The Weekender, December 6, 2019


Let’s start with bacon law — because it’s actually fun. The next episode of Now I Know on YouTube is out, and your intrepid video host Matt explains to you why the bacon you buy at the supermarket is lying to you — until you flip it over.  Click here or on Matt’s face, below, to watch! (Clicking on Matt’s face is probably more fun.)

OK, now the not-fun part: Can you help me fix my website?

Here’s the deal: The Now I Know archives have some malware on it. It’s mostly harmless and primarily annoying, but it’s still not good, and it bothers me. When you go to read an article you sometimes, but not always, end up getting redirected to some horribleness lying to you about winning some prize or something. I want it gone — but I can’t seem to squash it. 

So, help? The archives run on WordPress; I have backups but they’re likely corrupted; and because of some stupid decisions I made early on with the newsletter, I have some funky php running (which I don’t really understand) to handle some redirect stuff, but I could probably nuke that at this point.

If you can help — like, hands-on, in the weeds fixing, please reply and let me know. I’m glad to pay you for the help, too. (No advice emails, please; as much as I appreciate it, I don’t have the wherewithal to fix it myself.) Thanks!

The Now I Know Week in Review

I think this section is still pretty valuable, right? Let’s keep it.

MondayThe One Thing You Can’t Take Home from The Price is Right — A couple readers wrote in because they were skepitcal about the price of the Plinko chips, and I think that skepticism is fair… but it’s what CBS claims. So I don’t really have any insight beyond that, unfortuantely. 

Bonus: The Atlantic has a great article titled “How to Game Plinko,” using math.

Tuesday: The Easiest Way to Bike Up a Hill — The world’s only bicycle escalator. (I’ve written about escalators a lot, which is kind of weird.)

Wednesday: Breaking the Ice — how people in Iceland make sure they aren’t accidentally dating their cousin. Really — this is apparently a problem there. 

ThursdayThe State of Indiana versus Robin Hood — Indiana takes on Robin Hood; does that make Indiana rich? And Robin Hood won, so does that change the calculus?

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive Hack in History” (Wired, 31 minutes, August 2019). I had no idea this had even happened. 

2) “When GoFundMe Gets Ugly” (The Atlantic, 26 minutes, November 2019). The subhead: “The largest crowdfunding site in the world puts up a mirror to who we are and what matters most to us. Try not to look away.”

3) “My Grandfather, A Killer” (NPR, 8 minutes of audio, August 2019). A man finds out that his grandfather is a murderer — and thinks about what that means for his family.

Have a great weekend!