Skip to main content

Verge Favorites: Jeff Blagdon

Verge Favorites: Jeff Blagdon


Always hunting for the perfect bag

Share this story

The Verge staffers aren't just people who love technology. They're people who love stuff. We spend as much time talking and thinking about our favorite books, music, and movies as we do debating the best smartphone to buy or what point-and-shoot has the tightest macro. We thought it would make sense to share our latest obsessions with Verge readers, and we hope you're encouraged to share your favorites with us. Thus a long, healthy debate will ensue where we all end up with new things to read, listen to, or try on.

Ari bag — Incase


A major factor in my switch to an 11-inch MacBook Air and mirrorless NEX–5N was seeing Sam Byford at events every week with the tiniest bags imaginable while I lugged a heavy backpack full of full-sized gear. Leading up to the switch I would spend hours fantasizing about a light, spacious sling bag with easy access to my lenses, notebooks, audio recorders, and breath mints, but didn’t look like a nylon Camera Dad dork cube. So far, the Ari bag from Incase is the best compromise I’ve seen; a decent-looking camera-centric sling with room for my laptop and everything else I need. The hunt for the perfect bag isn’t over — I’d like something thinner and with fewer frills — but for now the Ari is as good as it gets.



When I was looking for the fastest possible iPhone app for adding notes to my Notational Velocity (well, NVAlt) database, our database manager William Savona put me onto Agile Tortoise’s excellent Drafts. The idea is simple: let users enter text as fast as possible, then decide what to do with it afterward. And fast it is — way out in front of all the iOS text editors I’ve tried, and I have a lot. Once you get your idea down, Drafts gives you a ton of ways to operate on it: send the note to another app like Mail or Omnifocus, save it to Dropbox, or even generate a preview if you like to write in Markdown. It’s not perfect — you can’t use it to quickly drill down through your Dropbox or Simplenote database like you can with apps like Notesy or Elements, but it’ll have to do until an official Notational Velocity client makes it onto the App Store.

Master Keaton


Naoki Urasawa is manga royalty, and this book is one of his most famous. The title character is an Oxford-educated archaeologist who works as an insurance underwriter for Lloyd’s of London (just hear me out), who joined the SAS before making a living running around the world to recover stolen treasure. He’s kind of a combination between Indiana Jones, James Bond, and MacGyver. I’m still at the beginning of the series, but it’s the first thing I turn to whenever I have some spare time.

Homeboy Sandman – Chimera


As a lifelong hiphop head, it’s my heartfelt belief that Homeboy Sandman is one of the few truly original, exciting MCs in rap music today. He has a mastery of melodic, multisyllabic flows, and his ability to toe the line as a positive rapper without sounding preachy or corny makes it easy to get on board. Chimera’s slow, bubbling instrumentals are a perfect fit for the album’s more open, deliberate rhymes, and the booming drums on tracks like "I Do Whatever I Want" and "Cops Get Scared of Me" have the perfect amount of neck snap for the back of the bus.

13 Assassins


When I saw this I hadn’t watched any of Takashi Miike’s other films, but I came to find out that he’s one of Japan’s most prolific directors, sometimes banging out seven or eight in a single year. Anyway, 13 Assassins (13 nin no shikaku) is set in 1840s Japan, and is, essentially, an hour-long, cruelty-filled buildup to a climactic battle between a sadistic lord and the eponymous crew of revenging warriors. The fighting is a huge part of the film but it isn’t the kind of manic quick-cut material you see in newer action movies. Actually, the whole package feels very old-fashioned, but in a good way, and even though it was made on a small budget things never look cheap or dated. If you like your revenge movies with a healthy dose of swords and blood, this will be right up your alley.

More from this stream Verge Favorites

See all 51 stories