Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg / Sam-Price-Waldman / Paul Rosenfeld / The Atlantic
Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Here are the best quotes we heard from our sources today. (Click through to read the full stories.)

Burl Cain (pictured above), the warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola: “If a person wants to learn, we have a responsibility to help him learn. A lot of these guys had terrible schooling outside, and that’s why they’re here in the first place.”

Alyssa Dweck, an OB/GYN at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York: “There is no medical reason why a woman has to menstruate every month. And there is nothing wrong with tweaking the system if bleeding is difficult for women.”

Timothy Snyder, author of the new book Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning: “The problem is that you don’t have to see the world rationally to be very powerful, and in fact certain kinds of circular ways of seeing the world, like anti-Semitism, can inform you day to day. They can keep you going—they can bring in the population—even though they’re not really true.”

Michael Bennett, psychiatrist and co-author of the new self-help book F*ck Feelings: “I think that’s sort of a basic paradox—that to live with pain and still be a decent person and make a living is a much higher achievement. It’s what you do when you’re not happy that’s so telling.”

(Previous quotes from our sources here.)