Whether you’re commuting to an office, or your “office” is the great outdoors itself, you may occasionally need a little help to keep the winter chill at bay. A hand warmer does exactly that. After spending more than 48 hours on new research and testing this year to compare eight different hand warmers (including those disposable packets you see on gas station counters in the winter), the one we recommend for most people is the rechargeable EnergyFlux 4400mAh Hand Warmer. It has a number of great features that are geared toward people who commute or find themselves stuck in a cold office, but what sets it apart from other rechargeable hand warmers is its battery life—it lasted the longest among all those we tested in this category.
There’s a plenitude of sites (including our own) recommending and rating just about everything made by mankind. But as important as “what to buy” is knowing what’s possible using the products you’ve purchased. Inner Vision is a weekly digest connecting the dots between great everyday objects and the culture and techniques behind living well with them.
National Geographic’s Secret Laboratory of One: As every Formula One racing team needs a mechanic, the National Geographic photographers regularly require their cameras, lenses, and all variety of gear to be repaired, modified, or made completely from scratch in the pursuit of capturing the images synonymous with the magazine’s namesake. They turn to one man: Kenji Yamaguchi.
A Body Worth Building: As the sunset of 2014 looms, now is the time to consider, “What if we measured our success at the end of the year not just by our own well-being, achievements and bank accounts, but also by the well-being, achievements and bank accounts of those around us?” Author Pamela Slim challenges us all to look beyond “me” and move onto “we,” a workout plan for building one buff community.
Take a Look, It’s in a Book…: Hard science wrapped around a fictional account described as “Apollo 13 meets Cast Away,” an affecting posthumous collection of essays and stories written by a 22-year-old who died in a car crash, the adventures of a historian witch and her vampire scientist companion, the story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things under the duress of World War II … these and many more were chosen by Goodreads readers as the Best Books of 2014, worthy of your bookshelf or e-book reader.
Perfecting an Eggscellent Technique: The humble omelette in all its seeming simplicity can humble the most eager and spirited beginning cook. A little too much heat for too long and you’re left with something best flipped into the dog’s bowl; too little and the eggs are runnier than a toddler’s nose. It’s why both French and Japanese culinary understudies are drilled and tested in pursuit of the perfect omelette, a dish requiring the technique and attention to detail that can in turn be applied to all cooking. This video by Mobil Travel Guide Five Star Award-winning chef Ludo Lefebvre sheds some light on the technique. Afterward, pull out that spinner and enjoy your perfected egg dish with a salad, as recommended by Jacques Pépin, because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?
A Moonrise Kingdom: This fascinating piece over at Boing Boing about the lives of Mojave Desert homesteaders led me to “Homes on the Range,” a manifesto spelling out the requirements and extreme challenges of living “full-time in a beautiful place we loved” written by desert homesteaders Jay and Stephanie. What’s striking is how much dependence upon others is required when seeking independence from urban life.
How We Roll: I recently came to the horrible realization I left a silk necktie amongst other clothes bound for the laundromat; it made it into the wash and now looks like a geriatric moray eel. Neckties are undoubtedly one of the most delicate items in a man’s wardrobe, and even without laundry mishaps, the continual knotting process can leave your favorite tie looking worn. A little wardrobe maintenance goes a long way and storing ties properly and religiously is paramount.
Where You Are Is Where It’s At: I live in one of the more population-dense parts of the state, represented by an average age of 40 years old, a median income of $58,000, and supposedly representing a “trendsetter” and “urban chic” lifestyle. All this gleaned after popping in my zip code into ZIP Lookup.
You’re Doing It Wrong: Years ago I had enough desk real estate to park two 23-inch monitors side-by-side, rotated vertically. The vertical layout eliminated the need to scroll by 50 percent, and also garnered a lot of curious inquiries of “what’s going on over there?” The Daily Dot’s Mike Werner thinks we all should be pivoting to portrait mode for an improved perspective, complete with illustrations explaining why alongside a few caveats.
Mutant Manipulation: There are two books I recommend to friends with passionate enthusiasm. The first is fictional (although much of it will leave you wondering if the tales are derived from an alternate universe), while the other is non-fiction, yet reads like the most horrific science fiction one could have imagined beyond the history of LV-426. The author of the latter, Carl Zimmer, can somehow coax even the most squeamish to investigate the world underfoot with his mesmerizing writing, his latest about the variety of parasitic manipulation in nature that’s as exploitive as a Black Friday advertisement.
What a Relief: Here’s a relaxing conclusion for the weekend with entomological macro-photographer Thomas Shahan—the sort of polymath you just can’t help but admire, whatever he’s doing. Here he walks viewers through a brief history of relief printmaking and woodcuts, explaining a process that requires its practitioners to embrace both its precision and the eventual element of surprise.
Got an interesting story, link, resource, or how-to you think we should check out for consideration for our next issue of Inner Vision? Drop us a line with the subject “Inner Vision” and we’ll take a look!