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Waterless car wash/You Are A Strange Loop/Messiah



January 26 · Issue #184 · 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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Waterless car wash
One of our Cool Tools readers, Jon Bonesteel, recommended Rain-X Waterless car wash. He wrote, “This stuff is magic! It saves a LOT of water and washes a car better than soap and water. The resulting finish beads water like wax and it’s so easy. I was skeptical, but I will never wash a car with water again.” I decided to try it myself and I agree with him. It’s easy to use and my car is shinier than it’s ever been. — MF
You are a strange loop
I recently read I Am Strange Loop, by Douglas Hoftstadter, which makes the argument that one’s sense of self is a mirage that arises out a cognitive feedback loop. I struggled with many parts of the book, but want to reread it because I believe Hoftstadter is onto something. In the meantime, I enjoyed Will Schroeder’s 20-minute video, called You Are A Strange Loop, which summarizes the book in an approachable way. — MF
Theological fantasy
I’ve been wow’d by the Netflix series Messiah, and binged all 10 episodes in a few sittings. The initial premise is: What if a Jesus figure came to the Mid East today and started doing miracles? Would he be declared a fake? A Prophet? By what religions? A potential revolutionary terrorist? All of the above? It goes on from there in unexpected ways, including becoming a CIA thriller. The Messiah’s lines are really good. — KK
Under desk foot rest
I have a height-adjustable chair and a sit/stand desk, but my work area was not complete until I bought this AmazonBasics Under Desk Foot Rest ($17). It helps me be mindful of my sitting posture, and I like that it swivels back and forth because I can stretch out my legs and calves. — CD
Immediacy filter
One of the most useful bits of advice I ever got, came from the writer Anne Herbert who said that whenever she got an invitation to do something months away or even a week away, she asked herself whether she would accept the gig/meeting/task if it was tomorrow. The answer was often no. I use that immediacy trick all the time, and it has served me very well. — KK
How to stop taking things personally
Sometimes my obstacle is when I’ve taken something personally that shouldn’t be. Like when my husband asks me if I unloaded the dishwasher “yet” and I interpret it as an all-out attack on my productivity. My therapist has advised me to listen to the request, not the tone. But that’s easy to forget. Here is a good printout to keep nearby if you also struggle with the same thing. — CD
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