Hand to Hand Combat with a Bear

first_imgI had a new experience today. I fought for my life.I got to Portage Chute, shortly after noon. It had been a splendid morning with plenty of current to speed me along. This stretch of the Churchill is wide, shallow, fast and studded with gardens of large, dark, looming rock. I maneuvered amidst these monoliths all morning, playing and dodging and showing off to myself, pretending I had nitroglycerin on board which would explode with the slightest jar, and seeing how close I could pass by or over an obstacle without hitting it. I was enjoying myself.Pewter SunMy GPS didn’t think I was quite to Portage Chute. It’s still 1.11 miles downstream, it was telling me but I knew better. This was Portage Chute, beyond all doubt. Narrow defile? Check. Increased grade and velocity? Check. Check. Flecks of foam popping up downstream? Sure ‘nuff. Deafening roar? That’s a big 10-4. I was there.mountain-gazette-bear1I took out on river left where the Churchill broadens into a small bight, beached the canoe and headed downriver to scout. There were boulders scattered all over, like a toddler’s toys. Portaging would be hell. Two hundred yards in, I came to a major obstacle, a scarp, only eight feet high, but sheer. Getting the canoe and gear up and over it would take some doing, the kind of doing I didn’t want to do. I scaled the wall and emerged onto a broad bench, blanketed with low shrubs and clumped with slips of cottonwood.I recognized some of the shrubs as buffalo berry, adorned with clusters of small red fruits. Across the bench, fifty feet away, the Churchill pounded through Portage Chute and I headed over to check it out, hoping it wouldn’t look as bad as it sounded. A rim of pale red rock stood twenty feet above the river and lined it up and down, giving me a great view of the rapid.I had already pretty much made up my mind to run it, even before scouting, because the portage was going to be a Bitch (note capital ‘B’), but there wasn’t a great line. Getting through without swimming would be iffy because of several large breaking waves strewn pell-mell across the river that could swamp or roll the boat. There was no way to miss them alI. And there were rocks aplenty too, which I’d have to miss, but I took comfort in seeing that the river below deepened and slowed, providing a reasonably good recovery area, so, in the event of a water landing, all the flotsam, including the canoe, any unsecured gear, and I could be reunited in calmer water and, after some sputtering, bailing and sponging, returned to a fully upright and undamaged state. I studied the rapid a bit more, picked a line, ran it a couple of times in my mind’s eye, and started back.I was crossing the bench through the buffalo berry and almost to the lip of the scarp when I noticed movement in my periphery. The bear that almost ate meSomething big and black and blurry. I turned to look and was incredulous to see a large black bear, only forty feet away, approaching with obvious ill intent. It was moving with deliberation, mouth open, head low, black eyes unwavering—locked on mine.I had been dreaming of a true wilderness experience and here it was: Mother Nature, telling me, So you want real wilderness? Here you go, sonny. For what could be more real or more wild than an animal coming to eat you? I was prey, calories, for a large omnivore that was sick and tired of grass and berries and roots. My shotgun and bear spray were in the canoe, 200 yards away. I would have to stand and fight with the only weapons I had, my bare hands.There was no time to be afraid. The bear was closing in. Only seconds remained. Some long dormant survival instinct took over and I transformed from mild mannered Nature Boy into Conan the Barbarian in a nanosecond (ok, exaggeration). A klaxon blared in my brain. Every cell in my body scrambled to battle stations. I was not aware of wind or cold. The crash of water through the nearby rapid drew silent. Every fiber of my being was focused on the bear.It approached with a dispassionate malevolence, as if to say, Hey. This isn’t personal, just business. Some things are killed and eaten so that other things can live to kill and eat another day. But predators don’t always get their prey. Sometimes, the prey gets away. Sometimes the predator gets hurt. We quarry are not completely helpless. We can kick, maybe break a jaw, butt, gouge and bite, put a hurtin on ya, even inflict mortal wounds, so the prudent predator will approach cautiously, especially with unfamiliar, larger prey, to assess the risks, prior to going in for the kill.That’s exactly what my bear was doing, coming on slowly to take my measure, ponder the risks verses rewards, and then decide whether to attack or withdraw. I doubt this animal had ever seen a human before. We were in the most remote portion of the Churchill, no roads or villages anywhere close, no trails, fish camps or cabins, and inaccessible to motorboats and float planes because of all the rocks and shallows. The bear could not know, what exactly was I, and just how dangerous might I be?My only hope lay in exploiting this uncertainty, make the bear think I was some psycho in search of a rug. I couldn’t run. He’d shag me down in a heartbeat, swat me to the ground, rake and bite me while I screamed, shake me like a rag doll while I whimpered, and then begin to tug and tear off chunks of flesh while I quietly moaned. If I played dead, I’d last only slightly longer than if I ran, and it wouldn’t be quality time. My only play was to be aggressive, fool the bear into thinking that I was biggest badass this side of Fidler Lake.“Get away you Mother Fucker!”, I screamed, but there was no discernible reaction. Nothing. On it came, walking, watching, not making a sound. Only twenty feet away now. I charged it with arms held high, trying to look bigger, and snarling invective through barred teeth. “COCKSUCKER!” I yelled. “MOTHER FUCKER!”No change in attitude.The bear was right next to me now, close enough to touch. It began to circle, close in, from right to left. I began to hit it, punching it in the head and face with neoprene gloved hands. “Good God!” I thought, “I just hit a bear. Is this really happening?”It was. I was really fighting a bear. As it turned, I turned with it to keep its head to my front, constantly throwing punches. My left jabs were weak, ineffectual, glancing blows, but I landed a couple of hard rights to the side of its enormous head which caused a momentary pause before the circling resumed. Near the end of its circumnavigation, I hauled off and kicked it in the ribs just behind the left leg. I was only wearing soft rubber boating booties, hardly more than slippers, but I kicked as hard as I could.This seemed to surprise the bear and it stopped circling and rose up, apparently indignant over such boorish behavior. I’m 6’4” and 185 pounds. The bear was half a head taller, but on the lean side. I doubt it weighed more than 250 pounds, but skinny meant hungry and hungry meant dangerous. Its paws were held high, claws outstretched and I expected to be cuffed at any moment, but the bear just stood there, as if newly uncrated from the taxidermist.We stood, facing each other like dancers, unsure, waiting for the music to start. Then it suddenly dawned on me. I had a knife. Holy shit! It hung inverted from a sheath affixed to my life jacket. I’d forgotten all about it. It was only a four inch blade and the only thing it had ever cut was cheese, but I drew it forth with a flourish and brandished it at the bear.