Recomendo

Small screwdrivers/Unconventional YouTube/Flower teas

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Recomendo: issue no. 247

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Small Screwdriver Set
I’ve always liked Craftsman screwdrivers because they’re indestructible and have a classic look, so when I saw this set of six small Craftsman screwdrivers for the price of a fancy coffee drink, I couldn’t resist buying them. It includes three slotted and three Phillips head drivers. I used the smallest Phillips driver to repair some eyeglasses. — MF

Unconventional YouTube
When I subscribe to a YouTube channel, I like to be surprised by the next episode. My favorite four YouTube channels these days are crafted by inspiring creators who keep me anticipating what in the world they might do next. They are all makers with an upbeat perspective. — KK

In order of the unexpected:

  1. Ali Spagnola. Ali is a genius musician, a painter, a maker, a savant, and a comedian. She takes great care in making totally silly things, and does them with humor. She loves to try things that aren’t going to work. Her astounding musical transformations are worth subscribing alone.
  2. Beau Miles. An Australian adventurer who settled down with a family and creates mini-adventures around his settled life, like walking 96 km to work carrying nothing, not even money. He has a lovely can-do spirit, and the miraculous ability to find adventure in the ordinary.
  3. Simone Giertz. Simone is an unabashed maker, but likes to make “stupid” things that are closer to art – like her famous chopping the top off of a Tesla to turn it into the Truckla, a Tesla pickup truck. Her projects are dreamlike and friendly weird, and also inspiring.
  4. Van Niestat. Brother of famous YouTuber Casey Niestat, Van is charting his own path with idiosyncratic mini-videos that are either book reviews, or love letters, or personal confessions, or documentaries about an idea. His channel is young; I’m not sure where he is going but for sure it’s not where the rest of YouTube is headed. He is an original.

Beautiful whole flower teas
It’s been a long journey for me to become a full-blown tea fanatic. It turns out I just needed to find the “right” tea! These organic whole flower infusion teas by The Qi are beautiful to look at and are so deliciously sippable. The founder Lisa Li sources her single-origin flowers (Rose, Chrysanthemum, Blue Lotus) from a high mountain farm in Shangri-La, Jiangxi, and Hainan, an island province of China. It has become an effortless daily ritual for me, and I’ll admit, an addiction — but what a healthy, nourishing addiction to have! Here is a referral link for $5 off (a pop-up window will ask you for email address to get the code). — CD

Blender Free 3D Modeling
I wanted to learn a 3D modeling program and everyone told me Blender was good and free. I downloaded it and watched a one-hour tutorial video on Skillshare (Skillshare is $10 a month for unlimited tutorial videos. Here’s a link for a free 14-day subscription). While watching the video, I made this vase. I watched a few more videos and then made this toy, which includes primitive animation. I’m having a lot of fun exploring what I can do with this powerful application. — MF

Creative writing space for youth
Wewritehere.com welcomes and publishes creative writing from students in 6th to 12th grade. Every month they award $25 gift cards for selected works and share them in a monthly newsletter that you can sign up to receive. Since it is based in Oakland, California, a lot of the perspectives are from Oakland youth, but they welcome submissions from students all over. I’m enjoying their email digests, the poems are both sobering and delightful. — CD

Cheaper Wall Street Journal
I paid for a subscription to the digital version of the Wall Street Journal, but I was tipped off that they offer a steep discount of $1 per week ($4/month) for a year if you are patient. So I canceled my subscription, and then when I visited the site, I’d see declining offers and and waited until they offered $4 month for a year. Signing back up was easy since they remembered me. (It would be worthwhile to pay a bot to do this for all publications.) — KK

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 04/11/21