July Spotlight 2016

July draws to a close, as does the first half of Summer 2016.  Today’s Spotlight is probably the longest one so far, since I’ve had day after day after long, boring day to do nothing except browse the internet in search of entertainment.  This month, I’ve learned that I might not be a Hufflepuff after all (being patient and kind and saintly is very taxing), which resulted in a bit of an identity crisis.  Being caught in between Hogwarts houses is a serious issue.  I’d call myself Divergent, but that’s a different universe altogether.

I also received my first job offer, from Kumon!  I’d emailed them more than a month ago and had shrugged their lack of response off as an expected first-time failure, but they actually! Emailed! Me! Back!  My overabundant excitement might be annoying and slightly naive, but who cares?  I’ve basically got a part-time job now!  (Only time will tell what toll the job will take on my grades.  IB is not likely to cut me slack despite this, ugh- but hey!  Positivity!  Excitement! Yay!)

Ok, ok, enough about me.  Let’s get onto the interesting things.  Here I present to you: July Spotlight!

McBingewatching

In the gaping absence of schoolwork, I have picked up something to do that is definitely just as beneficial: watching Grey’s Anatomy.  Although I’m only three seasons in, it’s clear to see why the show has been on air for twelve and counting.  Grey’s Anatomy is an interesting look into the world of surgical interns, and has the perfect balance of drama, wit, romance, and excitement.  Each main character is well-written and multi-dimensional, and you will find yourself falling in love with all of them.  Grey’s Anatomy is an expert at just about everything a show needs to be good at: dialogue that hits the spot, solid characters, tweaking heartstrings, tension, humour.  I could sing this show’s praises for days, but it would be much better if you just checked it out on your own.  With over 260 episodes, it’s certainly going to be a challenge.  (As much of a challenge as binge-watching TV gets, anyway.)

 

Sherlocked

There’s a running joke in the Sherlock fandom that there are more seasons in a year than seasons in the show- but this joke is about to become obsolete.  Sherlock Season 4 is set to air in 2017, and at the most recent Comic Con in San Diego, a teaser trailer was released.

Needless to say, the Sherlock fandom instantly combusted.  That’s right, I am dead and you are currently reading words typed out by a ghost.  But seriously, this new trailer has awoken all Sherlockians from hibernation.  We believe in Sherlock Holmes!  Did you miss us?

Plus, I also discovered a Youtube channel called ‘Rebekah TJLC Explained‘, and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted and more.  TJLC is the abbreviation for The Johnlock Conspiracy (a romantic ship consisting of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, you have been forewarned), and that’s all you need to know when going to into watching Rebekah’s videos.  Here’s the first episode:

 

I now leave this topic with three very important, mysterious words which the Sherlock cast and crew released at Comic Con 2016 as hints for what to look for in Series 4:

Thatcher.  Smith.  Sherrinford.

 

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

I’m sure you have heard of the mobile game Pokemon Go.  If not, do you even internet?

The game is similar to virtual reality in that you get to catch Pokemon that ‘appear’ before you in the real world, taking you one step closer to being a real Pokemon trainer.  Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm, motivating people everywhere to get out of the house in search of Pokemon, and nearly surpassing Candy Crush in its popularity in the mobile game charts.

When it was released in Canada, I immediately downloaded it and got a few friends together to play.  Since, I was (still am, really) a complete noob at Pokemon, my friends explained the basics to me.  I won’t elaborate on everything here, because there are already plenty of explanatory articles out there, but there were two things about the whole experience that really stood out to me.

First of all, the different teams was a really neat idea, and brings an element of competition to the game.  You can choose between Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Instinct (yellow), all of which have different values, leaders, and Pokemon representatives.  To be completely honest, although I do agree with Team Mystic’s values of logic and wisdom, what really won me over were the shallow things- the blue colour theme, Blanche’s awesome trench coat, and Articuno’s general fabulousness.  I think they’re really cool, ok?  Don’t judge me.

