All sorts of physical businesses are suffering during this global pandemic and I know many people, dependent on in-person gigs for their livelihood who now have no income stream (to say nothing of creative freelancers, as one Nation article notes).
So this video posted last week by Joseph Haj, artistic director of the Guthrie Theater resonated:
I was lucky enough to grow up going to the theater and live performances frequently, something I’ve tried to pass on to my kids. I hope that time will come again soon.
So many industries are being shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, the retail section overall is suffering, but specifically, small retail businesses are hurting.
What with coming from a family of librarians and book-lovers, I’m especially keen to see independent book shops weather this latest storm, so I was happy to see an article earlier this month about how one online outfit, Bookshop.org is helping brick-and-mortar operations have an online footprint too.
My “unread” bookshelf is now too crowded for me to ignore, so I won’t be availing myself of them just yet, but soon! So very soon…
I hope this doesn’t become too frequent, but I had to post something about one of the recent victims of the pandemic. As is being reporting in multiple outlets, John Conway has died at the age of 82.
I know Conway the same way so many people know him: from his game of Life. No, not the family board game with the impressive spinner in the middle of the 3-D board. Conway’s game was abstract and far more mathematical (but it still has spinners!). It was like an endless civilization-building simulation.
I first tried my hand at it using graph paper, but found this to be very manual, so I took to using a Pente board, not realizing Conway himself had used a Go board when he was coming up with the game from the 60s. Thankfully, far cleverer people than I ported it over to the Interwebs, where you can test much vaster combinations much faster than I ever could manually. My favorite is over at Bitstorm.
So, take a moment at some point and play around with it. It’s very absorbing.
(Note: not being a mathematician, I really can’t comment on what I understand are vast contributions in terms of other areas of mathematics, but I believe there are some links to that and some interviews in the Ars Technica article).
I’ve been compiling the various resources and freebies that people are posting daily on the Interwebs as ways to combat the coronavirus isolation.
One activity I sorely want to try in the coming weeks is delving back into some role playing games (RPGs)… and, in fact, it’s possible that might be an activity to do with my kids.
So Paul Darvasi’s article for KQED is a treasure trove of ideas about how one can use RPGs for educating people (and honestly, just being a better gamemaster).
In addition, since we’re now in stay-at-home mode, Charlie Hall has a great article on Polygon about how to run your RPG online. I’ve used Roll20 before, but I’m thinking trying straight video may be easier to just jump in. I just need to work on the descriptions.
It’s week two of a lot of us Americans staying at home. Per historian and librarian recommendation, I am keeping a journal during this time. Lesson plans and activities are set up for the kids. We’re doing our best to make sure Jabberwocky Audio Theater continues as planned for this year. And of course, there’s some home projects that are rearing both their practical and sanity-based heads.
In the face of all this, it can be kind of overwhelming, so it’s been nice see the take on some isolation subject matter experts: astronauts. Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has a nice quick two-minute video that might help you feel a bit more centered:
And if you want a longer, written take, former astronaut Scott Kelly has a great piece in the New York Times that covers some of the same topics in detail. I especially appreciate the idea of pacing oneself.
Much of this week has been adjusting to the very new reality of self-quarantining (well, with the fam). My social media feeds are now almost exclusively news and reports about the coronavirus striking the globe and memes to try and help with it.
Replicating the social media feed seems quite pointless, but I’ll certainly post links to resources or other fun things as relevant.
For now, one recommendation, which I heartily endorse, was for families to take respite in the original Muppet Movie.
Perhaps after that, and perhaps only for you and older kids, you may also be interested in the camera tests they did to see how the Muppets could work in “natural habitats” and, well, it gets a little Samuel Beckett.