Why Alligators Swish Their Butts When Walking

This little "experiment" in blogging is intended to sort of flesh out that very brief little talk I gave, and in the process, maybe it will entertain a few people. Here's the plan. Each week, I'll record a very, very brief little video on some interesting thing I've learned while doing research for the book. I'll explain why I needed to know it in terms of the story, why it's important to get that detail right, and anything else that comes to mind.

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Disney Movies are Still Sexist... Right?

Cracked recently put out one of their better sourced articles with a title that makes a pretty damning claim, titled: 5 Ways Disney Movies are Even More Sexist Than the Classics (An alternative title lists it as 5 Ways Disney Has Actually Gotten More Sexist Over Time). Of course it got a lot of clicks and comments with no shortage of people calling bullshit on their claim. Are Disney movies like Frozen and Brave really more sexist than the classics, Cinderella and Snow White? Is that possible?

In a word, and this is just my opinion at this point, no. 

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Scientific Skepticism: Distinguishing Reality from Imagination!

I usually write these articles as conversations with my mom. For fun, and because my latest book is set in Walt Disney World, I decided to present the first half as a conversation between Figment and his friends.

What is Scientific Skepticism?

Well Figment, I'm glad you asked...

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Research - No Lab Coat Required

I don't like to write too much about writing. It bores non-writers, and most writers have already heard it all. I'm not Stephen King or George R. R. Martin. No one cares about myprocess. But every now and then I feel the need to defend writers of all kinds. Yeah, I have a hero complex, I guess. I also feel the need to correct false information, no matter how well intended. And I love my fellow wordsmiths. So imagine what my reaction is every time a skeptical friend suggests that reading is not research.

Ok, to be fair, I am fully aware that they are referring specifically to people who think they can argue science with scientists based on a few hours of Google U. It's just that when you say people who do their research online, or in a library, are doing inferior research to those wearing white lab coats, you are doing a disservice to both groups. So, for my skeptical friends, and my many unskeptical friends and family, indulge me while I talk about research and its importance to writing.

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When a Writer Says They Are Researching–What’s Natural?

I know what nature is. I go hiking, caving, biking, swimming and camping. I’ve visited the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the mighty Mississippi. I swam in the Black River and two of the Great Lakes. I’ve watched sunsets in Hawaii and Florida. I’ve caught lightning bugs and been startled by snakes. I’ve had poison ivy, and eaten wild blackberries. Doggone it, I know nature when I see it. You do too, right? So ok, what is it?

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