Tag Archives: animals

People love watching nature on nest cams — until it gets grisly

In The Washington Post this week:

The osprey cam at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is trained on a nest near the Massachusetts seaside, and the pair that call it home are now waiting for three eggs to hatch. But for the first spring in a decade, the camera is dark, and a note on the institute’s website offers only a two-sentence explanation.

“Regrettably, the cam will not be operating this season due to the increasingly aggressive actions of certain viewers the last two years,” it begins.  (Read whole article)

I wrote about this issue two years ago in The Conversation, ‘Webcam bird rescue shows how quickly our attraction to nature can turn sour‘. Then it was bald eagles in Minnesota, now it’s ospreys in Massachusetts. The problem is that people who enjoy watching birds and animals via webcams want to see only cute images.

Last month, according to The Post, “a Pittsburgh cam’s bald eagles made national news when they fed a small cat to their eaglets”. Oh dear, that really doesn’t match audience expectations.  It seems that many of us love nature, but only when it’s pretty.

4 Ways To Connect To Your Body (3 x Human, 1 x Dog)

Let’s all get some BarkPoints!

There’s something deeply enjoyable about working online – you feel connected to other people, to your machine, to the vastness of the internet. Don’t know about you, but I can get a real buzz from just sitting at my desk for hours. Typing, Skyping, messaging, writing – the day flies by. BUT. While our minds zoom around in cyberspace, our poor bodies are stuck in a chair for way too long.

That’s why this week I’ve gathered together a few items to help you connect back to your arms, legs, and other fleshy parts. I’m sure your body will thank you for it! So, stand up straight, pay attention to your stressed-out heart, enjoy a walk in the fresh air and, while you’re at it, take the dog with you. All these activities (even the pooch’s) can be monitored and measured so you’ll have plenty of juicy data to play with when you get back. Up you get!

UP24 by Jawbone Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracking Wristband for iOS and Android

I wore one of the earliest UP wristbands for about a year. It tracked my wanderings around the neighbourhood and measured the ups and downs of my sleep. Not only was I wearing something beautifully blue and stylish but I learned a huge amount about my movements.

It didn’t take long before I had a good idea of the distances I walked (or didn’t walk), information which encouraged me to go further than I may have done otherwise. It vibrates to let you know if you’ve been sitting around for too long, but that’s quite pleasant and nicer than a dig in the ribs or a noisy alarm.

In my experience, especially if you’re new to fitness trackers, an UP wristband is definitely worth a try. And it comes in different vibrant colours and sizes, so it looks cool too.

Lumo Lift Posture Coach and Activity Tracker (requires the free Lumo Lift iOS/Android* app)

Lumo Lift

Posture is an important but often forgotten part of our daily lives, say Lumo. With plenty going on in our hectic and busy schedules, it can be a real challenge to practice the mindfulness needed to identify and correct poor posture. With Lumo Lift you can get gentle vibrational reminders for your posture whenever you slouch. Track your posture hours, steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned through the companion iOS, Android or Windows Desktop Lumo Lift app.

The Lumo Lift is a small, lightweight device that is worn just below your collarbone for posture coaching and activity tracking. Using angle displacement as a measure, its biomechanics let you know when you’re slouching with a gentle vibration as a reminder to straighten back up.

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor, Red

FitBark

FitBark, they say, are on a mission to get dogs and humans healthy together. It makes sense. There’s plenty of research to show that it’s good for humans to spend time with animals, so if both are also tracking their activity that seems like a double whammy of benefits!

But seriously, FitBark is “a beautiful sensor that monitors your dog’s daily activity and sleep and turns it into BarkPoints, so you can track progress. It’s a new way to keep your dog (and you!) healthy, explain changes in behavior, make better decisions with your vet, and share memorable moments with friends & family.” Available in 5 colours.

Let’s all get some BarkPoints.

PIP – White – Stress Management Biosensor + Apps. Measure, understand and manage stress

PIP Stress Management Biosensor (White or Black)

I’ve tried out the PIP myself and I really enjoyed it. See my article Changing a landscape with the power of your mind is hugely relaxing.  Since 2014, when that was written, the company has produced more apps for the PIP, including a Personal Stress Management Tracker and Clarity, for body scanning, mantras and counting the breath.

The company claims that Pip can train you to better manage everyday stress by detecting electrodermal activity (EDA) in your fingertips to accurately determine when your body’s relaxing or stressing. It uses to biofeedback to teach you how to visualise stress and try different techniques to learn to control it.

You need to download the free apps in order to use it, and they’re available for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. I found it very helpful, so it comes with my personal recommendation.

Deer Cam in Grand Theft Auto V – just a few more days to watch

It’s the middle of the night in the San Andreas mountains and a deer is wandering through the undergrowth. The crickets are really loud, sometimes an owl hoots,  and traffic can be heard in the distance beyond the regular clip-clop of hooves. The animal heads downhill towards a cluster of houses, gallops through a courtyard and runs out onto a highway where it’s narrowly missed by a speeding car. For a while it wanders slowly down the middle of the road as vehicles slow to a stop to let it pass until eventually, inevitably, it’s hit by a truck. But count to three and it’s upright again, unharmed, and trotting down the verge once more.

Animal cams

You’re watching a deer cam with a difference. Animal cams are generally popular because they let us watch creatures in the wild and from a safe distance, a reality TV for birds, bears, and numerous other species. But the San Andreas Deer Cam is being live streamed direct not from a forest or a woodland clearing, but from a video game. Artist Brent Watanabe has programmed the animal directly into Grand Theft Auto V, and you can watch it live on Twitch TV. Needless to say, in that kind of environment it frequently gets shot or hit by a car, but since it’s indestructible it just pops up again and keeps on running. It’s not completely immortal, however, because the project is due to end on April 20th 2016.

Watanabe  explains that the San Andreas Deer Cam is a live video stream from a computer running a hacked modded version of Grand Theft Auto V.  The mod creates a deer and follows it as it wanders throughout the 100 square miles of San Andreas, a fictional state in GTA V based on California. The deer has been programmed to control itself and make its own decisions, with no one actually playing the video game. The deer is ‘playing itself’, with all activity unscripted… and unexpected. If you donate money to the Deer Cam, it goes directly to The Humane Society. Find out more at his website and make sure you see it before the closing date.

https://player.twitch.tv/?channel=bwatanabeWatch live video from bwatanabe on www.twitch.tv