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!

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

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, a convenient way to research, inspire creative Ideas (what I call popping your mental corn), learn something cool, or otherwise support your creativity.

For the past several months, I’ve isolated posts related to anti-racism and the pandemic for your convenience.

Dani McClain shares some advice on how to talk to kids about racism and police violence. The Atlantic

Gabriela Fowler explains what it feels like to “pass as white” when you’re mixed race. Buzzfeed

How the death of George Floyd sparked a street art movement. The Smithsonian Magazine

Daniel King shares Ashima Yadava’s portraits of survival. Mother Jones


Rebecca Renner explains why every year—especially 2020—feels like the worst year ever. Doomscrolling, anyone? Anyone? Beuller? National Geographic

Why is it so hard to remember things right now? SciShow Psych

Eleanor Cummins says, the office will never be the same. Popular Science

Alexandra Jones: Jessica Meir returned from the ISS to a pandemic-ridden Earth. The Face

Tammy Chen is a dentist who’s seeing more cracked teeth. How is that connected to the pandemic? The New York Times


The biggest lie about renewable energy. ASAP Science

Paul Vallely explains how philanthropy benefits the super-rich. The Guardian

Alan Yuhas reveals that Roanoake’s “lost colony” was never lost (according to a new book). The New York times

Kat Lonsdorf revisits Fukushima: the ghost towns behind the gates. NPR

Amber Dance considers experiments on mice in space and how they’ll keep human bone and muscle strong on the ISS. Knowable

Gerardo Carrillo: “mammoth central” found at Mexican airport construction site. The Washington Post

Sarah Bahr announces that the Met will hire its first full-time Native American curator. The New York Times

Thanks for visiting and I hope you took away 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, Dec 15-21, 2019

It’s Boxing Day! I got up early this morning to go shopping (my once annual spree) and am now ensconced for our family get together. Take some time to get your mental corn popping with these thought provoking (or just plain fun) links.

Juli Fraga wants to help you conquer your social anxiety over the holidays. NPR

Lisa Wood Shapiro recounts her quest for clean air. Wired

Andrea Romano explains how long you should take off work to feel productive again. Travel and Leisure

Matthew Gault: the best optical illusion of the year will mess with your head. Vice

Alexandra Ossola: can algae save the planet by changing the way we eat? Quartz

Jaymi Heimbuch shares macro photos of snowflakes that reveal impossibly perfect designs. Treehugger

PBS Space Time considers the validity of cosmological natural selection (i.e. that black holes create new universes).

The fuzzy origins of the giant panda. PBS Eons

Chris Baraniuk: corvids could be the smartest animals other than primates. BBC

Joshua Rapp Learn explains why birds sing to their eggs and how these songs might help their offspring survive climate change. Smithsonian Magazine

Find out all about Leonard, the mudskipper, with Ze Frank.

Thank you for taking time out of the holiday whirlwind to stop by and peruse the offerings.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 9-15, 2019

A good mix of inspirational, research-y, and learning stuff this week.

Patti Neighmond: can you reshape your brain’s response to pain? NPR

Zaria Gorvett explores how modern life is transforming the human skeleton. BBC

Mike MacEacheran looks at what unicorns mean to Scottish identity. BBC

Johny Pitts’ Afropean captures the experience of black women in Europe. Refinery29

Phoebe Wood debunks eight myths about bisexuals/pansexuals (and their representation) in honour of Pride Month.

Cara Anna reports that Botswana decriminalized gay sex in a landmark case. “More than two dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have laws criminalizing gay sex, often holdovers from colonial times.” AP

ASAP Science wants to find out what would happen if we burned all our garbage.

Andrew Freedman writes a special report on our plastic planet. Axios

Rachel Love Nuwer considers the planet’s other imperiled elephants. In his book, Giants of the Monsoon Forest, Jacob Shell explores the ancient, mutually beneficial alliance between Asian elephants and their human neighbors. UnDark

Because tardigrades. Thomas Boothby, TED-Ed.

