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Boredom Busters

Table of Contents

      Activities

o   Local Activities/History, Pets, Travel, Zoos and Aquariums

      Education

o   Arts/Museums, History, Books/Online Learning, Podcasts, Religion and Spirituality

      Entertainment

o   Games/Apps for Phone or Tablet, Music, Theater, Ballet and Dance, TV/Movies

      Fitness

o   Exercise, Meditation and Yoga

      Hobbies

o   Cooking, Gardening/Nature, Genealogy

      Sciences

o   Covid-19 Information, General Health

 

Activities

Local Activities/History

 

Bethesda

Downtown Bethesda's arts organizations, local businesses and the Bethesda Urban Partnership are offering virtual and online events and classes for you to enjoy while you are at home and practicing social distancing.

 

Chevy Chase

Learn about Chevy Chase history.  The Chevy Chase Historical Society is documenting the history Chevy Chase residents are all making as we manage life during COVID-19. CCHS is collecting photos, videos, journal and diary entries, voice and audio recordings and other digital evidence of life in our community during this unprecedented time. Add your story to the CCHS Corona Chronicles!  Tell them how you are coping, what you are thankful for, and the “silver linings”.  Write about your experiences working from home, social distancing, attending school remotely, and more.  Share your story using this form.

 

District of Columbia

100 ways to virtually experience DC

https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/04/15/100-ways-to-virtually-experience-dc-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/#AROUND-TOWN


Pets

·      Twenty websites for every pet owner

·      Best Pet Websites

·      Health and Wellness for pets

·      Going on the road with your pet?  Trips, tips and treats for you and your faithful friend.

·      A Dog Wagging view of the world.

·      Catwisdom 101 – info for cat moms, cat art, adoption tips.

·       Design tips for cool cat lovers


Travel

·      Explore the world’s hidden wonders - Atlas Obscura

·      Japan culture site -  https://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/jicc/

·      UNESCO World Heritage Sites – discover places you have never heard about - https://whc.unesco.org/en/activities/

·      Explore the world with Steve Backshall’s Expeditionon PBS.

 

Zoos and Aquariums

Many museums have live cameras (as well as archived footage) that allow virtual visitors to see what the penguins, tigers, koalas and other animals are up to.

·      Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

·      Houston Zoo

·      Oregon Zoo

·      San Diego Zoo

·      Zoo Atlanta

 

Many aquariums have live-streams to show off their residents. Watch the webcams for sea otters, jellyfish, sharks, penguins and more.

·      Monterey Bay Aquarium in California

·      Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

·      National Aquarium in Baltimore

·      New England Aquarium in Boston

·      Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

·      Tune into The Aquarium – a series on Animal Planet (Discovery Channel).

 

·      Watch a live video feed of an eagle’s nest with baby eaglets.  https://dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html

·      Go on safari at home with a twice-daily live stream from South Africa.

·      Watch the PBS series - The Tropics: Spy in the Wild

 

Education

Arts/Museums

Virtual Museum Tours and Exhibits

·      Google Arts & Culture has partnered with more than 2500 museums worldwide to offer virtual tours.

·      19 Immersive Museum Exhibits You Can Visit From Your Couch

Individual Museum Virtual Tours

   The Dalí Museum

     The Guggenheim Museum

   The Louvre

   The Van Gogh Museum

   Vatican Museum

   Whitney Museum 

DC Museum Virtual Tours

     Explore current exhibitions at the Freer/Sackler Gallery

     Hillwood Museum and Gardens

     George Washington University Museum

     The National Gallery of Art

     Textile Museum

     Smithsonian Open Access - an initiative to make more of the Smithsonian's collections available for use by the public. Open Access items include text, still images, sound recordings, research datasets, 3D models, collections data, and more.

     Google Art and Culture features over 30 collections from Washington museums, galleries, and historic sites.

Special Exhibits

     The Smithsonian American Art Museum presents this YouTube tour of their exhibition "Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture".

     New York City’s American Museum of Natural History is making its previously recorded tours of the museum halls available on Facebook Live every day at 2 pm.

Learning about Art

     If you want to learn more about art, the Khan Academy (kahnacademy.org search Art History) and Smarthistory.org have terrific short videos about major artworks and bigger topics within art history.

     MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) is sharing its knowledge via online courses through Coursera.

     A New Look at Impressionism: The Five Faces of Impressionism presented by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Other Ways to Experience Art from Home

      How to get your art and design fix from your couch

      Finding Great Art While in Isolation (Washington Post)

      Learn about the Gardner Museum theft.

Making Your Own Art

     Grab paper and pen, pencil or crayon and create your own art with Mo Willems’ Lunch Doodle. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. You can see a new video each weekday at 1 p.m. ET.

