Jane Goodall shares her secrets on how to lead a full life
via Europa Pont / Flickr

Primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall, 86, has lived an incredible life that's been defined by her ability to bridge the gap between humans and the animal kingdom.

Most notably, her work studying chimpanzees up-close in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania from 1960 to 1975 changed how people perceive what it is to be human and chimpanzee.

After documenting chimpanzees using tools in 1961, the discovery was so Earth-shattering it prompted her mentor, anthropologist, and paleontologist, Dr. Louis Leakey, to make the bold proclamation: "Now we must redefine tool, redefine Man, or accept chimpanzees as humans."


Since she has gone on to found the Jane Goodall Institute UK and the Roots & Shoots program where tens of thousands of children in 100 countries work together to make the world a better place.

Her monumental accomplishments are even more incredible being that she began her career at a time when women faced an uphill battle in the world of science, and many dissuaded her from going into the jungle.

"Everybody laughed at me and said that I'd never get there. It was far away, we didn't have money, and I was just a girl," she told our partner site, GOOD, last year.

In a recent profile for the Wall Street Journal, Goodall was asked her advice for those who wish to follow in her footsteps by going where they've been told they shouldn't.

"Follow your dream, follow your passion, do what you're passionate about. When I dreamed of Africa when I was 10 years old, everybody laughed at me: How will you get by? You don't have money. (It was wartime.)You're just a girl," Goodall said.

But she had incredible support from her mother, who probably had no idea at the time that her prodding would help inspire generations of women and scientists to push boundaries.

"Mum said, 'If you really want something like this, you'll have to work terribly hard. You'll have to take advantage of all opportunities. And if you don't give up, maybe you'll find a way,'" Goodall recalled.

via Sommer in Hamburg / Flickr

As someone who was told to know her place in the world, her advice is important for those who are told they cannot achieve their dreams because of who they are.

"That's the message I take to young people all around the world, particularly in deprived areas," she added. "So many people have said or written, Jane, I want to thank you because you taught me, because you did this, I can do it too — meaning follow your dreams."

Now, for the rest of us who may not want to spend decades alone in the jungle observing nature, Goodall has advice on how everyone can help make the planet a better place.

"Every single day we live, we make some impact on the planet and we need to make ethical choices, thinking about the consequences on future generations," she told GOOD. "What do we buy, eat, wear? Where did it come from? That will start moving us towards a better world."

After 86 years of being on one of the most incredible adventures of the past century, Goodall seems to have two ideas that she believes are paramount: persistence and consciousness.

She believes everyone should be persistent in the pursuit of their dreams while also living a conscious life, focusing on how their day-to-day decisions have an impact on the future of the planet.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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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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