Reporter's Notebook

Show Newer Notes
A duck receiving a flu vaccine would like to be left alone. Regis Duvignau / Reuters

“The modal view is leave the freaking system alone,” Dan Kahan, who studies public perceptions of science, on how Americans see vaccines.

“I thought I understood national politics pretty well, but this year is so baffling that I feel like I’m in another culture,”Newton Minow, who helped create the system of televised presidential debates.

“It’s a very, very squishy area,” Andrew Cowan, an appraiser and auctioneer, on selling infamous murder weapons.

“I for one am breathlessly waiting for the film adaption, Harry Potter and the Mountain of Cash. Hopefully they can stretch that into at least a four-parter,” an Atlantic reader, on the latest addition to the Harry Potter series.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

“People wanted white bread and confectioner’s sugar. They wanted a neat, tidy little white-boxed world,” Steve Mouzon, an architect, on why drywall became popular in the 1950s.

“We grew up with 9/11, the recession, our parents suffering, nothing but disappointment with the institutions we’re supposed to be proud of,” Cristian Galvan, a 20-year-old protester at the Democratic National Convention.

“I’ve never had such a lack of answers for my students before. … It’s hard to take the current reality and process it,” Amy Nathan Wright, who teaches college courses on diversity and social justice.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Phil McCarten / Reuters

“It’s become a zombie party,” Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, on the Democratic Party.

“I hope it’s haunted, but it hasn’t been yet,” Poppy Liu, on living communally in a renovated doll factory.

“We take maps very seriously,” Brian McClendon, a vice president at Uber.

“The issue I have with internet ‘political discourse’ is that so many people want to be ‘heard.’ They want to express their emotions. Very few people are discussing the issues,” an Atlantic reader, on Trump’s “Ask Me Anything.”

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

“Why do people burn down their own cities? Well, it’s because they don’t feel like the city belongs to them,” —Travon Free, an actor, on growing up in Compton, California.

“Kaine was so dominant it was almost embarrassing at times,” Larry Sabato, a political scientist, on moderating vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine’s debate.

“We’re in the middle of something very serious. This is evil versus good. This is Mel Gibson now versus 1993 Mel Gibson,” Lee Camp, a comedian and activist, who continues to support Bernie Sanders.

“We have heard the Dems lack a deep bench, but you would not know it from the convention so far. And at least our bench actually shows up to the convention,” —an Atlantic reader, on the Democratic National Convention.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Gary Cameron / Reuters

Good fucking riddance,” a former DNC staffer on the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“Everything that Bernie said was what I'd been thinking all along. I didn't think there was anyone else out there. I was just one old crazy lady,” Susan, a protester at the Democratic National Convention, on why she still supports Bernie Sanders.

To call [the comments] irresponsible might imply that Trump really had an understanding of what he was doing. And I don’t get the impression that he does,” Michael Mandelbaum, who studies American foreign policy, on Trump’s remarks about NATO.

“I'm more interested in who these 750,000 people were that purchased a VCR last year. I would have given them mine for free,” an Atlantic reader, on the death of the VCR.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

“I think pro-wrestling is like ballet with violence,” Jesse Ventura, a former pro wrestler.

“Withdrawal [is] certainly not as bad as a serious illness. It’s more like giving up the love of your life,” Maia Szalavitz, an addictions expert and former drug addict.

“If we just want to be happy, all of us would just quit our jobs, and work on a beach, and just hang out. The reason why most of us have chosen not to do that is because we don’t just want to be happy,” Charles Duhigg, author of a book about productivity.

“Four years ago the GOP nominee said Russia was our greatest global threat. The GOP nominee now is Russia's greatest friend,”an Atlantic reader, on the claim that Russian hackers were behind the DNC email leak.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Darren Garnick / The Atlantic

“We’re pioneering the collectibles pop-culture market for politicians. I think I’m on the cusp of something big,” Brian Wallos, who makes political trading cards, pictured above.

“Some of the bacteria in our gut are derived from very ancient lineages that have been passed down through the primates for millions of years. They’re like our genes in that sense,” Andrew Moeller, an evolutionary biologist.

“I'm always tempted to do something else on my phone. With the e-reader I have only one choice, which is to read,” an Atlantic reader, on reading digitally.

“No one knows who the hell I am. ... Honestly, it’s great,” Mike Birbiglia, a screenwriter and comedian.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

“That took a lot of cojones,” Selena Coppa, an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention, on Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse Donald Trump.

“Textbooks are commercials for the countries they’re made in,” Gregory Michie, a middle-school social-studies teacher in Chicago.

“In the absence of fire, eating wax is a risky business,” —ornithologist Claire Spottiswoode on why honeyguide birds, which eat wax from bees’ nests, need humans.

“This Shacklebolt guy. I don’t even know if he’s a real wizard … I wanna see his NEWTs,”an Atlantic reader imagines Trump running for Minister of Magic.

“I just typed ‘cru’ into the Reuters [photo] search window and its two suggestions were ‘cruz ted’ and ‘crusted scabies,’The Atlantic’s Rosa Inocencio Smith in a Slack message to me while composing Quoted today.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Phil Noble / Reuters

“We all know mice don’t predict tumor therapies, or we’d have cured cancer already,” David Bermudes, a biologist.

“You can feel like making $800,000 is almost like living in poverty,” Sam Polk, a former stock trader, on Wall Street culture.

“It is actually more important than ever today not to do things completely out of fear,” Wagaye Johannes, who works to increase the number of U.S. students who study abroad.

“I guess you could say ... he couldn’t handle the lime light!” —an Atlantic reader on margarita burns, caused when chemicals in citrus fruits make skin hypersensitive to sunlight.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

“Ideas are like fish, and you don’t make a fish—you catch the fish. Desiring an idea is like putting the bait on a hook,” David Lynch, a filmmaker.

“At the very least, teachers need to understand the impact that they’re having on students’ identity. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it’s happening,” Marinda K. Harrell-Levy, who studies social-justice education.

“I have an escape boat,” Daniel Wilson, a protester at the Republican National Convention, on what he’ll do if Donald Trump is elected.

“He will be the most powerful leader that will collapse modern Turkey. His ego is his enemy.” —an Atlantic reader on Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Larry Downing / Reuters

“If I talked like Donald Trump, I’d get sent to the principal’s office immediately,” Alexis Fridman, a third-grader who co-founded a Kids Against Trump group.

“Knowing this is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes and by humans means we should be investigating it as if we’re part of the world, and not shielded from it,” Paul Farmer, a physician and humanitarian, on Zika.

Many multiples of [$10],” —what Shannon Burchett, an investor who spent $10 on the domain in April, expects to make on his V.P. prediction.

“Corporations love to take credit for shit they were going to have to do anyway,”an Atlantic reader, on why American companies are raising their workers’ wages.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

“Goats are easier to care for [than cows], gregarious, and don't have a lot demands while also being relatively benevolent. This makes them a perfect match for the new attitude among some farming communities that small is beautiful,” Paul Kindstedt, a cheese historian and professor at the University of Vermont.

“CTE (career-and-technical education) today has to be about academics as well,” Steve DeWitt, the deputy executive director of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Wouldn't it be neat if the power of Instagram was used to share recipes for carrot top pesto and food scrap stock,” Eve Turow Paul, the author of A Taste of Generation Yum.

(Previous quotes from our sources here)

More Notes From The Atlantic
  • Notes Home