PamPam/One Billion Americans/Free Scribd downloader

Recomendo - issue #406

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Maps in minutes 

PamPam lets you create custom maps in minutes and it’s fun to use! I was able to quickly search for and add points of interest by simply describing them to an AI. Then, I customized them with stickers and text. It feels very playful. For an even faster map-making experience, you can copy and paste text or a link to a list of places. PamPam is free for personal use and that includes 5 maps, 100 spots, and up to 500 views per month. I decided to test it out by making a nostalgic map of my hometown in under 5 minutes, and here’s what I created. If you’re unable to view it, it’s probably because I have a free account and I’ve reached the limit of 500 views. However, you can check out the templates here. — CD

Heretical good idea

At first, the title sounds like an insane idea: One Billion Americans. But this easy-to-read book is very persuasive in making the case why current Americans benefit from a vigorous immigration policy and generous family friendly programs, as ways to increase the country’s prosperity. Matt Yglesias, the author, deals with all the obvious objections of a billion Americans in an even handed way. He changed my mind; I think it is a great idea. — KK

Free Scribd downloader

While reading an article, I came across a link to a court document hosted on Scribd. However, Scribd charges a monthly fee of $12 to access their hosted files. Since I didn’t want to subscribe just to read a document that is in the public domain, I used a website called to download the file instead. (You may want to check out the numerous complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau by users who claim that Scribd continued to charge them even after they canceled their subscription.) — MF

Best cave experience

I’ve visited many tourist caves in the world. They all have their attractions. But by far the best cave experience I’ve had is Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Not only is it huge, but it is highly decorated, with endless intimate, close-up ornate formations. And an unthinkable amount of work went into making its immense spaces accessible, without wrecking its wildness. You can easily spend half a day enchanted. Like the Grand Canyon, or the Pyramids, it is an experience that cannot be captured by images. Bonus tip: Get the self-guide audio tour. I rank it in my top 3 favorite national parks. — KK

Ear wax removal tool

Years ago I used Q-tips to remove wax from my ears. They didn’t do a good job because most of the wax got pushed deeper into my ear. Later, I found specialized ear wax removal tools that are designed to scoop and scrape out the wax more effectively. One tool I like is the Clinere earwax removal tool, which has a built-in stop guide to prevent accidentally poking too far and damaging the eardrum. — MF

Authentic recommendations 

If you find Recomendo useful, you’ll definitely enjoy Rambull — a newsletter that profiles a different person each week and shares 6+ recommendations for living, buying, experiencing, and more. I had the pleasure of being profiled last week, and I was truly impressed by the thoughtfulness and care Rob, the creator, invests in crafting an issue. A few of the things I shared were ones I had intended to recommend here, making this a bonus Recomendo! — CD


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