Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 24-30, 2020

Happy Friday eve! It’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Ben Lindbergh: NASA and Space-X unleash the dragon as they count down to the next stage of space travel. The Ringer

Jacob Bogage and Christian Davenport report on the successful launch of the Falcon 9 with NASA astronauts and separation of the Dragon capsule. The Washington Post

Five ways solar energy could develop. SciShow

Maya Wei-Haas says, there are “mountains” bigger than Everest deep inside Earth. National Geographic

Jason Daley: a sorceress’ kit was discovered in the ashes of Pompeii. The Smithsonian Magazine

Terry Gross interviews James Nestor on how the “lost art” of breathing affects sleep and resilience. NPR

Michael Gresko explains how we make, recall, and forget memories. National Geographic

SciShow Psych separates fact from fiction about borderline personality disorder.

Gestalten explores the mystique of scent. The internet has a smell. Who knew?

Rebecca Friedel introduces us to the runner bean, JSTOR Daily’s plant of the month.

Open Culture shares John Coltrane’s illustration of the mathematics of music.

Leah Pellegrini shares breathtaking photographs that capture ballet’s finest dancing on the streets of New York. My Modern Met

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ve found something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I should have my next chapter update for May coming out.

Until then, 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, May 17-23, 2020

It’s thoughty Thursday! That means tomorrow is Friday. Welcome the weekend by getting your mental corn popping 🙂

Lauren Grush introduces us to the two NASA astronauts Space-X will launch into orbit. The Verge

SciShow Space explains how some stars are eaten from the inside.

Yohana Desta interviews Janelle Monáe: artist in residence. Vanity Fair

Michael Bond explains why humans totally freak out when they get lost. Wired

Leah Collins shows you how to make your own ink from foraged spring plants. CBC

Terry O’Reilly discusses the secret language of flowers in Victorian England. Listen to the whole episode 🙂 It’s fascinating. CBC’s “Under the Influence”

This is one documentary I needed to find: Judi Dench talking about trees is as brilliant as you’d think. Eeeee! Joy! It was posted to Facebook! BBC

Nell Greenfield Boyce: herd of fuzzy, green “glacier mice” baffles scientists. NPR

Becky Ferreira warns that trillions of cicadas are going to rule America. Bow, humans! Vice

The animals caught on these wild webcams are adorbs! CBC

Kate Bubacz: how Joel Sartore works to document species before they go extinct. Beautiful photos! Buzzfeed

Aleta Burchyski shares how she became a backyard birder (so you can become one, too). Outside

Physics Girl has some more at-home experiments for you to try.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you 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!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 3-9, 2020

It’s thoughty Thursday, and you know what that means. Tomorrow is Friday! You’ve made it through another week. Now it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Mary Katherine Keown reports on the little library that’s converted to a free seed distribution point for Sudbury residents. The Sudbury Star

Alex Morrs: how rebel botanists are using graffiti to name forgotten plants. The Guardian

Matthew Taub recounts the life and fiery death of the world’s largest treehouse. Atlas Obscura

Sarah Regan offers a beginner’s guide to reading palms. In case you’ve run out of yeast. Mind Body Green

SciShow Psych explores how physicists are helping neuroscientists understand the brain better.

Erika Hayasaki goes undercover with Marisol Nichols in a child predator sting. Marie Claire

Chi Luu: the linguistics of “cooties” and other weird things kids say. JSTOR Daily

Madison Feller: the youngest person to travel to every country has created your future bucket list. Elle

Murcury is so hot, it’s making ice. SciShow Space

Umair Irfan reports on the arrival of the giant Asian hornet, AKA the murder hornet, and its target is honey bees. Vox

For some perspective, Yvette Brend: “Murder Hornet” risk overblown according to BC’s top bee expert. CBC

Mattie Cook shares all the cuteness: the Miami Zoo’s meerkat pups. Totally the Bomb

Canadian photographer, Dennis Fast, captures polar bears enjoying a summertime field of flowers. The Mind Circle

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.

