Recomendo

Nerdy kit gifts/Eustachi/Dark Reader

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Recomendo: issue no. 126

Nerdy kit gifts
I spent a weekend assembling some cool kits that would make fun gifts for nerdy people like me. Mostly laser-cut parts with lots of gears or moving parts. My recommendations of the best kits are here. But the neatest cool and unusual kit is this small version of the 24-footed Strandbeest, which walks powered by a blast of air. At only $15, it’s a bargain. — KK

No more clogged ears
Air travel with a head cold leads to excruciating ear pain when the plane descends, followed by three days of plugged ears. Neither the Frenzel maneuver or the Valsalva maneuver work for me. Last week I had to fly to Switzerland with a cold. I found out about this $60 gadget called Eustachi, and I brought it with me on the plane. It worked! It delivers little bursts of pressurized air through your nostril, and when you swallow, your ear will “pop.” This is a life changer. — MF

Go dark
I recently upgraded my Macbook to Mojave and I’m loving the new Dark Mode. Then I discovered Dark Reader, the Chrome extension that makes every website dark and now everything is easy on the eyes. You can toggle the extension on and off so you don’t have to commit to one mode. I find that it’s hard for me to free write on a dark screen, so I keep my Gmail and Evernote in light mode. — CD

Bathroom phone shelf
You are sitting on the toilet but there is no place to park your phone safely. This is an everywhere in the world problem, with a first world solution: this hefty, heavy solid metal, toilet roll shelf. The shelf is flat, dry, stable. The roll holder underneath is easy to use. Can also store book, wet wipes, etc. As a courtesy I replaced our guest bathroom roll holder with this, and I like it so much I may do the rest of the bathrooms. — KK

No more car sickness
My daughter was nauseated during a long car drive, and fortunately my sister had a couple of Bonine motion sickness tablets in her purse. In a matter of minutes, the nausea dissipated, and my daughter felt fine for the remainder of the 10 hour drive. It’s highly rated on Amazon. — MF

Basic gift-wrapping videos
I always need a refresher course when it comes time to wrapping gifts, and there are a lot of instructional videos on Youtube, but most are too complicated for me. This basic gift wrapping video is helpful and I learned that all this time I was forgetting to fold over the edges before I taped them down. Also helpful is this video on how to tie a bow perfectly. I start at minute 1:11 and watch at 1.5x speed to get through it. — CD

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 12/23/18