Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 7-13, 2016

Canadian Olympic news:

I’ve shared articles to Facebook that later turned out to be erroneous. I’ve curated some of them here with their debunking articles appended. As a public service, I’m sharing the Snopes’ guide to fake news sites and hoax purveyors. You’re welcome.

80,000 Hours explores the qualities that make a job a fulfilling career. High income isn’t the main consideration. Follow the links at the bottom of each part through to part six and map out your career path (aimed at 20-somethings, but everyone can assess, or reassess, their careers using their quizzes and tools).

Sudbury writer Laura Stradiotto shares a personal story that every woman needs to read: I was happily married with kids and I made the decision to have an abortion. Chatelaine

Eckhart Tolle: You’re not your Facebook ego.

 

Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half is amazeballs awesomesauce. Read about her adventures in depression. It doesn’t end on a happy note, but there’s more to read on her site, and in her book. For my money, there’s no one who describes what it’s like to have depression better.

Anna Lovind muses on what we are called to do when our hearts are breaking. She also writes about how people use the excuse of not having enough time to skimp on self care: that’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.

Kimmy Dee reports on five scientific reasons our idea of happiness is wrong for Cracked.

Brother Devid Steindle-Rast recommends five small gestures of gratitude that counteract violence. Uplift

Jennifer Wolkin shares more about the brain-gut connection. Mindful

Last week, I shared an article about how scientists have discovered a new kind of light. This week, it’s a new kind of fire that may be useful in cleaning up oil spills. Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo.

A new trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is making the solar system look a whole lot weirder. Shannon Hall for New Scientist.

Kivi Park will become Sudbury’s largest outdoor recreation space. South Side Story

Archived photos of Sudbury will change the way people see our city. Up Here

And here’s the mural Ella and Pitr were commissioned to create for the Up Here festival. CBC

In honour of International Left-Hand Day, BrainPickings reviews David Wolman’s book A Left-Hand Turn Around the World.

The theory of how North America was populated is wrong. Emily Chung for the CBC.

Paulette Steeves, an Indigenous anthropologist, is challenging the origin story of First Nations peoples. Denise Ryan, The Vancouver Sun.

Alan Yuhas reports on a recently uncovered Mayan tomb that sheds light on the “Snake Dynasty.” The Guardian

John Vidal examines how millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life. The Guardian

Okay, tourists. Stop stacking rocks at Hanakapiai beach. It’s not pono (right). Christine Hitt, Hawai’i Magazine

Maddie Stone reports on the Greenland shark, which may hold the cure to aging. Gizmodo

The White Wolf Pack reports on a couple of heroic beavers from Ogden, Utah, who stopped a fuel spill with their dam, but had to be taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation as a result.

A cockatoo freaks out a bunch of cats by meowing at them. Daily Kaos

That should get your mental corn a-poppin’.

With any luck, I’ve tracked Mary Robinette Kowal down and delivered the decoded phrase 🙂 So looking forward to meeting her (among others) at WorldCon.

See you on the other side (that’s the 27th)!

Thoughty Thursday

Advertisements

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 19-25, 2016

Yes, I caught up on my YouTube viewing 😉 So, it’s another visual learning week.

Andrew J. Hawkins looks at the hyperloop pods competing in Elon Musk’s big race, later this year. The Verge.

Marissa Gertz presents astronaut, Tim Peake’s amazing photos from his time in space. TIME.

Does Pluto harbour an ocean under all that ice? Phil Plait for Slate. And later in the week, Hubble shows us the colours of the night.

Add This shares Dieter Ram’s ten principles of good design.

You see crisis after crisis. This is what we see. Attawapiskat youth create video. CBC.

Wab Kinew got on his soap box: five aboriginal stereotypes.

 

Before European Christians forced gender roles, Native Americans acknowledged five genders. Pearson McKinney for the Bipartisan Report.

I respond to Orlando from a Canadian perspective on my friend, Mel Walsh Jones’s blog, Mel’s Madness.

Vi Hart: Feeling sad about tragedy.

 

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep? Ted Talk.