“I have a knife!” I bellowed, to myself in surprise, to the bear in warning. The tables had turned, whatever that means. Still, the thought of stabbing this creature with the little blade was cold comfort. I did not want to hurt it, or aggravate it, and feared that once the stabbing started, this fight was going to get ugly for real. So there we stood, two statues cast in enmity, knife out, claws up, a Mexican standoff if ever there was one. I ended it, taking several quick steps backwards to the lip of the ledge, then whirled and bounded down the wall with the speed of a mountain goat, but not the agility.Halfway down I slipped and had to jump the final four feet to the basin below. I landed hard, tried to catch myself with lunging steps, but fell, sprawled out on hands and knees. My right hand, still gripping the knife, lit almost directly upon a fist sized hunk of rock, smooth, near round, granite. A gift. I transferred the knife to my left hand, snatched up rock in my right, and sprang to my feet with improbable dexterity for someone of my age and decrepitude, then I spun around to see if the bear had given chase.There it was, just ten feet away. The motherfucking thing had followed me down the wall. It stopped when I turned, looked at me, not directly this time, but obliquely and with menace. I faced it, edgewise, like a fencer, knife extended, and the rock, locked and loaded behind. This was it. The moment of truth.“Look bear” I implored, “I don’t want to stab you with this knife or hit you with this rock, but you have to leave right now.” The words were barely out of my mouth when the bear made up his mind, and it wasn’t to leave. The big head swung up and he came at me. I let him have it, heaving the rock with all my might.Funny. Ever since dislocating my right shoulder in a kayaking mishap twenty years ago, I haven’t been able to put any umph into an overhand throw. Before the injury I could hurl hard, be it baseball, football or rock, but, ever since, I throw like a girl, all arm and no shoulder. Not this time. Adrenaline is a miracle drug and with a surfeit of it coursing through my veins, I unloosed the rock. It sailed, trailing flame, and smacked into the bear’s skull right between the ears. It landed with a loud crunch, rock scraping bone, an awful noise normally but sweet music under the circumstances.The bear vanished in a blur, hunger pangs replaced by headache. I ran in the opposite direction, hotfooting it to the canoe, where I quickly hoisted the shotgun in one hand and bear spray in the other.“Hey asshole!” I bellowed. “You want a piece of me? Well come on you chicken shit and I’ll spray you right in the kisser.” I heard nothing but the hiss of wind and water, and blood pounding in my ears. Then I started laughing like a lunatic.Once I returned to a semblance of normal, I decided not to tempt the fates further by running Portage Chute. I figured all my lucky charms were cashed in for the day. What if I dumped and ended up on the left side of the river? The bear’s side. I had no desire for round two with the bruin so I pushed off and clawed my way upstream a couple of hundred yards, far enough up so I wouldn’t be swept down into the rapid, and ferried to the right shore. There was no channel on this side, just a jumble of huge rocks through which the river poured over, around or through. I dragged the canoe past the obstacles, abusing it in myriad ways, but I got down. Then I returned to the canoe for lunch, my favorite, peanut butter on rye crisp with turkey jerky. As I smacked down these delectables, thinking about my improbable victory and narrow escape from the literal jaws of death, I glanced across the river and saw a hairy hump moving through the vegetation opposite.“Hey bear!” I shouted and the hump stopped, turned, and the bear emerged onto the rim where I had scouted the rapid a lifetime ago. It peered across at me with a puzzled expression, then turned and walked out of sight. “Good luck to you bear” I called after it, and meant it.Hanging in the wildsLater at camp, I poured myself a big 151 rum and sipped it thoughtfully. I was in a contemplative mood, totally drained, and numbed, but euphoric. mountain-gazette-bear3I marveled at the days events. I fought a bear and I won. I knew it was mostly luck, that I was lucky to be alive. I have always been lucky. Lucky in my parents, my friends, health, choices. Lucky in love.I have learned to trust in luck, but this was more luck than anyone deserved. I was lucky the bear wasn’t bigger. Lucky he wasn’t more confident. Lucky he didn’t swat or bite me. Lucky, I walked away without a scratch save for a small scrape on my knee sustained when I crash-landed below the ledge. But that was lucky too, because if I hadn’t fallen I would not have found that rock. It was the rock that saved me.Strange, but there are almost no loose rocks along this portion of the Churchill River. I wasn’t even looking for a rock, it just materialized, found me. Now, I am not in any way suggesting divine intervention. As far as I’m concerned Jesus would have been more inclined to send the bear than provide the rock. Luck gave me the rock and luck guided the throw that nailed the bear right where I needed to bean him. A shot to the shoulder wouldn’t have done it. And it was luck that the bear didn’t think, “Ouch, my head hurts, but fuck it, I’m going to eat him anyway.”So I drank my rum and thought about the day, August 3, 2012, the day I had to fight a bear. I kicked its ass and lived. I love living.—This article, an excerpt from Jonathan Klein’s upcoming book on wilderness, was originally featured in the Mountain Gazette. Klein worked as a wilderness ranger and manager in Montana’s Lee Metcalf Wilderness for 27 years before retiring in 2012. Three days after leaving the Forest Service, he departed on a 700-mile solo canoe trip on Canada’s Churchill River, seeking a purer strain of wilderness than can be found in the lower 48—where the furthest one can get from a Micky D’s is 104 miles and the farthest from a road, a mere 30. Klein lives in Ennis, Mont., where he spends his time pedaling, paddling, and planning his next adventure to wild places.last_img read more

