Histomap/The Sample/Micro-USB rechargeable batteries
Chart of world history
For 50 years this chart has been hanging on my wall. The Histomap of History is a 5-foot long diagram that visually displays the relative power of ancient nations over the last 4,000 years in 50-year increments. At one glance, this colorful chart gives you the gist of world history. Since it was made in 1950, some of the historical details may be considered old-fashioned now, but this is the chart I use to get a rough idea of our past. Visitors to my studio will usually remark on its ingenious design. Long out of print, you can get a reproduction of a vintage copy for $48. — KK
The Sample is a newsletter that lets you sample other newsletters by forwarding you a different issue each day based on your interests. If you like the issue, you have the option to "Subscribe in 1 Click" within the email. You can also rate the issues 1-5 stars so that The Sample learns your preferences. I love this effortless way of discovering new things. — CD
Batteries that can be recharged via USB
I've been using these micro-USB rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from Pale Blue. Each pack of AAAs and AAs came with a USB cable that branches into four micro-USB jacks so I can charge four batteries simultaneously. It is easy to know when batteries are fully charged because the LEDs turn green once they are fully charged. — MF
100 wishes on a post-its
I spent some time writing out 100 wishes of mine on post-its inspired by this post: How and Why to do a Life Audit. The idea is to brainstorm your life goals, values, dreams and then categorize them based on themes and timeframes. The process allows for your priorities to come to light and helps you to see the patterns of your life. I could only fill 50 post-its in one sitting and as I discover new dreams of mine I go back to my remaining post-it pack to add more. I found that once I had written down all the desires inside of me and, in a sense, got them out of my system, it freed up space for completely new and weirdly fun wishes to show up. — CD
Movie Poster Archive
I used to buy books for visual references, but nowadays websites can serve up fabulous collections of visual materials. So instead of buying a big coffee table book of old movie posters I go to the Harry Ransom Center Movie Poster Collection. Housed at the University of Texas at Austin it displays 10,000 movie posters from the 50s, 60s, and 70s in America for free. Many amazing designs. — KK
Restoring a defaced Rothko painting
Mark Rothko's painting, Black on Maroon (1958), was defaced with a black graffiti marker in 2012. “Restoring Rothko” (on YouTube) is a 17-minute documentary that shows how the expert restoration team at the Tate Gallery in London tested solvents and cleaning methods for nine months to find the optimal cleaning strategy for removing the ink while preserving Black on Maroon’s delicate paint layers. Rachel Barker, lead restorer, spent nine more months painstakingly removing the surface ink and carefully touching up the painting's surface with oil paints. — MF
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