Shrimp in London are pumped full of cocaine. It's even worse than it sounds.

Listen, the world is dark and full of unexpected environmental terrors. Climate change is real, coral is being destroyed at a rate so alarming that I now care about coral, and if it weren't for these polyamorous birds living their best lives, I sometimes feel like I might lose it in the middle of the supermarket. And don't even get me started on the people out there who think that the world is flat and that the earth isn't getting dangerously warmer because the eastern states "sure do get a lot of snow."

Now we've got to bring shrimp snorting (read: being polluted with)  cocaine into the equation of why our planet is on a really messed up trajectory towards Hadestown (like actual hell and not the hit Broadway musical*).


"Wait," you say, "let's get back to that shrimp snorting premium drugs thing."

Well, okay, but you asked.

The story is this: Researchers at King's College in London and The University of Suffolk wanted to see what chemicals they'd find floating through the rivers in the region. And while they should be commended for sticking to the bodies of waters they're used to (don't go chasing those waterfalls, science friends), what they found was that freshwater shrimp, for some reason, were chock full of cocaine.

OH NO, SEBASTIAN! Gif via GIPHY.

What's even more distressing than finding out that shellfish — who should just be living a cool, calm existence before being devoured in a "nature is horrible and beautiful" way — were "carrying," is the fact that it's likely they have full trench coats of the stuff on them. The shrimp also tested positive for ketamine among other illicit substances (which include pesticides that have long been banned).

While scientists weren't looking to narc on the freshwater dwellers — they were researching how wildlife responded to micropollutants — the new findings are worrying. Though environmental scientists are mainly focused on the preponderance of microplastics in the water (because fish ingest that and then so do humans), this new finding suggests that we need to do an even better job of keeping our waterways clean. If not for us, then at least for the poor shrimp that likely have no idea why they want to rock and roll all night and party every day.**

*Can you get us tickets, though?

**Scientists say the shrimp are not in too much danger right now (phew!) but this is a warning bell!!

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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