Happy New Year!


It’s good to be back in your inboxes after taking the Christmas to New Year’s (plus a day) break as, well, a break. I only received maybe a dozen emails from people saying “hey, I didn’t get your email today, what broke?,” so I’ll take that as a win.

On the other hand, the rust, the on-and-off writing, and some jetlag were very apparent in the two stories I shared this week — both had more typos than usual. (Sorry! I corrected those you all flagged for me on the links below.) My plan was to pre-write this week’s stories before I went on vacation, and while I did pre-write a few stories, I saved them for something else I’m working on — I’ll share more on that probably next Friday. 

I’m not very big on New Year’s resolutions or the like, so I don’t have any to share with you today. So I guess that “wait till next Friday!” cliffhanger will, well, hang. This was a short week for Now I Know and, similarly, it’s going to be a short Weekender today! 

The Now I Know Week In Review

Monday: New Year’s Day — no newsletter!

Tuesday: I took another day off because I was travelling on New Year’s Day — no newsletter!

WednesdayDriving Off With the… Driveway?: Someone had their driveway stolen. Here’s why thief would do such a thing.

ThursdayThese Pigs Don’t Fly, But They Are Flags: Meet the protest pigs of late-19th century Prussia (or Denmark, depending on who you ask).

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “Relapse. Overdose. Saving lives: How a Detroit addict and mom of 3 is finding her purpose” (Detroit Free Press, 20 minutes, December 2023). I discovered this via Twitter (okay, via X, whatever); the author summarized it by saying “We followed a drug addict for more than a year, watching as she tried to save others and wondering if she could ever save herself.” As one other Twitter user stated, it is “heartbreaking, heartwarming, and heartfelt coverage” that was “hard to read” but felt “necessary to really learn” about the world of drug addiction. I’ll warn you — it doesn’t have a happy ending. But again, it’s worth the read.

2) “A Parliament of Owls and a Murder of Crows: How Groups of Birds Got Their Names, with Wondrous Vintage Illustrations by Brian Wildsmith” (The Marginalia, 7 minutes, January 2024). I think it’s funny that different animals have an animal-specific term for “group.” The history is interesting and the illustrations are fun, too.

3) “In the mountains of the world’s most remote country, baseball takes hold” (MLB, 8 minutes, August 2023). A story about baseball in Bhutan. The image at the top of the story is incredible, even if you’re not a baseball fan.

Have a great weekend!