By Jesse Ulrich
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...I hope that is true, because I am about to straight up steal an idea. One of things that makes me happy every week are podcasts. One specifically, NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, has a segment at the end where all the panelists say what is making them happy that week. I thought this was a great idea, so I am "borrowing" it.
So every week (hopefully) I will recommend and point out things that make me happy. These things could make me happy in any regard really, but of course I will try to focus on the nerdy.
Podcasts that are making me happy:
NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour
I listen to more podcasts than I should, but I find them so entertaining, thought-provoking, and/or fun. For many of them it feels like hanging out with friends talking about things that we are all interested in. Since I stole this idea from them, they deserve to be the first thing I am happy about this week. I know what some people think about NPR, but this podcast is the shit. Why would I curse, you ask? Because this podcast has some great discussions, like the use of profanity in pop culture, and in that episode they use many examples almost all of which are hilarious. It was one of the funniest episodes so far.
Since I am an Android user, i will not give you the ITunes link because that is easy enough to find, but if you, like me, use an Android phone, this is the rss address you can put into your podcast app:
Android Apps that are making me happy:
It makes sense that after I recommend a podcast that my next recommendation/happiness item be a podcast manager. I have had Android phones since the HTC G1 (For all you non-cell phone nerds out there, the G1 was the very first Android phone, it was big, it had a pull out keyboard, it was awesome...for awhile,) and from the very beginning, I needed an app to help me listen, download, and organize my podcasts. BeyondPod has been my favorite. Of course I have tried other ones and they are fine, but for me BeyondPod is the best. Up until about a year ago, I never wanted to pay for an app, so it should tell you something that I bought the upgraded version of this app 3 years ago. Try it out, you won't regret it.
Websites making me happy this week:
Io9.com and the Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy Bracket
I can't just use up all of Io9 for one week. This website makes me happy every single day of the year. But for the next few weeks what will make me the happiest is their nerd themed bracket of Science Fiction vs. Fantasy.
If you don't read Io9, you should. It is smart, it is funny, it is nerdy, and I believe it has some of the funniest and smartest commenters in the world. If you were to peruse any article on this website and you were to scroll down and read the comments, you would find a plethora of witty retorts, great actual comments, and what a comments section should be, a continuing discussion. So don't forget to vote in this bracket, these things are important!
TV Shows that are making me happy:
For the 5 people who read this site, you will remember that I was recapping this fantastic, insane, bizarrely entertaining show until I stopped. Sorry about that. Hopefully for Season 2 I will be better at scheduling my time. Why am I recommending this show now? Because I just binged watched the last 5 episodes over the weekend and they did not disappoint!
I feel like I could spoil it, but I do not want to do that. If you have any interest in TV whatsoever, you must watch this show when it returns in the fall, YOU MUST! Just watch the pilot, trust me.
Another Website that is making me happy:
The Return of Fivethirtyeight.com!
We all know Nate Silver is a wizard and his fans (which includes me) have been waiting so patiently for his new 538 website in partnership with ESPN and Grantland to launch. When I started writing this earlier today (March 17,2104) it had not yet launched. But now that I am finishing it, the website is live and fantastic!
Just take a look at their NCAA bracket predicator! It is literally a work of genius. Nate Silver is about to revolutionize news and sports to way he changed political predictions (to be accurate, he has already done so much for sports, but now he is getting paid quite a bit to do it, Go Nerds!) Bookmark this website now people, it is going to be a constant nerdgasm.
So that is what is making me happy this week. I hope it brings you joy and happiness, and maybe a little knowledge. Let me know what you think in the comments!