This is Now I Know. A bunch of redditors already subscribe total and I'm a long-eight-year redditor myself. Last year, the Now I Know book came out and my second book, Now I Know More comes out November 1 and is available for pre-order now.

What I write about is idiosyncratic -- if it's new to me and fascinating, I write about it. Here are five recent ones, to give you a taste:

All the archives are here and you can subscribe for free. They're kind of random, but hopefully interesting.

Keep the questions to Now I Know and I'll answer just about anything. I'll also answer questions about baseball, just because. And most other stuff as well.

My Proof:

Comments: 515 • Responses: 115  • Date: 

PregosFearStaircases159 karma

Long time sub here. First off, awesome work!

Question: what is your all time favorite fact you've learned over the years?

Bonus question: what is the scariest fact you've learned over the years?


MrDNL123 karma

Thanks for reading!

I really like the "where do your bags go" fact (linked above) mostly because it seems like a totally reasonable solution to something that I'd never realize as a problem. But really, my "favorite" changes pretty rapidly. I was having a conversation last week about coincidences and this one was the one I relied on for some reason. (If you don't want to click, there are two Dennis the Menaces -- one US, on UK -- who debuted at roughly the same time without knowledge of each other.)

Bonus answer! I don't really do "scary" for some reason. Everything's an outlier so there isn't anything which keeps me up at night. Grossest, though, are pig toilets -- don't click if you're eating! -- where poop comes from person, out a tube or something, and into a pig's food trough. By design! Disgusting.

silvester2317 karma

The thing with the bags is really interesting. Fun fact: In Germany, these bags are auctioned off a couple of times a year at the airport without revealing the contents beforehand.

MrDNL18 karma

In the US they're sold by the pound.

jpropaganda9 karma

Really? I thought we did auctions too. At least, that's what "Baggage Battles" led me to believe...

MrDNL16 karma

Well, the airlines auction it off to stores, but it's by the pound.

helpmydickisbleeding11 karma

holy shit, the dennis thing makes so much sense. I grew up in europe, live in canada now, and in the back of my mind never understood the two completely different denisses that existed in my childhood

MrDNL9 karma


woundedbreakfast2 karma

Read the pig toilet. It'd be awesome if you wouldn't use ethnocentric language like Goa becoming more "sophisticated."

MrDNL8 karma

Good point.

landimal77 karma

Greetings, I love getting your email each morning. How long does it take you to research and write each one, and whenever you make a typo how many times do you have to hear about it?

MrDNL101 karma

The whole process is anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how distracted I am, and then I run an edit for about 10 minutes before I send. I miss a ton of typos, as anyone who reads knows, and I get about a half-dozen comments per day on average about that. That's not likely to change -- my writing cycle is really tight (500 or so words 5x/week as a side project does that) so I don't have time for someone else to edit it.

Wawgawaidith32 karma

Do you use any particular newsletter grammar/spelling checker software?

MrDNL57 karma

In-browser spell-check. That's it. My grammar is ... curious, and maybe unique.

JadoJodo32 karma

You might try After The Deadline.

Love the newsletter!

MrDNL27 karma

Oh, I hadn't, will check it out!

Froogler11 karma

500 or so words 5x/week as a side project does that

With 100,000+ subscribers, I would assume you could turn this into a full-time gig.

MrDNL21 karma

I'm not very good at monetizing.

Dickbag696 karma

Monetizing can be quite difficult. I'm sure you could talk to sponsorships directly rather than going through a normal ad provider. If you could get sponsored by the same people who sponsor podcasts of maybe have a relevant sponsorship link or banner ad at the bottom of your emails (just to let you know, this is the first time I've heard of your stuff so I don't know if you already do this) for instance your email about luggage, "This fact was brought to you by Southwest Airlines" or some other bullshit. Actually finding a phone number on a website and giving it a call to talk about sponsoring a product to a hundred thousand people should get decent responses.

MrDNL7 karma

Yep, I try, but I'm one person. Ideally I'd have someone do that for me. i'm also quite the introvert.

Dickbag697 karma

I don't know much about what you do because I'm new to it, but do you also have a youtube channel? Back in the day I ran a semi popular channel with 30k subs and a network with youtube hooked me up with sponsorship deals and in return took ten percent of what I made. I made $2400 a month with them (maker studios) and they kept $240 of it. This changed every month but that's an average.

