Heroes

A whale interrupts a deep-sea expedition on the site of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, the animals of the sea are still recovering.

A whale interrupts a deep-sea expedition on the site of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

You may have seen a video making the rounds about deepwater explorers and their encounter with a sperm whale.

It's a really cool clip. If you haven't seen it yet, go ahead and give it a watch (it's at the bottom of this post).


But there are a few things you might not know about that crew. For example...

The crew is led by the same man who discovered the Titanic.

No, not him.

Him!

That's Bob Ballard, and he's basically the Michael Jordan of, uh, doing stuff underwater.

Just two dudes at the top of their game.

So it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that he's making rare, chance encounters with whales.

And another thing you might not know about the whale video: It was filmed at the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster.

Less wondrous majesty of the sea, and more ... oil and fire and smoke and stuff.

It's been five years since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

Located roughly 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, it became the site of one of the world's largest drilling-related disasters.

For 87 days, oil rushed from the leak before it was finally capped on July 15, 2010. It wasn't until Sept. 19, though, that the well was sealed off.

According to a report by the U.S. Coast Guard, nearly 5 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf.



As part of the containment efforts, the Coast Guard attempted to burn the oil off the surface, as seen in this picture from May 5, 2010.

Wildlife was negatively affected onshore and off, leading to short- and long-term challenges.


Ballard and his crew are out there researching the spill site to answer some remaining questions.

There's still a lot we don't really know about the long-term effects of such a huge spill.

The crew took some time this week to answer questions about their work exploring the area during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session.

They touch on their work, as well as some general questions about the spill. I highly recommend checking it out. It's great stuff.

Check out the team's encounter with the sperm whale below:

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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