CoronaDiversion #8—When In Rome…

CoronaDiversion #8—When In Rome…

Have you been freaked out by all those photographs of major world sites, with no people in the picture? You know, Times Square, empty. The Eiffel Tower, abandoned. The Roman Colosseum, isolated.

It was pictures of the Colosseum that reminded me of today’s Corona Diversion. I wanted to share with you an incredible virtual reality tour of Rome. We first saw it several years ago when it was in its infancy, available only on CDs and with numerous gaps in how users could manipulate it.

Now, Rome Reborn is available as an app, for use on any phone or computer. My, how things change.

Not surprisingly, there’s a charge for the full Rome Reborn apps (plural, because there are multiple apps covering multiple parts of Rome.)

But you can get a taste of the project, including various tours of Ancient Rome, through the Khan Academy. (You won’t get full functionality, allowing you to travel wherever you want to go. But you can take a pretty astounding guided tour!)

What? You don’t know the Khan Academy? They began as a resource for teaching mathematics to kids (for free.) But they’ve expanded into a number of instructional modules. You have to register, but the registration is free!

Ready to take a trip to Ancient Rome?

CoronaDiversion #7 — Is That the Mona Lisa?

CoronaDiversion #7 — Is That the Mona Lisa?

When I was a child, my grandparents used to take me to the annual Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters. Each year, it was a magical night. We went to dinner at a restaurant so fancy it didn’t have a children’s menu. Then, we took our seats in an outdoor auditorium. On the stage, the lights went down, and when they came back up, there were beautiful tableaux—famous paintings, with all the human characters portrayed by real people.

I was fascinated. Most of all, I loved the one time they showed the composition being created—furniture and props brought in, costumed people taking their places, the backdrop falling into place, a flicker of the lights and then magic!

(Plus, you know, they had hot chocolate and frozen chocolate-covered bananas at intermission…)

So you can imagine my delight when funny, imaginative, creative people launched the #TussenKunstEnQuarantaine hashtag on Instagram. That German phrase means “Between Art and Quarantine” and it marks an incredible collection of recreations of art. Some are extremely accurate. Some are intentionally hilarious. All are created by people using resources at home as they navigate coronavirus restrictions.

Since finding the first link, I’ve found other, similar collections online. If you’ve got one to add, feel free to drop it in the comments!

CoronaDiversion #6—Visiting El Greco!

CoronaDiversion #6—Visiting El Greco!

Here is Klaskyville, we spent Sunday morning reading the newspaper, cover to cover. This past Sunday’s Washington Post had a lovely article about El Greco, which sparked a conversation about exactly when did El Greco live, and why his art looked so modern and where we’d seen El Greco paintings up close and personal, etc.

I hadn’t realized that the article was actually a review of an exhibit at the Chicago Institute of Art.

Of course, the Chicago Institute of Art is closed right now. But the incredible curators have pulled together an online exhibit.

Ready to visit one of the great art museums of the western world, from the comfort of your own armchair?

Check out articles, interactive features, a complete timeline…

And then you can read the Washington Post article that inspired me to check out what the museum had done!

CoronaDiversion #5—Come on a Safari With Me!

CoronaDiversion #5—Come on a Safari With Me!

Alas, the Cincinnati zoo is currently closed to visitors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t see the animals!

Every afternoon at 3 pm Eastern time, the zoo posts a new video visit with an animal in its collection. The initial posts are on Facebook Live, but they’re all being uploaded to YouTube, to be watched many times in the future.

And that’s not all! The zoo also provides an activity related to each animal. Make a giraffe puppet! Learn how to draw like an elephant! Make a hand-print rhino! The activities are flexible, taking into account the fact that not every household has a full stock of arts and crafts supplies.

Ready to go on a safari?

CoronaDiversion #4—Deep Sea Diving

CoronaDiversion #4—Deep Sea Diving

Staying socially distant doesn’t mean being locked into one’s home 24/7. People can go for walks. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we can see the pink/white of cherry blossoms and tulip magnolias, along with that amazing yellow/green of new leaves just beginning to unfold.

But even if you can’t get outside, you can explore the natural world. Case in point? The Deep Sea. 

Ready for a trip to a magical realm?

Settle into your favorite armchair, ready your scrolling finger, and dive!

CoronaDiversion #3 — Deep Dive Into History

CoronaDiversion #3 — Deep Dive Into History

When I was writing GIRL’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, I took a research trip down to Colonial Williamsburg, to study the costumes poor Jane is required to wear in her daily work at the Peabridge Library. I *adore* Colonial Williamsburg — it’s like Disneyland for grown-ups, with history interpreters at every turn who are eager to share facts with visitors.

So, it’s no surprise that I also love the Colonial Williamsburg “Explore From Home” website, especially its interactive timeline that provides a deep dive on the Stamp Act.

They give a basic timeline, with links to focus on individual people, places, and things. And there are also links to look out on what was happening in the wide world at the same time. And, of course, the whole thing is illustrated.

I could browse for a few hours, without even realizing time had passed! Link below, to enhance visibility!