Happy 13th Birthday to Now I Know!


Thirteen years ago yesterday, Now I Know was born. For the first few years of the newsletter, I’d send an email marking the occasion that night, but I figured with the Weekender coming today anyway, I’d mark the moment today instead: with a thank you.

Now I Know is a labor of love for me, a hobby that kind of took on a life of its own somewhere along the way. I really like leaning into my curiosity and discovering all of these stories. I’ve come to really like digging deeper into these stories and learning some of the nuances. And while writing was a chore for most of my formal education, it’s become a passion. But what makes this project special is you. Being able to share what I’ve learned, and knowing that there are dedicated readers who appreciate how I tell stories? That’s why I’m here. I could still do the reading on my own, write my thoughts in a Google Doc or something, and the work on my end would be almost identical, if not less, from a learning and writing perspective. But without the sharing — without you reading — it wouldn’t be fun. 

So, thank you for being the key ingredient that makes Now I Know successful. 

Here’s to 13 more years. Or more. There are a lot of fun stories out there to share, and I’ll keep sharing as long as you keep reading (probably).

The Now I Know Week In Review

Monday: Off for Juneteenth. I shared some thoughts on that last Friday, which you can read here in case you missed it.

TuesdayThe Invisible Eyelash Bugs That Can Trace Family Histories: It’s not as gross as you think it is.

Wednesday: Green Light, Red Light: The traffic light that is out of order, even though it’s working fine. A few of you wrote in to say that this is a very bad idea as colorblind drivers will understandibly be confused, and when it comes to traffic safety, confused drivers lead to bad, bad results. I agree, for what it’s worth. 

ThursdayA Tree* Grows* in Brooklyn* : I really liked this title. It’s not very accurate but it is fun.

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “In the targets of the junta: life and war inside rebel-held Myanmar” (The Guardian, 9 minutes, June 2023). This story is fantastic reporting from a war zone most people don’t know about, and few people ever think about.

2) “How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Swallowed Hollywood” (New Yorker, 38 minutes, June 2023). As long-time readers know, I log and rate every movie I watch on Letterboxd, a social network of sorts for movie fans. (That link shows you the movies I’ve most recently rated, which in most cases means I’ve seen them somewhat recently, although I will revise ratings over time, so there are some of them in there, too.) I’ve seen two movies in theaters over the last month or so — Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (liked it) and Across the Spider-Verse (loved it). And the one I saw before that in theaters? Ant-Man Quantummania (fine, fun, and not nearly as bad as most people think). So I’m very much part of the problem here. 

3) “How MrBeast Became the Willy Wonka of YouTube” (New York Times, 17 minutes, June 2023). The subhead: ‘Jimmy Donaldson, a.k.a. MrBeast, has become a viral sensation for his absurd acts of altruism. Why do so many people think he’s evil?”

Have a great weekend!