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

Hey, did you read:

• About the outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar? Ben Sachs

• The Trib‘s editorial on “bass-ackward” changes to commuter benefits for 2014 that increase tax breaks for drivers and reduce them for public transit riders? —John Dunlevy

• That President Obama, who granted only a single commutation in his first term, yesterday commuted the sentences of eight prisoners who were serving long sentences for crack-cocaine offenses? Steve Bogira

• The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates on gangs in Chicago? Tal Rosenberg

• About the secret FBI interrogation manual that was found in the library? Mick Dumke

• About the mysterious object beneath Seattle that is blocking the largest tunneling machine on the planet? Luca Cimarusti

• About the dejection and pain felt in losing out on a teaching job to someone much younger with much less experience? Kevin Warwick

• About pulchrinomics, the study of how pretty people make more money? Aimee Levitt

• About the guy who will pay you $40,000 to attend Harvard? Brianna Wellen

• That ceilings have been falling in on London theater all this week? (It happened literally during a packed West End performance, and figuratively when three judges resigned from the Evening Standard theater awards committee, protesting interference from an ES editor and critic.) Tony Adler

• That Thee Oh Sees are going on an “indefinite hiatus” because front man John Dwyer is done with San Francisco and headed to LA? Kevin Warwick

• That legendary rock-radio DJ Larry Lujack died? Tony Adler

• About the snowman bouncy house with the giant vagina entrance at Navy Pier? Gwynedd Stuart