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.

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 18-24, 2020

Another week, another batch of informal writerly learnings 🙂

Black and Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter.

Wear your masks. Maintain physical distance if you can’t. Get you flu shot. We have to take care of each other if we’re going to get through this.

Janice Hardy provides an easy way to find your protagonist’s goal. Fiction University

Becca Puglisi wonders, is compassion fatigue is relevant for your characters? Then, Barbara Linn Probst considers dead and undead darlings. Writers in the Storm

Just in time for Halloween, Jenna Moreci shares her favourite monster tropes in fiction.

And then, Emily Zarka looks at the influence of the Romero zombie. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Finally, The Take considers the final girl trope.

Laura Highcove helps you use your writer’s intuition intentionally. Then, Bronwen Fleetwood considers age categories and wonders who’s being served by them. Later in the week, Gabriela Pereira interviews Carol VanDenHende about book marketing for busy writers. Savannah Cordova shares five bits of writing advice that actually work. DIY MFA

It has come to my attention that you don’t all love Birds of Prey. Cold Crash Pictures

Dave King says, don’t mess with Mama Nature. Then, Kathleen McCleary advises us about writing an ensemble: can we be a pod? Writer Unboxed

Lisa Hall-Wilson explains what you can learn from rhetorical questions in your manuscript. Writer Helping Writers

Nathan Bransford: your writing matters.

Elizabeth McGowan spent nearly two decades writing and revising her book. She finally found a publisher. Jane Friedman

Chris Winkle has some advice for writers using incantations in their magic systems. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Red Rising flubs class conflict. Mythcreants

Freytag’s pyramid: the five-act structure, explained. Reedsy

Kathleen Rooney explains how Frank London Brown’s Trumbull Park exposed the brutal legacy of segregation. JSTOR Daily

Dustin Nelson: these are the words that were added to the dictionary the year you were born. Thrillist

Lydia Dishman shares six covid-19 terms that would have made no sense in January. Fast Company

Waubgeshig Rice explains how to engage online (as a writer). Open Book

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to support your current work in progress (or your upcoming NaNoWriMo).

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

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, 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, Aug 30-Sept 5, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday! Revive yourselves for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Theresa Waldrop shares the latest news about the Portland protest shooting death. CNN

Safia Samee Ali: where protesters go, armed militia and vigilantes likely follow with little to stop them. NBC News

Ashitha Nagesh explains how “hyper-liberal” Portland’s racist past is resurfacing. BBC

The peace reporters. Videos of police violence at #BLM protests with the testimony of the people who took them. Content warning on this one. The videos of police violence are difficult to watch. They’re optional, though. You can just read the words of the people who took the videos and get a sense of what it means to be a witness in these difficult situations. The Verge


Jesmyn Ward waxes on witness and respair: a personal tragedy followed by pandemic. Vanity Fair

Why Tuesday feels like July and sometimes never during covid (how we perceive time). It’s Okay to be Smart

Jessica Stillman: the Greeks had a word for the specific kind of bad you’re feeling right now. Acedia. Inc.

Patrick Adams wants us to meet Gertrude Elion, the woman who gave the world anti-viral drugs. National Geographic


Heidi Wachter explains why we need to fill the greenspace gap. Shondaland

Studying the brain with quantum mechanics. SciShow Psych

Rachel Kraus wonders, what is an algorithm, anyway? Mashable

Jess Romeo sheds light on the long history of comet phobia. JSTOR Daily

Emily Zarka introduces us to Spring-Heeled Jack. PBS Storied | Monstrum

Daniel Oberhaus: gravity, gizmos, and Jim Woodward’s grant theory of interstellar travel. Wired

The Martian crustal dichotomy. SciShow Space

Carrie Whitney introduces us to the man behind the legend of Sitting Bull. How Stuff Works

Chadwick Boseman, rest in power. New Rockstars

Leah Greenblatt pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman: his life, his legacy, and his iconic roles. Entertainment Weekly

Stan Horaczek explains how cats and dogs see the world. Popular Science

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, Aug 9-15, 2020

Happy Friday eve! Celebrate the coming weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Elizabeth Gulino: recognizing racism as a public health crisis is only the beginning. Refinery 29

Lola Jaye explains why race matters when it comes to mental health. BBC

Neha Wadekar: climate change is undermining Kenya’s efforts to end child marriage. Time


Lalia Kerr: I’m a teacher at an elementary school, and I’m trying to figure out how to run my classroom during covid. The Halifax Examiner

Maya Wei-Haas explains what “airborne coronavirus” means and how to protect yourself. National Geographic


Kelly Boutsalis learns about teaching Indigenous star stories. The Walrus

Lauren Rock: Alen MacWeeney is documenting the Irish Travellers, a nomadic culture of yore. NPR

Abigail Bassett: what is music therapy? Shondaland

Sarah Buder reports that Norway’s next architectural masterpiece is a whale watching museum in the Artic Circle. Afar

Emily Zarka unlocks the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Gretchen Vogel: doctors diagnose advanced cancer—in a dinosaur. Science

Ester Woolfson explains how we hurt the animals we cherish. The Guardian

And here is Ze Frank with some true facts about hummingbirds—warrior junkies.

