Twenty-three experts tell Helen Branswell what surprised them the most about the pandemic. / STAT

China is now proclaimed "the center of Covid." A professor at Yale Law School offers China-related predictions for 2023. / The Guardian, Twitter

Temperatures for January reach an all-time high in a number of nations across Europe. / BBC News

The new House of Representatives fails to elect a speaker for the first time in 100 years after Republicans keep rejecting Kevin McCarthy. / Politico 

Data technologist Spencer Schien makes a series of population density maps of states, rivers, and coastlines. / Colossal

A database attempts to figure out which books are banned in which prisons. / The Marshall Project

Miami Beach bans cigarettes on its beaches. Meanwhile, "Florida man cited" after taking a dog dyed like Pikachu to an NBA game. / NBC, WPTV

See also: A survey of some of this year's oddest Florida arrests. / Fox 35

A tally of what rich Gen Z girls received for Christmas and bragged about on TikTok. / After School

"Doesn't 'throttle-propelled' sound scary?" Patricia Marx publishes her annual shopping adventure, this time for e-bikes. / The New Yorker 

Bee Wilson: If there's​ one thing the founder of Montessori schools hated, "it was play." / The London Review of Books

A man tries to use self-awareness to stop his "runaway weepiness." / Slate

Headline of the holiday? "UK Town Cancels New Year Fireworks for Walrus Only for It to Masturbate and Leave." / IFL Science