Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 27-July 3, 2021

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

Ray Sanchez and Eric Levinson report on the sentencing of Derek Chauvin. Precedent-setting though it was, is 22.5 years enough? CNN

Adultification, explained (or, are Black girls less innocent?). Kadija Mbowe

Ex-president Jacob Zuma sentenced by South Africa’s top court. Andrew Harding supplies analysis. BBC

Jacqui Germain says, climate justice is a framework for understanding the world. Teen Vogue

The dark history of the Chinese Exclusion Act – Robert Chang TED-Ed

Kimmy Yam: viral images show people of colour as perpetrators of anti-Asian violence. That misses the big picture. NBC News

Amartya Sen: what British rule really did for India. The Guardian

Alex Migdal: 182 more unmarked graves discovered near Cranbrook, B.C. CBC

Daniella Zalcman: pictured with their past, survivors of Canada’s “cultural genocide” speak out. National Geographic

B.C. records 486 sudden deaths, almost triple the usual number, during heat wave. CBC

Rhianna Schmunk: ‘Most homes’ in Lytton, B.C., destroyed by catastrophic fire, minister says. CBC

Richard Grant answers the question, what did Stonehenge sound like? The Smithsonian Magazine

Joe offers a brief (and scientific) history of butts. ‘Cause I thought it appropriate to “end” with humour. Sorry, not sorry. It’s okay to be smart

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you took away 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.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 13-19, 2021

Happy Friday eve! Guess what time it is? Time to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Elizabeth Alexander: this is how we can envision Black freedom. National Geographic

Jay Peters announces that Darnella Frazier, who documented George Floyd’s murder, receives Pulitzer citation. The Verge

Alana Wise reports that the US Senate unanimously approves bill to make Juneteenth a public holiday. NPR

Samantha Allen and Nico Lang: five years later, Pulse survivors reflect on its legacy. Them

Emily McCullar explains how the leaders of the Texas revolution fought to preserve slavery. Texas Monthly

Hugh Ryan shares the incredible true adventure of five gay activists in search of the Black Panther Party. Harper’s Bazaar

Nicole Chung is tired of trying to educate white people about anti-Asian racism. Time

The Public Domain Review presents a collection of images of the Zodiac Man.

Caroline Williamson: Zai Divecha turns plain white paper into geometric sculptures. Design/Milk

Matt Simon: how do you make a robot walk on Mars? It’s a steep challenge. Wired

NASA and Boeing progress toward July launch of second Starliner flight test. NASA

Catching solar wind. Is it a truly endless energy source? SciShow Space

Susannah Cullinane and Hollie Silverman report that Wasabi the Pekinese wins Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. CNN

Sabrina Imbler: these brittle stars have thousands of “pig snouts” on each arm. The New York Times

A brief history of toilets (cause I’m a fan of toilet humour). Francis de los Reyes. TED-Ed

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you took away something to support a future 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, May 23-29, 2021

Thoughty Thursday has arrived to get your mental corn popping! Enjoy 🙂

On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, some consideration of the progress that’s been made since. Baby steps, yes. But steps, nonetheless.

Farnoush Amiri, Colleen Slevin, and Camille Fassett report that the Floyd killing prompts some states to limit or ban choke holds. Associated Press

Fadel Allassan: “Defund the Police” lives on as a local movement. Axios

Then again … 967 people have been shot and killed by police in the last year. The Washington Post

Two officers charged with Manuel Ellis’ murder. USA Today

Lisa Theodore-Vachon says, interracial couple representation in pop culture isn’t as progressive as we think. The Undefeated

Justin Dunnavant, Delande Justinvil, and Chip Colwell want to craft an African American graves protection and repatriation act. Nature

Grace Hauck: Jewish groups sound the alarm on the rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes amid tensions between Israel and Hamas. USA Today

The overlap of autoimmune disorders and mental health conditions. SciShow Psych

Can you be awake and asleep at the same time? Masako Tamaki. Ted-ed

Matt Egan and Alexis Benveniste report that activist investor ousts at least two ExxonMobil directors in historic win for pro-climate campaign. CNN

Related: Dutch court rules oil giant Shell must cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 in landmark case. Chloe Taylor for NBC.

Rupert Neate reports that airships for city hops could cut flying’s CO2 emissions by 90%. The Guardian

Matthew Wills says that solar housing is actually kind of retro! JSTOR Daily

Christi Carras announces that a new rainbow set of Lego arrives just in time for Pride Month (everything is awesome!). The Los Angeles Times

The Curiosity rover captures shining clouds on Mars. “Viewed just after sunset, their ice crystals catch the fading light, causing them to appear to glow against the darkening sky.” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chelea Gohd wants to teach you (yes, it says your kids, but why exclude adults?) about the Super Flower Blood Moon. And, of course, it was overcast here … Space.com

Jess Romeo introduces us to Chien-Shiung Wu, the first lady of physics. JSTOR Daily

5 beautifully complex ways to fly. SciShow

Graeme Green: “huge surprise” as giant river otter feared extinct in Argentina appears. The Guardian

Charlie Campbell says that covid-19 has slashed Asia’s appetite for wild animals. Time

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

This weekend, I should be putting together my next chapter update for May 2021. Until then, be well and stay safe, my writerly friends!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 17-23, 2021

I’ve gathered lots of informal writerly learnings, this week. Stock up and enjoy!