Secondly, and most of all, I love meeting other players while out and about on the streets.  Random strangers would ask us if we were also playing Pokemon Go, and when we answered with an amused ‘yeah’, this would elicit a round of conspiratorial smiles and the occasional high-five.  At one point, there was a congregation of more than ten people just standing around and talking with one another at a Pokestop.  They ranged in age from tiny child to middle-aged adult.  Everywhere you go, you’ll see clumps of people running around in mad search of animated characters on their phone screens.  It’s such a phenomenon to see all these people, who probably never would have met or spoken in any other context, to bond so freely and so often over this game.  Without Pokemon Go, situations like this would never exist.  Who in their right mind just goes outside and talks with strangers on the street?  Beyond the sheer hilarity of the situation, there’s also a certain solidarity in knowing that everyone around you is also playing the same game.  Unity in nerd-dom.

Online Art

I recently went on an art browsing spree online and discovered a ton of amazing artists.  Of course, I just had to compile a list of the artists and art and share them with you guys!

My favourite type of art is portraits, since they capture so much life and story in a picture of a single person.  It doesn’t hurt when the portrait also contains a lot of technical skill, beautiful colours, and unique artistic style.  Of course, full credits and extreme amounts of admiration go to all the individual artists!

1.@selenada.art

Life is too short not to eat dessert first, so I’m putting my favourite artist out of all them first.  Honestly, I think the stunning, breathtaking art speaks for itself.  (Selene Regener also has a Deviantart and Artstation website.)

‘Forgotten Melody’
‘Water Splash’
‘First Snow’

 

2. alicexz (Deviantart)

The fandom art strikes again! (I did an entire blog post about it a while back, here’s the link to that).  Alice Zhang is an outstanding artist, whether you’re in a fandom or not.  She does fan art for Doctor Who, Captain America, Sherlock, Disney, and more.

Blood in the Breeze
Virtuoso by alicexz
Virtuoso
The Roar of Our Stars

3. @hiba_tan

Stylized portraits ranging in style from realism to manga, incorporates a lot of pastel colours- simply beautiful.  She also has a Deviantart.

‘Sun’
‘Heterochromia’
‘Ricehime’
‘Hanna’

 

Happy Panda Parade!

Meet Hannah Hoffman: an artist, animator, and Youtuber.  I initially found her while looking through fanart and fandom-related animations, but she also posts ‘rant’ videos and the occasional vlog on her Youtube channel.  Her sense of humour is impeccable, and she has a sort of down-to-earth charm that will instantly make you like her.  If you’re interested, here are her Youtube channel, Tumblr, and Twitter.  I highly, highly recommend checking her out!

 

Music:

Here’s where I share my favourites from my July playlist.  All songs come with Youtube links that open a new tab, and I’d love it if you checked them out!

Irene Adler’s Theme: Version 1 and Version 2– Sherlock Series 2 – David Arnold, Michael Pierce- (I loved this one so much I couldn’t pick a single remix, so that’s why there are two versions.)

Unsteady – X Ambassadors – VHS (2015)

Breaking Up My Bones – Vinyl Theatre – Electrogram (2014)

Everybody Wants Somebody – Patrick Stump – Soul Punk (2011)

The End of All Things – Panic! at the Disco – Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013)

Come Under the Covers – Walk the Moon- Talking is Hard (2014)

Keeping Your Head Up – Birdy – Beautiful Lies (2016)

Fall Into These Arms – New Politics – A Bad Girl in Harlem


 

Hello!

I hope you’re having a nice day/night, and that something in this blog post maybe made you a little happier.  I’m somewhat in a state of euphoria right now, since I attended a very exciting event in the city yesterday (blog post about it possibly coming soon), and am currently on vacation in Kelowna, BC.  Also, I have not gone near a math problem in about a month.  Vacation brain is fun sometimes.

If you liked this blog post, please give it a like and leave a comment!  What have you been up to in the month of July?  Found any new favourite songs, ice cream parlours, movies, shows?  To subscribe to my blog, click the follow button at the side or bottom of this page.  If you missed them, here are my About Page and last week’s post, How to Cure Writer’s Block.

Thank you so much for reading!

-Yi Nuo

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