Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 18-24, 2022

For the last time in 2022, it’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Amy Briggs explains how an ancient revolt sparked the festival of lights. Hanukkah. National Geographic

Dedi Hayoun reports that signs of Salome, said to be nurse to baby Jesus, unearthed in Israel. Reuters 

Christin Bohnke introduces us to the Onna-Bugeisha, the female samurai warriors of feudal Japan. JSTOR Daily

Why do we get embarrassed? Be Smart

Brain circuit that converts spatial goals to escape actions discovered. Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

Eric Berger reports that after a long struggle with Martian dust, NASA’s InSight probe has gone quiet. Ars Technica

In conversation with Dr. Jo Barstow. Dr. Becky

40-year study finds mysterious patterns in temperatures at Jupiter. NASA

Researchers find over 100 new ancient designs in Peru’s Nazca lines. CNN

Bob Yirka reveals a huge, 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization discovered in northern Guatemala. Phys.org

Jill Gralow reports that scientists freeze Great Barrier Reef coral in world-first trial. They’re preserving coral larvae in the hope of future restoration. Reuters

Jules Bernstein is decoding the secret language of photosynthesis. UC Riverside

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

I hope to have my next chapter update and year-end round up posted on the weekend.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Dec 11-17, 2022

Merry Christmas (Sunday) and happy Kwanzaa (Monday) for those who celebrate! Prepare yourself for the holiday marathon by getting your mental corn popping.

Elisabeth De Mariaffi explains how period-tracking apps can be weaponized by pro-life activists. The Walrus

Helen Warrell reveals the secret lives of MI6’s top female spies. The Financial Times

Emily Zarevich considers Eleanor of Aquitaine’s “Court of Love.” JSTOR Daily

Nick Paul Taylor: Moderna, Merck & Co. mRNA cancer vaccine slashes melanoma recurrence in Keytruda combo trial. Fierce Biotech

Discovery could explain why women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s. Scripps

Scientists get first ever sound recording of dust devils on Mars. Purdue University

JWST “fingerprints” earliest galaxies. BBC

Four signs of alien life that JWST is looking for. Dr. Becky

Two exoplanets may be mostly water, NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer find. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

ALICE estimates how transparent the Milky Way is to antimatter. interactions.org

Fusion energy “breakthrough” revealed by US scientists. But as my spouse, AKA Mr. Science, who’s read the abstract, advises me, it’s not exactly what media are reporting. CBC

Samanth Subramanian reports on the epic task of shutting down a nuclear site: dismantling Sellafield. The Guardian 

Another nifty resource for historical fiction authors. Find out the weather in the time and setting of your novel … as long as they collected weather data. Historical weather. Weather Underground

Fossil site reveals giant arthropods dominated the seas 470 million years ago. University of Exeter

Laura Baisas reveals that giant wombats the size of small cars once roamed Australia. Popular Science

Rachel Fobar: critics slam USDA’s toothless and “paltry” fines for animal welfare violations. National Geographic

Gena Steffens lets us get a glimpse into the hidden lives of Amazonian manatees. National Geographic

Thanks for stopping by, 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: Popping your mental corn, Dec 4-10, 2022

I know I said I was going to trim down thoughty Thursday, but there were so many interesting non-newsy things to share this week! In any case, it’s tome to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Matthew Wills: kidnappers of color versus the cause of antislavery. JSTOR Daily

Danielle Han discusses grave matters: conflict in reburial and repatriation. JSTOR Daily

From Anne Bonney to Zheng Yi Sao: the notorious women of piracy. PBS Origins

Heidi Ledford reports that severe covid may cause markers of old age in the brain. Nature

The Next Big Idea Club explains how to make the most of the brain you have, according to neuroscience. Fast Company

K.J. Aiello wonders who gets to be mentally ill? The Walrus

Zach Sweger: many genes linked to alcohol and tobacco use are share among diverse ancestries. Penn State University

