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bird watching, christian cooper, extraordinary birder, birds

Bird-watching is in focus on a new National Geographic show.

You may remember the name Christian Cooper, but if you don't, this will jog your memory. In summer 2020, Cooper made the national news when a white woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), called the police, falsely accusing him of threatening her. Christian Cooper was out in the early morning at Central Park doing what he does often: bird-watching. It's a longtime hobby that, thanks to that unfortunate exposure, he's now taking to the next level and sharing with the world. Cooper recently finished filming six episodes of "Extraordinary Birder" for National Geographic.

"Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above," National Geographic wrote in a press release announcing its new slate of personality-driven exploration and adventure themed storytelling.


Cooper is an avid bird watcher and has observed birds all over the world, but he's most at home watching the more than 200 species of birds in New York City's Central Park. Thankfully he hasn't let his encounter with Amy Cooper and her dog taint his feelings about his favorite spot. The show will allow him to create a new association with his name and bird watching, and presumably he'll be spending some time in the park, showing viewers just how magical the wildlife there is.

He explained to the New York Times that he first heard from National Geographic about collaborating on the show about a year and a half ago. “I was all in,” he said. “I love spreading the gospel of birding.”

Additionally, he shared excitement about getting more people “to stop and watch and listen and really start appreciating the absolutely spectacular creatures that we have among us.”

Cooper's reverence for birds was formed in childhood. He explained to the Times that he has been in love with birds since the age of 10. Growing up on Long Island, he was fascinated with red-winged blackbirds. No matter where in the world he is, he'll take the time to listen for birdsong.

“It adds another dimension to just being on the street,” he explained. “It adds another dimension to how you exist in the world.”

Filming the show allowed Cooper to expand his birding experiences, following his passion to see new (to him) species. He got to see some burrowing owls, which he found "actually quite adorable."

Look out for a further announcement on the release date of the series. "Extraordinary Birder" will run on National Geographic channels and Disney+. It's heartening to see that something wonderful came out of such a traumatic experience.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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