 

Lena Dunham shares her conversation with Sheryl Sandberg. On navigating workplace culture, tackling personal issues, and (of course) leaning in. Esquire.

Women having a terrible time at parties in western art history. The Toast. On a sad note, I just heard that The Toast is . . . toast 😦

Adrienne Pieroth: she was done. Elephant Journal.

Eight amazing aquatic animals. ASAP Thought.

 

Science vs. art. ASAP Thought.

 

Tom Vanderbilt shares the secret of taste: why we like what we like. The Guardian.

How did the entire town of Ashley, Kansas, simply disappear? Gregory Burkhart for Blumhouse.com

The fun side of Sudbury, my city 🙂

 

Musical Tesla coils featuring Physics Girl. It’s Okay to be smart.

 

Northern Lights Festival Boreal announces that Steven Page will be the final headliner of this year’s event.

Also appearing at NLFB: Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy – here they are with The One.

 

And that was Thoughty Thursday.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day to all my friends, north and south of the border.

Happy weekend to all my other lovely friends out there 🙂

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 21-27, 2015

Sorry this is late, but I had–HAD–to watch the final episode of Sense8. OMIGODSOGOOD!

And now back to our regular programming 🙂

Now let’s get your big squishy grey thing into gear!

The rainbow hued news of the week: The US Supreme Court makes same sex marriage a right, nation-wide. The New York Times. Then, of course, the fall out started and conservatives and religious fundamentalists declared they’d leave the country . . . for Canada. <Facepalm> Um, Dudes. We’ve had the right to same sex marriage for years!

These two grade eight students have been campaigning for consent in the Ontario sex-ed curriculum. Now they’ve created a documentary. And. It. Is. Awesome. Watch Allegedly. The Huffington Post.

Related: The next time someone says women aren’t victims of harassment, show them this. Tickld.

This short video is haunting and beautiful. i09.

Alan Watts on the acceptance of death.

The real boogeyman: serial killer Albert Fish. Creepy. i09’s True Crime.

Can climate be hazardous to your mental health? Psychiatric Times.

Sitting down for too long may increase anxiety. Just another reason to get an adjustable or standing desk. Discovery News.

First Nations lawyer will wear traditional clothing when she’s called to the Ontario bar. The Huffington Post.

At last! Vancouver company creates compostable G-Cups for Keurig Brewers. The Huffington Post.

The best weather photos of the year, collected for you by i09.

Canadians tweet amazing pictures of the Northern Lights. The Huffington Post.

Peter Ray Allison wonders if we will ever build ring worlds. BBC.

Sudbury’s regreening efforts were highlighted at an international conference. Listen to the interview on CBC.

IFLS shares an infographic that describes what happens to your brain when you don’t get enough sleep. See that one at the bottom right? It says BRAIN DAMAGE!

It’s okay to be smart looks into the reasons bees are dying:

A doggy retirement home! Love this idea. I heart dogs.com.

What Disney animals would look like if they were human. These are pretty good! Distractify.

Sophie Tweed-Simmons comes to Sudbury to film her first Canadian film. Seriously. They’re filming this right now. Great time of year to be doing it 😉 The Toronto Star.

A friend shared Johnny Cash’s cover of Trent Reznor’s Hurt and I remembered how much I love this version.

Now go be thoughty, and I’ll see you on Saturday for more Ad Astra reportage, the next chapter, and . . . a pupdate.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 26-May 2, 2015

Finally! Pakistan jails 10 of Malala Yousafzai’s attackers. BBC News.

Jon Krakauer: If you’re not a feminist, then you’re a problem. Penguin Random House’s Medium.

Teachers in the secondary school board are striking right now. Here’s a couple of posts that deal with the issues they’d like to see addressed.

11 ways Finland’s education system shows us that less is more. Filling my Map.

Schools should teach kids to think, not memorize. The documentary Most Likely to Succeed. Gotta watch this. The Huffington Post.

Ok. So, Sudbury was nominated the happiest city in Canada. Here’s 17 things you should know about us 😉 Buzzfeed. (Yes, we made Buzzfeed!)

Studies link social anxiety to empathic ability, high IQ, and sentinel intelligence. Spirit Science and Metaphysics.