So I'm sure with 100k readers that you could make a lot more!

EDIT: I still run a channel of sorts but it's a lot bigger and also different. And because of contracts I'm not allowed to talk about it pretty much anywhere even anonymously.

MrDNL13 karma

I really want to start one but I'm not a video guy. Even though your name is Dickbag69, I'd love suggestions.

loveandpolisci60 karma

Can you do a collaboration with the guys from Stuff You Should know?

MrDNL59 karma

I'd like to. Someone make me an intro? :)

capass54 karma

Do you have a career or full time job to that you do in addition to writing fact-books?

MrDNL58 karma

Yes, this is a side project. My full time job is easily discovered, but I can't really discuss it here, sorry!

Biolight54 karma

He works for Sesame Workshop, where he reports to the head of new VP Digital, Big Bird.

Love your newsletter. :)

MrDNL63 karma

He tweets.

awrf2 karma

Oh man! Thanks for ArmchairGM. :)

MrDNL5 karma

Thank you for knowing what that is!

AnImbroglio38 karma

Just wanted to say I've been signed up to your emails for quite some time, and love all of them!

As to a question, what got you started doing this, and what keeps you going?

MrDNL47 karma


What keeps me going is the feedback, mostly. I get the "wow that's really cool" note and I realize I made someone's day a little bit brighter.

standardalias31 karma

When are we going to see you on jeopardy? Or as a expert of some sort on an H2 show?

MrDNL39 karma

I'll never be on jeopardy. I'm no Ken Jennings.

I'm an expert on nothing, but I'd love to do more, regardless.

KevinFul042 karma

How many questions do you typically get right when you watch Jeopardy?

MrDNL4 karma

I don't watch Jeopardy very often, but when I do, it's only a few.

nojero29 karma

Hi! I have been suscribed only for the last week or two, but I find your emails very interesting.

Question: is there any fact that you started investigating but had to give up for lack of sources/information? What was the most interesting one that you were sad you couldn't post/write about?


MrDNL51 karma


Lack of sources: Officially, the trains at Grand Central Terminal leave a minute after their posted time, in some effort to make travel safer -- people won't rush for trains if the trains leave a minute later. The GCT people say its true but I can't find any independent corroboration and, to make matters worse, my phone clock says its wrong. I think that's because it's just not true. The explanation doesn't make sense, but lying would get people to slow down if they're running late, because you'd have that extra 60 seconds.

I haven't been really sad about anything I couldn't write about. I write about what I want to :)

Max_Kas_22 karma

You should make an app that sends users push notifications and allows them to easily browse past content.

MrDNL7 karma

Maybe? Probably not though.

ossiangrr28 karma

What can you do in 10 minutes?

MrDNL29 karma


You're the best, Josh. You should tell everyone here the Ossian story and how it ended up on a V:TES card, they'd actually find it super-interesting, I think.

ossiangrr12 karma

I don't know if an autobiographical story about my nickname and "art career" is NIK-worthy, but OK, I'll work on something!

MrDNL10 karma

Dude, it's a good story. Not going to make the newsletter but one of those great examples of fan art being appreciated.

Mr_Holmes27 karma

Just wanted to say I LOVE your daily emails! I don't always have the time to read them, but I always enjoy it when I do. I think of the many I have read, only one or two was something I already knew, so thank you for teaching me something new on an almost daily basis.

How long do you spend each day/week researching and writing these up?

MrDNL32 karma


I answered that elsewhere but I'll give you my new process. I take the train into NYC each weekday (not today, this is how I'm spending a vacation day!) and the ride is about 40 minutes. Before I get on the train, I open up a bunch of tabs of things I'll link to. Once I'm on the train, I dilly-dally for about half that and write for the other half, on a good day. I can get a nearly complete draft done in that time. Everything else is clean-up

Mr_Holmes16 karma

That's really cool that it doesn't take much more time than your daily commute! Follow-up questions:

  • How long did it take you to complete your books?
  • Has writing these nearly every day increased your writing skills?

