Four ways to stay both entertained and safe this week

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To encourage social distancing during the spread of COVID-19, we are altering our regular “Event Horizon” section for the foreseeable future. While many local events have been canceled, we will clue you into at least one local online experience — this week: painter Emily Sullivan’s new online show at The Machine Shop — and recommend some fun things you can do at home or safely out and about. Please continue to support local arts during this difficult time.


Space Force

When the Trump administration announced the addition of a new military branch, the Space Force, many people thought it would be a passing whim. However, Space Force is here to stay and Netflix wasted no time in launching a comedy about the new organization, complete with a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carell and John Malkovich. Deadpan humor, governmental ribbing and affectionate military mockery make this an uplifting watch for a variety of audiences. Launching May 29 on Netflix.


The Hilarious World of Depression

Podcast host and radio personality John Moe has spent years living with depression and learning how to cope and thrive. His new book combines the story of his struggles, and insights he has gained through years of interviews with others like him. Humorous — often darkly so — and deeply empathetic, Moe’s book is an inspiration for those working through their own battles with depression, and enlightening for the people in their lives who love them. If the book isn’t quite enough, Moe also has a podcast of the same name you can check out. Available now from most book retailers.


Get Sleepy

World events and strange, endless days are making it harder and harder for many adults to settle down and sleep each night. Creators of the Get Sleepy podcast have cultivated a soothing series of bedtime stories for adults, complete with relaxing music, soothing narration, calming subliminal messages and tranquil ambient sounds. The episodes run anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and the stories are often engaging enough to keep your mind from racing to other topics, yet not so deeply engrossing that you find yourself straining to stay awake to listen to the end. Available on most podcast platforms.


Yard Pong

It’s safe to say the days of beer pong are over for a while — tossing a ball of questionable cleanliness into communal beer cups is not the best idea during a pandemic. Yard Pong, however, allows you to play the famous frat party game in the great outdoors using collapsible “buckets” filled with water or sand to hold them steady, and tennis balls. Plus, the elimination of alcohol means the whole family can play. You can pick up various versions of the game at most retailers or create your own with a dozen cheap 5-gallon buckets and any ball you like. Oh, and feel free to drink a clean, personal container of beer while you play.