Given our confinement during this pandemic, we are left to either let our minds rot or put it to use and be creative. Lynn Ungar, a poet from Castro Valley, California, found a way to express herself amidst all of this. ‘Pandemic’ is a short poem about Coronavirus. As Ungar puts it, it is “a viral poem about a virus, that’s funny in a twisted kind of way.” Her reasoning behind this poem was taken from the idea of social distancing. She reflects on the question: how do we socially distance ourselves to prevent the spread of this virus, without emotionally distancing ourselves in the process?
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down.
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love– for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
Upon my first read, I could tell Ungar was going for a satirical approach. I chuckled when I read the lines, “know that our lives are in one another’s hands.” Which is pretty darn cynical since we are spreading this virus through day-to-day interactions and transactions. She then offers a more than obvious solution in her next two lines, “do not reach out your hands, reach out with your heart.” That gave me a good laugh, while also tackling the concept of social distancing.
Lynn Ungar is an extraordinary poet who teaches us to find creativity and laughter during eventful times. I highly recommend reading more of her poems and writing pieces.
You can read anywhere. You can read in your house, on the bus, in a train, on a plane, you can read with the sunset behind you or with a sword fight in front of you.
Image Via NPR
But, using high tech sciencey things, we now know for sure, beyond any reasonable doubt, that these are the top five definite worst places to read.
5-In a burning building
Image Via Practical Eschatology
The building is on fire. Well, time for a good book!
Don’t be that dude. The flames will destroy the pages and it’ll be too hot to properly read. You’ll get light headed. You will burn alive.
Image Via The Guardian
And worst case, the book will burn into ash, and books shouldn’t be burned.
4-On Train Tracks
Don’t do this.
Image Via Time Magazine
There are two problems with this. For one, if you sit down normally then you could be sitting in a dark tunnel. Not good if you want to see what you’re reading without the assistance of a flashlight.
Image Via Aliexpress
But let’s say the tunnel is lit up, like the picture above, or you’re outside, like the picture above that. Well, either way you’re sitting down on a terrain meant for a train that wasn’t meant for you to sit on. Sounds like your bum could be in a lot of pain. And if you lie down, that could hurt your spin. Not good.
ALSO A TRAIN COULD SMASH INTO YOUR FACE!
Picture this: You’re reading a good book. Completely engrossed. Eyes on the book, you don’t see that light coming for you at the end of the tunnel. But you hear it. You try to stand up, but you fall. It’s not so bad, you think, that could be something good. But here’s the thing…
Image Via Decider
“THAT’S NOT HEAVEN, THAT’S THE C TRAIN!”
And now instead of reading, you got hit by a train. Now that just sounds like a pain in the neck…
3-In the ocean
Image Via Video Blocks
You’re underwater with a good book. Pacific ocean, let’s say? Yes, let’s say that.
The ocean is sparkling, glittering. Above you, colorful fish swim around you, dancing about like angels. You look down, but guess what? You can’t read. The water has washed the pages and smeared the ink.
Image Via Tony Evans
Now you have nothing to read while you drown. Life sucks sometimes, don’t it?
Image Via Wired
This seems romantic. Hurdling through the cosmos, a book in your hands, flying with the cosmos to the stars beyond the stars. Your eyes go to that first line and-
Image Via Guardians of the Galaxy
You’re dead now. Wanna know why? Because you can’t breathe in space.
Image Via Skydive Mossel Bay
So you have your favorite book with you, but then a strange man in a red costume tells you to get ready. You put your trust bookmark in (don’t dogtail the page, you monster) and you put it at your side. There’s a parachute on your back. The plane opens up. You’re about to go skydiving.
With the wind whipping your face, you look below and see the ground. It looks like a painting. You take a breath and fall.
This is you, but you have a book in your hand / Image Via Skydive Oz
As you tumble to the ground, you realize this might not ever happen again. You could die. Your blood is drumming through your veins. Your heart is going fast. With adrenaline pumping through you, you could just speed through the lines. When are you going to get another opportunity like this?
You open up your book and start to read. You’re reading fast, so fast, and you read both pages at breakneck speed. You flip the page, but you’re fighting against the wind. This is going to be harder than you think.
With all your might, you flip the page and readjust your hand, but the wind is too much. Not only is the wind literally shredding pages out of the book, but it feels like it could tear the skin off your hand.
The book flies out of your hand. That book cost a lot of money and you need to finish it before you give it back to mother earth. You look to where it’s gone, and you maneuver your body after it.
Image Via Fatherly
The light is harsh against your eyes. You squint, reaching out. But, Ghosh, what is that light? It’s yellow and it’s orange and it’s-!
Image Via Dissolve
A burning building. You can manage this. Reaching down, you grab the book. Yes, you have the book, and you will make this work. See that burning building? What a perfect place to read, you think, having not read this list.
Image Via BBC
You pull the parachute and gently glide into the burning building. But guess what?
Image Via The Guardian
The book will burn into ash, and books shouldn’t be burned.
Featured Image Via INC
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go to Hogwarts while the events of the seven books were taking place? Wonder no more. Emily McGovern has laid it all out in her brilliant comic series, My Life as a Background Slytherin (and Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor). Tag yourself I guess? Here are my faves.