Donegal-based surgeon to release new publication next month

first_imgDonegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, a new publication from Donega-based surgeon, Dr Michael Sugrue, will be officially launched at the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny next month it has been announced. A labour of love compiled by Michael over eight years, it is a 208-page coffee table photographic book of over 200 images capturing’s Donegal’s beauty combined with a new collection of 25 poems and will raise funds for three charities.Originally from Galway and known to speak a ‘cúpla focal’, Michael is forever torn trying to bypass beautiful locations to get to an end photographic destination in Donegal. In the book, the pictures tell a story of the unfolding of the day from dawn to dusk and beyond in Donegal’s hinterland in the northwest of Ireland. The poems are for the most part -inked to the photographs.Speaking before the release, Sugrue said:“Luckily living in Donegal and being originally a Galway man, I love the West of Ireland and I love, Donegal, Connemara and Kerry and to be able to go out and sit in the wilderness, almost by yourself, and just appreciate nature’s beauty, is just remarkable.“The advantage of a camera is, you can capture that. And over the last years, when I started making this book, my photography has improved a little bit, so I have been able to capture things a little bit better than when I started and I’ve got to know some of the nicer spots to go to, from a photographic point of view.” Fanad Lighthouse at Dawn. Photo: Dr Michael SugrueMichael was inspired by the North West Words Poetry Group to put pen to paper and is grateful to many who have helped on this eight-year journey, including his literary editor Gerard Beirne and photographic mentors Eimhear Collins and Rodney O’Callaghan.The book launch will be marked in a special ticketed celebratory event featuring music by renowned fiddle player Dr Seamus McGuire and the phenomenal Clann Mhic Ruairí, a harmonising family group from Rann na Feirste steeped in the Irish singing tradition.Michael said: It will be a fantastic evening of culture with both Clann Mhic Ruairi and Seamus McGuire the musical highlights. “Camilla and Kieran of DNK Media Productions have spent nearly a week with me out on the hills, on beach and in the trenches to capture some behind the scenes shots. Gerard Beirne, Author, Poet and Literary editor, will formally launch the book and read a poem. There will be reading from Eamonn Bonner from North West Words, and recorded readings from Denise Blake, Daniel and Majella O’Donnell and Professor William Campbell.”Dr Michael Sugrue’s new book, Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, will officially be launched with a Celebratory Concert on Saturday, 5th October, at 8pm.A ticketed charity event, seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased HERE Donegal-based surgeon to release new publication next month was last modified: September 29th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:book launchdonegallast_img read more

