardiner considers Denmark’s 300-year-old homes of the future. BBC

Maggie Hiufu Wong: Japan’s first-ever hotel in a wooden castle breathes new life into a fading rural town. CNN

Jonathan Smith introduces us to Patrick Cashin, who captured the secrets of the New York City subway. Huck

SciShow Space news explains what happened to Betelgeuse and reports an accident at Arecibo.

Laura Poppick explains how the origin of mud is linked to the origin of life. Knowable

Tori B. Powell: taking care of plants is a lesson in empathy. Shondaland

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!

ThoughtyThursday2019