• AP Photo/Joel Ryan
  • Michael Jackson, a few months before his death

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

• That as individuals consume less beef, farms around the world are now producing more fish than cattle? Mick Dumke

• That the amazingly brilliant short-story writer Alice Munro is retiring? Aimee Levitt

• That Rahm’s steadiest, calmest critic—and potential challenger—is arguably Alderman Scott Waguespack? Mick Dumke

This breakdown of the Sam Zell tax dodge that will likely cost Tribune Company hundreds of millions? (“Had Mr. Zell not been so clever . . . none of this would be happening.”) Steve Bogira

• That budget cuts at Whitney Young High School may lead to students having to pay a $500 fee to get a seven-period school day? Tony Adler

• About the depressing economics of freelance writing? Tal Rosenberg

• That Michael Jackson might’ve gone 60 days without REM sleep? Sam Worley

• That a group of archaeologists from the Oriental Institute helped brewers at Great Lakes Brewery reproduce a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer? (The result was very vinegary.) Aimee Levitt

• That writer Sidney Sheldon’s collection of terrifying (and occasionally racist) dolls is headed to the auction block? Gwynedd Stuart

• What Blackhawks players Michael Frolik, Michal Rozsival, Marian Hossa, and Michal Handzus have in common with the Bruins’ Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, and Zdeno Chara? Steve Bogira