The Weekender, November 10, 2023


Today is Veteran’s Day here in the United States (and Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in many other parts of the world) and an off-day for me. I didn’t want to skip the Weekender, though, so I decided to still share the Week in Review and some long reads. They’re immediately below.

Thank you to all who served, and have a great weekend.

The Now I Know Week In Review

MondayThe Girl With Two Twin Sisters: There are actually a handful of stories like this one, which is kind of scary.

TuesdayThe Man Who Sued Himself (and the IRS) and Won: There are also a handful of stories like this one, which — well, that’s not scary at all.

WednesdayStichting De Eenzame Uitvaart: I originally wrote this a decade ago and it remains one of my favorite stories.

ThursdayThe Cat With Two Lives: There are actually a handful of stories like this one, because cats are weird.

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “The Untold Story of the Boldest Supply-Chain Hack Ever” (Wired, 32 minutes, May 2023). The subhead: “The attackers were in thousands of corporate and government networks. They might still be there now. Behind the scenes of the SolarWinds investigation.”

2) “The Political Thicket” (More Perfect podcast, 43 minutes, June 2016). This is a podcast about a Supreme Court case from the 1960s called Baker v. Carr, which you’ve probably never heard of — except for the fact that I think I mentioned this episode in a previous Now I Know once. (Or, unless you’ve followed American legal history closely.) How’s how Radiolab, the producers fo the More Perfect podcast, tee this episode up.

When Chief Justice Earl Warren was asked at the end of his career, “What was the most important case of your tenure?”, there were a lot of answers he could have given. After all, he had presided over some of the most important decisions in the court’s history — cases that dealt with segregation in schools, the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, just to name a few. But his answer was a surprise: He said, “Baker v. Carr,” a 1962 redistricting case. 

In the episode, the producers (in their words) “talk about why this case was so important; important enough, in fact, that it pushed one Supreme Court justice to a nervous breakdown, brought a boiling feud to a head, put one justice in the hospital, and changed the course of the Supreme Court — and the nation — forever.” Who knew the law could be so fun?

3) “The Traffic Jam in Low Earth Orbit” (New York Times, 7 minutes, November 2023). This is more of an infographic than an article. It’s fun.

Have a great weekend!