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The Ultimate COVID-19 Resource List (FREE)

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Credits: DanarArt on DevianArt.com

Dear habitants of earth,

Unless you are a space cowboy, you should be aware of the latest pandemic that we are all affected by equally—Well, that is a first. I hope you are all staying safe from the COVID-19 virus by staying in and battling with creeping diabetes at the same time. I know, I am. Kudos to those who work out and avoid baked goods at home; please do share your secret. I was home for a total of 7 days, self-quarantining (and, I mean who is counting?).

Here is how it went:

Day 1 – Workout done, cooking done, cleaning done, reading done

Day 2 – workout nada, cooking nada, cleaning nada, reading yes, watching tv YES, laying down like a sloth YES.

Rest of the week – same as before. I am sure I was more productive during the occasional times that I felt depressed in university.

While I can talk about the hardships that people of the earth suffer daily and I think we never hear enough of that, I will try to lure the left side of your brain today. If you are home today, you are an awesome individual who cares about the people around you; I want to thank you, friend. I also want to help you with unleashing your creative energy during this unusual time (for some of us). I will try my best to write a couple articles for the next while to keep us, the privileged folk sane.

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Credits: MET

The internet has been a great place this week with overflowing resources. It is awesome to access free and quality classes, workshops, articles, and even music. Without further ado, here is the Ultimate COVID- 19 FREE Resource List to help you take advantage of the free stuff on the internet.

  1. Take 500 free IVY LEAGUE courses – There are 500 courses offered by the Ivy League universities, which you can take FOR FREE. Some of these universities include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Cornell. Classes range from Art History, and Religious Studies, to Economics and Science. So, there are a lot of options. Click here to see the full list of courses.
  2. Read 300,000+ Free eBooks by NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARYDownload NYPL’s free reader application simplyE here. The system is like any other e-Library system. You borrow the e-book, and when your time is up the next person gets the book. Do not fret, you can always put the book on hold. But hurry, because some of the popular titles like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter are already taken! (PS. Do check whether this service is available in your region.)
  3. Reach Free Content on JSTOR – If you are a university student, you have already been to JSTOR many times. Well, the academic resource site now offers 6,000 e-books and over 150 journals for free to fulfill your research needs. Click here to visit JSTOR.
  4. Watch Nightly Opera Stream at the Metropolitan Opera “MET”– You can now stream MET shows at the comfort of your home. As the official statement writes, “During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Every day a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being released for free, on-demand streaming, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.” Click here to stream.
  5. Stream Live Channels on Pluto TV— Stream Channels on Pluto TV – The service offers 250+ live channels free to stream for the US (including Puerto Rico), the UK, Germany, and Austria. You can download the app or simply stream online.
  6. Stream Sling TV (Available in the US) – Sling TV made a selection of its content free to the US viewers, which includes ABC News Live, family-friendly movies and series, and other lifestyle programs. Click here to view Sling TV.
  7. Receive News from FAIR.org—I was tipped by a mentor of mine about this service a while ago. While there is various news floating about the coronavirus, I’d suggest subscribing to a reliable news source like FAIR “National Media Watch Group” to get your facts right. Click here to read FAIR. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter.
  8. @SaveWithStories AKA Celebs Read for Kids – All of our favorite celebrities decided it was a good idea to read for kids who are likely bored every 5 minutes at home. So, here’s a little something to entertain the little ones. Start listening the stories OR read about the premise.
  9. Consult Youtube for Your Fitness and Health Needs – There are a million fitness influencers out there who already started at-home fitness challenges on Youtube. If bodyweight workouts are not your thing, try searching ‘Walk at home’ or ‘dance cardio workout’ for other options. I know it is hard to get up from your seats (!) but it is recommended to literally move for 20 minutes every day. I believe in you; you can do this.
  10. Listen to NEW MUSIC – To name my favorites, The Weeknd and Childish Gambino recently released new albums—And, you can listen to them FOR FREE. I am sure there are other awesome artists out there who have made their music available for all.
  11. Take care of yourself, it is FREE – Yes, while we can entertain and educate ourselves, we almost always forget about self-care. Make a facemask and watch Brené Brown (God, I love her!), practice meditation, talk to your flowers, wash your hands, and do whatever fills your cup and love yourself. After all, you finally have time for yourself!

BONUS: Pay attention to your elderly neighbors who may need assistance with getting their pills, groceries, books, etc. Make sure you do not contact them directly but call them or leave goods outside their doors, and do the best you can to help them in this difficult time.

I hope this list is helpful to some of you. Comment below if you can help me expand it. Stay home, stay safe and be kind, folks. Sending everyone patience and love today.

[Review] The Lion King: How Simba Changed the Fate of Disney’s Live-Action Remakes 

In case you live in a cave and did not notice—Disney is on a roll with the live-action remakes of our favorite stories. It all started with Alice in Wonderland (2010) which had its strong cast bring over a billion to Disney’s thick wallet, entered a decline phase with The Jungle Book (2016) due to its odd tone and mixed reviews, and in my personal opinion, Disney hit rock bottom with poor casting and several other issues by releasing Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Aladdin (2019)The Lion King (2019) directed and produced by Jon Favreau, however, helped Disney’s magic to reach our hearts, again, just like the 90s. Here, I will explain how Disney finally stopped failing the audiences.

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Realism. Once I wiped off my tears coming out of the theatre, I decided to pay my respects to The Lion King (1994) at home and figure out why this animated documentary-like feature film worked so well. The first thing I noticed was Favreau’s attention to detail, and I assure you, he made sure we, as the audience knew about this. Favreau spent valuable effort to walk us through our surroundings, identify the appearance of species of all kinds, and appreciate one of the best (and likely leading) Virtual Reality production techniques within the film industry. Compared to the 1994 version, I could easily appreciate the 2019 feature for its identical yet heightened visuals. As Favreau explains, realism is what makes the film so unique. Ironically, it also produces the magic the previous films missed.

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Music. Better yet, the voice actors have done exceptional work: Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) gave us the hurt and careless Simba at the same time. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s vocals (as Scar) were the closest thing to a brilliant Broadway performance. But, the real star in the voice work was Seth Rogen who made us all adore a warthog. Despite the never-ending coverage about Beyoncé’s casting on top of her new album inspired by The Lion King, her voice did not shine in the production. I think we are so used to hearing Beyoncé’s strong vocals that Disney music seemed a bit toned down for her vocals. Nonetheless, Favreau managed to awkwardly insert a short section of Beyoncé’s new original, “Spirit” in the film. If you catch the scene, I am sure you will agree that it just seems like a poor editing job rather than an integral part of the movie. Continue reading