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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 4-10, 2019

It’s that time of week again. Let’s get your mental corn popping!

Jake Cline: internet slang is more sophisticated than it seems. An introduction to Gretchen McCulloch’s new book, Because Internet. Because language 🙂 The Atlantic

Dr. Becky relates the story of the Milky Way.

Rowan Jacobsen dives into SoulBuffalo and their ocean plastic field trip for corporate executives. Outside Online

Veronique Greenwood explains why indoor air quality is important to our bodies and our brains. BBC

Bill Sullivan shares his surprising findings about why we like what we like. National Geographic

Joe tries out human echolocation. It’s okay to be smart

SciShow examines the mammalian dive reflex.

Kate Bueckert reports on a flicker of hope in the insect world: firefly and monarch numbers are up according to Ontario researchers. CBC

And that was thoughty Thursday. Thanks for visiting and I hope you found something you need.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 16-22, 2019

A nice, plump bunch of juicy informal writerly learnings. Yes. I have fresh strawberries on the brain. I drool watching them ripen in the garden!

Anthea Lawson Sharp (who writes romance as Anthea Lawson and Fantasy as Anthea Sharp) talks about the craft of short fiction. Later in the week, Margie Lawson writes about the power of silence on the page. Writers in the Storm

Vaughn Roycroft shares a father’s legacy. Sonja Yoerg: writing characters with personality using Myers-Briggs. Erika Liodice asks, are you a student? Resounding YES here 🙂 Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland makes the final instalment in her Dos and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel series: five ways to earn your audience’s loyalty. Helping Writers Become Authors

Julia Roberts says, writer’s block is a gift (and explains why). Then, H.R. D’Costa shares five ways to ensure readers don’t abandon your book. Jane Friedman

Lisa Lowe Stauffer stops by Fiction University. Jamie Fraser eats an apple: using objects to inject character and world building into dialogue. Later in the week, Janice Hardy explains what setup in a novel actually means and then follows that up with four steps to establish the beginning of your novel.

Chris Winkle makes the next instalment in her goal-oriented storytelling series: tension. Writers Helping Writers

Jenna Moreci offers her definitions of active and passive characters and her tips for writing active characters.

Interestingly, Alexa Donne also expounds on character agency and growth. A theme?

Nathan Bransford explains how to work with a literary agent on edits.

Emily Wenstrom advises what to do when your social media growth stagnates. Here’s my latest speculations column: what psychology and neuroscience contribute to your stories. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle extracts some lessons from the writing of The Name of the Wind. Then, Oren Ashkenazi considers building democracy in your fantasy world. Mythcreants

Tale Foundry introduces us to eight of Sir Terry Pratchett’s clever(est) characters.

Roz Morris shares the “under-arrest” test for ensuring a satisfying ending. Nail Your Novel

CD Covington thinks the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is good fiction but bad science. Because language. Tor.com

Lynn Neary and Patrick Jarenwattananon celebrate Joy Harjo’s appointment as the first Native American US poet laureate. NPR

That should be enough to see you through until Thursday when I have a tidy batch of thoughty for you 🙂

Until then, be well, my writerly friends!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 7-13, 2019

I’ve got a bunch of resources here to get your mental corn popping.

Akshat Rathi: how we get to the next big battery breakthrough. Quartz

James Griffiths warns that Welsh and Hawaiian have been saved from extinction, but other languages may not be so lucky. CNN

Sandee LaMotte reports on the 99-year-old woman with all her organs in the wrong places. CNN

Jonathan D. Grinstein reveals a new way to detect Parkinson’s—by smell. Scientific American

Karen Weintraub: the adult brain does grow new neurons, after all. Scientific American

Antonio Regalado reports that doctors plan to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s. MIT Technology Review

It’s okay to be smart … about the AMAZING monarch butterfly.

 

To save the monarch butterfly, scientists are moving a forest 1,000 feet up a mountain. Kate Linthicum for the LA Times.

