On Tuesdays, I try to leave reviews for a few things that I love.
Super Mario Run, $10 for iOS
I nearly deleted this game after the first day. It seemed so simple, so basic. But now it’s been weeks, and I find it’s become one of my go-tos for those empty gaps while waiting around.
The game’s simplicity is misleading. When you go back through earlier stages attempting to collect all of a certain color of coin, you realize how clever the level design is. I found myself having to rewatch the tutorials to figure out the more complicated jumps.
Rally mode, in which you compete against the ghost of a previous competitor, is genius.
Negative reviews for the game because of its price are maddening. It’s more than worth it.
My only negatives: The game shouldn’t require an internet connection, and the error messages are clumsy. But on the whole, the experience is delightful.
Pastebot, $10 for Mac
I’ve been using clipboard managers for years. Shift-Command-V is muscle memory at this point. It’s incredibly useful to be able to hold more than one thing on the clipboard at a time. I can’t imagine using a Mac without this ability.
Last week I switched over to Pastebot, based on the recommendations of other nerdy colleagues.
Pastebot can do a lot of fancy transformations and automations, but at this point I’m still using it mostly for clipboard history. It’s fast and nicely-designed. Plus the Tapbots folks have been around for a long time, so I’m confident they’ll keep the app updated and working great.
Words on the Move: Why English Won’t–and Can’t–Sit Still (Like, Literally) by John McWhorter, $11-18 on Amazon
Another terrific, approachable book by McWhorter looking at how English has evolved and continues to change. Every few pages, I found myself wanting to tell anyone nearby about a fact I’d just learned.
“Did you know that the adverbial -ly comes from like?”
“Those little words we use to smooth the cracks in conversation? They’re mostly there to acknowledge the feelings of the person who just spoke.”
“What’s happening with ‘literally’ already happened to ‘really.’”
Rather than blurting out these ideas, a better choice would be to recommend they read the book. (And if they like it, they should also listen to his podcast on Slate.)