Things That Matter

Going Stir Crazy In Quarantine? Then These Awesome Virtual Tours Will Help You Escape Without Ever Leaving Your House

Ok, so we’re all basically still under stay-at-home orders – meaning the rest of the world is pretty much off limits to us all right now. But thankfully we do have access to the World Wide Web, right?

Sure, there’s no shortage of TV shows to binge watch and virtual chat rooms to fill every one of our vacant moments – but why not take a little trip outside your home thanks to the help of some super cool tech? Basically everyone from your local state park to world-renowned museums has been able to provide virtual tours for anyone with high-speed internet to enjoy for a while now. 

So, give your mind and eyes something new and stimulating to feast on with these round-the-world virtual tours.

Take A Visit To Virtual Disneyland

OK, so yea it’s true. Disney announced that their parks would remain closed through the end of 2020. However, you can go on some of the rides virtually. So you might not get that ‘stomach in your throat, feel like I’m gonna throw up’ feeling from a virtual spin on Space Mountain but if you’re a Disney fan – this trip down memory lane is so worth it.

Revisit iconic rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain through the thrilling lense of a maverick visitor who broke the rules and recorded their whole ride.The real gems here are the slow, kid-friendly, and well-lit rides like It’s A Small World or Snow White’s Scary Adventure. We find that the closer they are to our childhood interests, the better they are to revisit.

Travel Back In Time On A Virtual Tour Of Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

Which Frida Kahlo fan hasn’t dreamed of visiting her Casa Azul in Mexico City? Now transformed into a museum, it is a must-visit spot in the Mexican capital and you can visit without even having change out of your PJs.

Yet again, the magic of Google brings the museum of your living room, bedroom, patio – where ever you wanna be.

Get Close And Personal With Animals From Around The World

Credit: San Diego Zoo

With what may be the most live cam options, the San Diego Zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting – oh my! The National Aquarium is also getting in on the virtual action. You can walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.

Fly With NASA Into Outer Space

Credit: ExoPlanet Travel Bureau / NASA

With the global pandemic having many of us thinking about our futures here on Earth, now is as good a a time as ever to think about life outside Earth. NASA launched a tour on desktop, but if you want to experience the tour in its greatest form, use a smartphone and download Google Expeditions for an augmented reality trip to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.

But if you rather get into deep space then check out this 360 YouTube experience. And if you want colorful stars and planets, check out the Exoplanet Travel Bureau.

Take A Virtual Hike Through America’s Stunning National Parks

Credit: GoTrekUS / Instagram

Google has been super busy Gathering images and photos from basically every corner on Earth – and I’m not exaggerating. They’ve partnered with the National Park Service to follow park rangers through numerous national parks across the U.S – meaning you can hike in Alaska’s glaciers or Hawaii’s volcanoes.

For a Google-free walk among the trees, the National Parks Service has a very robust virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park: the park has nine webcams strewn about, one of which has a Livestream feed.

Check Out Digital Collections From Thousands Of Museums

Google Arts & Culture is a great resource for any art fan (with limited access to art with over 2,500 museums) and it’s especially handy for those of us under lockdown, unable to visit our favorite museum.

They’ve got collections everywhere from Mexico City’s ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration to Brazil’s Museu Nacional. So grab a drink, a sketchbook, and get ‘walking’ those museum halls.

Travel To Far-Off Lands To Inspire Your Future Real-World Travel Plans

Credit: Google

Major tourist attractions like Peru’s Machu Picchu, Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer statue, and Mexico’s Chichén Itzá are all accessible from in-depth online tours.

You can also take a virtual hike on the Great Wall of China or visit the the Pyramids of Giza.

Get A Virtual View Of Real Street Art

Credit: Red Bull Street Art

Tons of groups have used Google Earth to create walking tours in every corner of the globe. For street art fans, Google Street View has been magic. These virtual walking tours are for art lovers, travel lovers, and for those who can’t exactly hit the pavement right now. This one from Bogota is especially cool.

Stalk The World With 24-Hour Live Streams

Credit: EarthCam

Do you want to know what exactly is going on in Times Square, right this second? Wouldn’t it be nice to stream a panoramic view of Paris during the workday?

You can watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle in real-time. You can also watch over Time Square any time with this live feed or watch ships pass through the Panama Canal with this one.

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Entertainment

Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s 2021 and the Met Gala is back this year – after being canceled in 2020 thanks to a pandemic – with superstar poet Amanda Gorman being eyed to host the fashion event of the year. Given the 23-year-old’s show-stopping performance at the inauguration, the theme fittingly will be a celebration of America and American designers.

The Met Gala will return in 2021 with a very special guest as host.

Vogue’s “Oscars of Fashion” famously takes place on the first Monday of May. However, this year it’s been pushed back to September 13, in hopes that life will have returned to something closer to normal by then.

Epic poet Amanda Gorman is reportedly in talks to co-host the event alongside Tom Ford, who is the academy’s president. The breakout star of President Biden’s inauguration, Gorman is on the cover of the magazine’s May issue and the subject of a relentlessly glowing profile inside.

The black-tie gala, which raises funds for Met’s Costume Institute, is normally fashion’s biggest night and sees guests from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and even Maluma.

The event was canceled in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic.

The world’s most glamorous party was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19, which was (and still is) raging the planet at the time. There was a virtual event in place of the 2020 event, with celebs like Julia Roberts, Priyanka Chopra and Amanda Seyfried showing off their looks from home and stars like Mindy Kaling and Adam Rippon taking part in the #MetGalaChallenge, recreating looks from past years.

This year’s event will draw inspiration from all things USA.

The theme of this year’s Met Gala has not been announced, but Page Six says the night will be devoted to honoring America and American designers, following the 18-month-long COVID crisis in this country.

Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

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