Before the image was released, Veritasium explains what it will look like and why (damned awesome, ‘cause he’s right on the money).

 

Mary Beth Griggs: see the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. The Verge

Natalie Grontcharova gives us a more complete picture: meet Katie Bouman, the woman behind the first image of a black hole. Refinery 29

After the image was released, Veritasium released a second video:

 

Mary Robinette Kowal: if space is the future, that future needs to include everyone. The Washington Post

Kate Sierzputowski shows us the Utrecht apartment transformed into a three storey tromp l’oeil bookcase. This is Colossal

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you found something to inspire a new creative project.

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 14-20, 2018

Another lovely week filled with informal writerly learnings.

K.M. Weiland explores why writers cherish language. Helping Writers Become Authors

Janice Hardy stops by Writers in the Storm: plot backward to move forward with your novel.

Lisa Hall-Wilson offers five tips on writing a trauma backstory. Writers in the Storm

Roz Morris explains how to outline your novel without killing the fun of writing it. Nail Your Novel

Lisa Cron tells you how to nail your first three pages. Writers Helping Writers

Barbara Poelle answers another funny you should ask question: how fast-paced should a thriller be? Writer’s Digest

Janice Hardy tells you what you need to know about internalization. Fiction University

Rachael Stephen: how to write when you don’t want to. #preptober

 

Sara Letourneau helps you let go of perfectionism the DIY MFA way. DIY MFA

Dan Koboldt stops by Jane Friedman’s blog to explain how to research your writing to ensure technical accuracy. Also, check out Dan’s new book: Putting the Science in Fiction. I’m a fan 🙂

Kathleen McCleary: it takes a village. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson wonders, but how much are you reading? Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle presents six wordcraft questions writers fight over. Then, Oren Ashkenazi points out seven common problems with speculative fiction technology. Mythcreants

Cold Crash Pictures debunks the four most annoying scientific inaccuracies in film.

 

Jenna Moreci lists her worst sci-fi tropes ever.

 

And Cold Crash Pictures tackles four more sexist tropes.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something helpful in this curation.

Be well until thoughty Thursday!

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 7-13, 2018

Here are a few links to get your mental corn popping.

Steve LeVine shows us the state of current space exploration efforts worldwide: the new global race to space. Axios

SciShow Space News covers the potential discovery of the first exomoon and ice blades on Europa.

 

Diane Selkirk encounters North America’s nearly forgotten language. BBC

John Paul Brammer profiles eight LGBTQ+ and two-spirit Native Americans changing the world. them

Neri Oxman, working in MIT’s material ecology lab, has intrigued the likes of Björk and Brad Pitt. Penelope Green for The New York Times.

Samantha Nutt proposes the lessons women are asking men to learn. The Globe and Mail

SciShow takes a close, terrifying look at toxic shock syndrome.

 

I am mine. This is what Alzheimer’s looks like at 41. Shannon Proudfoot for McLean’s.

Jim C. Hines shares his thoughts on mental health awareness day (another post about depression).

Jenna Moreci does a special YouTube episode on mental illness, too (with bonus Cliff notes!)

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something you can use in your current creative project.

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 1-7, 2018

And here is another week’s worth of informal writerly learnings.

Jane Friedman says, author income surveys are misleading and flawed—and they focus on the wrong message for writers. Jane kindly offers a TL;DR summary up front, but it’s worthwhile reading her whole post. Verra interesting.

K.M. Weiland asks you to judge yourself less, trust yourself more, and write better stories. Helping Writers Become Authors

Rachael Stephen offers her tips on self-care for writers (and humans).

 

Tamar Sloan helps you level up your character’s wound. Writers Helping Writers

Elise Holland explains how to writer your best cover letter. DIY MFA

Fae Rowan brings us part one of a series: five conflict-making choices for your characters. This one’s about the need for control.  And here’s part two: conceit and coveting. Writers in the Storm

Black, white, gray, rainbow: what is heroism now? Donald Maass on Writer Unboxed.

