Springtime: Japan’s Cherry Blossom “Hanami Parties” In Time Of Coronavirus

From a The Economist online article (March 23, 2020):

In this year of coronavirus contagion, however, the prospect of cheek-by-jowl hanami parties has alarmed the authorities. Tokyo’s government has urged people to steer clear of gatherings “that involve food and drink” to slow the spread of infection. To little effect.

USA Today Cherry Blossoms in Japan March 2020

The Economist logoEVERY MARCH and April trees along the banks of the Meguro river in Tokyo fleetingly erupt with fat pink and white cherry blossoms, heralding the arrival of spring. For a few glorious weeks, millions of people across the city flee the drudgery of the office and factory to spend an hour or two in places like this, eating and drinking under falling sakura petals. It is a ritual with ancient roots, with a chapter devoted to it in “The Tale of Genji”, a tenth-century work that is perhaps the world’s first novel.

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Politics Monday: Tamara Keith And Amy Walter On The 2020 Campaign (PBS)

NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report join John Yang to discuss the latest political news, including where former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stand in a Democratic presidential primary essentially frozen by the coronavirus pandemic and the potential political ramifications of the crisis for President Trump.

Smartphone Books: The New York Public Library’s Interactive “Insta Novels”

Insta Novels launched August 22, 2018 on the Library’s Instagram account (@nypl) with Part 1 of a newly digitized version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The novel is illustrated by well-known designer Magoz (@magoz).

The New York Public Library Insta Novels The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka

First, go to the Library’s Instagram account (@nypl) and tap Part 1 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the Highlights section, right under the bio.

Rest your thumb on lower right part of the screen to hold the page, and lift your thumb to turn the page. (The lower right thumb holder is designed to double as a flip book: if you lift your thumb and let the pages flip, you’ll see an animation.)

As more stories are added, the NYPL Instagram account’s Highlights will turn into a digital bookshelf.

Arts & Culture Video: “The Future Of Japanese Craftsmanship” (Monocle)

To celebrate our forthcoming book about Japan, we are presenting a new film series that dives into the intriguing ecosystem that has preserved Japanese traditional skills over centuries. Meet the people who are future-proofing the age-old know-how.

Health: “The Vital Importance Of Social Distancing” To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus

Social Distancing to reduce spread of Coronavirus Covid-19 Statista infographic March 23 2020

In order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, social interactions around the world are being restricted. This infographic, based on calculations by Robert A. J. Signer, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, shows how this so-called social distancing can reduce the spread of the virus.

With no changes to social behaviour, one infected person will on average pass the virus to 2.5 people within five days. After 30 days, the figure would rise to a devastating 406 new infections. The number can be significantly reduced though by engaging in less social contact. With a 50 percent reduction, the number of new infections caused by the average person after 30 days is just 15 people. A 75 percent change would result in an even lower 2.5 new cases – greatly reducing the burden on health services and, if followed by everybody, allowing a country to ‘flatten the curve’ of new infections.

Top New Travel Videos: “Portland Cherry Blossoms” (March 2020)

This video shows you exactly why you NEED to see the cherry blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon. Peak bloom varies from year to year but tends to occur around the first day of spring.

Waterfront Park Portland Oregon Cherry Blossoms

For more helpful information about the best places to see cherry blossoms in Portland (with real-time photo updates!), make sure to read embracesomeplace.com/cherry-blossoms-portland/