The 10 Best Live Streams of Animals to Liven up Indoor Life

10 Best Live Streams of Animals
(YouTube/Monterey Bay Aquarium)

As we all adjust to social distancing, sadly that means taking a hiatus from trips to the zoo. Animals, though, can be the best distraction for all of us, especially kids. Thankfully, we can still watch pandas, penguins, lions, and even polar bears from our own homes via some pretty cool live streams.

We’ve rounded up the best ones for you, and encourage you to check ’em out with your wee ones.

San Diego Zoo’s Live Cams

Elephants Live Cam
(San Diego Zoo)

The San Diego Zoo website has live cameras for a whole range of animals, including tigers, pandas, elephants, and koalas. There’s even a baboon cam. I watched a little creature scratch his own butt for 5 minutes but that’s kids for you. Maybe watch the baboon cam instead.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Virtual Classroom

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
(Facebook/ClevelandMetroparksZoo)

This one is particularly cool because not only will it entertain your kids, it’ll educate them too (while you take a well-earned rest!). Every weekday, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is hosting a virtual classroom on Facebook Live. The zoo has promised there will be new animals and adventures every day (which is also how I describe my homeschooling).

Georgia Zoo Virtual Tour

Georgia Aquarium
(Georgia Aquarium)

Want to see beluga whales? Want to see puffins and piranhas? Want a million dollars? I can’t help you with the last one but if you answered yes to the first two questions, this is the website for you.

Cincinnati Zoo’s Daily Live Streams

Cincinnati Zoo Live Stream
(Facebook/Cincinnati Zoo/Lisa Hubbard)

Another new Facebook Live show, which will air every weekday at 3 pm EDT. Each installment will feature a new animal and an accompanying at-home kids’ activity, which you can see on the zoo’s website. I’m hoping for sloths and sleeping.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo: Panda Cam

Panda Cam
(Smithsonian Zoo)

Pandas are not known for their dynamism, but even if they’re just sitting around, they’re still pretty awesome. And that’s all I do these days anyway. There are two giant pandas you can watch in their habitat. If nothing else, it’ill make you feel active in comparison.

Polar Bears Exploring the Canadian Tundra Virtual Tour

Polar Bear Cam
(Discovery Education)

Brought to you by Discovery, this is probably as about as close as we’d want to get to polar bears anyway and watching them explore the frozen tundra in Canada will brighten your day.

And you don’t need to miss out on aquariums either; here are some awesome websites for you.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams

 Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams
(YouTube/Monterey Bay Aquarium)

If you want to watch otters, sharks and penguins (and who doesn’t?), then check out California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has a number of live cams for your viewing pleasure, including live feedings several times a day.

Vancouver Aquarium’s Jelly Cam

Vancouver Aquarium
(Vancouver Aquarium)

Personally, if a chilled-out blob in the water was my thing, I’d get in the tub. But for jellyfish fans, this cam, set in deep blue water, will give you hours of enjoyment.

And while it’s fantastic to see all kinds of animals, we still have plenty of love left for dogs and cats, and we can even virtually visit them too:

Kitten Rescue Sanctuary’s Kitten Cam

Kitten Sanctuary Cam
(Kitten Rescue Sanctuary)

Here you can watch a live stream of a room at the Kitten Rescue Sanctuary in Los Angeles. While kittens obviously top the billing here, keep your eyes out for a dog named Birdie who makes a few cameo appearances.

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary’s Senior Dog Gathering Room

Senior Dog Sanctuary
(Explore.org)

Imagine a soap opera but with dogs. That’s essentially the premise here, where live cameras show dozens of very old dogs lie around, walk in circles, and vaguely acknowledge each other. Don’t worry if you missed earlier episodes, it’s a pretty straightforward plot. The stream comes from the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, a very worthwhile senior dog paradise in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

ESPN Moves up Release of Highly Anticipated Michael Jordan Series

The Last Dance
(Twitter/ESPN)

The sports world is feeling the crunch of suddenly having absolutely nothing going on. Athletes are creating makeshift sports at home, while fans cling to repeats of The Ocho. Kids got Frozen 2 early and free Amazon content but sports fans have been left in the cold.

Until now.

ESPN as stepped up and is delivering the hotly anticipated, 10-part Michael Jordan documentary months early. It will now be premiering now on April 19th.

