Avocado tool/Communication tips/Classic Dungeon Crawler

Recomendo - issue #354

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Avocado tool

We don’t normally allow single-task gadgets into our kitchen, but there is one we do: an avocado knife. Now that avocados are available year-round, we grab this simple device to open, pit, and scoop out the creamy green. The Kuhn Rikon Avocado Knife has a flexible scalloped blade, with a blunt serration on one edge and two probes on the other. You use the safe edge to open the avocado, and the probes to stab the pit to remove it – but neither are sharp enough to cut your hand. The blade is non-stick coated, flexible, and curved enough to scoop out the meat in one stroke, and to spread if wanted.  The whole operation is done with one easy-to-clean hand tool.  In a Cool Tools podcast, Nathan Myhrvold, the gourmet nerd who owns every single esoteric and expensive culinary tool there is, told me that this $13 device was his favorite kitchen tool. — KK

How to express your thoughts clearly

I’ve been trying to create a new habit of asking myself “what is my intention?” before I speak. Sometimes I communicate to empathize, or to think out loud, but a lot of the time my intention is to connect and to be understood. This article on Alan Alda’s 3 rules for expressing your thoughts is useful for all types of communication. They are: 1. Make no more than three points 2. Explain difficult ideas in three different ways and 3. Make important points three times. This is helpful for me because I speak in emotions and imagery, and if I want to be understood by someone who is more logical-minded I have to remind myself to use analogies rather than metaphors. — CD

Classic Dungeon Crawler

I’ve been playing the Rogue video game off and on for more than 35 years, since the late 1980s. The object is to descend a monster-filled dungeon (displayed using ASCII characters, not graphics) and retrieve the Amulet of Yendor on the lowest level. I’ve never succeeded; if a monster doesn’t kill me then I starve to death (food is scarce). I hope to beat it before I die in real life! — MF

Shoe deodorizer

I wear one pair of shoes for everything. Given that I walk 5 miles a day on a treadmill, they started to smell bad. I bought a spray bottle of Elite Peppermint Foot & Shoe Deodorizer and sprayed my feet and the inside of my shoes with it. The bad smell instantly went away, and now I smell like a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, which I approve of. — MF

Random airport view

I can’t explain why but clicking through these random airport views all over the world is very relaxing. It’s lo-fi and nostalgic and slow. I think part of its soothing effect might be the vast aerial view similar to the Overview Effect or state of awe that some astronauts experience in Space. — CD

The elements around you

One of the best books I’ve read recently is Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements, published in 2019. Although it is not a long book, there are 3 books coursing through it. One theme is the slow discovery of the primeval chemical elements. That story would be enough for most books. A second is the convoluted and incredible story of alchemy, which was amazingly persistent throughout the birth of chemistry. And the most important story is the slow emergence of science, and how difficult its birth was. I found news and insight on nearly every page, and am shocked at how little I knew about the most basic stuff that our world is made of. Highly recommended. — KK


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