Comment on this post with the word SPARTACUS and I will choose six interests from your profile. You will then explain what they mean/why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along.
1. florence + the machine
Florence + the Machine are currently one of my favorite bands/musicians. I love the intelligent dark romanticism of the lyrics, Florence Welch's unique vocals, and the fascinating instrumentation. (How many other rock bands have a harp?) The very first time I heart them was when I saw this excellent Master & Doctor fanvid set to "Drumming Song." I was struck by how cool the song was as well as how perfect it was for the Master in New Who, but I didn't immediately seek out anything else. Then I downloaded an Adelle Dewitt (of Dollhouse) fanmix that included "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" and fell utterly in love. (I don't know if the DL links are still live, but that fanmix was A+++; it was also my introduction to Mumford & Sons.) I love both of F+tM's full albums that I have with a passion. Mostly I don't listen to music on repeat, but I can loop either Ceremonials or Lungs pretty much endlessly without tiring of them. If anyone out there is living under a rock and doesn't know them, here's the video for "Shake It Out."
When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with unicorns. I pretended to be a unicorn on the school playground with my friends. In third grade I planned to write a novel about unicorns, going so far as to inform my parents that they were going to need a bigger mailbox because of all the fan mail I would soon be receiving. (I no longer remember what the plot was going to be beyond lots of unicorns. I wrote maybe four pages of it before quitting.) I had a ridiculous amount of unicorn-themed stuff. In middle school I mentally escaped from horrible PE classes by daydreaming of unicorns invading the gym to take me away. I am significantly less obsessed now than I was then, but I still have way more un-ironic love for unicorns than most adults do. I like that they are magical creatures that are powerful without being violent.
3. folk music
I listen to a ton of folk music. I enjoy lots of different types of folk: traditional music (especially from the British Isles and US), classics of the 60s folk revival, indie folk, folk rock, country folk, bluesy folk, filk, and pretty much any other subgenre that can reasonably claim to be part of folk. I like folk music with a blatant political message and folk music about nothing of consequence. I like electric folk, folk with big acoustic bands, and folk that's just one person and a guitar. I have a particular love for multi-part harmony contemporary folk with pop, rock, or alternative influences, including groups like Girlyman, the Wailin' Jennys, and my all-time favorite band the Indigo Girls. I appreciate the focus a lot of folk has on lyrics and instrumental ability rather than post-production effects. Listing my other favorite folk musicians would take way too long, so instead here is a link to an awesome folk-centric internet radio station, Folk Alley.
4. science writing
I adore books that do a good job of writing about science for laypeople. Science is absolutely fascinating, but sometimes the concepts are complex enough that it isn't possible for everyone to get the sense of wonder without some background info. Some science writing involves a great sense of adventure as the authors travel to exotic places and follow scientists who do strange/dangerous things in the quest for knowledge. It can be tremendously funny, because let's face it, there's a lot about the universe that's pretty weird and hilarious. It can be moving or important, especially when it's about the science of politically relevant issues like climate change. Some of my favorite science writing books include The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen, The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, Stiff by Mary Roach (or any of Mary Roach's hilarious and informative books), and Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson.
5. molly hooper
Molly Hooper is a character whose role seems small at first, but she is both important within the story and surprisingly richly drawn. She has a morbid job cutting up corpses, but she loves cutesy things like cats and cherry-print cardigans. She's deeply socially awkward, but she is also such an astute reader of people that she sees things about Sherlock even John doesn't spot. She has a crush on Sherlock that she can't quite get over even when she realizes it will never be reciprocated (maybe not admirable, but how many of us have been in that same boat?). Still, she has been known to call Sherlock out when he is being an asshole strongly enough that he actually apologizes. She's got terrible tastes in fonts on her website. Still, you know she must be fiercely competent at her job because she is consistently the morgue technician Sherlock chooses to work with. Also, she's a total BAMF. As a macro I saw on tumblr pointed out, she dated London's most notorious criminal mastermind, then dumped his ass. Then there's the little detail that she appears to have been the key to Sherlock's survival, and she is possibly the only person (aside from maybe some people in his homeless network?) who knows that he is alive. Molly keeps her secrets. She's always counted.
Molly-centric fic recs, to share the Hooper Trooper fun:
Advanced Surveillance by spastasmagoria (Molly poses as Sherlock's date for a case. Hilarious and sexy.)
The Mourning Woman by M_Leigh (post-Reichenbach, lovely)
The Anatomist by rosa_acicularis (Mollyarty, now thoroughly jossed by s2, but still essential reading for those who like a touch of the dark with their awesome Molly)
The Breeze Deep on the Inside by seren_ccd (Molly/Lestrade, great characterizations). Further Molly recs very welcome!
6. dar williams
Dar Williams is a folk-pop singer-songwriter whose work I've loved since high school. I don't recall how I first heard of her, but I know the first album of hers that I owned was Mortal City. I listened to the title song of that album on repeat my freshman year of college, when I was lonely, homesick, and very cold. Her songs are smart but also often catchy. While some of her songs are really funny ("I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono"), she has also written about depression in ways I find deeply resonant ("After All"). She also writes a damn good political song. I got to see her live back in 2006, when she played at a music festival near Tallahasse, where I lived then. She puts on a great live show.
Here's "The Mercy of the Fallen," perhaps my favorite of Dar's songs. (You can tell I really love it because I titled a fanfic after it.)