In conversation with Dr. Jake Taylor. Dr. Becky

Dr. Alfredo Carpineti: JWST spots clouds and even a sea on Saturn’s moon, Titan. IFLS

Beth Miller reports that Marianna Safronova and collaborators say quantum clocks could be used to detect dark matter. University of Delaware Daily

Unusual gamma-ray burst reveals previously undetected hybrid neutron-star merger event. Los Alamos National Laboratory

Researchers use ultrasound waves to move objects. University of Minnesota

A resource for your next apocalyptic science fiction novel: asteroid launcher. Or just have fun lobbing space rocks at Earth. Your choice. neal.fun

And here’s another, scarier app: NukeMap. For fictional purposes, of course … Alex Wellerstein

Hallie Golden reports that an Indigenous reservation has a novel way to grow food—below the earth’s surface. The Guardian

In search of the blackest thing on Earth. Be Smart

Feline genetics help pinpoint first-ever domestication of cats, MU study finds. University of Missouri

The end of year animal awards. Ze Frank

Thanks for stopping by for this week’s mixed bag of edutainment. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, May 8-14, 2022

Celebrate the coming of the weekend by getting you mental corn popping.

Livia Gershon considers the cosmopolitan culture of the Gullah/Geechees. JSTOR Daily

True crime and the theatre of safety. Princess Weekes

Charles Maynes and Alina Selyukh: Russia’s Victory Day celebrations take on new importance for Kremlin this year. NPR

Sylvia Hui and Aamer Madhani report that G7 leaders mark VE Day stressing unity and support for Ukraine. Associated Press

Ehsan Popalzai and Irene Nasser: Taliban decree orders women in Afghanistan to cover their faces. CNN

Libby Cathey reports that US senate republicans block bill that would codify Roe vs. Wade abortion rights. ABC News

Graham Lee Brewer: US counts Indian boarding school deaths for the first time but leaves key questions unanswered. NBC News

Hong Kong’s John Lee: ex-security chief becomes new leader. BBC

The editors curate their best articles to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. JSTOR Daily

You don’t own your partners. The Ultimatum, love, and possession, analyzed. Khadija Mbowe

Bastian Fox Phelan says female facial hair is not uncommon. What happens when we make it visible? The Guardian

Terry Nguyen says trends are dead. Vox

Clark Quinn: gamification, or … Learnlets

Arman Khan says that work thing is probably not urgent. Vice

George Monbiot says that the secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing—and the key to our planet’s future. The Guardian

Ellen Gutoskey lists 11 elements with names inspired by folklore and mythology. Mental Floss

The new black hole image explained by an astrophysicist. Dr. Becky

Nicole Mortillaro: astronomers reveal first image of the monster black hole at the heart of our galaxy. CBC

We may be wrong about planet formation. SciShow Space

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Feb 13-19, 2022

It’s time to get your mental corn popping for the last time in February.

Cornelius Fortune introduces the independent voices of the Black American press. JSTOR Daily

Ashawnta Jackson is remembering Emmett Till in song. JSTOR Daily

Police Brutality isn’t new. Every How Did We Get Here (part 2). The Amber Ruffin Show

Frankie Graziano and Laura Wamsley: families of Sandy Hook victims reach $73 million settlement with Remington. NPR

Catharine Tunney reports that the federal government invokes emergencies act for the first time in response to protests. CBC

Andrew Duffy provides a timeline of the occupation of Ottawa. The Ottawa Citizen

Michael Woods and Ted Raymond cover the Ottawa occupation: police hand out leaflets warning downtown protesters to leave. CTV News

Standoff between protestors and massive police operation stretches into night. CBC

Tara Henley says, “Get insanely curious when no one else is curious.” A conversation with Amanda Ripley about the Ottawa occupation and high conflict.

Harold Jarche outlines our new normal in perpetual beta.

