Richard Branson sank a ship and turned it into a sea-saving monster.

If ships really do have souls, the Kodiak Queen's must have been a weary one.

It's an old ship, first launched as a Navy barge in 1940 under the uninspiring moniker YO-44, and it's had its share of experiences. On Dec. 7, 1941, for instance, it was moored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked. The crew had to scramble to avoid the bombs while all around them, other ships and their sailors sank to the bottom of the harbor.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

YO-44 survived the attack and was eventually decommissioned, renamed the Kodiak Queen, and turned into a fishing boat. But that wouldn't last forever. It eventually ended up in a maritime junkyard in the British Virgin Islands, destined for scrap.

Then, in 2012, someone recognized it.

A historian, Mike Cochran, saw Kodiak Queen in the junkyard, figured out what it was, and decided being turned into scrap metal was too ignoble for one of the few remaining Pearl Harbor ships.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

Cochran started to recruit a team, including photographer Owen Buggy and Buggy's previous boss and friend, British business magnate Richard Branson. Together, they set out to give the Kodiak Queen a proper retirement.

Their idea is something called the BVI Art Reef. Rather than ending up as junk, the Kodiak Queen will become a reef — a living part of the ocean that it traveled for so many years.

As part of the project, sculptors decided to adorn the Kodiak Queen with an 80-foot-long squid-like kraken sculpture welded from wire mesh and rebar.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

Krakens are mythical sea monsters known to sink ships. But this particular one isn't attacking — it's helping shepherd the Kodiak Queen along.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

"The kraken is embracing the boat and taking it down to this next life," Aydika James, a founder of the company that built the kraken, told The New York Times. "She’s no longer a weapon of war; she’s now a platform for rebirth and regrowth."

Once the work was finished in April 2017, all that was left to do was for the ship to get a friendly tow out to its new home.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

The destination? A sunny spot off the island of Virgin Gorda.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

The crew came out to see it off, including Branson, the man who'd helped get this all together.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

They gave it the proper honors for a ship going on a voyage — a bottle broken across the bow.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

And then down...

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.


Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.


Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

There was a tense moment where it looked like it was about to tip over onto one side — ruining the artwork — but in the end, everything went right.

Safely nestled on the sea floor, the Kodiak Queen will slowly transform into an artificial reef.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

Artificial reefs are submerged structures that create habitats for fish and other sea creatures, which can help to restore damaged ecosystems. As sea life moves in, either naturally or through planned coral restoration projects, the Kodiak Queen's old hull and the kraken's many wiry nooks and crannies will become a great habitat for fish and other sea creatures.

In the meantime, the Kodiak Queen has become a tourist attraction and popular diving spot.

Photo from BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

It's giving a boost to the local economy, helping to highlight the importance of ocean conservation, and it might even inspire some future divers and conservationists.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

It's even helping scientists learn more about the waters around Virgin Gorda.

Photo from Owen Buggy Photography/BVI Art Reef, used with permission.

Scientists are using the Kodiak Queen as a platform to gather something called environmental DNA, which is a way to monitor what animal populations are present through castoff material (like poop).

This was a spectacular reincarnation for such a storied ship. One must imagine if indeed the Kodiak Queen has that weary soul, it must be pretty satisfied with how it ended up.


Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.

The American Kennel Club has crowned a new favorite.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.

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Pediatrician shares two simple tips that could save a child's life at a pool party

"The more folks present, the safer the pool is, right? Wrong."

Photo by Ash Dowie on Unsplash

If there's a body of water anywhere, a designated adult needs to have their eyes on it.

It's that time of year when the weather across the country is warm enough for families to enjoy outdoor barbecues, picnics and pool parties. That means it's also the time of year when tragedy will strike a certain percentage of families who get blindsided by how quickly and easily a child can drown in a backyard pool, even when they're surrounded by people who care about them and their safety.

We've all been at a gathering where adults are coming and going, chatting, setting up food, taking trips to the bathroom, all while kids are busy playing in the water. In such scenarios, it's easy to assume that someone else is keeping an eye on the pool.

But as pediatrician Diane Arnaout has shared, the harrowing reality is that the more people there are at a pool party the more likely it is that a child could slip into the pool or become distressed in the water without anyone noticing.

In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 77,000 times, Dr. Arnaout wrote:

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Drew Barrymore speaks during the FLOWER Beauty launch at Westfield Parramatta on April 13, 2019, in Sydney, Australia.

Drew Barrymore, 48, has been in the public consciousness since she starred as Gertie in 1982’s mega-blockbuster, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” a performance that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. So, it makes sense that many people of a certain age feel as if they’ve grown up with her.

Now, she’s an even more significant part of people’s lives as the host of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” which runs every weekday on CBS.

On May 25, the show’s Instagram page posted a touching video of an off-the-cuff moment between Barrymore and a fan during a taping of her show. In the clip, Barrymore realizes that someone in the audience is crying. So, instead of ignoring the fan, she jumps to action to see what is the matter.

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Pop Culture

Musician uses traditional Chinese instrument to create hypnotic cover of 'Hotel California'

There are literally hundreds of covers of this song floating around on the internet, but this one has its own unique flair.


Moyun peforms "Hotel California" on the guzheng.

The Eagles' hit song, “Hotel California,” has been covered countless times over the years by a variety of artists, including the likes of Nancy Sinatra, the Gypsy Kings and that guy at your local karaoke spot.

And while every rendition gives the song a fresh dynamic, one musician with a penchant for mystery has transformed the rock n’ roll staple into something entirely new.

Using a traditional Chinese string instrument called a guzheng, Moyun plays the song focusing mostly on its two guitar solo arrangements, creating a sound that has all the otherworldly beauty of an ancient folk tale.
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Pop Culture

Man rewatches shows from his childhood and his recaps of the bonkers storylines are priceless

Rob Anderson's hilarious recaps of shows like "Mighty Ducks," "Beethoven," and "7th Heaven" might make you wonder how they got made in the first place.


These plots makes zero sense.

While there are no doubt some timeless classics from our childhood that remain every bit as amazing as we remember, many are straight-up cringey upon a later viewing. Really, it’s to be expected as societal viewpoints change…sort of a marker of how far we’ve collectively come.

And so, what do we do with these problematic pieces of old-school pop culture? Well, we can certainly update them to better reflect a more modern attitude, but that also comes with a set of potential problems. Or we could simply never watch them again. Certainly an option given all the content out there. But then we might miss an opportunity to better understand what seemed to work for the mainstream then, and why it doesn’t work now.

And then there’s the third option—allow ourselves to be entertained by their cringiness.

That’s certainly the route taken by Rob Anderson. Over on TikTok, Anderson has taken ultra-popular movies and television shows from his childhood and given them hilarious recaps capturing how absurd some of the storylines are.
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Woman decides that she is the love of her life and marries herself at her retirement home

“I said, you know what, I’ve done everything else. Why not?”

77-year-old woman decides she's the love of her life and marries herself.

We joke about marrying ourselves or a platonic friend if some arbitrary amount of time has passed without a proposal from an imaginary suitor. And sure, some people do wind up marrying a friend in more of a business arrangement, but it's not very common that someone follows through with marrying themselves.

Dorothy "Dottie" Fideli, decided that she was going to break the mold. The 77-year-old sat down and thought about all of the things she had done in life and who was with her the entire time cheering her on. It was an easy answer: herself. She was her biggest cheerleader, the person who always showed up and the love of her life, so Fideli made the plan to marry herself.

On a beautiful May day, friends and family gathered in the O’Bannon Terrace Retirement Community, where Fideli is a resident, to witness the ceremony.

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