T&W: The kayaker, the octopus, and the seal

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When you read this newsletter I will be somewhere in the woods of West Virginia. Appropriately far away from this past intense week in Washington, D.C.

Watching hours upon hours of testimony regarding sexual assault involving a Supreme Court nominee can be, at the very least, draining. And I hope everyone is able to take a moment for a little self care.

Also, a big thank you again for joining me on week two! Hopefully I’ll convince you to stick around ’till next Saturday. And please do feel free to get in touch with comments, suggestions, or if you notice a glitch. Here’s the sign up link if you want to learn more or share with others.

This week I learned…

  • National parks across the United States have warmed twice as fast as other areas in the country due to climate change.
  • The word throttlebottom is used to describe “an innocuously inept and futile person in public office”. (h/t Merriam-Webster)
  • Golden Plover chicks are very good at camouflage (see picture below). When threatened, they sit motionless, blending almost seamlessly into the moss and heather. (h/t Reddit)


What I’m reading…

Quote of the week…

CNN news commentator 1: “I’m confused why there’s so much confusion.”

Commentator 2: “And I wish I could help with your confusion, but I too am confused. As those who are watching who are so confused.”

Watch the full clip here.

By the numbers…

  • 2: The number of women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) as he entered an elevator on Friday (watch here). One said his decision to support Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was akin to “telling all women that they don’t matter.” Shortly after, Flake shifted his position and called for an FBI investigation.
  • 147: The percent by which calls to the National Sexual Assault hotline spiked following Thursday’s Senate committee testimony by Christine Blasey Ford.
  • 12: The minimum number of times Kavanaugh said the word “beer” during his Senate testimony. As we learned, he really likes to drink beer.

I’m watching…

I think at some point during this week we’ve all felt like either the kayaker, the octopus, or perhaps even the seal.


An Antarctic glacier has been renamed after a graduate student filed a formal complaint that her professor sexually harassed her. Prof. David Marchant, a well-known geologist, had a seven-mile glacier named after him, but it will now be called Matataua Glacier.

The decision held that because Marchant had created a hostile and harmful environment for female students, he could no longer be considered as someone who has made “outstanding scientific contributions.”