Devin Dwyer and Sarah Herndon: “Broken Heart” cases surge during covid, especially among women. ABC News

Benjamin Ryan shares that scientists have possibly cured a woman of HIV for the first time. While the treatment is specific to a subset of patients who have Leukemia in addition to HIV, it could direct new research. NBC News

Carmen Leitch: human neurons found to be surprisingly different from other mammals. Lab Roots

Paul Withers reveals that Facebook to begin laying cable (for Metaverse) through fishing grounds off Nova Scotia. CBC

Move over, JWST! Five new telescopes to get excited about. Dr. Becky

Bob McDonald: astronomers are fighting back against satellite constellations. CBC’s Quirks and Quarks

Victor Tangermann reports that scientists propose permanent human habitat built orbiting Ceres. It’s like something straight out of The Expanse. Futurism

Are we finally on the road to fusion power? SciShow

Structured thermal armor achieves liquid cooling above 1000 degrees Celsius and solves challenge presented by the Leidenfrost effect. It should work for both aero and space engines as well as nuclear reactors. Phys.org

Simon Akam reveals a new story for Stonehenge. The New Yorker

Iceland to end whaling in 2024 as demand dwindles. The Guardian

Thanks for spending some time with me. I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 30-Feb 5, 2022

Another week, another opportunity to get your mental corn popping.

Alisha Ebrahimji, Holly Yan, and Paul P. Murphy: “I’m just tired of being terrorized like my grandparents were.” More than a dozen HBCUs got bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month. CNN

Omar Jimenez: former officer who shot Laquan McDonald leaves prison. CNN

Julie Hollar: NYT twists stats to insist we need more policing. Fair

Lexi McMenamin: fast-food workers are getting shot on the job. Teen Vogue

Paul Solotaroff introduces us to the man who spent 25 years infiltrating Nazis, the Klan, and biker gangs. Here’s what he learned about far-right extremists in America. Rolling Stone

Terry Trembath reports that puppeteer born in Tsuut’ina Nation says work on Fraggle Rock reboot a dream come true. CBC

The brain trick that makes video possible. Be Smart

Raimund Muscheler explains how ancient ice reveals mysterious solar storm. Lund University

A supermassive black hole forming new stars. Dr. Becky

Katie Hunt introduces us to the man who can explain the first 3 billion years of life on our planet. CNN

Katie Hunt reports that 99-million-year-old flowers found perfectly preserved in amber once bloomed at the feet of dinosaurs. CNN

How you could survive (and prosper) in the Middle Ages. melievalists.net

Ann Powers presents this tiny desk (home) concert by Tori Amos. NPR

True facts about the proboscis monkey. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project, or that you were educated or entertained by this round up. Maybe both?

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

Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 19-25, 2021

It’s Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada! Here’s how you can participate. Afterward, get your mental corn popping with any or all of the following:

Jessica Nordell explains why some people get dangerously different health care: the bias that blinds. The Guardian

Janelle Harris Dixon: when a Black woman disappears, who’s trying to find her? Zora

Kelsey Vlamis reports that 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, were reported missing in Wyoming, the same state where Gabby Petito disappeared. Insider

London’s first Indigenous-led family centre with language and culture at its core gears up for official opening. CBC

George Monbiot is shocked to see so many leftwingers lured to the far right by conspiracy theories. The Guardian

Nick Boisvert: Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig returned to Canada after being detained in China for almost three years. CBC

Erica Pandey: the pandemic made our work weeks longer. Beware burnout, people! Axios

Justin Bachman reports that SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight touches down off Florida coast. Bloomberg

Was the big bang a white hole? Dr. Becky

Bill Gourgey presents the Brilliant 10: the most innovative, up-and-coming minds in science. Popular Science

Micha Hiugen: file not found (or, how digital natives don’t understand information management and architecture). The Verge

Sonia Fernandez cites evidence that a cosmic impact destroyed ancient city in the Jordan Valley. Phys.org

Dr. Kevin Dann: the spiralist. ‘Cause spirals! Public Domain Review

Joe Fassler reports that lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable, but the science tells a different story. Long, but worthwhile. Like many new, potentially climate saving technologies, the real costs aren’t apparent, but we can’t solve those problems unless further research is done. The Counter

