Cool Tools

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be

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Silicone Basting Brush

Basting brushes are not just for slopping barbecue sauce on your chicken or ribs. Using a smaller-sized silicone basting brush is the best way to limit the amount of oil and fat that I use in cooking. Instead of pouring oil in the pan to saute vegetables, I make sure that the pan is screaming hot and then brush it with a fully loaded brush full of oil....

Small screwdrivers/Unconventional YouTube/Flower teas

Sign up here to get Recomendo a week early in your inbox.   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...

Ken Goldberg, Artist and Roboticist

Our guest this week is Ken Goldberg. Ken is an artist, inventor, and roboticist. He is William S. Floyd Jr Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley and Chief Scientist at Ambidextrous Robotics. Ken’s artwork involving robots such as the Telegarden has been exhibited internationally and he founded the Art, Technology, and Culture public lecture...

Brymen BM235 True RMS Multimeter

While I‘m no electrician or expert, I occasionally do some simple electronics projects which warrant the use of a multimeter. Over the years I‘ve gone through cheapo $5-10 ones, to a slightly better $30 no-name multimeter, to a $50 Uni-T Multimeter. Yet all of these pale in comparison to the BM235 — to the point that I never want to use a cheap multimeter...

What’s in my desk? — Kim Lacroix

Sign up here to get What’s in my bag? a week early in your inbox. I am a terminologist working for the Canadian government on a bilingual database called TERMIUM Plus®. I found my niche with terminology work because I love searching for the exact definitions of terms in specialized fields! Yes, I’m a huge nerd. I used to bring my dictionary to read...

Polyethylene Gloves for Cyanoacrylate Glue

For years I struggled with cyanoacrylate adhesives. I would try to glue a small wood splinter back down and the splinter would stubbornly adhere to my finger instead of the workpiece. And I was always trying to clean the stuff off my fingers with acetone or the matching dissolver product. I tried to use my usual workshop nitrile gloves, and they gave...

Stimulite Body Scrubber

I’ve used the Supracor Stimulite back scrubber for 8 months so far and have loved it from the first instant. Feels great; one side soft for massaging and the other side for a refreshing exfoliating. Long enough to enable use even with a stiff shoulder. I have tried the brush on a long handle, but a shoulder problem made the brush impossible to use....

Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray

I would never have expected to experience a notable difference in dish soaps. But Dawn’s Platinum Powerwash is terrific. It can be sprayed into a sink as you fill it or directly onto a surface. Most of the time, we spray it on the offending dish with all its dried-on gunk or grease and leave it for a minute then wipe it off in hot standing or running...

Vanishing Asia/Depths of Wikipedia/7 types of rest

Sign up here to get Recomendo a week early in your inbox.   Vanishing Asia Kickstarter For 40 years I’ve been photographing the disappearing traditions of Asia. This week I launched a Kickstarter campaign for my oversized 3-volume book set that captures this wonderful otherness. I crammed a continent of images into 1,000 pages. The book, Vanishing...

Gioia Palmieri, Publisher of Mineshaft

Our guest this week is Gioia Palmieri. Gioia was born in Boston in 1967. She is co-editor & publisher of Mineshaft, a small art, comics & literary mag that was started in 1999. Gioia lives in Durham, NC with her daughter Irena & Mineshaft partner Everett Rand. She is currently working on a novel. You can find Mineshaft on Facebook @mineshaftmagazine...

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