Some like it hot…some not

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As we move into August, we continue to experience a fairly typical seasonal weather pattern for most of Ohio. Yes, it’s hot and humid!  We have been experiencing these conditions for the past couple of weeks and it appears that the trend will continue at least for the remainder of this week. Maybe Mother Nature will improve her sense of humor and provide us some relief in the coming weeks.Every cow-calf producer makes management decisions about their operations based on a wide variety of factors. Some of these factors include access to land, feed resources, marketing goals, labor availability, etc. In this article, I want to discuss another factor that significantly impacts management decisions for the cow-calf producer. That factor is the weather.The weather has a direct impact on nearly every management decision made by the cow-calf producer. There are predictable seasonal trends that we can expect as we move from winter to spring to summer to fall. There are also short-term weather anomalies that can complicate daily farm management from time to time. While we expect colder temperatures during the winter months, very few of us expected to see the -10 to -20 degree F temperatures that we saw in February of 2014 and 2015. Conversely, I would anticipate that many of us would lose several dollars if we tried to wager on the number of days we would see above 90 degrees F in a given summer.I have always felt that the important management decisions of any cow-calf operation should be based upon the goals of optimizing conception rates, the percentage of live calves born, and ultimately the percentage of calves weaned. Your choice for timing of the breeding season and eventual calving season will be influenced to some degree by the weather. An interesting consideration in this process is the answer to this question: “Which is more important to you, the timing of your calving season or the timing of the breeding season?” This can be a difficult question to answer.I suspect many producers would prioritize the timing of their calving season based on less stressful environmental conditions. In other words, many producers would prefer the warming temperatures and lush grass growth of spring over nearly any other season. Spring “officially” begins on March 20 and runs to June 20. For this discussion, let’s assume that is your 90 day calving season. I have heard this timing for the calving season widely promoted by some forage and grazing specialists as an ideal calving time as it works well with natural pasture growth and development.I certainly cannot argue that the spring season typically provides a positive environment for the newborn calf. However, this calving season can pose significant challenges during the breeding season.  If you follow the calving period we are using in this example, the breeding season that would coincide with this calving window would run from June 11 until Sept. 11. I would contend this may be one of the most difficult periods of the year to successfully get a beef female bred, especially if your primary pasture grass is fescue.Think about the challenges faced in a breeding season during this timeframe. Cows and bulls alike are certainly less active at grazing or other activity in the heat of the day in the summer. The producer must reduce stress on the animals by providing aggressive fly control measures and insuring a plentiful supply of clean water.  If much of your pasture is based on traditional fescue varieties such as Kentucky 31, you may be subjecting the cow herd to the endophyte fungus that can negatively impact animal performance.These and other factors can lead to a significant reduction in conception rates during the summer months.  Work done by Dr. Les Anderson of the University of Kentucky at the Research Center at Princeton, Kentucky demonstrated the negative impacts of a later summer breeding season. In this study, the herd was divided into three distinct 45-day breeding seasons ranging from April 21-June 5, May 21- July 6, and June 19-August 4.  Subsequent conception rates for these three breeding seasons were 89%, 78%, and 59%, respectively. Other research and anecdotal information would agree with the results from this study that conception rates will fall as temperatures rise.Again, I respect those producers that want a favorable calving environment. I believe that the best calving environment will have difficulty compensating for a potential 10-30% loss in conception rates from the breeding season. The challenge for the cow-calf producer is finding the “sweet spot” that balances a timely breeding season that maximizes conception rates with a calving season with a less stressful calving environment. This is a difficult balance to achieve.I would suggest that a fall calving season that includes the months of September and October can help provide such a balance between the breeding season and the calving environment.  These months provide similar environmental benefits to calving in April and May while providing a somewhat less stressful breeding season environment in November and December. A relatively small number of the nation’s cow-calf operation will calve in the fall months but it does offer some potential advantages for improving conception rates and calving percentages.A word of caution should be offered for those who are currently involved with or are considering fall calving.  This is especially true if your fall calving season creeps back into the month of August (as in the case of the author!).  Research has shown that fall calving cows can have shorter gestation lengths and lighter calves than their spring-calving counterparts. This can be especially true in times where we see extended periods of extremely high temperatures.  It would not be unusual to observe actual calving dates occur 7-14 days or more earlier than expected based off a known breeding date.The bottom line of this discussion is that appropriate timing of a breeding and calving season for the cow-calf producer is a difficult choice to make. It certainly is not a “one size fits all” situation. Choose the scenario that offers the potential for increasing the number of calves weaned from your herd in balance with feed and labor resources.last_img read more

