Ellen delivered a shining message of self-acceptance, and she couldn't have picked a better venue.

One day in a not-so-distant future, the words "Ellen" and "awards show" may be pretty much synonymous.

I mean, she's taken home 27 Emmy Awards, been nominated for a handful of Golden Globe Awards, been nominated for couple of Grammys, and cleaned up at the People's Choice Awards. Once you add in the fact that she's hosted the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars, you've got Ellen DeGeneres — awards show titan.


Ellen and her wife, Portia de Rossi, at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

On Sunday night, she took home the award for Choice Comedian at the annual Teen Choice Awards.

For the fifth (yes, fifth) time, she came out on top in the voting, beating out the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez, and Amy Schumer.

GIFs via Teen Choice Awards 2015.

What makes this win special? Two things: It's her and Portia's anniversary (congrats, you two!), and the speech she delivered was just so touching.

Ellen's speech centered on what it's like being different and why we should all be proud of who we are.

It's hard being different, especially when you're younger. Being different — or even just perceived as being different — can lead to some really nasty bullying.

The Teen Choice Awards show was the perfect place for Ellen to share this message.

Since coming out as lesbian in a 1997 episode of her ABC sitcom "Ellen," she's been a very public LGBT figure. At the time, coming out was a huge deal, and she faced some major backlash over it. While things can still be tough for LGBT adults, it's especially hard to be an LGBT teen struggling to come out.

Nearly 85% of LGBT students experience verbal bullying.

In 2009, GLSEN released the results of a survey of 7,261 students between the ages of 13 and 21. In addition to finding that nearly 85% of LGBT students were verbally bullied, they learned that 40% were physically harassed and 19% were assaulted at school because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

For these teens, it can be hard to see being different as anything but a curse. That's why hearing this message from someone who has overcome these same challenges to become one of the country's most beloved TV personalities is inspiring — and maybe even life-saving.


Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Watch Ellen's powerful, inspiring speech below.

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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