Quickies: How are all those college openings going?

... and my attempt to decolonize language around a teeny elephant shrew

It’s only the middle of August, but due to extenuating circumstances, many colleges are starting their fall semesters early! Let’s check in on how that’s going…

To sum it up, colleges in 17 states have reported outbreaks, and party scenes are taking the blame. But really, no one should be surprised. I fear that too many administrators are not aware of the concept of emerging adulthood, where the brain is still developing up through age 25. And perhaps forgot what it was like to BE 20 on a college campus. However, I shouldn’t put them all in the same boat. After all, hundreds of colleges cancelled their on-campus plans which, even if it is the right decision from a health perspective, puts their institution’s future at risk thanks to a whole HOST of ills that have led to this moment.

Phew. Okay, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Education can still thrive, after all, in a virtual environment.

And now for Cute Animal Friday, with submissions by Muscadine:

  • Because this IS 2020, Australians have to beware of getting attacked in the face even more regularly by swooping magpies as facemasks may confuse the bird. WTF, Australia?!
  • Okay… now for something more pleasant… Rosie The Rescue Cat And her best pal, Lilo The Dog, go kayaking!
  • A rare “white” killer whale is spotted in the wild from a research vessel.
  • Speaking of hide-and-seek, local naturalists in Djibouti lead a team of researchers to the Somali sengi, a species of elephant shrew that hasn’t been tracked in 50 years, leading to the creation of a new genus from DNA analysis. As usual, I dislike the title and framing of this article, since I think the real story here is the fruitful collaboration between local naturalists and foreign scientists, not a “re-discovery”… but this critter was so cute, it had to be the featured animal.


Nicole is a professor, astronomer, educator, geek, dog mom, occasional fitness nerd, and maker of tiny comets. She is also very loud under the right circumstances. Like what you read? Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/noisyastronomer

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button