Aputure Releases the 300D II — with Lantern Attachment

first_imgThe much-anticipated successor to the highly successful 300d LED light fixture, the 300d II comes jam-packed with all of the new features we were looking for in a powerful on-set light package.If you saw our post covering the announcement of both the 300d II and the lantern attachment during NAB week, you might know how excited we were to check it out in person. It checked off all of the items on our wishlist: more brightness, an attachable ballast, and even app control from their new Sidus app. The 300d II is available for purchase now, but before you go off and buy it, take a look at some of the new features.All-New Redesigned Control BoxOne of our biggest gripes with the original 300d was its convoluted power ballast system. There were two separate boxes — one for power, and one for the controls — and they were constantly just . . . in the way on set. But we have nothing to gripe about anymore. Aputure’s all-new control box is a marvel in the lighting world. There’s really nothing else like it out there right now. It uses a fanless design that utilizes heatsinks, which renders the box completely silent. The control box can also attach directly to a C-stand using the new quick-release tool, which makes organization a whole lot easier on set. If you’re shooting in an area without access to power, you’re in luck: you can power the 300d II with two V-Mount or Gold Mount batteries — or even with just one battery at half output. That’s pretty useful if you don’t have access to a generator.On top of all the other crazy-good ballast features, there are now built-in lighting FX that we’ve seen on Aputure’s other products, like the AL-MW, that include useful on-set effects such as “Paparazzi,” “Fireworks,” “Lightning,” “Faulty Bulb,” “TV,” “Pulse,” ” Strobe,” and “Explosion.”Sidus Link ControlWe’ve been absolutely psyched to find out more about Aputure’s new light-linking app Sidus, and it’s looking like we’ve got our first product that will feature connectivity to the software. Here’s what Aputure says about the connectivity features with the 300d II:Featuring all-new Bluetooth SIG mesh network technology, the 300d Mark II will also the first app-controllable Aputure lighting fixture. This technology will allow you to control a 300d Mark II from up to 400 meters away, by linking multiple lights up to 80 meters apart. Using the Sidus Link app, you’ll be able to access all of the functions of the control box, in addition to being able to save presets, finely tune and trigger additional lighting FX, as well as install firmware updates, all from your smartphone or tablet.Aputure has said that it will be making backwards-compatible attachments that can connect to your non-Sidus Aputure lighting gear to the app, but we’re just going to have to wait on that release.More Power and EfficiencyHaving more available power on set is always a good thing. The 300d II is 20 percent brighter than its predecessor. It also comes with Aputure’s brand-new, hyper-efficient, 55-degree reflector. After redesigning the shape and coating of the inside of the reflector, Aputure increased the output by more than three times, compared to the original 300d.Bonus: The Aputure LanternNow I’m not going to lie: I’ve been excited about this for a long time. I am a huge fan of using china balls on set, but they can be a nightmare to work with. The paper rips constantly, and they have the penchant to accidentally catch fire if exposed to too much light. The Aputure Lantern fixes that problem by providing ample soft lighting with just a quick attachment to your 300d II. It’s also a tension-based system that can fit in a small carrying case, which makes it incredibly portable and easy to access for run-and-gun filmmakers.One of the coolest features of the Lantern is the skirt attachment. It’s a black cloth that can direct and block your soft light toward your desired target. It’s great for lighting a table scene — or a single person in a crowd.Both the Aputure 300d II and the Lantern attachment are available for purchase on the Aputure website.All images via Aputure.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.Sony Announces The A7R IV with a 61-megapixel SensorThe 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video CamerasCanon Announces an Affordable Full-Frame 24-240mm All-in-one Zoom LensBuilding A Low Budget Handheld Rig For The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KViltrox vs. Metabones: Speed Booster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameralast_img read more

If You Turn On PowerPoint, I’m Throwing You Out!

