The Weekender, January 10, 2020


Last week, I shared four goals I have for the newsletter this year. I missed one.

Right now, I have 466 unread emails in my inbox. That’s too many, but it could be worse. In fact, it was worse a few weeks ago — I was at closer to 800, maybe more. But it’s still too much. When I started this newsletter, I tried very hard to reply to almost all your emails back, as I want the newsletter to be a personal one; if you’re going to accept email from me, the least I can do is accept email back from you. And I was doing great until a few years ago. Then I fell a little behind, then a little more behind, then a little more, etc. etc. and now I’m at 466 unread emails.

So I’ve decided to go through the backlog over the next few weeks. I’m not going to reply to most of the older emails because they’re really old and 466 read-and-archives is a lot less time consuming than 466 read-and-replies. I’ll still reply to a few so if you get a note back from something you sent ages ago, that’s why. 

The Now I Know Week in Review

Monday: The Soccer Star Who Helped Someone Else Reach Their Goal — A nice donation from a soccer star.

TuesdayIt’s Art Because Someone Says It Is — One day, I’d like to pull off something like this, but I’d probably get in trouble and it’s not worth it.

Wednesday: The Greatest Thing Since 1928 — The story of sliced bread. 

Thursday: The Best-Selling Volkswagen Doesn’t Have Fahrvergnügen — Let’s face it, Fahrvergnügen is a really fun word to say. 

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend.

1) “How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained” (Atlas Obscura, 9 minutes, November 2015). Thanks to Kit K. for suggesting this one.

2) “I Was Captain of the Team that Loses to the Harlem Globetrotters Every Night” (Mel Magazine, 9 minutes, Fall 2019). The Harlem Globetrotters are a comedy-basketball team — they play a contrived game with virtually no rules against a team called the Washington Generals and, by design, win (almost) every time. If you’re a Globetrotter, it’s probably a lot of fun, being on the winning team and all. But if you’re on the Washington Generals? That can’t be a good time. Thank you to reader Craig S. for the rec.

3) “How New York’s Bagel Union Fought — and Beat — a Mafia Takeover” (GrubStreet, 13 minutes, January 2020). “The Great Bagel Battle” would be a good name for a book.

Have a great weekend!