The Problem With Holiday Thursdays


Yesterday, the United States celebrated its Independence Day. And I truly appreciated having the day off — except for the fact that the day started off with a Mets loss, it was a nice day. But for a person who writes a daily email newsletter, it’s a headache.

Very few of your are going to read this newsletter, at least, relative to other ones. And I don’t blame you — today is a pseudo-holiday in the U.S., and many are using vacation days to stay out of the office or the like. But the result is the same. On a practical level, sending a long email to a lot of people who won’t open it is a waste. So I’m keeping this one short: I’m going to jump right into the Week in Review and then share some long reads. Have a great (rest of) your weekend!

The Now I Know Week In Review

Monday: The Stupid Future-y Shoes That People Actually Love: If you haven’t seen “Idiocracy,” it really is a fun movie. It’s also short — under 90 minutes — so it’s not a huge time investment. I recommend it.

Tuesday: The People Who Stuck Out Their Necks for Giraffes: I really liked my intro to this one. I had a more straightforward one at first and when this idea popped into my head, I was concerned I couldn’t execute against it, but I think I did!

Wednesday: How Four Dollars Can Unlock American History: A really love a good garage sale (or “tag sale,” as I called them growing up), in part because there’s always a chance you’ll find something truly valuable. Even if the odds are extremely low, it’s fun.

Thursday: Took the day off for the 4th of July. Hope you had a good day!

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “Fudgetown, USA” (Taste, 10 minutes, May 2024). The subhead: “How a Michigan vacation town transformed the sweet into a nationwide tourist attraction.”

    2) ”Sicily Sold Homes for One Euro. This Is What Happened Next.” (Afar, 12 minutes, April 2024). If you want to know why the homes were so cheap before clicking, well, here you go! “Since the 19th century, large numbers of villagers in the poorer parts of Italy have migrated to more prosperous regions and countries. The migration continues; in some places, populations have shrunk so dramatically that there are no longer enough patients to keep the local doctor in business, or enough children to fill the school. Young people who moved away to study or work didn’t want to return, and when their parents died, the family homes stood empty, sometimes for decades. Around 2010, the village of Salemi in western Sicily was one of the first towns to come up with an idea: What if you could fill them again by offering the properties for sale at a ridiculously low price?”

      3) “Jeff Henry, Verrückt, and the Men Who Built the Great American Waterpark” (Grantland, 42 minutes, September 2014). A deep (pardon the pun!) on the pools, waterslides, and other stuff that powers a great way to spend a day or two.

        Have a great weekend!