     Stuck at home? Take free drawing classes from famous illustrators

 

History

Women’s History

The National Archives Foundation filmed a series of interviews with Cokie Roberts, Speaker Pelosi and many other women trailblazers last year in celebration of the Women's Suffrage Centennial and in support of the National Archives exhibit, Rightfully Hers.

 

Montgomery County History

     Explore online exhibits from Montgomery Historical Society, including, most recently, The Path to Leadership: Montgomery County Women, Women's Clubs, and Suffrage.

     Learn about the county's growth in the latter half of the 20th century through Center for Suburban Studies.

     Conduct online research through the Jane C Sween Research Library.

     Watch episodes of Paths to the Present, a television show produced by County Cable Montgomery and Montgomery History from 2000-2014, to learn about well-known and niche topics of county history.

     Uncover African American history in the county through the Montgomery County Historical Society.

     The History Channel presents “Veteran’s Stories” – explore 100 years of Veteran’s stories from World War One to the Iraq War.

 

Books/Online Learning

·      The Montgomery County Public Library may be closed, but you can still use your library card to access e-books! (If you do not already have a library card, you can get a digital library card here.)

·      Local bookstore Politics and Prose takes orders online and by phone, and hosts online book readings.

·      Looking for more reading options?  Free eBooks through Project Gutenberg https://www.gutenberg.org/

·      Stories read aloud by local resident Starr Kopper (starrkopper@gmail.com).

 

On-line Learning

     Learn or Practice a Foreign Language through Podcasts

     Take a class through one of the many online continuing education sites such as EdX and Coursera.

     The library offers access to a variety of resources that enable people to learn new skills. Check out resources from the library like Creativebug, Udemy, Lynda.com, Mango Languages, and Great Courses. (If you do not already have a library card, you can get a digital library card here.)

     Or take a look at this list of Ivy League courses available online for free.

     Or simply search YouTube for any topic from knitting to baking bread to how to fix a leaky toilet.

     Learn how to use Skype to call long-distance friends and family for free.

     Harvard University is offering free online courses – check them out!  Choose from computers, business, education, art and science, humanities and much more!

     Open Culture - free resources and courses for almost anything

     Watch Yale’s famous free “Happiness” course on Coursera.  Or read this article about the key takeaways -  https://bestlifeonline.com/yale-happiness-course/

     Senior Planet - Montgomery County, runs daily classes on technology, fitness, and film among many other types of classes.

 

On Racism

Talks and articles curated by TED as a starting point to understanding the roots of racism and the ways we can combat it together:

     Watch a panel discussion with Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero on ending systemic racism in America.

     Learn about how to build an antiracist world from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.

     Take these eight steps to become a better ally in the fight for racial justice.

     Discover the negative impact racism has on the economy, explained by public policy expert Heather C. McGee.

     Watch Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s essential talk on intersectionality.

     Hear about the American justice system in this legendary talk from Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy.

 

Podcasts

Podcast collections

     Google has a list of great podcasts on society and culture, art, sports, comedy, politics, health, and more.

     Binge worthy art podcasts (NYT)

     Food podcasts (NYT)

     Sports podcasts (NYT)

     Sports podcasts (NPR)

     BBC

     The Economist

      The New York Times (does not require subscription)

Special topic podcasts

     BackStory

     The British History Podcast

     The Great Composers Podcast

     The History of the Cold War

     Intelligence Matters with Michael Morrell

     Stuff You Missed in History Class

     A History of the World in 100 Objects

     Aging Matters – a weekly radio broadcast with experts in NOVA https://www.mixcloud.com/AgingMatters/

     Explore the music of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from your own home through BSO podcasts! Listen as WBJC 91.5 FM Program Director Jonathan Palevsky provides insight into classical selections.

     “Some Good News” focuses on reframing positive light on the human spirit.

     The Power of Introverts” is a Ted Talk by Susan Cain asserting looking inward is a virtue, not a problem.

 

Religion and Spirituality

·      Podcasts on Spirituality (NYT)

·      Spiritual Resources for the Pandemic - from The Harvard Divinity School

·      Multi-religious resources for Covid-19

·      Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble - spiritual tools and tips

 

Entertainment

iPhone or Tablet Games

·      Bonza

·      Sudoku

·      Solitaire

·      Words with Friends

·       New York Times on-line games library

Music

NYT music critics chose their favorite recordings of works they were supposed to see live before everything was canceled due to the pandemic.  Listen to their diverse selections from classical to jazz.

Opera

Opera fans can watch free recorded performances or presentations from famous venues on OperaVision. The Teatro Reggio in Turin offers a lecture series.