The secret weapon that prevents anxiety and depression? It’s not what you think. The Creativity Post.
“When we attempt to divorce ourselves from pain, we end up feeling nothing pleasurable or meaningful at all. When we better understand, tolerate, and harness distressing thoughts and feelings, and become aware of the situations when they are helpful, we become empowered. We gain vitality. We become whole.”

Depression can alter your DNA (!) IFLS.

Veritasium: just knowing about learned helplessness can help you free yourself from its clutches. (Plus a bonus Sudbury tie-in with a mention of the Neutrino Observatory 🙂 )

LifeHack lists 20 signs that you’re succeeding, even if you don’t feel like you are.

Scientists turn pancreatic cancer cells into normal cells. Now . . . how close are they to releasing this treatment? IFLS.

Why are some people left-handed? (I like to say that we’re the only people in our right minds – LOL). IFLS.

Audi makes diesel fuel from water and carbon dioxide. IFLS.

i09 presents seven lesser-known but fascinating Victorian inventors.

A man knocked down a wall in his basement and discovered a hidden underground city. SlipTalk.

Here are the winners of the 2014 Smithsonian photography contest. Amazing and beautiful photos. The Atlantic.

And that’s your thoughty for the week.

Be well.

Thoughty Thursday

Caturday quickies: Springtime in Sudz

Just dropping y’all a quick note today. I’ll be doing my month-end writing roll-up (the next chapter) tomorrow.

Usually, the pin cherry trees are in bloom for the Victoria Day long weekend (weekend before last), followed within a week by the lilacs. The tree blooming is, for me, the true sign of spring here in Northern Ontario.

This year, due to our long, cold, and snowy winter, the ground frost has been slow to leave (hence our flood issues). So everything was delayed , just a bit.

The pin cherries came in to bloom just this past week. This picture, on such a bright and sunny day, does not do them justice, but here they are …

pin cherry trees

And just below are the hostas, bleeding hearts, ferns, and scads of forget-me-nots.

The wild garden

Finally, by the house, the monster rhubarb is growing like mad. We’ve already had to cut off three “flowers.”

the monster rhubarb

Everything’s dusty, as you may be able to see, because of the road construction in the area. Can’t be helped.

This week has been wonderful weather.

Everybody up here is hoping for it to continue.

TTFN! Off to a bridal shower. ‘Tis that time of year 😉

Caturday Quickies

Caturday Quickies: The launch of Spooky Sudbury

Spooked authors :)

Spooked authors 🙂

Barnaby

Barnaby

What was I up to today?

Between 11 am and 1 pm, I went to Chapters to celebrate the launch of Mark Leslie and Jenny Jelen’s Spooky Sudbury: True tales of the eerie and unexplained, which just happens to feature a wee tale from yours truly as well as a number of my friends: Kim Fahner, Mat Del Papa, Charlie Smith, Rob Sacchetto, and a pile of other local contributors.

Upon my arrival, the gracious Mr. Leslie brought me my contributor’s copy and my Spooky

My Spooky Sudbury swag

My Spooky Sudbury swag

Sudbury Swag Bag.  I met Jenny, and hung out with Scott Overton, Kevin Closs, and a crowd of other people.  Really.  It was a crowd.

An hour into their three-hour stint at Chapters, Mark and Jenny were sold out.  Fans were heading down to Costco to buy copies and bring them back for Mark and Jenny to sign.

This afternoon, Mark and Jenny were at Coles in the New Sudbury Centre, and tomorrow morning, from 10 am to 12 pm, they will be at Costco.  This will be your last chance, Sudbury, get your copy of Spooky Sudbury before they’re all sold out and read the true tales of the unexplained through the month of October.

Getting interviewed-yes, the media was there too!

Mind you, you can always go online and order a copy.

Either way, it’s scary stuff, kids (in my best, Count Floyd voice)!

What writerly fun have you been up to this weekend?

Caturday Quickies: Brian Henry workshop Sept 22, 2013

Last Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, I attended a Brian Henry workshop here in Sudbury.  The Brian HenrySudbury Writers’ Guild brought him up for a visit.  This will have been my fifth of Brian’s workshops, I’m thinking?