first_imgThe title of this blog post is an exact quote from a prospective client to a group of salespeople, one of whom was ready and willing, PowerPoint at the ready, to dive right into the slide deck. The words were said with a smile, but they were also a threat that the prospective client intended to keep.“If you turn on PowerPoint, I’m throwing you out.”While the death of PowerPoint is greatly exaggerated, it’s clear that your prospects, your clients, and your team shouldn’t have to face the Hell that is your plowing through a massive slide deck with no engagement.So what’s better?The Deck Supports the DialogueThe best way I have found to use a slide deck is to pack it full of every slide I will ever need, driving it with menus. You can create a menu slide (or slides), and then use buttons to take you to each slide when you need it to support a dialogue.The key is to engage in the dialogue, only going to the PowerPoint when you need visual support for the points that you are making.You start the dialogue by saying something that sounds like this, “I have a massive slide deck here, but I don’t intend to use it except to better support our dialogue with some visuals. What I’d like to do is talk with you about what’s really important, and if we need to show you something, we’ll pull up the slide.”It’s not that your prospective clients and your existing clients don’t want to see your slides; they don’t want to listen to you plow through every slide in deck. They don’t want you to read to them, and they don’t want you to make all the points that they could read for themselves. And they definitely don’t want you to recite everything that you have ever done in hopes of bumping into something interesting.But you can use the deck to effectively support the dialogue.The Last WordYou slide deck doesn’t create trust. It doesn’t build relationships. What your clients and dream clients are looking for is someone that cares enough to help them get the results they need. They are looking for someone that can speak to their business issues and challenges and help them with ideas. They want to know who you are, how you think, and what you believe.Dialogue is what produces the outcomes your clients want from your presentation. Presenting your whole deck is your crutch.QuestionsWhat do your clients want out of a presentation?When is PowerPoint the best way to get them that outcome?How can you use PowerPoint to support a dialogue instead of replace it?What are your very best tips for using PowerPoint effectively?last_img read more

Queen in a helicopter, Beckham on a boat for an extravagant opening ceremony for London olympics

first_imgWhat can you say about an opening ceremony of the Olympic Games that managed to get the Queen of Britain into a helicopter with James Bond and David Beckham piloting a speedboat along the Thames river. Director Danny Boyle spent 27 million pounds on the opening ceremony and if anyone doubted whether or not the title “Isles of Wonder” was far-fetched, they won’t now. Nor should they wonder where the money went, that was clear to see, report Xinhua.The “Isles of Wonder” may have left some people confused, but as Boyle said in his pre-ceremony briefing, “You do the show for yourselves, you have to. I try to represent the whole country.”Not just the whole country, but a whistle-stop tour through British culture from a pastoral idyll to the industrial revolution in a shift of scene which saw the fields lifted up and replaced by smoking chimneys to force five Olympic rings among the white heat of change and war.In minutes, the Olympic Stadium was filled with smokestacks and machinery, and a reflection of the social upheaval that it brought in its wake.It was fast, dynamic and on a huge scale, perhaps on such a big scale that some segments may have been hard to see, but to criticise too much would be nit-picking.Boyle said he had tried to reflect the values that “are honest and true”, and nothing reflects that more than the British National Health service, which ensures everyone can receive free medical treatment no matter their class, wealth or status.advertisementA dance with nurses, who all work for the NHS reflected that wonderfully, while the “sick” children provided the stage to highlight children’s literature.A glimpse at some of the characters on view- Lord Vordemort, the Queen of Hearts, Peter Pan, the Childcatcher and the savior of the hour, Mary Poppins, who descended in multitude to vanquish the bad guys gave just a glimpse of just how many of our loved personalities have come from these eyes.Mr. Bean was also there, as was a homage to British cinema, British family life and a run through pop-culture.The final section of the ceremony celebrated digital communication and ran through some of the hits and TV shows of the 1960s, 70s and 80s up to the present.The section even began to the music from long-running radio show “The Archers”, itself a reflection of the change these islands have undergone.All in all, it was carried out with speed, skill and perhaps most importantly, with affection. That is how it should be.last_img read more

Best Marketing Practices? Think “Blog,” “Website” and “SEO”

first_imgWhat are the best and worst marketing programs businesses have performed in the past year to drive sales leads? For our “State of Inbound Marketing”  report, we asked respondents for their top best and worst marketing programs they’ve done to drive leads and sales over the past year. Represented below are their answers in a word cloud, which we created with a very cool tool called Wordle.  The word cloud sizes words based on how often they are referenced in a given set of information.The first word cloud represents the best marketing efforts of the past year, respondents frequently cited “blogs,” “SEO,” “websites,” “campaigns” and “social media” in their answers.The second word cloud represents the worst marketing practices in the past year.  The biggest words here are “direct mail,” “trade shows,” “email,” and “telemarketing.” There’s a lot of content overlap between both of the clouds, but looking at the largest words on each really drives home the big picture.Inbound Marketing Kit Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. Download our inbound marketing kit.   SEO Topics: Originally published Feb 3, 2009 8:17:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Quintessential Summer Reading List for Inbound Marketers [Free Ebooks]