Symphonic

The Berlin Philharmonic is offering free access to over 60 recorded performances. (When you scroll down, you will see a yellow box that tells you how to sign up and watch the concerts.)


Contemporary Music

You can stream old favorites as well as the newest hits through a variety of services. Spotify (free with ads) and Youtube (free) let you stream specific songs and album, or Pandora (free with ads) creates custom stations based on your choice of song, and adapts to your likes and dislikes. If you miss the radio, you can stream many radio stations live at IHeartRadio, or Google the name of your favorite radio station to find it live online.

 

Live Recordings or Live Streams

      NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series has hundreds of archived performances.

      Several musicians, including John Legend, Chris Martin and Charlie Puth, have put on live-streamed concerts from their homes.

      See and hear the Baltimore Symphony musicians perform off-stage

      Classical music fans can also tune in to performances from professionals such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

      Couch Concerts brought to you by Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center.

      Hear Strathmore Artists in Residence - Strathmore Live from the Living Room every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.  On Facebook Live or visit the Strathmore Facebook Page at the concert time to view the livestream (the video will say "live").  If you do not have a Facebook account, you can still view past performances and other online content here.

 

Miscellaneous

     https://www.npr.org/2020/05/01/848491951/20-streaming-tv-shows-for-music-lovers-on-lockdown

     YouTube Tribute to Sondheim at 90, a recent virtual birthday celebration by over 40 musical performers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A92wZIvEUAw

     Enjoy a night with The Three Tenors.  James Levine conducts and The Three Tenors perform at Wembley Stadium, London in July 1996.

 

Theater

     Arena Stage

Weekly salons with Molly Smith, Artistic Director of Arena stage, interviewing artists and leaders, Thursdays from 7 - 7:30 pm.

May 22, 2020, a filmed docudrama captures one day in the life of our region.

 

·      Kennedy Center

Explore their video library for videos from ballet to musicals to theatre, etc.

 

·      RoundHouse Theater brought together DC-area playwrights, actors, and designers for Homebound, an original web series on life under Stay at Home orders.

 

Musicals

     15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage from home

     The streaming platform BroadwayHD offers a seven-day free trial, so theater fans can watch musicals like “Kinky Boots” and “Cats” and plays including “King Lear” and “A Doll’s House” from their couches.

     Other theater streaming services include the Seattle-based On the Boards, which focuses on more experimental productions.

 

Comedy and monologues

     Watch one of these comedy specials filmed in DC.

     The 24 Hour Play Festival company has a series of monologues performed by famous actors and other entertaining content on its Instagram account.

      Need a laugh? (Of course you do.) Here are 15 binge-worthy sitcoms. (NYT)

 

Ballet and Dance

The best ballet and dance performances to stream during quarantine:

·      Romeo and Juliet from the Czech National Ballet

·      The documentary Making a New American Nutcracker

·      George Balanchine's three-part Jewels series at the Mariinsky Theatre

·      Alexander Ekman's A Swan Lake

·      The Ninth Symphony by Maurice Bejart featuring a collaboration between the Tokyo Ballet and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne

·      Me, Dorothy...and This Road to Oz with the Kansas City Ballet

·      The documentary - Young Stars of Ballet

·      The documentary - Designers of the Dance

·      Cinderella: State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara

 

TV/Movies

Curated collections

·      The New York Times’ list of best movies on Amazon Prime

      What to watch, read and listen to (NYT)

      Best Netflix Documentaries

      Best Netflix Shows (NYT)

      Comforting TV shows for stressful times. (NYT)

      The 30 best international TV shows of the 2010s (NYT)

      If you’ve always wanted to learn about world cinema but haven’t had the time before, subscribe to the Criterion Channel and watch the works of Fellini, Kiarostami, Truffaut, Bergman, Tati, Denis, Varda, Renoir.

Streaming movies

·      The Avalon Theater - https://www.theavalon.org/

      AFI Silver theater - https://afisilver.afi.com/

      Check out the online resources offered to Montgomery County Public Library card holders, which include movie streaming databases like IndieFlix and Kanopy. (If you do not already have a library card, you can get a digital library card here.)

 

Fitness

Exercise

Try an exercise video and get some exercise at home! Check out free exercise videos on YouTube for a fun way to keep active.

For a start you could try:

·      Fitness with Cindy

·      HASFit

·      Fun senior dance workout

·      Free online programs by a Baltimore nonprofit. Sessions on Balance, Introductory Chair Fitness, Seated Core and Cardio, Seated, Lower Body and Cardio.

