Each week, we're sharing a few links to cultural experiences you can access from home during the pandemic, such as online concerts, theater and art. This week we suggest:

  • Top Story, an apocalyptic comedy by Sebastian Michael. A meteor the size of LA is about to hit the earth. In London two friends, Gus and Talfryn, spend their last seven days avoiding the outside world, reinventing the rules of chess and fantasizing about saving the world... all without leaving their sofa. This production was performed in January 2013 at The Old Vic Tunnels, which was an arts venue set in 30,000 square foot of abandoned railway tunnels under London's Waterloo railway station. It is currently available for free with donations welcome and encouraged.
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, better known simply as Kew Gardens, date back to 1759. The Gardens contain more than 50,000 living species, 8.5 million preserved specimens and 175,000 prints and drawings, all set in 300 acres in South London. This six minute video provides an introduction to Kew's top 10 attractions. Then explore the many videos focusing on particular aspects. Perhaps the best known building in Kew is the Temperate House and many visitors rush to see this ignoring much else. That is a pity as there is a great deal more to explore, not least the gorgeous bluebell woods. If you visit in person, you'd have to time your visit just right to see the bluebells, but they're always in bloom on the web.
  • The Orion Nebula is an enormous cloud of gas and dust estimated to be at least 25 light years in diameter which literally gives birth to new stars. In a sufficiently dark sky it can be seen with a home telescope or even a pair of binoculars as a faint mist, but the best views, such as these, come from high powered telescopes. Better still, sit back and enjoy NASA's spectacular three-dimensional rendition which couples scientific data with film techniques to create "the best and most detailed multi-wavelength visualization yet of the Orion Nebula."

In addition to our Culture Corner features, you'll find thousands of Beyond the Book articles that explore a historical, cultural or contextual aspect of every book we feature.

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