How to be cool

People often ask me: “A.T., how can I be more like you?”.[1] Easy! Be smart, charming, and funny. Have a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor. Most importantly,  and wear it everywhere!

How to be cool — wear a GeoHipster t-shirt everywhere

So there, the secret’s out. You’ve got no excuse.


[1] No one, ever, actually


A new free open-source anti-surveillance tool called was released on Thursday (Windows-only). Says :

The open-source tool, dubbed Detekt, was developed by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri. It was released in partnership with Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy International.

Detekt scans computers for infection patterns associated with several families of remote access Trojans (RATs): DarkComet RAT, XtremeRAT, BlackShades RAT, njRAT, FinFisher FinSpy, HackingTeam RCS, ShadowTech RAT and Gh0st RAT.

I downloaded and ran the tool. All my PCs came up clean (see screenshot below). Apparently I’m not important enough to be surveilled. I am not sure whether to be relieved or insulted.

Detekt screenshot
Detekt screenshot

Vital Apps for the Outdoorsman

The great outdoors can be very dangerous for the unprepared, whether you like to bike or hike through the woods or camp out for weekends. Thankfully, there are a lot of smartphone apps that can help adventurers in their journey into the wild. Before going on your next adventure, you may want to consider downloading these on your phone for a hassle-free and safe journey into the unknown.

MotionX GPS

The first rule of staying safe outdoors is to avoid getting lost in places you are unfamiliar with. When your phone has the , you will be able to view your location wherever you are in the world. The best thing about MotionX GPS is that users can save maps so you won’t ever have to worry about losing your way in case the phone’s Internet connection gets cut off. You may also find your way back easily if you’ve set up a starting point, since the app will update your location with each step.

Knot Guide

One of the most useful techniques in camping is knowing how to tie knots. Knots can help build tents, help construct tools, and aid users in climbing. is a simple app that has over 100 instructions in forming knots for different situations. The app has pictures with its instructions so even complete beginners can follow the steps.

SAS Survival Guide

Ultimate SAS Survival Guide
Ultimate SAS Survival Guide

The is the adventurer’s bible. It contains a lot of tips on how you can survive perilous situations while traveling. The app was designed by a former member of Britain’s toughest fighting force so the techniques that you can learn are very practical and useful. It has over 400 pages of survival tips, 15 instructional videos, pictures of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants, a digital compass, and quizzes to test a user’s knowledge on survival.

Mobile phones in the present days continue to amaze us. They’re not only tools for browsing or gaming, but now, an instrument for survival as well. In fact, perhaps mobile phones are the most practical device for survival we have. According to , software developer for , the mobile market continues to grow and is expected to become a $42 billion industry by 2015. The predicted figures show that smartphones are becoming essential to daily life, and therefore the most perfect tool for survival in the great outdoors.

You should totally order the 2015 GeoHipster calendar

Why order the ? Because, for one, you need a 2015 calendar. But also because the calendar features the work of thirteen amazing cartographers from all over the world, like this map below from the month of April. The calendar is packed with cartographic art, which will brighten your room year-long. Finally, because your purchase will help keep running ad-free.

So order one for yourself, and several more for holiday gifts.

2015 GeoHipster calendar - April - Map by Bill Morris
2015 GeoHipster calendar – April – Map by Bill Morris
GeoHipster 2015 Calendar cover layout

IMPORTANT! The screenshot below is intended ONLY to give an overview of the overall layout — which map goes on which page, etc. When you order the 2015 calendar, you will get the 2015 calendar. You can verify this by reviewing each individual page online before you order.

GeoHipster 2015 Calendar 12-month layout

The A.T. Manual Of Style

This is A.T.’s long-overdue list of rules and recommendations for writing style in the 21st century. Specifically, for publishing online. The list is open-ended, and items are listed in no specific order.

  1. Use one space after a period. NEVER two spaces. (Unless you are , 88 or older, or both.)
  2. Never use . No exceptions. Not ironically, not as a joke, not to be cute. Just don’t do it.
  3. It’s OK to end a sentence with a preposition. If it’s good for , it’s good for you.
  4. There is no contradiction between items 1 and 3.
  5. It’s OK to split infinitives.
  6. To be continued…

Lydia’s Story at the New Jersey Film Festival

Lydia’s Story is a short documentary — an intimate account of civil war, Nazi invasion, and the post-WWII American immigration experience. The story is told through the eyes of Lydia Rohowich Zakrewsky, who was born in Belorusia in 1929, and lives today in Milltown, New Jersey.

Lydia's Story at the New Jersey Film Festival
Lydia’s Story at the New Jersey Film Festival

The 30-minute film was produced, written, and directed by my friends Alex Zakrewsky and Heather Fenyk, and will be screened as part of the official selection at the on October 5, 2014. Come see it — you’ll be glad you did.

Disclosure: I was paid to develop the .

I was into Mongolian folk metal before it was cool

My favorite Mongolian folk metal band is Nine Treasures, but you have probably never heard of them.

The folk elements of the band’s music mostly come from two instruments: the morin khuur, a traditional two-stringed ; and the balalaika, a triangular Russian folk instrument that sounds a bit like a mandolin and typically has three strings. –