March 25, 2020 by Ellis Dixon
LX em Casa: Ways to Meaningfully Pass Time
So you’ve probably exhausted your Netflix queue by now and if you can knit, it’s likely you’ve got Christmas and birthdays covered for the next few decades. Your closets have already been organized (and re-organized), your spring cleaning is done, and you’ve fixed all those little things around the house that needed fixing, so now what?
Try passing the rest of your time in meaningful ways. You can help your older neighbors (if you qualify) or visit the multitude of live streaming cameras that can keep you connected to cool things around the globe — try a virtual tour, watch an unreleased interview, or visit your favorite animal at the zoo. Don’t just sit there — sit there and do something.
SOS Vizinho is a support network for at-risk groups that are currently in social isolation. If you’d like to volunteer to provide those at risk with essential goods so they don’t need to leave their homes, you can join the distribution network after you submit an application online. They are currently accepting help in the areas of logistics, institutional organization, legal compliance, web development and communication, and on-the-ground volunteers to help the most vulnerable weather the storm. The project has been approved by the Ministério do Trabalho, Solidariedade, e Segurança Social and has received CASES (Cooperativa António Sérgio para a Economia Social) support, so it’s not a fly-by-night operation by any means.
Word has it that you can also contact your local Junta Freguesia to see if they can use your help.
The Câmara Municipal’s organization for volunteer efforts is offering relief to older residents by arranging volunteers to help deliver food and medication. Go to Lisboa Participa‘s Facebook page to learn more and sign up to help. If you live in Cascais, you register at Cascais Participa.
Who needs to binge-watch another Icelandic crime drama (like this one…ahem) when you could cuddle up with mother nature by live-streaming the northern lights? The live cam is located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada, directly under the aurora oval. The northern lights occur year-round but late winter and early spring are the best seasons to see them, so now’s the ideal time. Tune in during the darkest hours of the night, which are generally from 2h – 8h Lisbon time.
This might help you out with that bout of cabin fever you’re likely experiencing. You can now virtually tour some of the world’s most beautiful gardens and manors — from Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s Waddedson Manor in England to Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France and just in time to see what’s blooming.
The San Diego Zoo is offering you the chance to see what your fuzzy friends are doing whenever the mood strikes. You can virtually visit the pandas, monkeys, penguins, koalas, tigers, and bears (oh my!) at any time of day thanks to their 24-hour live streaming cameras. Just make sure you keep the time difference in mind if you’re looking for the best lighting, or to catch a nocturnal animal in full playtime mode. Even the penguins need their beauty sleep.
Why not take this time to look at some amazing art? Take a self-guided tour through Google’s virtual archive of some of the top museums in the world. Skip the line, skip the overpriced gift shop and the stuffy cafeteria, and see the best of Madrid’s Reina Sofia, the Moma in NYC, the Tate Britain in London, and the Uffizi in Florence to name only a few.
See what the masters of the stage and screen have to say about their craft, and learn from the pros how you can be the next big thing. The Recording Academy museum (known as the GRAMMY Museum) is offering at-home music education lessons and posting unreleased videos of conversations with musical masters and top performers from Bob Newhart to Billie Eilish. You can find the conversation schedule and lesson plans on the museum’s website.
To keep your mind sharp, it might not be a bad idea to take a class. In what, you ask? Well…anything really! There are thousands of Massive Open Online Courses listed on Class Central, with classes in every subject matter you can imagine from a plethora of universities around the world. Start browsing here, smarty pants!
If you’re a film buff, try the Quarantine Short Film Festival on the topic of Dystopia that is raising funds for Medicine Sans Frontiers & Cultural Institutions.
Looking for more? Here’s a list of some more cool stuff to do at home.