Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 9-15, 2016

Time to get your thoughty on!

This is the only post I’m sharing on the Trump thing from last week: every woman in America knows Donald Trump and Billy Bush. Erin Gloria Ryan for The Daily Beast. Seriously, after hearing him say that rapacious shit—I have no words.

Michelle Obama had plenty, however. I’ll let her speak for the outrage we should all be feeling right now:


John Ralston Saul on the CBC’s Unreserved: indigenous peoples don’t need your sympathy. They need you to take action.

And though he’s dying of brain cancer, this man is acting: watch Gord Downie’s Secret Path on CBC, October 23, 2016. It should be streamed on their web site, too, in case you’re not in Canada.

Colin Schultz remembers the day Canada burned the White House. The Smithsonian Magazine

The Roma in Peterborough. John Tyler Lyon for Canada’s History. lists ten great Anglo-Saxon girls’ names.

Marianne Ailes shares new Charlemagne research for the

This is what 18th century Paris sounded like. Erin Blakemore for The Smithsonian Magazine.

Lindsay Baker looks at the 20’s, the era that changed the way we dress. BBC

Meet the woman correspondent who scooped the world. Dominique Rowe for Time.

You know how much I love abandoned places and urban exploring. Sarah Laskow of Atlas Obscura takes us on a tour of the New York public library’s last, secret apartments.

Is there a limit to how long humans can live? Richard Faragher for Quartz.

Omid Safi states that being busy is a disease. On Being

Annette Heist looks at living with anosmia. NPR

Rose Eveleth reports that people put too much emphasis on Myers-Briggs Type Inventory results. The Smithsonian Magazine

Conversations with dolphins. CBC‘s The Nature of Things.

MIT creates a world of eternal May to help save bees. Mark Wilson for Fast Company.

The colonization of Mars could put astronauts at risk of chronic dementia. Victoria Woollaston for Wired.

Neil de Grasse Tyson and Bryan Cox debate the physics of lightsabers on StarTalk. National Geographic Channel

The good people of Minute Physics explain time’s arrow. Phil Plait for Slate.

Will you become a citizen of Asgardia, the first nation state in space? Nicola Davis for The Guardian.

And if you want to find out more, here’s the Asgardia web site.

Marcel Schwantes lists twenty ways to reduce your stress. Inc.

Grace Eire offers twelve signs that you may be an old soul. Little Things

Take a first listen to Tanya Tagaq’s Retribution, courtesy of Katie Presley of NPR.

And that’s how we pop your mental corn🙂

See you Saturday for more WorldCon reportage.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 2-8, 2016

Thoughty Thursday’s all over the map!

The Vintage News reports that Amelia Earhart’s remains may have been found on an island.

Gabriel Samuels reports on a piece of engraved wood that suggests a Persian taught math in Japan 1,000 years ago. The Independent compiled this comprehensive list of online resources for researching the Black Death. shared this entertaining piece on Viking nicknames. My favourite? Eystein Foul-Fart🙂

And, for the hat trick, explains why cats were hated in medieval Europe.

An oldie from Barbara G. Walker of Church and State (2008!): local wise women who carried on ancient traditions were exterminated by Christianity.

Margaret Rhodes invites us to obsess over this infographic about the history of alternative music. Wired

Jonathan Jones looks at the legacy of painter Artemesia Gentileschi. The Guardian

Azeen Ghorayshi reports that transgender children as young as three are getting the help they need. Buzzfeed

Katrina Schwartz wonders why we’re so obsessed with teaching kids cursive handwriting. Mind/Shift

America is obsessed with happiness and it’s making everyone miserable. Ruth Whippman for Vox.

What it’s like to have “high-functioning” anxiety. The Mighty


Baby Boomers may be more susceptible to treatment-resistant depression. Anna Gorman for CNN.

Myke Cole writes about PTSD. This is from a few years ago (2013) but it’s still relevant.

Dominik Parisien shares his experience with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Uncanny

Justin Gammill lists ten things to keep in mind when loving a highly creative person. I heart intelligence

Paul Stamits talks about how fantastic fungi can save the world.


Bees are demonstrating problem-solving and transmission of knowledge. Daily Science

Scientists declare the dawn of the human-influenced epoch. Damian Carrington for The Guardian.

AI and deep machine learning are changing your life. Roger Parloff for Fortune.

