Blue lasers/Camera pocket guide/Earth in real time

Recomendo - issue #400

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Blue lasers

I spend too many hours a day watching YouTubes. Many of the channels I subscribe to produce content as good as or better than anything produced by PBS, cable TV, and your average documentary. For free. For a fantastic example of world class content on YouTube watch this Veritasium episode on Blue Lasers. Turns out blue lasers were “impossible” to create, but after decades of an insane amount of work by one crazy guy in Japan, they are now possible and all the cheap screens we have in our lives now are due to him. Veritasium tells this amazing human story, with heaps of illuminating technical detail on why blue lasers were nearly impossible and how they work, all in a brilliant 33 minutes. — KK

Pocket guide to understanding a camera

I gave my wife a camera for Christmas. It has an auto-setting, but she wanted to learn how to operate it manually. We were initially puzzled by terms like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Then I stumbled upon a PDF guide from Humburger Fotospots that demystifies these concepts with simple icons and explanations. I printed it out and stored it in the camera case. — MF

View images of Earth in real time

The GOES Image Viewer hosts the most up-to-date real time images of Earth available to the public. You can view and download satellite images that capture the entire visible disk of Earth and are updated every 10 to 15 minutes. I don’t know much about meteorology or geoscience, but I am an Earth lover, and it’s fascinating to be able to visualize weather patterns on a global scale. — CD 

Galactic compass

If you train yourself to pay attention to your surroundings you should be able to immediately point north without too much thinking. The next-level awareness is to point to the center of the galaxy at any time. Because the earth rotates during the day and orbits during the year, this direction changes constantly. You’ll need an app to help you. Galactic Compass is a free iPhone app that does only one thing: points toward the center of the galaxy. — KK

Typography Guide 

If you’re like me and would like to know more about fonts than just serif and san-serif, here is a cool guide to check out: The Logo Company’s Guide to Typography and Fonts. It breaks down the entire anatomy of fonts. — CD 

Ryan Holiday’s career wisdom

Writer and entrepreneur Ryan Holiday has had a varied career, from Hollywood agent assistant to marketing director for American Apparel. He’s put together a list of 37 pieces of hard-fought career advice that’s useful for anyone who works. Examples:

  • Find what nobody else wants to do and do it. Find inefficiency and waste and redundancies. Identify leaks and patches to free up resources for new areas. Produce more than everyone else and give your ideas away.
  • Always say less than necessary. Saying less than necessary, not interjecting at every chance we get — this is actually the mark not just of a self-disciplined person, but also a very smart and wise person.
  • Your creative output, your personal relationships, and your social life—balancing all three is impossible. You can excel in two if you say no to one. If you can’t, you’ll have none.
  • When people compete, somebody loses. So go where you’re the only one. Do what only you can do. Run a race with yourself.

— MF


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