Thoughty Thursday: Popping your mental corn, Sept 12-18, 2021

Welcome to fall! It’s thoughty Thursday, your opportunity to get your mental corn popping in time for the weekend!

Jelani Cobb: the man behind critical race theory. The New Yorker

Matt Lavietes reports that the Department of Justice limits use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Axios

Patty Nieberg: police in Elijah McClain’s hometown racially biased, officials say. Associated Press

Alysia Harris: “We have to evaluate the motives of health care institutions.” Scalawag

Curtis Bunn: digital records from 19th century give Black families a glimpse of their ancestry. NBC News

Ashawnta Jackson explains how Eyes on the Prize, one of the most influential historical documentaries of all time, almost didn’t get made. JSTOR Daily

Sagamok Anishnawbek, Mississauga, and Serpent River First Nations to host ceremony before searching residential school site. CBC

Kelly Hayes reports that Line 3 resisters light the way in a battle for life on Earth. TruthOut

Lindsey Bark reports that Lawrence Panther teaches first Cherokee language class at University of Arkansas. Cherokee Phoenix

Leila Fadel: for many American Muslims, the legacy of 9/11 is the fight for civil rights. NPR

1,000 Dreams shares the stories of refugees. Compelling.

Livia Gershon: evading abortion bans with mutual aid. JSTOR Daily

Brian Naylor: Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols blast the FBI’s mishandling of their allegations about Larry Nassar. NPR

Joe Friessen and Molly Hayes: Western University reels as student dies from assault; social media sparks investigation into sexual violence. The Globe and Mail

Avis Favaro, Elizabeth St. Philip, and Alexandra Mae Jones take us inside an Ontario ICU where all the covid-19 patients are largely young, and all unvaccinated. CTV News

Guy Kawasaki interviews Juliet Funt (daughter of Alan, of Candid Camera fame) about how you can really be productive at work (spoiler: it’s not do more with less). The Remarkable People Podcast

The entire SpaceX Inspiration4 launch. The exciting part is in the last 30 minutes or so, but if you have the time, the commentary throughout is fascinating. NASA Spaceflight

Frank Jacobs: did dark magic conjure up the British Empire? Big Think

Alice Albina reviews history from Boudicca to modern Britain: the dream of island utopias ruled by women. The Guardian

Olivia Box explains how wind energy could affect marine ecosystems. JSTOR Daily

Jessica Steward shares Albert Dros’ enchanting photos of Madeira’s ancient Fanal Forest filled with 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

The mystery of Earth’s disappearing giants. In our nature | It’s okay to be smart

Thank you for visiting, and I 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, Aug 1-7, 2021

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

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: did last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests change anything? The New Yorker

Matt Stroud relates how an automated policing program got one Black man shot—twice. Shades of Minority Report? Not quite, but close. The Verge

Anthony Conwright: today, it’s critical race theory; 200 years ago, it was abolitionist literature. Mother Jones

He lasting legacy of racist pseudosciences. Kadija Mbowe

Bertrand Cooper unpacks the issues around who actually gets to create Black pop culture? Current Affairs

The magical minority trope is still a problem. The Take

Premilla Nadasen explains how capitalism created the care economy. The Nation

Livia Gershon exposes life in Indigenous boarding schools (in the US). JSTOR Daily

Ben Westcott and Hilary Whiteman: Australia to establish $280 million dollar reparations fund for “stolen generation.” CNN

Sarah N. Lynch: FBI agent used provocative photos of office staff in sex-trafficking sting. Reuters

Ed Simon: return to pirate Island. “The history of piracy illustrates a surprising connection to democratic Utopian radicalism—and, of course, stolen treasure.” JSTOR Daily

Caroline Wazer considers healing and memory (and Mnemosyne) in ancient Greece. JSTOR Daily

Charlie Jane Anders: dear James Webb Space Telescope. How you will show us the future. National Geographic

Brian Heater shows us how Cassie the bipedal robot runs a 5k. TechCrunch

Eric Brain reports that Honda has developed an in-show navigation system for the visually impaired. Next feat: ensuring that all accessibility tech is, in fact, accessible to everyone who needs it. HypeBeast

Amanda Schupak: is working from home better for the environment? Not necessarily. The Guardian

Olivia Box wonders, could more urban trees mitigate runoff and flooding? JSTOR Daily

Helena Horton: Norfolk’s rediscovered “ghost ponds” offer up trove of long-lost plants. The Guardian

The real circle of life – In our nature. It’s okay to be smart

Giant panda in French zoo gives birth to “lively” twin girls. Associated Press

Thank you for visiting and I 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, May 9-15, 2021

‘Tis time, once again, to get your mental corn popping!

