The Weekender, November 22, 2019


The YouTube Channel is Back!

That’s right, a new episode from the Now I Know YouTube Channel! Want to know what it’s like to lose your wedding ring in space? Now, you can. Click here or on Matt’s face, below, to watch. 

(And don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel!)

A few other things, before I go on:

1) For those new to the list, the Friday emails (aka “The Weekender”) are a week in review of sorts, and a letter-to-readers of sorts, and some long reads at the bottom. To be honest, it’s whatever I want. But it’s not the regular “here’s a fun fact and the story behind it” email you get Monday through Wednesday. In case you were wondering what’s going on here.

2) For those who have bought my third book, thanks! If you liked it, please leave a review on Amazon. Reviews really, really help. For everyone else, I am not offended if you did not buy, or did not like, my book. (Okay, maybe I’m a bit hurt.)

3) Next week, we in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving. I’ll not be publishing a Now I Know on Thursday, I have no idea what I’m going to do yet on Friday, and the Weekender may come out on Wednesday. Or not at all. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. I’m behind on a lot of things, you know?

Oh, and that brings me to this:

I’m behind on my email.” 

I had a meeting to go to on Monday night and hadn’t yet written Tuesday’s email. In fact, I hadn’t even figured out what I wanted to write about. While attending the meeting, I flipped through my email on my phone to see if there was anything in there I could use. There certainly is — a lot of you have sent over a lot of story ideas, and I’ve just never gotten around to them. As of this writing, I have 737 unread emails in my inbox and probably another two thousand which I’ve read but haven’t gone back to. 

Anyway, I misclicked and ended up on an email from September (of 2019, I think) from a reader. It was about to close the email and then I saw what it was: a story recommendation. So I dug a little deeper, found some more sources, and that turned into Tuesday’s newsletter.

There’s no deep, insightful takeaway from this — just know that I am trying, but failing, to read all the notes you send in. So keep sending!

The Now I Know Week in Review

MondayHow Luke Skywalker Beat the Puffins — I know I said this last week, but if you like Star Wars (and who doesn’t?), the Mandalorian on Disney+ is really good so far. 

Tuesday: When the U.S. Air Force Bombed Montana — This is the story discussed above. 

WednesdayThe Poacher Who Got Sent to the DVD Player — I grew up in a suburb of New York City and there simply weren’t a lot of hunters in my town, but there were some. One kid I went to high school with, for example, went hunting with his dad pretty regularly, if memory serves. I remember someone once asking him how he could do that to the poor innocent deer; doesn’t he feel bad, killing Bambi? It turns out he didn’t: he had never seen Bambi. His parents didn’t want him to feel bad later on in life. 

ThursdayWhy Did the Crab Cross the Road? — To get to the beach.

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) “Tossing a Bird That Does Not Fly Out of a Plane” (The Atlantic, 20 minutes, November 2018). A Thanksgiving tradition that should have never happened. And it comes from a place called Yellville. You couldn’t make this up if you tried. 

2) “No Flag Northern Ireland” (CGP Grey, 5 minute YouTube video, June 2019). Northern Ireland doesn’t have a flag, or it does, kind of, sort of, it’s complicated. This video explains it. 

3) “Mark Duplass doesn’t think Netflix can get Ray Romano awards attention. So he’s doing it himself” (LA Times, 8 minutes, November 2019). Everyone loves Raymond, but not nearly as much as this guy does. Thanks to reader John G. for sharing this one with me.

Have a great weekend!