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ChilledCow/Streamyard/Better pen holder



April 26 · Issue #198 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new book Recomendo: The Expanded Edition @

Non-stop music as a soundtrack to your day
At 3PM on a Thursday afternoon I’m one of 41,875 other people listening to the livestream of the ChilledCow lofi hiphop radio station on YouTube. Over 5 million people subscribe to ChilledCow, and I imagine the vast majority of them are students. I learned about it from my 16-year-old daughter who plays it on her headphones while she does her homework. I find that I can listen to the relaxing music for hours and hours while I work (that is, when I’m not in a Zoom meeting.) — MF
Live streaming broadcast studio
I’ve been a guest on a number of live streams that use StreamYard. StreamYard is the emerging tool that enables you to broadcast live streaming video. The host invites up to 10 different guests to join via their incoming video connections. The guests meet off camera in a “green room.” Then like a studio producer, the host can mix which guests appear in the stream, which remain on deck in the green room, which other visuals to show, and overall to control what is streamed out live to YouTube, Facebook, etc., or your own website. Works pretty well. Conceptually this is a mini-broadcasting studio. It costs $25 per month to host, with a free trial option. Guests only require a web browser. — KK
Better pen holder
A while ago I recommended a pen holder strap that I was really excited about (and still am because it’s French and pink), but thanks to Rayan Parikh sharing what’s in his bag, I’ve now discovered these adhesive pen holder loops ($6/5pk). I’ve stuck these on all my notebooks so that I always have a pen ready. — CD
Virtual white board
I’ve been trying out Miro, a shared white board for video calls. This is a free web-based tool that allows all participants to draw, or post notes, on the same white page in real time. You open Miro in another browser tab while you zoom, so you and your collaborators can sketch, diagram, write down formulas together. Like standing around a white board. You’ll need a drawing tablet such as an iPad, Surface, or Wacom tablet on your end. — KK
A self-cleaning litter box that works
The Litter-Robot is what it sounds like – a cat litter box that performs a self clean every time one of my three cats uses it. The manufacturer sent me one to try out, and  it’s changed an unpleasant twice-a-day cleaning routine into an easy once-every-two-days task of dumping a tray of litter clumps into the trash. It’s basically a rotating barrel with a screen. Your cat hops in and does her business, and a few minutes after she hops out the barrel slowly rotates, depositing the clumps into a tray, and returning the clean litter to the barrel. It comes with a smartphone app, which I initially thought was ridiculous, but turned out to be useful in alerting me when it’s time to empty the tray. This thing costs $500, which is a crazy amount of money for a litter box. But think of it on a two-year timeframe: is worth a dollar a day to eliminate an unpleasant chore? — MF
Focus a wandering mind
This infographic has 9 suggestions for focusing your wandering mind. A couple of them I’ve never heard before, like taking 1 minute to doodle to help cognitive performance, and a yoga hand trick to reduce stress. — CD
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