Yorkton This Week’s editorial staff takes readers on an explorative journey around the Internet, searching out the best in videos, podcasts, webcomics, music and anything else that catches their collective eyes which might interest our readers.
The measure of a great website is probably best measured by how often you find yourself pulling down your favourite’s tab and clicking to go there for a visit.
While, I have a rather diverse range of interests, and head down the rabbit hole in search of new adventures online, but there are those regular spots to visit regularly.
Among the very best of those site is www.goodreads.com, with the caveat you have to be a rather avid reader to fully appreciate the site.
If you are a reader, then regular visits are almost a must.
Goodreads, at its heart is a place that collects book titles, with information on authors, publishers, various editions, and short informational notes on the books.
But it goes beyond being a massive listing of books.
Readers can start a personal profile, and begin to log books you have read, want to read, etc.
When people read books, they can log that information, complete with a rating, and review if you wish. The reviews of fellow readers can be a very useful source of information when you are contemplating purchasing a new book, from a new author.
While the resource of information on books would make Goodreads a can’t-stay-away-from site, it goes much farther as well.
One of the more interesting aspects is an annual Reading Challenge. Each year site members can pledge how many books they plan to read in the ensuing year. It is a very gentle push to keep you getting off line and picking up a book to read.
In my case I started pledging in 2014, and while the numbers I expected to read change annually based on career and other interests, it has been run keeping an eye on the goal throughout the year. So far I have hit my goal every year but 2016, and am on target for 2018.
You can also browse through various categories including new releases, news and interviews, and maybe most interesting giveaways, where you can enter your name for draws for new books. A couple of years back I won one, so the contest is legit, and who doesn’t like winning a good book?
This is an easy site to navigate, and is packed with useful information if your read books.
Go check it out, bookmark it, and enjoy repeatedly.
Red Panda sings death metal
The elevator pitch for Aggretsuko, a new series on Netflix, is one you don’t expect. It’s a workplace comedy starring a red panda that sings death metal karaoke, brought to you by the minds behind Hello Kitty. Those words in that order don’t make much sense on the surface, which is why I started watching the show. I needed to know what kind of madness this was.
For all of the surface oddities, it’s not actually that insane a series. Retsuko is a red panda, with a boss who is a literal and figurative pig, colleagues who are a range of different animals who pull her in different directions. Her employers work her too hard, she wants to escape, but she’s too sensible to give up a paycheck. And, when frustrated, she screams at karaoke about her frustrations, her secret sanctuary. There is stress, romance, tricky interpersonal relationships and everything you would expect from a workplace comedy.
The surface differences do set the show apart. Everyone on screen being incredibly cute - these are the Hello Kitty people, let’s not forget, and everything they design appears to be made with the express desire to have children hug it while they sleep. That makes the death metal sequences extra shocking, as the animation style changes completely and the adorable animals suddenly become flaming balls of rage. The contrast is inherently hilarious, and every time Retsuko starts screaming in a karaoke booth can’t help but be funny.
It’s also cathartic. Everyone in a workplace can recognize someone familiar in the cast of characters, and Retsuko shouting out her frustrations is inviting the audience shout out frustrations of their own. The characters get greater depth as they go along too - the pig boss, for example, becomes more than a villain by the end of the show, his attitude making a degree of sense even if you can’t help but think he’s not a very good boss most of the time.
It’s a strange and adorable animated show for adults, and while nothing about it should work it somehow does.