Janice Hardy provides a lifeline for when writing is no longer fun. Then, Rochelle Melander wants you to dump old myths and discover a new solution to procrastination. Later in the week, Janice is back with five steps to your next novel idea. Fiction University

Jill Bearup investigates the feasibility of fighting in a corset.

Jan O’Hara shares some writing self-care for when the world is afire. Then, Dave King wants you to focus! Therese Walsh describes Jan 20, 2021 as a semi-colon moment. Liz Michalski helps you root down and rise up. Writer Unboxed

Shaelin helps you structure a novel with Freytag’s Pyramid. Reedsy

And then, she covers the Fichtean Curve. Reedsy

Angela Ackerman: authors aren’t your competition. Then, Barbara Linn Probst considers ways of seeing, ways of writing. Writers in the Storm

K.M. Weila presents the three character arcs of the Karpman Drama Triangle. Helping Writers Become Authors

On her own channel, Shaelin Bishop offers 15 tips for writing better short stories. Shaelin Writes

Allison K. Williams explains how to restart your unfinished book. Jane Friedman

Elizabeth Spann Craig is returning to writing after a break.

Savitri and Satyavan: The legend of the princess who outwitted Death – Iseult Gillespie TED-Ed

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares seven ways deep POV creates emotional connections with readers. Writers Helping Writers

Jenn Walton helps your boost your creativity. Anita Ramirez suggests five ways to keep writing through a crisis. DIY MFA

The southern woman trope, explained. The Take

And … gaslighting: what does it meme? The Take

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five useless powers in popular stories. Mythcreants

David Silverberg: at Bakka-Phoenix, the beloved science fiction and fantasy bookstore, you can let your geek flag fly. The Toronto Star

Matt Galloway interviews Nalo Hopkinson on the ‘joyful’ responsibility of being a leading Black voice in sci-fi writing. CBC’s The Current

Jeffrey Brown and Anne Azzi Davenport: poet tapped for inauguration to spread message of unity. PBS News Hour

And … Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem.

Thanks for spending some time with me. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 3-9, 2021

Welcome to tipsday, your chance to top up on informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy shares an easy fix for tighter point of view. Hint: nix those filter words! Fiction University

Greer Macallister offers the gift of critique. How to by way of how not to … Sarah Penner encourages you to rethink resolutions and habits as writers in 2021. Donald Maass: the real vs. the unreal. Nancy Johnson compiles this list of published authors sharing wisdom from their debut journeys. David Corbett: what now, storyteller? Writer Unboxed

The female assassin trope, explained. The Take

K.M. Weiland shares seven lessons learned in 2020. Helping Writers Become Authors

Karen DeBonis shares her writing goal for 2021: let go to love more (AKA, how I stopped worrying and learned to love editing). Janice Hardy offers a different approach to writing success this year (i.e. how dumping self-imposed deadlines can increase productivity). Julie Glover: how much of our real life shows up in our fiction? Writers in the Storm

Emily Zarka introduces us to the Kasogonagá: Sky Deity and Absolute Cutie. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Nathan Bransford explains how to set meaningful goals.

Colleen M. Story explains why writers should take more risks this year. Writers Helping Writers

Victoria R. Girmonde: worldview and the MG/YA genre. Story Grid

The wicked stepmother trope, explained. The Take

Sara Farmer interviews Elizabeth Little. Then, Gabriela Pereira wonders, where do we go from here? DIY MFA

Joe Bunting offers definitions and examples of the six shapes of stores. The Write Practice

Oren Ashkenazi analyzes five popular stories with conflicts that are too difficult. Mythcreants

Ron Friedman: rotating spacecraft and artificial gravity. Sci and Sci-fi

Clair Armitstead provides the 31-day literary diet for January 2021. Sure, we’re half-way through the month already, but who says you have to finish it all in January? Be a rebel. Start now and continue your literary snacking into February! The Guardian

Jesse Wente is reframing Indigenous stories in joy. CBC’s Ideas

Why should you read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”? – Yen Pham TED-Ed

Kritika Agrawal shares seven fascinating facts about Octavia Butler. Mental Floss

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 20-26, 2020

It’s the last tipsday of 2020! Quick, get your informal writerly learnings while they last!

Janice Hardy suggests you try this fun exercise to shake up your muse. Fiction University

How to write descriptively – Nalo Hopkinson. TED-ed

Ellen Buikema explains how she moved from pantser to plantser. Then, Kris Maze shares productivity hacks from bestselling writers. Writers in the Storm

Shaelin Bishop makes a craft video on writing experimental fiction: the unity of form and concept. Shaelin Writes

Kristen Lamb considers amazing grace: what do we do when we’re our own worst critic?

