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July 6, 2016

Jimmy Recommends – July ’16

Jimmy Recommends July Favorites 2016

Music of the Month

Song: BΔSTILLE – Good Grief
Remember that song Pompeii? It was a successful single from Bastille‘s debut album BΔD BLOOD back in 2013. Now, the band from London is back with new music and I can tell you that it’s already looking good. Their lead single Good Grief is catchy, fun, and has lots of passages to sing and hum along to. Plus, the music video is pretty crazy and interesting:

Album: Begin to Hope – Regina Spektor
A little over 10 years ago, master vocalist and songwriter Regina Spektor, who you might know as the singer of Orange is the New Black‘s theme song, released her fourth album Begin to Hope. To celebrate this anniversary, the artist talked to Nylon about making the album. Containing songs like Fidelity and Samson, it has stood the test of time as a unique indie record of qualitatively unmatched caliber. For now, it’s about the only thing we got – along with Spektor’s five other efforts, at least – until she finally releases that new album her fans have been waiting for for the last four years!

Artist: Tove Lo
Often dubbed “the saddest girl in Sweden,” Tove Lo has been pretty active lately. After having released her debut album Queen of the Clouds, she’s teamed up with Coldplay on Fun, Flume on Say It, Nick Jonas on Close, and even Years & Years on an alternate version of their song Desire. My personal favorite of hers will always be Like Em Young, though, because I know that her songs are autobiographical and you can already gather from the title why it makes me hopeful that I could actually have a chance with her…

 Entertainment of the Month

July is officially “Dystopia Month” on Jimmy’s Book:

Book: Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Brave New World is one of the best novels of all time. It explores themes of love, freedom, and what it means to be human. If you haven’t read this 20th century classic, you’ve been missing out a thought-provoking literary masterpiece that has continued to inspire science-fiction writers since it came out in 1932. If you’ve always wanted to know what life would be like if children were produced in factories, this is the book for you. And if you’re worried where our consumer culture might ultimately lead us, this book will scare you to death. Either way, you should start reading now.

Movie: V for Vendetta
With everyone talking about the Brexit (and Wales winning against Belgium), the political situation in the United Kingdom is suddenly in our collective minds. V for Vendetta, while surely not the best movie of all time, is a very interesting take on dystopian stories and has some solid messages weaved into the action-packed plot that ring true even today. Movies like this best speak for themselves, so watch the trailer and form your own opinion:

TV Show: Orphan Black
If you haven’t seen this show, you’re missing out on the best acting on TV right now. Tatiana Maslany, not satisfied with being fascinating, beautiful, and intelligent all at once, is also amazing at playing eleven (!) different characters on the same show. So as not to spoil anything, I can only tell you that Orphan Black is about science and technology and their ethical implications for humans. I can promise you, though, that you will be hooked from the first episode and won’t be able to get enough of Tat’s characters.

Internet Contributions of the Month

Online Show: The Runner
I’ve plugged a video by creator MatPat before, but for the entire month of July, he’ll be hosting an innovative online game show produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The Runner is about five teams trying to chase down a mysterious fugitive crossing the American continent, using clues gained by solving various riddles. The real kicker’s that you as a viewer can actively participate in the show and even win money doing it (as long as you’re an American citizen over the age of 18). If you’re interested, you can visit their site and see if you’re smart enough to solve any of the puzzles.

Website: Pixabay

Pixabay Photo Frog
It can be tricky to find picture on the Internet that you can actually use without running the risk of copyright infringement. If you don’t want to be sued, you definitely shouldn’t just get them off Google Images. But you’re in luck: pixabay.com has all kinds of photos and graphics from a myriad of volunteers I can only thank again and again. Their content is not only free but it’s also in the public domain, meaning you don’t even need to credit anyone when using their stuff. Without this website, this blog would be a lot less fun to look at!

YouTube Video: It’s Okay to Be Smart – Why Don’t Other Animals Wear Glasses?
I love the educational side of YouTube. You can learn about anything from physics, to politics, to psychology. Joe Hanson from It’s Okay to Be Smart, for example, mainly makes videos about biology and everything that has to do with it (sometimes delving into other fields, as well). A couple of days ago, he released a piece about short-sightedness – a topic that’s very close to my heart (and contact lense-covered eyes) – in animals and humans alike. If you need glasses and have wondered how you deserve such treatment from the universe, looks like (no pun intended) it’s your own fault for avoiding the sun too much as a child. So go outside for a change – but not before you’ve watched the video and read all my other articles, of course…

What are YOUR favorite things right now? Tell me in the comments below! And be sure to come back for next month’s “Jimmy Recommends!”