A weekly list of interesting things I ChatGPT found on the internet, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.
So I opened up my list in Drafts today and realized I hadn’t saved a single link to share in 7 Things. My bad. But I had the idea to ask what ChatGPT would come up with to share with you all. And the results are, well, really impressive. I knew only one of them, but they’re all, indeed, interesting. Here are ChatGPT’s 7 Things this week (with my commentary italicized below each one).
1️⃣ Radio Garden - A website that allows you to listen to radio stations from all around the world in real-time, just by spinning a globe and clicking on a location. Check it out at https://radio.garden/
JB: For someone who sometimes has trouble picking music to play, just spinning the globe was a fun mechanic to get some music going. And it makes the world feel somehow smaller.
2️⃣ A Soft Murmur - A website that allows you to create custom ambient soundscapes to help you relax, focus, or sleep better. You can mix together different sounds like rain, thunder, waves, and birds, to create the perfect atmosphere. Check it out at https://asoftmurmur.com/
JB: I was able to put together a custom background sound to my liking — like the one in use in Dark Noise (campfire, rain, and thunder if you’re wondering) — in seconds.
3️⃣ The Wayback Machine - A digital archive of the internet, which allows you to browse over 20 years of web history. You can see how popular websites looked in the past, and even access pages that have been taken down or deleted. Check it out at https://archive.org/web/
JB: An indispensable tool for maintaining a record of the ever-changing internet. I recently found the Rewinder extension which couples The Wayback Machine with the macOS Time Machine interface.
4️⃣ The Scale of the Universe - A website that allows you to explore the relative sizes of objects in the universe, from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest known structures in the universe. Check it out at https://htwins.net/scale2/
JB: I’ll never not be fascinated by the scale of things in the knowable universe. My favorite string of text found near the 1 femtometer (very very small) mark: “Lengths shorter than this are not confirmed.”
5️⃣ Project Euler - A website that offers a series of challenging mathematical and computational problems, designed to help you develop your problem-solving skills. Check it out at https://projecteuler.net/
JB: Maybe the one dud link. I didn’t really understand the premise of the site. But if I had the time, I might check out some of the math problems here for fun.
6️⃣ Virtual Piano - A website that allows you to play a virtual piano using your computer keyboard or mouse. You can choose from a variety of instruments and play your favorite songs, or even compose your own music. Check it out at https://virtualpiano.net/
JB: I played, as I do with any piano I come across, the Rugrats theme.
7️⃣ Window Swap - A website that allows you to view video clips of scenic views from other people’s windows all around the world. It’s a great way to get a virtual travel experience and see new places. Check it out at https://www.window-swap.com/
JB: Another world-smallifying-contraption. Looks like it is snowing in the UK!
6️⃣ Omnivore is another intriguing read-later app that I’m trying out. So far: native design is nice, very fast Share Extension, best-in-class audio readings, but less polished than I’d expect for an app that gets so close. [🔗 Omnivore // apps.apple.com]
7️⃣ Jason Becker’s Letters project continues to lure me. He corresponds with someone each week (a new person each month) and publishes the conversation to his blog. It appears to be a fantastic way to break into new writing topics. [🔗 Jason Becker // json.blog]
Widgetsmith has just achieved a remarkable milestone, surpassing 100 million downloads since its launch in September 2020. A number that I can’t really wrap my mind around. A number larger than the population of all but 14 countries (🤯).
A massive congratulations are in order for Underscore on reaching a truly mind-boggling number of people around the world with Widgetsmith. This milestone is the result of the consistent, high-quality effort put into his apps, and making the best product at the right time, but also a lot of help from many communities (indie app developers, Apple enthusiasts, the team at Apple that develop the tools and evangelize for developers, and more). And it couldn’t happen to a nicer, more earnest, caring, or down-to-earth guy.
As David hoped for in sharing this news, I, at least, find it inspiring to know that a one-person shop can indeed move the needle.
[…] I couldn’t work out why I felt so weird about the idea of the iPhone’s ringer switch going away.
It hit me today: the ringer switch is one (of the ever-shrinking number) of the hardware feature of the original iPhone that is still with us today.
Stephen hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s been with us for over 15 years, and I’ll be a bit sad to see it go.
You know, I’ve often wondered why other phone manufacturers haven’t copied this hardware feature in the way they copied so many other things from the iPhone. It’s so undeniably useful to anyone who’s tried it. And aside from the piece of mind it provides, that little switch is probably my most-used fidget toy.
Don’t miss Stephen’s footnote about the iPad’s old switch, either. That’s another gone-yet-not-forgotten hardware feature.
5️⃣ I spent a fun few minutes perusing the ‘List of Internet top-level domain’ entry on Wikipedia after an idea sparked for a future project. Spoiler, the TLD I wanted is not yet available. Maybe someday. [🔗 wikipedia.org]
I’m a day late, but I just turned 29. This will be the last year of my 20s and the last of my third decade here on Earth. I don’t really fear or regret getting older. I’m mostly just excited to see what this new year brings!
Looking back at being 28, I’d say it was one of the best years of my life, while still presenting its unique challenges. I feel more confident and sure of myself than ever before, and I feel like I have a direction. I have things I want to achieve set in my sights.
Thinking back through the things that defined being 28, there’s an obvious big one: my wife and I moved to a dream town here in Saranac Lake. We didn’t know it when we picked the spot, but we’d very quickly grow to love living in such a small town. It’s friendly. Everything is very walkable. All my favorite activities are nearby. This could be our forever hometown.