Anna Elliott is keeping her hustle joyful. Writer Unboxed

Natalia Sylvester offers her thoughts on writing a novel that people call political. Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt delves into the challenge of writing dialog separated by a common language. Writer Unboxed

Jim C. Hines gathers contributions from the speakers of different languages. Why? Because, rather than being able to ask for a beer or a toilet anywhere in the world, Jim wants to know how to ask people for their permission to pet their dogs. A very important linguistics post about petting dogs.

Ryan Van Cleave applies Stephen Covey’s seven habits for writers’ groups. Fiction University

Chris Winkle discusses creating a magic system for superpowers. Then, Oren Ashkenazi looks at five story elements that worked in one story but not in another. Mythcreants

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jeff and Ann Vandermeer on the Writer’s Digest podcast: anthologies, the genre fiction divide, and deep reading.

Wynona Earp returns. It’s not the greatest series ever made, but it’s fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I’m kind of in love with the grrl power.

 

And this looks good: The House with the Clock in its Walls

 

And that was Tipsday.

Be well until Thursday when you can return for some thoughty.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 24-30, 2018

It’s time for your weekly dose of informal writerly learnings.

/rant on/

I’ll start off on a negative note. Harlan Ellison died last week, but I have purposefully not posted about it or shared any posts about it on social media. Though he was influential in the science fiction universe and wrote much that is considered objectively great fiction (he was even a consultant on my favourite series ever, Babylon 5), I have never read any of his work. I wondered why that was and realized that I instinctively disliked the man in the interviews in which I saw him. Since, I have learned that he was a universal asshole and a misogynist prick. The incident with Connie Willis at the 2006 Hugos was just one, very public incident. For the record, I may read his work someday, but regardless of what I think of the man as a writer, I will always think of him as a poor example of a human being. I don’t care what his damage was, to be honest. It’s no excuse. We must do better, be better, than the pathetically low bar he set.

/rant off/

Now, on to the good stuff.

Patrice Williams Marks stops by Writer Unboxed: what is a sensitivity reader, and can I become one?

Susan Spann says, fear is a liar. Inspirational. Writer Unboxed

Barbara O’Neal considers light and dark, and writing with duende. “Duende is the dark magic, the force of Other, that enters the work and turns it from something interesting, maybe even really good, into something transcendent. It is born of the knowledge that death walks among us, that sorrow will mark you with her handprint, that we are all doomed to be forgotten.” Yum!  Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb wonders, is juggling multiple writing projects at once is exhausting or a bright idea? Writer Unboxed

K.M. Weiland: writing as the art of thinking clearly in six steps. Helping Writers Become Authors

Victoria Mixon: five advantages of rereading.

Joanna Penn interviews Michaelbrent Collings about writing with depression. The Creative Penn

Nathan Bransford explains how to list your publishing credits in a query letter.

A.K. Perry continues her exploration of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes: trouble brewing. DIY MFA

Ambre Dawn Leffler shares five tai chi and yoga techniques to help with writer focus. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira offers six writing exercises to fuel your creativity. Writer’s Digest

Jami Gold breaks down the revision process, so you can improve your storytelling.

Lisa Granshaw offers an oral history of Babylon 5, the beloved TV novel that showed us a different way to tell a science fiction story. SyFy

Thu-Huong Ha: No mas, say the writers. How bilingual authors are challenging the practice of italicizing non-English words. Quartzy

MTV’s Decoded with Franchesca Ramsey – six phrases with racist origins.

 

Jessica Leigh Hester: why medieval monasteries branded their books. Atlas Obscura

Arika Okrent presents the curious origins of 16 common phrases. Mental Floss

And that was Tipsday for this week.

I hope all of my Canadian friends had a LOVELY Canada Day long weekend (today will have been our Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday) and that all of my friends in the US will have an equally enjoyable Independence Day holiday.

