2020-06-08 4 min read


Notes, 2020-06-08.

On an average week this newsletter is opened by between three and five thousand people. A well-performing link will be clicked by between ten and twenty-five percent of the people who open the email - conservatively 500 clicks.

This week I want to direct you all here, as The Prepared is matching up to $10,000 in donations you make to organizations fighting for civil rights and against inequality and police brutality. Your donation doesn't need to be large, and you can direct it to the organization of your choice; also if you’re not able to make one yourself then just send a note and we’ll make one in your name. If you're unsure where to give, we recommend the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Campaign Zero, and The National Bail Fund Network.

This won't, of course, solve anything. The big, broken systems our society suffers from are not exactly hot-swappable, and it'll take continuous and concerted effort from all of us to make a meaningful change. As always, please reach out if you know of something else that The Prepared should be doing to help. I'm here; I see you; I'm trying to do better.

The link to click, again, is here. And thanks.

The most clicked link from last week's issue (~13% of opens) was @likebuttermelbourne's clever wire clip corner connector.

Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Matthew Hockenberry’s delightfully complete syllabus of reading material on logistics and its contexts. This is quite the list, with links that span mining & extraction, production, operations, containerization, and countless other fields. A really fantastic resource, which any reader of this newsletter should enjoy.
  • “A wax motor is a linear actuator device that converts thermal energy into mechanical energy by exploiting the phase-change behaviour of waxes.” Wax expands by up to 20% when it melts, and when heated a small volume of wax can be used to push a piston with force on the order of 4000N.
  • Iowa-class battleships had top speeds of around 33 knots, and by reversing their screws and turning both of their rudders inboard (a “barn door stop”) they could come to a halt in about 600 ft.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


  • An old humor piece from The New Yorker, which I linked to in 2014-08-01 and which serves as a good reminder of the kind of radical change people are capable of when they truly try: The Day Coffee Stopped Working.

Maps of police & military helicopters' flight paths in the past week.

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