MrDNL25 karma

Writing books is a terrible, soul-crushing, time-destroying process. But still, I did it twice. :)

And yes, I think I've become a much better writer.

100Rob12324 karma

Where do you get all your interesting facts?

MrDNL31 karma

I read a ton and have a good eye for them, especially at this point.

LpSamuelm13 karma

No specific place? D'you never think "I'm gonna go trivia hunting"?

MrDNL20 karma


pigeonwiggle2 karma

not even /r/todayilearned?

MrDNL6 karma

For bonus facts.

cobysev21 karma

Long-time reader here. I really enjoy your work!

I do have a question, though: What is your process for researching all these facts? I know some people bring you information to use, but do you just spend all day researching online or do you have a library or collection of encyclopedias you frequent? Do you pick a subject and call experts for detailed information?

As a fellow autodidact, I'm really interested in where you find a lot of your educational material. Thanks, and keep doing what you do!

MrDNL24 karma


Wikipedia is pretty much the go-to for me, and you all should donate to it -- it's one of the modern treasures of the world. Google searches, Google news searches, and the like round it out. Anything written after 2002 or so is probably online somewhere; anything which happened before then is a little trickier but Wikipedia usually helps.

As for sources, I have a mess of saved links -- Instapaper, Google Docs, reddit stuff... it's a disaster. But I only publish once a day so I just pick something and run with it.

thewaferprettiest15 karma

How much time do you estimate you spend researching each particular topic?

How much time per day do you estimate you spend on wikipedia?

About how many emails do you get from subscribers on your mailing list each day offering suggestions or critiques/comments of your post.

Big fan told quite a few people to subscribe to your newsletter, keep up the good work!

MrDNL17 karma

Three questions, taking them one-by-one:

1) Time researching: It's mostly concurrent with writing. Hard to separate out.

2) Time per day on Wikipedia: It's part of the research process. I'm not usually going to go to Wikipedia and bounce around randomly looking for stuff to write about. Today's email used a lot of Wikipedia pages and was really dense -- it took me an hour to write it, although part of that was because I was at Starbucks and the dude next to me was singing along to whatever was in his earbuds.

3) I get about a half-dozen to a dozen email replies a day. Not unmanageable by any means.

i_luke_tirtles13 karma

Did you Know that you are one of the main sources of /r/todayilearned?

How do you feel about people stealing your work for karma?

(I'm a long time subscriber, and really enjoy reading your daily mail, but please, could you write a little bit less about baseball?)

MrDNL29 karma

I love when people post my stuff. Take all the karma, I have plenty!

Share my stuff widely. Please.

teutonicly5 karma

Oh, you're a SOURCE for TIL, forgive me, but I sort of assumed the opposite.

MrDNL9 karma

It's a mix, to be fair. There's a lot of good stuff I find through TIL, and a lot of my stuff ends up there, too.

_crackling2 karma

That's a pretty cool attitude, I like you.

MrDNL3 karma

you're pretty cool too.

for a person I just met on the internet.

Wzup12 karma

What's the most mind blowing, can't possibly be real, freak coincidence fact that you know?

Love the newsletter! Keep it up!

MrDNL16 karma

I mentioned this earlier but the two Dennis the Menaces (Dennises the Menace? No, I had it right the first time) is up there. The Richard Parker thing is pretty good, too.

blusbro2 karma

Speaking of Dennis the Menace, you ought to read about the two Mr Wilsons, and the not so subtle way the second one was introduced.

MrDNL3 karma


blusbro2 karma

Aw hell, I don't know. I'll ask my mother and find out about it. She was the one telling me all about it. She probably remembers it from the time it happened. She's old.

MrDNL2 karma

Please do, it could be really interesting.

vinnythestar11 karma

thank you for all your work! I learn a lot and have a lot of fun reading your articles.

question: if you could travel back in time and live in any time period and any location, where would it be? why?

MrDNL34 karma

I wouldn't. Death by some weird bacterial infection that my immune system can't handle? That sounds horrible.

CrazyYYZ2 karma

OMG, Genius answer. I never thought of that before. Go back with a case of penicillin.

MrDNL8 karma

And get burned as a witch? No thanks!

Se7enLC10 karma

Do you have any Cat Facts?


