Media Diet

Taking inspiration from Jason Kottke at kottke.org (one of the best independent blogs out there that deserves your support), I’ll be posting the media I’ve been consuming recently.

“The Hanging Tree” by Ben Aaronovitch is book #6 in the Rivers of London series. Of the previous books, I think this one is going to rank around the middle for me. I’m almost done with it and as usual, it’s brilliant writing (which in my book is a given since the guy wrote for Dr. Who). I think this story will rank in the middle of the whole series, It all takes place in London and as usual, we follow Peter, the policeman/wizard apprentice in his investigation. This is no Harry Potter wizardry, by the way, it’s an adult crime series with magic as a twist. I highly recommend the series, start with the first book and you’ll be hooked for the whole thing.

A-ha Unplugged – Summer Solstice. The boys from Norway recorded a sort of acoustic session of their hits in a remote island and the result is something else. As proof, I offer “Stay on These Roads” or their biggest hit “Take on Me”, which is adapted beautifully.

The Good Place. Marga and I started watching this TV series after it was recommended in various places online. The setup is so quirky and different that after a couple of episodes we binged on the first season on Netflix. The more you watch the more you want to stick around to see where they take the story. Kirsten Bell, Ted Danson and the rest of the cast is funny as hell.

The After On Podcast – The Fermi Paradox. On the podcast front this one kinda blew my mind, mostly because a lot of the discussion made my brain hurt in a good way. Rob Reid is the author of the novel “After On”, described as “A fun, humorous, fast-paced, and fascinating take on what happens when an AI awakens.” which is right up my alley but…I haven’t gotten to reading it…yet. What I did check out is the podcast series that the author created to promote his book (one of the best marketing ideas I’ve seen in a while). He interviews famous thinkers and scientists about the topics that his book explores and the one I linked to above is my favourite so far. The Fermi Paradox tries to answer the following: “Where are the aliens? Given that our star and Earth are part of a young planetary system compared to the rest of the universe — and that interstellar travel might be fairly easy to achieve — the theory says that Earth should have been visited by aliens already”. This conversation is fun, intelligent and even scary. Highly recommended if you’re into science and the real search for E.T.

Stranger Things Season 2

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Season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix was a joy to watch. It’s always a tricky challenge to make the second season of a beloved show as good as the first season. It’s even more difficult to make it better. I’m not saying season 2 is absolutely better (season 1 was such a fun ride that it will always edge out the rest), but in my opinion, it’s as good as the first one and better in a couple of places.

The new season feels like it allowed every character it’s moment to shine, even with the addition of a couple of new characters. We got to see the core group of kids as individuals with their own unique family lives and quirks. The scenes with Steve and Dustin were really fun, Eleven got to have a massive adventure and Hopper was again the anchor of the cast, and his little dancing scene has gone viral as hilarious memes…

I could go on and on…Paul Riser is always fun to watch…Sean Astin plays the role of “red shirt” Bob perfectly and the conspiracy theory character made me laugh out loud…I’ll wrap it up by saying I highly recommend it. As a final note, here’s the awesome soundtrack to the series, which will take you back to the mid-eighties in style.

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