Aura frame/AI-travel assistant/Breathing practices

Recomendo - Issue #343

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Calm streaming frames
We were gifted a digital picture frame, and it has been a revelation. It’s a whole new medium different than a fixed picture, different than a picture on your phone. A constant stream of images from our collective lives are flashed in a modest-size frame quietly sitting in our kitchen. The genius is that everyone in our family – including those not living nearby – can easily add new pictures to the stream. It is “calm technology” – without having to engage the monkey-mind to flick-flick, we absorb in a relaxed way, and are gently reminded of in the background, what is happening in our lives. We are now gifting the same to relatives in distant lands, so we can calmly share with them. There are a lot of brands of digital frames; since it was a gift I have not researched them, but am happy with the one we have which is an Aura. Unlike many other frames, there are no subscription fees. — KK

AI travel expert
Vacay’s free AI-travel assistant is a chat bot that answers travel related questions and even generates full itineraries based on your budget and interests. All you do is ask it a question. To test its capabilities, I asked it, “I am interested in modern Japanese design. Describe the top 10 less-well-known stores I should visit in Tokyo and explain why they are worth visiting.” The results were impressive, although it seems one store may have been a hallucination. I plan to visit these places on my next trip to Japan. — MF

Breathing practices infographic
I find the world of “Breathwork” hard to navigate. There are many methods and the physical effects of those methods vary widely. This infographic created by Kyle Kowalski of Sloww Sunday does a fantastic job of describing different breathing practices to help master your nervous system and down-regulate anxiety. What works for me in moments of stress, is the Physiological Sigh – a full inhalation followed by a relaxed sigh. Sloww Sunday is one of those newsletters I open as soon as it hits my inbox. It’s free and you can subscribe here. — CD 

Science fiction thriller
I’ve been skeptical of the need for humans to live in space. I’m having my mind slowly changed by the science fiction of Daniel Suarez, who describes in great detail how moving some industry – including power generation – off our planet into near-orbit space may be the greenest thing we can do. All this hard science is wrapped up in a page-turning sci-fi thriller. The second volume in his Delta-V trilogy, called Critical Mass, is his best so far and can be enjoyed without having to read the first one (though of course it’s even better that way). — KK

Easy Trader Joe’s recipes
This might be of interest to only certain parts of the US, but my favorite social media find of the week is @traderjoes5itemsorless on Instagram. The account is not affiliated with Trader Joe’s but every post is an easy recipe using only 5 items or less from TJ’s. It’s one of those rare feel-good social media accounts to follow because it makes me think, “Hey, I can do that!” It’s inspiring and mouth-watering. — CD

Electric heated foot warmer
The price of natural gas has skyrocketed in California. Los Angeles has been experiencing relative bone-chilling temperatures at night. To combat this we are keeping our thermostat down, but our feet are warm, thanks to this electric heated foot warmer. You simply stick your feet into the plush sack and select one of three temperature settings. It has an automatic shut-off feature after 2 hours. — MF

Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson


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