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Future Fonts/Terrain Maps/Gottman Card Decks



August 4 · Issue #159 · View online

A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new book Recomendo: The Expanded Edition @

If you’re enjoying Recomendo, check out Book Freak, which shares short pieces of advice from books once a week and What’s in my bag? — each week one interesting person shares four favorite things in their bag.

Early Bird Fonts
Future Fonts is a website where type designers offer early versions of beautiful typefaces at low prices ($5 and up). Some are not 100 percent finished but work for many applications. If you buy a typeface, you are guaranteed to get free updates. — MF
Terrain maps
On Google Maps: in between the standard street view, and the realistic satellite view, lies another hidden view called Terrain. Terrain is an almost artistic rendering of a physical place without all the distractions of an aerial photograph. Its crisp clarity is tremendously useful as a base map — and beautiful. To get to Terrain mode, go the “hamburger” (stack of 3 lines) in the upper left corner of Maps in a browser, and click on Terrain in the pull-down menu. — KK
A helpful relationship app
I like the Gottman Card Decks app because it requires minimal effort to use, it’s not awkward and it actually helps me get to know my husband better. There are 14 decks to choose from. Some of them have interesting questions to help you start a conversation, others have ideas for improving your relationship, or there are phrases to help you word what you’re having trouble expressing. It’s free and a great way to connect with your partner and work on your communication skills. — CD 
Sunrise/Sunset Smart Switch
My outdoor lights were controlled by an indoor switch with a programmable timer. The tiny buttons made it very difficult to program and the tiny LCD display was nearly illegible. I gave up and bought this Meross Smart WiFi Switch. Installation was easy (make sure you have a neutral wire, not just a ground wire, or it won’t work). My phone’s GPS told the switch where it is and it now turns the lights on at sunset and off at sunrise, adjusting automatically throughout the year. Brilliant. And I enjoyed forcefully throwing the old switch into the trash can. — MF
Give advice to your younger self
I love the concept of Hey From The Future, a website that lets you share advice you wish you had at specific ages. I encourage everyone to contribute. I read all the advice that is posted from age 35 and up, and from what I gathered I need to spend more money traveling and more time with my parents and the people I really like. Also, it’s not too late to [fill in the blank]. Whatever you’ve always wanted to do. You can still do it. — CD 
Needle-nose marker
I am a convert to a needle-nosed marker. It’s a sharpie pen with its inky tip at the end of a long thin stalk, thin as a bamboo skewer. I am amazed how often I need to mark something through a hole, in a slot, or in a tight corner, or trace a pattern — situations the usual fat pen or pencil tip won’t fit in. Its body is as thin as its tip, except at the end where its fat enough to hold. This makes it easier to mark anything. A number of different but similar brands make these; I use the FastCap Long Nosed Pattern Marker ($7), which also has a chisel tip marker on its opposite end. — KK
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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