Princess Weekes: is Dune the most important scifi series ever? It’s Lit | PBS Storied

Jeanette the Writer reviews the words that shaped 2020. Jo Wnorowski shares five ways journaling improves your life.  DIY MFA

The Becky trope, explained. The Take

And, the sexy vampire trope, explained. The Take

Chris Winkle lists five ways to build your storytelling muscles. Then, Oren Ashkenazi explains how Interview with a Vampire shows the strengths and weaknesses of adaptation. Mythcreants

Emily Zarka considers the Pontianak, the vengeful, violent, vampiric ghost of southeast Asia. Monstrum | PBS Storied

Waubgeshig Rice: Indigenous identity and the responsibility of telling stories. Open Book

Thanks for visiting and I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

Until Thursday, be well and stay safe!

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 6-12, 2020

Welcome to another week. You’ve made it past Monday! Reward yourself with some informal writerly learnings.

Janice Hardy points out an easy way to create conflict in your novel. Then, she offers five ways to fix a stalled scene. Fiction University

Shaelin explains how to unstick your draft. Reedsy

Greer Macallister explains what’s new and what’s not about book launches now. Jim Dempsey tackles diversity in publishing. Then, Barbara Linn Probst says, you never know the difference your book could make … Kathryn Craft says, the art of the chapter break is retention and seduction. David Corbett: Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, and me.  Writer Unboxed

I wrote every day, and this is what I learned. Shaelin Writes

Jami Gold considers whether to avoid or embrace story tropes. Writers Helping Writers

On her own blog, Jami follows up and offers some additional examples: how to make the most of tropes.

The annoying millennial trope, explained. The Take

The sick girl trope, explained. The Take

E.J. Wenstom encourages you to make some author platform New Year’s resolutions. DIY MFA

Colleen M. Story explains how to inspire hope for a new year of writing. Later in the week, Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes answer seven questions for an espionage pro. Writers in the Storm

Jenna Moreci shares her top ten tips for writing your first draft.

Chris Winkle shows you how to choose scenes for your story. Mythcreants

What is a butt tuba and why are there so many of them in medieval illumination? Michelle Brown TED-Ed

Nduta Waweru recounts the rise and fall of Alexandre Dumas, the Black author who ruled European literature in the 1800s. Face 2 Face Africa

Thanks for visiting. I hope you took away something to support your current work in progress.

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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 4-10, 2020

Welcome to thoughty Thursday, the curation that pops your mental corn 🙂

BLM-related posts and pandemic-related posts separated out for your convenience. Educating yourself is the least you can do.

Mako Fitts Ward examines the power of the intersectional protest image. JSTOR Daily

Jennifer Schuessler: Mellon Foundation to spend $250 million to reimagine monuments. The New York Times

Maya King hopes the Democrats don’t lose the battle over voter suppression. Politico

Kim Gallon: the Black press and disinformation on Facebook. JSTOR Daily

What is the QAnon conspiracy theory? CBS News

Janice Gassam Asare cites five reasons the “pipeline problem” is a myth. 2018. Again, these aren’t new issues. Forbes

John Paul Tasker reports on Annamie Paul’s historic election as the first Black [+Jewish+woman] leader of the Green Party [or any Canadian political party, for that matter]. CBC


Maan Alhmidi: teachers are concerned for their health and the quality of education as they deal with the challenges of the pandemic. The Globe and Mail

Kalyn Belsha says that teaching in-person and virtually at the same time is an instructional nightmare. ChalkBeat

How do pandemics end? BBC

Becky Little explains “mask slackers” and “deadly” spit: the 1918 flu campaigns to shame people into following the new rules. History

Sara Chodosh: it’s never been more important to get your flu shot. Popular Science

Lydia Wheeler: covid “long-haulers” ask who pays when sickness just won’t end. Bloomberg Law


Simi lists 30 signs of soul exhaustion. Medical News

What causes panic attacks and how can you prevent them? Cindy J. Aaronson TED-Ed

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Madeline K. Sofia: the Nobels overwhelmingly go to white men—this year’s prize for medicine was no exception. NPR

Joel Achenbach reports that Andrea Ghez is among the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics for her work on black holes. The Washington Post

Dr. Becky delves into the work done to earn that Nobel.

Nell GreenfieldBoyce and Mark Katkov cover the Nobel Prize for Chemistry win for Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their genome editing research. NPR

And … the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize goes to the World Food Program. Adela Suliman for NBC News.

Olivia Rosane shares a video of a meteoroid bouncing off Earth’s atmosphere. EcoWatch

Rory Sullivan and Sharon Braithwaite report that scientists have found intact brain cells in a man killed in Vesuvius eruption nearly 2,000 years ago. CNN

These 100-million-year-old microbes are still alive. (I think I shared an article on this a few weeks ago …) SciShow

Hedy Phillips: yep, just like humans, dogs can give blood. More than half my life ago, I worked in an emergency veterinarian clinic. They kept two blood donor cats on site and assessed surrendered or stray dogs (animal control was the next building over) for blood donor suitability. SugarPop

Thank you for visiting. 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!

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!