+

Did you know penguins are so adorable that they get not just one but two days of annual celebratory attention?

Jan. 20 each year is Penguin Awareness Day, and April 25 is World Penguin Day. So let's appreciate our little tuxedo-clad friends and educate ourselves on why they're (not just so freaking cute but also) important.

Without further ado...


1. Penguins are pretty incredible.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

Let me tell you why.

2. There are so many different kinds of penguins — 17 to 19 species, to be more precise.

These little ones are Adélie penguins.

Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Of all these different species, the emperor penguin is the biggest...

...just as its name implies.

Here's a colony of emperors who appear to be completely over an elephant seal that won't shut up.

"Can it, Rebecca!" Photo by Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images.

4. On average, emperor penguins are about 3'9" tall.

For scale, these emperor penguins are hanging out in Tokyo's Ueno Zoo next to what I'm assuming is an adult human rocking some sweet penguin cosplay.

Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images.

5. On the other end of the size spectrum are these little blue penguins.

They're not as widely known as the dapper emperors, and they stand about a foot tall, give or take.

Photo by Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Penguins are all about that seafood life.

That is, they eat things like fish, krill, and squid.

Photo by Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images.

7. Even the little ones have huge appetites.

The entire species of Adélies, one of the smaller penguins, puts away 1.5 million metric tons of krill a year (and that doesn't include their appetite for fish and squid).

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

8. Remember, though: Penguins don't live at the North Pole.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

Although a penguin-driven Santa sleigh would be pretty adorable in theory.

9. Most species of penguin live down south, in places like Antarctica, New Zealand, and — like the ones below — Chile.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

10. But that's not to say penguins can't live farther north.

Beach-bum penguins (er, African penguins) are definitely a thing.

Photo by Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images.

11. You may spot them off the coast of South Africa.

Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images.

The northernmost place wild penguins roam is the Galápagos Islands, which are right on the equator. (Naturally, they are called Galápagospenguins.)

12. Most penguin species are also monogamous.

I'm sorry, but that's just adorable.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

To be clear, though, that doesn't mean they "mate for life," so to speak. It simply means, for the most part, that each male will have only one female partner (and vice versa) every mating season. (Still ... adorable.)

13. Penguins often make excellent parents as well.

Both the adult male and female play big roles in hatching and rearing their young ones — like this couple of Gentoo penguins at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Gay penguins, too, have been known to be pretty damn good at raising their chicks together.

14. Unfortunately, like many animals, penguins have been harmed by humans.

Downtrodden penguins (just like those beach bums) are also a thing.

Photo by Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images.

15. I bet you've heard of one major culprit: climate change.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

A warming planet means penguins have lost (and are increasingly losing) important sea ice. Sea ice is vital because that's where penguins breed and hunt for food.

16. When sea ice disappears, penguin populations shrink. Big time.

Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

A 2014 study found that by the end of this century, at least two-thirds of the world's emperor penguin colonies will have shrunk by more than half if temperatures creep up as predicted.

17. Humans are also infringing on penguins' food chains.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

When we overfish the oceans, it doesn't bode well for their diets. How would you feel if penguins starting binge-eating all of our food? (OK, weird visual. But you get the picture.)

18. Protecting penguins isn't just about penguins.

Photo by Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images.

19. Penguins help keep our entire world in balance.

Seriously, no joke.

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

As the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History points out, protecting penguins is vital in keeping our ecosystems in check:

"Penguins do far more than make us smile, however; they also play important roles in ecosystems both in the ocean and on land. Penguins — adults, young and eggs — serve as food for predators such as leopard seals and seabirds in cold areas, along with foxes, leopards, and even crabs in warmer climates. By chasing after fish, squid and krill, they affect prey populations wherever they hunt. They carry nutrients between land and sea, and enrich both with their feces. Some burrowing species even modify the landscape as they dig nests into the ground."

20. Bottom line: Penguins are interesting, adorable, and important creatures.

Especially this penguin chick. This one speaks to me.

Photo by Jennifer Bruce/AFP/Getty Images.

21. So let's remember to protect our friends with flippers down south.

Because in more ways than one, they make our world a better place.

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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.


Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.05.21


Six years ago, a high school student named Christopher Justice eloquently explained the multiple problems with flying the Confederate flag. A video clip of Justice's truth bomb has made the viral rounds a few times since then, and here it is once again getting the attention it deserves.

Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

But that clip, as great as it is, is a small part of the whole story. Knowing how the discussion came about and seeing the full debate in context is even more impressive.

Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less