I hope something here got your mental corn popping.

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 19-25, 2019

It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Jon Hamilton: how the brain shapes pain and links ouch with emotion. NPR

Eric Barker shares FBI behaviourist Robin Dreeke’s seven tips to get people to like you. The Ladders

SciShow Space news considers Pluto’s ocean and MU 69 (the snowman-looking asteroid New Horizons passed in January).

 

Eddie King says that learning Morse code is still a valuable skill, even in the 21st century. Quartz

Nicole Javorsky tells the tale of how David Romero is bringing new life to Frank Lloyd Wright’s lost designs. CityLab

‘Cause Imogen. Telemiscommunications

 

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Apr 14-20, 2019

Here’s your weekly batch of inspiration and research-y links to get your mental corn popping.

Vivid Maps presents Canada, mapped only in terms of bodies of water. Makes me unaccountably proud of our beautiful country.

Geoff Manaugh says, move over San Andreas, there’s a new, ominous fault line in town, and it’s called the Walker Lane. Wired

SciShow Space looks at how astronomers got that image of a black hole.

 

Angus Chen: parents learn to let their anxious kids face their fears. NPR

Think you can catch up on lost sleep over the weekend? Inverse says, nope.

 

Bret Stetka reveals new strategies to take on the worst cancer—glioblastoma. Scientific American

Douglas Main: why oysters close on the full moon—and more odd lunar effects on animals. National Geographic

I hope you found something to feed your creative factory 🙂

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

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 30, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019

Get your mental corn popping with some thoughty this Thursday.

Gloria Hillard reports on how abused wolves and troubled teens find solace in each other. NPR

Kelly McGonigal: how to make stress your friend. TED Talks 2013 (yes, it’s old, but it’s good)

Aida Edemariam delves into Roxane Gay and her philosophy: “Public discourse rarely allows for nuance. And see where that’s gotten us.” The Guardian

Mark Lorch: the periodic tables we almost had. Quartz

Neel V. Patel introduces us to Farout, the newest, most distant member of our solar system. Popular Science

SciShow Space considers why it’s so hard to land on Mars.

 

And then, they compile several of their videos to tell you everything your need to know to live on Mars.

 

Michael Greshko wonders, now that China’s landed on the far side of the moon, what’s next? National Geographic

The “snowman” shape of Ultima Thule is revealed by NASA’s New Horizons. Jonathan Amos for the BBC.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something inspiring in the mix.

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

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 10-16 2017

And now … it’s time for your informal writerly learnings for the week.

Jane Friedman answers the question, what’s more important, author websites, or social media? Then she follows up with this post: social media for authors is the toughest topic to advise on.

Jami Gold visits Writers Helping Writers: translating story beats into any genre.

Abigail K. Perry: three major roles of minor characters. DIY MFA

Audrey Kalman shares five tips for processing a negative critique. DIY MFA

Slipping this in here because its (kind of) related. Jenna Moreci with part two of her beta reader process:

 

Brenda Joyce Patterson offers tips and techniques for training your writer’s brain. DIY MFA

Kermeron Hurley talks about creativity and the fear of losing the magic.

Laura Drake explains how to survive a confidence crisis. Writers in the Storm

Sierra Godfrey and Kasey Corbit share three steps for using the tarot for your writing. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy guest posts on The Write Practice: why your story conflict isn’t working (and how to fix it).

Kathryn Craft: say a little less; mean a little more. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson shares some news you can use (and some you shouldn’t). Writer Unboxed

Kim Alexander helps you put the fan back in fantasy—and get past ye same olde same olde. Kristen Lamb’s blog

Chris Winkle offers some insight into creating an eclectic magic system. Mythcreants

Oren Ashkenazi lists six common problems with long series (and how to fix them). Mythcreants

Anjali Enjeti explains why she’s still trying to get a book deal after ten years. Both heartbreaking and hopeful. The Atlantic

Kim Fahner pays tribute to Gwendolyn MacEwen on Many Gendered Mothers.

