Great deal on LED light bulbs

For some reason, Amazon won't ship these super-inexpensive Sylvania LED bulbs to California. I was able to get a box of 24 by having it delivered out of the state and picking it up on a road trip. They're excellent bulbs, and the soft-white style is nice and warm, the way I like my illumination.

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My new book, Recomendo, available as a searchable PDF

The Cool Tools website focuses on handy, useful, proven tools. But a lot of great stuff that Mark and I come across are not really tools. We created the Recomendo email list for this purpose. Every Sunday we mail out 6 very brief recommendations of cool stuff: places we love, people to follow, great things to eat, good movies, fantastic podcasts, cool tips, short cuts, favorite items, and many other suggestions. This newsletter, Recomendo, is free and has over 21,000 subscribers. Sign up here.

Last year we took the best of our first two years’ recommendations and put them into about 100-page book. The book (available on Amazon here) is made to be browsed. You can flip through it in any order and most folks will find something of interest on every spread. It is an easy read.

For the benefit of international fans, and for those who don’t want paper books, we have created a digital version. It’s a downloadable searchable PDF, in full color (the paper book is only B&W), weighs nothing, and is available instantly for only $1.99. We priced it so that anyone could afford it.

If you do get one, let us know how you like this format. (We don’t have plans for a Kindle version yet, but maybe in the future.) Read the rest

Broadbeam LED headlamp

I have a few different LED headlamps, but after reading the reviews for this one, I decided to add it to my collection. It features a band of LEDs that throw light in a wide area in front of you. It uses 3 AAA batteries and has an easy on-off touch sensor switch. It's on sale today at a good discount.

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Itty bitty adorable jars of Nutella

If you require Nutella on demand, these 25-gram jars pocketable glass jars of the spreadable wonder substance will fit the bill. Amazon sells them in lots of 16 and 32.

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This Chrome extension lets you block all followers of any Twitter users with one click

I like my filter bubble on Twitter. I have no interest engaging with alt-right nationalists, flat-earthers, trolls, and conspiracy theorists. I learned about a Chrome extension called Twitter Block Chain (nothing to do with blockchains), which will block all the followers of someone's twitter account with one click. It will also block all the accounts someone is following, too. (It will not block the accounts of people you already follow, which is a good thing.) Read the rest

Great deal on the Kano Computer

Kano is a Raspberry Pi based computer system. It comes with everything you need besides an HDMI monitor. I love the keyboard with the included trackpad. At this sale price, it's probably cheaper than separately buying a Raspberry Pi, a microSD card, a case, a keyboard and pointer, a power supply, and cables. Plus, Kano's Linux OS is packed with fun goodies.

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Good deal on Contigo autoseal stainless steel water bottle

I bought a second Contigo Autoseal Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle (24 ounces) because it's on sale today (plus there's a 5% off coupon) and I really like the one we have. Note that this will arrive after Christmas if you order it now.

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These reversible Micro USB cables eliminate frustration

When Tod Kurt of ThingM recommended these reversible Micro USB cables, I bought a 3-pack on Amazon. They really do work. Both the USB male plug and the micro plug can be inserted without regard to the orientation, like a USB C plug. There is no "right side up."

Why aren't all USB cables made this way? Read the rest

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart electric pressure cooker on sale

The Instant Pot Ultra 6 Quart electric pressure cooker usually sells for about $150, and right now Amazon has it for a bit more than half that price. I use my Instant Pot a few times a week or more, and you can find tons of cookbooks with recipes designed for this versatile cooker.

One thing a make a lot is chicken curry. I cut up two packs of chicken thighs (10 thighs), add them to a quart of chicken stock, a bag of baby carrots, a can of coconut cream, a tablespoon of salt, a lot of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of curry powder, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. The meal takes 30 minutes to make.

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Great deal on the Gerber Dime multi-tool

The Gerber Dime multi-tool has needle nose spring-loaded pliers, a wire cutter, a blade, a package opener, scissors, a flat driver, a crosshead driver, a bottle opener, tweezers, and a file, and it's on sale for the next 14 hours at a steep discount.

