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.Tell us what you love.
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A lot of the dots in a QR code are superfluous, meaning that they can be arranged into a picture, and not just randomly. Thus you can make the QR code into a picture. This neat little free website called QArt Coder will generate a QR for a website you give it (say your homepage) using an image you give it (say your portrait), yielding a QR code with a stylized image of you (or say a logo, or totem). Short urls and small high contrast images work best. I’m making stickers from my impressionist QR self-portrait. Hold a phone to it, and it takes you to my home page. — KK
This pill organizer is perfect for travel, but I also use it at home to organize my pills. It comes with seven boxes marked with the days of the week. Each box has two compartments for AM and PM. I take all my supplements in the morning, which allows me to organize my pills two weeks in advance. The seven boxes fit in a clear plastic case. On trips, I just bring the boxes I need. — MF
Reddit's search function is not pleasant to navigate, so whenever I discover a better search engine for it, I always get excited to share it widely. GigaBrain is the newest and best search engine for finding product recommendations and experience-based answers from actual people. Whatever your question is, GigaBrain will extract from billions of Reddit comments and provide you with summarized results. — CD
This is something my daughter told me about. On Android and Apple phones, you can take a picture by pressing the volume up key. It’s more convenient than touching the software button on the phone’s display. I find it especially useful for taking street photography. — MF
Girls’ Night In is a newsletter I’ve read for years and they recently solicited advice and learnings from therapy and shared it here: The Best Things We Learned in Therapy (scroll down). In anxious or volatile moments, I like the reminder that "I can't stop the waves, but I can learn how to surf." Or asking yourself, "What are you doing to contribute to your own unhappiness?" — my mind automatically flips the question to, “What can I do in this moment to contribute to my own happiness?” I hope this is a reoccurring feature. — CD
The movie I have rewatched the most often is the sci-fi classic The Fifth Element. Directed by Frenchman Luc Besson, it is sublime in most ways, especially its worldbuilding, and design style, which are influenced by French comic book artists rather than Hollywood. I somehow completely missed that Besson released another sci-fi film in 2017, this one based on a legendary French comic book series: Valerian. I only recently discovered Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on Amazon Prime and have already rewatched it. Its plot is forgettable, but like the The Fifth Element, it’s all about a playful, whimsical, baroque high-fashion future, a style not seen in Hollywood science fiction movies. (Valerian is the most expensive indie film ever made.) This exuberant future seems to be more plausible than the sleek streamlined future we usually expect. — KK