The documentary series, The Last Dance, details Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls. For millennial sports fans, it’s tough to understate how big this is. In the late 90s, there was nothing cooler than Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. And with literally nothing else in the sports world even happening, everyone will be tuned in for this. Even the final trailer seems incredible and leaves fans awash in nostalgia for a time when people could actually gather in public.

This is big enough news that even athletes can’t wait for the series. LeBron James is the only basketball player in a generation to even get close to the Jordan discussion (and some may say James is the better player). And even LeBron can’t wait for the documentary.

The 97-98 Bulls was one of the more unique versions of the dynasty, as outside of Jordan you had Steve Kerr (now a wildly successful coach), Scottie Pippen (at the height of his career), Dennis Rodman (before he was a North Korean spokesperson) and Phil Jackson (always the Zen Master). That’s a lot of personalities around the biggest personality in basketball history.

Check Out the Trailer for New Rick and Morty Episodes

New Episodes of Rick & Morty
(YouTube/Adult Swim)

Last week, news came down of Solar Opposites, a new show from the Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty. The show has a very Rick and Morty vibe, complete with the science-fictiony twist about a group of aliens who crash-land on earth and need to make their way in this strange new world.

It feels like Rick and Morty, but it’s not Rick and Morty.

Thankfully, Rick and Morty is coming back, and today they dropped the trailer for the long-awaited batch of episodes that makes up the second half of season four. Rick and Morty: The Other Five looks like more of the same, which is exactly what fans expect, and why they’re so rabid about the show.

The first five episodes of the season saw the pair running through various types of stories, but some fans were disappointed that those outings didn’t seem to connect to the larger story that the show had been building the previous 3 seasons. We’ll see how the second half connects, but there’s one plot point that continues: the search for Summer.

The trailer is set to Thin Lizzy’s rollicking “The Boys are Back in Town” and showcases the titular duo continuing their mission to find Morty’s sister, Summer. The last time we saw the gang, they were hawking Pringles during the Super Bowl, so it’s nice to see them back in their typical surroundings on Adult Swim.

The half-season hits the Cartoon Network on May 3, which is probably going to be exactly when we need some hi-jinx most.

Former NBA Star Working to Secure 10 Million Masks for NYC

Stephon Marbury Masks
(Instagram/starburymarbury)

New York City is the new epicenter for COVID-19. The hospitals have been overrun by cases, sirens are the only constant sounds on the streets, and healthcare workers are in desperate need of PPE. And on that last need, one former NYC basketball star is trying to come to the rescue.

Stephon Marbury, a talented baller from Brooklyn who starred for the New York Knicks, is working to negotiate the delivery of 10 million of the much-needed N95 masks, and at a steep discount. Marbury played in the NBA for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until he moved to China that he became a basketball hero.

In China, where he still lives, Marbury became an icon. And as the country of origin for COVID-19, they know a thing or two about fighting the illness. Now that cases are lower in China, they don’t have a significant need for protective equipment. Marbury wants to help move the surplus to his hometown and found a mask supplier willing to sell them at cost (which is about three times cheaper than what NYC has been paying for masks).

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the New York Post. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

The basketball legend still has family scattered throughout the city, and recently lost a cousin to the deadly virus. He said he’s working to have the masks delivered in weekly shipments of 2 million.

Marbury has always been a charitable figure, donating frequently to various causes when he was a Knick. This latest act is another testament to the legacy of one of the most important players New York City has ever produced. He wasn’t exactly known for assists, but this one would be a big one that’s never been needed more.

Finally: Jello Shots and Jenga Together at Last

(Etsy | Stone Point Woodwork)

Who doesn’t love a good game of Jenga? Extracting wooden blocks with the deliberation of an engineer and the hands of a surgeon, moving said blocks to the top of an increasingly rickety structure, and howling like lunatics when the tower inevitably topples over. Everyone emerges the victor, save for one loser tasked with cleaning up the mess they alone made.

It’s a sport of kings.

The only thing that could make it more fun?

Booze.

We’re all familiar with Drunk Jenga, aka Tipsy Tower, a variation that incorporates time-tested drinking game rules. Each block pulled is inscribed with a command, rule, or mini-game. Take shots, give shots, rhyming challenges, things of that nature.

(Pinterest/Nicole Snovicky)

Yeah yeah, we know. It’s been done.

But!

What if we told you someone has integrated Jenga with booze by literally integrating Jenga with booze? Introducing Little Tipsy Jello Shot Towers.

