I’ve got to say, I’m pretty excited to share this week’s newsletter with you! It’s been a hectic week covering the midterm elections, as well as finally publishing a long-overdue story on how the rising opioid epidemic, combined with more intense storms, means states need to take a proactive approach. Needless to say, I’m glad it’s a long weekend here.
This week I learned…
- The very first underwater ultrasound has been performed by scientists on a free-swimming whale shark in the Galapagos Islands.
- Voters in Florida this week passed a new ban on greyhound racing. This means there are thousands of greyhounds now looking for new homes.
- Elephants flap their ears for a few reasons, but one of them is because they’re feeling joyful. Such as when someone serenades them with a piano. Watch here.
Word of the year…
The British Collins Dictionary has chosen the word “single-use” as 2018’s word of the year. “Images of plastic adrift in the most distant oceans … have led to a global campaign to reduce their use,” the dictionary explained. “The word [single-use] has seen a four-fold increase since 2013.”
By the numbers…
- 1.35 million. DNA for all 1.35 million species on earth will be sampled and coded in an ambitious new project — all in the name of conservation.
- 60 million. Big Oil spent this much money to successfully defeat two climate-related ballot initiatives this election.
- 80 acres. This is how fast a wildfire in California spread per minute on Thursday, entirely destroying the town of Paradise.
- 100. There will be at least this many women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives this year.
Perhaps the best advertisement for solar power ever. Or the worst. It’s up to you. Either way, I encourage you to click below:
I’m listening to…
“Hot Dog Hail Mary” on Planet Money by Tik Root.
If, like me, you don’t appreciate over-priced food at stadiums, this is the podcast for you.
What I’m reading…
- Brown Point Shoes Arrive, 200 Years After White Ones — Alex Marshall on ballet shoes for The New York Times
- The Problem Behind a Viral Video of a Persistent Baby Bear — Ed Yong for The Atlantic
- To Adapt to a Changing Climate, Kyrgyzstan Revives Its Nomadic Past — Ariel Sophia Bardi for Undark
It was the midterm elections this week in the United States. And even astronauts were able to cast their votes.
As NASA tweeted on Tuesday: “How do you cast a ballot when you are floating over 200 miles above your polling place? Thanks to a special electronic absentee ballot, astronauts are able to vote from space!”