We're In Your Inbox!!

It's the very first issue of "We're Here." I'm sure it will take us a moment to figure out exactly what we are, but I am already liking where this is heading.


It’s the first edition of “We’re Here” (a little email for people from Earth). Most emails won’t have this little introduction part, but since it’s the first time it felt necessary to explain.

Most of you are here because you are subscribed to the Nerdfighteria newsletter. That is what this is becoming. We want more ways to make stuff with fewer algorithms involved! If you don’t like it, we always want to make it super easy to unsubscribe (just scroll to the bottom and click).

But if you want to make sure you get “We’re Here” in your inbox, the easiest way to do that is to reply to this email, which will make the email filters believe that this is a real thing.

As a bonus, we’ll actually get the reply! So…don’t be mean. You can just reply with the first words to Smash Mouth’s All Star if coming up with something to say is too much pressure.


You can always email us at [email protected]

This Week in Stuff

Every email will start with some good stuff. Like, for example:

  • John Green is out here trying to make this a very bad week for tuberculosis (Earth’s most deadly infectious disease) with an op-ed in the Washington Post, a gorgeous Crash Course Lecture, and a call to decrease the price of TB tests on Vlogbrothers.

  • Alys stopped at a bench to tie her shoe and the bench had a recipe for Ragu a la Bolognese. If anyone makes it, please email us pictures.

  • This Twitter Thread on when and how US intelligence shares credible threats of terrorism with adversarial governments contained a number of things that surprised us.

  • Here’s art from The Oatmeal inspired by a poem about grief that made us happy we’re here to get hurt.

  • Some British Bears took a ride on a Swan Boat. I don’t know why we like this so much, presumably because the bears seemed to enjoy it.

  • Akira Toriyama, who created Dragon Ball (and a bunch of other stuff) died on March 1st. Forty-five artists in Peru collaborated on a 110-meter-long, six-meter-high mural featuring Toriyama’s characters. If you are wondering, 110 meters is well over 9000 centimeters. 

The bench bolognese from @alysjones96

How'd we do with these?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Please send us stuff you think we should feature to [email protected]

Depths of Wikipedia: The Worst

Annie Rauwerda

Do you ever feel like a failure? Do you wish you could go down in history despite having no exceptional abilities? Consider becoming the worst! If you’re famously bad, you’re still famous. A San Francisco restaurant server named Edsel Ford Fong earned a slot in Wikipedia for “being described as the world's rudest waiter.” The racehorse Haru Urara “gained nationwide popularity in 2003, not due to her success, but rather, due to a long string of consecutive losses.”

Japanese runner Shizo Kanakuri dropped out of the Olympic marathon in 1912 and didn’t finish the race until 1967 — making him the slowest marathon finisher in history with a time that exceeds 54 years (it was 54:08:06:05:32:20.3, to be precise). And in 1997, artists crafted an acoustic abomination called The Most Unwanted Song that successfully insulted the ears of all who dared listen. Within its horrifically long 22-minute runtime, the song features abrupt genre shifts between operatic warbling, whatever “dissonant free improvisation” is, and read-alouds of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy. It is horrible. That’s the point. 

There’s also William McGonnagall, whose extremely bad poetry is “widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature” — despite drawing massive crowds of laughing listeners. If you’ve never read his Wikipedia article, I thoroughly recommend it. Perhaps he will come to mind the next time you get a gutterball at the bowling alley, make a blunder in chess, or fall on your face at the ski hill. You’re just on your way to being the worst! 

Annie Rauwerda is a Wikipedia enthusiast in New York. She created the Depths of Wikipedia social media accounts to share her favorite Wikipedia pages. She's busy writing a book about her favorite website that will be published by Little, Brown in 2025ish. In the meantime, you can find her on InstagramTikTokTwitter, and Mastodon.  

What’s Hank Reading?

Right now I'm just finishing up “Between Two Kingdoms” by Suleika Jaouad which is, you guessed it, a cancer memoir (and one of the best ones, as far as I can tell). You really spill into the intensity of the diagnosis in a way that felt very familiar to me, though the intensity of her treatment (much more than mine) did not feel so familiar. The reason I started reading it is that I was looking for perspectives on the transition back from being a cancer patient to just being a normal person again. It’s truly beautiful, and a glimpse at a life very well lived and, hopefully, with a lot more life left. May we all be so lucky.

Plastic recycling rates are increasing, but slowly, in many regions

Veronika Samborska

Over the last twenty years, plastic waste recycling has considerably increased worldwide, as the chart shows.

OECD countries in the European Union, India, and China have spearheaded this growth. By 2019, recycling rates were 12–13%. Non-OECD Asian countries and Latin America have also made headway, but more slowly.

The United States and the Middle East & North Africa region have seen more sluggish advances, with the US only managing to reach a 4.5% recycling rate by 2019, according to the OECD data.

Different regional strategies and capacities have led to markedly different outcomes in plastic waste management.

Our World in Data is a UK-based non-profit organization that publishes research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems. You can find more of their data insights here.

This Week at Complexly

SciShow released its first DEEP DIVE, to help you understand the entire history and future of telescopes, hosted by Astro Alexandra!

What was the first surgery? It was earlier than you think unless you looked at the thumbnail, in which case you know it was 30,000 years ago. We’ve been caring for each other for a long, long time.

Some Games to Play!

Nerdy Connections (by Complexly)

SpellCheck.xyc (by Answer in Progress.)

If you post your results on social media, we’d love it if you post a link for folks to subscribe to “We’re Here” (https://werehere.beehiiv.com/subscribe)

You unfortunately cannot play in the newsletter!

This Gubbins postcard was made by @seknankes on Twitter.
Send us yours at [email protected]

Download Gubbins on iOS or Android!

From @hannamaytweet on Twitter, posted with the caption “My thoughts are pizzas I cannot fathom into boxes.”

FYI, a new Gubbins update includes hundreds of easter eggs, many submitted by this community. Here’s a tweet about it from a person who once wrote to our podcast saying her allergist told her that sneezing is never normal.

And that’s the end of the newsletter!

You should probably go outside now, if you can!

Join the conversation

or to participate.