(Etsy | StonePointWoodwork)

Built and sold by the Etsy store Stone Point Woodwork, the Little Tipsy Jello Shot Tower is exactly what it sounds like. It’s way bigger than your standard-issue Jenga stack, standing at a colossal 27 inches. This is because hidden throughout the 54 blocks are 25 holes in which you can comfortably nestle 25 Jello shots.

Literal game changer.

(Etsy | StonePointWoodwork)

“Fifteen of the blocks in this tower contains single holes for Jello shots and five of the blocks contain double holes,” reads their Etsy page. “Pull the block with the shot/shots and you take them or share with a friend!”

This update of the Hasbro classic looks like a rollicking good time, and the inclusion of alcohol should pose no safety issues as long as you don’t keep adding to a really high Jenga. Speaking of which, nobody invent High Jenga.

John Krasinski and Steve Carell Talk Good News and The Office

Some Good News
(YouTube/SomeGoodNews)

John Krasinski was supposed to be celebrating the premiere of the sequel to his 2018 blockbuster The Quiet Place. Alas, COVID-19 had other plans, and the movie, along with just about every other major studio release slated for this year, was delayed. So, like the rest of us, the former Office star needs to find other ways to fill his time.

Thankfully for us, he decided to do that publicly. And with his famous friends.

The actor/writer/director has started a series on YouTube called “Some Good News,” via which he attempts to spread a little positivity during these trying times. The channel, which only launched yesterday and already has over 650,000 subscribers, features Krasinski himself sharing heartwarming and positive stories of humanity during the pandemic.

His first full episode featured a “visit” from his Entertainment Correspondent and former co-star Steve Carell, aka Michael Scott. Carell appeared on the show to chat with his friend about The Office’s 15th anniversary, and to share some of their favorite moments from the classic sitcom and talk about the enduring bond between the cast members.

The pair had a good time laughing and reminiscing together, and Krasinski also featured an interview with Courtney “Coco” Johnson, a teenager who recently had her last chemotherapy treatment but remains under isolation due to the coronavirus.

Check it out for Some Good News – then around the 5:30 mark John talks Office!

Crocs Is Giving Away up to 20k Pairs to Healthcare Workers, Daily

Crocs Daily 20k Giveaway
(Instagram/Crocs)

If there was an honorary member to the dad shoe class, Crocs could make a case. It checks all the boxes; they’re comfortable and durable. They’re affordable and easy to clean. Oh, and they’re an awesome company.

The shoe is popular in the medical community, for many of the above reasons. And as our nation’s healthcare workers are facing a pandemic, the shoe company is trying to show its love, by giving away up to 20,000 pairs to healthcare workers daily.

The president and CEO of Crocs said in a statement the duration of the giveaway to these ‘heroes’ would depend on inventory. But after offering 10,000 daily the first few days the campaign ran – they upped the number to 20k a day.

He also said: “These workers have our deepest respect, and we are humbled to be able to answer their call and provide whatever we can to help during this unprecedented time.

This is the hour where people are rallying to help those on the front lines in any way they can. Maybe it’s free shoes. Or maybe it’s stopping the manufacture of jerseys, opting to make medical masks and PPE. Or maybe it’s donating supplies from your TV show, or making hand sanitizer instead of (or along with) booze.

Companies across the spectrum are doing their part to support those in the pandemic trenches. If you are a healthcare worker (or know one), you can get your free Crocs by going here at 12:00 p.m. ET every day.

Family Guy’s Brian and Stewie Launch Quarantine Podcast

Stewie and Brian's Podcast
(Instagram/mcfarlaneseth)

If you’re anything like me, this quarantine has got you pretty bored.

Sure, there are jobs to be done, and homeschooling to help with, and parenting to half-ass, but there’s also a fair amount of free time that can’t be filled with trips to our favorite restaurants or bars or movie theaters or concert venues or friends’ places. We’re all stuck inside, killing time with Netflix and jigsaw puzzles.

Thankfully, streaming services have stepped up to offer as much content as they can, both new and old, artists and musicians and streaming performances on Instagram and YouTube. You can even find stripped-down versions of late-night shows, with hosts like Seth Myers and Jimmy Kimmel speaking to viewers from their homes.

You can even hear podcasts featuring your favorite animated characters, like Stewie and Brian from Family Guy.

Like the rest of us, Stewie and Brian are bored AF, stuck inside, looking for ways to entertain themselves, so they’ve started a quarantine podcast. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane posted an image of Brian wearing a mask on Instagram to announce the podcast: “Stewie and Brian made a podcast. Check it out on IGTV.”

