David Attenborough opened up an actual dinosaur egg. Here's what he found.

Did you know that there are intact dinosaur eggs lying around? I did not know this.

An actual intact dinosaur egg, next to a replica. Image via Nature on PBS/YouTube.


I know this now because David Attenborough just cut one open on PBS' "Nature" show, and my 8-year-old self was screaming and jumping and doing laps around the room the whole time.

GIF via Nature on PBS/YouTube.

It wasn't just any old dinosaur egg. It was a titanosaur egg. Titanosaurs, as their name suggests, are — to use a presently fashionable term — yuuuge.

America has gone so dinosaur crazy, even some of our frontrunner presidential candidates have views straight from the Jurassic era! Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images.

And on the inside, the skull of an actual dinosaur embryo...

Image via Nature on PBS/YouTube.

...plus more. Go ahead. Take a look. You won't be disappointed. You will be the opposite of disappointed. You will be ... appointed. So appointed:

The best part of all this? This is your tax dollars at work, folks! In a good way!

Any time there's an election, literally every single candidate pledges to lower taxes (Republicans for everybody, Democrats for everybody but rich people). It's a solid strategy! Most people like having more, rather than less money, and thus, hate paying taxes.

Most people, paying taxes. Photo by PDPics/Pixabay.

Not me, though. I love paying taxes (really). Love it with all my heart (straining credibility, but still telling the truth!) 'Cause it funds stuff like this. For all the talk about government waste this and small government that, paying David Attenborough to open meticulously preserved, 300 million year old dinosaur eggs on television is the fourth most-important thing I'd want the United States of America spending my money on after roads, bridges, and the fire department. And while programs like "Nature" do get a lot of support from private individuals, foundations, and corporations — (and it should be noted that private corporations — and private non-profits like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — do sponsor a lot of PBS programming). including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private nonprofit — they wouldn't be broadcast here if not for PBS.

Privately owned networks make good TV too, of course, mostly of the Kardashian variety. That's great! The world needs the occasional Kardashian. But these networks make choices based on what's going to make them a crap-ton of money, and ultimately, that determines what gets made, which is why we're currently on season 89 of "The Bachelorette."

PBS doesn't need to make a profit and can spend on what's weird and cool and interesting. Like David Attenborough and dinosaur eggs.

PBS actually doesn't cost us that much either.

The network cost taxpayers $445 million in 2012. That's roughly $1.42 per person and roughly 0.06% of the defense budget (which clocked in at $676 billion that year).

I'd pay $1.42 for that 90-second clip by itself.


Without public funding for cool, educational programming, you wind up with a bleaker programming picture. Sesame Workshop — the production company behind "Sesame Street" that depends heavily on government support — was recently forced to move the iconic show to HBO to pay its bills (new episodes will still air on PBS several months after they premiere on the cable network). It's a tough blow for a show that was launched with a mission of providing a free daily education to the neediest kids.

For now, at least, we still have awesome dinosaur egg dissections.

Anyway, I recommend stopping everything you're doing and watch Attenborough open up that egg over and over again. You earned it. You paid for it, after all.

GIF via Nature on PBS/YouTube.

Better yet, save it for Tax Day.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by Tod Perry

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