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A movie went behind the scenes, and now SeaWorld is just trying to stay afloat.

People love orcas, but things have changed since they learned the real cost of seeing them perform.

Orcas are amazing creatures.

They're also called “killer whales," even though they're actually members of the dolphin family. Orcas are smart, endearing, and social. They live in communities called “pods" when they're in the wild.


Unfortunately for them, orcas can also be awesome performers in captivity.

Marine parks around the world draw big crowds to orca shows, and big bucks.

One of the most well-known marine parks is SeaWorld.

SeaWorld has been around since 1959 when it was a small bird sanctuary and garden associated with Anheuser-Busch. It's long presented itself as a place for educational entertainment that teaches kids and their families about marine animals.

In July 2013, though, a movie — “Blackfish" — exposed what life is like for whales at SeaWorld when the crowds leave. It shocked a lot of people and triggered a series of events that look an awful lot like a downward spiral for SeaWorld.

Here's why what happens to SeaWorld is really important.

Every entertainment venue in the States and around the world that relies on captive wild animals has to be watching what happens to SeaWorld with concern. The lesson those venues may be learning is that properly respecting animal rights and more seriously considering their quality of life is the only way to stay in business now that audiences have shown how much they care.

Here's some of what's happened to SeaWorld, starting with the release of “Blackfish."

July 2013: "Blackfish" is released.

"Blackfish" is the story of one orca, Tilikum — a performer who wound up killing several people.

In telling Tilikum's story, the film reveals what it's like to be an orca in captivity. The film suggests a link between these conditions and Tilikum's violence.

November 2013: Students upload a message to SeaWorld on YouTube.

February 2014: SeaWorld is cited by the USDA for Animal Welfare Act violations.

"We stored these whales at night in what we call a module, which was 20 feet across and probably 30 feet deep."
— former SeaWorld trainer

According to SeaWorld's own information, their average orca is over 21 feet long. Um, 20 feet across?

March 2014: A legislator proposes banning orca captivity.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom introduced the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes." The penalty for violating the law would be up to a $100,000 fine and/or six months' jail time.

May 2014: SeaWorld's attendance drops by 13%

In January, February, and March 2014, attendance was down by 450,000 visitors compared to the year before.

July 2014: Southwest Airlines ends its relationship with SeaWorld.

For 26 years, SeaWorld had partnered with Southwest Airlines, with planes painted to look like SeaWorld orca Shamu. No more.

August 2014: SeaWorld Entertainment's stock plunges 33%.

November 2014: Protesters grab attention at the televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

December 2014: SeaWorld CEO leaves the company.

CEO Jim Atchison steps down from SeaWorld — with a $2.5 million severance package, mind you — and a board member resigns as well.

February 2015: SeaWorld loses 1 million visitors.

Compared to February 2014, SeaWorld's attendance is down by a million visitors.

You can check out the entire timeline video from The Dodo of SeaWorld's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year and a half.

Hopefully, everyone gets the message.

SeaWorld's learning the hard way that earth's creatures are not just there for our amusement, and other companies like them have to be reading the writing on the wall for this kind of entertainment. It's time to come up with less invasive, more respectful ways of getting to know these animals.

There are still orcas at SeaWorld.

We're fascinated by these creatures, and if we didn't understand what they'd been going through before, now we do. It's never been our intent to see animals like orcas suffer, and hopefully, that suffering's going to come to an end soon.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

“Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome."

'Dee' the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video it received over 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a Silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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"Time is the one thing we cannot increase.”

Over his seven years as host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah brought us laughter and valuable insights, even with a pandemic and political upheaval. He made such a positive mark that the announcement of his departure from the show came as bittersweet news to fans.

During an interview with Hoda Kotb of “Today,” Trevor Noah gave further explanation to his personal decision to leave, and in typical Noah fashion, it touched on something universal in the process.

“I realized during the pandemic,” he told Kotb, “everyone talks about a ‘work-life balance.’ But that almost creates the idea that your work and your life are two separate things. When in fact, I came to realize during the pandemic that it’s just a ‘life-life balance.’ It’s just your life.”

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
woman holding a cup of tea, writing in a notebook

It's no secret that everyone could use a little kindness in their lives and it can come in many forms. Sometimes it's the neighbor cutting your grass when your husband's away and you're too busy to get to it yourself. Other times it's sending a card to the elderly widow down the street.

One woman in Arkansas has taken to spreading kindness through writing letters to strangers. Allison Bond, 25, started writing letters over a year ago during COVID-19 when she couldn't attend school due to her medical condition. Bond has cerebral palsy and is at greater risk for serious illness should she contract the virus. Writing letters was an act of kindness that didn't require a trip out of the house.

Bond began by writing to soldiers and inmates. In fact, the first letter she received back was from a soldier. Bond told 5News, "I have one framed from a soldier. He had all his battle buddies sign it. So I framed it so I could put it up." She's kept every letter she's received.

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