Cultural Calendar

An online webinar targets beginner painters. | Photo courtesy of Color Cocktail Factory

With all that’s been happening in the world, with the ongoing pandemic, the social unrest happening in the United States and the ensuing economic turmoil that will affect the world, can we just skip the rest of 2020? For this cultural calendar, I’ve compiled a list of online activities that are taking place from around the world, brought to us virtually through videoconferencing. I’ve tried to avoid topics such as medicine, politics and economics in this list to help give you and me a break from all that’s been happening. Stay safe everyone and enjoy the rest of the spring; see all of you in the summer!

(All times in Pacific Time)

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The King Lear Project

June 11, 4–6 p.m.

The King Lear Project presents streamlined readings of scenes from William Shakespeare’s King Lear to engage diverse audiences – including older adults, caregivers and family members – in open, healing, constructive, discussions about the challenges of aging, dementia and caring for friends and loved ones. The actors will read the play; afterwards, four community panelists will kick off the discussion with their gut responses to what resonated with them and open the discussion to audience members.

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Sublime Tree Painting

June 11, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Color Cocktail Factory is the domain of artists with Master of Fine Arts grads from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who work as professional painters, illustrators and printmakers. These artists started Color Cocktail Factory as a way to share their knowledge with novice practitioners in a laid-back environment. This online webinar is targeted for the beginner painter where you will be guided step by step to create your very own sublime tree painting. Check out their Eventbrite page for recommended painting materials.

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Alien Worlds and their Atmospheres

Young Stars is a STEM outreach program involving interactive seminars on scientific and astronomical topics. | Photo courtesy of of The Young Star Program

June 12, 8–9 p.m.

Ever wonder what the atmospheres of alien worlds are like? Or basic ingredients of life that can create new worlds? And how do astronomers even learn about these alien worlds? Learn about exoplanets, their atmospheres and the basic ingredients of life in alien worlds in this webinar geared for younger viewers. Young Stars is a STEM outreach program run in affiliation with the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, involving interactive seminars on scientific and astronomical topics.

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African Tea Tasting Workshop

June 14, 11 a.m.–12 noon

Direct from Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Malawi tea is a delicious artisanal crop new to most Americans and recently available on Amazon. Relax at home while Malawi’s Honorary Consul Jordan Price and Galveston Island artist and author Rosa Morgan demystify this ancient crop and guide you through the pleasure of drinking a selection of white, green, oolong, black and herbal teas. You might already drink tea, but how often do you pause, relax, and discover the flavors and aromas in each cup or think about the farmers who grew and harvested the crop? Sign up on Eventbrite to receive a confirmation email containing links to purchase some or all of all the teas, and other workshop details.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity

June 16, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

How can we design artificial intelligence that realises its enormous potential to improve human lives – and does not unleash unintended consequences that could be disastrous for humanity? Berkeley Professor Stuart Russell will explain how we can ensure that we never lose control of machines more powerful than we are. He will show how we can avert the worst threats by reshaping the foundations of AI to guarantee that machines pursue our objectives, not theirs – a machine that has no overriding interest in self-preservation, that is provably deferential to humans, and makes decisions based on human preferences, not its own.

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Humankind: A Radical New History of Our Species

June 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Human beings, according to Western canon, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. In this free live-stream conversation with award-winning film director and humanitarian campaigner Richard Curtis, the bestselling Dutch historian and viral superstar Rutger Bregman makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good, positing a human nature that places our capacity for kindness, not selfishness, at its heart. Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think – and act as the foundation for achieving true change in our society.

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Data Visionaries Series: Quantum Computing

June 17, 12 noon–1:15 p.m.

The race is on for quantum computing. Organizations are pioneering the quantum future, hopeful of how this technology could be used to better understand our universe and deliver breakthroughs in areas like drug development, encryption and finance. Significant contributions from organizations together with government supported initiatives make this field ripe for innovation. As the quantum computing race proliferates across the globe, the question still remains: how quickly is this revolution happening and how does it benefit the average person?

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The Silver Age of Comics: Rise of the Flawed Superhero

June 17, 5–7 p.m.

Join the New York Adventure Club as they explore the Silver Age of comic books, a period between 1956 and 1970 that introduced hyper-realistic superheroes into real-world settings, blurring the lines between fact and fiction. The “Silver Age” of comic books replaced the morally-perfect superheroes of the “Golden Age” with more relatable, flawed heroes dealing with unresolved issues from a troubled past. These stories led to a revival of the medium, geared no longer toward young children, but adults. This is the story of an era that produced some of the greatest artists, superheroes and storytelling in the history of comic books.

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Introduction to Ethnic Minority Philosophy in China

June 17, 11 p.m.–12:30 a.m.

The China Studies Research Centre of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia will present a webinar discussing the emergence of “ethnic minority philosophy” exploring its relation to the ongoing “Confucian revival” in mainland China. The academic discourse surrounding Hui and Uyghur “minority philosophies” will be used as a case study to address the following three main questions: How has modern Chinese philosophy conceived of its relation with religion and ethnicity? What sort of discourse accompanied the birth of “ethnic minority philosophy”? What is the broader relevance of this sub-discipline for our understanding of Chinese intellectual history and the complex relation between philosophy, religion and ethnicity in contemporary China?