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Archive Today/Blackout Poetry Maker/WeCrashed



August 21 · Issue #320 · View online

A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. For a searchable archive of past issues check out

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Share paywalled content
I have paid subscriptions to the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Medium, and others. Some of the publications let you share individual stories to friends who don’t have subscriptions, but some have strict paywalls. When I want to share a paywalled article, I paste the URL into Archive Today. It creates a snapshot of the article and generates a shareable URL. — MF
Digital blackout poetry maker
You can be creative and destroy less books by using this web app Blackout Poetry Maker created by Emma Winston. You can choose from 3 sample texts or copy and paste your own custom text. I used excerpts from my diary and created this poem I call “All the unknowns are outlined.” — CD
A modern tragedy
WeCrashed is the 8-part mini-series on Apple TV about the astounding rise and subsequent crash of WeWork, the office sharing company. It’s heavily fictionalized, but nonetheless a gripping drama about the kind of magical belief that is needed to do something big. I was very sympathetic at the beginning. This roller coaster movie is well-done, very convincing, incredibly watchable and all the more compelling because the protagonist, Adam Neumann, is back this week in real life with an even bigger scheme, which another billionaire funded for $350 million at day one. Watch this series to see where the real season 2 might go. — KK
Wire Puzzle Set
The Small Fish Metal Brain Teasers set contains 6 bent metal puzzles. The challenge is to separate the interlocked pieces. One of ​​the puzzles is very easy to solve, making it a good starter challenge for a kid. The harder ones have resisted hours of my effort to solve them. The puzzles are made from heavy metal and won’t discolor your hands like cheaper bent wire puzzles. Comes with a cloth bag to hold them. — MF
Fascinating physical visualizations
I love poring over this gallery of physical visualizations. Each artifact is a representation of data from our history dating back to Mesopotamian Clay Tokens from 5500 BC. Some of them are so interesting and beautiful, like the brainwave weaving of dreamers, or this Yakima Time Ball meant to record major life events. Others are useful like this abacus ring from the Qing Dynasty, or mysterious, like South American Quipus. Maybe not useful, but really cool are these 3D-Printed Thoughts. There’s currently 370 artifacts listed — all of them equally captivating. — CD
Inside the material world
When I was 12 I built a chemistry lab in my basement and have been doing chemistry since. But I learned more about chemistry from reading this trio of books by Theodore Gray than anything ever learned in school. That’s surprising because these volumes appear to be photo books, full of pictures of metal chunks, high-speed shots of chemical reactions, and photos of everyday stuff. But woven through these unusual photographs are the best explanations of how and why chemistry works. The best looking of the three is The Elements, a hundred portraits of our universe’s true heroes; the most informative and fun for me is Reactions, which reveals why matter works. Advance onto Molecules if you like these. I read them all with wonder. — KK

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