Thank you 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, now more than ever!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 2-8, 2020

It’s that time of week, again. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Charmaine A. Nelson says, the Canadian narrative about slavery is wrong. The Walrus

Aleem Maqbool looks at the British role in America’s tainted past. BBC

Candine Marie Benbow explains how to support your strong friend and yourself. Dispelling the myth of the strong Black woman. Medium

Jonathan Bundy: as companies try to address racism, a generic response is no longer enough. Fast Company


Stu Mills reports on statistician Ryan Imgrund’s concerns about the return to school plan. CBC

Wise words from Kim Fahner: why a safe return to school in Ontario should be the priority. The Republic of Poetry

Aitor Hernández-Morales, Kalina Oroschakoff and Jacopo Barigazzi predict the death of the city (thanks to telework). Politico


Emily Zarka looks at the history of the siren. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Ethan Hawke: give yourself permission to be creative. TED2020

Matthew M.F. Miller says that stargazing is a magical way to escape. Shondaland

Charlie Wood reports on a breakthrough some scientists thought would never come. The Atlantic

The launch of Perseverance to Mars. Veritasium

Marina Koren: thanks for flying SpaceX. The Atlantic

Alana Everson: Vale helping butterflies with milkweed and monarchs project. CTV

Point Defiance Zoo shares some baby beaver cuteness.

Eric Niiler explains how the anglerfish deleted its own immune system to fuse with its mate. Wired

Faysal Itani reports on Lebanon’s mushroom cloud of incompetence. The New York Times

The hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 75th anniversary of the bombings. BBC

Thanks for visiting, and 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.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 28-July 4, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday! You know what that means, tomorrow is Friday. You’ve almost made it through another week. It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Dionne Brand considers narrative, reckoning, and the calculus of living and dying. The Toronto Star

James Hopkin: court rules in favour of Robinson Huron Treaty beneficiaries. Soo Today

Mahdere Yared talks about the long-term effects of racism. TEDxPineCrestSchool

Claire Lampen: cops in riot gear stormed the violin vigil for Elijah McClain. The Cut

Priya Satia explains what’s really Orwellian about our global Black Lives Matter moment. Slate

Chi Luu highlights the sorry state of apologies. JSTOR Daily

Denise Oliver Velez connects the dots between Mount Rushmore, the KKK, and sanitized American history. Because a certain person held a rally there and tried to call BLM a racist attack on … I can’t even finish that sentence. From 2015. NONE OF THIS IS NEW. Daily KOS


SciShow Space news: black hole mergers and a possible gas giant core

Nadia Drake: mysterious cosmic object consumed by black hole baffles astronomers. National Geographic

Dr. Emily Zarka studies the bunyip. Monstrum

Thanks for visiting, and I hop that you found something to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 7-13, 2020

Once again, I’m offering a cross section of relevant articles, posts, and videos that have helped me learn about anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism here in Canada and in the US.

An African Canadian response to the pandemic and international uprisings.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: reflections on the colour of my skin. Star Talk


Google now has a “streetview” of the International Space Station.

Chris Wright: the remarkable stuff scientists get done as they work from home. Wired

Amanda Mull writes about the end of minimalism (or, the triumph of clutter). The Atlantic

Sarah Gibbens: the Bajao are the first known humans to be genetically adapted to diving. National Geographic

Eve Conant looks at lucky charms around the world: from evil eyes to sacred hearts. National Geographic

Dr. Emily Zarka introduces us to the Jorōgumo, the deadly spider woman from Yokai lore. Monstrum

Sarah Prager reveals that in Han Dynasty China, bisexuality was the norm. JSTOR Daily

Luke Fater introduces us to six comfort foods born of historic times of discomfort. Atlas Obscura

David Klein: how eggshells and coffee grounds can make your garden grow. I’ve since been informed that coffee grounds are toxic to insects, birds, and animals. Maybe do your research. Chowhound

Thanks for stopping by. 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, be willing to listen, learn, and do better, and stay strong. The world needs your stories, now more than ever.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 10-16, 2020

Here we are on Friday eve. You’ve almost made it through the week!

It’s time to reward yourself and get your mental corn popping.

Ashlyn Davis: this year’s Cannes and Sundance film festivals will stream online for free. Here’s how you can watch them. Secret LA

Jessica Tomberlin wonders, what is chronobiology? JSTOR Daily

Rachel Hahn wants you to meet Moms 4 Housing. Vogue

Andy Greenburg introduces you to Marcus Hutchins, the hacker who saved the internet. Wired

Dr. Emily Zarka looks into the urban legend of the slender man, a monster created on the internet. Monstrum

Katherine J. Wu explains how old math reveals new secrets about the monkeyflower. National Geographic

Over 500 beautiful manuscripts from the Islamic world now digitized and free for download. Open Culture

SciShow Space looks at how the alignments of the planets affect Earth.

L’Oreal Thompson Payton expounds on the art of saying “no.” Shondaland

Allison Miller: Joan of Arc, for fascists and feminists. JSTOR Daily

Sharon Blackie: the ancient practice of marrying the land. UpLift

29 things only people who collect pebbles will understand. And click through to hear the essay: cornerstones. BBC Radio 3

Lauren L. Hill reveals the founding mothers of professional surfing. gestalten

Maria Popova shares stunning 19th-century illustrations from the world’s first encyclopedia of the Great Barrier Reef. Brain Pickings

SciShow introduces us to the jellybot.

Ben Taub goes thirty-six thousand feet under the sea. The explorers who set one of the last meaningful records on earth. The New Yorker

Molly Glick: the Great Lakes are higher than they’ve ever been, and we’re not sure what will happen next. Popular Science

True facts about the batfish. Ze Frank

Morgan Olsen shares the Shedd Aquarium’s birthday party for Yaku, their oldest sea otter, replete with seafood cake. Otterly adorable! Time Out

If you’ve been seeing crows everywhere, this is what it means. The Minds Journal

Sara Barnes introduces us to the closest living relative to the dodo, the Nicobar pigeon. Beautiful! My Modern Met

Thank you for visiting and I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019