Is the title based on this Mitchell and Webb sketch

MrDNL3 karma

Nope... hadn't even seen that before.

MaybeNotBatman10 karma

What stands out as the most useful fact you've found? And what about the most useless?

MrDNL19 karma

I don't really judge them by usefuless or even think about that too much. I once wrote an article about a half-finished Cinderalla's castle somewhere in nowheresville-China, and that's as useless as it gets.

Until someone replied: they had passed by it two days earlier, had no idea what it was, took a picture, asked everyone they could, and still had no idea. Useful to them!

2BNamedLater9 karma

I don't have a really good question, I just wanted to say thank you for the Weekender editions! I eat lunch at my desk and love when I've got something longer I can read while I'm "on lunch". (As opposed to the rest of the time, when I'm "working" (aka .. on Reddit)) I can always count on you to pick out good stuff! Thanks.

Since I'm pretty sure I have to ask a question.. what are you going to have for lunch?

MrDNL10 karma

Nothing. I have a physical at 1pm today and have to fast until after the bloodwork is in.

2BNamedLater4 karma

That's the worst! Hope it goes well for you. And thanks again for all the great stories.

MrDNL4 karma


opg3218 karma

How did you start Now I Know?

MrDNL11 karma

On a whim.

I had tweeted out a few random facts and, even though I had maybe a hundred or so followers, they seemed to resonate. I had a previous attempt at a newsletter which didn't go so well, and wanted to try it again. So I combined the two into one.

trbowers7 karma

Hey Dan!

Long time reader here. First and foremost, thank you for the work you put in! You've left me with a number of bar stories and fun anecdotes for years. I've even emailed you a couple times and as promised, you responded! Pretty impressive for a 100k+ newsletter.

As a New Yorker myself I was wondering which, if any, trivia nights in the city you attend? Mostly so I can avoid getting stomped, but also wondering where the heavy hitters throw down. Also, what's a favorite trivia night category?

Thanks and keep the fun facts coming!

MrDNL6 karma


I don't live in NYC any more so no more trivia nights for me, not that I went to many to begin with.

wrigley23457 karma

Hi Dan. I subscribed to you on a whim maybe 6 months ago, and ignored every email I got from you. About a month ago I decided to take a look at one, realized why I signed up for them in the first place and spent nearly a day going through every NIK you've sent me. I look forward to it every morning now!

I'm sorry if you've got this listed somewhere obvious already, but how many people are subscribed to NIK, and on normal days how many new subs do you get per day?

MrDNL10 karma

That's kind of weird.


The number of subscribers is at the bottom of -- it should be about 111,000 or so. It fluctuates at this point, lose a few, gain a few. It's not for everyone, and I'm cool with that.

weiss3217 karma

Unrelated question but I have you tagged as "Candy Drug Lord". Any idea why?

MrDNL6 karma

I wish, that sounds like a good gig.

gardinal7 karma

I owe you a big one! I started a newsletter after reading up your previous AMAs. To be honest I found it very tough to reach out to people and it was very discouraging. The newsletter still hasn't had its first edition. (We had an introductory edition zero). We have around 200 subscribers, and they are mostly people I know in college.

Do you have any tips to go on? How to get more subscribers? How to be inspired enough to keep working?

It would mean the world to me if you could review it. DaysToGraduation Its a meaningful newsletter for heartfelt stories from campuses across the world and alumni. It aims to generate empathy and give a meaningful, nostalgic and connected experience for everyone.

MrDNL7 karma

You should be asking people to give it a try and give you feedback, that's #1. That's how I got to about 300 or so.

I did a lot of loose partnerships where I'd give the partner some content in exchange for a link and promo. That helped a ton. Then, I got lucky and got some nice links from places.

gardinal5 karma

Omg. Thanks a lot for replying! Its like getting advice from the person who inspired you :)

I tried. Personally mailed different colleges etc. It's just too discouraging. And then I lost touch. I need to start again. Need to get back to it. And I hope I get lucky.

Did you check the site out?

MrDNL9 karma

Briefly but I'm doing an AMA right now :-)

JadoJodo6 karma

Did you know there's a possibility (It's considered a conspiracy theory) that Soviet cosmonauts were lost in space before Yuri Gagarin's first human spaceflight?