first_img by Marketwire: by David Meerman Scott: Topics: by Michael Stelzner: 8. Click to Download What other good marketing ebooks have you read lately? Click to Download by Brian Clark: Real-Time: How Marketing & PR at Speed Drives Measurable Success Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Business (Version Two) 2. free marketing ebooks ) Click to Download ) Click to Download , too, such as the one below! ) 4. This research-based ebook reports on how marketers are using social media to grow and promote their businesses. ( Anne Adrian 7. Chapter 1 of Marketwire’s six-chapter ebook series focuses on how to listen to and draw conclusions from your audience so you can plan effective marketing strategies. ( 5. ) Clark’s 28-page ebook satisfies the content creator’s itch for learning how to write remarkable content that is well-optimized for search engines. ( 8 Must-Read, Free Ebooks for Inbound Marketers This Summer Based on his newest book, David Meerman Scott’s ebook discusses how the internet has changed the pace of business, why businesses must act in real-time, and how to be successful. ( Click to Download The Beginner’s Guide to SEO Curious about how to get started with social media marketing? John’s ebook will teach you the basics of social media and how to leverage it for your small business. ( by Geekpreneur: How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well in Search Engines The Art of Community Click to Download by SEOmoz: A Geek’s Guide to Promoting Yourself and Your Online Business in 140 Characters or Less With Twitter Photo Credit: Of course, if this list isn’t long enough to keep you satisfied this summer, you can always download a few of HubSpot’s Click to Download Chapter 1 by John Jantsch: 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report ) SEOmoz’s ebook offers a comprehensive introductino to search engine optimization and how to start optimizing your business’ website for search engines. ( 6. ) 1. by Jono Bacon: Mastering Audience Engagement: Reinventing Your Role in a New Media World (Chapter 1: Listen) 3. ) ) Aimed at marketers and community managers, Jono’s ebook offers guidance about community building, viral marketing, and building a following around products and services. ( Twitter still a mystery to you? Geekpreneur’s got you covered in this introductory Twitter for business ebook. ( Originally published Jun 21, 2011 5:12:00 PM, updated July 19 2013 Click to Download Content Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

7 Ways to Use Social Media to Rock Your Next Event

first_imgThe season of events is upon us! I know that at HubSpot, we’re currently busy hosting our Event Marketing is the easiest way to keep track of the conversations people are having about your event. Having one will not only be beneficial during the days and months leading up to the event, but also while it’s taking place and even after it’s over, so you can track what people thought about individual sessions and the event as a whole. Establishing a hashtag can help you social media strategy to give your attendees and audience the best experience possible. We’ll help you out with a few tips to rock your next event. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack the event. No matter what they’re saying, it’s important for you to engage with these people and respond to their questions and comments. during (seriously — it’s happening RIGHT NOW). Are you working on your next industry event yet? If you are, have you thought about your social media strategy? After you secure your event date(s), the next step is to plan your Creating a hashtag INBOUND 2012 conference create buzz Tip #1: Create a hashtag. LinkedIn , but both types of people may be interested in attending your event, and it’s worth the effort to craft different messages to appeal to each group’s needs and interests. Tip #2: Promote regular updates about your event. As you’re planning your event, use your social presence to announce news and updates about what attendees should look forward to. For example, when you secure a new speaker, share the news via your social media accounts. When registration opens, announce it using your social presence. When you confirm your sponsors, share that, too! Prospective attendees are looking for reasons why they should come to your event, and these types of announcements have the potential to sway people who are on the fence about coming. You just might make some additional ticket sales because of your social promotion. If you’re planning an industry event, LinkedIn should be the focus of a lot of your efforts. When people think of promoting an event in social media, they typically jump right to Facebook, but creating a Tip #6: Allow attendees to ask your keynote speakers questions via Twitter. for your event, as well as gather feedback that can be beneficial in planning future events. When creating a hashtag, choose something short and memorable (check out this . Creating a Google+ event offers a few main benefits: automatic email invitations, and day-before-the-event reminders — as well as adding your event to the Google calendars of people who have indicated they’re attending. For smaller events — or even larger events with busy people — Google+ can be a great tool. event can be the perfect tool for targeting your industry. It will also give you a centralized page on which to post nothing but event updates, instead of cluttering up your main company page. Another venue you should consider using is oft-neglected ), and be sure to promote it during the planning process and during the event itself so people know what to use while they’re tweeting. Tip #4: Make sure your event’s promotional content is remarkable. A lot of people will undoubtedly be tweeting about your event. They may be sharing with their followers that they’ll be attending your event, asking questions about your event, or tweeting about the contentcenter_img remarkable . helpful guide to creating awesome hashtags business blog Originally published Aug 28, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Run social media contests Google+ promoting your event that help your attendees plan and prepare for your event, and of course, share them in social media! It’s easy to post updates about your upcoming event and encourage people to register, but what will make your event truly stand out from all the rest is the strength of your event’s promotional content. Just like all the other inbound marketing content you create, your event content needs to be Tip #5: Create LinkedIn and Google+ event pages. across all social media channels your prospective attendees populate should be an integral part of your event’s social media marketing strategy. Sure, different channels will require different tones and messaging, but utilizing more than one social network will increase the reach of your event messaging, so take the time to adapt your event’s social updates to cater to each network. For instance, you may not be targeting the same types of people in your LinkedIn group as you are on to get people excited about your event, and reward winners with prizes like free tickets. Create and share graphics or videos to give people a sneak peak into what will happen at your event. Write articles for your During your event, many of your attendees will likely want some time to chat with your speakers and ask them questions. But as any event planner knows, that’s not always feasible. As an alternative, encourage attendees to tweet their comments and questions to speakers using the event hashtag. Make sure your speakers are aware of this initiative, since they may even want to answer some of the audience’s questions at the end of their presentations. Not only will this make your event more interactive, but it will also make attendees feel more connected to your speakers. It’s a simple tactic that is relatively easy to execute, but it will also really make your attendees feel like you value their thirst for knowledge. It will also show that you’ve taken the extra step to connect them with the thought leaders who can best help cater to their needs. Tip #7: Be responsive in social media, even during the event. monitoring the conversation Tip #3: Leverage ALL of your social media channels (and tailor your messaging to each). around your hashtag and responding frequently throughout the event. No matter what attendees are saying, it’s important to make sure someone can answer their questions as quickly as possible. Doing so will reflect positively on your company and on your attendees’ overall experience at your event. Furthermore, encouraging engagement on Twitter could end up causing your hashtag to trend, or at the very least, expand the read of your event — and your company! Keep in mind that not all of your prospective attendees participate in every social channel. Certain people may only follow you on Twitter. Others may prefer LinkedIn. Therefore, Topics: The social media event updates shouldn’t stop when your event starts. Remember — there may be people asking questions about your event even when they’re on-site. Assign someone at your company with the sole task of your Facebook page What other social media strategies can make for a more successful event?last_img read more

