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

Hey, did you read:

• That parking fares are going up again? Tal Rosenberg

• That the Tribune is dropping the Associated Press? Tony Adler

• That Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, announced this morning that she’s stepping down. Steve Bogira

• About the scandals behind the world’s longest high-speed railway line? Ben Sachs

• About the whale beached in Queens? (“Emaciated” at 60 tons, it’s likely to die, which will cause disposal problems.) Steve Bogira

• Joshua Foer’s fascinating New Yorker story about a California man who invented his own language and became a god to some odd Russian scholars? Tony Adler

• About Pitchfork’s new “online destination covering emerging visual culture”? (The site, Nothing Major, intends to help “fellow enthusiasts navigate the online world of design, style, art and craft by featuring our own daily finds in a journal and through feature stories.”) Mara Shalhoup

• That despite The Hobbit‘s ridiculously bloated 170 minutes, a rather crucial backstory was omitted entirely, at the pleasure of its preening coauthors? Kate Schmidt

• That Peter Parker joins the ranks of Superman, Jean Grey, and the Human Torch as a dead superhero who will inevitably be brought back to life? Luca Cimarusti