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 29-April 4, 2020

Here are a bunch of resources and useful information for your time of physical distancing. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Rachel Donadio explains how a millennial Prime Minister is leading her country through crisis. Vogue

Rodger Sherman: the eight types of people we turn into on Zoom. The Ringer

Erin Blakemore wonders what people used before toilet paper? Cause toilet stuff is fun 🙂 National Geographic

Amber Gibson: there’s an art to isolation—here’s how to stay centred. Medium

Sherpa says, wash your paws!

Starlight Williams shares five inspiring no-travel experiences. National Geographic

Joe Berkowitz lists 88 movies, music, series, and books releasing in the next month. Fast Company

Jennifer Nalawicki says that you can watch these six flower bloom events from your couch. The Smithsonian Magazine

Mike Mettler lists six must-see rockumentaries to shelter in place with. Sound & Vision

A.R. Williams: untouched 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Saq’qara, Egypt. National Geographic

Michael Greshko: interstellar space is even weirder than expected. National Geographic

Robin George Andrews reports on the bizarre lifeforms found thriving in ancient rocks beneath the sea floor. Cause extremophiles! National Geographic

Jeff Goodell is concerned about rising tides, troubled waters, and the future of our oceans. Rolling Stone

Marina Koren considers the changes in land, sea, and air that have already resulted from the pandemic. The Atlantic

Chris Sweeny: the wondrous life and mysterious death of golden eagle 1703. The Guardian

Giedrė Vaičiulaitytė shares 30 photos by Julius Kähkönen that look like they come from dreams. Bored Panda

True facts about the giraffe. Ze Frank

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to support you in these challenging times, or 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, March 22-28, 2020

In need of some distraction? You’re in luck. Thoughty Thursday is here to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Alex Beard: can AI ever replace the classroom? The Guardian

Laura Millan Lombrana: the post-virus economic recovery could be a green one. This is the hope of many people I know. Bloomberg

Elizabeth Landau discovers that the Fibonacci sequence is everywhere—even the stock market. The Smithsonian Magazine

Allison Meier: 18th Century lovers exchanged pictures of their eyes. JSTOR Daily

Stevie Keen shares ten photography projects you can do at home. Amateur Photographer

Eric Gross shares photographs of frozen waves in an alpine Colorado lake. PetaPixel

Jessica Stewart shares enchanting photos of Madeira’s Fanal Forest and its 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

How Earth’s tides gave us life as we know it. SciShow Space

Tom Ward takes us inside Victor Vescovo’s mission to reach the bottom of all the world’s oceans. Wired

Ruth Doherty reports that Google Earth has released virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. Country Living

Stella’s best leaf jumps of all time 🙂 Joy!

Lydia Schrandt shares ten of the best animal live cams for you to watch. 10 Best

PBS Eons answers the age-old question. The egg came first.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you take away some inspiration for your next creative project, or just some interesting reading and entertainment to ease your isolation.

This weekend, I’ll be diving into my March next chapter update.

Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. Now, more than ever, the world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 16-22, 2020

I’m back, and it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Juhyundred examines colonialism in Parasite. Amazing analysis. Tropics of Meta

SciShow investigates a possible cure for cancer (that was discovered by accident).

How unprocessed trauma is stored in the body. Medium

David Keys: a treasure trove of fine textiles reveals the importance of fashion to Bronze Age Britons. The Independent

Catherine Boeckmann shares the meanings of flowers. The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Sarah Barnes introduces us to Matt Burgess, the photographer who captures the moods of waves. My Modern Met

Madeleine Stone reports that the Antarctic peninsula is setting heat records, but they won’t stand for long. National Geographic

Does consciousness influence quantum mechanics? PBS Space Time

Lori Dorn shares an amazing video of an industrious mouse tidying up a retire electrician’s tool shed each night. Laughing Squid

The mating dance of the peacock spider. Ze Frank (who else?)

And that is your edutainment for the week. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re taking away something to inspire your next creative project.

I might get my next chapter update out on the weekend.

Until then, be well, my writerly friends 🙂

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 6-12, 2019

It’s time, once again, to get your mental corn popping.

Brené Brown is doubling down on love. A guiding light, this woman.

