Welcome To Everything Is Amazing!
Read Me First!
Hello! Welcome to Everything Is Amazing - a newsletter about curiosity, attention and wonder.
Since those are three terms that (a) need a lot of unpacking and (b) still don’t give you any clear idea about what this newsletter is about - let’s take a really big step back.
This is, at its heart, a science newsletter. It’s driven by the discoveries and the research into the ways we perceive the world, all the things that get in the way (inside & outside of our minds), and the amazing benefits for your health, your mood and your ability to think clearly - for truly, there are amazing benefits - that come from living a life more curiously, as suggested by all the current research.
That’s the theoretical side. But it’s also about the act of curiosity. It’s a doing-fun-stuff newsletter.
And one of the things I do here is to go explore how little I actually know about the world, to search of a good source of those “wow!” moments that make you feel more wide-eyed and hopeful about everything - and to try to uncover, for me and for you, things that we both never knew we didn’t know.
(I also give you challenges, so you can go do things yourself. If you want to! But they’ll be fun, I promise - or at least mildly diverting. All the science says so.)
OK. Here are some other people being kind enough to explain what they think Everything Is Amazing is all about:
“Wikipedia on acid.”
- David Charles, writer and outdoor instructor, co-writer of BBC Radio Wales sitcom Foiled and cyclist-at-large with Thighs of Steel.
“Everybody needs to subscribe [to] Everything Is Amazing. We need to be reminded now, more than ever, how much there is in the universe to be in awe of."
- Mary L. Trump, psychologist, bestselling author of “Too Much & Never Enough” and “The Reckoning,” and newsletter writer of The Good In Us.
“Mike’s deep dives into the fascinating stories behind everyday things make him a compelling guide to the world.”
- Jodi Ettenberg, lawyer-turned-curiosity-writer, author of the award-winning Legal Nomads and the newsletter Curious About Everything. (Read more about Jodi at CNN Travel.)
If you’re still unclear about what this is and why you’re reading this, check out the About page, which may not bring the clarity you need, but there are some soothing photos of some places I’ve been, which I’m told are quite calming.
At the time of writing, there are almost four seasons of this newsletter - well over a year’s worth - and it’s getting a bit difficult to track down everything.
You could work your way through each season, using the headings in the centre-top menu on the homepage - and I’d be thrilled if you did that!
But this page (when it’s finished) will be a short-cut to the really good stuff, plus a few suggestions on lots of interesting things to read, around the topic of scientific curiosity, awe, wonder and everything I’m mentioning as I go along.
Hope it helps / that’s you warned.
Note: 80% of this newsletter is, and always will be, free for everyone to read. But the remaining 20% (marked “ PAID ONLY” in the lists below) is only available to paying subscribers. Want to read it all? You can upgrade here:
It costs as little as $5 a month, you’ll get access to a bunch of upcoming things including my non-fiction storytelling course & my very first book, and you’ll help me keep the lights on around here.
If you decided to do that, it’d mean everything to me. Thank you!
“Oh To See, To Truly See” - my original introduction, on how China Mieville’s thrillingly weird 2009 novel The City & the City is a great metaphor for pursuing a more curious life.
“Avoid Reading Clickbait Hogwash With This One Curious Trick”: why we click sensationalist twaddlesome garbage, why we incorrectly blame ourselves for it every. single. time, and what a fun and meaningful antidote to this lunacy might be.
(Every season, I pick a big topic that I’m interested in but fairly ignorant about, and go in search of as many Wows as possible, writing up the results into newsletters and big Twitter threads.)
SEASON TWO: Fake and Unreal Maps
“The Great San Serriffe Hoax Of 1977” - how The Guardian newspaper ran a fictitious travel supplement as a joke, fooled so many people that its telephone switchboards were overwhelmed with people refusing to believe these islands didn’t exist, and made a ton of advertising money in the process. (Twitter thread.)
(PAID ONLY) “A Map Of The Internet, Part 1: The Lies Of The Land”: What does the Internet actually look like, from inside and outside it?
SEASON THREE: Optical Illusions
“The Best Virtual Lightshow You’ll Ever Not See”: the weird and wonderful world of light pillars - which simultaneously do and don’t exist. (Twitter thread.)
“In Search Of A Prince Of Serendip”: “Using an online mapping tool, I drew a circle a mile wide around the apartment where I was living in Scotland, and began hunting for serendipity within it.”
“4 Stupid Ways To Have A Better 2022”: I’m a big fan of the right kind of stupidity, and this newsletter explains why.
(PAID ONLY) “50 Stupid Ways To Discover The Unknown”: a huge pile of curiosity prompts to get you out the door, having great fun and looking like a bit of an idiot (if you’re doing it correctly).
Images: Susann Schuster; Stefan Kuhn; Martin Vargic; Diane Alkier; Nikko Macaspac;
Yes, I'm slightly confused. But what the hell--subscribed!
It was something that left the curiosity still curious.
Well Im sure there will be gems inside and I will dive in to find them.
Looking forward to settle my curiosity