What Emma Thompson learned from spending a week in the arctic. Time

Beware of dog, indeed. Upshout

Adieu until Saturday.

Be well until then🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2016

I’m taking it easy on your mental popcorn, this week🙂

Katie Hafner reports on the epidemic of loneliness among the elderly. The New York Times

Human trafficking is a hidden problem in north-eastern Ontario (and everywhere, unfortunately). CBC

Nora Caplan-Bricker reveals the risks of sexual assault on long haul flights. Slate

Marissa Fessenden shares how women in the early 1900s dealt with harassment. The Smithsonian

Library worker defends free speech and is arrested for it. The Bill of Right Defense Committee

Ronald W. Pies discusses the astonishing non-epidemic of mental illness. Psychiatric Times

Ivan Dikov reports on a shrine to Demeter and Persephone discovered in Bulgaria. Brewminate

Ria Misra reports on SpaceX’s major milestone en route to Mars. Gizmodo

Phil Plait shares Judy Schmidt’s astrophotography. Slate. Later in the week Phil shares the first photograph ever taken of the sun.

Maddie Stone shares the last image Rosetta captured before it crashed. Gizmodo

Fiona MacDonald reports on a 25 year old PhD student, Shu Lam’s, solution to antibiotic-resistant infections. Science Alert

Julien d’Hoy reports on how scientists have traced society’s myths to their primordial origins. Scientific American

The Vintage News shares the discovery of Britain’s Atlantis. lists the top ten scandals of the Middle Ages. Story fodder, anyone?😉

Uninhabitable 1887 Queen Anne house is restored to its former glory. Laura Caseley for Little things.

Here’s a lovely local piece on NISA’s annual art show. South Side Story

Sad and Useless shares a Twitter stream on how God created some animals. Lolz aplenty.

Two guinea pigs discuss everything pumpkin spice.


Teddy Bear the porcupine’s Hallowe’en feast. He sounds like Woodstock from the Peanuts🙂


Sheila Carabine releases her solo album🙂 Here’s one of her songs: The Oak and the Maple.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s offerings.

See you on Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

The thoughty is gaining strength again.

The Golden clock: how one simple time hack can increase your happiness at work. Steve Farber for Inc.

Eric Barker explains how mindfulness really works. The Week

Anna Lovind explores the truth about procrastinators and overachievers.

The Dalai Lama redefines the word terrorist. Patheos

Lolly Daskal lists seven reasons employees quit, even when they like their jobs. Inc.

Katharine Trendacosta lists this year’s Emmy winners, including Tatiana Maslany (eeee!). i09

Rami Malek is the Emmy’s first non-white best actor winner in 18 years. Tahirah Hairston for Fusion.

Toronto’s new street signs present the indigenous history of street names. CBC

A new generation suffers from mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows. CBC

A DNA study confirms that indigenous Australians are the most ancient civilisation on Earth. Hannah Devlin for The Guardian.

The US faces a scathing UN human rights review. Natasja Sheriff for Aljazeera America.

Laura Kastner explores the boy code and toxic masculinity. This is another reason why everyone needs to be a feminist. Parent Map

Chelsea G. Summers: the politics of pockets. Racked

France has banned plastic cups, plates, and cutlery. Shehab Khan for The Independent.

Ancient Persians built really effective ice houses. The Vintage News

The Vintage News shares the good reasons why castle stairs were built spiralling clockwise.

Ross Kenneth Urkin reports on the forgotten Jewish pirates of Jamaica. The Smithsonian

Farnam Street shares The Feynman Technique, the best way to learn anything.

George Dvorsky reports that scientists have finally figured out why tardigrades are so indestructible. Gizmodo

No, NASA did not just change your astrological sign. Ria Misra for Gizmodo.

Futurism shares an infographic on human evolution into the near and far future.

Jennifer Ouellette: quantum cat experiment captured on camera. Gizmodo

Allyson Souza shares seven reasons your dog should sleep in your bed. Little Things

Dogs vs. stairs. Petcha


Here’s hoping your mental corn is well and truly popped.

See you Saturday for the September edition of the next chapter.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 11-17, 2016

Time to get your mental corn a-poppin’!

Anna Lovind wants you to find the vision that wants to be born through you.

Kristen Lamb takes aim at the fashion industry.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: we should all be feminists. TEDX Euston.


