The SSI Fellows’ feelgood favourites

Posted by s.aragon on 13 December 2022 - 8:45am
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Photo by Michelle Francisca Lee on Unsplash

By Rachael Ainsworth, SSI Community Manager

As we come to the end of 2022, the Software Sustainability Institute Fellows reflect on the things they watched, read or listened to over the last year that have made them feel good!

TV shows

2022 Fellow Sadie Bartholomew enjoyed watching Better Call Saul: “Not classically 'feel good' but it made me feel so because it is really entertaining and superb in its own right as well as a prequel/sequel. I loved both the new characters and the ones known already from Breaking Bad (I rejoiced at some of the cameos!).”

2022 Fellow Jesper Dramsch watched Dimension 20: “DnD campaign featuring a top DM and some incredible improv talent in really creative settings and they just keep getting better. There are some freely available on Youtube too, one with an "evil campaign" including legendary DM and voice actor Matthew Merver as a player, or Aabriya Iyengar in The Seven (etc).” 

2021 Fellow Colin Sauze recommends The Chair: “Great comedic description of academic life.”

2021 Fellow Matthew Bluteau enjoyed Taskmaster: “A bit crude at times but just reliably funny and light entertainment.”

2020 Fellow Jez Cope liked Lower Decks: “Star Trek animated comedy focusing on junior officers. Lots of silly references to Trek canon.”

2019 Fellow Malvika Sharan watched Derry Girls: “Four friends navigate their teenage years in Northern Ireland during the end of "the Troubles" - amidst political changes.”

2019 Fellow Rachael Ainsworth loved Wednesday: “Very well-written and acted - loved all the dry and sarcastic humour by my favourite Addams family character!”

2013 Fellow Robin Wilson watched For All Mankind: “Alternative history TV series where the Russians reached the moon first, but also space technology developed faster. Brilliantly evocative of the era. Great storylines. Lots of nice technical details.”

Robin also enjoyed Castle: “Silly but fun - a mystery writer joins up with a cop to try and solve murders in New York.”


2019 Fellow Patricia Herterich liked Cyrano: “Felt this ended up a bit under the radar and it's just a phenomenal interpretation of the material. Left the cinema and it went right up to my all-time favourites.”

2020 Fellow Sarah Gibson recommends Enola Holmes 2: “Based in some truth around the first women-led strikes in factories.”


2022 Fellow Sophia Batchelor read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: “Just loved the deep dive into what it means to be creative, friendship, and how it's okay to be gentle in our goals.” 

2022 Fellow Bastian Greshake Tzovaras enjoyed reading I saw the air fly by Sirkhane DARKROOM: “Sirkhane Darkroom is a photo project that teaches photography to refugee & local kids in Turkish villages close to the Syrian border, giving children a way to express themselves. This book is a super inspiring collection of photos the kids took.”

Bastian also liked Marvel by Marvel Harris: “Another photo book, Marvel Harris did some very inspiring work, documenting his life and battles with mental illness, self-love, acceptance, and gender identity.”

2021 Fellow Simon Waldman enjoyed A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers: “Short, beautiful, calming and optimistic view of a "bright green" / solarpunk future.”

Jez Cope read The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi: “Kaiju (giant fire-breathing monsters) are real! But they're in a parallel dimension, and need studying and protecting from nefarious groups looking to exploit them…”

Jez also liked the Monk & Robot series by Becky Chambers: “Lovely cosy far-future solarpunk-themed journey of emotional discovery.”

2018 Fellow Stephan Druskat recommends The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Clifford Stoll: “Great recommendation I brought home from RSECon in Newcastle. A bit boasty on the author's side, but really interesting story from the beginning of the interwebs. The author is pretty much an early RSE as well. And has a German tangent on top.”


Patricia Herterich recommends Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra: “Maybe not super feelgood, but really interesting and I'd feel bad if I didn't recommend at least one podcast. Feel good aspect might be the learning from history?”

Malvika Sharan listened to Radiolab: “Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music.”

Stephan Druskat liked Conan Neutron's Protonic Reversal: “Interview podcast with people from recent and past "underground" music, mostly in the US.”


Sadie Bartholomew recommends the Telestrations Game: “Imagine Pictionary, but with many iterations so that it becomes a drawing-based 'Chinese whispers'. I played many rounds with a group of friends and it was fun to play and hilarious at the end to see how badly the collective interpretation had gone…”

Sophia Batchelor enjoyed playing Spiritfarer: “Cosy game - very creative (and stylistically beautiful) reimaging of helping spirits be ready to pass through the "everdoor". A very very lovely game.”

Sophia also liked Kodama: “Lovely "not competitive" card/board game where you are a tree spirit trying to complete a secret quest and build the most intricate tree.” 

2022 Fellow Sam Harrison enjoyed listening to NPR Tiny Desk Concerts: “About 1000 videos of bands/groups/solo artists performing at NPR's offices in the US. Such an amazing variety of music and genres. Half the bands I listen to today I discovered through NPR Tiny Desks!”

Jesper Dramsch enjoyed Tiktok: “Tiktok and the creativity of people have given me a lot of happiness during the last year. Finding communities around my idiosyncrasies and identities algorithmically has been a delight and provided me with a feeling of connectedness.”

2021 Fellow Leontien Talboom liked Coffee Talk: “Small indie game about making coffee and talking to people.”

Matthew Bluteau enjoyed Wordle: “Sure, it was a bit of a fad, but a really simple game that reliably gives you a little dopamine hit when you solve it.”

2020 Fellow Phil McAleer enjoyed Return to Monkey Island : “Sheer nostalgic escapism that has a few challenges in it as well to help distract from work, etc.” 

Colin Sauze recommends Sim City: “The game which started a whole genre. Build cities, defend against natural disasters, try to keep your people happy etc. And all of its spinoffs like Simcity 2000/3000/buildit.” 

Jez Cope enjoyed playing Dungeons & Dragons: “Just getting into this old-school, rules-heavy tabletop roleplaying game!”

2018 Fellow Yo Yehudi liked Cozy Grove: “Short, fun, no stress, daily game, that's also not addictive, simply because there's only so much you can do per day.” 


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