Shannon Odell looks at your brain on music. Inverse

Sara Barnes shares gravity-defying photos of determined dogs catching Frisbees in mid-air. My Modern Met

Maria Goodavage reports on the tech helping dogs learn to “talk” with humans. Wired

Researchers reveal that losing a dog can be as hard as losing any human loved one. Power of Positivity

Nathaniel Dove: bee populations recovering due to regenerative farming. Global News

Rebecca Seales researches tebori: the eye-watering art that thousands cross the world for. BBC

Lindsay J. Smith: envisioning and designing the floating future. UnDark

Ed Finn: algorithms are redrawing the space for cultural imagination. MIT Press Reader

Rob Stein shares how CRISPR therapy may help treat sickle cell disease. NPR

SciShow Space news reports on how the black hole at the centre of our galaxy “woke up” about 3.5 million years ago and the latest evidence from Cassini about the possibility of life on Enceladus.

Emily Chung announces that Saturn has just beat Jupiter for the title of “moon king” with 20 new moons confirmed. CBC

Thank you for visiting. I hope you found something to fuel your ongoing creative efforts 🙂

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

The next chapter: September 2019 update

Ah, October. My favourite month, mostly ‘cause my birthday 🙂 Yes. I’m a child.

The month in writing

We’re just going to get right to it.

SeptProgress

I made the decision to post only two book reviews this month (though one was of two novellas), and so I was a bit short of my blogging goal. 5,071 words of my 5,600-word goal, or 91%.

I got my latest Speculations written and submitted early because I headed down to Toronto for a day-job learning event. I wrote 1,327 words of my 1,000-word goal, or 133%.

I wrote all of 50 new words on short story number two and revised 41 words on short story number one. Even with a meagre 500-word goal for each, that was 10% and 8% respectively.

I went through the poetry collection again. This one, I decided to track by the number of poems revised. 51 of 51, or 100%. I have one more pass to make before the collection is ready for submission. I hope to get that done this month.

I got my second rejection on my poetry. Will send out more submissions.

In non-tracking projects, the read-through of Ascension continues. I’m almost finished with book three and will move onto book for this month.

I’m also 31 handwritten pages into revision notes for the SF novel that didn’t know what it was. It’s shaping up and I should be ready for my stint as a NaNo rebel next month.

I’ve also critiqued another project for my online critique group and have moved on to another.

One thing I’ve learned in the past few months is that you can still be a working writer, even if you’re not producing a lot of words. Not all writing is writing. Sometimes it’s reading, critiquing, planning, and thinking. You have to make space for all of it.

Filling the well

No writerly events in September, but I did get together with a couple of writer friends for and evening of Thai food and chat. It was just what I needed to refresh and refocus.

No pictures. Sorry.

Here are a few of my random photos from the last month instead 🙂

What I’m watching and reading

This month, Phil and I watched Carnival Row. We enjoyed the gritty, alternate world, the murder mystery wrapped up in a tragic origin story, and cheesy prophecy trope. It was nice how most of the story elements were connected to the main plot and so, as events unfolded, the characters developed and changed accordingly.

The final season of Killjoys came to an end in September as well. I didn’t appreciate all the creative choices that were made in this final season. Several of them felt forced, or worse, contrived. The series has always been more fun than philosophical, though, and things ended well.

I finished watching the first season of The Order. It really didn’t know what it wanted to be. Magical university? Werewolf story? Magical revenge tale? Things were tied together loosely, and the ending was disappointing. The titular order erases the memories of the werewolves and steals all their artefacts and research library. Really, I was left wondering why I should care.

Finally, The OA. The first season kind of ruined me with the second to last episode. When the box of incriminating books was found and everyone basically abandoned Prairie, deciding that she must be crazy/delusional, it completely undermined everything that happened in the final episode. Having broken my credibility, the series could not restore it. I basically went through the motions to finish watching, because I prefer to have a complete picture.

I wasn’t going to watch the second season, but I wanted to see how they could possibly move forward. And, honestly, it wasn’t horrible. The second season suffered from some of the same issues as the first, however. I watched it with a sceptic’s eye, distrusting everything the creators asked me to take on faith. Again, things were building to a climax and then, Pairie/Nina and Hap end up jumping to a universe in which they are Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs on a movie set. Oh, yeah. Though Michelle’s soul was retrieved by detective Karim, there was no real resolution for those left behind in the first universe, or for Homer, who finally remembered who he was but was trapped in the second.

