Letterlist/Tascam DR-10L/Flatland


Recomendo: issue no. 148

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I’m frequently on the lookout for new newsletters and I found Letterlist to be a great website to discover interesting new content. You can browse their curated collection of newsletters for free, but if you sign up (also free) you can subscribe to the ones you want with their 1-click button instead of having to type out your email address over and over again. — CD

Mobile sound recording
The way professionals record sound in a documentary, theatrical show, mobile podcast, vlogging channel, and even a wedding video, is to wire up the “talent” with a hidden lightweight recorder in a pocket or belt that is connected to an itsybitsy microphone discreetly clasped on a coat, shirt, dress, under a hat or in hair. The least expensive ($200) industry standard for this job is the Tascam DR-10L. It runs on a AAA battery for 10 hours. The sound is sterling, studio-quality, dependable. (Audio is recorded separately from video and easily synced later.)  I’ve been relying on this small device for interviews and podcasts in the field. — KK

My favorite $1.71 paperback novel
Flatland is a novel by Edwin Abbott Abbott, published in 1884. It’s written as a biography by “A. Square,” a two-dimensional creature who is literally a living square, thinner than a sheet of paper. He lives with other two-dimensional creatures on a surface called Flatland. In the book, Mr. Square tells of his adventures in worlds of different dimensions: Pointland (zero dimensions), Lineland (one dimension), and Spaceland (three dimensions) all inhabited with creatures suited for their respective worlds. Abbott does a wonderful job of world building, explaining how the society (a satire of the Victorian society) and infrastructure of Flatland works. Even though the book was written 135 years ago, I found it very easy to read. Amazon is selling the Dover edition of Flatland for less than the price of a cup of coffee. I just bought it for my daughter. — MF

An app to teach you about the fourth dimension
This iPhone/iPad app does just one thing — it gives you a feel for the fourth dimension by moving from 0 dimensions to 4. I’ve had this jewel of an app on my phone for years and still open it from time to time. It’s a great companion to Flatland. — MF

Street food stories
I really love street food, and I’m enjoying Street Food, a series streaming on Netflix. It plays out in the same format as the Chef’s Table series: food and culture are focused into mini-biographies of the cooks themselves. So we see the ordinarily unseen lives of street food vendors in Asia (in Season 1). It’s about the people, not the food; brilliant and delicious. — KK

Shoe cleaning kit
My favorite sneakers are both Vans and have white soles that get really dirty. I want them to last a long time, so once a month I clean them using this ShoeAnew Shoe Cleaner Kit ($17). It’s comes with a brush and a microfiber cloth and it only takes a few minutes to spray and scrub all the dirt off. — CD

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 05/26/19