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Tiny purchases/Grief Deck/Retractable electric cords



July 18 · Issue #262 · View online

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

Tiny purchases that improve life
Ask Metafilter asked its users: “What tiny purchases changed your life drastically?” The dozens of answers provide a wealth of useful tools and gear recommended by users. Example: “A cheap low-feature MP3 player, like they sell for $30 for exercising with. They have way longer battery life than a phone, so when you’re traveling you can have music the whole time without risking draining your phone and getting yourself stranded somewhere.” After reading this, I bought this tiny SanDisk 8GB Clip Jam MP3/FM Radio Player. — MF
Visual toolkit for grief
Grief Deck is a free visual resource for grief support. All the cards were made by artists or caregivers or someone who has lost someone. Anyone can contribute if you have something to say about processing loss. You scroll seemingly endlessly for an image card that resonates with you, when you click on it, it flips to deliver a prompt or meditation to focus on and let your feelings arise. Grief has never been something I expect to go away, but it is something I learned to coexist with. The best advice I ever received regarding grief was to schedule it — daily if you need to. For a month, I would hold in my tears until I was alone and then I would cry until I was exhausted. After a month, it became less and less, but I never stop making space for it. Here is the card I contributed to Grief Deck, inspired by my father-in-law who we lost last year. — CD
Retractable electric cords
I’m in love with retractable extension cords that work like the retractable cord in a vacuum cleaner. You pull it out to use it and then yank it to slurp up the cord when done. So fast and tidy. The awkward alternative is to try to untangle long extension cords and wrestle them back again. I’ve put a retractable cord reel in my studio, one in my workshop, and one in my garage that extends to the driveway and street — anywhere I find myself needing power temporarily. You can mount it on a ceiling or wall. I like this Dewenwils reel, which is 30 foot long, and inexpensive ($44). I also use a longer and heavy duty (12 guage) for my shop offered by Amazon’s own generic brand. — KK
Earbud extension cable
It seems like Zoom and Google Hangouts will be permanent fixtures in my life. My Bluetooth earbuds have not worked well for me. The wired earbuds I use are foolproof. It’s just that the cable is too short for comfort. KabelDirekt’s 3-foot extension cable solved the problem for me. While Zooming, I can now stretch comfortably in my chair without having to worry about the earbuds falling out. — MF
Largest database on rocks and minerals is a great website to lose time if you’re an amateur rockhound. It is a nonprofit project by The Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, and the “leading authority on minerals and their localities, deposits, and mines worldwide.” There’s a lot of ways to search for and discover new rocks, including a cool color search. If you’re more of a “pro” than an amateur you can contribute your own photos and data. My husband likes to bring home rocks from river beds and hikes and I gravitate more toward crystals, but it’s one thing to admire the natural beauty and wonder of our earth’s materials and another to learn about it’s importance and use in our world. — CD
Daily art
Beeple is the artist who famously sold a digital NFT of his artwork for $69 million. While that is crazy and hard to believe, what I find more remarkable is that the art piece was a montage of 5,000 paintings he did over 5,000 days. Without fail, he created a piece of art for 5,000 consecutive days and shared it. I found this short YouTube video of Beeple talking about this daily habit, before he was rich and a celebrity, so inspirational that I began making a piece of art everyday myself. (You can see my first 60 pieces archived here, or posted on my Instagram.) — KK 

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