5 things to do today: Learn how to draw Totoro, test your knowledge of Manchester United and more

Animation veteran Toshio Suzuki gives tips on how best to render Totoro on paper.
Animation veteran Toshio Suzuki gives tips on how best to render Totoro on paper.PHOTO: AFP

Stay in and help fight Covid-19. The Straits Times recommends fun, uplifting things to do each day

1. LEARN: How to draw Totoro

Take time out for a video tutorial on how to draw the iconic character of Totoro - a forest spirit - in the beloved Japanese animated classic My Neighbour Totoro (1988).

In a one-minute clip, animation veteran Toshio Suzuki, former president of Studio Ghibli - the production company behind the film and other animated classics like Spirited Away (2001) - gives tips on how best to render Totoro on paper.

Info: For those who want to watch the film, My Neighbour Totoro is available on Netflix.


2. WATCH: A musical of Oscar-winning songs


PHOTO: SING'THEATRE

Local musical theatre company Sing'Theatre has put on A Spoonful Of Sherman - with a cast featuring Hossan Leong, Aaron Khaled, Vanessa Kee and more - for streaming.

The musical revue, created by American songwriter Robert J. Sherman, is about his songwriting family's century-long musical journey and features classic hits from films such as Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

Info: A Spoonful of Sherman


3. JAZZ UP: Your Zoom calls with local motifs


PHOTO: BINARY STYLE

Stop scratching your head over how to make your workstation at home look pretty for online meetings.

Local label Binary Style, known for its scarves with Singaporean-inspired themes and motifs such as the Tiong Bahru estate, Kampong Glam and MacRitchie Reservoir, is offering its prints as virtual backgrounds to use on Zoom calls.

The video-conferencing tool allows users to customise their call backgrounds with photos and images.

Info: For prints, go to Binary Style


4. IMPROVE: Your child’s Chinese with Thumbs Up


PHOTO: THUMBS UP/FACEBOOK

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Thumbs Up, a Chinese student publication by the Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group, is offering free online Chinese-language videos for primary school pupils during the school holidays.

The videos feature journalists and educators giving children Chinese lessons and helping them improve their general knowledge, storytelling sessions from The Theatre Practice and interactive activities like arts and crafts sessions and quizzes. 

They are available every weekday at 10.30am, with previous lessons archived on the same site.

Info: Go here


5. TEST: Your knowledge of Manchester United


A photo from Sept 19, 2010, Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov (left) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard in action at Old Trafford. PHOTO: REUTERS

Football fans can be a braggadocious bunch, and here is a chance for Manchester United diehards to show off their knowledge of the club's history.

Mr Andy Mitten, editor-at-large for the United We Stand fanzine, has come up with five challenging "ultimate" Manchester United quizzes, each featuring 20 questions.

Scoring above 15 for each quiz would be considered an achievement for even the most ardent of Red Devils faithfuls, but if you are able to ace them, then bragging rights are deservedly yours.

Info: Manchester United quiz

With input from Sazali Abdul Aziz

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2020, with the headline '5 Things to do today '. Print Edition | Subscribe