I have a bit more time on my hands these days so I figured I’d take a break from the usual tech tips and try going back to sharing some of my favorite things each month. Let me know if you like it would like to see more.
App: Forest ($1.99)
I’m not sure where I found Forest, but I’m glad I did. It’s a timer app, designed to help you focused by planting trees in a forest. You pick a time, and as the time runs out, a tree grows. Leave the app while the timer’s still going, and the tree dies. (No one wants to kill trees.) There’s a lot more to Forest than that though. It has tags so that you can track different types of focus, a social component with achievements so that you can have friendly competition with your friends, and even a store where you can buy new trees like an adorable Kitty tree (each tree you earn for focusing also gets you coins for the shop). You don’t realize how often you’re on your phone until you actually stop yourself from using it, and this app has been great at keeping me from using my phone.
Podcast: Science Vs
I feel like I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts. I subscribe to a ton, but still find myself running out of things to listen to on a regular basis, so I was happy to find Science Vs, a new podcast from Gimlet. Wendy Zukerman’s accent and quirky personality are a joy to listen to as she explores the facts behind controversial topics like fracking, parenting, and guns. If you like learning and podcasts, this is a good one.
TV Show: Orphan Black (Seasons 1-3 Free with Amazon Prime)
I’ve been catching up on a backlog of shows, and my latest binge has been Season 4 of Orphan Black. For those who don’t know, Orphan Black is a series about clones that airs on BBC America here in the US. The story line is fascinating on its own, but seeing Tatiana Maslany play nearly every character in the show is mindblowing. The way she manages to make every character seem so totally different is unbelievable.
Movie: Minimalism ($20)
After my local screening for this movie fell through, I finally decided to splurge a bit and buy the Minimalism documentary. I’m no where near being able to live in a tiny house, but since moving out on my own, I’ve been adopting more and more minimalist practices (0pting for quality over quantity, experiences over things, etc). The documentary was well received and I can see why. After watching it, I had a renewed sense of purpose in my life, and it was incredibly cool to see people I’ve actually met in person like Patrick Rhone on my TV. I was also relieved to see that the pre-order promo of 6 hours of additional footage was also still being included in the $20 price.
Purchase: XL Cat Litter Trapper ($39.95)
I have three cats, who for many years were toilet trained (yes, Meet the Parents style toilet trained). It was great. Over the past few months however, my oldest cat decided that he had enough with hopping up on the toilet, so much to my dismay, the litter box has returned, bringing litter everywhere with it as well. I keep the litter box right next to my shower so I needed to find a litter mat that wouldn’t be affected by water. It may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it works. It’s HUGE. It doesn’t hurt to walk on. It’s easy to empty, and it’s waterproof.