Finally Solving The New Yorker Problem

Something I’ve noticed about The New Yorker magazine is that many of its subscribers, at least the ones I’ve read about, seem to feel guilty about falling behind on issues.

In fact, it seems almost a requirement to describe a subscription as “unread copies of The New Yorkers stacked on my nightstand/coffee table.”

I’ve subscribed and unsubscribed to it for several years — unsubscribing to it due to the psychic weight of six (and often more) unread issues — because there’s no way to keep pace with a weekly magazine.

But, finally I realized the winning strategy: view the printed magazine as a bonus, and stick to enjoying the shorter online stuff and the weekly podcast.

Try it out.

#Evernote Rebrands Itself

This week one of my favorite apps, the note-taking app Evernote, launched its brand refresh. I like it.

The company, which has been around for 10 years, wrote about how the app’s focus has evolved and how the brand has evolved too:

When asking ourselves what we stand for, the question yielded an array of answers. None of them were wrong per se; all of them reflected aspects of what we do: We help you remember everything. Capture and recall what’s important. Get organized. Be productive. Turn ideas into action. Work together.Yes, we do all of that, but we needed to get to the why, not the what. Why do we strive to create products that allow people to achieve these things? Why do we come to work everyday? Because we care about what you care about. We want to provide a way to help you focus on what matters most. And when we agreed that was our place in the world, the process of building a brand system that reflected our purpose became clearer. We’d found our focus.

I’m a big fan of Evernote, and have used the app since the day it launched. Or close to it. This weekend, my subscription renews for another year, and I’m always happy to pay for this great app that has become a huge part of my work and personal life.

Should I shower during a thunderstorm?

As a kid, I was always told to avoid showers or baths during thunderstorms — especially those with lightning.

Apparently this is not an old-wives’ tale.

So, as Phoenix Monsoon 2018 rages tonight, I checked to see if I could safely take a post-work out shower.

Verdict: Nay. Source? Who else but MythBusters?

MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage took that weather alert to task and constructed a makeshift house, complete with grounded plumbing. Then, they doused it with simulated lightning in an electricity testing facility to find out whether the voltage really could leap from the sky to the shower.

Since the MythBusters were shy about showering on camera, they hired a stand-in: a ballistics gel dummy that had roughly the same electrical conductivity as the human body. To screen for a fatal lightning strike, the dummy wore a heart monitor. The 700,000 volts of fake lightning indeed arced onto the water pipes and jumped to the shower, causing a fire.

Although the heart monitor failed to measure the amount of current swimming through the stunt dummy, the visual evidence was clear enough to rule the myth plausible. Just as the National Weather Service warns, it’s safe to shower only once thunderstorms have passed you by.

I guess I’ll wait.