T&W: Coal soap and tardigrades

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It’s December. I know last week was too but I’m still processing how fast this year has gone. I’m also still processing the fact that Poland promoted coal at the U.N. climate conference this week. There was coal soap, coal jewelry, and coal in cages. Literally. Check out the photos and join me in my befuddlement.

This week I learned…

  • In an effort to prioritize the environment, Luxembourg will be the first country to provide free public transit.
  • When visiting prohibition-era United States in 1932, Winston Churchill got a doctor’s note to drink unlimited alcohol “especially at mealtimes.”
  • The devastating wildfire in California known as the Camp Fire has caused such widespread damage that it put one insurance company out of business.
  • December marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘Earthrise’ photo which helped to spark a global green movement in 1968.


By the numbers…

  • 229: The number of new species added to Earth’s tree of life by the California Academy of Sciences. This includes:
    • 120 new wasps
    • 34 sea slugs
    • 28 different ants
    • 19 fish
    • 7 flowering plants
    • 7 spiders
    • 4 eels
    • 3 sharks
    • 2 water bears (aka tardigrades, a personal favourite)
    • 1 frog
    • 1 snake
    • 1 sea horse
    • 1 moss
    • and 1 liverwort plant

I’m listening to…

The sound of wind on Mars. For the first time ever, humans have recorded Martian winds.

What I’m reading…


A nine-year-old boy in Colorado successfully got his town to overturn a nearly 100-year-old ban on snowball fights.