A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted.
Giving Thanks Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. Seth Godin released The Thanksgiving Reader back in 2015 to focus on gratitude as a group project, kind of like a Passover Seder but without all the references to suffering. If it’s too woo-woo for your family, you might just want to listen to his podcast episode on how we got socially engineered into buying so many cranberries and turkeys. Meanwhile, thank you for reading this newsletter. We are grateful.
Trivia and World-Changing History If you’re interested in historic stories and often ask, “Why is it that…?” out loud, then here’s another podcast you might like: the Everything Everywhere Podcast. Host Gary Arndt was an original world-circling travel blogger, which made him a sponge of information and curiosity that now leads well to short daily explanations on the history of playing cards, where Alexander the Great is buried, Rapa Nui, and what we know about the legend of Atlantis. (And yes, the history of Thanksgiving.)
Easy Water Purification on the Road Plastic bottles on the beach are a scourge around the world and the big gyres of them floating around the oceans unseen are even worse. Avoid buying single-use bottles in places where you can’t drink the water by using the rechargeable tech of a Crazy Cap one. This is basically a Swell-type insulated bottle but with a cap that lights up with germ- and bacteria-killing UV rays, rendering that tap water perfectly drinkable. It’s like a SteriPen, but since the light is already attached to your bottle, super-easy to use. Easily pays for itself in the cost savings too.
Thailand Is Still a Deal So far I’ve been in Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Lanta on this trip and am finding Thailand prices to be only slightly higher than they were the last time I was here in 2015. Part of that is because I’m pulling from a U.S. dollars account, with the exchange rate mitigating some of the inflation, but it still feels like a terrific value–coming from a guy who lives in Mexico much of the year. Tourism has roared back fast, by the way, with busy airports, hotels, and ferry terminals.