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November 6 · Issue #331 · 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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Find a quiet place to eat
Use the Soundprint app to measure the noise level in public places and share your findings with other people who appreciate quiet environments. A map shows the decibel measurements of coffee shops, clubs, parks, and restaurants around the world. — MF
Super image search
Google has famously not added anything to its simple and austere search page in 20 years. But recently they added something special: a little camera icon. This is Google Lens. You can drag an image into the Google’s search bar and use AI to do many more things that Google Image does. If it is a common image it can tell you the source of the image. If it is an uncommon image it can show you similar images. If it is a product, it can identify it and suggest sources. If it is a plant or living creature it can identify it. It can translate foreign scripts, including mathematics. If I am searching for something that has an image associated with it, I can often find much better results, faster, searching via the image in Google Lens. — KK
Screenwriting resource is the ultimate repository of movie and tv screenplays. It’s easy to search and filter by genre and there are thousands of scripts available to read for free. I like to read them for fun, but it’s also a useful learning resource. — CD 
iPhone battery saving tip
Since I deactivated background app refreshing on my iPhone (Settings > General > Background App Refresh), the battery charge has lasted much longer. My apps will no longer run int the background, but I haven’t noticed any difference in the way the phone works. — MF
Best Star Wars so far
The Star Wars series Andor is the best Star Wars so far. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. There are no jokey comedic relief scenes, so it seems aimed squarely at adults rather than kids. You feel for the villains. It has unexpected turns.  Also it has the most sophisticated science fiction world-building since DUNE. Twelve episodes on Disney+. — KK
Unblock your creativity
Here’s a visualization to help unblock the creative process by Julian Shapiro. He calls it the “Creativity Faucet”:
Visualize your creativity as a backed-up pipe of water. The first mile is packed with wastewater. This wastewater must be emptied before the clear water arrives. … Let’s apply this to creativity: At the beginning of a writing session, write out every bad idea that unavoidably comes to mind. … Once the bad ideas are emptied, strong ideas begin to arrive.
Here’s his more thorough explanation of why this works. — CD

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