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11 Outrageously Obscure 'West Wing' Characters Who Resurfaced on Twitter

There are some seriously addicted West Wing fans out there, and they’ve taken their fandom to a whole new level: they’re tweeting as characters from the show.

This has been widely reported, and you can follow all of them. And we mean all of them. From the main crew (President Bartlet, Josh, Donna, Leo, Toby, Sam, Danny, CJ, Charlie, Mrs. Landingham), to favorite recurring characters (Amy Gardner, Joey Lucas, Ainsley Hayes, Andrea Wyatt, John Hoynes, Lord John Marbury, Nancy McNally, President Santos, Arnold Vinick, Ellie Bartlet, Simon Donovan, Ginger, Ed and Larry, Mallory, Debbie Fiderer, Bruno Gianelli, Ron Butterfield, Fitzwallace, Cliff Calley, and nearly every journalist to set foot in CJ’s White House Press Room), to some who are slightly more obscure (Elsie Snuffin, Commander Jack Reese, Lou Thornton, Gina Toscano, Albie Duncan, Senator Stackhouse, and Joe Quincy).

But, of course, mental_floss isn’t content with “slightly more obscure,” so we hunted down the most outrageously obscure West Wing Twitter accounts we could find. We were disheartened to discover that no one is currently tweeting as Huck Ziegler, Morton Horn, or Pluie the wolf (though there is this), but there are plenty of accounts out there to please even the most obsessive of fans.

Do you have the kind of passion for fictional governmental policy to follow these folks?

1. @BernardThatch

On the Show: The snooty guy with the British accent who was always making fun of CJ’s taste in accessories. Also the guru in charge of all gifts given to The White House, including that cat statue CJ broke and the Taiwanese flag that caused such a ruckus.

Recent Tweet: “@CJCreggConcanon I've simply not worked up the necessary enthusiasm. But now that you mention it, are you committed to that hairstyle?”

2. @BarryHaskell

On the Show: This is the guy who was invited to the White House because he represented the swing vote on campaign finance reform that Leo and President Bartlet needed to float a ban on soft money contributions. He was fully aware that the president was using the “trappings of the White House” to intimidate him. He really did just want a glass of fruit juice

Recent Tweet: “The idea of someone needing to raise $1Billion to be elected president is a disgrace. #letsregulate”

3. @ChairmanFarad

On the Show: He was the one that invited himself to the summit at Camp David.

Recent Tweet: “I would bet (10 shekels) that most Israelis r equally appalled by Newt’s world view.”

4. @Sen_Gillette

On the Show: Threatens to run against President Bartlet after he uses the State of the Union to announce a bipartisan commission to study the future of entitlement programs.

Recent Tweet: “@VPEricBaker AND SO I WILL Look, anyone who doesn't support the 99% should be thrown out of this country on his ear. And you can quote me.”

5. @VictorCampos01

On the Show: Has an army of California volunteers (and, in theory, Latino voters) at his disposal and gets kind of whiny when the White House doesn’t bend to his will in Seasons 3 and 7.

Recent Tweet: "@ElsieSnuffin @GlenAllenWalken @DonnaMossDaily Am I so obscure that nobody knows who I am? I know Sam .... supposedly." [And...now this account seems to have been deleted.]

6. @Col_Weiskopf

On the Show: The badass guy who flies Air Force One and generally just shows up once or twice a season to look really in-control and smooth.

Recent Tweet: @MCoatsworthHay They're supposed to have a remote destruction system. Not sure what happened there.

7. @WhiteHouseBird

On the Show: This is the bird that was annoying Donna by pecking on Josh’s office window. “Stop it! You’re going to hurt your beak.”

Recent Tweet: "Watching wrinkled people in penguin suits on Josh's tv #nobelprize"

8. @DrAlexMoreau

On the Show: She was the hot Assistant NASA Administrator that takes Josh out into the country to look at the stars and then gives him a crazy expensive telescope.

Only Tweet: “@TobyZiegler did you need something? #MarsOrBustLives"

9. @MCoatsworthHay

On the Show: She's the old woman who cracked CJ up by saying "I'm Marion Coatsworth Hay."

Recent Tweet: “MTV Real World star @Duffy4Congress breaks tax extension impasse. Next, Snooki saves the Eurozone!" (OK, Marion is not really tweeting in character. But it's funny to read the tweets in her voice.)

10. @KennySigns

On the Show: He said what Joey Lucas was thinking.

Tweet That Transitions Into #11: "Whenever I was at the White House. I was always excited to check in on @GailTheThird"

11. @GailTheThird

On the Show: CJ’s pet fish, given to her by Danny Concannon because he mistakenly thought that’s what Josh meant when he said, “She likes goldfish.” She actually likes the cheese crackers.

Recent Tweet: “~~~~~~ > |*THUNK*| #classicgail”

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10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Hulu
Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

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NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
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Researchers in Singapore Deploy Robot Swans to Test Water Quality
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

There's something peculiar about the new swans floating around reservoirs in Singapore. They drift across the water like normal birds, but upon closer inspection, onlookers will find they're not birds at all: They're cleverly disguised robots designed to test the quality of the city's water.

As Dezeen reports, the high-tech waterfowl, dubbed NUSwan (New Smart Water Assessment Network), are the work of researchers at the National University of Singapore [PDF]. The team invented the devices as a way to tackle the challenges of maintaining an urban water source. "Water bodies are exposed to varying sources of pollutants from urban run-offs and industries," they write in a statement. "Several methods and protocols in monitoring pollutants are already in place. However, the boundaries of extensive assessment for the water bodies are limited by labor intensive and resource exhaustive methods."

By building water assessment technology into a plastic swan, they're able to analyze the quality of the reservoirs cheaply and discreetly. Sensors on the robots' undersides measure factors like dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll levels. The swans wirelessly transmit whatever data they collect to the command center on land, and based on what they send, human pilots can remotely tweak the robots' performance in real time. The hope is that the simple, adaptable technology will allow researchers to take smarter samples and better understand the impact of the reservoir's micro-ecosystem on water quality.

Man placing robotic swan in water.
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

This isn't the first time humans have used robots disguised as animals as tools for studying nature. Check out this clip from the BBC series Spy in the Wild for an idea of just how realistic these robots can get.

[h/t Dezeen]

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