'Monster' Is Too Gentle A Word For What Their Camera Captured

It was fifth grade. It was the days of AOL chatrooms and Windows 95 — the good ol' days, when you had to really earn it to find something good on the Internet.

One day, my grandpa brought home a shiny edition of Microsoft Encarta, and I was hooked. Not just for MindMaze (remember MindMaze?!) but for all the illustrations and encyclopedic information available within a few clicks. This was life before Wikipedia, and I was addicted.


I decided to research the deep ocean for a school project and ... oh god ... I stumbled into something that looked like ... this!

"What the WHAT, man!" is what my tiny child brain repeated unto itself for time immemorial. "That ain't cool!"

Thankfully, at the time, there was no actual footage of anglerfish to haunt my nightmares. But all that changes ... now.

Because for the first time, at this depth, we have visual contact, people!

BEHOLD! LOOK UPON THY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR:

[RECORD SCRATCH]

...hold up, did you hear that?

It's only nine centimeters?! This thing has been the stuff of my nightmares for years and it ain't even bigger than my hand?!

But here's the thing: As horrific as this fish was to me (fifth-grade me legit hid under a desk after stumbling across it that first time), it gave me a lifetime of respect and fascination for the deep sea. I mean ... I couldn't get this thing out of my head! How does it exist?

...and what kind of food does it attract with its ... interestingly shaped apparatus?

...and how could ANYTHING exist at 600 meters below? That's 2,000 feet deep! A 20-story building!

That's why articles about islands of plastic trash in our oceans or warnings from Sea Queen Sylvia Earle hit me a little harder. I turn into a little fifth-grade version of myself, daydreaming about the mysteries and wonder of the deep — yes, even the mysteries of the bizarre and monstrous anglerfish — as well as how to preserve and protect it.

Did you know that we've only explored 5% of the ocean? That's right, we haven't explored 95% of our own planet's ocean. Crazy, right?

Think of all the anglerfish just waiting to be found! Wait, you know, nevermind, don't think about that.

Share this with a fifth-grader you know and pass the wonder down to the next generation — because it's fun to scare kids into caring about something cool.

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Nicole Abate, a Registered Medical-Surgical Nurse living in New Mexico, starts her workday around 5:00 a.m. During her 20-minute drive to work, she gets to watch the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains as she sips her coffee.

"It's one of my favorite things to do," said Nurse Abate. "A lot of us need a little calm before the storm."

Nicole | Heroes Behind the Masks Presented by CeraVe youtu.be

In March 2020, after a fairly quiet start to the year, Nurse Abate's unit became the official COVID unit for her hospital. "It went full force after that," she says. Abate was afraid, overwhelmed with uncertainty, never knowing what was next on the wild roller coaster in this new territory, "just when you think ...we know exactly what we're doing, boom, something else hits so you adapt… that's part of nursing too." Abate faced her responsibilities courageously and with grace, as she always does, making life a little better for patients and their families "Thank you for taking care of my father," reads one recent letter from a patient's family. "You were kind, attentive and strong and we are truly grateful."

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