A Life on Our Planet/Free documentaries/Paperlike


Recomendo: issue no. 222

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A desirable future
At 94, the legendary naturalist David Attenborough has produced a full length documentary about his life. Just released on Netflix, “A Life on Our Planet” doubles as his “witness statement” to our drastic loss of wilderness. But he combines his harsh, honest critique with an unexpectedly hopeful vision of “re-wilding” the planet. This is a high tech, highly urban, but green civilization with vast areas of sea and land protected as wild zones. I find his “re-wilding” framework more appealing than the technically similar “sustainability” framework, because re-wilding suggests exuberant, open-ended thriving (in nature and tech) rather than just responsible, constrained sustaining. Attenborough’s last 11 minutes in this doc is the closest visualization of the future I hope for that I’ve seen. — KK

Free documentaries
Documentary Mania is a website with hundreds of documentaries you can watch for free. So far I’ve enjoyed Free Solo, about the first person to free climb Yosemite’s El Capitan Wall, and The Bit Player, a movie about information theorist Claude Shannon. — MF

Write on your iPad like paper
Now that iPadOS 14 turns my handwriting into typed text, my Paperlike iPad Screen Protector ($40, 2-pk) has really paid off. It feels like I am writing on a smooth pad of paper instead of glass. I bought it back in June, a couple months into the pandemic, so there were shipping delays, but well worth the wait. It goes perfectly with the Apple Pencil and I’m finding any excuse to jot down notes or draw. — CD

Duct tape for skin
When I was growing up we used adhesive tape on bandages. Several generations of tech later, I now use 3M Transpore Tape ($3.80). Transpore Tape is like duct tape for skin. It sticks great but does not leave any sticky residue when removed. Skin pores can breathe, while still being waterproof. And the tape rips by hand easily, even easier than duct tape. It’s what you’ll find in the bag of any doctor, nurse, or EMT today. — KK

Six right livelihood guidelines
No matter your background or beliefs, these wise and compassionate Buddhist guidelines for living are simply vital. Here are the ones I am trying to adopt: Consume mindfully — Eat with awareness and gratitude. Pause before buying and see if breathing is enough. Pay attention to the effects of media you consume. — CD

Sheets with pockets
I bought this King size set of bamboo bedsheets for $40 because they have side pockets to stow a book, Kindle, or phone. I wasn’t expecting them to feel so nice! They are much more comfortable than the $200 bamboo sheets we bought at Bed Bath and Beyond (which didn’t come with pockets). — MF

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 10/18/20

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