Artificial Nose, Future Fossils, Handmade Scooter and $40 Million Newsletter

#24 of 10+1 Things

⚡ Welcome to #24 of 10+1 Things!

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Without further ado, here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing:

👴 How to be Wise

A wise person is someone who applies common sense and has nothing to do with his/her IQ. Darius Foroux has written an interesting short article on how to be wise based on six habits or behaviours by observing others. Relying on facts, thinking on first principles, reading widely, taking decisions slowly, listening to others and learning from mistakes are some of the key behaviours of people who are generally wise.

How to be Wise?

📰 $40 Million Newsletter

Solocapitalist has shared the techniques and frameworks used by Daniella Pierson while growing her newsletter. Daniella started ‘The Newsette’ while she was studying at Boston College sharing curated links, original content and interviews of women. In Q1 2021, the newsletter made $13 million in sales and is projected to hit a revenue of $40 million by end of this year. Daniella used a strategy called 'audience-borrowing' to grow her subscriber base without any venture capital backing. She would interview a person with a higher social media following and would give them custom visuals to share the interview on their channels. This small extra step of providing the content to share on social media worked wonders for her and resulted in the drastic growth of her newsletter.

Read about $40 Million Newsletter

✏️ Story of Pencil

Wonderful human beings at Considered have written a great post exploring the design, innovation and history of the pencil. The core of a pencil is made of graphite in which the molecules are stacked in layers. When we write, they slide off and get transferred to the paper. Erasers work because graphite sticks to rubber better than it does to paper. Earlier pencils were made using a stick of solid graphite wrapped around in leather or string. The design in modern pencil was created by Simonio and Lyndiana Bernacotti in the 1550s when they hollowed out two wooden halves and glued them with graphite sticks inside.

Read the Story of Pencil

👃 Artificial Nose

When a healthy cell in our body is attacked by a virus, a toxic byproduct is produced. Unlike humans, dogs can detect these minute changes and can be used to predict diseases early. Dogs have detected lung, bladder, ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers—and they’ve even been able to detect Covid-19. But training a dog is time-consuming and often expensive. Now researchers from MIT are trying to replicate these remarkable abilities of our canine companions into an artificial nose; a miniature detection system that can be embedded in our smartphones. With the help of AI, researchers are training the system to mimic the detection process of dogs. In the latest tests conducted by the team involving urine of patients with prostate cancer, both the artificial system and the dogs were able to achieve accuracy rates above 70% in detecting disease.

Read about the Artificial Nose

🛴 Handmade Wooden Scooter

Chukudu is a two-wheeled handmade scooter used in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chukudu is made of wood and has an angular frame with wheels, handlebars and a pad for the operator to place the knee. There are no brakes, pedals or engine and can generally carry weights up to 500 kilograms. Despite the crude look, these low-tech scooters are a fast and cheap alternative to transport goods like charcoal, bananas, potatoes, etc across farms and around the city. Chukudu first appeared in the 1970s in Congo when it was shattered by years of civil war and grinding poverty. It formed the backbone of the local transportation system and enabled income generation for some of the poorest people in the world!

Learn about Chukudu

Build a Chukudu

🏭 Crypto-Emissions

The latest report by Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has highlighted the emissions caused by various cryptocurrencies and has recommended various policy measures to reduce the harm caused by them. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest crypto-assets use twice the electricity consumed by the whole of Sweden in a year. These crypto-assets are created using a process called mining, which involves solving complex computational problems causing energy consumption. As more and more people are involved in mining, the complexity of mining increases and energy consumption also increases. The more expensive Bitcoin or Ethereum becomes, the more emission it generates. To give you a scale of things of these emissions, the emissions by these assets are equivalent to 100 million round-trip flights between Sweden and Thailand!

Read the Report

🎬 Who Are You

I've enjoyed watching an animated short film titled 'Who are you?' that tells the story of a well-known writer suffering from a creative block and his encounter with a girl who changes his fate. The film makes us think about the unpredictability of destiny and the fragility of human life. The 12 min animated film is presented in black and white with a touch of red and is a delight to watch.

Watch the Video

"Sometimes a few minutes is all it takes to completely change someone's life for the better. Don't underestimate the power of who you are."
~ From the comments

🧵 The Greatest Cult

Apple is the greatest cult in the world and Chris Hladczuk in an interesting thread explains how Steve Jobs built the Apple Store, one of the most profitable stores of all time. Apple store was a solution found by Steve Jobs to sell Apple products without depending on major retailers. The stores were built with customer service experience as the highest priority and took inspiration from upscale hotels. The move was a success and apple stores make more money per square foot than any other store!

Check out the thread

🎨 Future Fossils

This week I'm exploring an art project called 'Future Fossils' by Ana Maria Guerra. Future Fossils is a multidisciplinary art project that symbolizes how biologists are replacing extinct coral reefs with 3D printed units in an attempt to regenerate decimated marine environments. She merged dead corals bought at a local aquarium with 3D printed corals that were available in the scientific domain to obtain the final sculptures. The 3D printed reefs could be the last trace of corals because, at a certain point, the natural ones will be extinct.

Check out Future Fossils

📚 Listening Book

I finished Ultralearning last week and started reading ‘The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music’ by W.A Mathieu. I came across this book as the most recommended one in Derek Siver's book notes and decided to give it a try. The book is a collection of short essays on rediscovering the power of listening as an instrument of self-discovery and personal transformation. This is a short read (<200 pages) and I loved the practices section at the end of every chapter.

Check out the Book

“Pay attention to what you are hearing, what you are subjecting your ears to. You have to know when to say “come in” and when to say “stay out”; that is basic to life. What is not obvious is how to do it consciously, deliberately, with your sense of hearing.”
~ The Listening Book, resurfaced using ReadWise (FREE)

❓ One Question For You

This is a section where I ask you a thought-provoking question. This week's question is:

Are you doing what you had dreamed you would do as a child?

I would love to hear your answer as a comment or as a reply to this email.

Like being anonymous? Use this form to submit your response.

Curious enough to know my answer? Read it here.

Leave a comment


  • Transmissions is a fortnightly newsletter like 10+1 Things that curates a choice selection of essays, articles and links across the worlds of design, technology, society and culture. If you love the content of 10+1 Things, you would love Transmissions for sure.

  • The Ice Berg by Eleanor Konik is a great way to learn obscure history & science. I have enjoyed reading this article by Eleanor on the Fermis Paradox!

  • Mental Pivot: If you’re interested in thinking tools for improving your mind, reading for the joy of learning, and being exposed to new ideas, this is the newsletter for you.

That’s 10+1 Things for the week.

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See you next week!

With Love,

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“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you."
You are not Special

Moving forward, one out of 11 stories featured on 10+1 Things will be selected from interesting stories submitted by the readers of this newsletter. If you have an interesting story or article to share, please use this form or reply to this email. Every featured story will be credited with a shoutout link!