This simple code is behind nature’s most complex patterns. It’s okay to be smart

Danny Funt says that pets can help fight climate change with an insect-based diet. Their owners just need to come around to the idea. The Washington Post

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

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, July 25-31, 2021

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, your chance to get your mental corn popping. The weekend’s in sight! We’ll get there 🙂

Christian Spencer reports that the majority of Americans want the history of racism and slavery taught in schools. The Hill

Li Zhou explains why Illinois’s new law requiring Asian American history in schools is so significant. Vox

Dianne Lugo: 100 years after forceful removal, Nez Perce people celebrates reclaimed homeland. Statesman Journal    

Matthew Wills considers vaccine hesitancy in the 1920s. See, it’s nothing new 😦 JSTOR Daily

Andrew McKevitt shares some foundations and key concepts about guns in America. JSTOR Daily

InSight reveals the deep interior of Mars. NASA

How do supermassive black holes grow? Dr. Becky

What the new black hole discovery tells us. Physics Girl

Climate tipping points are now imminent, scientists warn. Deutche Welle (DW)

Sara Burrows: woman turns non-recyclable plastic into bricks seven times stronger than concrete. Return to Now

Kim Fahner: we, and those who come after, have a stake in what happens to the Laurentian Trail System. Sudbury.com

Mary Hynes interviews Robin Wall Kimmerer about the spirit of life in everything. CBC’s Tapestry

Why is sex a thing? It’s okay to be smart

Weird body parts. SciShow

Siobhan Leddy: Leonora Carrington brought a wild, feminist energy to surrealist painting. Artsy

Maya Wei-Haas reports that this 890-year-old sponge fossil may be the earliest animal yet found. National Geographic

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future 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, June 20-26, 2021

It’s time to get your mental corn popping. Yeah, it’s also Canada Day, but I’m not celebrating.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor reveals the secret history of Black uprisings. The New Yorker

Ryan Eneas and Theresa Kliem contributed to this report: Cowessess First Nation finds hundreds of unmarked graves at Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan. CBC

David A. Robertson: “My grandmother’s sister had a name. It was Maggie.” The Toronto Star

A history of Indigenous languages — and how to revitalize them | Lindsay Morcom TED

Shira Pinson: WWII codebreaker Alan Turing becomes the first gay man on a British bank note. NBC News

Jim Downs: how Jonathan Ned Katz rediscovered Eve Adams, the radical lesbian activist. The New Yorker

Total Solar Eclipses Shine a Light on the Solar Wind with Help from NASA’s ACE Mission. NASA

Life on Saturn’s moons? Not as we know it. Dr. Becky

Patrick Roberts excerpts from his latest book: how ancient societies reimagined what cities could be. The Guardian

Colin Packham: UN irks Australia by recommending that the Great Barrier Reef be listed “in danger.” Reuters

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update for June.

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, May 30-June 5, 2021

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

Zoe Watkins: George Floyd protests prompted a reckoning over colorism and Afro-Latinx identity. Teen Vogue

Solana Rice has a conversation with Tracey Corder about police abolition. The Forge

Jessica Wong explains how these three teachers bring anti-racist education into the elementary classroom. CBC

Debbie Elliott and Marisa Peñalosa: a century after the race massacre, Tulsa confronts its bloody past. NPR

Karlos K. Hill: photographing the Tulsa massacre of 1921. The Public Domain Review

Gary Younge explains why every single statue should come down. The Guardian

Leslie Nguyen-Okwu: to protect me from America, my parents changed my name without telling me. Harper’s Bazaar

How your gut bacteria control your mood. Dr. Tracey Marks

The Kamloops residential school’s mass gravesite: What we know about the 215 children’s remains, and Canada’s reaction so far. An explainer from The Globe and Mail.

The shocking way your body makes electricity. It’s okay to be smart

It’s like Christmas came early for cosmologists! Dr. Becky

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you took away something to inspire or inform a future creative project.

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