One of the most beautifully shot videos I've ever seen makes me feel ugly to be a human.

Although this video was beautiful to watch, the message has an ugly truth that made me feel bad about the human impact on our planet. Sharks (among other species) are on the verge of a mass extinction.

We have learned a few things by studying life on this planet. There's us ...

... and there's them.

We share this planet with tens of millions of species. We are part of a web so tightly woven that as we lose our linchpin species, the environment starts to fail.


We know there are species becoming extinct, especially sharks.

One of the main reasons sharks are dying off is that we are killing them for no good reason. I'll get to that in a bit, but remember the words "shark fin soup."

We don't know how many sharks are in the ocean.

But what we do know is that there are less than before. Predator shark populations are declining, and they have been for a while, especially in more heavily populated areas. Let's face it, we're not being nice humans.

Sharks have lived through four mass extinctions, and they were around before the dinosaurs existed. And humans have almost wiped them out.

Shark fin soup is one of the reasons we are seeing shark populations fall. It's a billion-dollar industry that's supplied by fisherman catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and throwing the body back in the water to die. Shark fin soup has no nutritional value, and it's mostly tasteless ... so basically we are throwing a 400-million-year-old species away for a bowl of soup.

We spend so much time fearing sharks, but I think we've got that a little backward, don't you think?

Shark attacks are rare, and before I watched this video, I had no idea how many sharks we take from the water. Education will create change. It's simple to let your friends know about videos like this, and maybe we can prevent the next mass extinction

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The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

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Facebook / Amanda Williams

It can take time to feel comfortable in a new home, especially if you think there are scary monsters lurking about, which is why six-year-old Hayden Williams had trouble sleeping in his new room.

Hayden used to share a room with his 15-year-old sister, but when the Eldridge, Iowa family moved, each kid got their very own. While his sister was excited for the change, Hayden was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement.

"My little man has been having severe anxiety since we moved into the new house…I've tried everything under the sun to get him to sleep in his own room. Nothing is helping," his mom, Amanda Williams, wrote on Facebook.

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Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

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Capital One
via Pixabay

Ninjas are black-clad assassins that date back to the days of feudal Japan. They are skillful, secretive fighters who have mastered the element of surprise, espionage, and clandestine tactics.

Ninjas weren't held to the Bushido code like the samurai, so they could be mercenaries who did the lord's dirty deeds without worrying about their honor. A ninja's most important power is the ability to be stealth and sneak into castles or homes to take their targets by surprise.

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