Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Jan 8-14, 2023

Has it been a long January week? Refresh yourself in time for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Nina Bai reports that nasal injections could treat long-term COVID-19-related smell loss. Stanford Medicine

Researchers identify protein that helps skin cancer spread throughout the body. Queen Mary University of London

Tony Parrottet introduces us to the misunderstood Roman empress who willed her way to the top. The Smithsonian Magazine

Aja Romano says Friday the 13th isn’t unlucky. It’s a meme disguised as superstition. Vox

Joshua Rothman: how should we think about our different styles of thinking? The New Yorker

Abelardo Riojas provides a natural language playlist that will generate a playlist you can plug into Spotify based on keywords and phrases you enter. Fun, if nothing else.

J.R. Patterson wonders, why do kids hate music lessons? The Walrus

Joni Mitchell to be first Canadian recipient of prestigious Gershwin Prize. CBC

Monica Hesse considers a woman on the moon: why has one small step taken so long? The Washington Post

Ivan Pereira reveals that a rare, green comet to pass by Earth this week. ABC News

NASA’s TESS discovers planetary system’s second Earth-sized world. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Future search for life. SciShow Space

Adam Symington presents a cool resource: mapping the world’s river basins by continent. Visual Capitalist

Bruce Bower reports that complex supply chains may have appeared more than 3,000 years ago. Science News

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

Until my next chapter weekly update, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

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, Oct 9-15, 2022

Happy Friday eve! It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Austen McCoy: After Floyd. What has changed and what has not since George Floyd was killed. The Baffler

Baltimore prosecutors drop charges against Adnan Syed after receiving DNA test results. WBAL

Eteng Ettah explains how Abbott Elementary shows us schools without police. Scalawag

Aoife Walsh: Crimea Bridge: Putin accuses Ukraine of “terrorism.” BBC News

Jon Gambrell: protests over Mahsa Amini’s death reach key oil industry. Associated Press

Joseph Pierce says your land acknowledgement isn’t enough. Hyperallergic

John Loepky and Alex Green point out that politicians with disabilities are rare because of barriers, discrimination. Teen Vogue

Varena Coscia explains how SARS-CoV-2 communicates with human cells. And how this “contactome” might result in new therapies. Phys.org

Gabrielle Blair: Why the Least a Man Can Do Is Ejaculate Responsibly. The Remarkable People Podcast

History in Three Dimensions | Daniele Cybulskie | TEDxMilton

Will Sullivan reports that scientists find fungi in cancerous tumors. But what does it mean? The Smithsonian Magazine

Aria Bendix: in a novel experiment, brain-like human tissue implanted in rat brains influenced the rodents’ behavior. NBC News

Hunter’s moon shines in October skies. USA Today

Mark Belan presents this animated map: where to find water on Mars. Visual Capitalist

Jonathan Amos: NASA’s Dart changed the path of asteroid. BBC

The heaviest element yet detected in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. It might rain iron?! Phys.org

The unbelievable story of the earth’s most epic flood. Be Smart

Franco Mariotti says, protecting Laurentian’s greenspace would be visionary. Sudbury.com

Adele Peters: these mini wind turbines are designed for rooftops. Fast Company

True facts: sea cucumbers. Ze Frank

Thank you for visiting. 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, March 20-26, 2022

Bid farewell to March by getting your mental corn popping! Fortify yourself for April Fool’s Day and everything that comes after.

Li Zhou: the Stop Asian Hate movement is at a crossroads. Vox

Murray Brewster: the war in Ukraine could force Canada to shed its peacekeeper image. CBC

Stephanie Halasz and George Ramsey report that jailed Kremlin critic, Alexey Navalny found guilty of fraud and sentenced to nine more years in prison. CNN

Celebrity relationships won’t save yours. Khadija Mbowe

Stephanie Vozza wonders which comes first, happiness or success? Fast Company

Harold Jarche says knowledge flows at the speed of trust.

Clark Quinn considers emphasis and effort. Learnlets

Molly Hayes, Elizabeth Renzetti, and Tavia Grant: coercive control can be a life-or-death issue in relationships, but few people know how to recognize it. The Globe and Mail

Imogen West-Knights introduces us to Angela Gallop, the queen of crime-solving. The Guardian

An Alheimer’s drug that doesn’t treat Alheimer’s? SciShow

How evolution beat cancer (in whales, at least). Be Smart

In cosmic milestone, NASA confirms 5,000 exoplanets. Phys.org

Séan McCann – Take off My Armour

Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you found something to inspire a future creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my next chapter update for March 2022. 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, Jan 3-9, 2021

It’s thoughty Thursday! Fortify yourself for the weekend and get your mental corn popping (i.e. get those ideas ping-ponging around inside your skull)!

