The kakapo parrot is one of the most endangered species in the world.

There are currently fewer than 200 of the flightless birds from New Zealand on the planet. That's a big problem, especially when you consider that (surprise, surprise) human beings are largely responsible for their dwindling population.

Hundreds of years ago, humans hunted them for their skin and feathers. In the 1800s, land clearance and the introduction of mammalian predators (like dogs) in New Zealand further reduced their ability to survive.

For decades, scientists have exhausted their options trying to bring the kakapo population back from the brink. They've tried everything.

And when I say everything, I mean everything. Including a "sperm helmet" that scientists wore on their heads to collect semen samples after they noticed the kakapos would routinely try to mate with people's heads.

Photo by Neil Sandas/AFP/Getty Images.

Needless to say, it didn't work.

In 2016, though, things are actually looking up for the little birds, as an incredible 33 kakapo chicks were recently born in New Zealand.

Incredibly, the kakapos made it happen all on their own, no sperm helmets needed. Thanks to the conservation efforts of the last several decades, the birds just had a very successful mating season.

They look as terrifying, as baby birds usually do (is it just me?), but their birth represents a huge win for conservation efforts that have been going on since at least 1891.

A conservation scientist who is NOT Bernie Sanders. Photo via Don Merton/Department of Conservation/Flickr.

Protecting endangered species is important for many reasons.

Like biodiversity, balancing ecosystems, and even climate change. It isn't always easy, and it doesn't always work — hell, just think of the poor guy who had to test out the ill-fated sperm helmet.

When it works out though, it's a big win for the world.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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