A mid-March blizzard is bombing its way up the East Coast today, dumping a foot or more of snow on cities from New Jersey to southern Connecticut. If you live in the Northeast and have a desk job, you're probably not going to work today, and if you are "working," you're doing it from home.
Away from the confines of your office browser history, you may ask yourself: What weird shit would I otherwise skip during a workday, if not for the gentle 60 mph gusts of a winter storm keeping me in my apartment?
You've stocked up on a week's worth of bread (why?) and toilet paper (good). All that's left is to stock up on Good Internet. Here are a few ideas.
Pick a side on the winter storm name debate
The Weather Channel has a whole meteorological committee devoted to naming storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, meanwhile, refuse to give names to weather systems because they're scientists, dammit. Giving storms a mind of their own can be beneficial to preparedness or backfire, making them seem less threatening or more unpredictable, undercutting the real science that's gone into forecasting. This one's name is Stella, so have fun screaming that into the wind like Brando, regardless of where you land on the debate.
Watch the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Observe a pair of bald eagles in their nest, live from balmy southwest Florida. It'll be near 80 degrees and sunny there this week, so if this snow business isn't your thing, escape mentally with the birds. Bald eagles got us through the presidential debates, and they'll get us through this.
Rock out to the seal belly
If you can figure out what it all means down to at least six or seven levels of irony, let us know.
Watch the livestream from the International Space Station
Dive to the bottom of the ocean floor
If you're snowed-in and stir-crazy, take a journey to the bottom of the ocean with NOAA's Okeanos Explorer. Until March 29, they're live-broadcasting scenes from the expedition in the deepwater of Howland and Baker Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. If you're lucky, you might spot sharks, squid, fish and coral going about their day. Enjoy it while you can before Trump defunds the NOAA.
Find inventive uses for your Nintendo Switch
Put on "Lofi Hip Hop 24/7 Chill Study Beats Radio"
This is very good music for sipping a hot beverage and staring out into the void. Best enjoyed with Slack notifications on silent.
And if the power goes out...
Work on your DIY robots
You know that half-finish cyborg sitting in your workshop? Yeah, everyone's got one. You're not going to shovel yourself out of the house anytime soon, and the internet is down with the electricity, so it's time to build some company. Prepare beforehand with these very shitty, or very cute, robots for inspiration.
Print some sci-fi cyberpunk alternative futures to read
Hopefully you've loaded up your brain space with doomsday prepper YouTube channels and are ready to fashion a generator out of an old tin cup and the guts of your custom-built PC. Before it comes to that, print out a few Terraform stories to keep you occupied. Bonus: You can burn the paper for heat later. Or recycle it when the power comes back on in a couple hours.
Stay safe, everyone! See you in the future.
from The Motherboard Guide to Good Blizzard Internet