Wiki Article

MrDNL5 karma

Yep... one of the things unlikely to be true, though.

laikamonkey6 karma

What, do you think, is the hardest part of all your process, including finding, research, posting and emailing the facts?

MrDNL8 karma

Getting in the groove is really hard sometimes. Writing isn't something that you can just do, like the dishes. Or at least I can't. I need to be in the right mindset.

keeppedaling6 karma

How many hours a week/month do you spend researching/writing?

MrDNL8 karma

2 hours a day, 5 days a week, so about 40-50?

Taedirk6 karma

How often are you told "and knowing is half the battle"?

MrDNL9 karma

Never -- the tagline for the newsletter is "That's Half the Battle!" so I already told the joke!

alittlelovebird75 karma

Hi! Love reading your emails.

What's your favourite period/topic in history?

Could you please do a Titanic-themed email? I have studied many different sources but always love when I find new facts about the ocean liner.

MrDNL8 karma

Thanks for reading!

I bounce around, time-frame wise. World War II is a never-ending source for stories, it seems -- like this perfect confluence of tension and technology coming together.

Titanic, I can look... I don't really have anything burning there.

LeVinXVA5 karma

Happy youre doing this ama. I'll be a new subscriber.

Question: What occupation did you have before you were able to commit to this?

Extra: How long did it take for Now I Know to get off the ground and which steps would you say were the most difficult?

MrDNL4 karma

Welcome to the list!

This isn't my job. It's a side thing.

It hasn't been all that difficult -- it's a slow, slow build. Now I Know is over four years old, and it still feels like it's in its first steps.

wuzzup4 karma


Thank you for filling my morning commute with something entertaining for the last few years!

What are your primary sources of ideas for topics? I like to think you scour endlessly on wikipedia and reddit for the oddest and most interesting topics that would merit writing a few paragraphs for your readers.

I'm looking forward to the second book!

MrDNL5 karma

My top primary source is my own list now. People send me great ideals all the time.

HighYellowBlackMan4 karma

I enjoy your daily newsletter, but I have to ask....does someone proofread the letter before you send it? I often see small errors that could be caught and corrected by a fresh set of eyes.

MrDNL7 karma

Unfortunately, no. I finish the articles only a few minutes before the article goes out. Maybe that'll be better one day.

gingerbeardy4 karma

Have you ever lost at Trivia Pursuit, and have people just stopped playing you?

MrDNL8 karma

Haven't played in a long time. It's slow and kind of boring. I like board games with more strategy and less trivia. I'm good at it but nothing special, either.

miniman10134 karma

How do you decide which facts to post?

MrDNL7 karma

Whim. Really, I just pick something and go with it.

lurkity_mclurkington3 karma

Hi Dan! Thanks for all your great, hard work on the newsletter! First, just want you to know how much it is appreciated every day.

You say you select the facts to write about on whim. Do you notice any trends in your selection? More history, science, pop culture, etc.? Are there general topics you won't write about?

Have you ever been on a panel or something similar for Now I Know?

Thanks, Dan!

MrDNL3 karma

I don't write about things that aren't going to get through the spam filter. That's the big and only restriction.

There are trends based on what I'm doing and what I've learned recently, so I'm sure there's a lot of NYC stuff more than most others would have.

I've yet to be on a panel, at least for Now I Know. One day!

UncoolJ3 karma

What's your fun fact/favorite story about yourself?

MrDNL8 karma

I have a voluntary nystagmus.

hugoklem3 karma

Where do you find out about all your facts?

MrDNL4 karma

Early on, I just read a lot. RSS was a much stronger protocol when Google Reader was around and I'd flip through the stuff I'd subscribe to and find stuff. Now, readers send them to me, and I have a huge backlog of stuff. The hardest part is finding the inspiration to pick one and go with it.

Jabb_3 karma

How did you start off?

MrDNL26 karma


fanofdisco23 karma


MrDNL4 karma

I'm up at 5:45 AM every weekday. But they're usually mostly done the night before.

Whipping_Tom3 karma

Have you ever accidentally made a repost?

MrDNL5 karma

Yes, once. was a bonus fact once, I ended up redoing it as a full story without noticing. A reader caught it.

