A pack of wolf cubs was just spotted in an area where they hadn't been seen since at least 1905.

800 years ago, the phrase "The wolves have returned" would have been legit cause for abject terror all across Europe.

Oh hey. We're here to eat you. Photo by Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr.


But in 2015, it's great news. Because it means the species, threatened or endangered in many countries on the continent, is making a big-time comeback.

According to Finland's Yle Uutiset news program, a group of hunters recently spotted pack of wolves, cubs in tow, just casually ambling around in a part of the country where they haven't been seen since at least 1905:

"A litter of wolf cubs have been caught on film in Raseborg, between Helsinki and Turku. Four cubs were filmed by a game camera in late June near the border of Raseborg and Salo. Their parents are apparently Finland's southernmost breeding wolf pair in more than a century."

And it's not just Finland! Apparently, it's a trend all across Europe, as Stephanie Pappas of the Christian Science Monitor reported in December 2014:

"Despite having half the land area of the contiguous United States and double the population density, Europe is home to twice as many wolves as the U.S.
...
Wolves are thriving, with more than 12,000 individuals found in 10 populations in 28 countries
."

There are many theories as to why the wolves are rebounding so decisively, but a New York Times report from 2013 credits the population increase to "restrictions on shooting them." Which ... seems obvious. And raises an important question:

Why was anyone shooting wolves in the first place?

Wolves have a terrible reputation that, in 2015, is pretty much completely undeserved.

Awoooooooo, sucker. Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Let's face it. Fairy tales really weren't the best PR for wolves, instilling generations of children with a deep-seated, irrational fear of these furry carnivores. More recently, the skeletal and weirdly hairless werewolf featured in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" made a valiant attempt to turn thousands more children off the species for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, we no longer live in thatched huts that can be huffed and puffed down. We have apartments. And we know werewolves aren't really a thing. We're pretty well-equipped to coexist with these guys now. And we can really, really stand to follow Europe's lead and step up our conservation game here in the lower 48 U.S. states, which despite being twice the size and far less urban than Europe, contains only half the number of wolves.

If they can do it, we can do it.

In the meantime, in an era where a new terrible report on the state of the environment seems to drop every other day, this is a much-needed piece of encouraging news.

Welcome back, wolves of Europe. We missed you.

Seriously, though. Don't eat us. Photo by Ronnie Macdonald/Flickr.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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