Illustrator Rasneth (Razzy) shows bros why everyone needs feminism. Bust

Daphne Patai: how diversity came to mean “downgrading the west.” Minding the Campus

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq combats indigenous stereotypes. Liz Przybylski for KCET.

Exorbitant food prices on the James Bay coast mean that children are going hungry. Olivia Stefanovich for CBC.

The Irena Sendler story.


Sweden is officially moving to a six-hour work day.


The wreckage of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Terror may have been found. Garrett Hinchey for CBC.

Phil Plait features Xkcd’s latest comic on global warming. Slate

Anna Nowogrodzki shares a first glimpse of a black hole being born from a star’s remains. New Scientist

Ria Misra reports on new evidence that points to a different theory for the moon’s formation. Gizmodo

The Martian landscape looks like Utah. Phil Plait for Slate.

Wasn’t sure where to put this . . . creepy. David Brown reports on the discovery of a skeleton that points to cannibalism in the Jamestown colony. The Washington Post

Photographer, Lorenzo Montezemolo, takes enchanting long exposure shots of fog over California. My Modern Met

Elyse Wanshel lists ten ways dogs show they love you. The Little Things

Hugs and stuff, ‘cause you’re all grand, you are!

See you Saturday for some movie madness and some series discoveries (midseason follies).

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 4-10, 2016

Just a wee bit of thoughty, this week.

A timeless icon, Olivia de Havilland turns one hundred. The Daily Mail

Emma Garman reviews the life of Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphealite muse. The Paris Review

If you read last week’s curation, you’ll know that I don’t personally subscribe to the pursuit of happiness ideal. Like Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), I’ve learned that contentment is a much better place to be. Also, to feel anything at all, other than rage, after a depressive episode, is, like, awesome. I don’t need to, or want to, be bouncing-off-the-walls happy. One extreme in emotion usually heralds its opposite.

Still, I read and share all these posts and articles on happiness. What’s up with that? If you take the word happiness out of the equation, these are all really good tips to live a good, meaningful life. That’s what leads to contentment. So there you are: Mellie’s philosophy.

Joseph Mercola lists 22 things happy people do differently. Epoch Times

Emily Hartridge: Q&A on anxiety.


Artificial intelligence could help diagnose mental disorders. Joseph Frankel for The Atlantic.

The impossible propulsion drive is heading to space. David Hambling for Popular Mechanics.

Juno reveals Jupiter, the surprising and weird king of planets. Phil Plait for Slate.

Tom Metcalfe looks at seven potential means of interstellar travel. Fodder for the SF author? You betcha! LiveScience

Brain training with the Oculus Rift is helping paraplegics regain sensation and muscle control. Amazing (and hopeful) stuff.


Hope that was enough to get the mental corn a-poppin’😉

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 28-Sept 3, 2016

It’s time, once again, to pop that mental corn!

Kristi Coulter gave up drinking and realized why so many women use alcohol as a crutch. Quartz

She doesn’t owe you shit. James Fell’s Body for wife blog.

Jim C. Hines: what is this “rape culture” we keep hearing about?

Chuck Wendig posts a public service announcement: dear men, it’s time we had a conversation. Terribleminds

Cree Summer talks about diversity in animation and the myth of the carefree black girl. Tahirah Hairston for Fusion.

Marie Solis introduces us to Moya Bailey, the woman who coined the term, “misogynoir.” Mic

Laura McKeon examines the Matilda Effect: the disappearing act. Hazlitt

Siobhan Fenton reports that even though period pain has been proven as bad as a heart attack, doctors continue to ignore it. The Independent

Marianne Moen of The Dangerous Women Project features women of the Viking age, then and now.

The safest possible route.* Anna Lovind on Annapurna Living.

Maria Lally introduces us to hygge, the Danish secret to happiness.* The Telegraph

How to be perfectly unhappy.* One of the many reasons I love The Oatmeal.

Deshun Wang – Be the fiercest.*


The Assembly of First Nations urges Canada to invest in safe drinking water. Michelle Zilio and Matthew McClearn for The Globe and Mail.

Doris Jean Lamar is the last living person who is fluent in the Wichita language.

John Horgan on the secret life of terrorists. Nova’s secret lives of scientists and engineers.


