Now I Know - The Now I Know Week in Review

If you're new to Now I Know, you'll notice that today's format is different than the rest of the week. On Fridays, I take a pause to write the "Weekender," my  "week in review" type of thing, or to share something else I think you may find interesting. Thanks for reading! -- Dan

The Now I Know Week in Review


This Friday's email is going to be a short one -- first, Monday was a holiday, so I took it off (well, with a re-run), and second, a not-so-fun stomach bug has struck my household (but not me personally . . . yet?) and I haven't dealt with much of anything else. So this is a short Friday email. The good news: the issue I had with the ads last week seems to be solved -- so, stomach bug or not, I'm calling this week a win.

Let's get right to this week's stories.
Monday: The Case of George Washington Versus Pinocchio -- The cherry tree and the wooden boy are both parables about lying, at least to some degree. Which is more effective?

TuesdayThe Crows Didn’t Mind Dick Cheney, Though: I sent this under the wrong title originally -- this is the right one. This is a fun one (and really has very little to do with Dick Cheney).

WednesdayWhen Bees Get Too Buzzed: They don't get to go home and they can't stay near. (Okay, maybe they can stay near, but that'd ruin the parody lyric I'm trying to make there.)

ThursdayThe Physics Behind Planes With Flying Advertising Banners: This is one of the first Now I Knows I wrote, and by that, I mean probably number 300 or so. It's one of those things that, even now, I don't really believe it's so difficult to pull off -- I mean, it's just a banner, how hard could it be for an airplane to pull it around?

Some Other Newsletters to Check Out!

Here's a list of other email newsletters you should consider subscribing to. In the interest of full disclosure, these are paid placements -- the newsletters are paying me a small amount of money for each person who signs up. 
1440: 1440 is the daily newsletter helping 2M+ Americans stay informed—it’s news without motives, edited to be unbiased as humanly possible. The team at 1440 scours over 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and everything in between - in a five-minute read each morning, 100% free.

Stat Significant: Love a good statistic? Stat Significant is a weekly newsletter featuring data-centric essays about culture, economics, sports, statistics, and more. Are Best Picture winners getting worse? Is Christmas season coming earlier? What is the dollar value of a yard in the NFL? Subscribe for free to find out!

Tech Brew: Tech news is confusing, so Tech Brew changed that.  Join over 450K people reading Tech Brew, the 3-times-a-week free newsletter covering all updates from the intersection of technology and business. They provide free tech knowledge that'll help you make more informed decisions. 

Smartr Daily: This is the essential newsletter for curious minds! Smartr Daily sources the smartest articles on the Internet. Get thought provoking ideas and insights delivered straight to your inbox daily!

And some other things you should check out:

Some long reads for the weekend:

1) "ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web" (The New Yorker, 13 minutes, February 2023). In early December of last year, I wrote about ChatGPT, an AI chatbot. This story, via reader Aaron E., takes a somewhat-critical look at ChatGPT and its current state, insofar as how reliable it is. I think it's a fair critique and a thoughtful one, although I'll caution that I think all new technologies are like that; the early internet was similarly patchy.

2) "How A Phony Fed Fooled A Small Town" (60 Minutes, less than 60 minutes, November 2008). This is the written companion of a segment from the TV show 60 Minutes, and I'm sure the video is better than the written story. But the written piece is pretty good. Here's a blurb from the top:
Like many small towns across the country, Gerald, Mo. was struggling with a tiny police force and a big drug problem. Then a man, known as "Sgt. Bill," showed up.

Bill Jakob flashed a badge and announced his credentials: an undercover federal agent sent to clean up the town in a county with one of the highest number of methamphetamine labs in the country.

He quickly helped police round up dozens of suspects and was welcomed like a conquering hero. As Katie Couric first reported last November, it all seemed just a little too good to be true.
3) "Why are nurses quitting? Ask the nurse no hospital will hire." (Washington Post, 14 minutes, February 2023). The nursing sector has been uniquely impacted by the pandemic, and the perceived lack of empathy for those in those roles has led many to quit. This is a first-hand look by someone who experienced that herself and made it her mission to change her profession, hopefully for the better.

Have a great weekend!

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