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

It’s Thursday (or Friday eve)! It’s also Christmas Eve. You know what that means. It’s time to open some virtual presents and get your mental corn popping.

Isaac Abrak and David McKenzie report on the more than 300 students still unaccounted for after Nigerian school raid. They have since been found/rescued, thank goodness. CNN

Eric Levitz asks, should NYC axe “gifted” programs to integrate its schools? Yes, this is from last year, but it’s an example of another aspect of our lives affected by racism. And it still hasn’t been addressed. New York Magazine

Jeff Zeleny, Dan Merica, Gregory Krieg, MJ Lee and Kate Sullivan: Biden taps Deb Haaland as first Native American interior secretary. CNN

A new variant of coronavirus identified in England. The messaging is to remain calm and wait. Other than to know that it’s more transmissible, they haven’t learned much about it. BBC

Leah Asmelash and Cheri Mossburg report that after 51 years, two amateur codebreakers crack the Zodiac Killer’s cipher. CNN

Loren Grush: Virgin Galactic aborts first powered space flight from New Mexico airport. The Verge

Uranus smells like farts (and other smelly facts about our solar system). SciShow Space

Why do remember the past but not the future (or, how your brain is like an asteroid)? PBS Space Time

Seven-billion-year-old stardust is the oldest material found on Earth. In Geology

Annie Lennox performs Dido’s Lament with London City Voices. So touching.

Capture the Atlas presents the 2020 northern light photographers of the year.

Sara Burrows: photographer captures the northern lights taking the form of the firebird. Return to Now

True facts about army ant riders. Ze Frank

Rachel Nuwer says young ravens rival adult chimps in a test of general intelligence. Scientific American

Two of the most beautiful voices. Dala – The Christmas Waltz

Thank you for visiting. I hope you took away lots of inspiration for a future creative project.

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

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

It’s thoughty Thursday, your opportunity to get your mental corn popping!

Brakkton Booker: federal investigators join probe into Casey Goodson shooting death. NPR

N’dea Yancey-Bragg reports that the Seattle police who fired pepper spray and blast balls at BLM protestors violated order, according to judge. USA Today

Liz Navratil reveals how a divided Minnesota city council votes to cut 8 million from police budget. Star Tribune

Emmanuel Acho talks to the police. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

Hailey Fuchs: Brandon Bernard’s planned execution stirs debate over punishment for your offenders. The New York Times

Karen Hao read the AI ethics paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says. MIT Technology Review

Luis Martinez reports that 14 senior army leaders at Fort Hood suspended or fired after broad review of sexual harassment and abuse allegations. ABC News

Colin Dwyer: Canada authorizes Pfizer vaccine. NPR

Joe takes us inside the lab that developed the covid-19 vaccine. It’s okay to be smart

Margot Sanger-Katz, Claire Cain Miller and Quoctrung Bui compiled this article on how 700 epidemiologists are living now, and what they think is next. The New York Times

Jackie Wattles explain how the Starship explosion was still a success. Spoilers: we learn from our failures. CNN

Nadia Drake introduces us to the astronauts of the Artemis Mission, eight of whom are women (!). National Geographic

Jim Daley says Earth’s orbital shifts may have triggered ancient global warming. (From Sept 2019, but still interesting.) Scientific American

Marco Hernandez and Cassandra Garrison report that the world’s biggest iceberg heads for disaster. Climate change is still happening. Reuters

Grace Eber explains how precisely arranged stones coil and surge across the land in Jon Foreman’s mesmeric works. This is Colossal

Fun, and so much better than the original. Walk Off the Earth and Harm & Ease cover Toxic.

Thank you for stopping by, and 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: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 1-5, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Khari Johnson report how Stanford rushed to comply with Trump executive order limiting diversity training. Venture Beat

Three questions to ask yourself about everything you do. Stacey Abrams TED

Richard Frishman: the ghosts of segregation. The New York Times

Karens and cancel culture. Chelsea Handler on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel Acho

Racism is a public health crisis. SciShow Psych

Vanessa Romo: judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA as it existed under Obama. NPR

Pesha Magid: the Middle East as old Hollywood saw it. Atlas Obscura

Mikelle Street shares the news: Elliot Page announces he’s trans. Out

Robert Z. Pearlman: Mark Kelley becomes the fourth astronaut elected to Congress. Space

Dayla Alberge reports that “the Sistine Chapel of the Ancients” is found in the Amazon. The Guardian

Sarah Gibbens explains how pristine Arctic preserves will benefit wildlife and Inuit communities. National Geographic

True facts about snake and lizard tongues. Ze Frank

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!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 25-31, 2020

This is your last opportunity to get your mental corn popping until December. Enjoy!

Paulina Jayne Isaac explains where Amy Coney Barrett stands on upcoming important SCOTUS topics. Important for understanding how her influence will affect various marginalized and racialized people. Bustle

Breonna Taylor grand jurors say that Louisville police actions before her death were negligent and criminal. Apparently neither murder nor manslaughter were even on the table. NBC News

Tim Elfrink: Texas cop who killed Jonathan Price, a Black “pillar of the community” charged with murder. The Washington Post

John Philip Santos reveals the secret history of the Texas Rangers. Mass murder of Indigenous and Mexican peoples and bounty hunting escaped slaves were part of their assigned duties. Texas Monthly

Josh Wood introduces us to the US police department that hired social workers. The Guardian


Arne Delfs and Raymond Colitt: Merkel imposes toughest German restrictions since the lockdown. Bloomberg

Sophie Lewis reports that even Vladimir Putin is instituting a national mask mandate. CBS News

Rebecca Sohn reports that covid-19 patients are developing “brain fog,” but what does that mean? Mashable

Lina Zeldovich: what bats can teach us about coronavirus immunity. JSTOR Daily


Just because Halloween was last week doesn’t mean you have to stop with the spooky!

Jill Beatty considers Vardø’s witch trials: the evil north. An oldie-but-goodie? The Norwegian American

Tai Gooden reveals the history (both pure and evil) of the Ouija board. Also, check out the linked video on the Fox sisters. Nerdist

The editors at JSTOR Daily curate a list of Halloween-related articles. Perfect for this time of year!

Henri, le chat noir. L’haunting

Here are some spooky musical suggestions from the New York Public Library.

Emily Zarka presents modern zombies, a rebirth. Monstrum | PBS Storied

The Bakemono Zukishi “Monster” scrolls (18th – 19th centuries). Let these weirdos inspire your own twisted creations. The Public Domain Review

SciShow considers what Earth’s next supercontinent might look like.

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) finds water on the moon.

SciShow Space news also features the lunar water discovery.

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

I will not be abandoning you entirely in November. I’ll have weekly updates on the progress of my NaNo project.

Until my next update, 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, 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!