Habits for living a more rational life


From the Center for Applied Rationality, a "Checklist of Rationality Habits" intended to help you spot when you're tricking yourself. One of my favorites is the next-to-last: "I try not to treat myself as if I have magic free will; I try to set up influences (habits, situations, etc.) on the way I behave, not just rely on my will to make it so."

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Amazing ways to improve your fruit-preparation technique

Hull strawberries with a straw, cube a watermelon in the rind, easy-peel oranges, de-seed a pomegranate, extract a mango with a drinking glass (best in show) and peel a kiwi with a spoon.

(via Lifehacker)

Mac users: replace your dock with StatusDuck

David makes fun of me for having so many Menu Bar items. Now that I am using StatusDuck ($15, free to try), he has even more fodder. Lifehacker has the details:

Once you start StatusDuck, all your applications and folders from your dock appear in the menu bar. From there, the menu bar works exactly the same as the dock. You can launch apps, open folders, switch between apps, drag items to the trash, and whatever else. You can also hide any apps you don't want cluttering up the menu bar.

How to survive travel


Some bloody good advice: get there really early, opt out of the pornoscanner, bring a white flu mask, headphones and a set of noise-cancellers.

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How to recreate the sounds of "Forbidden Planet"

In each episode of the Gadgets podcast we recommend technology we love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a pro-quality food dehydrator, a camera lens and eyeglass cleaning brush, a cool synthesizer kit, and more!

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Our favorite smart phone gadgets [Gadgets 007]

The editors of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. Xeni, Jason, and Mark check out a Bluetooth speaker, an earphone cord manager, a compact phone recharger, snap-on earpod clips, an app for insomniacs, and more.

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Cat Paint, Bike GPS, and an Audeze headphones giveaway [Gadgets 006]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about Cat Paint for iOS, a GPS device for bikes, ambient sound maker for human babies, a great $14 pocket knife, a wireless home security camera, plus an exclusive giveaway for a pair of Audeze LCD 2 Bamboo ($1,000 value)!

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Tiny wearable camera, rubber band loom, Picklemeister [Gadgets 005]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about superior shoelace replacements, a rubber band loom, a wearable camera, a krautmaker, a handheld marine VHF radio, and a fitness tracker with a 1-year battery. Plus a great website for finding free fonts.

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A question to ask yourself before you accept any invitation

Kevin Kelly told me about this trick a couple of years ago and it has helped me tremendously: "Anytime anyone invites you to do anything, ask yourself this question before you accept: Would I do it tomorrow?"

David Plotz of Slate has more on the power of this magic question.

Pizza stone, magic trick, game timer, hotel outlet adapter [Gadgets 004]

In each episode of Gadgets the editors and friends of Boing Boing recommend technology they love and use. This time Jason and Mark talk about the best chess timer for Scrabble players, a fantastic pizza stone, a compact 3-outlet adapter for hotel use, and a great magic trick for under $5. Plus, a website that converts PDFs to Kindle format.

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Email considered harmful


Clive Thompson writes about the growing body of evidence about the negative impact of electronic messaging on workplace productivity. Not only has the smartphone extended the working week to something like 75 hours for the US workers in a recent survey, but some daring experiments suggest that when limits are put on electronic messaging (for example, a ban on out-of-hours emailing), that productivity and quality of work soars -- along with the happiness and quality of life of workers (these two phenomena are related). Some businesses have banned electronic messaging altogether, requiring workers to physically traverse their workplaces and exchange vibrating air molecules in order to coordinate their activities.

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Filtered: free/open IMAP filter

Jeff writes, "Filtered is a new free/open source IMAP mail filtering application which provides automated routing of email based on per sender settings. You can train Filtered via its web UI or by dragging and dropping email to folders in your email account. Filtered can also learn from the contents of your existing folders."

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HOWTO unshrink a garment

Ever shrunk a garment in the dryer? I'm a laundry freak, and a pretty careful one, but I know I've done it (and inevitably, it ends up ruining something my wife's just bought). Turns out there's a way to unshrink clothes: soak them in baby shampoo or hair conditioner, then stretch them out (ideally, by wearing them) as they dry. Cory 0

Better way to eat mandarin oranges


Back in 2010, Jewel Pie illustrated this great method for eating mandarin oranges: slice off the top and bottom, then unroll the fruit into a peel-backed strip of sections.

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Complete meal cooking with a hotel coffee-maker


Inspired by her nephew's stories of bad food at the mess hall when he was on deployment in Afghanistan, retired photographer Jody Anderson created a recipe-book of meals that could be prepared using a coffee-maker (soldiers were allowed to have coffee-makers in their rooms), and posted some online. Coffee-makers are quick to clean, and the different stages of the coffee-maker give you different, simultaneous, cooking options (grilling, poaching and steaming). All useful stuff for frequent travellers: beats the old "cooking salmon in three thicknesses of foil using the ironing-board and iron" technique.

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