This groovy tune will help you pick your work-from-home outfits while in quarantine

John J. King is a playwright and all-around awesome and clever dude; we were playwriting fellows together at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, and I also contributed some music to his Hamlet/James Bond mashup From Denmark With Love.

Now John has decided to share his work-from-home tips, in the form of a fun, dance-y music video (clothing optional). Enjoy! Read the rest

Quarantine survival advice from Buzz Aldrin and other astronauts

I had the privilege of interviewing Buzz Aldrin a few years ago. The second man to step foot on the moon (and first to pee on it) had just released a new book, and won his first ever March Madness bracket, and the first thing he told me over the phone was how he'd spent his 80th birthday scuba diving in the Galapagos with his son, but got in trouble when he broke away from the group and grabbed a whale shark by the dorsal fin just so he could ride it.

Buzz Aldrin is a god damn national treasure and a real American badass. (I'd also love to see the look on that scuba instructor's face if/when they realized that the old man they were scolding was in fact Buzz Aldrin.)

Now, Aldrin is 90 years old, which puts him at particularly high risk for infection by the novel coronavirus. But this national treasure has a solid plan to stay safe, as detailed to Eric Berger at Ars Technica: "Lying on my ass and locking the door."

Aldrin is a survivor — of outer space, of shitty jobs, and of alcoholism and depression — so I tend to trust his advice. But if you're looking for something more substantial, Forbes spoke with several other astronauts about their time in isolation, including NASA’s Human Research Program Director Bill Paloski, Ph.D.; John Grunsfeld PhD, a retired NASA astronaut and Hubble Space Telescope repairman who spent over 59 days in space; and Dr. Read the rest

After a year in space, Astronaut Scott Kelly's tips on isolation

Scott Kelly watches a bunch of fresh carrots
Astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a combined 520 days in space, including nearly a full, continuous year as part of NASA's One-Year Mission to the ISS, knows a thing or two about isolation, quarantine, and keeping sane in small places for extended periods.

He has recently published an article on his recommendations for those of us on earth who now find ourselves isolated into our homes or similar small spaces, cut off from many of the comforts and connections that we are used to as a part of everyday life. Read the rest

I filmed my socially distant bike ride through the ghost town of downtown Boston

While there were certainly more people out than I expected to see … there weren't that many. Which somehow made it even weirder than the Boston Marathon Bombing Lockdown, when at least the shared sense of fear was more palpable. Read the rest

Quarantine humor: 'I fooled my co-workers into thinking I live in a luxury apartment'

“I was inspired by the phone booth on Pee-wee's Playhouse.”

WWE minus the audience is even better with the music from "Twin Peaks"

A few days ago, I wrote about the transformation of WWE Smackdown into a beautiful work of Beckett-esque absurdist theatre once the audience was removed for coronavirus safety. I didn't think it could get anymore gloriously weird.

Then Twitter user @SIDEEYEmusic took it to the next level by adding the Twin Peaks score.

Image: peaked/Vimeo and Shamsuddin Muhammad / Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

  Read the rest

Tag yourself on this social distancing D&D alignment chart

My favorite thing about joke D&D alignment charts is that I am always, always Chaotic Good. I just can't avoid my nature, and everybody knows it.

View this post on Instagram

some friendly dos/donts

A post shared by Aiden :) (@aidenarata) on Mar 15, 2020 at 8:53pm PDT

Lawful Good: washing your hands, social distancing, and forwarding your mom's pandemic advice emails to your friends

Neutral Good: taking loong moody walks by yourself at weird hours of the day

Chaotic Good: having a facetime tinder hookup and venmoing your service industry friends what you would have spent at the bar

Lawful Neutral: writing a series of poems/personal essays on what "distance" means to you

True Neutral: putting aside your manuscript to watch all 543 episodes of chopped

Chaotic Neutral: adopting a lizard

Lawful Evil: hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper

Neutral Evil: exacerbating panic and yelling at people on the internet

Chaotic Evil: having the privilege and resources to be able to self-isolate and choosing not to because this is America and you feel fine

via Aiden Arata on Instagram

Top  image via Wikimedia Commons / CC 4.0 Read the rest

Brighten up your social distancing with Coronavirus greeting cards

These were all made by Vinny Mraz, a New York-based a playwright, teaching artist and theater maker, who, like many New Yorkers, is nervously enjoying his self-quarantine and freaking out about how to make ends meet. "What's even scarier is deciding to isolate with the wrong person," he writes. "Thankfully, my Covid Greetings Cards will help you make sure you end up with the best possible Covid Co-Pilot without embarrassing small talk."

Maybe if you're lucky, you can even get a lil' Covid-69?

Look, the world's pretty bleak right now, but at least this brought a smile to my face. Read the rest

Purported footage of Chinese people being forced into coronavirus quarantine

The coronavirus outbreak (previously) has now claimed more victims than SARS, with more than 1,000 dead in China and 45,000 infected worldwide. The Chinese government, illiberal by any measure, is definitely taking prisoners: video shows biohazard-suited men dragging people off, purportedly to quarantine facilities, in an effort to prevent the disease's spread.

PREVIOUSLY: Coronavirus exposes China's surveillance state Read the rest

Wuhan (pop. 11 million) shutting down public transport to halt spread of coronavirus

In an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly new coronavirus, Wuhan city officials are temporarily shutting down "bus, subway, ferry and long-distance passenger transport," reports NPR. Read the rest