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AirHelp/iNaturalist/BattleBots

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Recomendo

August 5 · Issue #107 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our compendium of Recomendo at https://2017.recomendo.com/.

Have something to recommend? Fill out this form, and if we try it and like it we’ll include it in a future issue!

Easy flight delay compensation
My International flight to Los Angeles was delayed for 10 hours. The airline didn’t tell me I was eligible for compensation, but I friend told me about an app called AirHelp. I entered my name and confirmation number. Instantly, AirHelp told me the airline was obligated to pay me about $700. AirHelp did all the work, and about a week later I got the money, minus a 25% commission for AirHelp, which was a small price to pay for not having to do anything. — MF
Learn about nature
I first heard about the iNaturalist app from a Cool Tools Podcast with David Lang. I used it for the first time last week when I was hiking and took a picture of a tree that I wanted to know the name of. I just uploaded the picture and labeled it as “I don’t know what this is.” The next morning, I was happily surprised to see an email alerting me that another user identified it for me! It’s like a collaborative classroom on your phone. — CD 
BattleBots
My mother-in-law is 90, doesn’t speak English, and lives with us. She, and I enjoy watching the new season 3 of BattleBots on Amazon Prime. This mindless machine-on-machine violence of robots demolishing other robots is universally entertaining, and spectacular. No language needed. — KK
Instagram cliches made beautiful
Insta_Repeat is an Instagram account that beautifully highlights common cliches on Instagram. Like view through tent hole, or standing on white van.  Hey, travel and outdoor Instagramers, don’t do these! Try something different. Yet I follow it because arrays of the cliches are mesmerizing in their nearly identical images. — KK
Effective no-kill rat trap
I bought this small rodent trap ($8) a couple of years ago and have caught several mice and rats with it. It doesn’t kill the animal, it just traps them in the cage when they touch the lever with the bait. (I use a bit of peanut butter for the bait, and put a little bowl of water in the cage so they don’t get thirsty before I check the trap.) With these kind of traps you have to deal with the problem of what to do with a live rodent, of course. — MF
Affordable inflatable kayak
This inflatable two-person kayak is perfect for beginner couples. It’s sturdy and easy for one person to steer, and it even survived when we took a scary turn toward some fast flowing water — although it’s better for floating down flat water. The best part is it’s really comfortable to sit in and it took less than 40 minutes to both set up and deflate. We bought this a month before summer for $80 and right now it’s $115, reviewers say the price fluctuates between seasons. — CD 
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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