7 Amazing Livestreams to Watch Right Now

The critters at the Cincinnati Zoo are ready for their livestream close-ups.
The critters at the Cincinnati Zoo are ready for their livestream close-ups.
Mark Dumont, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Thanks to the new coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, people around the world are spending a lot more time confined to their homes. To help ease the struggles of social distancing, institutions and individuals have started offering special livestreamed events and performances. Here are seven livestreams to watch while you're cooped up in quarantine.

1. The Cincinnati Zoo's Home Safari

Fiona the Hippo’s home is on a mission to bring the zoo to you. The institution will host a Home Safari Facebook Live every day at 3 p.m. EST. Of course, the zoo’s first broadcast starred Fiona herself.

2. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Virtual Classroom

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has some otterly adorable residents.David Ellis, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Need to entertain—and educate—your homebound, animal-loving kids? On Monday through Friday, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is hosting a virtual classroom on Facebook Live. The zoo promises “new animals and adventures” each weekday.

3. Josh Gad's Story Time

Here’s another one for the children. The actor who voiced Olaf in Disney’s Frozen is reading bedtime stories to kids (and any interested kids-at-heart) via Twitter. You can use the hashtag #GadBookClub to follow along.

4. The Metropolitan Opera's Performances

Like many other New York City cultural giants, the Metropolitan Opera is closed to the public until at least the end of March. But that doesn’t mean the curtain has entirely come down. While it remains shuttered, the Met will stream a performance from its Live in HD archives at 7:30 p.m. EST every evening.

5. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Concerts

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performing in 2009.Alpha, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Though the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is closed until April 13, it’s still bringing its music to the public. Rather than crowd the orchestra’s performance hall, listeners can head to YouTube for live performances.

6. The Budapest Festival Orchestra's Musical Soirées

The Budapest Festival Orchestra is hosting special “quarantine soirées” to broadcast its music to people stuck at home. You can tune into the livestreams for free, or make a donation to support the organization.

7. Massimo Bottura's Cooking Show

Massimo Bottura, a Michelin-starred celebrity chef, has launched a live cooking show—which he insists isn’t a traditional cooking show—on Instagram’s IGTV. On Kitchen Quarantine, he prepares a full dinner using ingredients he has in his fridge, and also does a follow-up Q&A session. He isn’t so much teaching his audience how to cook; rather, it’s his way of using food to connect with people—even if they're hunkered down in their own kitchens.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]