The Rescue/Knife sharpener/The Wisdom Index


Recomendo: issue no. 283

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Incredible feel-good documentary
You may remember the story of the Thai boys stranded in a deep cave years ago. There was an international effort to get them out that lasted weeks. But the story of how they actually rescued the kids is so unbelievable, so amazing, so insane, and so crazy that it is definitely worth watching The Rescue, the thrilling National Geographic documentary about this unlikely feat. The heroes of The Rescue are unexpected and unlikely themselves. I call this the best documentary of the year. (Streaming on Disney+) — KK

Easiest knife sharpener
I’ve never had much success with sharpening kitchen knives to a razor’s edge by hand using traditional sharpening stones. But I now get razor sharp knives very fast using a small motorized sharpening belt made for the purpose. The Work Sharp MK2 requires little skill, it’s small, and relatively inexpensive ($80) for a sharpening system. Sharpening takes maybe 5 minutes per knife even when very dull, and is pretty foolproof. It also sharpens scissors, axes, and other tools. I now sharpen our knives much more frequently. — KK

The Wisdom Index
Researchers at UC San Diego created a 7-question survey that can determine your level of wisdom called the Jeste-Thomas Wisdom Index. You can take the 5-minute test here. The questions relate to 7 components of wisdom: Acceptance of Divergent Perspectives, Decisiveness, Emotional Regulation, Pro-Social Behaviors, Self-Reflection, Social Advising and Spirituality. Wisdom scores range from 1-5 with a score of 3 being considered neutral. My highest score was a 5 in Spirituality and my lowest score was 3.75 in Social Advising, which is kind of ironic because this is a recommendation. I posted my scores here. — CD

Super strong mounting tape
I used small squares of Gorilla Heavy Duty Double Sided Mounting Tape to attach panels of plywood together as part of an art project. To test the strength of the adhesive, I pried the panels apart with a screwdriver. The wood broke before the tape did. — MF

AI-created weirdness
The Internet Dungeon of Unexplained Phenomena is a website of AI-generated images and text depicting paranormal occurrences — like Dimensional rift at Scholastic Book Fair and The spooky locked door in the public library. It reminds me of a visual “Welcome to Night Vale”. It’s creepy and poetic and just scrolling through the blog excites my imagination. — CD

Short bits of useful advice from books
You might not know that we publish a few other newsletters besides Recomendo. One of them is Book Freak. Each issue offers four short pieces of advice found in useful books. Here are two quotes BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits, which is the subject of issue 61. — MF

Before making a decision, ask yourself these two questions
“Will it help you do what you already want to do? Will it help you feel successful? The answers to those questions is freeing because if the change program doesn’t satisfy these two requirements, it’s not worth your time. ”

Form habits through emotion, not repetition
“In my own research, I found that habits can form very quickly, often in just a few days, as long as people have a strong positive emotion connected to the behavior… When I teach people about human behavior, I boil it down to three words to make the point crystal clear: emotions create habits. Not repetition. Not frequency. Not fairy dust. Emotions.”

-- Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson 12/19/21

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