Most Shared

A Brazilian widower gets adopted by a penguin. It's freaking adorable.

First a penguin washed up on a Brazilian beach covered in oil. Then he decided he didn't want to go home.

A Brazilian widower gets adopted by a penguin. It's freaking adorable.

Many of us have special places in our hearts for pets. And for most of us, it's a dog or a cat that greets us when we come home or wakes us up with slobbery kisses.

There aren't a lot of people, though, who can say that their kindred animal spirit is a penguin. But João Pereira de Souza, a Brazilian widower, is one of them.


João lives in a small fishing village near the Brazilian coast, and he formed an unlikely friendship with a penguin named Jinjing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, João found his soon-to-be companion on the beach covered in oil in 2011. He scooped the little guy up and moved him to a shadier spot, where he fed him some sardines.

All images via Wall Street Journal/YouTube.

Then he took the penguin back to the beach so he could swim back to wherever he came from. There was one problem, though: Jinjing didn't really want to go back. He waddled right back out of the ocean and toward João.

"He never left me again," João said of his little penguin friend.

It's been four years now, and Jinjing does occasionally take trips "out of town." He tends to take off for a few months around February too. But he always comes back to the village and to João.

Why is this story so great? Well, first of all, because it's an adorable penguin friendship. But second, João and Jinjing's story really highlights how important it can be to have a companion — even if that companion is an animal.

Spending time with an animal pal can be therapeutic, especially for people who are lonely, anxious, or depressed.

Studies show that spending time with an animal can lower stress levels and even help people process trauma.

Plus, having an animal buddy can also help connect people to each other. Anyone who has a dog knows that it's almost impossible to take a pup for a walk without meeting at least a few people. In a study published in 2000, researchers found that simply walking a dog outside can help spark conversations with strangers.

João and Jinjing can vouch for that therapy.

When they're not swimming together in the ocean or walking on the beach, they hang out with other members of the community, where Jinjing is known as the "village mascot."

Having a pet can make you more physically healthy as well. It's hard to avoid exercise when your dog or cat wants to play every morning, after all. And one study found that having a household pet could even help control blood pressure.

So you don't need a penguin to find heartwarming companionship (and, in fact, you probably shouldn't try to get one).

But there are plenty of rescue animals in shelters that need forever homes and new best friends! You can even start the adoption process today. And if you want to live vicariously through João, you can check out this video of the two BFFs from the Wall Street Journal:

Courtesy of Back on My Feet
True

Having graduated in the top 10% of Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets nationwide in 2012, Pat Robinson was ready to take on a career in the Air Force full speed ahead.

Despite her stellar performance in the classroom and training grounds, Robinson feared other habits she'd picked up at Ohio University had sent her down the wrong tracks.

First stationed near Panama City, Florida, Robinson became reliant on alcohol while serving as an air battle manager student. After barnstorming through Atlanta's nightclubs on New Year's Eve, Robinson failed a drug test and lied to her commanding officer about the results.

Eleven months later, she was dismissed. Feeling ashamed and directionless, Robinson briefly returned home to Cleveland before venturing west to look for work in San Francisco.

After a brief stint working at a paint store, Robinson found herself without a source of income and was relegated to living in her car. Robinson's garbage can soon became littered with parking tickets and her car was towed. Golden Gate Park's cool grass soon replaced her bed.

"My substance abuse spiraled very quickly," Robinson said. "You name it, I probably used it. Very quickly I contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. I was arrested again and again and was finally charged and sentenced to substance abuse treatment."

Keep Reading Show less

As I was doomscrolling through Twitter yesterday, the wording of an Associated Press post caught my eye. "The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to 9 days after Election Day, in a win for Democrats," it read.

A win for Democrats? Surely they meant a win for Americans? For voters? For democracy?


Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

Electing Donald Trump to be president of the United States set an incredibly ugly example for the nation's youth.

We know how it's affected the national discourse of regular adults. But there's no denying the conduct of a president impacts how children around the world see the example being set for them. Every day for the past four years, children have been subjected to the behavior of a divisive figure that many of their parents chose to exalt to the most powerful office in the world.

Sure, adults can make excuses for him saying he's an "imperfect messenger" or that they "didn't vote for him to be reverend," but these are all just ways to rationalize voting for a man with zero character. What a message to send to children: Act awful and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

But what if you took away the "Trump" name and examined the character traits of him as an ordinary person? More specifically, what if your daughter came to you and said this was the kind of person she was planning to date? Well, one MAGA family found out and the results are funny, insightful and quite revealing about how we somehow hold our leaders to different and lower standards than we expect from ourselves in our day to day lives.

Keep Reading Show less

After years of advocating for racial justice and calling out police brutality and seeing little change in law enforcement and our justice system, some people are rightfully fed up. When complaints are met with inaction, protests are met with inaction, and direct action is met with inaction, maybe it's time to get specific in who needs to be held accountable for issues in law enforcement.

That's exactly what Keiajah (KJ) Brooks did at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting in her hometown of Kansas City this week. The 20-year-old used her approximately four minutes with the microphone—and with the commissioners' undivided attention—to unequivocally lay out her position to each and every one of the officials in that room.

"Fair warning, I'm not nice and I don't seek to be respectable," she began. "I'm not asking y'all for anything because y'all can't and won't be both my savior and my oppressor. I don't want reform. I want to turn this building into luxury low-cost housing. These would make some really nice apartments."

"Firstly, stop using Black children as photo opportunities, 'cause they're cute now, but in 10 years, they're Black male suspects in red shirts and khaki shorts," she said. "Eating cookies and drinking milk with children does not absolve you of your complicity in their oppression and denigration..." she added, before looking directly at the police chief and pointedly calling him out by name, "...Rick Smith."

Keep Reading Show less