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Endorsements from Thumbs Readers

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I'd like to endorse taking some time to wander through the SCP Foundation site, which hosts a large collaborative writing project. Some of the older articles have seeped out into the rest of the Internet, but most of those are just of the spooky monster variety. A lot of the newer articles are more weird than necessarily scary (though there's still some spooky stuff) and it's an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.  

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I'd like to endorse the Youtube channel of a guy called Ninox. His gaming videos are really enjoyable and occupy an interesting kind of middle ground. They're not Let's Plays, since all the dull moments are edited out or heavily abridged, but they're not abstracted to the point of being pure punditry either. Instead you get a nicely edited recap of his experience playing a game for about a dozen hours, which includes both a kind of travel report of notable events and him commenting on the systems and mechanics he engages with. In a way, it strikes me as a kind of successor to the New Games Journalism spirit, and for somebody who appears to have started doing this less than two months ago, his work is remarkably well-crafted on all levels.

 

This channel was only recently pointed out to me by a friend, and I was shocked to see he only had about 30 followers. He definitely deserves much more of an audience given the amount of work that clearly goes into these videos and how wonderfully relaxing they are.

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I'd like to recommend a nice Chef's knife - my In-Laws got me one for my birthday and holy cow, it makes a difference. 

 

You can get a great knife for pretty cheap ($40), it will last you ages and make general cutting/chopping a breeze.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-45520-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506089054&sr=8-3&keywords=victorinox+knife

 

 

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38 minutes ago, YoThatLimp said:

I'd like to recommend a nice Chef's knife - my In-Laws got me one for my birthday and holy cow, it makes a difference. 

 

You can get a great knife for pretty cheap ($40), it will last you ages and make general cutting/chopping a breeze.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-45520-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506089054&sr=8-3&keywords=victorinox+knife

 

 

 

Do you sharpen your knives? Seems like learning to use a whetstone might be a better investment.

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12 minutes ago, clyde said:

Do you sharpen your knives? Seems like learning to use a whetstone might be a better investment.

 

 

I use a knife sharpener. May not last forever, but it works great for what I need. 

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54 minutes ago, YoThatLimp said:

I'd like to recommend a nice Chef's knife - my In-Laws got me one for my birthday and holy cow, it makes a difference. 

 

You can get a great knife for pretty cheap ($40), it will last you ages and make general cutting/chopping a breeze.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-45520-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506089054&sr=8-3&keywords=victorinox+knife

 

 

 

I have that same knife and I agree.  I also have their santoku knife which I actually like using more.

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3 hours ago, clyde said:

 

Do you sharpen your knives? Seems like learning to use a whetstone might be a better investment.

 

Yep! But knives made of inferior steel dull quicker, I think the Victorinox is one of the cheapest "nice" knife you can get and keep a decent edge for a while!

 

2 hours ago, SecretAsianMan said:

 

I have that same knife and I agree.  I also have their santoku knife which I actually like using more.

 

Thanks, that looks like a great deal! Might have to grab it, I'm not sure which style I prefer yet

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I too have a Victorinox set! Got it as a housewarming gift ages ago and I still love them to death. So nice to cook with!

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This is less an endorsement from myself and more a call for endorsements, but - does anyone have a book light that they would particularly recommend? 

 

The only ones I've owned before have been the kind you pick up when lingering at the checkout in a bookshop and they've been profoundly unsatisfactory; usually they have a too-wobbly flexible stem that's trouble when you turn pages, or they have cheap wiring inside that comes apart at the slightest provocation.

 

I just want something of decent quality that'll clip on to a paperback for darktime reading. Amazon is full of things that are likely trash - anyone know of any good ones?

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Not sure how applicable this is outside of the UK, but I'd like to endorse going to your newsagents for small things. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd head to the supermarket for pretty much everything, but thanks to some particularly awful weather started popping to the newsagents instead. It's not only closer, and usually cheaper, but they have a really small staff rotation, and they're rarely overworked so actually come to recognise you after a few visits. It's nice to feel at least in part a part of the wider community like that, especially when adult life can make it so tricky to hang out with people.

 

Edit: And one more thing. 365Chapter2018 is a wonderful blog. The person writing it is working through their huge library of unread books, one first chapter per day, in an attempt to absolve themselves of their purchase. If you're not into book reviews though, don't worry. The posts are as much a journey for the author through various scenes in her life, and the context in which these books were received, as they are evaluating the content. It's a great blog in the way that so many aren't in the age of SEO.

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A couple of boring endorsements:

 

1) If you don't have room for a proper toilet roll dispenser on your wall, getting a toilet roll holder that hinges at the top to double up as a dispenser is so much nicer than keeping your current roll on the cistern, or trying to balance it on the bath edge.

 

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2) The Air Ram vacuum cleaner is hella expensive, but if you can afford it (or have a generous family member who can), it's a really slick, lightweight, cordless vacuum. It's got a light at the front, it's super-easy to empty and it's really maneuverable. This has made cleaning our flat ten times easier, especially the rugs that collect their own weight in long hairs and cling onto them for dear life. (Other lightweight, cordless, well-designed vacuum cleaners may be available.)

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I want to endorse baking bread.

 

It's amazing and less difficult than you think and very rewarding. Plus you can have an amazingly gentle Irish man coach you through it.

 

 

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Agreed!

 

Our sourdough streak has not been broken since the time I made that post. Still the same starter culture! Over a year with no store-bought bread now and I couldn't be happier with the result. A good crust and a flavourful bread is just such a pleasure.

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Today I'm going to endorse some productivity software called Cold Turkey. I'm not sure how many of you are like me, but I have have absolutely no fucking self-control and 5 minutes into a project will proceed to black out into twitter or reddit for 5 hours. 

 

Yes, I know I could just edit my host host file with the DNS/IP entries that cause me the most grief, but with Cold Turkey you can curate block lists with the websites and/or executables you don't need access to. Then you can create schedules with break periods if desired.  It also tracks how many times you try to access the sites you blacklisted and gives you an approximation of how much time it's saving you (for me, it's definitely a low-ball number).  

 

Anyways, there's a free version here if you want to try it. I've been using the paid version for years on and off and have come to rely on it during certain times of the year when the seduction of the web is strongest (e3/elections/etc.). I can say without exaggeration that its saved me over a thousand hours of productivity.  

 

EDIT: It appears I didn't do my due diligence and search the forum before posting. It seems this was mentioned before by Marek. Don't mean to be redundant.

 

Quote

 

I used stayfocusd for some time and liked it a lot, though I'm now using Cold Turkey which is multiplatform and also supports scheduling. It's a paid app but I've found it to be worth it. (I'm currently trying to avoid news and social media at least until noon, and in the hours before going to sleep.)

 

 

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