Vacation Mode: On!


Next week, Im taking a vacation — kind of. I’m not actually going anywhere but I am also not working; it’s the last week of school and we’re focusing on some family time. As a result, next week will be mostly re-runs — definitely one on Monday and probably one or two others as well. 

As for this week, I also don’t have a ton to share — I didn’t get a lot of reply emails this week and, as the title said, I’m kind of already in vacation mode. So let’s just run to the Week in Review and those long reads!

The Now I Know Week in Review

Monday: Capture the Flag: This is a re-run, kind of — I wrote the original story in 2011, but this week, the two nations involved struck a deal and settled the matter. Thanks again to everyone who suggested I update the story to reflect the new news!

Tuesday: When Shouting “Cr*p!” is a Wish Come True: I went back and forth about writing this one. It’s a funny story but there’s really not much too it — I can very easily sum it up in a sentence or two — and there’s no great lesson either. But I kept thinking about it and how this guy has a FANTASTIC story for the rest of his life. So, it made the cut.

Wednesday: The Fired Employee Who Got the Last Laugh: First, I think everything I said about the story above applies here, too. Second, I wouldn’t have the chutzpah to pull off what this guy did. Third, the employer should have un-fired him for the stunt. Creativity like that plus a demonstrated bias for action — that’s what makes a good advertising leader.

Thursday: How Long Would It Take to Count to One Million?: Much longer than you think, I think.

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend.

1) “The detectives hunting for underwater volcanoes” (BBC, 8 minutes, June 2022). The subhead: “In January 2022, a giant undersea volcano explosion rocked Tonga in the Pacific. How do scientists find where and when the next one will blow?”

2) “When Does an Accident Become a Crime?” (Texas Monthy, 28 minutes, March 2019). A warning on this one: it’s hard to read. I don’t mean it’s poorly written — hardly — but the accident itself claims the life of a young child, and I struggled to make it through this as a result.

3) “How fandom built the internet as we know it, with Kaitlyn Tiffany” (The Verge, 36 minutes, June 2022). I really love learning about the history of the Internet (and yes, I insist on capitalizing “Internet” still). I can talk at length about the history of Wikipedia and why attempts to replicate the user-created/edited content are usually doomed. This doesn’t talk about Wikipedia at all (which I think is a slight miss), but it does offer a very interesting perspective or two that I hadn’t considered before. It’s a transcript of a podcast episode; you can also listen to it instead via the link.

Have a great weekend!