Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 18-24, 2018

Here are a few links to get your mental corn popping (making creative connections).

Anna Mehler Paperny begs your attention: no, Canada does not spend more on refugees than on its seniors. It’s a big misunderstanding that needs correction. Global News

Adam Gopnik: four truths about the Florida school shooting. The New Yorker

Ed Brayton says, the problem is toxic masculinity, not mental illness. Patheos

Peter Kruger cribs from The Princess Bride. Why does the NPR station have so much propaganda against Trump? Quora

Elizabeth Chuck reports on women, harassed in medicine, await their #metoo reckoning. NBC News

Olga Khazan examines a paradox: the more gender equality, the fewer women in STEM. The Atlantic

Rachael Stephen describes the cognitive behavioural therapy method in this next instalment of her series on mental health.

 

Phil Plait: Osiris-X looks home from far, far away. SyFy

An amateur astronomer spots a supernova, right as it begins. Ryan F. Mandelbaum for Gizmodo.

Megan Senseney surveys hygiene practices of the middle ages. Healthy Way

Anna Lovind writes an ode to winter.

Enjoy the evocative work of women artists of the Canadian Inuit. Women Arts Blog

Chris Wright wonders, can you hack coral to save it? Outside

John Vidal: a eureka moment for the planet; we’re finally planting trees again. The Guardian

Andy Coghlan reports how trees have been seen resting their branches while they “sleep.” New Scientist

Ephrat Livni: heart of barkness. Japanese “forest medicine” is the art of using nature to heal yourself, wherever you are. Quartz

Bored Panda shares Grace Gogarty’s hilarious guide to dog breeds.

Be well until the weekend.

thoughtythursday2016

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 24-30, 2016

And here we are in August . . . where has the year gone (so far)?

Jim C. Hines hosts a couple of special guests for this post on policing in problematic times.

Onto the good news . . .

Sudbury will get a new rooftop mural for this year’s Up Here Festival. CBC

Jennifer Wolkin recommends mindful eating for a healthier brain-gut connection. Mindful.

The discovery of the heart. Paul Kennedy’s Ideas, on CBC.

The Scottish Refugee Council: Courage.

 

Parmigiani Fleurier restores a 200 year old double barrel pistol and its animated songbird.

 

Nicole Prause: what women (don’t)  need. Nova’s secret life of scientists and engineers.

 

Bored Panda presents pictures of modern women wearing traditional Ukrainian crowns.

The Vintage News reports on crinolinemania, the dangerous Victorian fashion garment that killed nearly 3,000 women (!)

April Holloway reports: DNA testing on the 2,000 year old Paracas skulls may change anthropology. Ancient Origins.

It turns out you only need one hour of moderate activity to make up for a day’s sitting. Exactly what I didn’t need to hear (Mellie = sluggie). Jennifer Ouelette for Gizmodo.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey all use the five hour rule. Inc.

Dying is hard. Death Doulas want to help make it easier. Ellen McCarthy for The Washington Post.

Rosetta’s final resting place has been chosen. Phil Plait for Slate. Later in the week: A white dwarf zaps its red dwarf companion with a death ray.

Kevin Kelly wonders if we’re heading toward a Minority Report style future. Tech Insider.

Monarch butterfly population triples over last year. Terry Turner for Good News Network.

When a crow dies, other crows investigate. Katherine Ellen Foley for Quartz.

Watch the Chincoteague ponies complete their 91st annual swim. Jason Daley for the Smithsonian Magazine.

Humpback whales protect other sea animals from killer whale attacks, but no one knows why. IFLS.

Tony Wu captures amazing sperm whale rituals. bioGraphic

Happy Friday!

See you Saturday for July’s next chapter update 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 22-28, 2016

Thoughty Thursday is weird and wonderful this week. Well . . . weird, anyway.

On refugees: a history of the ‘other’ in Sudbury. Nilgiri Pearson for Sudbury.com

This was one of the sad bits of new to come out in Canada this week: Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The Globe and Mail.

Here’s the sensationalist article: bodies of strange creatures found in the basement of old London home. Design you trust. And now, the real story: the truth behind the viral story of mysterious skeletons in London basement. The Earth Child.

Complain all you want, but your busy schedule may be helping your brain. Angus Chen for NPR.

Angela Hanscom wonders why can’t children stay still in the classroom? It turns out that movement is critical to attention and learning. The Washington Post.

How to be happy: lessons from an Amazonian tribe. Rick Warren for Medium.

A psychologist identifies three elements that determine happiness. Diane Koopman for LifeHack.

