MASSAGE GUN GETS A THUMBS UP

I asked a friend who has arthritis in his hands and feet to test a cordless massage gun. He gave it a pleasantly-massaged thumbs-up. A good massage increases circulation, decreases pain and removes stiffness.

My friend reported back: “The Merach Pocket Nano Massage Gun is better than my Wahl Heat Therapy Therapeutic Massager, with one caveat. The hard plastic tips work well enough on muscles and fleshy parts, but pose a problem for bony parts. For instance, I usually run my massager over the tops of my hands. With this, I can only comfortably do my palms.”

But it turned out that massaging the palms worked its magic all the way through to the bony parts as well. It also worked well on the pads of his feet, going through to the top. In short, it’s a much better device than the Wahl. However, the Wahl is $37, the Merach is $99.

My friend’s other quibble is the charging light. “It could be bigger, and brighter. I didn’t know it had one till I read it in the instructions,” he said. “And a heated tip of some sort would have been nice,” he added. Finally: “The instructions are laughable, good only for amusement.” But overall, the Merach is a good massager.

Update:  I’m talking about the latest version of the Merach massage gun, which is shipping this month from this site: indiegogo.com/projects/nano-pro-the-smallest-and-powerful-massage-gun#/  Click here to order from AliExpress.  Click here for a similar Merach gun sold by Amazon.

Funny Video

I’d forgotten how funny JibJab is. It’s a service that drops your face into a zany animation full of singing and dancing. My niece sent me one showcasing her whole family rocking around the Christmas tree in an animated cartoon. What makes it so funny is how big the face is compared to the cartoon body, and how well the lips sync with the music. It’s well choreographed, but takes no work at all. The catch? It’s $24 a year. Well worth it for some.

Microsoft Works Still Works

A reader writes that she’s getting a Windows 10 computer and no longer has a copy of Microsoft Works, her word processor. Fortunately, a copy of the program is available for  free at winworldpc.com/product/microsoft-works/9x. Though the site says it’s compatible with Windows Vista, it also works in Windows 10.

Alternatively, upload your Works files to Google Drive, at drive.google.com. Then use a free program called “Cloud Convert” to convert them to “doc” or document files. If Cloud Convert doesn’t pop up automatically, go to cloudconvert.com/wps-converter. It’s great for converting other kinds of files as well.

Old Android Phones Get a Reprieve

You may have read that older Android phones– about a third of Androids out there — won’t be able to open secure websites after September 2021. That problem is now fixed.

Without the fix, phones with the “Nougat” operating system or older could only have opened insecure sites. There are fewer and fewer of those. The percentage of sites protected by encryption — the ones that use ‘https” instead of “http–” rose to 80 percent in 2019, up from 40 percent four years ago.

Leaving a Zoom Call

Ever feel like you’re scurrying to find the “leave meeting” link in a Zoom call? It can be embarrassing when you’re madly searching for the exit while all eyes are on you. But here’s some good news. A guy figured out how to use a lamp to end a Zoom call. All he has to do is pull the cord and he’s out.

This software is available for free. Look for an article called “Zoom Escape button is the Holiday Gift Everyone Needs.” Or go directly to github.com/lanewinfield/zoomout.

What to Do with an Old Computer

“CloudReady” can turn your old, slow computer into a fast Google-Chromebook-type machine. It’s great if you don’t need any programs that require a Windows or Mac operating system. CloudReady was created by “Neverware,” which Google bought.

But even if your old computer isn’t slow, you might want to convert it to the Chrome operating system to make it more secure. Microsoft no longer offers security updates for Windows 7 or Windows XP systems.

I love the Chrome operating system on my Chromebook, because it never slows down. Every time I reboot, it fixes any problems it may have. But there’s no going back. If you overwrite Windows with the Chrome operating system, that’s it.

 Internuts

  • Cato’s Human Freedom Index.” Search on that phrase to find a list of countries ranked according to personal freedom and economic freedom. It uses 76 indicators, such as religion, trade, safety and the rule of law. Based on 2018 data, the most recent available, New Zealand is first, Switzerland is second and Hong Kong is third. After the top three, we have Denmark, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Estonia, Germany and Sweden. America is now 17th.
  • OutsideOnline.com has interesting podcasts and articles. For example, there’s a recent interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. He talks a lot about the need to get away from our devices when we’re out in nature. Another one, titled “How the Pandemic is Teaching Us to Listen to Nature,” is by the man who records David Attenborough’s films. Also on OutsideOnline, I read an article on “faux seafood,” which includes a section on a modern form of slavery where fishermen are chained to prevent them from jumping ship when another boat is near. There’s also a great piece called “This 10-Move Core Workout Will Kick Your (whatchamacallit.)”

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