A Happy Belated Now I Know Anniversary


As I mentioned over and over this week, I’m on vacation! I’ll be back with a new Now I Know on Monday. But I wanted to take a minute to mark a small milestone in this newsletter, and to thank you for reading it.

I published the first issue of Now I Know on June 22, 2010 — twelve years ago this week. It went to 20 subscribers. A year later, I was hovering at about 1,000 subscribers, which felt huge at the time. This email should reach about 150,000 — which is kind of ridiculous. Suffice it to say, it’s been a great dozen years, and it’s because of all of you. I write the newsletter because I love learning new things and I love sharing it, too; I can do the first part alone (although you certainly help) but I definitely can’t share it without someone to share it with. So thank you for being part of this journey. Literally, I couldn’t have done it without you.

So, again, THANK YOU! Here’s to (at least) a dozen more years.

The Now I Know Week in Review

Monday: Barbie’s Diet Plan: Probably not a good idea.

Tuesday: The Lichen Loophole: When Amazon was a startup, it used a neat trick to make sure it could buy books. Here’s how it worked.

Wednesday: The Wartime Chocolate Bar You Don’t Want to Eat: The candy bar that tasted bad, but for good reason.

Thursday: The Case of the Missing Magenta: The rainbow has red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Where’s pink?

And… let’s mix it up with some bonus Now I Knows. A Birthday (and 12) theme!

Being on vacation means I did a lot less long-form reading, oddly. (I read a book, though. It wasn’t good so I won’t recommend it, nor share the name as to not malign it.) 

1) Oneteen and Twoteen: Why do “eleven” and “twelve” have different names than the rest of the teen numbers?

2) Why Do Bakers Have Bigger Dozens?: Technically, this is about 13.

3) The Birthday Problem: Perhaps the most fun you’ll ever have with 22 friends and a little bit of math.

4) Happy Birthday (c): Why a lot of restaurants would sing something other than the regular “Happy Birthday” song (if your friend embarrassed you by telling the server it was your birthday). 

5) The First Song on the Planet: “Happy Birthday” was the first song ever played on the planet. For real! The trick? The planet isn’t Earth.

Have a great weekend!