The CBC invites you to discover the best in Canadian Indigenous writing.

How to rescue a wet book (!)

 

Mandalit del Barco interviews Marie Lu for NPR.

Jo Walton: Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Day Before the Revolution” as a moment in a life. Tor.com

Robert Minto wonders, what happens when a science fiction genius starts blogging? New Republic

Abiola Oke interviews Nnedi Okorafor for Okay Africa.

I hope you found something you needed in this curation.

Come back for Thoughty Thursday 🙂

Until then, be well, my friends.

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 18-24, 2016

You want moar informal writerly learnings, you say?

Here they are!

K.M. Weiland shares the secret to writing dynamic characters: it’s always their fault. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate returns with more lessons from the MCU: stay true to your characters.

Tonia Marie Harris guest posts on Writer Unboxed: confessions of an intrepid mermaid.

Lisa Cron digs deeper into the response to her last Writer Unboxed post, in which she posited an alternative to the plotter/pantser dichotomy. It’s hard to own what you believe.

Dave King: give your characters roots. Writer Unboxed

Lisa Janice Cohen shares the seven lessons she’s learned over five years and six novels. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: share your voice. Writer Unboxed

Chuck Wendig: here’s how to finish that fucking book, you monster. Terribleminds
Later in the week, Chuck posts: it’s art that will help us survive.

Susan Brooks returns to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: the importance of genre specificity, part two. Then, Janice guests on C.S. Lakin’s Live, write, thrive: are you making these three common revision mistakes?

Megan Hannum shares five apps that will help you revise your manuscript. DIYMFA

Laura Drake: nail that first line. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares her insights into creating your antagonist’s journey. Mythcreants

W.B. Sullivan shares six ways to cultivate urgency that will captivate readers. The Write Life

Rebecca Smith: what Jane Austin can teach us about building suspense. Literary Hub

Alice Sudlow posts on the proper order of adjectives.* The Write Practice

*It should be noted that I posted about this in past weeks, including Chuck Wendig’s take.

Indigenous or aboriginal, which is correct? CBC

Roz Morris offers her views on writing as a hobby, an art, a profession, a business, or a vocation. Is there a difference and why is it important? Nail your novel

Kimberly Brock embraces her inner weirdos on Writers in the Storm.

Kirsten Oliphant posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: how to leverage the power of someone else’s platform without being smarmy. Later in the week, Andrea Dunlop shares five questions you should ask yourself when you’re getting ready for a book launch.

So this was a thing that happened:

Writescape profiles Jenny Madore.

Leonard Cohen celebrates his birthday with a present to us. Bob Boilen for NPR.

Buzzfeed lists 28 underused words that you should start using.

Jane Friedman offers her annual state of publishing update.

Publishers Weekly shares the results from their publishing industry salary survey. The trends and disparity are still unsettling.

Susanne Althoff looks at The Bestseller Code and how algorithms could save publishing but ruin novels. Wired

Viet Thanh Nguyen unpacks the complicated issue of diversity in publishing. The Library Journal

Alyssa Wong, Alice Sola Kim, Cat Valente, and Seth Dickenson discuss diversity in science fiction. Leah Schnelbach for Tor.com.

The Fantasy Faction presents part five of their gender and stereotyping in fantasy series: bisexual characters.

Emily V. Gordon says that television writers are doing a better job at portraying characters with mental illness. The New York Times

Keri Walsh: the taming of the bard. Public Books

Watch the PBS trailer for their documentary, Maya Angelou: And still I Rise. The Vulture

More sadness: Terry Jones diagnosed with dementia 😦 The Telegraph

Cinephelia & Beyond takes an in-depth look at Alan Parker’s Angel Heart.

A Nigerian comics startup is creating African superheroes. Lily Kuo for Quartz.

Sarah Gailey posits that Hermione Granger is more than just a sidekick. Tor.com

Watch the Stranger Things kids warm up the Emmy audience with their version of “Uptown Funk.” Entertainment Weekly

And now, I’m a little exhausted.

See you Thursday!

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