Adam Stoner

Echelon, WhatsApp, WandaVision

In an effort to learn more about astronomy in 2021 – at the risk of sounding woo-woo, that's astronomy, not astrology – I'm publishing these updates to coincide with full moons. The first is happening right now, the very minute I am sending this update to you. It's known as a Wolf Moon.

Other than the timing change, the rest of this newsletter is the same you've come to love; a record of what I've been up to, recommendations of what to read, watch and listen to, and suggestions of what you might procure...

Here's what I've been up to so far this year:

Keen to avoid supermarkets and in a vague attempt to cook and eat more healthily, I've taken out a subscription to Gousto and renewed my Abel and Cole box too. I like the freshness, simplicity and minimal amount of waste that these boxes make. My favourite recipes so far have been Gousto's Teriyaki Chicken Donburi Bowl, Gordon Ramsay's homemade roasted tomato soup and the Hairy Bikers' pulled pork carnitas. The last is a real Sunday recipie; we marinade the pork in the rub for several hours before cooking. Let me know how yours goes.

I watched Less is Now by The Minimalists (who I support on Patreon) although didn't like it as much as their first movie, Minimalism. I've been watching Bridgerton and re-watching The Crown. Snowpiercer, which I've mentioned before in these updates, is fantastic; its second season came out on January 25th. All of those are available on Netflix. On Disney+, I've been watching WandaVision and although I'm sure half of the references to the Marvel Universe go over my head, it's very aesthetically pleasing. Always a fan of a Top Gear style travel adventure, I watched both Seamen and The Great Hunt on Amazon Prime Video over Christmas featuring Hammond, Clarkson and May as well as The Morning Show and Long Way Up with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on Apple TV+. It was good to see Cool Earth, a charity I support, featured in an episode.

On January 10th, I pledged to donate 2% of my gross earnings in 2021 to climate change solutions. It's an improvement on my previous 1% pledge. It means I'll plant over 1,000 trees both at-home and abroad this year as well as prevent or remove over 75 tonnes of carbon. Read more about that at adamstoner.com/two. You can also read how you can offset your entire lifetime of carbon emissions for 56 pence per month in an earlier essay of mine titled 1,000 Trees and 1.5 degrees.

In the wake of WhatsApp's recent changes to their terms and conditions, I explore what it will take to kill Facebook in a post from earlier this month. Read that at adamstoner.com/facebook. I'm on Telegram (@admstnr) and Signal (for those that have my mobile number), if you prefer alternatives.

As far as purchases go, my Wilfa Classic+ Coffee Maker has been a good buy. It looks and works like something out of Phileas Fogg's lab. A strict rule of coffee makers is good coffee – Pact has been supplying me with that.

I got some Shure SE215 in-ears. They're incredibly comfortable. I tend to lace them up my back when I sit down to work and leave them there pretty much all day. Shure always make phenominal audio products and are frequently my go-to.

But by far the biggest and best purchase of the month has to be the Echelon Smart Connect EX3 Max Bike. It's Peloton at about half the price and purchased to replace the terribly designed Reebok GB40 which kicked the dust after just 20 rides. If you're ever after tips on how to return a 35kg assembled exercise bike to an online retailer without its box, I'm your man. I've been using Echelon for its live classes alongside Apple Fitness+ and love it.

By the way, these monthly updates (and everything else on adamstoner.com) are available in your podcast app of choice – just search for my name, Adam Stoner – and as of a few days ago, on YouTube too. I'll refrain from asking you to 'smash that like button and subscribe' and trust that if you like what you hear, you'll do that anyway.

The next full moon is February 27th. It's known as the Snow Moon.

See you then.