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What We’re Reading: Meet our new newsletter

Scott Lamb
The Medium Blog
Published in
5 min readMay 4, 2024



As a regular reader of this newsletter, did you know we’ve recently launched a new, daily email? The Daily Edition — tagline: “Learn something new every day” — goes out each weekday, with the goal of helping you deepen your understanding of the world through the words of Medium’s incredible community of writers.

Below, we’ve included a sample from today’s issue of the Daily Edition. If you like what you see, you can go to and subscribe (for mobile users, you’ll need to open that link in a web browser). And to make sure you’ll get it in your inbox, go to the “notifications” tab on your settings page and make sure that “Newsletters from publications” is checked.

As always, thanks for reading.

Scott Lamb, VP of Content at Medium

“Where are you from?”

Here we go again.

“The Bay Area.”

“No, where are you really from? You know, China, Japan?”

In an essay on this vexing question, Paul Yee describes how disorienting it can be to flatten your heritage into a single phrase, like: “I was born in the United States. I am American.

Yee’s father immigrated to the Bay Area from Taishan, a region in Guangdong Province. His mother was from Hong Kong, and both of his parents prioritized assimilating to American life. Later, Yee realized: “After decades of struggling to claim my space in America… I had to grapple with an uncomfortable reality. I didn’t know where I was from. Where I was really from.”

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the U.S. In the late ’70s, congressional staffer Jeanie Jew — whose grandfather immigrated from China to build the Transcontinental Railroad connecting Iowa to the Pacific — asked Congress to designate a month to celebrate the achievements of Asian American immigrants. She initially got a week. George H.W. Bush expanded the holiday to encompass all of May in 1990.

Why May? Two historic milestones give some context:

  • One of the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1843. His name was Nakahama Manjirō. He was shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean and rescued by an American sea captain. There’s a lot of nuance in this story if you dig deep: Nakahama was praised for his sailing expertise but endured racism in America, later traveling back to Japan.
  • The Transcontinental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869. A few years ago, historian roslyn bernstein commemorated the railroad’s 150th anniversary on Medium, quoting the President of the Museum of Chinese in America, who said: “After 200 years of being part of America, there are no Asian heroes in American textbooks because of the legacy of discrimination and racism. We are urgently presenting these stories… we cannot do our work fast enough.”

💬 From the archive: the mighty ellipsis

The word “ellipsis” derives from the Greek word “elleipein,” which means “leave out.” This punctuation mark’s power, designer John Saito explains, lies in the possibilities it possesses. He takes us through the long and winding history of all the ways software designers have deployed these three dots — from buttons in Windows 3.1 to the “kebab” and “meatballs” menu icons you’ll find in most apps today. Saito’s story is a testament to how humans can interpret the same symbol in myriad ways.

⌛ Your daily dose of practical wisdom: about the inevitable passage of time

“I stopped putting things off when I learned to see life as one big deadline,” confesses Eric Olszewski before sharing the terrifying (and motivating) lifespan chart he created to remind himself how much time he has left on this mortal coil. I keep this bookmarked for whenever I’m feeling sluggish.

What We’re Reading

Image adapted from Pixabay

We Finally Know What Drives Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and Long-Covid)

Published by Shin Jie Yong, MSc (Res) in Microbial Instincts

One way forward is to investigate reverse causation via pathomechanism-directed treatments. Based on the pathomechanism model, the study authors have proposed immune checkpoint inhibitors or neuropsychiatric drugs — aimed at correcting immune exhaustion or brain neurochemical changes — as potential treatments for ME/CFS. If these treatments do indeed work, they would support the model’s causative power.

Metro Station Quatre September, Paris, France | Photos by Matthew David

Following a Single Line Across Paris

Published by Matthew David in Globetrotters

I left the apartment in the chilly morning and walked a couple of blocks through quiet streets to the Metro station Pont de Levallois Becon, the Western Terminus of the #3 subway (Metropolitain) line through Paris. From there, I boarded the train, camera in hand, and a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to read as I rode the entire subway line to its final stop on the Eastern edge of the city: Gallieni station, at the Porte de Bagnolet. My mission was to walk across Paris from East to West, following the line of the #3 as it wound its way through the storied city.

Today’s Final Word goes to photographer Tom Zimberoff, who recently shared the story behind his iconic 1986 picture of Danny DeVito on the set of the movie Ruthless People. Zimberoff describes the chaos of trying to capture the image as the sun was setting and the surf and wind kicked up:

“There were no seconds to spare. There would be no second takes. And with no time to reload, we had exactly twelve chances to get one perfect picture on one roll of film. We were done in less than ten minutes.

“It’s reasonable to say that it takes luck to get such a picture on one roll of film — even today, with over a thousand chances on one digital SD card, allowed so little time to get it right. However, it’s just as reasonable to say that luck plays no part because that’s a challenge pro photographers face routinely and the wellspring of a familiar adage: Practice makes perfect.

Read more — and see the picture — here.

Read or write anything new? Let us know in the comments.



Scott Lamb
The Medium Blog

VP, Content @ Medium. I'm here to support people writing words on the internet. Priors: BuzzFeed, YouTube,