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Mama Tot; TikTok; Ophelia Nichols
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Mama Tot brings love and compassion to the internet.

Sometimes when you're having a bad day it helps to have a warm voice telling you that everything will be OK.

Millions of people have been getting little pep talks from a maternal voice on TikTok, Ophelia Nichols, better known as "Mama Tot." Nichols has been bringing sunshine to people's algorithm for a while now with her signature greeting, "Hey, my little tater tots." The mom of four adult children has built her platform on kindness and compassion. Anytime social media users see Nichols' face pop up on their screen, they know they're in for a dose of sweetness.


Some people have been so taken aback by the Alabama woman's sweet nature that they have asked her if she was just pretending to be that nice. Mama Tot isn't a stranger to those sorts of questions and always responds with her signature brand of kindness, explaining about her difficult upbringing and desire to just be a good human.

Recently, Nichols' "tater tots" rallied around her after the news of her youngest child being tragically murdered. In a truly admirable video, Mama Tot called for compassion toward the other family involved, though she was hurting.

When someone is in need, Nichols does her best to help however she can and her followers come along for the ride, gleaning their own message from her words.

When a young mom was struggling with feeling like she just couldn't get things together, Nichols sent her a message via video saying, "What we're supposed to do is raise our babies and our children the best way we know how." She continued, "If you're giving your babies all of you and the best of you, then your best will always be good enough for them."

The message was so encouraging that the mom she made the video for commented, "Thank you Mama Tot, everything I needed to hear 💗 such big shoes to fill, I want to be everything she deserves."

@shoelover99

#stitch with @Leah Rae

These messages from Mama Tot aren't always specifically to any one person, but they're certainly helpful to many people that come across her page. The southern mom has amassed more than 9 million followers and more than 279 million likes, all due to her bubbly personality and ability to know just what people need to hear.

The internet can be a cruel place, but Nichols has made her mark by remaining kind and giving sage advice, including explaining financial abuse to her followers and how to stash away money to escape a financially abusive relationship. While Nichols is kind, she does not put up with bullies. Her "tater tots" can learn from her ability to set boundaries, take accountability for missteps and remain kind while doing so.

Nichols' comments section is always filled with people expressing their gratitude for her encouraging words and the light she brings to their day. On one of Nichols' videos checking in on her followers, a commenter, Jess, wrote, "a bright spot in a dark day🥰bless you mama tot." While another commenter, Hannah Perry, on the same video said, "You give me so much hope in the world of darkness."

If you happen to stumble across one of Mama Tot's videos, check out her page for a while, you'll be glad you did.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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