You can back up a lot of photos, songs, and documents with this 256GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive from Samsung. According to the manufacturer they are "water proof, shock proof, magnet proof, temperature proof, and x-ray proof." Amazon has them on sale right now for Read the rest
In the latest issue of the What's in my bag? newsletter (published by Cool Tools, which I edit), my friend AJ Jacobs talks about four things he keeps i his bag:
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A.J. Jacobs is a writer, lecturer and human guinea pig. He is the author of four New York Times bestselling books, including “The Year of Living Biblically” and “The Know-It-All.” He is a contributor to NPR, the New York Times and Esquire magazine and is a frequent TED speaker. His most recent book is “Thanks a Thousand.”
Life Changing Questions ($24)
My friend — the social scientist and mathematician Spencer Greenberg — developed a deck of cards he calls “Life Changing Questions.” And they are just what they sound like. Each card has a Big Question printed on it (e.g. “What have you changed your mind about?” or “What would you do if you had one week to live?”) Spencer’s research shows these questions are the ones his test subjects find most valuable in reassessing their lives. I like to break the cards out at dinner with my family and use them as conversation prompts. They are much better than arguing over screen time.
This is an unusual tablet. Its main purpose is to allow you to take handwritten notes on the impressively paper-like interface. It’s too expensive for what it is, but I still recommend it because it’s helped reduce my habit of having dozens of spiral-bound notebooks strewn about my office.
My friend gave me a bass guitar she didn't want any more because she was moving. It's a great bass but I don't have a way to store it. I just saw this great deal for a wall-mount guitar holder for just on Amazon, with free shipping. I doubt this deal will last. Read the rest
I've owned quite a few vegetable peelers, and the Kuhn Rikon model (3 for on Amazon) is my favorite. The blade is very sharp and it easily skins sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and even jicama. They are really cheap, too. Buy a 3-pack and share them with your friends. Every time they accidentally cut their finger using it, they'll think of you. Read the rest
My friend and former Make magazine colleague Sean Michael Ragan is making videos for my Cool Tools YouTube channel. (Subscribe to the channel here!) In his latest video, Sean reviews something called Solder Seals, which allow you to solder wires together without using a soldering iron. Read the rest
I've been using these heavy duty shop towels for years. Apart from being blue, they look like standard kitchen paper towels, but are much stronger. They're great for wiping off grease, and are the family favorite for cleaning up cat puke. Amazon has them on sale right now for a price that's less than regular paper towels: 3 for Read the rest
This USB chargeable electric lighter is excellent. I use it to start barbecues and light the burners on our ancient gas range. I've used it multiple times a day since getting it in May and have not had to recharge it yet. It's on Amazon. Read the rest
Amazon has the 24-pack of Sylvania LED light bulbs on sale again for . That's cheaper than an incandescent bulb, which you don't need unless you're A) a climate science denier who wants to trigger the libtards or B) the owner of an Easy Bake Oven, which would make these bulbs of little use to you. Read the rest
I just ordered one of these 10-inch Mercer Chef's Knives because it has great reviews on Amazon, and it's only . I don't know how long it will be offered at a sale price. Read the rest
This waterproof, clear toiletry zipper bag is TSA approved, and more durable than a ziploc bag. The squared-off shape and thicker plastic makes it easier to fill with liquid containers. Amazon sells them for . I bought two. Read the rest
These highly rated noise cancelling bluetooth headphones are normally but if you use code MPOW284A1 at checkout on Amazon, you can get them at a much lower price. They are USB chargeable and have a wired mode, too. Read the rest
I do most of my reading on a Kindle, but I also read a lot of print books, and I need a way to read them without disturbing Carla when I routinely wake up in the middle of the night. I use a small clip-on reading light like this one. I don't have this particular model but it has good reviews on Amazon and is on sale for just Read the rest
I stay in hotels quite a bit, and these silicone putty earplugs are the best ones I've found for muffling noise. My ear canals don't work well with those cylindrical foam plugs. They leave an air gap. These silicone earplugs form a perfect seal, and they don't penetrate my ear canal at all. They are the only earplugs that feel comfortable for me. I've also found them useful when I use an air blower or an angle grinder. They cost for a 12-pack on Amazon. Read the rest
Amazon has a good sale going for this 20-pack of small succulent plants: . That's currently cheaper than the 15-pack. Read the rest
Use code CT4HKL7Z to get this 4-pack of MFi certified lightning cables for a fraction of the usual price. The set includes one 3ft cord, two 6ft cords, and one 10ft cord. Read the rest
These silicone gloves are good for handling meat and vegetables on a barbecue but they excel at letting me tear apart a hot roasted chicken without burning my fingers, which is the main reason I use mine. Use code JSSLT8IG for a discount at checkout. Read the rest
We have a new newsletter at Cool Tools called "What's in my bag?" Each week, one interesting person shares four favorite things in their bag. This issue's interesting person is Lenore Edman, co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes Pinch Tin
Flake salt gives more flavor because of the huge surface area, and it has a pleasant crunch as well. It’s great on anything you would sprinkle salt on like tomatoes, cucumbers, home fries and more. I use this when I’m cooking in someone else’s kitchen, at work, or when I’m picnicking. I refill it from the larger salt cellar we keep at home.
USB Flash Drive
I’ve had this Keroppi flash drive in my bag for nearly forever. You never know when you’re going to need to move a file from one computer to another. This one hasn’t gotten lost because it’s distinctive.
Etymotic High Fidelity Earplugs
These come in a package that doesn’t take up much space or get crushed in my bag. I use them for concerts or events and they’re always on hand for when there are unexpectedly loud things happening.
UV keychain flashlight
I have this on my keychain because there are so many interesting things that fluoresce under UV. Rocks, creatures, inks, paints, chemicals, and even my hair dye.
About the bag
My bag is from Modcloth and has just enough useful pockets (3 inside and 1 outer pocket) and plenty of room in the main compartment for laptop and more. Read the rest