NetGalley/Happy Happy Joy Joy/The Weeklypedia


Recomendo: issue no. 215

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Advance reader ebooks
If you are a “person of influence,” particularly when it comes to books, and you’d like to read books before they are published (so you can rave about them when they are), you can sign up at NetGalley and get digital “advance reader copies (ARC)” of upcoming books. This is an early ebook edition used to promote the book. Most titles are available to all members, but some books need to be requested. For avid readers who like to talk about what they are reading, NetGalley is a handy service. — KK

Happy Happy Joy Joy Tragedy Tragedy
By the early 1990s television cartoons had hit a depressing nadir. The stories, art, characters, and animation were terrible, and the cartoons existed for the sole reason of selling toys and merchandise. Then along came Ren & Stimpy, a hyperkinetic, rubbery, explosive, hilarious, and beautifully animated cartoon that harked back to the era when Bob Clampett and Tex Avery were producing insanely great work for Looney Tunes. Ren & Stimpy changed the course of animation. The documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy recounts the tragic history of Ren & Stimpy and features extensive interviews with everyone involved, including its creator, John Kricfalusi, a supremely talented animator, a sadistic tyrannical boss, and sexual predator of teenage girls.  — MF

Stay up-to-date on most-edited Wikipedia articles
I’ve found another way to keep up with what’s happening in the world, that doesn’t involve “doomscrolling,” and that is signing up for The Weeklypedia. Once a week, I’ll get an email summarizing the top 20 Wikipedia articles with the most changes, the 10 most actively edited articles created in the past week and most active discussions on Wikipedia (No. 5 last week was Kamala Harris citizenship conspiracy theories). Here is the most recent issue. — CD

Search engine for comparing measurements
I like having The Measure of Things handy for those really random moments when I want to visualize the size of something, like how big or how much, in units I might understand better. For example 4 fluid ounces is about three-fourths as big as a tennis ball, and 500,000 acres is 1.075 times bigger than the size of Maui. — CD

Bargain Beans
My family is drinking a lot more coffee than we used to. We go through about a pound of whole espresso beans per week. On a whim, I bought Amazon’s brand, Go for the Bold, which comes in 2 lb bags. It’s better tasting than Starbucks, about the same as Pete’s, and costs quite a bit less. — MF

Ultimate portable tripod
I believe in “earning” any best-in-class tools; start out cheap and move up through use. Over my 50 years in photography I’ve used and owned many tripods, so I was ready — and willing to pay for — a world-class state-of-the art tripod. Last year on Kickstarter I sprung for what I consider the best portable travel tripod ever. It’s a carbon-fiber Peak Design Tripod. It’s ingeniously compact (full size folds into the diameter of a water bottle), feather lightweight, opens and closes rapidly easily, and is remarkably ridgid, even at 6 feet. Its head mount is fast, fluid, and agile. It fits into a daypack, or carry-on luggage, and is optimized for a tripod you have to carry a lot, but of course works in a studio as well. The Peak Tripod is a masterpiece of design and fabrication. I love using it. The aluminum version is $350, while the ultimate carbon fiber model is $600. — KK

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 08/30/20

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