Be well until Thursday rolls around and don’t forget to come back for some quality thoughty.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 22-28, 2018

It’s time to get your mental corn popping for the final push to the weekend. Yes! Tomorrow is Friday. And today is Thoughty Thursday 🙂

Stephen Luntz discovers that trees have a “heartbeat,” too. IFLS

Linda Poon: new “mutant enzymes” could solve Earth’s plastic problem. Are they any better than recycling, though? The proof remains to be seen. City Lab

Another promising solution? Saqib Shah: first ever ocean plastic cleaner will tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The New York Post

Why so few people on the Six Nations Reserve have clean, running water, unlike their neighbours. It’s not just remote or northern reserves. We really have to provide all people with the necessities of life. Like, yesterday. CBC’s “Out in the Open.”

Alek Minassian, the Toronto van attack suspect, praised “Incel” killer. BBC

Psychologists explain why you should be friends with people who swear a lot. We’re more fucking honest and intelligent 🙂 Rachel-Lee Thomas for Providr.

Do essential oils work? And why? (I guess that second question gives away the answer to the first …) SciShow

 

Can exercise treat depression? SciShow Psych

 

Scientists may have discovered the root cause of autism (and no, it’s not vaccines). Let’s first seek to understand ASD before we attempt to eradicate it. IFLS

Sara Burrows explains how one Texas school beat ADHD by tripling recess. Return to Now

Nina Strochlic reveals the race to save the world’s disappearing languages. National Geographic

Going grey the right way: everything you need to know about grey hair. Katie Martin for HealthyWay.

Nadia Drake: how 1.7 billion stars were mapped with dazzling 3-D precision. National Geographic

Alfredo Carpineti: Study reveals Uranus smells of farts. IFLS

Baby elephant chases the birds, falls, and runs to mom.

 

I hope something in this mix inspired you (or at least entertained you).

Be well until this weekend’s next chapter update.

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 4-10, 2018

Thought Thursday is here, and you know what that means … tomorrow is Friday! Happy Friday eve!

This is why Uma Thurman is angry. Maureen Dowd for The New York Times.

Gemma Hartley says that the equal distribution of emotional labour is the key to gender equality. Harper’s Bazaar

Author Roni Loren writes a personal post about hormones, stress, and sneaky depression.

Ed Yong studied his own articles to improve the gender balance of his reporting. The Atlantic

John Pavlovitz: no, you’re not tired of being politically correct.

The Economist is thinking about natives in an era of nativism.

Hannah Devlin reports on the DNA analysis of Cheddar Man and the revelation that the first modern Britons had dark to black skin. The Guardian

Cleve R. Wootson: Maya civilisation was vaster than thought, as thousands of newly discovered structures reveal. The Washington Post

Phil Plait shares Mike Olbinski’s time-lapse storm video, Breathe. SyFy

Whistler Deep Sky II – David McColm Photography

 

Ashley Hamer: yes, a donut-shaped planet is technically possible. Curiosity

Tariq Malik reports on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket’s historic maiden voyage. Space

Andrea Morris introduces us to the woman teaching artificial intelligence about human values. Forbes

Rafi Letzter examines how an ancient virus may be responsible for human consciousness. Live Science

World War II spitfire pilot Mary Ellis from the Isle of Wight turns 100. BBC

Dangerous Minds profiles the Victorian woman who drew pictures of ghosts.

The astonishing science of what trees feel and how they communicate. Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees. Maria Popova, Brain Pickings.

Hooria Jazaieri points out three things we still don’t know about meditation (and how to read studies critically). Mindful

Steven Parton explores the science of happiness and why complaining is literally killing you. Curious Apes

Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi: people with depression are more likely to say certain words. Quartz

Truth Potato tells it like it is. Bored Panda

Piper, a short film by Disney Pixar.

 

I hope something in this mix got your mental corn popping.

Be well until the weekend.

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