Recomendo

40 tourist scams/Li Ziqi/Mountain meditation

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Recomendo: issue no. 181

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40 tourist scams around the world
One reason I like traveling to Japan is that no one there has ever tried to pull a scam on me. Not so in Europe, Mexico, and the United States, where I’ve experienced at least a few of the 40 scams presented in this infographic. A few are obvious, but there are always some surprising scams worth knowing about. Read this list to prepare yourself the next time you travel. — MF

Traditional life in China
In China, Li Ziqi is a huge online star. She is sort of a hippy young Martha Stewart — a DIYer and maker, as well as ancient lifestyle guru. Dressed in traditional garb, Li Ziqi posts hundreds of videos about making traditional Chinese rural things from scratch with traditional tools — in an extreme way. She’ll make a silk comforter by first raising silk worms. She’ll make her own soy sauce by first growing soy beans. She’ll make some bamboo furniture in a day, starting with harvesting the bamboo. Plus she plays guitar and sings! To her 50 million followers in China, her idyllic and blemish-free videos are soothing and an antidote to their overworked urban lives. She delivers nostalgia for the country life they left — without the drudgery and starvation. To her 8 million foreign followers, like me, watching her on YouTube, her impossibly romantic videos are cinematic glimpses of vanishing arts and crafts, of amazing and ingenious ways millions of people thrived in the past. I could watch them for hours. — KK   

Mountain meditation
One of the most effective visualization techniques to quickly destress is to imagine I am a mountain and every annoying, stressful thing is just floating past me like clouds or momentary bad weather. I remind myself that I am a mountain and my purpose is to just sit and be myself and nothing can sway me. You can find a lot of these “mountain meditations” on Youtube. Here is a short example I like and found on Aura. — CD

Micro flush cutters
If you do soldering work, I recommend getting a pair of these Hakko micro cutters. They’ll cut copper wires flush with the blob of solder, making your work look tidy. And they cost just $7.60 on Amazon. — MF

Best portable audio capture
I upgraded my audio capture for video. For the past year when I make videos I have been using a Rode Wireless Go microphone and receiver. The system is two small squares each about the size of an Apple watch. One slips onto the hotshoe of a camera, and plugs into the Mic jack, the other rides in the pocket of the subject speaking (or clips onto their clothing) and connects to a small lapel mic. From up to 100 meters away, your camera will record sound/voice in excellent fidelity, even if the subject is moving. No wires, no sound boom. It’s tiny and featherlight, and works instantly with plug and play. Best of all its cheap audio, $200 for the set. I highly recommend.  — KK

Prewritten emails
Here is a helpful minimal website with short and sweet canned emails for things like needing advice, asking to be paid back, rescheduling appointments, unsubscribing aggressively and more. — CD

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 01/12/20