Bob Dylan vs. Pharrell: Whose Music Video Will Go Viral?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: It’s the classic story trope. Two music videos. Similar launch days. Similar concepts. Similar executions. In the race to the top of internet fame and fortune, which will go viral?I’m talking about the newest interactive music videos from Bob Dylan and Pharrell, currently making their ways around the internet.Haven’t seen them yet? I’d recommend checking out the links above to get the full picture — but beware, you may lose hours off your life. If you want the quick and easy version of the story, keep reading.Bob Dylan’s music video? Created to look like your TV screen, with a twist — every character is lip syncing to “Like A Rolling Stone.” And it works like a TV too. Flip through the channels to see reality TV stars and game show hosts alike singing to his song. A creative and interesting take on the music video format.Pharrell’s? A video of Pharrell and collections of random people dancing to his song “Happy” — for 24 hours. Each person or group of people is filmed for the full length of the song in seemingly normal situations — in the grocery store, walking down the halls of an apartment, walking home from work at night. It’s catchy — I ended up listening to it on repeat while I wrote this post. So on the surface, it seems like there’s really no major difference between the two. But look deeper, my friends, and you will see that one is doomed for failure.The Difference?You can’t get to Pharrell’s site on a mobile device. This is the message you get:That’s actually how I discovered Pharrell’s music video. I was browsing my phone on my way home from work, saw that a bunch of my friends on Facebook were posting about the video, and decided to click.I wasn’t “happy” after that discovery — I’m a huge Pharrell fan, but I pretty much expect all mobile websites to just work. And I’m not alone: According to Super Monitoring, 50% of people use mobile for their primary or exclusive means of going online. Truthfully — the only reason I went back to view Pharrell’s video was because I was going to write this article.With that in the back of my mind, I went to check out Bob Dylan’s video on my phone. Here’s what I found.The initial page:After you hit play:It’s a fully responsive website. Its creators considered mobile viewership right from the start. It’s an experience that delights its users — not only because they’re excited to watch something cool on mobile, but also because all of the controls work. Pharrell’s website can’t even compete with Bob Dylan’s on mobile — and that might be he loses out on going viral.Can Pharrell Afford to Alienate Mobile Users?I’m actually really surprised that Pharrell’s website isn’t mobile optimized. He has lots of fans who are plugged into the social and mobile world. Why wouldn’t he want to capture their attention? He’s losing out on tons of viewers who discover his video through social media — one of the primary activities people do on mobile. We’ll see how the numbers play out, but I’m rooting for Bob Dylan despite my crush on Pharrell. A musician who solves for his fans’ needs, regardless of platform they’re viewing his videos on? That kind of video is the type that I hope — and expect — to go viral.  What do you think? Does it matter whether you have a responsive, mobile-ready website in your marketing? Viral Campaigns Originally published Nov 21, 2013 8:50:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more