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The Monday 6 - April 5, 2021

Kyle Petzinger
Kyle Petzinger
Hi there.
My second jab is in two days, the ship got unstuck (more on this in #6), we’re booking *gasp* flights, and I only had one video call this past Friday.
Good vibes, gang, good vibes.
Here’s the 6.

1. iPhone Back Tap
For those of you on iPhones, Apple introduced an accessibility feature in iOS 14 called “Back Tap”. Once enabled, you just tap the back of your phone two or three times and that triggers an action. To turn on and configure:
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap (at the bottom)
From there, you can map a multitude of actions to a double-tap or triple-tap on the back of your phone, including any Siri Shortcuts.
While there’s a bit of set-up to creating a Siri Shortcut, there are endless options to choose from.
Everything you need to know to get started with the Shortcuts app
I mapped a triple-tap to instantly start recording a video, which proves very handy when I’m trying to capture those quick moments with my kids. If you want to use that exact shortcut, you can copy it to your phone here:
(You must click from your iPhone) iOS Shortcut - Take Video
Android phones can accomplish the same thing, but it’s a bit more involved. Here’s the guide:
How to Perform Actions by Tapping the Back of Your Android Phone
2. Workflowy - Straightforward, Great Notetaking Tool
I’ve tried many note-taking apps over the years, but I keep coming back to Workflowy. Its simplicity is hard to beat.
Essentially, Workflowy is an endless outline that can act as a note tool, task list, and more.
It has useful features like:
  • @ mentions
  • #tags
  • Search
  • Kanban-style boards
  • Image uploads
  • Seamless sharing and co-authoring
  • iOS and Android apps
The tool is free up to a certain amount of usage, and I’ve never butt up against that limit myself. If you sign up with any of the links I shared, you get 250 monthly bullets added.
3. Level Up Windows Copy & Paste
While this sounds extraordinarily mundane, I’ve found this function supremely useful. If you use a Windows computer, do yourself a favor and turn on “Clipboard History”.
Windows Settings > System > Clipboard > Clipboard history
Now, whenever you have several different items you want to copy/paste from one place to another, you don’t need to do so one at a time. Just press Windows key + v and you’ll see the other items you can paste.
macOS users, I could only find paid options that do the same. Paste seems to be the best option from some cursory research, but it’s $10/year.
4. Are We Being Too Timid In Fighting COVID-19?
I was surprised to see Ezra Klein publish this piece, but I think it’s quite brave.
I often am frustrated when people always revert to the “default” or “safe” choice, especially in the face of a novel situation or problem. While the upside of default choices is slightly more certainty of outcome, the downside often means a longer path to progress.
In this article, Klein profiles & interviews Alex Tabarrok, an economist from George Mason University and frequent contributor to the blog Marginal Revolution. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tabarrok’s refrains are to essentially throw out the playbook and chart a path of COVID-19 policy based on the best available evidence.
And oftentimes, this means making out-of-the-ordinary decisions because these are very much out-of-the-ordinary times.
This excerpt sums it up best (emphasis mine):
In all of this, the same issue recurs: What should regulators do when there’s an idea that might work to save a large number of lives and appears to be safe in early testing but there isn’t time to run large studies? “People say things like, ‘You shouldn’t cut corners,’” Tabarrok told me. “But that’s stupid. Of course you should cut corners when you need to get somewhere fast. Ambulances go through red lights!”
Reasonable people can disagree with some of these positions, but how many things do we not try because “that’s not the way it’s done”.
I think this is worth a read.
Opinion | Are We Much Too Timid in the Way We Fight Covid-19? - The New York Times
5. Picture of the Milky Way Taken Over 12 Years
This picture is pretty remarkable:
It took nearly twelve years to collect enough data for this high resolution gigapixel class mosaic image of the Milky Way. Total exposure time used is around 1250 hours between 2009 and 2021.
Milky Way, 12 years, 1250 hours of exposures & 125 x 22 degrees of sky
6. About That Ship That Was Stuck
Okay, this is actually a 4-parter. You’re welcome.
So the Ever Given getting stuck (and freed) was one of those events that peeled back the veil and reminded us of the global supply chain’s fragility.
Like many, I consumed a bunch of big ship content, and thought I’d share my favorites.
1: Video - Why is the Suez Canal so important?
This video (15m) by Johnny Harris is a very digestible, entertaining history of the Suez Canal, the ultra-important waterway where the Ever Given ran ashore.
Why the Suez Canal is So Insanely Important.. (and Nukes)
2: Interactive map of all the cargo ships moving around the world
Harris mentions this site in his video. I think it provides a mesmerizing visual representation of how interconnected our world is. | Visualization of Global Cargo Ships
3: Navigate through the Suez yourself
This is just fun. CNN created a mini-game anyone can play steering a large container ship through the Suez. Naturally, I just tried to do it as fast as possible.
Steer through the Suez Canal
4: Show the Ever Given on a map anywhere
That boat is huge. This site allows you to put it anywhere in the world to get a feel for the scale.
Here's the boat in relation to Petco Park in San Diego, CA.
Here's the boat in relation to Petco Park in San Diego, CA.
Ever Given Everywhere
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Kyle Petzinger
Kyle Petzinger @kylepetz

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