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Verge Favorites: Joshua Topolsky

Verge Favorites: Joshua Topolsky


The Verge editors pick their current favorites in music, movies, books and more.

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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.

To kick things off, here are five current favorites from our editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky.

Beach House - Bloom


I’ve never really been a fan of the band, but I listened to this record on a whim and have been playing it on repeat ever since. The sound is an uncanny blend of very organic, dreamy, wide guitars and vocals (think Slowdive) mixed with... synths and drum machines? Not every song is the same mixture, which is nice, but the vibe — think driving down an empty highway at dusk — is consistent and overwhelming. Hooks for days.

World on a Wire


This Rainer Werner Fassbinder film (actually a two-part German TV mini-series) was all but forgotten until it was restored in 2010, and re-released by Criterion on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this year. The basic concepts of the movie are way ahead of their time, touching on everything from the nature of reality, artificial intelligence, and even our current trend of computer scientists as celebrities. The film was shot in 1973 and is meticulously, futuristically styled, and Fassbinder isn’t exactly a conventional director — which makes for a strange trip indeed.



One of my favorite weekend browses, visualsundae is the work of Michael Nunweiler, a designer who is cataloguing and exploring the design and designers that intrigue him. What’s best about the site is that rather than simply post a stream of random images, Nunweiler dives deep into the design and ethos of the artists, offering up lots of detailed views and insight into not only the work, but the process as well. Bookmark it.

on{x} (Android)


This is a crazy, experimental application from Microsoft which basically lets you write little packets of JavaScript that tell your phone to do all sorts of things. Similar to Motorola’s Smart Actions, you can program on{x} to turn on or off services based on location, send text messages to specific people given a variety of parameters, or even remind you to take an umbrella when it’s going to be rainy. Scripts can only be written and applied online, and it requires Facebook authentication, but based on the small amount of exploring I’ve done, the potential for the system is enormous. One word of warning — watch the location-based services as they can run down the battery.

Kelty "Wind Jammer"


Kelty is a company that generally makes camping gear for rugged, raw, real men and women. Not being very rugged, I normally wouldn’t have much use for their products — but they’ve launched a "vintage" line of bags (reissues or remixes of older products), and the Wind Jammer caught my eye. The bag is designed to be used either as a backpack or a shoulder bag (the straps can be folded away). It also has a pocket for a laptop up to 17 inches in size, tons of ways to get inside, and a handful of compartments and hideaways that are super useful for small items. I’m constantly on the hunt for a good bag, so I’m not sure the Kelty is my last stop — but so far it’s proven to be a faithful companion along the journey.

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