Recomendo

Empty Planet/507 Movements/Tool tip newsletter

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Recomendo: issue no. 150

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Population heresy
A book that recently changed my mind is Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline. In great scholarly detail the authors outline the near certainty of a population implosion all around the world in the next 50 years, starting right now in Japan, Europe, and quickly moving into the rest of the developing world in the coming decade. They calculate China will lose half of its population by the end of this century, and Mexico will need to import migrants. This inverts all kinds of political assumptions. The most newsworthy book I’ve read in awhile. — KK

Animated mechanical movements
When making toys, I refer to 507 Mechanical Movements. This old book is sort of a periodic table of known mechanical movements, first published in 1868. The book has been scanned onto the web, with many of the gears animated into looping gifs so you can see exactly how their ingenious mechanisms work and what movements they create. Just paging through this amazing 507 Movements website fills me with ideas. — KK

Toolshop tips
I’m enjoying Gareth Branwyn’s new email newsletter, Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales. Each weekly issue has several handy tidbits about interesting tools, novel ways to use tools, and how to maintain your workshop. The latest issue has a tip from Adam Savage on where to store infrequently used tools: “’If I didn’t have it right now, where would I look for it?’ And that’s where he stashes it. He tries to not get clever, not overthink it, but rather, he goes with the first place that pops to mind.” – MF

Better toilet plunger
Plunging a clogged toilet is hard work, but it’s a lot easier when you have a horizontal grip. The Mr. Siga plunger ($15) has a grip that allows me to push down with a lot more force than a simple pole handle. — MF

Gmail reverse conversation
This chrome extension does only one thing: reverses my Gmail thread views so that the newest message is always on top. Which is the way it should be. No more scrolling or collapsing old messages to get to the most recent. — CD

Wise findings
These are five quotes I’ve recently stumbled across, and that stopped me in my tracks. — CD

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anaïs Nin
“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” — George Carlin
“You know, the matrix says, ‘Pick an identity and stick with it. Because I want to sell you some beer and shampoo and I need you to stick with what you are so I’ll know how to market it to you.’ Drag is the opposite. Drag says, ‘Identity is a joke.’” — RuPaul
“Each moment is a place you’ve never been.” — Mark Strand
“You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.” — Alan Watts
-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 06/9/19