THE SAN DIEGO PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Participant Observation is the Process of Learning by Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
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October, 2020 - (Click Here for Previous Issues)
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May 8, 2020



Local Cultural News and Nifty Things to Do Whilst Homebound:
Some interesting, helpful and fun activities from our staff and friends (if you know of any more, send them along!) (Thanks Ciska!):

Patrick Stewart Reading a Shakespeare Sonnet a Day Stewart says he will continue these "Until this horror is over!"
Views of the Prettiest Skylines
Virtual Train Rides All Over the World
Online Cultural Experiences
A Virtual Safari, Women Trailblazers and More
Rainbows as Signs of Thank You, Hope and Solidarity
Shakespeare Performed Around the World
Learn Korean with BTS How about learning to speak Korean with one of the world's biggest boy bands!
Faces of Frida Online "Epic" Exhibit Over 800 artworks by Frida Kahlo (and cool VR stuff too!)

Kid's Corner: I say "Keep 'em busy!" (Thanks Chris!)

Art Is Where the Home Is Free art activity packs for your kids created by a group of well-known British artists
The New Children’s Museum - Resources for Children and Caregivers
Midway Little Skippers - Games, Coloring, and a 1945 Midway Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe
Smithsonian for Kids
YMCA San Diego - Family Resources
Scholastic Learn At Home

Music & Dance for Your Soul:

• Ongoing Shark Belly (download live concerts (audio only) held at the Belly-Up
Milton Nascimento Concert a mostly acoustic set from the remarkable singer-composer with a vocal artistry beyond comparison.
What's Goin On one of the best songs ever, done up proud by Playing for Change
Latin Music USA from PBS
How to Live Stream on YouTube Be a star!

Food Stuff:

Exquisite Moroccan Recipes Recipes and commentary from the wonderful Kitty Morse
16 Dishes That Define Taiwanese Food
Massimo Bottura Free Cooking Classes One of the very best chefs in the world invites you into his home kitchen.
90 Favorite Greek Recipes
17 Traditional Chilean Recipes

Books to Make You Forget You Are at Home (International Mystery Series) (Thanks to Sharon and Adrian!)

The Living Room Of The Dead (The Ray Sharp Novels - Book 1)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (A Flavia de Luce Mystery)
A Carrion Death (Detective Kubu Series - Book 1)
Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Provençal Mystery)
Flower Net (The Red Princess Mysteries)

International TV:

Ghost Bride (Malaysia) Netflix

The Ghost Bride is based on the best selling novel Yangsze Choo. This week she attended (virtually) the Worldview Project Book Club meeting to discuss her meticulously researched and thrilling murder-mystery novel The Night Tiger. She kept us all spellbound. The Ghost Bride, set in 1890's colonial Malacca (a timeless city if there ever was one) is a story about a Chinese-Malaysian woman (Pan Li-lan) who agrees to "marry" a wealthy family's deceased son (Tian-ching)in exchange for financial help for her debt-ridden family. Ghost marriage has existed in many cultures throughout history, but in perhaps nowhere as practiced as in China. It may have originally occurred as a marriage between two people who are deceased, but evolved to include marriages between a living and a deceased person. Although the reasons for the existence of the practice are numerous, most common is that it provides companionship for the deceased in the afterlife. But in the series Ghost Bride, things get complicated when Tian-ching's ghost begins inhabiting Pan Li-lan's dreams. Turns out he was murdered, but he doesn't know by whom. He enlists Pan Li-lan to solve the murder mystery of his own demise.

Taco Chronicles (Mexico) Netflix

For the past decade and a half, Worldview Project volunteers have traveled to Tecate (the most convenient way, by far, to visit Mexico) for a day meandering around the town enjoying the sights, sounds-and perhaps most of all-the food. One particular food (although the pastries at El Mejor Pan de Tecate and the fresh fruit popsicles are delicious) stands out, tacos. One of our volunteers (Ana) dubbed the day long sojourn as "taco madness". We have yet to sample a taco in San Diego that can match the exquisite ones from Tecate. But it seems that nowhere can you find people as intensely passionate about tacos as among the denizens of Mexico City. The Taco Chronicles series is loving tribute to this culinary obsession. Each episode focuses on a different kind of taco (yes, Virginia, there are more than one). "Volume 1" of the series is comprised of 6 episodes, each 1/2 hour show focusing on a different kinds of tacos; Al Pastor (my favorite!), Carnitas, Canasta, Asada, Barbaco, and Guisado. Gorgeously filmed, the series seeks to uncover the human stories and secrets of the myriad of taquerías found throughout Mexico's marvelous capital. If the show doesn't trigger your food lust, nothing will.

International Movies

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (French) Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes and Google Play

One might think that OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is a parody of James Bond films, but the movie is based on a series of spy novels by the French author Jay Bruce, whose first novel in the series pre-dated Ian Flemming's first James Bond book by four years. Although Bruce died in a car accident when he was only 42, he managed to write 88 books in the OSS 117 series as well as penning many other novels. Interestingly the novels main character, super spy Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath is an American of French descent who works for a number of American spy agencies. Rather than being a spoof of James Bond, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is a spoof of the original French novels. In the movie (and its sequel 'Lost in Rio') Agent 117 is a French Spy. Both films are flat-out silly and reminiscent of the Pink Panther movies. Agent 117 is played by the hugely funny and talented French actor Jean Dujardin (who among many other accolades won the "Best Actor" Oscar for the lovely film The Artist. It would be an understatement to say Dujardin steals the show. His OSS 117 is an unflappable (or perhaps just insensate) French chauvinist who believes that nothing the French government is completely and utterly infallible (despite hysterically funny evidence to the contrary) and French culture is the standard by which all other cultures should be judged. Both films in the series are unabashedly silly, but Dujardin's impeccable comedic timing and mannerisms elevated everthing to an entirely new level of absurdity. The 2nd film in the series ('Rio') is less comedically brilliant than the first, with the exception of perhaps the funniest chase scene ever filmed.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (New Zealand) Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes and Google Play

Some films you just want to hug, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one. Written and directed by Taika Waititi, this film is offbeat and immensely humorous. Waititi also wrote and starred in the recent film Jojo Rabbit for which he won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the highest grossing New Zealand film of all time. The film is about the adventures of a 13 year old Maori hip-hop loving juvenile delinquent Ricky and his foster parent Hec, a cantankerous misanthropic reclusive farmer (played by the wonderful Irish New Zealander, Sam Neill). The film was poorly promoted in the US and only had a limited run, which is a shame because it is a gem. After the sudden death of his foster mother, Ricky (soon followed and then joined by Hec) sets out on the lam to escape having social services place him in another home. A rumor gets spread that Hec is a dangerous pedophile that has kidnapped Ricky and a nationwide manhunt ensues. The film features the exquisite natural beauty of New Zealand, and the chemistry that develops between Ricky and Hec in this off-the-beaten-path comedy will both warm your heart and tickle your funny-bone.


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