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Recomendo: A new book with 550 recommendations

Every week for the past two years, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson, and I briefly recommend 6 things to our friends. Sometimes we suggest tools, but most items aren’t tools. Rather we recommend stuff such as our favorite places to visit, things to watch or listen to, favorite stuff to eat, as well as tips for work or home, and techniques we’ve learned, quotes we like to remember, and so on. We email these 6 brief reviews in a free newsletter called Recomendo, and by now this one-pager is sent out every Sunday morning to almost 20,000 subscribers. If you want to get a feel for what we recommend, all the back issues are available here.

This autumn we collected, filtered and organized 550 of the best recommendations and put them into a book, called naturally enough, Recomendo. The book is 95 jam-packed pages. We’ve categorized the recommendations, grouping like with like. Having all the workflow tips, or household suggestions, or workshop tools, or travel recommendations all in one place is super handy. There’s an index and subject guide. Many of the items have an illustration. To make up for the fact that a book can’t have links, we’ve added QR codes, so you can instantly get a link with your phone. Everyone who has picked the book up has found something cool for them on the first page and they keep turning the pages for more. I think it’s the happiest book I’ve ever worked on.

Recomendo is available now from Amazon. Read the rest

Good deal on teeth whitening strips

With all the coffee and tea I drink, my teeth become yellow pretty quickly. I use these Crest 3D White Whitestrips Vivid Plus whitening strips to keep my teeth white. They are usually pretty expensive, but Amazon has a double offer right now: a coupon (click the link on the product page) for $5 off and a code (7CWSVIVIDBF) for another $7 off. The box has 12 treatments.

The strips are clear plastic strips coated with some kind of gooey bleaching agent. They stick easily to your teeth. I put one on my top teeth and another on my bottom teeth and set a timer for 30 minutes. If you're like me, you'll notice a big difference after the first day.

Image: Darya Prokapalo/Shutterstock Read the rest

Collapsable water bottle

A lot of airports have filtered water stations, but even if they don't I will just refill a bottle from the drinking fountain. This collapsable water bottle is better than the plastic bag style water bottle I was using, and right now Amazon has a 20% off coupon that applies at check out. Read the rest

Good deal on yogurt maker with seven glass jars

If you eat yogurt, this yogurt maker will pay for itself in short order. It makes 7 six-ounce glass jars of yogurt in one batch and can set to ferment for up to 15 hours.

Lately I've been making yogurt with half-and-half because it tastes incredible.

Check the link below for the latest price.

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Good grid paper notebooks

I'm writing a book (a how-to book) and I'm making a lot of measurements, taking notes, and making sketches. These Miliko 8.27" x 5.67" spiral notebooks of grid paper are perfect for the task, and inexpensive, given the quality of the thick cover and the paper. They are sold in a set of two. Read the rest

Get a self-healing cutting mat for cheap

I bought a self-healing cutting mat in 1988 so I could cut paper when laying out issues of Boing Boing. I still have it and use it all the time. There is no better way to slice paper with a craft knife or rotary cutter. If you don't have one, Amazon has a 9" x 12" mat on sale (in pink or blue). Read the rest

Awesome nail clippers

About 10 years ago I was in New York City, walking to Martha Stewart's office to interview her for Wired. With about 10 minutes before my appointment, I noticed my fingernails looked too long for polite company. It suddenly became very important that I trim my nails immediately.

I spotted a bodega and found the tiny toiletries section. They had a pair of no-name clippers for $7 or $8. I bought them, quickly tore open the packaging, and went to work on my nails. Unfortunately, something was wrong with the clippers. They were either dull or misaligned. They just made dents in my nails, so I used them to create tear-lines to rip my nails off. I used the built-in file to smooth them out as much as possible. The results were passable -- just barely. I don't think Martha noticed.

Anyway, these SZQHT 15mm Wide Jaw clippers are the opposite of the NYC bodega clippers. They even make clean cuts on my extra thick toenails. They're twice the price of the bodega clippers, but still a bargain. Read the rest

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