Cool Supply #001 - A week of learning/doing nothing

This won't be about the Superbowl.

Happy Tuesday! Last week I had a one week vacation in between jobs and used it to just research whatever the hell I wanted. It was fantastic. Waking up and picking a random topic to spend the day learning about gave me big retirement vibes. These are three things I researched last week, ranging from complex to ridiculous. Not every day is a profound and productive one. 


What is SHA256? It’s a method of encryption. Specifically, it’s the method of encryption that Bitcoin (and several banks) use to ensure that a random person can’t get access to your money. I went deep into Bitcoin about two years ago trying to fully understand what it is, how it works, and why it’s special. I started at the source with the original white paper, then read The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous which is the ultimate explainer book that everyone recommends, and finally watched a ton of people tell me what it all means on YouTube. 

One thing I was never quite able to understand though was the encryption. What makes people so certain that their Bitcoin can’t be stolen? Why can’t someone just write a program that would guess my particular string of numbers (my signature)? After all, computers are fantastic at just calculating numbers. That’s where SHA256 comes in. And I haven’t seen anyone explain it in a way that truly made sense until this video. 

DSPTCH Wicking Face Covering + Strap

I’m probably in the minority here, but I love wearing masks. I’m kind of a privacy geek and prefer to be completely anonymous when in public. For that reason I’ve always wanted to wear face masks even before COVID-19 forced our hands, but in the before-times walking onto a subway platform wearing a mask drew nothing but stares. The opposite effect I’m going for. The circumstances that made masks the norm are obviously terrible, but I’m hoping that at least this one bit of our current culture is here to stay. So I went searching for a comfortable mask that I wouldn’t mind wearing for a while because I’m tired of cheap ones that are uncomfortable and continually break. 

Of everything online I found that only this combo from DSPTCH made sense to me. There were others that had similar a e s t h e t i c s and functionality but they were absurdly expensive. The DSPTCH Wicking Face Covering is made of a comfortable fabric that I’ve been wearing through the snow and rain and haven’t had any problems. Combining it with the Face Covering Strap (also from DSPTCH) has been the most comfortable and convenient solution I found to needing to wear a mask everywhere I go.

Teva vs Birkenstocks

I don’t know where you are in the world, but I’m in New York where it is cold as hell right now. So naturally I’ve been daydreaming a lot about spring while digging out the car from under a small mountain of fresh snow. I spent more time than I’d like to admit wondering about what kind of person I want to be when the weather gets nice: a Teva guy or a Birkenstocks guy? Either way, I’m a socks and sandals guy so at least I have that part covered. I’d like to do more hiking so maybe a nice hiking sandal from Teva is the move. But Birkenstocks are more casual for wearing out and about while shopping for groceries or...more groceries (that’s pretty much the highlight of my week). 

See, I told you not every day can be a productive one. But either way I could use some help. Vote on my Twitter poll which will be up for the next 24 hours!