·      Age defying therapeutic stretches by Finis Jhung

·      Dance It Out - #MoveMore Party: The American Heart Association has a current workout & dance series streaming live daily.

·      Actively Aging with Energizing Chair Yoga 

·      Mark Morris Dance for PD

·      Arthritis exercises for arthritis pain relief 

·      Sign up for free easy and varied virtual fitness classes through Senior Planet.

Meditation and Yoga

·      Discover Meditation at a Time of Quarantine and Solitude

·      How To Meditate (NYT)

·      An article on meditation from Tricycle Magazine - an excellent Buddhist magazine.

·      Start a free trial of Headspace - an app focusing on meditation.

·      Chair yoga mindfulness - 25 minutes

·      Mindful chair yoga with meditation  - 10 minutes

·      unitywoods.com

·      DoYogaWithMe

·      Yoga with Adrienne - relaxing and gentle 28-minute videos

·      Seated yoga for seniors  25-minute videos

 

Hobbies

Cooking

·      Easy things to cook while quarantined (NYT)

·      Instructables

·      Skillshare

·      The Culinary Cook

·      Free classes from Washington chefs

·      30 Simple Lunch Ideas to Make While Working from Home

·      Celebrity chef Maggie Beer begins free online cooking courses.  She shared how to make the perfect risotto

https://apple.news/AHj_SUc8DTSKNYm7omH9mFQ

·      Dinner at Home Online classes https://bit.ly/3eNrvHD

·      Bobby Flay’s Top 10 Brunch Recipes

·      Patrick Ryan shows you how to make sourdough bread

Access the full recipe over on www.ilovecooking.ie under the bread section https://www.ilovecooking.ie/features/…

 

If you have always wanted to be a barista, Round House Theatre brings you the weekly Quarantini - offering recipes for delicious drinks featuring local ingredients.

 

Gardening/Nature

Virtual Garden Tours and Courses on Gardening

     Twelve virtual garden tours from the UK and abroad.

     Explore the NY Botanical Garden to see what’s on exhibit.

     Gorgeous Photo Tour of the closed Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands

     Good Gardening Videos for all levels and interests – over 1000 gardening videos curated for accuracy and quality.

     Your Garden Show - YouTube channel to learn more about gardening techniques.

     Looking for gardening inspiration?  Follow, P. Allen Smith’s vlog Perennials 3: Plants for Shade

 

Plant Identification Apps

Here are apps (available on both Apple and Android phones) that might help.

     PlantSnap (plantsnap.com): Uses image-recognition software powered by machine learning. More than 600,000 plants are in their database, representing 90% of known plants and trees. Free with ads. A premium, ad-free version is available for $2.99/month or $19.99/year.

     iNaturalist (inaturalist.org): Uses image-recognition software backed up by crowd-sourced suggestions (emailed to you within hours or days). Operated by the California Academy of Science and the National Geographic Society. Linked to its own social network. More than 250,000 species represented (includes fish, birds, etc.). Free.

     PictureThis (picturethisai.com): Uses artificial intelligence-powered, image-recognition software. Claims 99% accuracy identifying common species and overall 95% rate with a database of more than 10,000 plant species. Free. Also has a premium service with 7-day trial, then $29.99/year.

     PlantNet (plantnet.org): Uses image-recognition software. A database of more than 27,000 species and growing. Can search by leaf, flower, bark, fruit, habitat, etc.

 

Birds

     Bird Watching : Visit theBrookside Nature Center Facebook page for a list of resources to help you identify birds and the sounds they make.

     Build a BirdhouseMake a new home for your feathered friends living in the backyard.

Genealogy

·      Write Your Family History: Collect your own family stories using this Oral History Project as your guide.

·      Family Search is the largest genealogy society in the world, with billions of records searchable online. Can create your family tree, search their extensive database for historical records, or check out their Family History Activities page for resources to teach you more about your family history.

 

Science

Covid-19 Information

TED Talks

     Alanna Shaikh shares why COVID-19 is hitting us now - and what we’ll learn from it.

     Infectious disease expert Adam Kucharski discusses what the future may hold.

     Public health expert David Heymann answers 11 questions about the novel coronavirus.

      More presentations that offer simple ways to stay healthy — both physically and emotionally during the pandemic.

 

General Health

·      Migraine resources

·      Arthritis exercises for arthritis pain relief 

·      Montgomery County’s Caregiver Support Program offers information and supports for caregivers on their Engage@Home YouTube channel.

·      TED Talk - The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life.

Want to access/print this information easily? Download this document now!

This project and July 2020 document is courtesy of Ronnie Nieva, Karen Spangler and Reet Goraya – our much valued Chevy Chase at Home volunteers and intern.