Like all the kids in public schools in Southern Ontario, the Toronto Maple Leafs are officially on winter break as of today. PPP will also go into power saver mode as our kittens work to keep us warm during the storm. As a result, I thought I would share some of my favourite content from the past year! I hope you enjoy.
Warning, I am a massive nerd and most of what I consume is educational in some way. You have been warned.
TV and Movies
I have a pretty generic list of shows that I enjoyed the most. Top Gun: Maverick was a masterpiece, full stop. The visuals, the characters, the action, it hit every note. I also watched Wakanda Forever this year, and I’ll be honest it just made me miss my hero, Chadwick Boseman, more. I miss him, and I am sad he was taken from us. On a lighter note, Andor is the best Star Wars product they have made since probably Empire. The first season covers a lot of ground, but it never feels rushed. I enjoyed following Cassian and I’m excited to see what comes next for him.
Rings of Power was controversial among die-hard Tolkien fans, and that discourse was probably the worst thing about the show. Don’t watch it with people who know too much about The Silmarillion, or if you have read that story then don’t worry about the changes they made. The story has been somewhat modernized and “Game of Thrones’d” but it gets to the point by the end. If you’re skeptical, I would say trust the showrunners, at least for the first season.
Lastly Ms. Marvel. It wasn’t the most perfect show in the world, and I think my enjoyment of superheros has sharply waned over the years, but its heart is so true. From the awkward imperfection of the young leads to the shockingly accurate embarrassing parents, to the fact every brown family has a story about partition. This show is real and it deserves some love.
Just like Arvind and Fulemin, the only hockey podcast I listen to is theirs (Back to Excited), except one. Will Scouch does weekly live streams (Scouching Live: The Podcast) about his ongoing scouting of draft eligible and other junior age prospects. Will has incredible insight and the numbers he produces do not lie. His streams are nice and long without interruptions, so I enjoy listening to them while on long walks or drives.
The only other sports podcast I listen to, or in this case listened to, is Burn It All Down, the feminist sports podcast you need, hosted by my sports idol Shireen Ahmed and her four esteemed colleagues. Unfortunately due to a lack of funding the show was put on hiatus, which is a travesty to say the least. They have a back catalogue of 267 episodes and interviews that I highly recommend working through if you’re looking for podcasts. They talk about every sport you can imagine, the good, the bad, the excellent, and the ugly. It’s fun, it’s real, and it is vital journalism.
Now for the nerdy science podcasts that I left for the end, you’re welcome. First up is SciShow Tangents, the science knowledge game show made by the producers of SciShow, Crash Course, and lots of great educational content on the internet. It’s hosted by Seattle Kraken fan and Matthew Tkachuk-hater Hank Green, and it’s a fun excuse to learn things while being entertained.
I’ve recently gotten into an adjacent podcast, Tiny Matters, that’s hosted by one of the writers for Tangents, Deboki Chakravarti. It is a very down to earth and approachable science discussion show who’s latest episode is on former winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, a spoof of the Nobel Prizes awarded to the sillier discoveries in science. The University of Waterloo won an Ig Nobel Prize for their non-splashing toilets, as an example.
Lastly on culture and news, Nothing Is Foreign is a CBC podcast hosted by Tamara Khandakar on news happening around the world with guests who cover the stories locally. Tamara does a great job of bringing in context and allowing listeners to see issues from different angles. Lastly, Lovett or Leave It is a very fun, very gay cultural and political news and comedy show. It’s controversial, but it’s fun when you allow yourself to be okay with it.
For years I’ve gotten headaches when I read books so I finally made the turn to audiobooks this summer. My first books were Chris Hadfield’s autobiography, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. It’s excellent and helped me internalize that life is never a straightforward path. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu was the first fantasy novel I’ve read since Percy Jackson and it blew my mind. If you know more books like it (I’m working myself up to buying the sequels) please let me know! I’m always taking recommendations for good audiobooks.
So that’s me, what are some of your favourite things from the past year?
Various Leafs and Branches
Recap: Leafs beat the Flyers | by: Katya
Shanahan signs school permission slips for Maple Leafs Next Gen game | by: NHL dot com
Shanny looks like every principal ever.
Rasmus Sandin is on IR, which means he’s out for seven days retroactive to his last game. Winter Break days count to this so he’ll only miss the next game on Dec 27th if he’s feeling better. If it’s longer, we should get an update after the shutdown.
Sandin must be out at least seven days retroactive to his last appearance in an NHL game, meaning he will miss at least one more game, Dec. 27 against the Blues. https://t.co/IJx9mSQjrK— David Alter (@dalter) December 22, 2022
Congrats to seventh round pick Pierre Engvall for skating in his 200th career game. I always believed in you, you big sexy giraffe.
Maple Leafs F Pierre Engvall will skate in the 200th regular season game of his NHL career today.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) December 22, 2022
THE LEAFS HAVE A PET AND HIS NAME IS BUD!
From COPE Service Dogs, meet our newest teammate, Bud! 🐶 pic.twitter.com/oNiXnvWMgm— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 22, 2022
Prashanth Iyer with a really cool visualization of goal differential over the course of the game across the league. The Leafs are right up there with the Bruins as teams who can turn it on late. The Blue Jackets, Ducks, and Chicago fall apart immediately and never look back. I also notice Tampa has to fight for every win. Most aren’t easy for them anymore.
With most teams entering the holiday break, a look at average goal differential by game second across the league.— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 22, 2022
The Bruins, Leafs, Devils control their games from the 1st on while the Rangers, Jets, and Penguins take control midway through pic.twitter.com/8N2ydiergU
Marry Christmas, David Pastrnak, here’s a Snow Angel for you.
That bounce was a Christmas miracle for the Bruins.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 23, 2022
David Pastrnak buries it for Boston.
2-1 game. pic.twitter.com/YUmZKTUHAG
The Boston Bruins released the results of their “Independent Review” the day before the winter break (very 5pm on a Friday of them) that stated they did nothing wrong, but laid out a long list of specific recommendations that they should implement following their Mitchell Miller stunt. The Bruins are screwed here because they have no grounds to terminate Miller’s contract because none of the information that changed their minds was new, meaning they have to wait to buy him out of the contract or come to a settlement.
Bruins strengthen player-vetting process following completion of independent review: https://t.co/z4NwNio1mN— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 22, 2022