Heroes

Some Folks Are Scared Of This Little Orphan Pup, But All He Wants Is A Little Pampering

Everything on this earth has its purpose. Some are just a little misunderstood.

Some Folks Are Scared Of This Little Orphan Pup, But All He Wants Is A Little Pampering

Yep, they're called PUPS too. And there's a lot more to them than people realize.

Scroll down for more bat delight.


What an adorable way to learn something about our ecosystem.


Seed Dispersers: The rainforest is being destroyed, but guess who's helping to restore it? These hardworking little guys. They're so incredibly talented at dispersing seeds that it's garnered them the nickname "farmers of the tropics." OK, now I'm picturing them sipping on tropical cocktails on their days off. Piña colada anyone?


Pest Controllers: I'm not a fan of pesticides, but neither are farmers big fans of crop damage. Hmm, if only there were a flying creature that could help out with this problem. Wait, there is! Bats save the United States alone an estimated $3.7 billion a year by reducing crop damage and pesticide use. Can I get a high-five!? A high wing maybe? Don't leave me hanging. (Ya, pun intended.)


Pollinators: Save the bees! Hold on ... why are they getting all the credit? You can thank our furry, flying friends for bananas, peaches, and lots of other yummy goodness. When it comes to pollination, bats got game.

They won't replace the family dog, but they sure are cute.

*Did I just make up all that info above? Nope, I got if from Bat Conservation International. They have all sorts of interesting info on bats from around the world — just in case you're the curious type like me.*

I hope people can see these misunderstood creatures in a new light.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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