Alice Bradley, Deputy Editor of Lifehacker
Cool Tools Show 201: Alice Bradley
Our guest this week is Alice Bradley. Alice is the deputy editor of Lifehacker and co-host of Lifehacker’s podcast, The Upgrade. Alice is also co-author of the book Let’s Panic About Babies and her stories and essays have been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can find her on Twitter @finslippy.
Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats ($17)
I’m a clumsy person. I’m an uncoordinated person. And when the weather turns, which it does, because I’m in New York and the ice and snow start coming down, I’m a slippery person. A person who falls a lot and I end up getting so afraid that I’m going to fall, that I’m shuffling around like an old woman, which is irritating and time consuming. So, I discovered these things called Yaktrax, which are basically cleats for your shoes. You can just clip them onto your shoe and they keep you from falling and they are magic. They’re not even like cleats. They’re like little wire loops and somehow they grip onto the ice in the snow. And I have not found an icy path that I could not cross with these things on. They are invaluable for someone like me, who is uncoordinated, prone to slip, and has broken her tailbone not once but twice.
Brain.fm is a streaming music service that provides you with these auditory experiences—that help you focus, relax, or sleep, depending on the channel you’ve chosen. I’ve only used focus, but I find it extraordinarily helpful. I tend to be scattered throughout the day but if I really need to hunker down and edit a bunch of stories, nothing works better for me. I use it at work and it is like Adderall for your ears. I can focus so well when I’m listening to this stuff that it’s almost too good. You’re focused like everything else drops away and whenever I’m in the editing zone I can just turn it on and go and it’s great. It costs $50/year and I think it’s worth every penny.
News Feed Eradicator for Facebook
I have to use Facebook for work, but whenever I visited the site I would end up scanning my newsfeed and becoming distracted and enraged by whatever was going on there. I discovered the Chrome extension Newsfeed eradicator through my friend and boss Melissa. It does what it promises — eradicates my newsfeed— and replaces it with inspirational quotes. It’s always something different. It’s Henry David Thoreau or Winston Churchill and sometimes they feel a little preachy. But it does the trick. I go on Facebook, I go right to what I’m trying to do for work and I get off of it. I don’t use it at home because at home I don’t care as much. But at work it’s great.
HAY Sowden Bottle ($35-$40)
So the Snowden Bottle by HAY was a Christmas gift from my friend Melissa, and it is the prettiest water bottle I’ve ever owned and it’s very fancy. It’s stainless steel, it comes in different colors. So, it’s sort of these like brightly colored bottles that feel kind of architectural. They’re just beautifully designed. They look like statues. They’re kind of slightly tapered. They’re not straight sided. When I first got it, I’m like, “This is nice.” And I feel like water tastes better in it, which is probably, a delusion. But I think stainless steel is just better in general. And it keeps things cold. Unlike a lot of a plastic water bottles, it’s not going to degrade and I’m not going to have to throw it out. So I feel like a good person.
Let’s Panic About Babies!: How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant Who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain, and Finally Turn You into a Worthwhile Human Being
Let’s Panic About Babies is not a guide. It is a humor book about parenting and baby making and it is entirely fake. It is full of fake information. It is meant to be simply just a humor for expecting parents who are freaking out. When I was pregnant and I was looking at all these pregnancy books and parenting books, I couldn’t believe how sort of directive the information was, how prescriptive it was, as if they knew exactly what your baby would be like. They would tell you exactly what to do and exactly what to think, exactly what to feel, not acknowledging that all of this is an incredibly personal experience, and that the best way to get your baby to sleep is going to depend widely on what kind of baby you have, right? I thought if I read enough books, basically I would be an expert. So, when the baby came I would know exactly what to do, and I had a baby and that did not work out so well for me. It turned out I had a very particular kind of baby who had very particular needs and for instance, he wouldn’t fall asleep with me in the room. He had to cry it out and I was so committed to that not happening, that it was devastating for me to have to leave him alone in a room until I realized that was the only way he was ever going to get to sleep because he was an incredibly social person even from that age. So, that frustrated me so much and I ended up writing this book with my co-writer, Eden Marriott Kennedy, really making fun of those books.
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