Amazon Deals

I rarely repeat content on my blog, but I want to mention again. This is the perfect time of year to make good use of the site. Start at Amazon and find a product that you’re interested in. Copy the URL and head over to Paste the URL into the search box on their page and voila, you’ll get a year’s worth of price history for that item. This is a fantastic way to know if the “deal” you’re seeing is actually a good price or not. Dig a little deeper into the functionality on the site and you can set up price watches too. They will email you if your Amazon product drops by X% or $Y.

Best Of YouTube

Mark Rober has another great video. This time it’s about the science behind carnival games. I’ve seen videos like this before but he does an especially good job. I appreciated how he broke down the games into categories based on their feasibility and collected data about win percentages, cost of the prizes, etc.

Flite Test started out as an remote control airplane channel, but they have expanded to include some full scale airplane content as well. Recently, Josh got to take a flight with aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker. When I was growing up, I had two pictures with autographs hanging on my wall. One was from all 6 Thunderbird pilots and the other was from Sean Tucker. He shares some interesting thoughts in addition to amazing flying in this video.

Frank Howarth is a wizard with the lathe and recently he learned how to carve perfect circles. He immediately took it to the extreme and created a wooden eyeball.

Learn Quick With Mike Boyd

One of my favorite new channels on YouTube (where “new” means “I just learned about it) is Learn Quick With Mike Boyd. Mike is a Scottish YouTuber who picks a skill and videos his attempts to learn it. And when I say he learns it, I mean that he works incessantly on the new skill until he hits an impressive milestone. For example, how about riding a wheelie for 50 meters or doing a 5x5x5 Rubik’s Cube in under 10 minutes? I’m plowing through the entire catalog of his YouTube channel.

It’s infectious. Think of all the skills you’ve been impressed by but have never taken the time to learn. The really amazing part of his channel is that it generally only takes me five or six hours to pick up these incredible skills! He goes from zero to impressive in the time it takes to watch a couple movies. I think we’ve all wasted five or six hours in the last month, or maybe even the last week. I can’t help but feel motivated when I watch this stuff.

Best of YouTube

One of my new favorite YouTube channels is from Mike Boyd. He picks an interesting skill and goes all-in until he figures it out. His recent video about stacking dice is a great example:

Destin traveled with his kids to see a US world record domino fall. If you like this video, check out the other behind-the-scenes video that he mentions.

Peter Brown is a magician when it comes to epoxy. In this latest one, he experiments with adding fluorescing pigment to the epoxy. The video starts a big abruptly but just stick with it. The end result is really neat.

Cutting The Cord

We still have cable in our house, but it’s the most basic package and it only costs us $10/month. We’d probably ditch it entirely except that we can’t get good over the air reception in our location. To help figure out where to watch things, a bunch of great websites have popped up. (All of these tips have come form the excellent Cordkillers podcast.)

  • – Create a list of the TV shows and movies that you want to watch, tell it what streaming services you subscribe to, and then the website will tell you which shows you can watch on those services. I’ve gotten in the habit of putting movies on my list and then eventually when they make it to the streaming services, I can watch them from the comfort of my own home.
  • – This site only works for NFL and College Football right now, but it’s still a great idea. You tell it which teams you want to follow and it tells you which streaming service you should subscribe to so you can watch the most games.
  • – What’s the cheapest way to watch all your favorite channels? This site will help you figure out. But here’s a tip: don’t select channels that you would be willing to subscribe to separately (like HBO). That will give you better search results.