I’m just saying, her objection DOES make sense. Now, maybe this was explained in a tweet or something, I don’t know, and I frankly don’t care. Most of England is south of London, and much of Wales, as well as all of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Do they take a boat, travel down to London, then travel all the way back north to Hogwarts like, three times a year? I have questions, I tell you. Why can’t your parents just drive you and make sure your entrance is super embarrassing? No. Gotta go to London, ride a train, ride in a carriage drawn by invisible death horses. Gotta keep it simple. Am I the only one who’s got this many thoughts on this?
Well, I’m not sure it’s courageous exactly, but you know if anyone was blatantly defying Umbridge for cigarettes or whatever wizard teenagers do, it would be the Gryffindors. They’re like, prohibition? Violence? Autocratic rule? Sounds like an opportunity for HIJINKS. They’re a strangely cheerful bunch. They really do make the best of Hogwarts and it’s nonsense. Painful death? Let’s check it out. Lethal forest? Sounds like good old slumber party fun. Ghosts? That’s a friend. Dangerous death match for children? Sounds like my kind of party. They might be courageous, or maybe they really just have no sense of danger whatsoever? Not judging, just saying.
These are determined people. Gotta make sure those plants are doing well. Still nice and angry. So obviously the willow was planted to protect the passage to the house in Hogsmeade where Lupin went when he transformed but actually like… think about that plan. We’ve got a werewolf student. Give him a potion to soothe him when he transforms? Maybe that’s not invented yet. Put him in a medical coma for a few days behind a screen in the hospital wing? Not extra enough. Just put him in a dungeon? The castle has plenty. No. He needs a secret tunnel, to a secret house, hidden behind a secret tree that beats up a ton of students. It’s foolproof.
Wizards have been persecuted in the past, so we need to make a safe place for magical children! We’ll put a giant snake dungeon, moving staircases, lots of trap doors for falling through, an evil forest with murder centaurs and spiders the size of mini vans, and let’s make ex-death eaters professors and also current death eaters, we’ll hire a werewolf and he’ll be the SAFEST one! We’ll have such beef children fight for centuries! Dementors on campus? Great idea! Child death match? Let’s do it! Dangerous time machine? She’s thirteen, she can handle it. Get locked out? Sleep in the hallway and DIE.
Featured image via My Life As A Background Slytherin
And a movement it is. It’s such a movement that people not only plan to run to the base, but a documentary about the raid is ready to film and the U.S. Air Force has released an official warning telling visitors to stay away from Area 51.
With the event coming this September 20th, the world will be watching. To prepare, here are 5 and 1 books you have to read before you watch people try to run across miles of blazing hot desert just to get teargassed in the face!
BEHOLD here are the five books that make up the five IN AREA FIFTY-ONE
Peter W Merlin is an aerospace historian who has been researching the history of Area 51 since 1984 and is a founding member of the X-Hunters Aerospace Archeology Team. His Amazon description reads: “He has appeared in documentary television programs for Discovery Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic, and others, including Modern Marvels, Mystery Hunters, Inside Area 51, Return to Area 51, Atomic Journeys, Area 51 Declassified, and The Truth Behind Area 51”.
Image Via Amazon
Published in 2011, this inexpensive coffee table picture book promises “declassified photographs [that] provide a rare glimpse into the true nature of America’s most famous secret base”. Inside its pages, the book focuses on the test flights and the development of the various planes inside Area 51, showcasing what the government wants us to see.
An interesting look-through, but it raises more questions than answers. However, sometimes the questions are more interesting than the answers, so don’t use this book as an excuse to Naruto run.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Carole Marsh is a professional writer, photographer, and Founder/CEO of Gallopade International Inc as well as the founder and owner of Marsha Media. Thankfully, she’s taken time out of her busy schedule to bring us this April 1st, 2011 release. April 1st, I hear you cry, but let me assure you, hypothetical person, that this book is no joke!
This is Area 51…For kids! An educational book filled with history, geography, culture and cliffhanger chapters, this book will have the kids begging for more! And that’s a good thing because this mystery includes SAT words, educational facts, fun and humor, a scavenger hunt and activities.
But what’s the story? I hear you ask. Well, hypothetical person, let me tell it to you…
Image Via AMazon
Christina, Grant, Mimi, and Papa visit Papa’s good friend who lives on a cattle ranch in Nevada. Riding on the Mystery Girl, the group lands on a small airstrip near Area 51 and soon learn that the rancher and his wife have been losing their cattle. Can they solve the mystery of the missing cattle? Are these alien abductions? Is the government involved? Are they stealing cattle to feed to their alien overlords?
This book will keep you guessing so much you’ll have to run through it, instead of checking up on the run to Area 51.
3-The Entirety of the Area 51 Series by Bob Mayer
Image Via AudioBookBay
The King of Area 51, Bob Mayer has written twelve novels about it since 1997. He’s written other fiction, a lot of it in fact, but his Area 51 series is a series where you can pick one book, any book, and you can’t go wrong.
