Popular Science once recommended throwing old batteries in the fire because "the burning zinc may help prevent soot formation, and the metals and chemicals make colorful flames." The November 1951 tip was bad advice, writes Snopes, but not so bad then as now: batteries a half-century ago contained different chemicals, were unsealed, and less likely to explode.
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Alex Wood is an addict but won't give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: "I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I faced my tech demons. Now I wake up refreshed and realise how much it was a ‘real’ addiction that affects your health."
1) Don't charge it by your bed.
2) Kill all notifications.
3) Delete Facebook, Twitter, Insta and other "attention loop" apps.
4) Switch to Android, because it has the good self-control enforcement apps.
5) Stop checking email/turn off Push email.
All obviated by 1) throw it in a lake and get a dumbphone.
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Lars Martinson, creator of Tonoharu, an excellent graphic novel trilogy about an American teaching English in a rural Japanese village, made this video about the lessons he learned after spending a large part of his life writing and drawing it. Read the rest
We've all experienced the frustration and delay caused by thoughtless motorists who block driveways and parking spots with their vehicles. The key thing is to remain calm, take a deep breath, and don't lose your temper. In this video, a driver shows how easy it is to deal with a blocked driveway if you just stop to think a moment about the problem.
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Since the average user spends over 40 minutes on YouTube each session, this handy refresher course may manage your experience for the better. Vlogbrothers come to the rescue with this handy video that includes tips on keyboard shortcuts, subscription management, and more. Read the rest
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
How to Pack for Any Trip
2016, 160 pages, 7 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches (softcover)
$12 Buy a copy on Amazon
I’ve bought many a travel guidebooks from Lonely Planet before jumping on a plane, but this is the first I’ve seen from the adventure publisher that guides you before you leave the house. Reminding me of Marie Kondo and her magical ways of tidying up, How to Pack for Any Trip helps the traveler learn to pack efficiently and clutter-free. (The packing section even says, Kondo-style, that “the liberation of decluttering is magical.”)
With modern clean graphics, this pocket-size book (about the size of my wallet) teaches us how to choose our luggage, decide what to bring, pack lightly, fold – or roll up – our clothes, organize a backpack, and how to pack with kids. It also has a section on how to pack for different landscapes, such as large cities, the snow, campsites, beaches, the mountains, jungles, and deserts. Fun, useful, and just released last week, this book is a no-brainer for anyone planning to pack for a weekend trip or a month-long adventure.
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In response to overwhelming demand, I made a 30-second video that shows how to wrap cables so that they stay wrapped, don't get tangled, and are very easy to unwrap. Read the rest
I run a website with Kevin Kelly and Claudia Lamar called Cool Tools. The three of us have started a weekly email newsletter of things (experiences, tips, entertainments) we personally use and recommend. It's called Recomendo. Here's what Kevin says about it:
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We'll be recommending 6 items in an extremely short email every week. Mark, myself, and Claudia — the entire staff of Cool Tools — will suggest good stuff we have personally used, consumed, or experienced. We'll try to keep each recommendations light and fast, to no more than a sentence or two. They won't be definitive reviews; rather they'll be quick recommendations. Going back again to our roots, we've named it Recomendo — which, believe it or not, was the name of this site before I renamed it Cool Tools.
If you want great tools, stay on (or sign onto) the Cool Tools newsletter. To get all the other kinds of things we encounter and enjoy sharing, sign up for Recomendo here. As usual, we don't do anything with your info except send you short and sweet one-screen news once a week.
The folks at This Old House use clear plastic plumbing to explain how bathroom sinks work, and how to unclog them.
We live in an old house and the pipes get clogged a lot. My favorite bathroom sink unclogger is the Drain Weasel.
See also: What do you do when you've got a plumbing clog? Read the rest
Here's a good tip for Mac users. When you get a PDF contract needs your signature, you don't need to print it, sign it, scan it, and email it. You can just add your signature in Preview and email it.
[via] Read the rest
My old friend Gareth Branwyn is the former Editorial Director of MAKE. He was also the senior editor at bOING bOING print, a section editor at Mondo 2000, and a Wired contributing editor for 12 years. Gareth has also written and edited over a dozen books. His most recent book, a combo best-of collection and “lazy man’s memoirs” is called Borg Like Me (& Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems) Kevin Kelly and I recently interview Gareth for the Cool Tools Show podcast.
Subscribe to the Cool Tools Podcast on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page
Notebook Keyword Index
"As you generate subjects, you write down those subjects along the outer edge of the back page, and then … as you write the subject in the content of the book, you just mark the corresponding area on the outer edge of the notebook — just a little black mark — and so then as you look through the edge of the notebook, you can see all … the black marks that connect to that line of the back cover index."
Bonding Plastic with a Dremel
"The basic idea is you just take a Dremel tool. If you want to bond 2 pieces of plastic, like you’ve worked on a 3D print that’s broken or you want to combine 2 pieces of a 3D print, you just slot a piece of plastic rod into a rotary tool and just place it as it spins around. Read the rest
The 12" retina MacBook, 6 months in. Almost ready to review it. Read the rest
Well, you hardly even need to watch Popular Mechanics' 10-second video now, do you?
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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!
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.
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)!
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.