Happy new year all! We return to our regularly scheduled programming, which for me today includes a weekend work shift, coffee, and new house chores.
This week I learned…
- Washington D.C. has officially banned plastic straws, making it the second U.S. city after Seattle to restrict the plastics from restaurants and other businesses.
- For the first time ever, two Chinese spacecraft have landed on the “dark side” of the moon. Although scientists prefer to call it the “far side” since it does actually get light.
- Arborists have successfully cloned — and re-grown new saplings — from the stumps of some of the world’s oldest redwoods in an effort to reestablish redwood forests to tackle climate change.
By the numbers…
- 2,000: The fine advertisers face (plus potentially a year in jail) under a new statute in Missouri if they use the word “meat” to mean anything other than something derived from livestock or poultry.
- 22: The number of consecutive days since December 13 that temperatures have been above normal in Washington, D.C.
- 3: The number of people who have died in accidents while visiting a national park during the government shutdown (unlike previous shutdowns, the parks remain open but unstaffed).
130-year-old footage of life in Paris during the 1890s.
What I’m reading…
- Are animals getting better at acting? — Amanda Hess for the New York Times
- This all-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa is saving rhinos and wildlife — Cristina Goyanes for National Geographic
- Intellectual humility: The importance of knowing you might be wrong — Brian Resnick for Vox
- Beloved husky is fired from police job when his human is caught in small-town feud — Sarah Blaskey and Charles Rabin for The Miami Herald
Stories from 2018 published in the National Parks Traveler that deserve a second read, from how Amtrak fails the national parks to wolves playing with a Frisbee.