My personal favorites are Area 51: Excalibur, about how the mythical Excalibur has the power to unlock a galactic power beyond what anyone—human or alien—has ever seen and becomes the middle of a space race and Area 51: Nosferatu, about a halfbreed whose lived around since the time of the ancient Egyptians whose now out on a search for a piece of alien technology known as the Holy Grail.
Image Via Amazon
If you want to know where all this awesome-sauce starts in, this recipe of insanity began with Area 51, which is about in Area 51. More specifically it’s about how a team of scientists must fend off a greedy general who wants to activate an the interstellar drive from an alien motherhsip being housed in Area 51.
Things become even crazier when Dr. Hans Von Seeckt, an elderly ex-Nazi scientist and original member of the Area 51 research team, joins up with the president’s science adviser, Dr. Lisa Duncan, and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte to tell the public the truth about Area 51.
Meanwhile, a brilliant archaeologist, Professor Nabinger, discovers a message on runes found in ancient Egypt that, you guessed it, connects to the aliens in Area 51.
Thus we have the X + Y Files series, and I’m here to present you his book: Escape from Area 51.
Image Via Amazon
UFO obsessed Xander Bookman takes a trip near Area 51 when he starts hearing a voice from a creature calling itself I-pod. Is this an alien in desperate need of help to escape the most secure site on the planet?
Thus, Xander joins with his friend Yzzie on their most daring adventure yet: break into and escape Area 51 alive.
A science fiction novel mixed with adventure, mystery, and the paranormal, with a dash of fun, this novel is one for all ages, especially those who love the adventures of Mulder and Scully.
Released in 2011, this piece of investigative journalism is based on interviews with scientists and engineers who worked in Area 51 and, addressing any UFO-enthusiast’s dream, it speaks about the Roswell UFO incident and what went down.
Yes, that is Joseph Stalin | Image Via Daily Express
Sadly, it doesn’t confirm our beliefs about aliens but instead addresses the Roswell UFO incident and dismisses the alien story. Instead, it suggests that Joseph Stalin was inspired by the hysteria following Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama War of the Worlds and wished to create the hysteria again by crashing a UFO into the United States.
He recruited Josef Mengele, The Angel of Death who was obsessed with twins during the Holocaust, was recruited by the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to produce “grotesque, child-size aviators” to pilot a small aircraft and create the hysteria.
Image Via Conspiracies.net
But thing went wrong when the aircraft crashed and the incident was hushed up by Americans.
Jacobsen writes that the bodies found at the crash site were deformed children with large heads and abnormally shaped oversize eyes. “They were neither aliens nor consenting airmen, but human guinea pigs”, she claims.
That’s depressing. Maybe it’s completely wrong, seeing as all of Jacobsen’s sources are anonymous, but perhaps the truth isn’t as interesting as we think it is.
You never know what might be happening in there, but I have an idea that sensational writer Joshua Lark might or might not have given me.
Alright, so you know we’re obsessed with SparkNotes’ twitter. Or, I am at least. The memes are so dank. And now there’s a master list of everything they’ve posted about Hamlet, or at least a lot of it, and it’s all iconic. Here we go.
When Your Dad Tells You to Do Something
Clean my room? Murder your killer? Totally, I’ll do that right now. Just let me finish this chapter. Level. Book. I’ll TOTALLY remember the stabbing stuff after that. I’ll even clean up the blood. When I get to it. No one’s perfect, you know?
When You’re Totally Not Jealous
Hamlet might have been the first emo. Maybe. Certainly he was pretty early. Like, I get it man, intellectual and philosophical despair or whatever, your stepdad SUCKS, but maybe go outside. Get some sun. Maybe some soft serve. Commit a murder. Whatever works?
The Roulette Wheel of Murder Excuses
No, I totally didn’t kill my brother, it was, um… *turns around and furiously spins visible wheel* … a snake! Yeah. It was a snake. You know how it is. So many venomous snakes here in Denmark, it was bound to happen sometime. Totally innocent.
Ignoring the Obvious
Look. Your father died in a mysterious snake accident. Your uncle MARRIED YOUR MOM. That’s a yikes in any context, but it’s a super yikes here. Go and get all philosophical about it if you must, but Claudius is barely even trying to hide his misdeeds. Get to the decision, man.
Did You Ever Feel Like a Vine Could See You?
Look, Claudius, if you’re going to pull off a murderous coup, you’ve gotta have just like, a little tiny bit of chill. I’m not asking for a lot. This is like a vampire freaking out and running from the room every time you mention the sun. If you’re going to murder your brother, at least own it.
When the Paper is Due Tomorrow
Maybe just do to him whatever you did to Ophelia. Too soon? #opheliadeservedbetter Seriously though, you live with the guy. Literally just stand there and kill him when he STOPS praying. Kill him in his sleep. Do something. Honestly, Lettie, kill or do not kill, there is no try.
Absolutely No One
Formally. Informally. Hamlet had the emotions of a Romantic, about a hundred years too early. I feel like the romantics would have really Gotten him. (Or like, four hundred years before his time. Imagine Hamlet with a floppy fringe. I digress). Either way, he’s an emotional mess, but mostly valid. #opheliadeseRVEDBETTER