Finding 16 cents on the sidewalk helped one person recognize something important about happiness. The Business Insider.

The more I learn about this man, the more I love him. Albert Einstein: racism is a disease of white people. Open Culture looks at his little-known fight for civil rights.

The #HeForShe Media Summit (it’s an hour and a half long) featuring Patricia Arquette and Joss Whedon. UN Women.

 

Maisha Z. Johnson offers a black feminist’s guide to the racist shit too many white feminists say. Everyday Feminism.

Amanda Vickery says it’s time to bring female artists out of storage. The Guardian.

This is too cool. This Finnish university gives its doctoral graduates a funky top hat and sword. This is so Hogwarts, I have the desire to get my PhD! Oh. Tuition. Dissertation. But top hat and sword!

Jupiter gets his by visible asteroid impacts six times a year. Phil Plait for Slate.

Ed Yong reports a shocking find in a Neanderthal cave in France. The Atlantic.

The gruesome history of eating corpses as medicine. Maria Dolan for The Smithsonian.

Coming up: The next chapter will be coming out this weekend. I might have one more DIYMFA QotW, too! Oh, the writerly life 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

WWC 2014, Day 2: YA and the tough stuff

Panellists: Kimberly Gould, David Laderoute, Aviva Bel’Harold, Michell Plested

Kimberly GouldDavid LaderouteAviva Bel'Harold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michell PlestedQ: What language do you use?

DL: Keep your audience in mind.

MP: Look at Harry Potter. The Dursleys made him live under the stairs. That’s abuse, but it was painted realistically.

DL: Neil Gaiman thought of using homeless characters in Neverwhere, but reconsidered.

MP: Whatever you choose to portray, it can’t be gratuitous. The character and the character’s circumstances have to be essential to the story.

Q: Is there a difference between the Canadian and American YA market? I was at a Kelley Armstrong session and she said that the only thing you don’t include is boring.

AB: I don’t notice a difference myself.

DL: Some publishers may ask you to eliminate the profanity in either country. That’s okay, you’re saving words. I know kids swear, but we write dialogue that simulates reality. Real world dialogue would sound horrible.

Q: Don’t readers need to see themselves on the page, though?

MP: Yes, but a book that ends hopelessly is dissatisfying.

AB: Most teens want hope.

MP: No one wants to end up homeless, addicted, or any of the other hard things we write about. They want to know there’s a way out.

Q: Beyond a sense of belonging, do you offer solutions in your novels?

AB: Don’t set out to write a novel with a message. It can come off heavy-handed.

KG: Present options in your novel, not right and wrong.

DL: Solutions are facile. Even young readers see through that.

MP: If you offer a solution, it shouldn’t be easy. If your character is smart and capable, they’ll keep trying. The struggle is the thing.

Q: Horrible things are still happening in the world. Should we show people responding?

MP: The character may be too close to the situation to understand it, but the reader should be able to pick up on it (dramatic irony).

KG: Perspective or point of view (POV) is basic storytelling. Be honest to your story. Make it true.

DL: You can write about difficult situations. There are two books, It’s kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher that treat teen suicide respectfully. What about the topics of child slavery, child soldiers, or gangs? These are issues that should be addressed.

MP: It’s not writing the story that’s difficult, but resolving myself to writing it. The Boy Scouts are a recruiting ground for child soldiers, but how do you write about that? It’s an inherently hopeless situation.

AB: Abuse victims have similar “unseen” problems. I couldn’t address them myself. I don’t have the experience or context to do it justice.

MP: It comes down to passion. If you’re passionate about something, then write it. Don’t write it because it’s a “cool” or “hot button” topic.

Q: There are books that address difficult issues out there. Deborah Ellis writes about the third world in her books and Sharon McKay tackles child soldiers.

AB: How do we bring these subjects to our readers with sensitivity?

MP: In one of my books, I address bullying. One of the characters is a foster child and the protagonist doesn’t understand. The story is about coming to that understanding and learning compassion.

AB: I think one of the problems is that we can write great books, but kids are reading less. We have to get them back and get them reading.

DL: Can we kill characters in YA?

AB: It’s life. We should not shy away from it.

KG: You have to be careful, though. Kill the right character for the right reason. Think of The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

AB: There could be a backlash. Consider Veronica Roth and the Divergent Series.

DL: Ultimately, it has to have meaning. It has to serve the story.


 

Next week: Querying your YA novel.

See you on Tipsday! Now, I’m off to NaNo-land 🙂