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Bibong, Korea's last captive Indo-Pacific dolphin, has successfully been freed

Bibong had been living in an aquarium for 17 years.

dolphin ocean wild

Efforts to release marine mammals back into the wild are proving successful.

Dolphins are one of the most intelligent creatures on Earth, capable of more complex communication and comprehension than nearly every other species. Their intelligence is one reason humans have captured dolphins and trained them for entertainment, but it's also one reason why keeping them in captivity is seen as cruel.

According to The Korea Times, Bibong, a 23-year-old Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, has just been successfully released into the wild after 17 years of captivity in an aquarium in South Korea. He is the last of his species to be freed by the Korean government after being declared endangered in 2012.

The plans for Bibong's release were announced in August and Bibong has spent more than two months training to adapt to life in the wide open ocean. Bibong is one of eight dolphins that had been kept in an aquarium on Jeju Island, but the other seven were released in 2013, 2015 and 2017. According to Korea Now, Bibong was seen refusing to obey his trainer's orders during a performance last year, "possibly due to chronic stress and pressure."


This summer, Bibong was moved to a transitional facility where he could learn to communicate with other dolphins and prepare for life in the wild. An estimated 120 Indo-Pacific dolphins live off of Jeju Island, where Bibong was originally captured in 2005.

Now that he's been released, he will be monitored by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries daily for 30 days via a tracking device attached to his fin, followed by at least five consecutive days of monitoring per month for another six months. Updates on his progress will be provided to animal rights groups, marine mammal experts and government officials, according to the Times.

Both The Korea Times and Korea Now note that a popular Netflix show, "Extraordinary Attorney Woo," helped bring the plight of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin into the spotlight when the show's lead character said, "I want to see an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin near the coast of Jeju someday."

In August, Korea Now shared footage of Bibong as he was moved from the aquarium to the training facility where he has spent 70 days preparing for life in the wild:

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan told The Korea Times that the most important thing for the dolphin is to live a healthy and happy life after it returns to the ocean.

"We will fortify marine animal protection policies to improve their well-being," Seung-hwan said. "The government will continue discussions with the aquarium industry to help a greater number of animals return to where they came from and belong."

The ministry is also hoping to release a beluga whale named Ruby from an aquarium in South Jeolla Province sometime late next year.

Efforts to save marine mammals from extinction have shown great potential for success. Humpback whales, for example, have made a comeback and have been taken off of endangered species lists after industrial whaling nearly wiped them out in the 20th century.

But even whales and dolphins that aren't in danger of extinction deserve to live freely in the wild whenever possible.

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

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Identity

People from other countries share 14 'obvious' signs that someone is an American

"Americans lean on anything they can while standing around…"

Some American tourists enjoying the sights

Americans have a style and personality all their own, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just noticeable when they travel aboard. Americans often stand out because of their outgoing personalities. They are friendly and enjoy having casual conversations with strangers.

This is an endearing trait to a lot of people in more reserved cultures, although it can also come off as a little brash.

An American characteristic that isn’t quite endearing to people in other countries is that they can be rather loud. In Europe, one can always notice the Americans in the restaurant because they can be heard from across the room.

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Woman learns lesson in kindness after date apologizes.

How you treat people in the service industry is often used as a measure of what kind of person you are. Arguably, the same could be said for how you treat anyone in a customer-facing job, whether it be the sales associate at a department store, the cashier at McDonald's or the janitor in your office building.

While people may think that these jobs are not skilled positions, they do require an immense amount of skill that has to be learned. The skill just isn't as valued by society as a whole, and sadly, that often leads to people treating those in customer-facing jobs poorly. But when a woman recently went on a date with a potential partner, her poor behavior towards the waitstaff caused him to pause.

The story was shared by a woman by the name of Barbara NOT Barb on Twitter with a lengthy thread about her daughter's recent interaction. Though the details were juicy, it quickly became obvious that kindness is the way to go.

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Joy

Viral kids' librarian responds to being bullied online and it's a lesson in kind clapbacks

“I hope they experience kindness. I hope they experience joy.”

Librarian's response to online bullying is a beautiful lesson.

No one enjoys being made fun of. It can be difficult to manage no matter how old you are, but the internet has brought teasing and bullying to a whole new level. People no longer have to see their bullies face-to-face, and instead of maybe someone turning a few of their friends against you, it's a few hundred or few thousand joining in on the teasing.

In this digital age, people are still trying to learn new ways to deal with finding themselves on the receiving end of online bullies. Mychal, a librarian who has become a viral sensation for his unique way of excitedly telling people about the library, recently found out he was the subject of online bullies. He had no idea anyone was teasing him until followers started doing mental health check-ins to make sure he was okay.

Once he found out why his community was reaching out with concern, the librarian decided to address the situation head on and in the process he gave a masterclass in kindness.

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Pop Culture

Watch a 13-year-old boy become the first person ever to beat Tetris

The classic 80s video game was considered unbeatable…until now.

Classic Tetris/YouTube

Thirteen-year-old Willis Gibson is the only player ever known to beat Tetris.

Few video games are as compelling and addictive as Tetris. Nor are other games, even the most difficult ones, literally impossible to beat.

The task behind Tetris is simple: rotate the falling blocks to fit the puzzle. But as those pieces fall at a faster and faster rate, at some point even the most skilled player becomes outmatched. In fact, no player (other than an AI bot) has been known to ever actually beat the game.

Until now.

Thirteen-year-old Willis Gibson, better known as “Blue Scuti” when he’s gaming, was about 39 minutes into a Tetris competition, rotating blocks at lightning speed, when he achieved a “True Killscreen,” signaling the game couldn’t keep up and crashed.

In other words, Gibson did the impossible. The 34-year-old old game was finally beat…by a teen.

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Shadow Ace returns to wow AGT crowd with shadow art.

Remember when you were little and learned you could make shadow puppets on the wall from the bathroom light that peeked through your bedroom? Most people learned how to make a fairly realistic-looking frog or rabbit, but that's about where the talent ended for most. Shadow Ace, an "America's Got Talent" alum, took that childhood skill and never stopped honing it.

The shadow artist first appeared on Season 18 of the iconic show, coming in 3rd place after charming the crowd with his shadow routine. But he still had more up his sleeve when he returned for "America's Got Talent: Fantasy League" where he's competing on Howie Mandel's team. It's a good thing too, because it's Mandel's head that's used as his stage for his shadow act that will have you wanting to bust a move.

Shadow Ace starts off strong with the famous Sir Mix-a-Lot song, "Baby Got Back," and yes, he was somehow able to make his hands look like a person shaking their derrière.

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