I’m glad there won’t be a season three. At least, that’s the word on the interwebz at the moment.

Reading wise, I finished Mary Robinette Kowal’s Ghost Talkers, in which a corps of mediums help the allies in an alternate WWII. Loved. Kowal has indicated that she would like to revisit the world, but her Lady Astronaut books are demanding her time and creative energy at the moment.

I also finished Matthew Hughes’ What the Wind Brings, which he unabashedly calls his magnum opus. This was historical fiction, and I reviewed it last month.

Sarah Gailey’s A Taste of Marrow was next, and I enjoyed this second novella in her alternate America inspired by a strange-but-true plan to import hippos. This was my second posted book review last month and I looked at both novellas, which have been combined in one volume as American Hippo.

After I finished watching the last season of The Handmaid’s Tale, I finally read the book that inspired the series. I enjoyed the book more than some of Atwood’s others, I have to say, though it does share some of the aspects that I found problematic. June is another unreliable narrator, but why wouldn’t she be? The June of the book is never dependably identified by that name, though there is some speculation in the symposium appended to the end of the novel. She lives in fear, far more fear than Elizabeth Moss portrays in the series. She’s far less empowered. June is, essentially, a slave. It makes for an oddly distanced read.

Finally, I read Sean Carroll’s Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, which I enjoyed though much of the content was over my head. Frankly, it blew my mind a bit. I read this one for research. It ties into the SF novel I want to revise.

Again, selected reviews will be forthcoming.

And that was September in this writer’s life.

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

The Next Chapter

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 15-21, 2019

It’s the usual mixed bag, this Thursday. I hope you find something here to inspire your next creative project.

Nina Munteanu shares five perspectives on humanity’s relationship to our forests.

Maya Wei-Haas: mysterious waves have been pulsing across Oklahoma. National Geographic

Matthew Green introduces us to three young women racing to defuse a carbon bomb in the arctic: the climate hunters. Reuters

Stephen Kinzer recounts the secret history of Fort Dietrick, the CIA’s base for mind control experiments. Politico

Sarah Harvey suggests trying Japan’s Kaizen method to cure insomnia and sleep anxiety. Stylist

Dr. Becky considers the engraved hourglass nebula.

Veritasium looks at the Planet 9 hypothesis.

And PBS Space Time weighs the possibilities for terraforming Mars.

Dave Linkletter reveals the ten toughest math problems ever solved. Popular Mechanics

Finally, SciShow introduces us to a snail that makes its own armour (!)

Sara Barnes shows how a natural phenomenon transforms Christian Spenser’s hummingbird photographs into rainbows. My Modern Met

Thanks for stopping by and popping your mental corn with me.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Sept 8-14, 2019

And now … it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Erika W. Smith reveals the spiritual reason Friday the thirteenth is considered unlucky. Refinery29

Cassie Shortsleeves explains why being near water really does make us happier. Conde Nast Traveler Magazine

Rod McCullom reveals how bullying may shape adolescent brains. UnDark

SciShow Psych looks at the varieties of bipolar disorder.

Sophia Chen: Sean Carroll thinks we all exist on multiple worlds. Nabbed his book, Something Deeply Hidden, on the strength of this article. A little mind-blowing 🙂 Wired

Gabriel Popkin explores soil’s microbial market and the ruthless side of forests. Ties the “wood wide web” to the Gaia hypothesis—awesome stuff. Quanta Magazine

David Gelles: Jane Goodall keeps going, with a lot of hope (and a bit of whiskey). The New York Times

Physics girl looks at the surprising ways Mars is hostile to life.

Dr. Becky answers the question, if the universe is expanding, why do galaxies collide?

Andrew Lasane introduces us to the “Universe of Words” installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux. This is Colossal

Jessica Stewart shares 15 powerful finalists for the 2019 wildlife photograph of the year contest. Warning: though compelling, several of these photos are uncomfortable, if not outright disturbing. My Modern Met

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire your current or next creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019