Sea snails are dissolving, and fish are getting lost — all thanks to greenhouse gases.
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The Wilderness Society

This is Lil' Dipper, and he's scared to swim in soda.

Hey there, lil buddy!


If things keep going the way they are, we're going to make Lil' Dipper's worst fear come true.

It sounds like a joke, but it's not. As we focus on combating climate change, there's a question we need to ask ourselves: Would we like for our oceans to be sparkling or still?

We've got a big problem called ocean acidification.

The huge amount of CO2 we produce is polluting the air and affecting our planet's climate. Most of us have heard that the oceans are getting warmer, but there's more to it than that, and it's called ocean acidification.

A video by Grist explains that what's happening to our oceans is a lot like one of those homemade soda machines. It works by squirting a cartridge of CO2 into the water, adding the acidity needed to make soda.

Deliciously terrifying. All GIFs and images via Grist/YouTube.

We're basically doing this to the ocean — only on a much larger scale.

Over the couple of centuries we've spent filling the air with CO2, the oceans have absorbed a quarter of those emissions. As a result, their average pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1.

That doesn't seem that serious, but the pH scale is logarithmic, not linear.

So that means even this one-tenth drop in pH is a nearly 30% increase in acidity. Yikes.

What about the ocean life?

This has consequences for the ocean's plants and creatures. Ocean acidification is stressing out some species of fish, causing them to get lost easily and have more trouble finding food.

It also makes it difficult for certain ocean lifeforms to grow their shells. So instead of doing this:

They do this:

Coral reefs, the backbones of many ocean ecosystems, are particularly in danger from this effect. As coral polyps struggle to grow their exoskeletons, reefs stop growing or even begin to shrink, depleting a source of food and shelter for the numerous species that depend on them.

So what can we do about it?

There's one particularly promising solution to stop ocean acidification: pump less CO2 into the air.

Yep. Whether we like it or not, we don't have a better alternative than cutting the CO2 emissions causing the problem in the first place. Our next best ideas are planting seagrass meadows or straight up dropping Alka-Seltzer in the ocean.


I'm not even joking.

If we're going to stop this, we also need to keep Big Oil from drilling in fragile environments for more fossil fuels.

The Wilderness Society is fighting to keep BP out of the Great Australian Bight, a rich underwater ecosystem that has greater diversity of marine life than the Great Barrier Reef.

They have a petition you can sign to save this habitat from more damage.

(Lil' Dipper would sign, but he only has fins.)

Watch the full video on ocean acidification by Grist:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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A vintage post-card collector on Flickr who goes by the username Post Man has kindly allowed us to share his wonderful collection of vintage postcards and erotica from the turn of the century. This album is full of exquisite photographs from around the world of a variety of people dressed in beautiful clothing in exotic settings. In an era well before the internet, these photographs would be one of the only ways you could could see how people in other countries looked and dressed.

Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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