Five cures for winter boredom

1. Discover Thug Notes

If you’re ever in need of a quick summary and analysis of a classic piece of literature, Thug Notes has your back. Hosted by character Sparky Sweets, PhD, watching this web series promises to turn you into one well-read balla. You can refresh yourself on why Hamlet is “cray cray,” why Holden Caulfield needs to “get his shit together,” and why 1984’s Winston should stop “talking smack about Big Brother.” With the tagline “classic literature, original gangster,” how can you go wrong? Visit thug-notes.com to educate yoself.

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2. Prepare for the new James Bond film, Spectre

Daniel Craig is back as James Bond this November in the 24th installment of the popular spy series. Spectre was officially announced in a live broadcast from Pinewood Studios on December 3. Director Sam Mendes shared some details of the film and was joined by the principal cast: Christoph Waltz will play the villain, Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci will play the Bond girls, Ralph Fiennes will be M, Naomie Harris will play Eve Moneypenny, and Ben Whishaw will return as Q. Filming will take place in London, Rome, Mexico City, Tangiers, and the Alps. You’d better get started if you want to re-watch all the Bonds before November. Visit 007.com for more information.

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3. Choose which shows you want to see at PuSh

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival presents a diverse mix of shows each winter, and this year the festival is bigger than ever. It will include mainstage shows, Club PuSh with more intimate performances, a film series, and a workshop series, PuSh Assembly. Whether you’re interested in circus, theatre, dance, music, visual arts, or experimental art in general, you’ll surely find something to cure your winter blues. Artists come from all over the world to present their works at PuSh, and the festival is a great opportunity to see some highly acclaimed artists that would otherwise remain unknown to us. The festival runs from January 20 to February 8. Read our preview of the festival and visit pushfestival.ca to browse the program guide.

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4. Visit an on-campus gallery

Maybe you’ve never even thought to venture inside the SFU Gallery on the Burnaby campus, just off the south concourse of the AQ, or maybe you didn’t know that SFU has two other galleries — the Audain Gallery at Woodward’s and the Teck Gallery at Harbour Centre. All three galleries present dynamic exhibitions that are sure to inspire, or at least get you thinking about something other than the depressing weather. SFU Galleries has over 5,500 works in their permanent collection, including many significant regional and national artworks spanning the last century. So next time you have a break between classes, indulge in some artistic enlightenment to pass the time. Visit sfu.ca/galleries for more information.

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5. Watch a Canadian film

Didn’t get a chance to watch all the great Canadian films from 2014? Now’s your chance to catch up. The Pacific Cinematheque is presenting the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival from January 8–18. The festival includes feature-length films, shorts, and student films, and the selection was chosen by a panel of filmmakers and industry professionals from across Canada. 2014 was a great year for Canadian film, including Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, and Stéphane Lafleur’s Tu dors Nicole (You’re Sleeping, Nicole). Visit thecinematheque.ca for more information.

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