BRiANtastyCAKEZ3 karma

Do you consider yourself successful?

MrDNL5 karma

Usually, but there are days when I wonder.

jwink31013 karma

I love Now I Know. I pre-ordered the book to show my support and help you continue this endeavor.

Here's my question based on when I read Now I Know. It is based on the assumption that I am not alone in when and how I choose to read your newsletter.

How do you feel know that it is likely that a good amount of your work is read while people are pooping?

MrDNL3 karma


I think that's where it belongs, right? It's good to keep you regular.

Ryspeed3 karma

For someone which isn't subscribed, what would you consider the most important piece information you've found during your writing. Something I should be aware of?

MrDNL11 karma

There's nothing super-important in the newsletter. It's learning for enjoyment's sake.

I guess if you're doing chest compressions/CPR, though, "Stayin Alive" is a good beat to stick to.

Proxify3 karma

How did you manage to write a book? I've been meaning to do it but I just can't figure even how to begin. I have the ideas but can't ground them properly.

MrDNL3 karma

The format, for me, is easy -- it's just a collection of stories weaved together so that they kind of flow. I think if I were writing a novel, I'd be screwed.

Proxify2 karma

So it's a collection of short stories kinda? How did you go about to publish it?

MrDNL2 karma

I have a publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of F+W Media. They do that part. I write.

silentisdeath3 karma

My birthday is November 1st can I get a copy for my birthday?!

MrDNL4 karma

If someone buys it for you, sure! That'd be a neat gift.

Post your Amazon wish list and maybe someone will buy it!

christiaanmeyer3 karma

Hi Dan!

First off, your e-mails are splendid and I enjoy them everyday. They are thorough and very interesting, and I often forward them. So naturally, often one of your Now I Knows is posted on /r/todayilearned without linking to your newsletter, instead linking to a Wikipedia article about the topic. Do you mind that? Do you feel that they should at least give you credit?

  1. What is your next step, is Now I Know going to carry on indefinitely? Have you thought about making a documentary/series/blockbuster about cool facts? ;)

  2. You seem to know everything about any topic. Is there any topic you really have no clue about?

  3. (Bonus Fact Question) Since you know everything, do you also know the future? Will 2015 look like it did in Back to the Future?

MrDNL3 karma

1) I don't know what my next steps are. I want to do more of this, not less.

2) I learn a lot every day. I know very little. I have no clue about most things. That's pretty much everyone's story, though... I just tell people about what I've learned.

3) The Cubs won't win the World Series, I hope.

Wizzer102 karma

Hey! Just subscribed. Your newsletter looks really cool. Just wondered if you've ever seen No Such Thing as a Fish? It's a weekly podcast by the people who make QI and it seems like it would be just up your alley. Loads of interesting, surprising and funny trivia.

MrDNL3 karma

hadn't -- will look!

TheBeneGesseritWitch2 karma

What sparked your love of trivia? For me, it was several books as a child--a Guinness World Records and The Book of Lists....that, and being able to share my random knowledge with everyone around me.

Love your emails. My husband and I have both been subscribing for years. =)

MrDNL3 karma

I just like learning things, and I'm very curious about the word, asking questions. So it was pretty natural for me. But yeah, I used to flip through the almanac and the trivia books as a kid, too.

EColi4522 karma

Dan! Huge fan! My question is: how much do you listen to NPR? It seems like everything you do relates to NPR in some capacity and I love that. That is one of the best news sources I listen to and its great to hear a new perspective on some of the stuff. Also, where do you gather other ideas for your now I knows?

MrDNL2 karma

A good amount, but relatively recently. Only about 15 minutes twice a day, though, and only weekdays.

thenerdyglassesgirl2 karma

Hey Dan! Love seeing your email every weekday morning.

My question: Has there ever been a fact so bizarre or just generally bad that you didn't want to send it out to everyone? What was it, if you care to share?

Also, have you gotten better at trivia games since you've started?

MrDNL5 karma

Google "penis panic." Can't get it past the spam filter.

I've always been pretty good at trivia games but I'm not great at it. My pop culture knowledge is meh.

Doctor_Strangiato2 karma

Hi Dan - What would you say is the least symmetrical world landmark (historical or present)? Thanks.