The Capitol insurrection held me horrified. It still does. And the continued attempts of a certain despot to assail social media to issue a call to arms to disrupt the inauguration have me once again fearing for the future. This is not just America’s problem. It has the potential to disrupt nations across the world.

Katrin Bennhold and Steven Lee Myers report how America’s friends and foes express horror as Capitol attack shakes the world. The New York Times

Aaron Morrison: race double standard clear in rioters’ Capitol insurrection. Associated Press

Todd Richmond and Michael Tarm: no charges for Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake. No justice. Associated Press

Dylan Lovan reports that two police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death have been fired. Still, no justice. Associated Press

Allison Miller reveals the hidden meaning of a notorious experiment. In a 1961 grant application, filed before the Eichmann trial was in full swing, Milgram “proposed to study the conditions under which compliance with authority could be increased or decreased—knowledge that had obvious military and political applications.” JSTOR Daily

Some good news: Doha Madani reports that the Red Sox hired Bianca Smith for minor league team, the first Black woman to coach in pro baseball. NBC News

Ashawnta Jackson say that when mambo was king, its creators were stereotyped. JSTOR Daily

And all this political and racial injustice while we’re in the midst of a pandemic.

Darren MacDonald: lockdown in northern Ontario to extend until Jan 23rd, but schools reopen Jan 11th. “… the province said the positivity rate for kids aged 12-13 years old increased from 5.44 per cent in late November, early December to nearly 20 per cent in early January.” CTV News

We have to do better, people.

How alchemy led to modern-day chemistry and medicine. SciShow

Gabriella Marchant: Australian “super seaweed” supplement that reduces cattle gas production wins $1million international prize. And … it was discovered by accident (!) Australian Broadcast Corporation

Graham Averill announces that New River Gorge is the US’s newest national park. Outside

Three ways exoplanets rocked planetary science. SciShow Space

Andrew Fazekas lists ten spectacular stargazing events to observe in 2021. National Geographic

Brent Lang: women directed a record number of films in 2020. Variety

Sylvia Poggioli introduces us to the women uncovering the lost works of female Renaissance artists (because, who else?). NPR

Thanks for stopping by. 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, June 21-27, 2020

Welcome to Thursday! You know what that means; it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Tanya Talaga: there have always been two Canadas. In this reckoning on racism, both must stand together for Indigenous people now. The Globe and Mail

Cammy D shares his experience as a Black youth in Canada.

Hop Hopkins: racism is killing the planet. Sierra Club

Brene Brown talks to Ibram X. Kendi about how to be an antiracist.

Catherine Halley compiles a syllabus on institutionalized racism. JSTOR Daily

Greta Heggeness announces that you can now virtually visit the nation’s civil rights landmarks. PureWow

Brenna Ehrlich recounts the windy history of Penny Lane: the Beatles, the slave trade, and a now-resolved controversy. Rolling Stone

The Chicks—March March

The JSTOR Daily editors list 15 Black women who should be (more) famous.


Evan Ratliff: we can protect the economy from pandemics. Why didn’t we? Wired

Jessica Stewart: NASA releases stunning, high-res photos of Jupiter’s swirling atmosphere. My Modern Met

SciShow Space news: our galaxy could be full of exoplanets with oceans and Pluto’s surprising history.

Stacey Leasca: the lost continent of Zealandia disappeared millions of years ago, but these new maps show it in stunning detail. Travel + Leisure

True facts about the (very super clever) macaque. Ze Frank

Thanks for the visit. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

I’ll be putting my next chapter update for June up this weekend. Until then, be well and stay safe!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 18-24, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Eleanor Cummins: how humans have created color for thousands of years. Popular Science

How nature works as seen in stunning psychedelic illustrations of scientific processes and phenomena in a 19th century French physics textbook. BrainPickings

More researchy goodness. The Ritman Library is making its Hermetic collection available online.

Satellite data reveals a record number of fires in the Brazilian rainforest. BBC

Mary Anne Potts explains what it’s like to swim through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. National Geographic

On a local level, the CBC reports on the Sudbury Conservation Authority’s puzzled reaction to direction and further cuts to funding.

SciShow Psych spelunks the uncanny valley.