Tsione Wolde-Michael: we should think differently about racist monuments. Hyperallergic

Britni de la Cretaz reports that at least four transgender women of color were killed within ten days. Them

Mary Louise Kelly, Karen Zamora, and Amy Isackson want us to meet America’s newest chess master, 10-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi. NPR

Joal Stein: spatial abolition and disability justice. Public Books

Nidal Al-mughrabi and Jeffery Heller: Jerusalem violence leads to rockets, air strikes. Reuters

Why do we have bright ideas in the shower? SciShow Psych

Pete Evans: Greyhound Canada shutting down all bus service permanently. CBC

Perseverance’s robotic arm begins to conduct science. NASA

Adam Mann wonders, is Mars ours? The New Yorker

Joanna Partridge reports that electric cars will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles by 2027. The Guardian

Patrick Whittle: Vineyard Wind project key to clean energy, is approved. Associated Press

Rebecca Mead reveals the mysterious origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant. The New Yorker

Oliver Milman reports that a forest the size of France regrown worldwide over 20 years. The Guardian

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!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 25-May 1, 2021

Let’s get your mental corn popping, shall we?

Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst: 1 verdict, and then 6 police killings across America in 24 hours. Associated Press

Ibram X. Kendi: compliance will not save me. The Atlantic

Judas and the Black Messiah, Explained – Self-Preservation Won’t Save You. The Take

Chi Luu: how being polite with the police can backfire. JSTOR Daily

Mimi Fox Melton and Karla Monterosso: if you want a truly equitable workplace, get over your fear of conflict. Fast Company

Michael Luo relates the forgotten history of the purging of Chinese from America. The New Yorker

Ryan Lenora Brown: Séverine Autesserre has seen peacekeeping fail. Here’s her advice on getting it right. Christian Science Monitor

I Kissed a Girl: the messy legacy of a queerbait hit. Melina Pendulum

Matthew Wills: eighteenth-century spies in the European silk industry. JSTOR Daily

Rachael Stephen shares some tools for soothing and survival.

Oliver Burkeman explores the idea of the clockwork universe: is free will an illusion? The Guardian

Gordon Johnston highlights the pink supermoon April 26 and celestial events over the next month. NASA Solar System Exploration

April’s “pink” supermoon around the world—in pictures. The Guardian

Calla Cofield: astronomers release new all-sky map of the Milky Way. NASA

Nina Munteanu wants you to watch Borealis.

Kate Kellaway interviews tree whisperer, Suzanne Simard: “They get along, they listen—they’re attuned.” The Guardian

Guy Kawasaki has a conversation about conservation with Dr. Jane Goodall. Remarkable People Podcast

Sophia Quaglia reports that scientists find a way to remove polluting micro-plastics with bacteria. The Guardian

Royce Kurmelov explains how solar power continues to shock the world. The Guardian

Communication while dreaming. SciShow Psych

Tessa Vikander: beavers chew through a 4.5-inch-thick tube, disrupting power to 900 BC customers. CTV

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and I 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, March 7-13, 2021

The season rolls over on Saturday. Welcome spring by getting your mental corn popping.

Susan Ormiston: George Floyd murder trial tests how much—if anything—will change in the US. CBC News

Liz Navratil and Maya Rao report that Minneapolis to pay record $27 million to settle lawsuit with George Floyd’s family. Is this justice? How do you put a dollar amount on something like this? Star Tribune

Andy Mannix introduces us to Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence: blood relatives. Star Tribune

Kelly Murray and Alta Spells: Amanda Gorman, inaugural poet, tailed by security guard on her walk home. This is every Black woman’s life. CNN

Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonko to appear in court. Al Jazeera

WHO study finds that 1 in 3 women face physical or sexual violence. In the week of International Women’s Day, we still have a way to go. Associated Press

Laura Smith-Spark: Sarah Everard case prompts outpouring from women sharing stories of abuse and harassment on UK streets. CNN

Katherine Angel explains why we need to take bad sex more seriously. On the intersection of #metoo, feminism, and consent culture. The Guardian

Naomi Milthorpe and Eliza Murphy: sick party! The history of parties (real and fictional) spreading illness. JSTOR Daily

Benjamin Wallace-Wells wonders, who’s in charge of cancel culture? The New Yorker

Alison Campsie announces that the Pictish-era book that shares the first example of written Gaelic is coming home. The Scotsman

Sara Barnes introduces us to Nicolas Bruno and his hauntingly beautiful Somnia Tarot photographs. My Modern Met

