Nerd Corner #76

New Beginnings, differential steering, remote Russia, Tiny Rockets,...

Hi friends!

Lots to talk about today, but first, some big news regarding this newsletter. This is the 76th edition of Nerd Corner. If you told me over a year ago that I'd be sharing links, books, and sometimes random stuff with all of you every week, I would've told you you were crazy.

But here we are. It's been an incredible experience for me. I've improved as a writer (writing never seems to become easy), and I've overcome many of my fears of sharing and speaking (in this case, writing) in public.

So in the spirit of New Beginnings, I want to share my plans for Nerd Corner in 2021. This will be a year of experimenting in public, sharing my findings, and providing as much value and food for thought as I can.

Topics and content: Week after week, these emails have had the same three sections: Cool Finds, Nerd Corner, and What I'm Reading. At times, this format has felt too limiting, so I'll be asking for your feedback and experimenting with different sections in the coming weeks, adding and removing as we go. Related to the sections is the content. In some editions, I've struggled to write good and useful content. This year's goal is to write more (as in sharing more articles in my blog) and write more usefully.

Email providers: When I started Nerd Corner (used to be Random Fun with Alberto back then 😂), I used MailChimp as my email provider. It had so many marketing-focused features that I then switched to Substack to focus on my writing, and I liked the newsletter's blog-style. But recently, I've been feeling constrained and limited by some of Substack's features (or lack thereof), so I might try a different provider and experiment with new things. I'll let you know if/when that happens, but no worries, you won't need to re-signup for Nerd Corner or anything like that.

With that, I wish you all a happy start to the year! Let's get going!

Tiny Rockets Bootcamp 🚀

To say that I'm pumped and excited for this is an understatement. When Orlando and I joined forces to work on TinyRockets and help our friends build better habits, we had a feeling that we were onto something. So, after almost a year of brainstorming, making incremental improvements to our app, and listening to our early adopters, we decided to create our first online course.

We set the goal of having 50 people registered and are on track to surpass that and open a few more spots! We've been doing a lot of research and putting all our knowledge and experience in this space that we're so passionate about. If you're interested, here's the link to register. Feel free to share it with your friends. The price will go up Thursday. We'll close registration Saturday and get started on Sunday!

New Beginnings 💪

This is the title of my latest atomic essay, which I linked above.

However artificial the date or the reason, I find it very inspiring that every twelve months, we get a chance to stop and reflect on our life so far and get ready to live the next chapter. In this sense, life looks like a video game with levels being years. The difference, though, is that in real life, there are no cheat codes. To play, you need to live every moment.

And if you're wondering what's an "atomic essay" it's just a catchy way of naming an article that's around 250 words and fits into a single smartphone screen. I'll be writing daily atomic essays for the next month as I signed up for the latest iteration of ship30for30.com, a really cool project that leverages accountability and a growing community to force you to write every day and build a writing habit. I highly recommend it!

Cool Finds 🤯

  • As someone who knows little to no car mechanics, I found this video (recorded in 1937!) to be a handy explanation of how differential steering works!

  • It is hard to imagine just how big and remote Russia really is. This article describes what it takes to reach Petropavlovsk, perhaps the most remote and disconnected city in the world. Situated in an icy and volcanic region, the city has no rail connections nor road accesses, so it takes crazy people and big 6-wheel trucks to make the 2,000 mile trip from the nearest city!

  • Andrew McCarthy, an astrophotographer, took these amazing pictures of the International Space Station as it crossed in front of the Sun and the Moon!