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Wisconsin 'RecallCam': Boring, Beautiful Or Both?

Watch if you dare. You may get hooked.
State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
Watch if you dare. You may get hooked.

As our friend Micki Maynard at Changing Gears says, "forget live streams watching the giant panda in Edinburgh, or theweather in Chicago. The newest Internet plaything is the Wisconsin Web Cam."

It seems, according to The Associated Press, that in just the past day or so about 30,000 people have taken the time to watch a silent, live webcast of Wisconsin state government workers methodically processing more than 309,000 petition pages from the movement to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R).

The processors are in what looks to be a very austere building (maybe a warehouse or storage facility?) at an unidentified location. The state's Government Accountability Board explains what they're doing here.

"Workers on camera are currently scanning petition pages so that electronic copies can be provided to the incumbents, and made available to the public," the board says. "Elsewhere at the center, workers are opening boxes and organizing the petitions in packets of 50 pages in preparation for scanning."

They'll be working away at the task into next week.

The mesmerizing webcast has led to a bit of a following and some pretty funny comments on Twitter. Look for @RecallCam. Followers have given some of the state workers nicknames and seem to enjoy imaging what they're thinking:

-- "Sheedy currently wondering whether she can fashion her mouse into a shank, prison-style."

-- "Things still a little icy between Sideburns and Flirty so far today. He might need to cast his net a little wider."

-- "BREAKING NEWS: White glasses girl has opted for a lovely pink scarf. According to multiple sources, this will not hold the scanning up."

We hope, for your sake, that doesn't get any ideas about a webcam pointed at The Two-Way desk. Imagine the excitement.

Meanwhile, no real action yet at the other webcam we've been following this week: the one on Jewel the bear in Ely, Minn. She may give birth at any moment.

(H/T to NPR's Catherine Laidlaw.)

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.