Odds & Ends: May 17, 2024

SMRTFT NÜOBELL Adjustable Dumbbells. Last spring, I tested out different sets of adjustable dumbbells to find the best one. The winner was the NÜOBELL. A year later, I’m still loving them. They’re expensive compared to other adjustable dumbbells, but the ease-of-use factor is worth the premium; to adjust the weight, all you have to do is twist the handle. Kate and I use them multiple times a week and haven’t yet experienced any quality issues. Get a set for yourself and start doing a whole body workout at home.

Northwoods Baseball Sleep Radio. This has got to be one of the quirkiest things I’ve come across online in a long time. Northwoods Baseball Sleep Radio is a podcast that features full-length radio broadcasts of fake baseball games. Yes, all the games called by announcer Wally McCarthy (look at this guy’s profile pic; he means business) are completely made up. Episodes sound exactly like you’re listening to a baseball game on an AM/FM radio. The low din of the crowd combined with the slight radio static and Wally’s soothing play-by-play commentary creates an incredibly relaxing listening experience that can help get your restless mind to sleep.

Most People’s Musical Taste Is Stuck. Adam Singer highlights research done by Spotify that’s found that our musical tastes typically solidify between the ages of 13 and 16. After that, we stop trying to look for new artists. Adam makes the case that you’re missing out on a lot of great artists by getting stuck in a musical rut. It takes an open mind and a bit of work and patience to seek out new artists. The algorithm on Spotify is a start, but it only serves up stuff that’s very similar to what you already like. Ask your friends for recommendations on bands you might not otherwise have come across. One thing I admire about Kate is how she’s continued to look for new music to listen to (and has decided opinions about how to create a soundtrack for your life), even in our middle-age.

The Transparency Society. I’ve been plowing through the books of South Korean-German philosopher Byung-Hul Chan. He’s an interesting cat. He writes about life in our fast-paced, technologically-driven society. His prose can be hard to follow sometimes, but it’s different from other stuff that I read, which makes it compelling He refuses to give interviews and is incredibly protective of his private life. One book of his I’ve been thinking a lot about is The Transparency Society. In it, Chan critiques our modern drive and obsession with transparency. We typically think more transparency is good because it can reduce corruption and the like. But transparency can be used to surveil and control people. He also argues that transparency eliminates the need for trust in a relationship since you can just follow your kid with an AirTag and not have faith that they’ll do and go where they said they would. There’s power in secrets.

Quote of the Week

Tell me your relation to painand I will tell you who you are!

―Ernst Jünger

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