LED Light Pens/Find your gas tank/China cultural news


Recomendo: issue no. 185

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Write in the dark
Ideas always hit me right before I fall asleep. So I bought these Glovion LED Light Pens ($15/3pk) to write them down without waking up my husband. The light is bright enough to write under, but not bright enough that it pulls me out of my half-awake state. I love that I no longer have to fight that nagging urge to get up and write something down before I forget. – CD

Where’s the gas tank?
When you rent or borrow a car and you pull up to a gas station to fill it up, what side is the gas tank on? Look down. In the gas gauge on your dashboard there’s a little arrow to the side of the fuel pump icon. Its direction — left or right — will accurately point to the gas tank side. — KK

China cultural news
My two favorite sources for what’s happening in China are these two blogs. Say I want to know, what are Chinese youth watching, reading or listening to? SupChina is a big sprawling website with axillary podcasts and newsletters, that comprehensively covers China’s culture and politics. Based in NYC, it’s slick and professional. Sixth Tone is a smaller publication based in Shanghai, a slower rate, often deeper pieces, more off-beat and less headline-driven. Both give me a good pulse of a rising China and can be subscribed to via RSS. — KK

Really big mousepad
On a recent episode of the Cool Tools podcast, our guest Jane Metcalfe recommended the BUBM Office Desk Pad, a 31-inch x 17-inch mouse mat ($12). I have a desk with a glass top and didn’t like how the cool glass sucked heat from my arms and wrists, so I bought the mat and it turned out to be a great purchase. It feels like textured leather and looks nice. Best of all, it provides excellent insulation between my wrists and the glass. — MF

Read behind paywalls with Pocket app
Recomendo reader Alex recommended “When viewing a paywalled article, oftentimes the paywall won’t appear until you scroll down or only after the page fully loads. Simply install the Pocket browser extension (on your computer) and Pocket app (on your phone) and save the article before the paywall appears! Then check Pocket and read the article at your leisure.” I tried this with the NY Times and was able to access and print out some of the recipes they keep behind their paywall! — CD

Typing practice website
Earlier this month I tweeted: “I have been trying to get better at touch typing since I switched over from hunt-and-peck two years ago. I am not improving — speed and accuracy are terrible. Does anyone know of an app or method that works?” Of the many useful suggestions offered, the best app for me was and the best advice (which is obvious only in retrospect): “Focus on accuracy when practicing. Practice every day. When making too many mistakes, slow down. Without accuracy, speed will be tricky to increase.” — MF

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 02/9/20