I used to attend the workshops he delivered in North Bay, take the drive over in the morning with my mom, drop her off at the mall for a day of shopping, and pick her up at the end of the workshop.

Brian Henry is an experienced editor who now teaches at Ryerson University.  He also conducts workshops on a regular basis across southern Ontario.

If you don’t know about it, you should really visit Quick Brown Fox, Brian’s blog.  He blogs about agents and editors and publishing opportunities for Canadian writers (here and in the States).  Sign up for his newsletter.  It’s full of great information.

Brian has also been instrumental in developing the talent of some well-known authors – anyone heard of this woman named Kelly Armstrong?

This workshop was about plotting short fiction and novels, the differences, and markets.  If you have access to one of Brian’s workshops in your area, I would recommend attending.

As a fellow member of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild says, you have to be open to learning about your craft, even if you’ve already been published.  It’s a lifetime commitment.

Oh yeah, he set us an assignment to write a short story (preferably one of the ones we worked on in the workshop and submit it to CommuterLit.com.  We were supposed to do it before the week was out.  I don’t have much time to get cracking on my submission 🙂

Have you attended any workshops recently where you learned something new about your art or craft?  Maybe it reminded you of something you already knew, but temporarily forgot?  Please share 🙂

Review of Scott Overton’s Dead Air

This review is considerably overdue.  My apologies, Scott.

The Amazon blurb:

dead airWhen radio morning host Lee Garrett finds a death threat on his control console, he shrugs it off as a prank—until a series of minor harassments turns into a set of undeniable attempts on his life. The suspects are many—he’s made enemies—and the police are strangely uncooperative. The radio career he loved has turned sour, leaving behind a dwindling audience and the wreckage of his marriage. Then the friendship of a newly blind boy and the boy’s attentive (and attractive) teacher offer unexpected hope. Maybe he can make a fresh start. Maybe he can admit that he’s the source of a lot of his own problems. But when the deadliest assault yet claims an innocent victim, Garrett knows he has no choice—he has to find his persecutors and force a confrontation. The extraordinary outcome will test the limits of an ordinary man. In Dead Air career broadcaster Scott Overton creates the disturbing scenario of an ordinary man whose life is threatened by an unknown enemy.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t in love with the character of Lee Garrett. In fact, I didn’t like him much at all, but that’s exactly the way it had to be for Dead Air to be a successful thriller.

Lee Garrett has made enemies over the years, enough to fill a room with the usual suspects, and his wife left him, taking their two children.  She’s making a new life for herself while Garrett’s disillusioned and jaded and not a bit depressed.  He’s a bit of a schmuck, steeped in a good dose of self-sorrow.  Not an attractive package.

Garrett has his redeeming qualities, though.  The reasons he’s made all those enemies is because he generally tried to do the right thing and exposed their varied douchebaggery in the process.  He’s still in love with his wife, and the friends he has are the dependable kind that come through when the going gets tough.

Then he makes friends with Paul, a boy who recently lost his sight, and Candace, his CNIB counsellor.  As the relationship develops, Garrett learns a lot about himself, and how he is the author of his own misery.

He also makes a staunch ally by virtue of an act of kindness.  He even wins over the detective assigned to his case despite having been black-listed for ruining another officer’s career.

By the time Garrett exposes that act that haunts his life and underpins many of his poor decisions, I realized I liked Garrett, despite his not inconsiderable flaws.  I could even think of him as Lee 🙂

Dead Air is a novel about hard-won redemption and a fascinating character study as well as being a thriller with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the end.

My rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

About the Author:Scott Overton colour high res

Scott Overton hosts a radio morning show on Rewind 103.9 in Sudbury, Ontario. As a broadcaster for more than thirty years (twenty-four of them as a morning man), he knows the world he writes about in Dead Air.

To most readers, morning radio is as much a part of their breakfast routine as a hot cup of coffee. On the air, Scott has become a friend to thousands as he entertains and informs. He brings those same instincts to his writing, with clear prose and honest feelings.

