explore.org livestreams beluga whales from Hudson Bay / Nelson River in Northern Manitoba. Thousands of belugas migrate hundreds of kilometres each summer from the Hudson Strait to warmer river waters on the western side of Hudson Bay so they can feed, mate and rear their young. This year, their activities are being captured in real time by cameras mounted underwater and on the bow of a small Zodiac boat, which trolls the water for a few hours each day, Monday to Friday. The next live showing is tonight @ 5pm EST. [more inside]
I see the internet looking at me. Just like last year and the year before, you can once again stare at bears staring at water as they wait for salmon to swim upstream in Katmai National Park. [more inside]
For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
Yesterday saw the surprise release of PolyFauna (Android - iOS), a free, movingly minimalist art game produced by Radiohead in collaboration with digital art studio Universal Everything. In the tradition of previous projects such as Proteus (previously) and Björk's Biophilia (also previously), the game turns players loose in an open world of moody vistas and fog-shrouded wilderness, accompanied by music and visuals from 2011's earthy, naturalist The King of Limbs. With an associated redesign of the band's website, could work on the long-awaited LP9 be far behind? [more inside]
If you're interested in glassblowing, or if you simply like to watch craftsmen at work, then here's a special treat for you: the Corning Museum of Glass (previously) has posted hours upon hours of videos of their studio demonstrations on Youtube. And if that's not enough, you might want to bookmark their live streams page, for they will be streaming about a dozen studio demonstrations over the summer. [more inside]
A cat and kittens playing together on live streaming cam. Very watchable kitteh tv.
There is now a live stream of bears gathering to eat salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. [more inside]
This weekend marks the time of the Hajj, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God. Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat and the ritual stoning of Shaitan to the circling of the sacred Kaaba (the shrouded cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily) and kissing the Black Stone (colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite). While the city has modernized to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich, and tent cities the size of Seattle -- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders. Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise to write a rare travelogue, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt], a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey. Browse the manual to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.