MrDNL3 karma

Uh... what?

Doctor_Strangiato2 karma

Haha. Like, Chichen Itza is pretty symmetrical, so I wouldn't go with that. But maybe something like Machu Picchu?

MrDNL2 karma

Mt. Rushmore?

TheZachster2 karma

Has anything changed for you over the years of writing?

MrDNL3 karma

Nothing huge. What do you mean?

TheZachster3 karma

I guess i mean how you approach things. Are you more efficient writing them now? Are you better at writing about less interesting topics? Are you better at trivia shows now as apposed to before NIK? Have you noticed anything different over the past few years, or is it just a daily routine. Do you ever get bored?

MrDNL3 karma

Oh, yeah, I can stream of consciouness-write by now, and oftentimes, I can isolate the really interesting part and expand upon it.

Definitely get bored, it comes and goes. Burnout sucks.

Prof_Porkchopz_2 karma

Dude! Know I know kicks ass! And has gotten me at least one girlfriend. My question is what made you inspired to start writing the news letter?

MrDNL6 karma

Wait, what?

CrazyYYZ2 karma

Besides making $$ off of the book, does this generate any income for you or is it just a passion?

MrDNL2 karma

Not a lot of money but some. Not enough to be a full-time job.

Tianoccio2 karma

How much of the information on your site and in your book was lifted from Reddit's TIL?

MrDNL2 karma


MikeyB672 karma

Hi! Love your work! What's your favorite piece of information that turned out to be fake?

MrDNL2 karma


OrangeandMango2 karma

Hi Dan!

Thanks for giving me something interesting to read each day. Really enjoy the weekend editions you started too.

My question is will there be any kindle or eBook versions if your books?

MrDNL2 karma

Yes! The first one is already out on Kindle and the second one will be (and can be pre-ordered as a Kindle ebook too)

GorgeousOranges2 karma

Has a fact ever blown your mind or made you go "Nooo... That can't be true"?

MrDNL6 karma

All the time! And they often aren't. That's kind of what I do -- say "wow!," investigate/verify, and if it works, write about it.

pnewell2 karma

What fact is your favorite for impressing a group of people at a party?

MrDNL2 karma

Depends on the conversation. I don't try and shove facts into things.

wait4f82 karma

What a fun exciting job! What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

MrDNL4 karma

I don't have one really "wow" one. is a fun one. I found it by hitting :)

stops912 karma

Tell us how many new subscribers you got after this post? :)

MrDNL6 karma

I won't know until tomorrow!

destinybond2 karma

As a pretty well known Mets fan, what do you think of their chances next year, and why will they underperform?

MrDNL3 karma

I'm optimistic!

I think the Mets trade Murphy, Colon, and probably one of Niese/Gee. They get another wave of decent prospect-ish type guys for them. Wilmer Flores starts at 2B giving way to Dilson Herrera by mid-July. No idea what happens at shortstop but I can't imagine it'll be Tejada and I'd be surprised if it were Flores. Maybe they sign Yasmani Tomas to play RF, moving Granderson to LF (who I think rebounds a bit).

The pitching is really promising. I think Harvey's going to disappoint a lot of people next year -- the first year back after Tommy John surgery is a bump, not a ramp (check out Adam Wainwright's stats) -- but he'll be at least league average, likely a tad or two better. Both Wheeler and deGrom could be better, which says a lot more about them than Harvey. The remainder of Niese/Gee joins Syndergaard/Montero/some vet, and Matz comes up late in the year.

The offense isn't very good -- Duda can smash righties but really needs a platoon-mate and there are questions everywhere else (even DW), but I'm optimistic that some of those questions will break positively.

LittleHyperbole1 karma

-Are there facts that you would love to write a 'Now I know' about but for some reason you can't. And if so, why?
-I've noticed you in the comments on TIL. What do you think about people posting TIL's straight from Now I Know?

MrDNL3 karma

People should post TILs straight from Now I Know every day. It's great. Great for me, great for you (you get karma), great for others.

The only things I don't write about are things I don't think are interesting (or can't get past the spam filter).

EricKei1 karma

In cases where a given bit of trivia has multiple, contradictory sources with regards to its authenticity, are there certain sources that you would trust more or less than others when it comes to verification?

