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The 2013 documentary "Blackfish" took SeaWorld to task for keeping killer whales in captivity — which the film argued is highly detrimental to the creatures' mental health.

An orca show at SeaWorld Orlando. Photo by David Bjorgen/Wikimedia Commons.


Since then, SeaWorld has come under major fire — from animal welfare organizations, celebrities, and lots of people in between.

Harry Styles of One Direction publicly criticized SeaWorld back in September. Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.

The economic consequences to the company have been enormous. The company's profits dropped 84% between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2015.

Today, the company finally decided to take action to try to quell the criticism.

As reported by Lori Weisberg in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"SeaWorld intends to phase out its longstanding killer whale show at its San Diego park next year as part of a comprehensive strategy unveiled Monday to re-position the embattled company amid persistent criticisms of how it treats its orcas."

While ending shows at one park won't (and shouldn't) stop people from criticizing SeaWorld, it's a welcome first step.

Ending the shows could help make life much safer for SeaWorld's trainers, many of whom have been injured or killed in orca attacks, which some argue are triggered by the stress of confinement.

SeaWorld still has a long way to go, however.

Photo by Gordon2448/Wikimedia Commons.

Ending the shows doesn't address the underlying issue — that keeping orcas in captivity puts the animals under an enormous amount of mental and emotional stress.

California Representative Adam Burbank plans to introduce a bill that would ban breeding orcas in captivity and would make capturing them in the wild illegal.

But starting to phase out the shows means SeaWorld is listening.

Credit is due to the dozens of people who held the company's feet to the fire and the thousands who voted with their feet — and their dollars.

Hopefully there's a lot more change on the horizon.

Update: Keep your excitement on hold for now. Slate reports there will still be orca shows at SeaWorld, but they'll be ... "natural" or something. Let's hope the new shows represent an actual improvement for the animals and their trainers, rather than just a cosmetic one.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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This article originally appeared on 02.04.19


As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.

Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.

Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.


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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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