The Golden Ratio: is it myth or math? It’s okay to be smart

Alastair Gee: is this the end of forests as we’ve known them? The Guardian

Related: Olivia Box shares good news for the lodgepole pine. JSTOR Daily

The truth about “green” grocery bags. SciShow

Seth Borenstein and Mayuko Ono: some sea slugs grow new bodies after decapitation. Associated Press

Natasha May announces that Wisdom the albatross, the world’s oldest known wild bird, has another chick at age 70. The Guardian

Jordan Mendoza reports that a rare yellow cardinal is spotted in Illinois backyard—a one-in-a-million chance. USA Today

Thank you for visiting. 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, Feb 21-27, 2021

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

Daniel Prude protest in Rochester ends, but organizers vow to return. Democrat & Chronicle

David K. Li reports that an independent probe accuses police and paramedics of wrongdoing in the death of Elijah McClain. NBC News

Marcus P. Nevius delves into the legacy of racial hatred behind the January 6 insurrection. JSTOR Daily

Malcolm X’s family demands his murder investigation be reopened. BBC

Erin Blakemore: Black women have been writing history for over a century. JSTOR Daily

Katelyn Burns: why police single out trans people for violence. Vox

Stella Chan and Leah Asmelash: Angelo Quinto dies after police kneel on his neck for five minutes. CNN

Meaghan Beatley introduces us to Frida Guerrera, the Mexican detective hunting the men who kill women. The Guardian

Andrea Hill and Ryan Kessler report that the lack of funding for piped water on Saskatchewan First Nations means some of reserves can’t drink from their taps. Global News

Andrea Warner: for decades, Buffy Sainte-Marie has had to navigate systemic barriers to cultivate her art. The Globe and Mail

Robert Reich: Texas freeze reveals chilling truth—that the rich use climate change to divide us. The Guardian

Jennifer Moss says, brain fog is a real thing. CBC

Vignesh Ramachandran: Stanford researchers identify four causes of “Zoom fatigue” and their simple fixes. Stanford News

Chi Luu considers the punk rock linguistics of cottagecore. JSTOR Daily

Percy returns a recording of the wind on Mars. SoundCloud

And here’s video of the landing and some of the first images courtesy of CBC.

Kim Fahner writes a love letter to Laurentian University. The Republic of Poetry

Artist “finger paints” masterpieces in the dust of dirty Moscow trucks. Return to Now

Helena Smith reports that a 20-million-year-old petrified tree is found intact in Lesbos. The Guardian

Molly Blackall: rare Amazonian cactus flowers for the first time in UK. The Guardian

Krista Langlois explains why scientists are starting to care about cultures that talk to whales. The Smithsonian Magazine

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

This weekend, I should be putting up my next chapter update.

Until then, 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, Jan 17-23, 2021

It’s been another eventful week. Time to take stock and get your mental corn popping.

I’m not going to share anything about the inauguration itself. Everyone either watched it live or after the fact, I’m sure. The first 100 days is the proof in the pudding. I’m hopeful, but 2021’s rocky start enforces a certain caution. America has been collectively traumatized over the last four years and, as Chuck Wendig points out, healing takes time, and healing is painful.

Using your voice is a political choice | Amanda Gorman TED

Alexander Smith reports that the world watches as Biden leads a humbled US struggling to contain its crises. Day one gets off to a good start. NBC News

Maegen Vazquez: Trump administration releases racist school curriculum report on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And then, on inauguration day, the 1776 report disappeared. CNN

Huw Jones and Estelle Shirbon report that London will remove statues linked to the slavery trade. Reuters

Ye Charlotte Ming: trapped in museums for centuries, Maori ancestors are coming home. Atlas Obscura

Marieke Walsh reports that as Pfizer covid-19 vaccine delays worsen, deliveries cut by 60%. And it’s not just Canada. The delays are affecting the US and some European countries, too. The Globe and Mail

Meanwhile, in Sudbury, where vaccines haven’t even been delivered yet, the health unit reports eight new confirmed cases of covid-19. On the large scale, it’s a drop in the bucket, but it just reflects that no where is safe, especially if people choose to travel and visit family in defiance of the stay-at-home order. Sudbury.com

Ashley Burke, who’s been following the story since the earliest allegations surfaced, gives us the scoop on the independent review into the claims of toxic workplace under Julie Payette. I am so disappointed that someone I respected could be capable of such abuse and mismanagement. CBC

Ian Austen: Canada’s Governor General resigns amid reports of a toxic workplace. The New York Times

Moonscapes. Dr. Noah Petro, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team, NASA Goddard

Astronomical records in trees. SciShow Space

Damian Carrington reveals that electric car batteries with five-minute charging times have been produced. The Guardian

Sneaky ways green chemistry is making our world safer. SciShow

Olga R. Rodriguez reports that the monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction. Associated Press

There’s so much we got wrong about corals. SciShow

Natasha Daly shares joy over first White House shelter dog reflecting increasing embrace of rescue pets. National Geographic

Thanks for stopping by, 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!

