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Everything is Alive/100 Fantastic Articles/FineScanner

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September 9 · Issue #112 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new 2018 Recomendo book:

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A fantastical factual podcast
I am thrilled by this new quirky podcast, that is both fictional and factual. In “Everything Is Alive,” the host interviews inanimate objects, like a pillow or bar of soap. By any logic, this should be flat-line boring, but unexpectedly, each episode is brilliant, funny, informative, and remarkable. Other than the fact the objects talk, everything they say is true. Just listen to the can of cola talking about his life in the first episode and you’ll be hooked. — KK
100 Fantastic Articles
I’m working my way through this outstanding collection of over 100 articles from around the web, curated by Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic. He included an article I wrote for Wired about losing my bitcoin password. — MF
Quickly scan pages using your phone
The FineScanner app ($9.99/year) makes it so easy to scan and share documents using only my phone. Batch mode auto-captures and crops pages in seconds turning them into a readable, black & white PDF that I can immediately upload to my iCloud or Google drive. There’s a lot more features and more ways to share that I haven’t explored yet. — CD  
Favorite natural destination
My new favorite US national park is Zion. Like Yosemite (my former favorite) it is a walkable valley enclosed in sheer vertical steepness. There’s a spectacular view each time you turn, or turn around. Hot in summer, it can be cool-ish much of the rest of the year, and has lots of trails around it. Like Yosemite, they restrict cars, so you get around on shuttle buses. It rewards repeat visits. — KK
Advice for talking to new people
I came across this piece of advice pertaining to job interviews, but I find it’s a helpful tip when dealing with bouts of social anxiety: Pretend the stranger you are talking to is an old friend and you’re catching up. Imagining this makes me feel more comfortable and confident. My go-to question with new people is usually a variation of “So what’ve you been up to today?” It takes the pressure off of me to talk about myself and creates a more natural conversation. — CD
Hand Vacuum with batteries that hold a charge
I’ve owned ten or more portable hand vacs in my life. The batteries in all of them did not stand the test of time. After six months or so, they couldn’t hold a charge. But I bought the Black and Decker Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum in 2015 and the battery seems to be as powerful now as the day I bought it. It’s also the priciest, at $55. In the long run, it’s also the cheapest, since I have not had to replace it. — MF
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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