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Kitchen shears/AudioPen.ai/Movie Spoilers
Recomendo - issue #365
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Indestructible kitchen shears
The second most-used tool in our kitchen (after the knives) are our kitchen shears. We’ve had several lightweight kitchen scissors which we use for everything, from opening packages, to cracking nuts, to opening bottles, to cutting craft projects, to cooking chores. But over the years all of the shears cracked their plastic handles, so we replaced them with solid stainless steel kitchen shears. These are heavy duty, but not too heavy, and indestructible. We have a couple of pairs of Newness Multi-Purpose Kitchen Shears ($18), and they will last a lifetime. — KK
Convert messy thoughts into clear text
Right now my most used AI tool is AudioPen.ai, a voice note recorder that I use in my browser and phone to turn my ramblings into clear text. It’s free to use, but I pay for an Prime account ($60, annual pass) so I can upload audio files, write in my own style, and record voice notes up to 15 minutes. The most useful and surprising ways I’ve been using AudioPen is to record my dreams while I’m half awake, and to upload audio files of my therapy sessions (only my audio). AudioPen does such a great job of cleaning up my confusing, long winded introspections and summarizing the most important points. — CD
I often recall watching a movie but can’t remember its ending. There is a website called Movie Spoilers that allows you to search for nearly any movie, providing a concise summary of the main plot, the key characters and their roles, as well as the ending. In an attempt to stump the website's database, I searched for The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976), and to my surprise, it was there. — MF
11 popular approaches to happiness
In their most recent newsletter, Clearer Thinking put together a list of eleven of the most popular approaches to "happiness" and their techniques. The approaches are: Positive Psychology, Stoicism, Common Sense, Christianity, Insight Meditation, Traditionalism, Introspection, Self-Help Books, Hedonism, Altruism, and Community. I realized I checked off every technique under Introspection (Find a way to look at the world that resonates with you) and Common Sense (Sleep enough) and quite a few under Hedonism (Remember that you get just one life, so you might as well enjoy it). Three approaches that I made up for my own life and that keep me happy are: 1. Investigate my own intentions and make sure they are aligned with the highest good possible. 2. Take naps on the grass with my pets. 3. Find something to celebrate everyday. (Even if it’s just pouring myself a glass of champagne after the work day.) — CD
Convert movies to black and white
Many of us have a favorite movie that we keep rewatching. Next time you begin a rewatch of a favorite, watch it in black and white. This “estranges” it, making it feel like you are seeing it for the first time. This hack comes via artist Austin Kleon, who wrote a short bit on how to invoke black and white on your screen (often options in the “Accessibility” menu), and has a list of classic movies that successfully estrange in black and white such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Princess Bride, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I recently tried this on my favorite, The Fifth Element, and it worked great. — KK
Giant upholstery patch
I had neglected my one-speed bicycle for years, resulting in a badly cracked saddle. Instead of immediately buying a replacement, I opted to give an 8-inch by 11-inch Leather Repair Patch a try since it was only four bucks. Although I suspect it isn't genuine leather, it doesn't matter much because my bike saddle isn't either. After cleaning the cracked saddle with rubbing alcohol, I removed the adhesive backing from the patch and securely applied it to the seat, neatly trimming off any excess with scissors. The outcome is significantly improved—it looks much better now. — MF
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