Stewie and Brian, of course, are both voiced by MacFarlane himself, as is Peter Griffin, who also appears on the show. Aside from the usual Family Guy-style tomfoolery, the podcast actually offers some resources, with characters offering tips for staying occupied, telling listeners not to hoard supplies, and exhorting listeners to stay home.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Seth MacFarlane (@macfarlaneseth) on

MacFarlane also posted a drawing of Stewie and exhorted people to stay home and be safe.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

For this brief duration: STAY HOME. You may feel healthy. You may BE healthy. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild or asymptomatic. But you still may be a carrier, and you could pass it on to someone more vulnerable to it. This is not the apocalypse. The world has seen pandemics before. This will pass, and life will return to normal. But if you don’t make a temporary life adjustment during this pause, you will be helping to increase the likelihood that this disease will spread, resulting in the inability of hospitals to care for the number of serious cases. You can choose to help save lives, or to disregard them. So for the sake of those most exposed to harm, stay home if you have the means. There are people who don’t have that option — from doctors to firefighters to transit workers to all those who don’t have the financial luxury that perhaps you do — and you will increase their exposure as well if you insist on going to that bar. A virus is not invincible. It can be suffocated, but only with a communal effort can we do so with speed and efficiency, and without buying 100 rolls of toilet paper. Be responsible, and it will pay off.

A post shared by Seth MacFarlane (@macfarlaneseth) on

According to TV Guide, Family Guy is one of the few shows still in production, with the animators collaborating over a shared storyboard program called Toon Boom. So maybe we’ll get some new episodes soon.

But until then, we’ve got the podcast!

Album Covers, Reimagined in the Age of Social Distancing

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Apple Records)

As social distancing continues to reveal itself as one sobering inconvenience after the next, it’s crucial we keep wringing what chuckles we can from the circumstances dealt.

While we heed stern warnings to keep minimum distances of six feet between one another, two brilliant LA-based artists, Paco Conde and Roberto Fernandez, wanted to reinforce this message. They tasked themselves with modernizing classic album covers so that they adhere to CDC safety guidelines.

From their website:

“A collection of iconic album covers redesigned to raise awareness about the importance of staying at least 6 feet away from each other, to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Social distancing is the new normal and it will be for a while. 6 feet or 1.8 meters is the distance that experts recommend we keep between each other.

We will rock again soon. Just remember to keep the 6 feet distance. It will save lives.​

On top of keeping your distance, please do support local charities like Feeding America.

Their work is crucial for some of the most vulnerable people struggling with the economic effects of Coronavirus.”

(We took the liberty of retooling a popular lyric from each band to do the same.)

“Ladies, leave ya man at home. Come to think of it, you too. Both of you just stay home please.”

Destiny's Child Album Re-imagined
(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Columbia)

“Stone me, sure, but I must kindly ask you NOT spit in my eye, thank you”

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / EMI / Elektra Records)

“You can go your own way, just keep 6′ behind anyone else going theirs”

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Warner Bros. Records)

“Call me! Or text. Just, like, do not come over.”

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Chrysalis Records)

“Come together. Wait, no, nevermind. Don’t.”

Abby Road Re-imagined
(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Apple Records)

“Strumming my pain with his I HOPE recently-washed fingers.”

Re-imagined Fugees Album Cover
(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Ruffhouse / Columbia Records)

“F*** the CO-VID.”

Re-imagined NWA Album
(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Ruthless / Priority)

“I wanna be sedated. This one works as is.”

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Rhino)

“Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud but like cover your mouth if that’s no too much trouble.”

(Paco Conde / Roberto Fernandez / Casablanca)

Check out many more of these clever reimaginings on Paco and Roberto’s website, 6 Feet Covers.

Father Figures: Ready Player Son

“My son had a neonatal stroke at birth, which damaged the left side of his brain. He went to Sick Kids to get his seizures under control. Once regulated, we went back home.

Over the years, he never had a seizure while awake and did everything what a kid does: play video games (his favorite was TMNT 3 on the NES), learned Muay Thai, and is a big cuddler.

He had seizures only at night ranging 5 to 10 a night and we had to take a decision that led to his hemispherectomy (cut half the brain out). This had side effects, including paralyzing his right arm.

He still wants to play video games, so I do the buttons while he maneuvers the character. He also still does Muay Thai and cuddles.

He has rough patches due to being disabled, but showing positive support he retains a positive outlook on life and pushes through every obstacle.”

– Gabriel Blouin

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here