Amy Schlinger shares six health benefits of walking 1,000 more steps a day. Rodale’s Organic Life

Fiona Macrae reports on a revolutionary new drug that promises to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from developing. The Daily Mail

SETI is investigating a signal from deep space. Will it prove to originate from an extraterrestrial civilization?  Robin Seemangal for The Observer.

Jolene Creighton explains what the Kardashev Scale is and what it might mean for the future of the human race. Futurism

How do dogs “see” with their noses – Alexandra Horowitz. Ted.ed


What happens when otters see a butterfly – kawaii!


Nothing but thieves – Graveyard whistling.


*posts that comforted me this past week.

And that’s a wrap, people.

See you Saturday with the last of my CWS 2016 sessions, Grants for writers with Jack Illingworth of the Ontario Arts Council. It’s kind of timely. Deadlines are coming up.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 21-27, 2016

Brain food for creatives.

Kayla Brandon shares Heather Cross’s letter to the media on their (non) response to the Louisiana flooding. Independent journal

Makare Chi rounds up the studies on police violence and racial bias for Vanity Fair.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau writes a letter in support of One’s #PovertyIsSexist campaign.

Watch Kristen McCrea create one of Sudbury’s newest murals for the Up Here Festival. The Northern Life

The Scotsman presents the history of Scotland in nine maps.

Rob Bricken invites you to find out what third-century China thought about the Roman Empire. i09

Lily Kuo reports that the destruction of historical artefacts is now a war crime and perpetrators are being charged. Quartz

The strange folk custom of telling the bees of a family death is explored on Ask A Mortician’s “Morbid Minute.”


This article on your aging muscles will terrify you, but it just might change your life. Ginny Graves for Prevention. I’m walking more, I’ll tell you what😉

Want the secret of happiness? Stay curious. Laura Garnett for Inc.

The Right By You campaign created three videos busting the myths of youth suicide prevention. Important stuff.

Kendra Syrdal wrote this wonderful piece on what it means to love a woman who’s used to being on her own for Thought catalog. I shared it with a particular singleton friend in mind, but the applies to any woman who’s become her own person prior to embarking on a new relationship.

Captain Awkward answers a couple of letters from two women whose groups of friends inexplicably cling to creepy dudes despite the potential for harassment and abuse they present. Important reading for any feminist.

Rebecca Boyle covers the epochal discovery of a potentially habitable planet orbiting our neighbouring star. The Atlantic

Will genome editing transform the world? Oxford Academic


Do plants think? It’s okay to be smart.


Time to get that mental corn a-poppin’!

Write away until Saturday.

And be well.


Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Canadian Olympic news:

I’ve shared articles to Facebook that later turned out to be erroneous. I’ve curated some of them here with their debunking articles appended. As a public service, I’m sharing the Snopes’ guide to fake news sites and hoax purveyors. You’re welcome.

80,000 Hours explores the qualities that make a job a fulfilling career. High income isn’t the main consideration. Follow the links at the bottom of each part through to part six and map out your career path (aimed at 20-somethings, but everyone can assess, or reassess, their careers using their quizzes and tools).

Sudbury writer Laura Stradiotto shares a personal story that every woman needs to read: I was happily married with kids and I made the decision to have an abortion. Chatelaine

Eckhart Tolle: You’re not your Facebook ego.


Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half is amazeballs awesomesauce. Read about her adventures in depression. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but there’s more to read on her site, and in her book. For my money, there’s no one who describes what it’s like to have depression better.

Anna Lovind muses on what we are called to do when our hearts are breaking. She also writes about how people use the excuse of not having enough time to skimp on self care: that’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.

Kimmy Dee reports on five scientific reasons our idea of happiness is wrong for Cracked.

Brother Devid Steindle-Rast recommends five small gestures of gratitude that counteract violence. Uplift

Jennifer Wolkin shares more about the brain-gut connection. Mindful

Last week, I shared an article about how scientists have discovered a new kind of light. This week, it’s a new kind of fire that may be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.

A new trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is making the solar system look a whole lot weirder. Shannon Hall for New Scientist.

Kivi Park will become Sudbury’s largest outdoor recreation space. South Side Story

Archived photos of Sudbury will change the way people see our city. Up Here

And here’s the mural Ella and Pitr were commissioned to create for the Up Here festival. CBC

In honour of International Left-Hand Day, BrainPickings reviews David Wolman’s book A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.

