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

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 12-18, 2020

Again, I’ve assembled a variety of resources. Some will help you understand what may be happening to you as you physically distance; some will offer some virtual experiences to help fill the extra hours (if you have them); some are the usual interesting articles and posts that will get your mental corn popping.

Brit Dawson explains why we’re all having bizarrely vivid dreams in pandemic lockdown. Dazed

Tanner Saunders compiles a list of 100+ fun things to do at home right now. Then, Evie Carrick shares 13 virtual train rides from around the world. Travel+Leisure

The Toronto Zoo offers online animal streams and educational resources. Durham Radio News

And … watch the Stratford Festival’s YouTube channel for Shakespeare!

Alex Beggs helps you get into making your own pasta. In case you’re tired of baking or have baked yourself into a sugar coma/larger size. Bon Appetit

Monstrum: The Jinn

Ralph Jones interviews Arthur Brand, the world’s greatest art detective. BBC

Matthew Wills: who were the ladies of Llangollen? JSTOR Daily

Emma Taggart: NYC parks are using a designer’s tree font to plant secret messages with trees. My Modern Met

Why the heck are we ticklish? It’s Okay to be Smart

The Mind Circle shares 18 photos that prove the capybara can befriend anyone. ‘Cause we can all use a little calming capy.

Adorbs pictures of dogs (and cockatoos and cats) before and after being called a good boy. Sad and Useless

SciShow explains the delightful mutation that defines Siamese cat appearance.

Thanks for the visit. I hope you take away something to support you in this time of physical distancing, to inspire your next creative project, or to entertain you.

Until next tipsday, stay safe and be well, be kind, and stay strong (even if you don’t think you can). The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019

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

This week’s curation is a mix of ways to entertain yourself, covid-19-adjacent articles, and general thoughtiness. It’s time to get your mental corn popping.

Sydney Perkowitz: how to see the invisible universe. JSTOR Daily

Jamie Cater says, your cosmic address is the trippiest thing you’ll learn today. Travel + Leisure

Space germs were a literal thing. Why the Apollo 11 astronauts were quarantined. Vox

Brian Ferguson reveals Scotland’s claim to fame as the birthplace of the f-word (and an interesting BBC documentary to watch if you have access). The Scotsman

Erin Blakemore explains why plague doctors wore those strange beaked masks. National Geographic

Arthur C. Brooks shares the three equations of a happy life. The Atlantic

Livia Gershon explains how people during the Depression managed to laugh. JSTOR Daily

Mary Alice Miller: digital burnout was coming, and the pandemic is expediting it. Vanity Fair

Jonathan Watts shares his journey into the Antarctic. The Guardian

Jessica Leigh Hester wants you to let your mind wander with these gloriously detailed maps. Atlas Obscura

Zoe Baillargeon recommends the best online cooking classes and tutorials. The Manual

Camryn Rabideau suggests six indoor gardening projects for *any* size of home. Food52

SciShow introduces us to the white smokers of The Lost City and how they may have had a role in the origin of life on our planet.

Atlas Obscura shares images of Puzzlewood, the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings movie.

Corinne Segal shares this livestream of the bird library for you and your cat(s) to enjoy. Literary Hub

Jonna Jinton – The Wolf Song

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you took away something to inspire your next creative project, or just to fill the well until inspiration strikes.

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

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 22-28, 2020

In need of some distraction? You’re in luck. Thoughty Thursday is here to get your mental corn popping 🙂

Alex Beard: can AI ever replace the classroom? The Guardian

Laura Millan Lombrana: the post-virus economic recovery could be a green one. This is the hope of many people I know. Bloomberg

Elizabeth Landau discovers that the Fibonacci sequence is everywhere—even the stock market. The Smithsonian Magazine

Allison Meier: 18th Century lovers exchanged pictures of their eyes. JSTOR Daily

Stevie Keen shares ten photography projects you can do at home. Amateur Photographer

Eric Gross shares photographs of frozen waves in an alpine Colorado lake. PetaPixel

Jessica Stewart shares enchanting photos of Madeira’s Fanal Forest and its 500-year-old trees. My Modern Met

How Earth’s tides gave us life as we know it. SciShow Space

Tom Ward takes us inside Victor Vescovo’s mission to reach the bottom of all the world’s oceans. Wired

Ruth Doherty reports that Google Earth has released virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. Country Living

Stella’s best leaf jumps of all time 🙂 Joy!

Lydia Schrandt shares ten of the best animal live cams for you to watch. 10 Best

PBS Eons answers the age-old question. The egg came first.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you take away some inspiration for your next creative project, or just some interesting reading and entertainment to ease your isolation.

This weekend, I’ll be diving into my March next chapter update.

Until then, be well, be kind, and stay strong. Now, more than ever, the world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, March 1-7, 2020

It’s time to get your mental corn popping. It’s also time to celebrate the coming weekend—happy Friday eve!

Brigit Katz: “David and Goliath” was once attributed to Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, but it was actually painted by Artemisia Gentileschi. The Smithsonian Magazine

Priyanka Borpujari uncovers India’s forgotten power broker, Begum Samru. National Geographic

Eddie Linehan tells the tales of defiant Irish women in honour of International Women’s Day. A wee bit rambly, but that’s a storyteller for you 😉

Ian Hanington introduces us to the woman who discovered global warming—in 1856! The David Suzuki Foundation

Valerie Stimac tells you the best places to see the northern lights. Forbes

Aaron Kesel: physicist says parallel universes definitely exist and we may soon explore them. The Mind Unleashed

Veritasium explores the concept of many worlds with Sean Carroll.

Tesla’s solar panels a turning salt water into drinking water for 35,000 Kenyans. Return to Now

Jennifer Nalewicki explains how to surf Alaska’s bore tide. I don’t surf (and probably never will) but this is cool. The Smithsonian Magazine

Andrew Nikiforuk is talking to the botanist who talks to trees. The Tyee

AAA State of Play offers a clickable list of birds and the sounds they make.

Nara Schoenberg: near Fulton, a rare bald eagle thruple (two dads and a mom) comes together to mate and parent. The Chicago Tribune

Maddie Stone: the Great Barrier Reef is heading for a mass die-off of epic proportions. Vice

Sarah Cox: to understand BC’s push for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, think fracking, LNG Canada, and the site C dam. The Narwhale

Genevieve Carlton introduces us to meganeura, a prehistoric dragonfly with a two-foot wingspan. Ranker

Twisted Sifter shares a video that shows all the wildlife that crossed the fallen log over this stream.

Coming around to visual art again, someone created a guide on how to recognize famous artists and it’s surprisingly accurate (and funny). deMilked

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found something to inspire your next creative project.

Until next time, be Well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

ThoughtyThursday2019