I got a new job, and despite a rocky start, I’m loving finally being a Guide for folks exploring new activities in the wilderness. Being a destination location, I get to talk with people from all over the world and from all walks of life.
I’ve made many great new friends, mostly thanks to #11 below. On the other hand, staying in touch with friends from previous homes is harder. I’ve spent almost all of my free time off of work getting outside and exploring new places and outdoor pursuits. It’s left less time than I expected for just hanging out or day-to-day life stuff.
Read more books than I did last year. ✅ (12 versus 8!)
Spend at least four weekends in a tent. ✅ (All great. All memorable.)
Design more t-shirts than I did last year. ✅
Summit at least five peaks. ✅ (Knocked out 13 of the 46 ADK High Peaks.)
Write more consistently than I did last year. ❌ (Had three months where hardly published anything.)
Spend more time journaling than I did last year. ❌ (If you count blogging and journaling, maybe. Which I tend to count both more these days.)
Get in the habit of reaching for healthy snacks rather than junk food. ❌
Make more regular phone calls to family. ❌
Learn how to fix things in my home. ✅ (Am I now a “handyman”? No. But I’m learning and less embarrassed about asking for help.)
Own up to mistakes more than I have in the past. ✅
Join a local club. ✅ (ADK Run Club is the best.)
Lend my talents to a local volunteer organization. ✅ (I helped, briefly, with the FISU World University Games. Not the local organization that I imagined, but it did help out local friends.)
Strike up conversations with strangers. ✅
Get good at cooking something with fresh ingredients. ❌
Finish at least one story-based video game. ❌
Make Date Night with my wife a priority. ❌
Close all my rings at least 50% of the days this year. ✅
Get out ice climbing. ✅ (Been out a bunch, and loving it.)
Climb at least three multi-pitch routes. ✅ (Did at least double that.)
Tick off at least 15 crag days. ✅ (Maybe doubled that one, too.)
Find a local climbing partner. (Maybe this should have been #18) ✅ (Shout out to Dakota!)
Take a non-local friend out climbing. ✅
Take my wife up a trad route. ❌
Learn a programming language / finish a programming course. ❌
Take a writing course. ❌
Take my wife on a surprise weekend trip. ❌
Play my trumpet. (Hooray for living in a house, not an apartment!) ❌
Work my way up to running a half-marathon. ✅ (One of my proudest achievements of last year. I decided I’d put it off long enough, and got out and ran it on New Year’s Eve.)
Results: ✅: 16 and ❌: 12
Honestly, I feel pretty good about the things I got done. Would it have been cool to cross off all 28 goals? Sure. But I think I knew even then that this was pretty deep into New Year’s Resolution territory; notoriously dicey for not working out. And I make the rules here, so I say not finishing everything is okay!
There are items that I wish I would have put more effort towards date nights, cooking and eating more healthily, for example. So instead of listing out now 29 new things that I’d like to do this year, I think I’m going to try to keep the good times rolling by extending the 12 that I didn’t get done last year into this year, and maybe adding just a couple more. I’m choosing to think of it as 30 things before 30. 😉
Year 29’s list (or 30 Before 30):
Write more consistently than I did last year.
Spend more time journaling than I did last year.
Get in the habit of reaching for healthy snacks rather than junk food.
Make more regular phone calls to family.
Get good at cooking something with fresh ingredients.
Finish at least one story-based video game.
Make Date Night with my wife a priority.
Take my wife up a trad route.
Learn a programming language / finish a programming course.
Take a writing course.
Take my wife on a surprise weekend trip.
Play my trumpet. (Hooray for living in a house, not an apartment!)
Finish requirements for the New York State Level 1 Rock Guide License.
Host (or be part of making happen) at least 10 friend or family get-togethers. Like game nights. Probably game nights.
(Bonus-but-somewhat-out-of-my-control: Make significant progress toward owning our own home.)
5️⃣ I’m liking the look of this Sidekick Notebook from Cortex Brand. I’ve been using the Studio Neat desk notebook for a couple of years, but I appreciate that this is made to anti-precious. [🎥 - Cortex Podcast // youtube.com]
6️⃣ Last Skier Standing is a bananas competition where nutty people skin up 1100 feet and ski back down, and then do it again and again at the start of every hour. Until there’s only one skier left. (They went for 60+ hours last time.) I kinda want to try. [🎧 The Dirtbag Diaries // overcast.fm]
7️⃣ Like Steve Jobs’ declination to sign an autograph — actually, more so — Merlin’s email turning down the opportunity to write about his alma mater is a work of art. [🔗 Merlin Mann // ungainly.me]
One evening after the event, as they were walking down O’Keefe Avenue looking for dinner, Steve—a notoriously fast walker—pulled to a halt. Someone in a store window was working on a Macintosh.
He had to take a closer look. How was this person using the Mac? Steve is so curious, so lasered in on trying to understand, that he is bent nearly double.
This is Steve at a pivotal moment. He’s about to turn 29. Apple, which he co-founded and chairs, has recently become one of the youngest companies ever to reach the Fortune 500. The Macintosh has been met with rave reviews. He is on top of the world.
I’m about to turn 29 myself, and though our trajectories are wildly different, I, too, know the keen excitement of seeing someone use, read, or experience something that you’ve poured yourself into. There’s nothing quite like it, and I hope Steve was proud to discover his creation in the hands of a customer that night.