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.

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!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Aug 25-31, 2019

Ah. Here we are in September. Back to … all the things. Ease back into your routine with some informal writerly learnings.

Lainey Cameron advises you use a three-tier backup plan. Then Tiffany Yates Martin helps you to reclaim the creative spark in troubled times. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weiland explains how to use a truth chart to figure out your character’s arc. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Munroe Martin wonders, what makes you love your main character? Molly Best Tinsley explains how hearing voice(s) led to order in a previously chaotic manuscript. Barbara O’Neal explains what happens when the book takes over everything. Writer Unboxed

Pathologist Jane Bennett Munro wants to help you explain forensics to readers. Elizabeth Spann Craig

Jeanette the Writer reveals the secret importance of readability. Tess Enterline explains why it’s okay (and sometimes necessary) to step away from our writing.  Constance Emmett shares five tips for writing complex, flesh and blood, LGBTQ+ characters. DIY MFA

Janice Hardy doesn’t want you to create cardboard conflicts. Fiction University

Jami Gold explains how sequels make scenes stronger. Then, Kris Kennedy stops by to explain how to avoid info dumping by making backstory essential.

Chris Winkle: how to turn your fanfic into your original fiction. Then, Oren Ashkenazi answers the question, how do cannon affect your naval combat? Mythcreants

Robert Lee Brewer considers OK vs. Okay vs. O.K. Writer’s Digest

N.K. Jemisin, Jasmine Guillory, and Lauren Wilkinson: publishing’s still owned by white men. The Washington Post

Nick Venable talks to the creators of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance about the challenges of making a puppet series on Netflix. Saw the first episode—love! CinemaBlend

And that was tipsday. I hope you found something to help you progress with your work in progress.

Come back on Thursday for some thoughty goodness 🙂


Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 15-21, 2018

And here we are in the land of Friday Eve. Have some thoughty to see you through to the weekend.

Ephrat Livni says, look up at the moon every night, not just when there’s a lunar eclipse. Quartz

Rhett Allain presents a comprehensive guide to the physics of running on the moon. Wired

Ryan F. Mandelbaum: cosmic ray mystery finally solved by supermassive black hole emitting ultra-high-energy cosmic rays directly at Earth. The supermassive black hole is called a blazar. So cool. Gizmodo

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry recommends evacuations near the French River. CTV Northern Ontario

The Parry Sound 33 forest fire grows to 1,900 hectares and jumps the Key River. The Northern Life

Eric Barker says that the secret to loving your life is … amor fati. The Week

Laura Beil: the brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep. Yet another reason to get a quality night’s sleep. Science News

Kate Snow and Jon Schuppe: how a small forensics company is cracking years-old cold cases. NBC News

Jennifer Dixon: dead bodies, wild dogs, and squatters in government-owned Detroit houses. USA Today

Lynn Freehill-Maye profiles Daniel Toole, who finds the untapped potential of alleys. CityLab

Ze Frank – true facts about the sea pig (from 2013, but they’re all hysterical)


And more true facts, this time about the tarsier.


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


CanCon 2015 day 2: Blood spatter pattern analysis

Presenter: Detective Constable Garneau of the Ottawa Police

Note: The Constable introduced himself, explained what his job entails, and the education he needed to do his job. He told us that he hadn’t presented to writers before and that he’s brought along the material that he’d present to an introductory forensics class. Then he told us that he spoke to a writer about what would be important for a writer to know. He was advised to focus on the physical evidence and on the interpretation of that evidence through case studies. We wouldn’t need to know the history of forensic science or much about the physics.

So, he asked us if we would mind terribly if he focused on that material. He also warned us, even though it was in the program, that he would be presenting some graphic material. He was so polite.


Blood spatter pattern analysis tells the examiner:

  • The direction the blood droplet was travelling;
  • The angle of impact;
  • The mechanism(s) that contributed to the creation of the pattern;
  • The area of origin;
  • The minimum number of impacts for any source of blood;
  • The relative positions of person(s) or object(s) involved;
  • The sequence of event(s); and
  • The identity of the perpetrator.

The most useful evidence is the outliers.

I confirm theories using science. I don’t work for the Crown, or the defence. I work for the court.

Blood behaves according to the principles of physics. It will behave differently, and look differently, on different surfaces.

In lab simulations, I use sheep’s blood, but then I would also have to explain how sheep’s blood behaves similarly to human blood when I present the evidence in court. If I don’t have to use a lot of blood for the simulation, I’ll use my own.

There are three kinds of blood spatter patterns:

  1. Passive;
  2. Spatter; and
  3. Transfers.

Passive blood spatter patterns are affected by gravity and include: drip stain patterns, drip trail patterns, drip patterns, splash patterns, pool patterns, saturation, and flow patterns.

Spatters are caused by a physical action and include: mist patterns, expiration patterns, cast-off patterns, cessation cast-off patterns, projected (e.g. arterial spray) patterns, and impact patterns. Impact patterns are the fun ones. I have to use physics and math to explain them.

Transfers occur when a blood-covered object touches another object, leaving a pattern behind. Transfer patterns include: the transfer stain, the swipe pattern, and the wipe pattern.

Many of us develop morbid senses of humour. It’s a way to protect ourselves from the impact of all the horrible things we see every day.

For impact patterns, we now have software which will map everything out based on our measurements. I could use strings, and in some cases, I have to, but it’s very time-consuming. Dexter does it wrong, by the way. You can be very precise.

I use trigonometry to determine the area of origin/impact.

The rest of the presentation was specific case studies and how the Constable’s blood spatter pattern analysis resulted in a resolution to the crime. In some cases, it was a positive outcome. In some, it was not. Most of the crimes presented were perpetrated by men against women, often their girlfriends, or spouses.

It was gruesome, but fascinating.

Next week: Getting noticed (in a good way) 🙂

Be with the one you love, tomorrow.

Phil and I will be heading to an afternoon movie (Deadpool!) and dinner.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 27-Oct 3, 2015

Somber and reflective tonight. I turned on the furnace for the first time this fall. *sob*

T squared is bringing the mixed bag. I was challenged to find some kind of logical organization. I kind of gave up. Sorry, but you never know, it might encourage those creative connections.

We have an election coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve tried not to post too much political stuff, but this is an important issue in Canada, and one that many people still don’t fully understand. Federal NDP candidate, Tom Mulcair, wants scientists to speak their minds. The Toronto Star.

President Obama challenged the media to compare terrorism-related deaths and gun-related deaths. So, Vox did.

Last weekend, there was a supermoon eclipse, or blood moon. Of course, just at we were getting to the good part, it got cloudy 😦

Here’s my consolation: Gizmodo shares their best images of the supermoon eclipse.

And then, Sudbury got hit by a couple of earthquakes, which I didn’t experience at all. CBC.

The Good News Network reports that deforestation in the Amazon has dropped by 90% in the last ten years.

i09 lists the five scariest cults in modern history.

SciShow looks at the real world of forensics:

Red dresses focus attention on Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. The Huffington Post.

Other people’s reproductive plans are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. CBC.

Veritasium wonders, is glass a liquid?

Why Neil deGrasse Tyson is the smartest man on television. The Rolling Stone.

Vi Hart on “Happy Birthday” day:

Why self-care is central to Anna Lovind’s creative life. Annapurna Living.

In light of the Amazon expose, IKEA and Facebook are looking at a shorter work week. CNN.

Ask a Mortician takes a look at medieval zombies:

Here’s a fun bit of satire from The New Yorker: Earth endangered by a new strain of fact-resistant humans (!)

Have you been inspired? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments 🙂

See you again on Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday