Social Media Matters: Watch brown bears feasting via live cam

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Aug. 3, 2012
Metro section

Watch brown bears feasting via live cam

It’s just like being there! A live cam has been set up at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park in Alaska that allows viewers to watch brown bears feasting on what is considered to be the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. The bears eat about 100 pounds of salmon daily.

Brown bear at KatmaiI watched it for awhile and didn’t see any of the bears actually catch a fish, but they obviously do catch them since I peeked in again at one point to find one of the bears just finishing eating a salmon. The bears wait patiently in the fast-running water waiting for the salmon to leap or fall over the small waterfall. You can also follow the fun on Twitter using hashtag #bearcam.

According to a CBC Your Community Blog report by Lauren O’Neil posted on July 30, the live cams rely on electricity generated completely by solar and wind power and are online for about 17 hours per day.

To view the live cam, visit and click on the Live Cams link. (The cams are so popular that they seem to link to it immediately upon visiting, but in case they stop this at some point, you can still access the cam under the Live Cams link.) Other live cams featured on include puppies, puffins, pandas, beluga whales, osprey (based in Maine), tropical reefs, aquariums and polar bears, among others.

Facebook contest raises cancer research awareness

ACRIMoncton-based Atlantic Cancer Research Institute is running a contest through its Facebook page that is sure to interest amateur photographers. Entrants are asked to “capture what the statement ‘Cancer Research Saves Lives’ means to you in a photograph.” You can enter as many times as you’d like. Votes will determine which 12 photos make it into the ACRI Cancer Research Saves Lives 2013 calendar.

First prize is $500 and the cover of the calendar. Second prize is a limited edition, hard bound, signed copy of the book Salmon River by photographer Thaddeus Holownia, as well as the February page of the calendar.

The contest is open to amateur photographers only. According to ACRI’s Facebook page, photos will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, with voting taking place from September 22 to 28. Each person may vote only once per day.

Olympics impacted by Twitter

According to a July 31 Associated Press story, Twitter is getting some people in trouble during the London Olympics. So far, two athletes have been disqualified because of racist tweets and one crazed fan has been arrested “after a series of threatening posts, including one in which he vowed to drown a British diver, and another in which he told the athlete he had failed his dead father by not winning.”

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Every week, I feature three YouTube channels for you to check out. Have a favourite channel? Let me know about it and I may feature it here! Statistics are current to July 31. This week’s channels all relate to painting as a hobby.

Bob Ross1) BobRossInc (1,662 subscrib­ers): If the name Bob Ross doesn’t ring a bell, I’m sure you’d recognize him if you saw him. He’s the guy with the beard and afro who used to host The Joy of Painting show that ran from 1983 to 1994 on PBS. In a hushed voice that sounded hypnotic, he would show viewers how to paint landscapes such as trees and snow on mountains, for instance. Younger Canadian generations may remember comedian Gavin Crawford parodying Ross on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes in the skit “Art Break with Rob Boberston.”

Make fun of him or not, Ross always ended up with something that looked pretty amazing in just a few minutes! Ross died of cancer at the young age of only 52 in 1995 but is still a figure in pop culture – not to mention a still-popular painting teacher online with nearly 1.4 million views of his channel’s 146 videos. His company, Bob Ross Inc., also lives on online. (Most popular video: Bob Ross and “The Joy of Painting:” Follow the lay of the land (from DVD #D1214D) – 197,675 views.)

Gavin Crawford’s parody from This Hour Has 22 Minutes:

And the real Bob Ross:

Bill Alexander2) AAlexanderArt (5,185 subscribers): Bill Alexander was actually Bob Ross’s teacher and the original ‘Happy Painter’ on PBS. He’s the granddaddy of painting shows on the network and was the host of The Magic World of Oil Painting, a predecessor of Ross’s The Joy of Painting. He died in 1997 at the age of 81. Ross learned his techniques from Alexander, which is something that becomes evident when you watch any of Alexander’s videos.

Although there are only 28 videos uploaded to the channel, they’ve accumulated an impressive nearly 3.4 million total views. (Most popular video: Bill Alexander paints Fall River part 2/3 wet on wet oil painting art – 542,342 views.)

David Jansen painting3) Jansen Art Education (770 subscribers): This is artist David Jansen’s channel. He runs the website Academy of Decorative Painting – Television, Educational Art Instruction on Demand. The channel contains 26 videos with a total of just more than 300,000 views.

Videos include an introduction to gouache techniques, learning to draw and design, and colour theory. (Most popular video: DVD4018 Vignette Florals Trailer – 64,600 views.)

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