David Armstrong shares neurologist Laura Boyle’s struggle back to health: in men, it’s Parkinson’s, but in women, it’s hysteria. ProPublica

SciShow Space news: new hypotheses about Jupiter’s core and estimates of the numbers of Earth-like planets.

More SciShow Space. This time, they’re breaking down the process that could make Mars settlement possible.

Simon Cooper, Charles Kemp, Daniel R. Little, and Duane W. Hamacher discuss: why do different cultures see such similar meanings in the constellations? The Conversation

SciShow wonders why there aren’t cancer-sniffing dogs in service.

I hope you found something to inspire or support your current creative project.

See you on the weekend for my next chapter update.

Until then, be well 🙂

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 24-Mar 2, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping with some thoughty Thursday links 🙂

Mary McNamara shares the amazing Emma Thompson’s letter to Skydance regarding the reasons she chose to leave Luck. #metoo LA Times

Jonathan Watts says that concrete is the most destructive material on Earth. The Guardian

David Dobbs: climate change has entered its blood sucking phase. The Atlantic

Ed Yong reports on the troubling discovery made in the deepest ocean trenches. The Atlantic

SciShow Space considers what life might be like on a tidally locked planet.

 

SciShow Psych looks at depression and anxiety and what psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered about them.

 

And they science the shit out of inspiration 🙂

 

Thu-Huong Ha shows us how Bolivia’s most Instagrammable houses showcase indigenous peoples’ reclaimed power. Quartz

Messy Nessy opens their cabinet of Chic curiosities to tour Bernie Madoff’s underwater ballroom. This was featured in Roz Morris’s novel, Lifeform Three. If you like abandoned places or cool architecture, this will be your thing 🙂

Lily Strelich tries to solve an artful mystery: why are Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings breaking out in pimples? The Smithsonian Magazine

And that was your thoughty for the week.

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

thoughtythursday2016

WorldCon 2016: Two suns in the sky

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

TwoSuns

Panellists: Eva Elasigue, Courtney Schafer, [Mel’s note: Joe Haldeman was unable to attend.]

Joined in progress …

CS: Kepler discovers exoplanets by observing the subtle signs of a planet passing in front of its star. It’s focused on a small area and it’s only covered 3% of that space in detail so far. The number of exoplanets discovered is large, but only a fraction of circum-binary systems have planets that might be habitable. The planets discovered in those systems are massive, though. It’s exciting that so many planets have been discovered.

EE: One of Larry Niven’s conjectures is that a planet in a binary system would have an off-center core.

CS: It’s possible that a planet in a binary system could have a figure eight orbit. It could also be more easily ejected from the system. Since circum-binary systems are fairly common, there might be a large number of rogue planets out there. To discover the composition of a planet, you need to use spectroscopy.

Q: Is there publicly accessible software for fact-checking the plausibility of an invented system?

A: There are solar system simulators.

CS: You can also check with your local amateur astronomy club.

Q: Is Alpha Centauri A, Rigil Kentaurus, a binary star?

CS: That’s the current understanding. One thing to keep in mind is the force that would be exerted on planets in these systems. If we look at the moons of Jupiter, they need to have their own magnetospheres to maintain an atmosphere. Otherwise, Jupiter strips it away.

EE: You should check out Galaxy Zoo. It’s a citizen science initiative.

[At this point, the ideas starting coming fast and furious. To be honest, I’m not sure who said what.]

The most favorable binary systems for planets are those in which both stars are around 80% of the sun’s size. They’re also fairly close to each other. The minimum stable radius for a planet in a binary system is 2-4 times larger than [… sorry didn’t catch this. I think it’s Jupiter. Wikipedia indicates this would be correct. If the planet is a gas giant, it may not support life, but its moons might. Smaller stars would accommodate smaller planets, but the planets may not be habitable, depending on their orbits and the relative light and heat they receive from their suns.]

They probably didn’t form in their current orbit. There’s an instability in binary systems which could result in the planet spiralling into one of the stars, or being flung out of the system. Planets in binary systems would move around unless they could find a stable orbit.

There are also mismatched binary systems. A blue giant with a red dwarf, for example, or a sun-type star with a black hole.

And that was time.

For more information: If you Google the term circum-binary systems, you will find a lot. Navigate to dependable sources, like NASA, or Space.com (unlike yours truly). Or head for fun but dependable sites like Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy column, currently hosted by Blastr.

Next week: we’re terraforming terra 🙂

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong.