Viewtainer/Tools: A visual exploration/Eternal Sunset
Recomendo - issue #386
The Viewtainer is a cleverly designed storage container made from clear plastic. It lets you easily see the contents, while the squeeze-to-open top makes accessing the contents convenient. Just apply light pressure to the tube's sides and the slitted rubber top pops open, allowing you to easily insert or remove small items. It's perfect for organizing craft supplies, dog treats, and hardware like screws or nails. I use one to collect sea glass when we go to the beach. — MF
Best guide to tools
The best book about tools – the tools you can buy today – is this new illustrated tome by Theo Gray, called Tools: A visual exploration. It is comprehensive (covers hundreds of examples from hand tools to elaborate power tools), detailed, very graphic (clear photos for each thing), and witty. Most importantly, this overview of all tools is based on Gray’s 40 years of using all these tools to make an astonishing range of things. As a maker, I found his expertise and recommendations essential. I also read the book as a catalog of possibilities; each tool unfamiliar to me opened up possible new directions of making. Gray also made a free website with pictures of the tools without any text. — KK
View a Sunset at virtually any time of the day with Sunset.funwebsite.fun. This website will connect you to livestreams and webcams all over the world and tell you how many minutes have passed before or after sunset. It’s fascinating to look at this in the morning as my day is just beginning. I feel connected to far-off parts of the Earth. — CD
How CAPTCHAs work
This three-minute video explains how those annoying “I’m not a robot” reCAPTCHA checkbox tests work. It turns out the checkbox itself is not the test at all, but rather it’s your mouse movements and browsing history that give away your humanity. The video is full of surprising facts about these “completely automated public Turing tests.” For instance, I learned spammers pay workers as as little as $1.00 per thousand tests to solve CAPTCHAs. — MF
Clothes line tightener
We still have an outdoor clothes line, in addition to our dryer, to take advantage of solar energy. Over time a rope line will sag. This clever, inexpensive device, a $7 Clothesline Tightener, will cinch your line taut with a hard pull. It’s affixed to the end of the line. It won’t work with thin wire lines, only rope lines. – KK
Moon Phase phone apps
I have two lunar calendars and I use them both. MOON is on Apple only ($11/yr) and I love it because it displays a huge moon widget on my home screen. The moon is animated to depict its illumination percentage and the stars will play music for you if you shake and tap them. It’s fun. My other app and the one I can wholeheartedly recommend because it’s free is My Moon Phase (available on iOS and Android). It’s one of few apps I have set to allow notifications and it provides more specific information about the moon like its distance from Earth and moonrise and moonset times. Sadly, no widget. — CD
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Recomendo is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a YouTube channel, a podcast, and other newsletters, including Gar’s Tips & Tools, Nomadico, What’s in my NOW? and Book Freak.