Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 24-30, 2021

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means. Tomorrow is Friday! Prepare yourself for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping.

Dalton Walker reports how the “parade across America” has an Indigenous touch. Indian Country Today

Mali Obomsawin: this land is whose land? Indian country and the shortcomings of settler protest. Smithsonian Folklife

Mildred Europa Taylor wants you to meet the eight-year-old neuroscientist who teaches online from a lab in her bedroom. Face2Face Africa

Russell Contreras: Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity. His first set of executive orders puts a “down payment” on the promise of racial justice in America. Axios

John Haltiwanger notes that Biden administration speeding up process to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill. Business Insider

Maudlyne Ihejirika announces that the Emmett Till childhood home is now an official city landmark. Chicago Sun Times

Stephen Humphries reveals the new museum celebrating African American music from Ella to Beyoncé. Christian Science Monitor

Amir Vera and Raja Razek: two Kenosha police officers, on administrative leave since the Jacob Blake shooting, are back on duty. No justice. CNN

Doha Madani reports that the Black woman whose children were handcuffed and held at gunpoint by police sues Aurora, Colorado. NBC News

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demands US military sexual assault reports. The Guardian

Lauren Frayer: protesting farmers flood India’s capital, storm historic fort. NPR

The pandemic that lasted 15 million years [Say what, now?] | PBS Eons

L.D. Burnett posits that there is no such thing as cancel culture. Only culture, shapeshifter that it is. Arc Digital

Kim Fahner responds to Bell’s let’s talk day: of whales, icebergs, and mental health … The Republic of Poetry

Sara Jaffe: notes on queer conception and the redefinition of family. JSTOR Daily

Dr. Becky shares the new evidence against dark matter.

Robert Z. Pearlman shares that Axiom Space names the first private crew to visit the ISS. Scientific American

Earth has a second magnetic field. SciShow

Fiona Harvey: global ice loss accelerated at record rate. The Guardian

These pools support half the people on Earth. Veritasium

Cal Flyn reports that as birth rates decline, animals prowl out abandoned “ghost villages.” The Observer

Nina Munteanu: when nature destroys … and creates.  

Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I should be posing my January 2021 next chapter update.

Until then, 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 18-24, 2020

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

Catharine Tunney: Indigenous services minister calls raid on Nova Scotia fishing facilities and assault on the Mi’kmaw people. CBC

Brandon Young and Allan April: southwest Nova Scotia lobster pound destroyed by fire, one man hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. CTV News

Gimba Kakanda takes you inside the protests taking on police brutality in Nigeria. Time

Brando Simeo Starkey explains respectability politics and how a flawed conversation sabotages Black lives. Also called tone policing. From 2016. Yet again, these conversations are not new. The Undefeated

Ken Miller: Tulsa digs again for the victims of the 1921 race massacre. Associated Press

Michael A Fletcher reveals the results of a poll: Black Americans see a healthcare system infected by racism. National Geographic


Janelle Randazza lists eight covid-friendly ways to hand out candy this Halloween. Reviewed

Amanda Woytus: does virtual learning work for every student? Spoilers: It depends on how the lesson is delivered and whether the learner has any special needs. JSTOR Daily


Amy Alipio takes us inside the fortress known as “Dracula’s Castle.National Geographic

Reese Oxner reports that Colorado fire grows 100,000 acres in a day and hits Rocky Mountain National Park. NPR

Andrew Liszewski reports that Impossible Foods is now developing a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. Gizmodo

Jan Hoffman and Katie Benner: Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to criminal charges for opioid sales. The New York Times

SciShow Space explains how to find dark matter with a billion pendulums.

Denise Chow: scientists clock the fastest interval of time in “zeptoseconds.” NBC News

Michael Walsh shares a map that shows every country’s most famous mythical creature. Nerdist

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

This weekend, I hope to get my next chapter update done before NaNoWriMo hits. Also, while I should get next week’s curation scheduled as well, those will be the last until December 8th. I will, however, post my progress, weekly. This year, as last, I will be a NaNo Rebel, because I will be working on the revisions for Reality Bomb. I’m focusing on getting a project completed before moving on to the next, these days, and I’m not at all ashamed to say that this year has thrown my writing for a loop.

It takes the time it takes.

Until the weekend, then, 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 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, April 5-11, 2020

This week’s curation is a mix of ways to entertain yourself, covid-19-adjacent articles, and general thoughtiness. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Sydney Perkowitz: how to see the invisible universe. JSTOR Daily

Jamie Cater says, your cosmic address is the trippiest thing you’ll learn today. Travel + Leisure

Space germs were a literal thing. Why the Apollo 11 astronauts were quarantined. Vox

Brian Ferguson reveals Scotland’s claim to fame as the birthplace of the f-word (and an interesting BBC documentary to watch if you have access). The Scotsman

Erin Blakemore explains why plague doctors wore those strange beaked masks. National Geographic

Arthur C. Brooks shares the three equations of a happy life. The Atlantic

Livia Gershon explains how people during the Depression managed to laugh. JSTOR Daily

Mary Alice Miller: digital burnout was coming, and the pandemic is expediting it. Vanity Fair

Jonathan Watts shares his journey into the Antarctic. The Guardian

Jessica Leigh Hester wants you to let your mind wander with these gloriously detailed maps. Atlas Obscura

Zoe Baillargeon recommends the best online cooking classes and tutorials. The Manual

Camryn Rabideau suggests six indoor gardening projects for *any* size of home. Food52

SciShow introduces us to the white smokers of The Lost City and how they may have had a role in the origin of life on our planet.

Atlas Obscura shares images of Puzzlewood, the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings movie.

Corinne Segal shares this livestream of the bird library for you and your cat(s) to enjoy. Literary Hub

Jonna Jinton – The Wolf Song

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project, or just to fill the well until inspiration strikes.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

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

Welcome to 2020!

Lots of videos today, but there’s still something in here that will pop your mental corn.

Veritasium looks into the science of resolutions (and why most of them fail).

The strange and unexpected reason ice is slippery. It’s okay to be smart

Nadia Drake reports that Betelgeuse is acting strangely, and astronomers think it might be going supernova. National Geographic

SciShow Space news shares their biggest, brightest, most (superlative) news of the year.

Matt O’Dowd answers the question, does life require a multiverse? PBS Space Time

Physics Girl considers how the large hadron collider (LHC) can help us identify dark matter.

Jessica Stewart shares Yaoyao Ma Van As’ heartwarming illustrations of the bond between a dog and their owner. My Modern Met

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

Until the weekend (next chapter for December and year-end review), be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories 🙂

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 25-31, 2019

You’ve made it this far through the week. Reward yourself. Get your mental corn popping!

Jennifer Walter explains that, to our brains, it doesn’t matter whether we read or listen. Discover

Gregory Barber: what science fiction can teach computer science about ethics. Wired

SciShow explains how projects for living on Mars can improve life on Earth (from climate change to affordable and recyclable homes).

Deborah Netburn shows you how the world can cut food waste in half. LA Times

Jeff Goodell wonders, can we survive extreme heat? Rolling Stone

Nithin Coca: as the Amazon burns, Indonesia shows the world how to fight forest fires. Ozy

Caroline Riseboro: why we’re losing ground in the fight for gender equality. TEDXDonMills

Dan Nosowitz says, respect the hammock, one of humanity’s greatest creations. Atlas Obscura

Michael Greshko explains how this “unprecedented” skull reveals the face of a human ancestor. National Geographic

Dr. Becky explains the proof of dark matter’s existence.

SciShow Space considers the propulsive potential of the Hall Thruster.

Then, SciShow Space news announces the collision of a black hole and a neutron star detected by LIGO and VIRGO plus, progress on the Europa Clipper mission.

Emma Taggart shows us artistically arranged time slice photos that display the stages of a total solar eclipse. My Modern Met

M.R. O’Connor experiences a day in the life of a tree. The New Yorker

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found some inspiration to feed into your current of 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, Aug 11-17, 2019

Looking for something to trigger your next creative project? Here are some resources to get your mental corn popping.

Liam Tung: the US Navy is ditching touchscreens for physical throttles on their destroyers. Technology isn’t always our friend. ZDNet

In SciShow Space news: dark matter may have originated before the big bang. Also, what’s a neutron star glitch and what does it tell us about how the universe works?

Dr. Becky considers the “WTF” star (AKA Tabby’s star) and why its strange dimming remains a mystery.

Merrit Kennedy reports on experimental shorts that are really an exosuit that boosts endurance on the trail. NPR

Rachel Hartigan Shea take us inside Robert Ballard’s search for Amelia Earhart’s plane. National Geographic

Adrian Blomfield: Ebola has killed 2,000 people in the last year—why is it back? The Telegraph

Rachel Sugar says, in a world of chaos, escape rooms make sense. Vox

Kevin Loria: how to eat less plastic. Consumer Reports

E. Jamieson and Sadie Ryan explain how Twitter is helping the Scots language thrive in the 21st century. Because language! The Conversation

Annie Zaleski calls Kate Bush at 60 an exquisite pop genius whose influence endures. Salon

Erica Tennenhouse reports on a dolphin who adopts a baby whale and cares for it for three years. National Geographic

Nick Haddad relates the mysterious fate of the world’s largest butterfly. UnDark

Ben Hoare introduces us to seven of nature’s more colourful show-offs. Science Focus

Thanks for stopping by.

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, Sept 23-29, 2018

Welcome to thoughty Thursday where the goal is to get your mental corn popping!

That Phoenix debacle that keeps popping up from time to time in my social media feeds or these curations? Yeah, that one. Here’s a video that may help explain things:

 

Sarah DiGiulio explains why your weird dreams actually make a lot of sense (according to neuroscience and psychology). NBC News

Megan Feldman Bettencourt: how forgiveness has been weaponized against women. In other words, to truly forgive someone, they have to be held accountable. Harper’s Bazaar

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the dead beneath London’s streets. Smithsonian Magazine

SciShow introduces us to the incredible biodiversity of Lake Baikal—plus, extremophiles!

 

Matt Reynolds examines the almighty tussle over whether we should talk to aliens or not. SETI, METI, and the arguments for and against. Wired

Stephanie Pappas: humans contribute to the Earth’s wobble. Scientific American

SciShow Space looks at the Dark Matter vs. MOND debate.

 

Eric Mack: NASA turns 60 and it’s reinventing itself for the SpaceX era. Cnet

Adrien Mauduit shares his time-lapse video of the skies over Tenerife:

 

Florence + the Machine cover Tori Amos’s “Cornflake Girl.”

 

Beck: Colours

 

I hope you found something interesting in this edutainment mix.

This weekend, I’ll be posting my next chapter update for September.

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Series discoveries: mid-season follies

As a lead up to my fall 2015 series discoveries post, I thought I’d talk about the series I’ve been watching in the mid-season and what happened to the few I was watching that dropped off my radar.

From fall 2014:

I stopped watching Gotham (I know, people love it, but not me) and Stalker (just couldn’t get into it) after a couple of episodes each.

Followed Forever to the end of the season, but it doesn’t look like it will be back (at this point).

Watched Sleepy Hollow through to the end of its season, as well, but the writers kind of lost their way toward the end with the whole dark Katrina/time travel thing. When they resume, I hope they get their collective shit together.

Sad that Constantine wasn’t renewed, but I have to admit the series had its issues. The season story arc never really solidified.

Stuck with Once Upon a Time, Castle, The Flash, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Grimm, and Doctor Who. I found, though, with the exception of AoS and HtGAwM, I could really take or leave any series. If I missed an episode, I wasn’t sad.

I’m still getting used to the new Doctor (more on that when I get to fall 2015). I love Nathan Fillion enough that I can’t abandon Castle altogether, The Flash was a little cotton candy, but I’m good with that, and the last few eps of Grey’s were gripping.

Arrow’s a little dark and convoluted. OUaT and Criminal Minds were okay, but just that.

I liked the AoS plot, moving forward (Inhumans—yay) and as the HtGAwM mystery unfolded, I really had to watch every episode.

Telling the tale in two directions (inciting incident forward and climax backward) was an interesting technique that I hadn’t seen done well in TV. It can work really well in books (The Dispossessed, anyone?) but it’s imperfect in a television series. A lot of shows start at the climax and then rewind to tell the story leading up to it, but HtGAwM was the first show that I’ve seen that stretches the technique over a whole season.

It was tasty television. Emmy-winning, even. Viola Davis rawks.

Mid-season:

I liked Agent Peggy Carter enough to give it another view if/when it returns.

I loved, loved, LOVED the conclusion of Outlander and am so sad that I have to wait until 2016 for the second season. It was so well written and so well acted. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for making one of my favourite novel series in to my absolute favourite television series ever. Evar.

Game of Thrones, while still well-acted (as evidenced by the large numbers of Emmy wins), diverged from the novels in what I can only call a cluster of epic fails. I’ve written about these briefly in my Tipsday curations as the controversies hit the interwebz. My reaction was profound disappointment. Too much rapey, misogynistic shit. We’ll see if the show runners can pull their collective ass out of the fire this year.