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

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 10-16, 2020

Welcome to week nine of #pandemiclife.

Here in Ontario, the Premiere has authorized some businesses to reopen. Street-facing retail stores that can deliver curb-side service. Veterinarians, groomers, and pet boarding businesses. Essential-adjacent health support services. My mother-in-law will be able to get her housekeeper back—physically distanced, of course. And golf courses. And cottage country (which really doesn’t want to be open, from what I’ve been hearing).

Will we have another spike? Will we have to dial back? I’m maintaining the status quo. Kind of. I’ll be delivering virtual training over the next couple weeks. It’s going to be interesting. And … I’ve already been asked to deliver the next session, which is pretty much back to back, because there aren’t enough trainers who are comfortable with the platform, or even virtual training, to spread out the burden.

There are apparently five such courses to be delivered between now and September. I hesitate to be on the hook for all of them. But this may be my work life, moving forward.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, please enjoy some informal writerly learnings 🙂

K.M. Weiland uses a brave critique volunteer’s work to discuss seven possible hooks for your opening chapter. Helping Writers Become Authors

K.B. Jensen explains how to throw a virtual book launch using Facebook Live. Then, Chantel Hamilton provides a comprehensive guide to finding, hiring, and working with an editor. Jane Friedman

Shaelin Bishop continues her series on developing a novel with part 4: form, style, and voice. Reedsy

Joanna Penn interviews Larry Brooks about how to develop strong fiction ideas. The Creative Penn

Leanne Sowul touts the power of paying attention. Later in the week, Sarah Fraser lists five signs you’re ready to work with an editor. DIY MFA

Jim Dempsey helps you decide, your words, or your editor’s? Juliet Marillier: consolation or challenge? Kathryn Craft shares eight ways to unblock your scene’s potential. Writer Unboxed

September C. Fawkes explains how plotlines add dimension. Writers Helping Writers

Jami Gold wonders whether breaking the rules is easy or hard.

Jenna Moreci says imposter syndrome sucks, but you don’t.

Nathan Bransford tells you everything authors need to know about dialogue tags.

Aliza Mann explains how to get back on track when all your planning fails. Fiction University

Kristen Lamb wants you to create a story-worthy problem that will captivate an audience.

How the strong black woman trope has evolved. The Take

Barbara Linn Probst lists three motivations to write: artistry, identity, and legacy. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle says, no. “Art” does not entitle you to spread harmful messages. Then, Oren Ashkenazi gets facetious with seven musts for dominating a fantasy battle. Mythcreants

Richard Marpole goes for a walk among the trees: a look at forests in myth and media. Fantasy Faction

Esther Jones: science fiction builds resilience in young readers. Phys.org

Simon Winchester: has “run” run amok? It has 645 meanings … so far. NPR

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve taken away something to support your current work in progress (or planning/development of same).

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

Tipsday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 26-May 2, 2020

We’re heading toward the end of another week. Get ready for the weekend by getting your mental corn popping. Or just entertain yourself. There’s never any pressure with thoughty Thursday 🙂

May first was Beltane. Claire Schofield explains when the Gaelic May Day festival is, blessings, rituals, and pagan origins. The Scotsman

Rosie Flanagan considers the impossible architecture of dreams. gestalten

How science is trying to understand consciousness. SciShow

Cynthia Gorney reveals the funky science of yeast, the gassy microbe behind your bread. National Geographic

Laura Regensdorf interviews Jessica Meir about returning home to a completely different planet. Vanity Fair

Carol Off interviews David George Haskell, who says trees have their own songs. CBC, “As It Happens”

Dave Deibert reports on the first bison calf born on Wanuskewin land since 1876. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

I’m just a wee bit sceptical about this one, but TimeOut claims that animals are reclaiming cities now that humans are staying inside more.

Karen McVeigh: silence is golden for whales as lockdown reduces ocean noise. The Guardian

True facts about killer surfing snails. Ze Frank

Lydia Schrandt lists ten wild animal cams that will take you on safari. USA Today 10 Best

Michael Waters explains why your pet is acting like a weirdo now that you’re working from home. Vox

Kermit – The Rainbow Connection. The Muppets

Thanks for stopping by and a hope that you’ve taken away something to inspire your next creative project, even if it’s in the percolation stage. Percolation is important.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019