OK, if you live in the Eastern half of the United States, you’re probably stuck home in the snow. But since you’re reading this, you have your Internet connection. You want to make good use of your time, but the TV is dominated by game shows, talk shows and soaps at this time of day—and you can watch TV anytime.
This is The Root’s guide to making the best of a snow day. (And those of you in the West can save this for the next time an earthquake, mudslide or tornado gives you a day off.)
Since this is Black History Month, why not learn a few things while you’re sitting by the fire (or the radiator). You can start with the Black History Timeline that The Root’s editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., has put together. It’s a good reminder of important events in the last 50 years.
And if you think BHM is passé, check out Raina Kelley’s defense of Black History Month in Newsweek.
Of course, if all this black history stuff is still too high-brow for a snowy day, you might want a good chuckle by looking at our photo gallery of the blackest white people we know.
Or our list of the people we’d rather not see at all in 2010.
Of course, you might prefer to just watch a good TV series. You can download an entire season of The Wire, one of cable TV’s most admired shows, from iTunes. It’s $1.99 per episode or $20-$26 for each of the five seasons available. No digging out the car to get to the video store (if one still exists in your neighborhood).
There’s also a full season of Urban Jungle available; that’s the reality show where 13 suburbanites are dumped in the ‘hood to fend for themselves and, in the words of the promo “live like immigrants.”
Netflix, the postal video service, also has movies available online.
If you’re a sci-fi fan, the original director’s cut of Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford as the jaded detective is a good choice.
A snow day is a good time to look at Middle East oil intrigue in Syriana with George Clooney.
You can get a lot of heat from the thriller Lakeview Terrace with Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson.
A good independent film that didn’t get the attention it deserved in 2008 is Ballast, set in Mississippi and starring Michael J. Smith Sr., JimMyron Ross, Tarra Riggs and Johnny McPhail.
If you get hungry, we offer some tasty and healthy recipes from Bryant Terry's Eco-Soul recipes.
Being stuck in the house is great time to go through old photo albums, re-organize your apartment or clean out the fridge. Or how about organizing the hordes of family pictures you have stored digitally. Send them to Snapfish or Picasa to have them printed in an old-school flip-through album.
You could start on that New Year’s resolution to start an exercise program by tuning in one of those cable TV exercise shows.
Or in case you didn’t make or don’t believe in New Year's resolutions, you could make a vision board, look through old magazines, newspapers, and cut out photos and words of things that you'd like to accomplish in what’s left of this year. Paste them up on a poster or piece of printer paper. Voila! Your year ahead of you.
The Washington Post’s columnist on coping with kids, Petula Dvorak, suggests having the kids make Valentine's Day cards.
Plan a snowball fight. The ones at Dupont Circle and 14th and U in Washington, D.C., have been popular. You can Tweet or Facebook your friend and schedule it online. Check out a few Web sites here and here.
Send us your best snowbound ideas. And we’ll post them.