I have been watching Vikings since its beginning. I love this show. The characters are compelling, the history is fairly accurate, and the writing is superb. This show surprises me. There are plot twists that I didn’t see coming.

The acting is great, too.

I stopped watching The Following when season two dropped. It just wasn’t my thing. I do watch thrillers and cops dramas, but something about The Following turned me off. I checked out a few episodes in season three, but it was more of the same. Really. Although they were different characters, the baddies of each season were all the same underneath. It was like one guy trying on different human skin suits. Blah.

Orphan Black was phenomenal from the moment it started. Tatiana Maslany is amazeballs as an actor playing multiple Leda clones. Ari Millen hasn’t done too badly playing a cast of Castors, either. Great characters, dark storylines with awesome, light fun, and incredible, technical wizardry.

Side note: Leda is a figure from Greek myth, impregnated by Zeus in the form of a swan (awkweird) who bore four children: Helen (yes, that Helen) and Polydeuces by Zeus, and Castor and Clytemnestra by her human husband. So the female clones would more properly be Helens (yawn) or Clytemnestras (ick), or the male clones Polydeuces (double ick), so I forgive the writers for messing the mythology up. Leda and Castor work just fine, thank you.

Bitten. I didn’t mention this series last year, but I should have. Enjoyed it quite a bit. Differences from the books aside, the second season didn’t disappoint. The only male witch fights the only female werewolf. Wackiness ensues.

Killjoys was fun. It’s one of those SF series that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Bounty Hunters in space? I’m in. Intrigue me with a solid season story arc? Done and done.

Dark Matter wasn’t as good. The series is built around a gimmick. Six people wake up from hypersleep (or whatever) and have no memory of who they are or what they’re doing on the ship. The first season is all about discovering bits and pieces of the puzzle, but by the time something really interesting started to happen, I was yawning.

The Good Witch movies have now become a series. This one’s a guilty pleasure. Not heavy on the magic, it’s a sweet, romantic drama. Come on, it’s from Hallmark (!)

Side note: one of the actors in Dark Matter, Anthony Lemke, who plays an asshole (Three) on that show, also plays a character on The Good Witch. He’s a real estate agent and the hapless love interest of the title character, Cassie Nightingale. It’s interesting to see the two back to back. They are really different characters.

iZombie was great. Phil and I just finished watching the first season a week or so ago. Interesting take on zombies. Also, the comic book frame is really suitable. The main character, a med student turned coroner, named Liv, by virtue of being able to take on the memories and abilities of the people whose brains she eats, helps to solve crimes. She’s kind of like a zombie superhero.

Also, the series is full of word play and homage (like one of my other favourite zombie movies, Shaun of the Dead). There isn’t an episode that doesn’t make a clever pop culture reference. Easter eggs galore. Full on zombie? Oh, yeah. I’m there.

Phil and I picked up on Hemlock Grove, which we’d abandoned in favour of anime last year, and it was okay. I wasn’t blown away with either the first or the second seasons, though I did think some of the different takes on vampires and werewolves were interesting, and a number of the plot twists were actually cool.

Speaking of Netflix series . . . We thought Daredevil’s first season was pretty good. It was definitely dark, but well done. Tortured hero, check. Doubly tortured villain, check. Murphy’s law applied liberally, check. Matt Murdock is like a Timex. Takes a licking . . .

Sens8. Loved. It may have been a “slow burn,” but we felt that something pivotal happened in each episode and we watched the first season in short order. Excellent writing. The character development was fabulous. Everything came together really well. You’ll have to watch it to see the intended pun in that last sentence 😀

Phil and I are on tenterhooks waiting to see if the second season will get the green light. Due to the sexual and cultural diversity of the characters, a lot of people didn’t like Sens8. Really? We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

And my true guilty pleasure (and the only reality TV I watch), So You Think You Can Dance, just finished. I like how the judges aren’t mean and everyone is really trying to help the competitors become the best dancers they can be. No manufactured drama.

Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been doing with myself for the last few months, TV-wise.

I’ve getting into the new and returning fall season shows and I’ll have something for you in October, probably. I’ll do an anime update as well, though we’ve eased back on watching it a bit. There’s a story of intrigue that goes with the anime post, so I’ll leave you with that teaser 🙂

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Series Discoveries