Or what to do when you’re stuck at home because of the COVID-19 social distancing mesures.
There is not much we can do besides sleeping, taking walks in the park (while keeping our distance from other people), reading books, watching TV series or movies, or using the internet to virtually travel elsewhere. We took a little time to gather for you a few suggestions of places where you can find pleasurable distractions. Enjoy !
All libraries are closed but — if you don’t already have a good book collection at home or a nearby book store — you can always rely on digital books. Beside the obvious commercial options (Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Kobo), here are a few suggestions to find free digital books:
More precisely, if you want to read free manga online (see also a list on epubor), here a few suggestions:
Movies & music
There are plenty of free music streaming sites on the internet (Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, iHeartRadio, etc.) but personally I use mainly Internet Radio, Stingray, and TuneIn.
However, beyond the commercial streaming sites (Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, etc.), the free movies streaming sites are less well-known. Here are a few suggestions:
Also, if you are interesting in Japan and Japanese culture, I suggest you stream shows from NHK World.
You can find a lot of places to visit virtually on Google: Art & Culture, but here are a few suggestions:
- Archaeological Museum, Athens
- British Museum, London
- Dali Museum, Catalonia
- Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico
- Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
- Guggenheim museum
- Louvre museum, Paris
- Metropolitan Museum, New York [Youvisit] [Google]
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- Museu de Arte de São Paulo
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), New York
- National Gallery of Art, Washington
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
- National Museum of the United States Air Force
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
- Prado Museum, Madrid
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, New York
- Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
- State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
- Tate Gallery, London
- Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid [Rembrandt] [Balenciaga and Spanish paintings]
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Vatican Museum, Rome 
- Virtual museums Canada
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La salle de diffusion de Parc-Extension (421, rue Saint-Roch) est une fois de plus l’hôte d’une exposition en arts visuels du 5 septembre au 13 octobre. Sous le commissariat de Mariza Rosales Argonza, cette exposition, intitulée Codex_Traversée du Silence est présentée dans le cadre de la 11e édition du Festival LatinArte. C’est une “prise de parole qui transcende les frontières culturelles et temporelles pour rendre visibles la pluralité et la permanence des voix ancestrales en tant qu’acte conscient afin de percer l’invisibilité“.
C’est une belle “exposition” mais c’est plutôt pauvre puisqu’on n’y retrouve que sept grandes oeuvres par Dinorah Catzalco et deux installations audio-visuelles (par Rodrigo Velasco et Teo Zamudio). Cela vaut quand même la peine d’y jeter un coup d’oeil si vous passez par la bibliothèque de Parc-Extension, qui est juste à côté…
Gratin du vernissage
une oeuvre et les photographes
Photos du vernissage, le 5 septembre 2019, on l’on retrouve (dans le désordre) les artistes [Teo Zamudio, Rodrigo Iván Ramírez Velasco et Dinorah Catzalco], la mairesse d’arrondissement [Giuliana Fumagalli], la Conseillère du quartier Parc-Ex [Mary Deros], et les représentants de la salle de diffusion [Martin Hurtubise], du Conseil des Arts de Montréal, et de LatinArte [Mariza Rosales Argonza].
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I never considered myself a fan of Queen (but my wife was one), however, as I was watching this movie, I realized that I knew (or had heard) all the songs featured in the movie. Bohemian Rhapsody is, of course, a biopic about the music band Queen — telling us how would-be graphic designer (lead vocalist & songwriter Freddy Mercury), electronician (bass guitarist John Deacon), dentist (drummer Roger Taylor) and astrophysician (guitarist & songwriter Brian May) got together to make musical history. It seems a relatively faithful depiction of their collective life — or at least its highlights in fast-forward — focusing on the dynamic of the group interaction, the fact that they created music that allowed the audience to participate in their live performances, and giving some interesting insight on the genesis of some of the most iconic songs. As it is to be expected, the movie is centred mostly around Freddy Mercury and his bisexuality.
The choice of actors is excellent as they really look like the part. The acting is also good and their stage and musical performances are particularly remarquable. This movie will certainly get an entirely new generation to discover Queen’s music. It is rather uneven, far from being perfect, but it is well-made and the musical number makes it quite entertaining. It was well received (with a 8.1 rating on IMDb — although there is an interesting discrepancy on Rotten Tomatoes between the critics’ rating, 61%, and the audience’s rating, 86%). In any case, it certainly deserves to be seen, wether you like Queen or not.
To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:
[ Amazon — Biblio — Google — IMDb — Official — Wikipedia ]
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Nothing to relax like a good mystery novel, a nearly twenty year-old port (Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage 2000), some smooth jazz on the radio and a nice fire…
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I have updated this blog post (Memorable music) with the complete playlist of my top 50ish anime & J-pop soundtracks, with lots of informative links including to a full version of each titles on Youtube (save for two that I couldn’t find)! It’s a basket of nostalgia for the fans and a good introduction to this great musical genre for the novices. I think this post is worth being revisited (or checking if you haven’t read it yet). Music lovers, what do you think? (let me know which are your favourite anime soundtracks). Follow the links and enjoy!
J’ai mis à jour ce billet de mon blog (Memorable music) avec la liste de lecture complète de mes 50 (ish) meilleures bandes sonores d’anime et de J-pop, avec de nombreux liens informatifs, y compris une version complète de chaque titre sur Youtube (sauf pour deux que je n’ai pu trouver)! C’est plein de nostalgie pour les fans et une bonne introduction à ce grand genre musical pour les novices. Je crois que ce billet mérite donc d’être revisité (ou ça vaut un coup d’oeil si vous ne l’avez pas encore lu). Amoureux de la musique, qu’en pensez-vous? (laissez-moi savoir quelles sont vos bandes son préférées d’anime). Suivez les liens et amusez-vous!
After watching on NHK World a documentary on the songs of Studio Ghibli’s animated movies (like Nausicaä or Laputa), I started listening to an old playlist of anime background music (BGM) and songs collections from my late-20s and 30s. I had forgotten how much those tunes could get stuck in your head (particularly “Konya Wa Hurricane” from Bubblegum Crisis, “Ai-Oboe te i masuka” from Macross, the crashing song from Megazone 23 Part 2, or any songs from Kimagure Orange Road). I realize that this is something missing from recent anime that I’ve seen: memorable music. I really miss that. And it makes me sad — and very nostalgic!
My playlist also includes a few hits from great J-pop artists like Aikawa Nanase, Glay, Globe, Namie Amuro, TRF, Yoko Kanno and even a few Enka songs by Misora Hibari!
Do you have anime or J-pop favourite songs ?
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[ Update – 2019/02/23 ] For the curious, here’s the full playlist (recently augmented)—and I have added plenty of links so you can sample them :