Editorial: What makes great service?.
Travel: The joy of missing out.
Technology: Uvolt watch.
Stationery: Thornwillow correspondence cards.
Gadgets and Gear: Imbue tea infuser.
Books and Writing: PDR Selected Essays Volume III.

EDITORIAL: What makes great service?

When things are going smoothly everyone's service looks good. What distinguishes great service is what happens when things go wrong. PD was once stranded by the grounding of flights due to volcanic ash in the air. Rather then leave people sitting around, the agent organised at almost no notice a bus tour for all guests, giving them a great day out at no additional expense. It is going that extra mile that counts.

TRAVEL: The joy of missing out

Brian Blum wrote a thought-provoking article on the fear of missing out (FOMO), "The Normal Life: Transforming FOMO into JOMO". This was inspired by a holiday in which he just missed out on being able to book a room at an eco-resort that promised decadent, individually prepared meals, searching for elephants, taking a tractor ride and spotting birds. Disappointed, he made alternative plans and ended up having a great time. Both FOMO and JOMO (the joy of missing out) grew out of the always-connected generation, but have relevance in other spheres in life, including travel. As Brian Blum points out, there is so much to see and do out there that you will always miss part of it. You have to switch your mindset to concentrate on and enjoy what you are doing rather then dwelling on what you are missing out on. PD has often followed his nose and had a great time in a foreign city, enjoying his diversions and ending up not seeing what he thought he would see. That is part of the fun of travel. Do not be obsessed with ticking things off a list, just enjoy every moment.

You can read Brian Blum's article here:

TECHNOLOGY: Uvolt watch

This is an interesting concept that PD has not seen before. Many of us carry around a spare battery of some sort for recharging a flat cell phone. Last week PD featured the excellent Lithiumcard PRO that has served him well. The Uvolt is a spare battery linked to an analog watch with a difference.

The battery fits onto the back of the watch and is recharged either by the solar panel built into the face or via a wireless charging dock. The developer claims a recharge time of forty-five minutes for the charging dock. The solar panel takes a day to fully charge the battery. The bracelet also has built-in batteries. This feature is reminiscent of the spare battery module on the excellent Blocks modular watch, featured previously on PD, although that battery is used to power the watch only.

The battery itself is 600 mAh, which is not too bad considering that this is a physically small battery.

When you need to recharge your phone simple remove the battery and use the integrated cables, which comes with a choice of either micro USB, USB-C and Lightning ends. Wireless charging is also possible.

For the curious: Blocks modular watch:

STATIONERY: Thornwillow correspondence cards

Writing is not what it used be. PD knows, sitting here typing on a computer keyboard. Very efficient, even though the spellchecker does not realise which side of the Atlantic he in on. He would never dream of writing an important note on a word processor. No, he would write it with a fountain pen, carefully seal it and post it. You should try it too. Start by getting yourself some letterpress-printed correspondence cards. There is nothing nicer than receiving a hand-written note.

This is Thornwillow's fifth Kickstarter project (see PD issue 118 here: GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-issue-118/). In PD's experience Thornwillow has always delivered what it promised, which is great quality products.

GADGETS AND GEAR: Imbue tea infuser

Coffee drinkers are well taken care in the carry market, for example the Goat Story mug, pictured below.

Tea drinkers have other motives to coffee drinkers. While coffee drinkers want that booster kick, tea drinkers look for relaxation. Imbue is a concept at this stage, but is the ideal vessel for brewing tea on the go. It has a built in infuser that is held onto the lid by magnets (in PD's opinion a downside for a product meant to be carried in your bag together with electronic gadgets and cards with magnetic strips).

Add loose leaf tea to the infuser and turn upside down to allow the tea to steep. Turn it right side up, unscrew the lid and enjoy the drink.

For the curious: If you are more into coffee, find details about the Goat Story mug here:

BOOKS AND WRITING: PDR Selected Essays Volume III

The Public Domain Review is a non-profit organisation that relies on its volunteer team, subscriptions from the Friends of the PDR, and donations. Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas. There are many old digitised books to download, as well as great articles on all kinds of topics.

PDR also runs The PDR Press. PD has previously reviewed the uniquely formatted "Lucian’s Dialogues of the Gods" (GHOST_URL/lucian-s-dialogues-of-the-gods/).

Amongst the published works are collections of essays on a variety of topics. Printed on top quality paper and lavishly illustrated, they make great reads and are a font of knowledge.

Volume three includes topics such as a discussion of chocolate, from when it was first introduced to the West as a medicine. There is a discussion of Thomas Browne's Bestiary, in which he tried to debunk erroneous beliefs about animals in the 17th Century. There is Aristotle on sex, and lots more.

Volumes I and II are also available.

For the curious: PD has not written reviews of volumes I and II so do not waste your time looking for them.


This week PD has not found a project that jumped out at him in areas not listed above.

Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

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