MrDNL3 karma

That's actually pretty rare. Generally the will of the press and public to debunk things is pretty strong.

codecracker251 karma

Thanks a lot for doing this AMA! Long time subscriber here.

How/Where did you get the idea for doing something like "Now I know"? And how hard was it in the initial days to come up with new stories so often?

Also, suggestion: you should totally do a podcast, if you manage to find the time from your (already) busy schedule. :)

MrDNL2 karma

I really want to do a podcast but time doesn't allow for it.

Initially, stories were pretty easy -- I had years of experience and stuff I've learned about to go on. It's harder now because my criteria is tougher.

_Vetis_1 karma

Hey! I signed up for the newsletter a few months ago! It's great to see you here!

Anyways, in terms if questions. You say in your newsletters that it takes you quite a while to put together and write all the facts. Do you have any additional staff to help you with the workload? What do you do with your downtime?

MrDNL4 karma

Just me. This is my hobby/downtime -- I have a job, family, etc. I binge watch on netflix otherwise. I'm watching House right now. (As in, right now.)

epicnesshunter1 karma

What's your view on piracy?

MrDNL4 karma

Somalian or internet?

zukeroo1 karma

Do you steal all your shit off TIL posts?

MrDNL1 karma

Only about 50%

TheCountUncensored1 karma

Have you ever thought about branching out into doing radio work? You know, like "The rest of the story"? A lot of people miss Paul Harvey, and I think you could totally get away with saying "Stand by for news!"

MrDNL3 karma

I'd love to but I'd have to find the time, or someone would have to figure out the money side or whatever.

j1002s1 karma

Do you ever look over /r/todayilearned and maniacally laugh at the kingdom you've created?

MrDNL4 karma

TIL predates the newsletter.

Noodle__Incident1 karma

Hey man, I'm just chiming in to say that I love your daily email! Keep up the good work!

Also: how much time do you spend on Now I know? Do you write a bunch of stuff in advance when you happen to find something worth sharing, or do you try to find something new every day to write about the next day?

MrDNL3 karma

I don't have anything written for tomorrow yet. I do have one written for the future, but I don't know when I'll use it. (Whenever I say that, it becomes "eh, I'll use that tomorrow.")

GimmickNG1 karma

What are your favourite webcomics?

MrDNL3 karma

xkcd, smbc

cupaholic1 karma

I subscribe and when I have time, I truly enjoy your work!

I'm wondering do you make any money from this venture? If so, how much? I understand if you don't want to answer (maybe you could PM me), but I'm doing these random videos You Know What? and wondering if I should build out a web page and maybe start a newsletter like you're doing.

Thank you again and keep up the great work!!!

MrDNL3 karma

I make some money but it's not full-time money. More than beer money though. I call it "vacation money" -- it's enough to take a nice vacation, which I ... well, don't.

Glad to talk to you about what you're doing - shoot me an email.

Biolight1 karma

Ok, I love your newsletter. I've been subscribed for some time, and I actually think you're getting better as time goes on, which almost no newsletters do. So my deepest compliments.

I'm surprised by what I'm reading here. I'd have thought you'd have 200 of these newsletters pre-written, as in you're working on July 2015 while September 2014 is publishing! What compels you to work on deadline? Is there a writing technique there with the pressure?

MrDNL2 karma

I'm a terrible procrastinator. So, yeah, that's the compulson.

v_ronatron1 karma

Just subscribed! Does writing books and sending out the emails earn you a living, or is it just a hobby you expanded on?

MrDNL4 karma

Hobby. Part-time pay for part-time work.

dar891 karma

Hi, I'm not a reader and I'm not from the US either, do you think that would flaw how I would like to receive your mail everyday? I will give it a try anyway, so thanks.

MrDNL3 karma

I'm an American so I bring that perspective. I've fairly been accused over being too US-centric, but I think it's all still interesting.

sirrix0 karma

Hi Dan - big fan. This is kinda unrelated to Now I Know, but I've noticed that you used to (or still?) work for Sesame Workshop - I was wondering what you did for them and what it's like to work there - seems like it would be a wonderful job!

MrDNL2 karma


I'm not going to talk about my day job, but yeah, that's where I work.