Nerd Corner #62

Personal News, Extensions, and more!

Hi All,

Greetings from San Francisco, where summer seems to be back (we hit 90+ degrees today!) 🏖.

Some news: I’m overhauling my website using Webflow (super cool and easy to use btw). I'll be slowly migrating the content from into So I'd love some feedback from you:

  • Do you find the site readable?

  • Is there anything in particular that you'd change?

  • Is there anything you'd want to see more/less of?

What I am Reading 📚

I just wrapped up my first pass over The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell. There's so much to unpack in this series of essays that I had to be selective. I only read ones that didn't deal with mathematics or logic. You can find my complete set of notes here.

As you may know, I'm passionate about all activities involving water (in case you missed it, check out my primer on underwater rugby). But other than Deep by James Nestor I haven't read much on the topic. I'm looking to change that by reading Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols.

Nerd Corner 🤓

Recently I started using Video Speed Controller a Chrome extension that lets you speed up any video that you stream online. While there are clear advantages to watch videos at faster speeds, this got me thinking about browser extensions in general.

Nowadays we spend so much time online that browsers are the most important app on our computers. And extensions exist to enrich an otherwise sub-par experience. So much so that there are some extensions without which I could not survive surfing the web.

Here's my current list:

  • SurfingKeys: add Vim keybindings to the browser. It also allows customizing the browser's behavior using JavaScript. I'm so used to not using my mouse that I feel handicapped without this extension. If this looks too complex to you, Vimium is a simpler alternative.

  • Grammarly: just install this and improve your English grammar instantly. I've gotten to the point where I almost trust it blindly.

  • Instapaper: This extension installs a shortcut (cmd + shift + s) that lets me save articles to my Instapaper queue for later reading.

  • Privacy Badger: Made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this extension automatically blocks most online trackers.

  • Cultivate: this is a recent addition. It shows "Made in the USA" alternatives when you're browsing products on Amazon.

  • Bitwarden: Password managers are useless without an extension. I used it multiple times per day.

  • Tiny Rockets: Can't help it but include it. We just launched a new Tiny Rockets extension that lets you go directly to your habits tracker and shows you an inspiring quote every morning.

Cool Finds 🤯

  • Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization. I'm not a doctor but given the safety of Vitamin D supplementation I just bumped up my daily intake to 4000 IUs especially since Winter is coming.

  • More COVID-19 unintended consequences. With more people staying at home and ordering more stuff online we are producing more waste and it's becoming harder to collect it and process it.

  • Small Tech. In Silicon Valley, we're sold on the idea that there are only two options: (1) to work for an established big-tech company or (2) to get investment money and pursue growth at all costs. But in reality, one can choose to bootstrap something and stay small, on purpose. Taking no outside money gives you the ability to work on your own terms and be free. This article provides some neat examples worth studying in detail like tarsnap and pinboard, profitable, one-man operations.

Before you go 😎


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Have an awesome week!