Reporter's Notebook

Andrea Comas / Reuters
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An ongoing collection of the best things we hear from our sources. (Earlier archive here.)

Show None Newer Notes

Quoted: The Appearances Edition

Jim Hollander / Reuters

“It could be orange elephants who became literate, for all we know,” Bruce Schneier, a computer security researcher, on the hackers behind a major internet outage.

“Everyone’s always on some sort of diet. Everyone’s beautiful. The physical piece of it can get surprisingly exhausting,” Annie Truex, an actress in L.A., on the audition process.

“Singles are smarter than people think,” Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, on why online dating won’t change love.

“We will have a gender gap the size of the Grand Canyon,” Whit Ayers, a Republican pollster, on the 2016 election results.

“Jeez Louise! This is kind of scary,” —an Atlantic reader, on how consumers are surveilled online and in stores.

“I mean, if you had no flesh on your face, you probably wouldn’t be adorable either.” Melissa Wilson Sayres, who studies Gila-monster genetics, on the skull of one of the reptiles, which she also describes as “lovable” and “chill.”

Guadalupe Pardo / Reuters

“I tried putting out non-carbonated ginger beverages, and I know: People like their bubbles,”Chris Reed, who founded a craft ginger ale company.

Trump also means, especially in British English, to, erm, break wind,” Eleanor Maier, a dictionary editor, on the etymology of the verb “trump.”

“The process of dating inherently sucks. I literally am trying to call my dissertation ‘Why Dating Sucks,’ because I want to explain that. But I can’t, because they won’t let me,”Holly Wood, a Harvard PhD candidate, on the trials of online dating.

“The treatment works, but no one does it, and no one can find it,”Jeff Szymanski, a clinical psychologist, on the most effective treatment for OCD.

“All the younger guys are talking about the world ending, and the older guys are like, ‘Yeah, well, this is more what it used to look like,’” Sam Rosen, a lobster fisherman in Maine, on this year’s fishing season.

“This article is fantastic. It is also objectively wrong,” —an Atlantic reader, on the claim that milk chocolate is better than dark chocolate.

Jonathan Drake / Reuters

“If they said the world was ending in a week, I’m willing to bet that comedy shows would be sold out. ... So, if anything, this time feels more normal than most days would in my life,” Trevor Noah, the host of the Daily Show, on the countdown to Election Day.

“Really, it’s like the Jersey Shore with less alcohol,” Bill Lesniak, a voter in Chicago, on the scandals of the presidential campaign.

“I don’t think either of us met the other and said ‘I’m so excited to waste years of my life making yours miserable,’”—an Atlantic reader, reflecting on a toxic relationship.

“I don’t want to go down in history as the generation that was offended by everything,” Nicole Been, a college student who supports Donald Trump.

“We need to change out the formula of the Jesus juice they’re drinking so they’re not so righteous they’re wrong,” Cynthia Edwards Paschall, who supports Hillary Clinton, on her fellow North Carolina voters.

We all come together in this one pathway. We cross; we are part of two cultures. It shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle,” Mayra Kahori Vidaña Sanchez, a college student in El Paso, Texas, on the U.S.–Mexican border.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

“I feel like I’ve been reborn. This is a new nation,” Stephanie Jason, who supported Donald Trump for president.

I’m afraid for my grandchildren,” Mary Frillici, who supported Hillary Clinton for president.

“He can build a wall, but we’ll just build a tunnel,” Magdaleno Santos, a construction worker who immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador, on Trump’s immigration policy.

“He has an opportunity, but it is up to him to seize it,” Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, on how Trump could change public perceptions of America’s role in the world.

“We’re stronger together. I think it would be really swell if people connect to the other side,” Kibiriti Majuto, a refugee student, who is president of his senior high-school class.

“Please, I’d like to join the discussion,” Bradley, an Atlantic reader, in a single-line email to us.

You and Bradley and other readers can do so via We’ve already started two robust discussion threads here in Notes: “Processing the Pain of the Election,” which primarily features stories from Clinton supporters, and “Will Trump Voters and Clinton Voters Ever Relate?,” which primarily features stories from Trump supporters—but with a lot of crossover in both threads. We will also be airing perspectives from educators on how they are addressing the aftermath of the election, as well as reactions from non-Americans living outside of the U.S.

Ali Hashisho / Reuters

“You can spot a secretary of state dressed like a pirate, or a titan of industry done up like a zombie,” John T. Miller, a former fundraiser for Princeton University, on reunions at the school.

“They have not mated yet as far as we can tell, but there has been interest. There has been flirting,” Angus Davison, a biologist, on arranging a date between a rare pair of snails.

“I’m planning to write myself about how angry I am. … It’s going to arrive at my house the day before midterms, just in case future me has decided to stop doing anything,” Katie Caulfield, a Democratic voter in New Jersey, on preparing for midterm elections in 2018.

“If one of us from HR goes out to visit … the instantaneous response is, ‘Oh my god, what are you doing here? Who’s in trouble?’ Why do people think that? We’re here to say hi. We’re here to have fun. We’re here to buy lunch,” Jeni Strand, a human resources executive in North Dakota.

“Regardless of who folks voted for, the election has not been a positive and uplifting experience,” Jeanice Kerr Swift, a school superintendent in Michigan.

“The complexities that make loving each other so rewarding are the same thing that makes it so damn hard,” Ron, an Atlantic reader, on moving forward after the election. More from Ron and other readers struggling to find that common ground here.