His short fiction has been published in On Spec, Neo-opsis, and anthologies such as Tesseracts Sixteen, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic, and In Poe’s Shadow. He’s also a regular contributor of theatre reviews for a local newspaper.

His other passions include scuba diving and a couple of classic cars.

Wordstock Sudbury

Today, I was pleased and privileged to be a part of Wordstock Sudbury, the first of what is hoped to be a biannual literary event.  At the Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC), Wordstock took over the main stage, lounge, and lobby areas for readings, workshops, and the essential selling of books.

If you would like to have a look at the full schedule, it is available on the site linked above.

I attended primarily to support my friend, poet Kim Fahner, and my fellow members of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild (SWG).  I also read the recently revamped opening of my novel.

Kim read with former Sudbury Poet Laureate Roger Nash, and Charlie Smith from Massey, all of them published by Your Scrivener Press (YSP).  The theme of their reading was Home and Away.  Though all three have very distinctive voices, the reading went well and had a seamless feel.  It’s always a pleasure to see such consummate professionals perform their works.

KimFahnerOf course, Kim was fabulous 🙂  She has a way of addressing the audience, slightly self-deprecating yet hilarious, that establishes a relationship.  We feel instantly at home with her, and completely comfortable as she shares pieces of her life in verse.

After a brief break, Sudbury Arts Council (SAC) president, Vicky Gilhula took the stage and presented the youth writing contest winners with their prizes.  One young man (forgive me, but I forget his name) came prepared to read and his story, based on his grandfather’s life in Sudbury and his career in the mining industry, was spectacular.  Amazing: a thirteen year old young man had the confidence and presence to bring us to tears.

He was that good.

Next, the SWG took over the auditorium, beginning with Rosanna Batigelli, who read a RosannaBatigellicouple of chapters from her historical novel, La Brigantessa.  The novel’s protagonist takes to a life of a brigand when she is assaulted and forced to leave her home by a tyrannical general.  Rosanna is in the process of revising her novel for publication.

EmilyDeangelisEmily Deangelis read from her middle grade/young adult novel about a young girl who loses her father in a car accident and subsequently experiences supernatural visitations when she is left with her great-aunt in Manitoulin Island’s Meldrum Bay.

Irene Golas read a selection of her poetry and flash fiction.IreneGolas

Tom Leduc read a number of his poems centering on his experience of Sudbury and its mining industry.

MargoLittleMargo Little from Manitoulin Island read some of her works published through projects of the Manitoulin Writers’ Circle including one on the War of 1812 and how the soldiers of the time became enamoured of their muskets, called Brown Betties.

Janice Leuschen, a member of both the SWG and of the JaniceLeuschenProfessional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) read one of her stories, and Heather Campbell, also a member of PWAC, finished off the session with a discussion of creative non-fiction.

I read just after Margo and just before Janice.  I don’t have any pictures and I’ll reach out to my fellow guildies to share any pictures they may have of me at the event.  It would be a lovely remembrance of the day.  Sincere thanks in advance 🙂

As I mentioned, I read the revised opening of Initiate of Stone; it was my first public presentation and I received some excellent feedback from Kim and Emily.  The technical director of the STC also found me in the lobby and complimented me on my reading.

I have often been told that I have a great voice.  It’s one of the things that helps me both as a corporate trainer and as a writer, a learned skill from my days as a poet, honed by years of practise.  I tend to a literary style, even though I write genre, and the voice creates an appropriately dreamy backdrop for my words.

After the SWG session was over, playwright Matthew Heiti took the stage to host a series of readings from plays in which one friend, Paulette Dahl, was reading from a play by another, mutual friend, Louise Visneskie.

The English Arts Society of Laurentian University also hosted a reading, Heather Campbell hosted a workshop on the creative process, and Roger Nash and Daniel Aubin, Sudbury’s current Poet Laureate read their poetry.

And all of that wasn’t counting the Friday night cabaret, the children’s and young adult programming on the patio, or any of the other workshops and events that I couldn’t attend.

Though attendance was modest, I think that it was a good start.  The hope of the organizers is to grow Wordstock into a full literary festival at a larger venue, or at several venues throughout the city.  I wish them the best and applaud them for this year’s event.

I had a blast 🙂