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The Arab of the Future/Edison-style bulbs/TV Tropes



June 6 · Issue #256 · View online

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

Daily life in Arab world
My wife and I both devoured a series of graphic novels penned by a French-Arab cartoonist Riad Sattouf. In a five-volume set (so far), called The Arab of the Future, Riad recounts his family’s time in Lybia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and France. A graphic novel is the perfect format for this intimate, yet cinematic, and at times, disturbing story. It superbly conveys the texture and details of everyday life in the Arab world with the unfiltered gaze of a child. And it reads very fast, perfect for my current short attention span. I can’t wait for more volumes. — KK
LED Edison-style bulbs
I bought a 48-foot string of these Edison-style LED bulbs for our back patio. They’re bright enough to provide light without being harsh. The bulbs are plastic so they won’t shatter. They add the perfect ambiance for evening get-togethers. — MF
Trope wiki is a repository of all the tropes you find in advertising, film, print, music, art, etc., along with examples. Tropes are not cliches — they are storytelling devices and shortcuts for evoking emotion and getting you “up to speed.” It’s hard to avoid tropes altogether, so it’s better to get to know them. This is a growing wiki that you can add to and easily get lost in. Here is a list of Forgotten Tropes that have dropped off from mainstream media. — CD
Daily life in Tokyo
My family loves watching this YouTube series about the day in a life of various people in Japan. The creator, Paolo, spends an entire day with different workers — a game programmer, a firefighter, a butcher, a ramen chef, a hotel staffer, and so on. He records them from the moment they wake in the morning until they go to bed at night. Each episode is about 15 minutes long. — MF
Better mouse trap
This is a gruesome recommendation, but necessary. It’s a better mouse trap. We live in an old rambling house at the edge of wilderness, with no cat, so we have a plague of mice and rats in the basement and garage. As fast as I remove them, they are replaced by newcomers. I’ve tried dozens of different traps, including live traps, and sticky traps, and classic traps, and all fail over time. The best, most reliable, and most re-useable one is Tomcat Rat Snap Trap, which is a pedal type trap. (There are now other pedal type brands I have not tried.) Its main advantage is that it works for both mice and rats. Mice can eat the bait on an ordinary rat trap without tripping it, while a rat can escape a mouse trap. With peanut butter bait this one consistently gets both. — KK
42 quotes about the Hero's Journey
Here is a curated list of Joseph Campbell quotes meant to pump you up before heading out on your own hero’s journey. Here are my favorites:
  • “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
  • “When you find a writer who really is saying something to you, read everything that writer has written and you will get more education and depth of understanding out of that than reading a scrap here and a scrap there and elsewhere. Then go to people who influenced that writer, or those who were related to him, and your world builds together in an organic way that is really marvelous.”
  • “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
  • “We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.”
— CD

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