New Recomendo newsletter, Issue No. 1

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Beginning today, the editors of Cool Tools will be recommending 6 items in an extremely short email every week. Mark, myself, and Claudia — the entire staff of Cool Tools — will suggest good stuff we have personally used, consumed, or experienced. We’ll try to keep each recommendation light and fast. They won’t be definitive reviews; rather they’ll be quick recommendations. Going back again to our roots, we’ve named it Recomendo — which, believe it or not, was the name of Cool Tools before I renamed it.

If you want great tools, stay on (or sign onto) the Cool Tools newsletter. To get all the other kinds of things we encounter and enjoy sharing, sign up for Recomendo here. As usual, we don’t do anything with your info except send you short and sweet one-screen news once a week.

Here’s the first issue of Recomendo:

DESTINATION: The world’s coolest nature museum: The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England (pictured above). It’s a day trip from London. Take the 1-hour train to Oxford, then walk 15 minutes from the station to the museum, co-housed with the Oxford University Nature Museum. Enter into a lost world of curiosity. You are surrounded by three floors of artifacts collected over centuries by eccentric British explorers. Displays include shrunken heads, voodoo dolls, tomb relics, weird insects, ancient folk tools, dinosaurs skeletons, taxidermy galore, uncountable biological and mineralogical specimens, all stacked in glassy cabinets with typed cards and labels. It’s supremely old-school and hugely satisfying. — KK

EXPERIENCE: My family and I are obsessed with escape rooms. Twelve people are locked in a themed room (theater backstage, 1940s Hollywood private eye office, alchemist’s laboratory, etc.) and given one hour to solve clues to get out. You’ll quickly get over any shyness of strangers as you collaborate to beat the clock. There are escape rooms all over the world. I recommend Escape Room LA in downtown Los Angeles. — MF

TIP: If you book a one-day round trip on Southwest, you won’t be allowed to check in for the return flight until after you complete the first flight. This means you’ll end up with the dreaded C boarding pass (which means a middle seat). I’ve learned from experience to book two one-way trips instead of a round trip (it costs the same). This allows me to check in to each flight exactly 24 hours before take-off. That way, I get an A or B boarding pass. (Extra tip: set your alarm 23 hours and 58 minutes before each flight so you can check as soon as Southwest allows it. The A and B passes go fast!) — MF

THING: For some reason I frequently cut myself shaving when I travel. I’ve stopped trying to figure out why. I just bring along a pack of KutKit Styptic Swabs. They look like Q-Tips but have a glass ampoule of staunching liquid inside the straw that is released when you bend the tube like a light stick. It stops …read more

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