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Shantaram/Smartnews/MakeHub

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Recomendo

July 8 · Issue #103 · 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/.

Long-form listening
One of the best books I ever listened to is Shantaram. This very long story — 43 hours! — is the fictionalized autobiography of an Australian outlaw who hides out in the slums of Bombay, is thrown in Indian prison for drug dealing and eventually follows his guru to fight for the muhadjin in Afghanistan. He is a holy thief, a wise sinner, a coyote trickster, and this meld of the sacred and profane is what gives the story its epic rousing power. The narrator in the audible version does hundreds of foreign accents pitch-perfectly and captures the enthusiasm of the Indian sub-continent. Even after 43 hours I wished the story-telling would never end. — KK
Best news app
Smartnews is a free, lightweight, mobile app for iOS and Android. It presents the top news stories in different categories and is updated frequently. You can add your favorite news sites to it, too. When I want to find out what’s going on, it’s the first place I go. — MF
Indie online projects
MakeHub is an crowdsourced list of interesting and useful projects by indie developers. You can sort by which has the most social media followers or votes on Product Hunt. Through MakeHub, I came across colorkuler, which extracts and displays your instagram color palette, and had fun comparing my palette with people I follow. — CD
High leverage philanthropy
I’ve been making micro-loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world via Kiva for 10 years. I loan small amounts (less than $100) to say, women in Africa hoping to buy a sewing machine to start their own sewing business, or herders in Bolivia needing some equipment to make cheese, and soon enough they will repay the loan, so I can re-loan the money again to someone else. I’ve gone through 4 cycles of loans for my first money, and there is less than 0.1% delinquency — a rate any bank would die for. 100% of my money goes to helping the individuals I select; Kiva’s operating costs are funded separately. The money keeps going around. It’s one of the best bargains in the world. — KK
Worry about it later list
I got the idea to make a worry list from this Forbes article on organizing your feelings. I keep a sticky note on my laptop and when something is bugging me I add it to the list and mentally shelve it until later. By the end of the day, most of it doesn’t matter and then I get to cross it out and that feels great. — CD
Moth catcher
We have pantry moths in our kitchen cupboards, and can’t get rid of them. But we can greatly reduce how many there are with these moth traps. They look like little scout tents but the inner walls are coated with a sticky substance. Once every 9 months we replace the trap, which by then is covered with the creatures. — MF
— Kevin Kelly, Mark Frauenfelder, Claudia Dawson
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