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 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, 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 23-29, 2020

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

Michael Tesler reports that support for Black Live Matter surged during the protests but is now waning among white Americans. FiveThirtyEight

Sarah Midkiff goes inside the Portland protests, separating fact from fiction. This is almost a month old. I think election hijinx are overtaking #BLM related news. Until this past weekend, when protests took precedence again. Refinery 29

Black lives matter: NBA walkout sparks historic sports boycott in US; Osaka withdraws, tennis halted. The boycott was short-lived, but sports teams are attempting to use their platforms to keep the message of #BLM front and centre. The Scroll

The national anthem protests, part 1, with Roger Goodell. Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man

And part 2.

Rebecca Ruiz explains why everyone should understand racial trauma right now. Mashable

N’dea Yancey-Bragg reveals five things you didn’t know about the March on Washington and MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. USA Today

Amy McKeever says that voter suppression has haunted America since its founding. National Geographic

Related: Matthew Wills reviews the suppression of Native American voters. JSTOR Daily


Jasmine Baker moved into her dorm at UNC Chapel Hill at the beginning of August. Two weeks later she, and just about everyone she knew, had covid-19. Slate

Matthew M.F. Miller explains how the pandemic has immeasurably altered our relationship with tech. Shondaland

Mary Mammoliti explains what it’s like to be blind in a socially distanced world. Refinery 29


Naomi Scherbel-Ball: Africa declared free of wild poliovirus. BBC

Katherine Ellison wonders who’s caring for the carers. Knowable

Zaria Gorvett explains why modern medicine ignores transgendered people. BBC

Abigail Bassett helps you determine whether someone is actually “toxic.” Shondaland

Is success hard work or luck? This actually plays into our perception (or lack thereof) of our privilege. Veritasium

Martha Mendoza and Frank Baker: massive northern California wildfires rage on. AP

Nell Greenfield Boyce: water, water, everywhere—and now scientists know where it came from. NPR

Joshua Sokol profiles the worst animal in the world: the mosquito. The Atlantic

Lesley Evans Ogden reports on the sea otter rescue plan that worked too well. BBC

Eva Botkin-Kowacki: herd community means there’s more to cows than we thought. Christian Science Monitor

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you were able to take away something to inspire your next creative project.

This weekend, I should be posting my August next chapter update. Until then, be well and stay safe.

ThoughtyThursday2019

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, July 12-18, 2020

Happy Friday eve! Without further delay, it’s time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

An example of how white supremacy privileges things over humans. Black Lives Matter Toronto holds a press conference after three protestors are arrested for “defacing” statues. Don’t even look at the comments on this one if you’re not prepared to be triggered. CTV

Mary Hynes interviews Ijeoma Oluo on Tapestry. CBC

Ashawnta Jackson explains what the first Black-owned bookstore had to do with the underground railroad. JSTOR Daily

Sarah Gilbert: civil rights activist and politician, John Lewis—a life in pictures. The Guardian

Sonia Saraiya interviews Viola Davis: my entire life has been a protest. Vanity Fair

Paul McGuinness reveals the power of protest songs. uDiscover Music


Amy Greer, Nisha Thampi and Ashleigh Tuite: we can get children back to school full time, if we put the right strategy in place. The problem is, no one can agree on what that strategy is … The Globe and Mail

North Bay OPP charge Florida couple with failing to self-isolate. CBC

What happened when we all stopped, narrated by Jane Goodall. TED.Ed


Adam Mann: the universe’s clock might have bigger ticks than we imagine. Scientific American

Mary Robinette Kowal does a dramatic reading of her “peeing in space” Twitter thread for Uncanny Magazine. It is hilarious.

David Szondy: 75 years ago, the Trinity atomic bomb test changed the world forever. New Atlas

Mark Wilson says knock codes were supposed to be more secure than passwords or PINs, but they’re surprisingly easy to hack. Fast Company

Catie Keck shares everything we know about the 2020 Twitter hack (so far). Gizmodo

Nathanael Johnson: the population bomb didn’t detonate, but it turns out there’s a new problem. Grist

Feargus O’Sullivan goes behind the accidentally resilient design of Athens apartments. CityLab

Sophia Smith Galer reveals the accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy. BBC

SciShow busts the “alpha dog” theory.

Jimmy Thomson says, one solution to the world’s climate woes is Canada’s natural landscapes. The Narwhal

Alexandra Witze: how humans are altering the tides of the oceans. BBC

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire a future creative project.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 12-18, 2020

Black Lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. All lives cannot matter until Black and Indigenous lives matter. I believe this more than ever. I’m not going to stop putting this important message out there until it’s true.