The theory of how North America was populated is wrong. Emily Chung for the CBC.

Paulette Steeves, an Indigenous anthropologist, is challenging the origin story of First Nations peoples. Denise Ryan, The Vancouver Sun.

Alan Yuhas reports on a recently uncovered Mayan tomb that sheds light on the “Snake Dynasty.” The Guardian

John Vidal examines how millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life. The Guardian

Okay, tourists. Stop stacking rocks at Hanakapiai beach. It’s not pono (right). Christine Hitt, Hawai’i Magazine

Maddie Stone reports on the Greenland shark, which may hold the cure to aging. Gizmodo

The White Wolf Pack reports on a couple of heroic beavers from Ogden, Utah, who stopped a fuel spill with their dam, but had to be taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation as a result.

A cockatoo freaks out a bunch of cats by meowing at them. Daily Kaos

That should get your mental corn a-poppin’.

With any luck, I’ve tracked Mary Robinette Kowal down and delivered the decoded phrase🙂 So looking forward to meeting her (among others) at WorldCon.

See you on the other side (that’s the 27th)!

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 31-Aug 6, 2016

Lots of thoughty to get that mental corn a-poppin’.

Someone asks for advice on how to deal with grief. This response nails it. That Eric Alper.

Michelle Steinke reports on stifled grief and how the west has it wrong. The Huffington Post.

Minda Zetlin: here’s why you must make a happiness list right now. Inc.

Elisha Goldstein shares five ways to increase happiness in daily life. Mindful

Eric Barker examines how to find happiness. Time

Angelina Zimmerman presents eight ways to make a positive impact every day. Inc.

How to get rid of a stiff neck in 90 seconds. Real Farmacy

Nicolas Cole lists twenty brutal truths all twenty-somethings need to hear. Frankly, everyone could stand to be reminded . . . Inc.

Abigail Haworth reports on the Tanzanian wives: why these straight women are marrying each other. Marie Claire.

Actresses over 60 are the new box office powerhouses. Mark Harris for The Vulture.

Rejected Princesses features Jeanne de Clisson (1300-1359).

The Bright Side lists eleven of the most breathtaking buildings humanity is building right now.

I’ve shared this before, but it’s just that awesome. Kale in the arctic: an igloo greenhouse that could inspire fresh food production in the north. CBC

Chinese Canadian and First Nations artists created huge prints in Chinatown. The Georgia Straight.

The CBC invites you to meet the five commissioners leading the missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry.

Angelique Eaglewoman explains why the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women must engage all Canadians. The Globe and Mail

Female genital mutilation has been banned in Nigeria. A triumph. Kimberley Richards for A Plus.

Ijeoma Oluo explains what those feel-good cop videos are really all about. The Establishment.

Jonna Ivan knows why Trump supporters chant his name. The Establishment.

A neuroscientist explains what’s wrong with Trump supporters’ brains. Bobby Azarian for Raw Story.

Foz Meadows makes a note on mansplaining. We all do it, if we’re honest.

Melissa Dahl discovers why reading makes you carsick: your brain thinks it’s being poisoned. Yup. Still gives me the queaze. Science of Us.

The science of emojis. ASAP Thought.


Open Culture presents an infographic of the tree of languages.

The Decolonial Atlas names the Great Lakes in Ojibway.

A dark ages has been discovered in Cornwall. David Keys for The Independent.

UpWorthy asks you to try not to jiggle as you watch these new, bladeless wind turbines.

Super cool: check out this prototype for China’s new elevated buses. Bored Panda

Jonathon Ramsey reports on how UC Irvine accidentally invented a battery that lasts forever. The Drive

Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form.

The Perseid meteor shower will peak on Aug 11 and 12. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s cloudy tonight😦 Phil Plait for Slate.

The so-called alien megastructure just got even more mysterious. Maddie Stone for Gizmodo.

Every year, the Curiosity rover sings happy birthday. It’s kind of sad, actually. Curiosity

The Declaration of Arbroath has been awarded UNESCO status. BBC

Feeling wicked? Here are nine spooky spells from an Icelandic book of sorcery. HMB

The power of smudging: the different types of blessing herbs and their healing properties. Spirit Science.

Why Sudbury needs a busy hub for creators. The Sudbury Star.

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday