The space shuttle Atlantis, wrapped in plastic (John Raoux / AP)
Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

“I guess if you use enough Saran Wrap you could build a pretty secure submarine … but … it’s not something I would want to trust with my life.” —Matthew Green, a cryptography professor, on the risks of designing your own encryption system

“Asking somebody to still live on the streets and get clean and then come to us for housing is just a recipe for failure.”—Brenda Rosen, who runs a nonprofit that provides housing to formerly homeless New Yorkers

“Dolphins can swim amazingly fast, and eagles can fly as high as a jet, but this is our trick.”—Stephen Levinson, who studies language, on humans’ speedy response times during a conversation

(Previous quotes from our sources here)