Regardless of whether your area of the world has never closed, is reopening, or is still under some degree of lockdown, please, for the love of all you hold dear, wear a mask.

As for schools, I sincerely believe the safest way forward is to keep all classes virtual. I know this isn’t a popular stance, but we know how quickly a common cold, or the flu proliferates in a classroom. And this is covid. We still don’t know the long-term effects of this virus.

I also know that virtual learning presents its own challenges. This will require a sea change for parents, teachers, schoolboards, employers, and governments and I think leaving these important discussions to this late date was naïve on the part of many. Ignoring the issue is not going to make it go away.

Having said that, Sudbury hasn’t had any new cases reported since about June 22 or so. We’ve only had 67 conformed cases and two deaths. It might be more reasonable to consider modified, in-person classes here, but I’d like to wait on the possible impact of phase three of reopening before we go there. Those numbers have yet to be publicized.

Now, onto the informal writerly learnings!

Kris Maze shares seven unstoppable YA plot ideas to make your novel fabulous. Barbara Linn Probst is editing for theme: search and employ. Writers in the Storm

Elizabeth A. Harvey explores a writer’s sense of place: where I ought to be. Jim Dempsey is writing and napping. Sophie Masson shares what she’s learned about presenting online workshops. Then, Juliet Marillier tells a tale about finding resilience: a dog story. Writer Unboxed

Gender and Jurassic Park. Cold Crash Pictures

Janice Hardy explains some story rulez: the two things every novel needs to do. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman stopps by: how emotional wounds can steer a character’s job choice. Fiction University

The female friendship revolution. The Take

Peter von Stackelberg shares an intuitive four-step process for creating vibrant scene structure. Helping Writers Become Authors

Andrew Noakes offers six principles for writing historical fiction. Jane Friedman

Lindsay Ellis looks at Tolkien’s constructed languages. It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Leanne Sowul wants you to commit to self-education about racism and anti-racism. And here’s my latest Speculations: ten Black science fiction and fantasy authors to read now. Then, Gabriela interviews Django Wexler: using fantasy to “literalize” the metaphor. DIY MFA

Chris Winkle explains why storytellers fail at grimdark and how to fix it. Then Bunny and Oren Ashkenazi team up: five reasons your story shouldn’t deny that it’s a story. Mythcreants

Deborah Ahenkora is slaying the dragons of hate with words. CBC Books

Aya de Léon: crime fiction is complicit in police violence, but it’s not too late to change. Electric Literature

Jeana Jorgensen describes what happens when fairyland is not for you: on escapism, fantasy, and survival. The Wrangler

Paula Findlen explores Petrarch’s plague: love, death, and friendship in a time of pandemic. The Public Domain Review

Thanks for visiting, and I hope that you found something to support your current work in progress (whatever stage it’s in).

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 5-11, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping (and celebrate the coming weekend)!

Guy Kawasaki interviews Jamia Wilson for his Remarkable People podcast.

Phillip Morris asks, as monuments fall, how does the world deal with its racist past? National Geographic

Bryan Bender, Daniel Lippman, and Sarah Cammarata interview the descendants of Confederate generals who say they’d be happy to see their names go. Politico

Emilia Petrarea reports on solidarity at sea. Surfing protest for Black Lives Matter. The Cut

Carly Silver exposes the racist history behind the Victorian tea “infomercial.” JSTOR Daily


Ian Sample warns of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms. The Guardian

R.M. Vaughan: how do we get back to work when the trauma of covid-19 persists? “Nobody cares about your neuroses as long as you’re productive. Never mind that 24/7 productivity is what got us here in the first place. You don’t have time to grieve whomever you lost – get back to work. And keep fronting positivity, fronting wellness, fronting that you’re fine, because that’s now part of your job.” The Globe and Mail

Sweden literally gained nothing from staying open during covid-19. The Week


Sarah Caplan explains how America’s hottest city will survive climate change. The Washington Post

SciShow considers the weird world of the Hang Sơn Đoòng caves.

Kellie Doherty suggests some house spirits to keep you company during #pandemiclife. Fantasy Faction

Giovanna Dell’Orto: migrant teens need school, but around the world they face pressure not to go. National Geographic

Matt Reynolds explains how to hack your brain into remembering almost anything. Wired

Physics Girl conducts some fun home science experiments.

Catie Leary show us how the golden ratio manifests in nature. TreeHugger

Dance United Yorkshire – open your eyes.

The Pentatonix – when the party’s over.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you found something to inspire a future 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