Something fascinating happened after these male baboons died. Men should keep this in mind.

The baboons show up halfway through. Just go with me here for a bit.

Men.


(Men)


We're awesome.

Totally awesome.

We like sports.

Cars.

Sports cars.

And car sports.

(We invented sh*t like this.)

So yeah, we're pretty much the best. Cut and print.

And sure, men are responsible for a lot of really awful, terrible, messed-up things in the world.

Like war. And poison gas. And Bumfights. (Do not Google Bumfights, dear God).

But we can't help it.

After all, we're naturally aggressive and violent.

(MANLY YELLING!)

And kind of thickheaded. And dominant. And emotionless.

It's just common knowledge.

It's how we're wired. Biologically.

It's in our DNA.

It all goes back to monkeys, you see?

Because we were monkeys once. And obviously, if you were a dude monkey, you had to be the biggest, baddest, most thickheaded, most dominant monkey. Because only the biggest, baddest, most thickheaded, most dominant monkeys got to mate with the lady monkeys and produce little monkey babies, who then went on to be big, bad boy monkeys themselves. And so on and so forth.

It's just, like, natural selection, bro. Evolution. Evolution and natural selection.

(Or maybe survival of the fittest? All those things are the same, right?)

Or so we've been told.

Except, well...

Have you ever, like, met any monkeys?

Like, some actual monkeys?

(Actual monkeys)

Like the baboons in that picture.

Baboons and humans share about 92% of our DNA. We're pretty close relatives. And, like humans, baboons are highly social animals. They travel in big packs called troops. And within each troop, there's a clear hierarchy. The biggest, most aggressive males are in charge.

And they're basically terrible jerks.

They hog all the resources. They pick on the smaller males. They mate with any female whenever, wherever they want. You know, just like you'd expect from a bunch of dude monkeys.

But here's the thing.

One day way back in the day, biologist Robert Sapolsky was studying a particular troop of baboons. And basically, they were just going along being their normal, gross selves. Until they were hit by a nasty strain of tuberculosis.

But weirdly, it only affected certain members of the population...

Specifically, the alpha males, who all died.

(Thus fulfilling the LiveJournal fantasies of every nerdy middle-school baboon.)

The females and the beta males? They survived.

And what's kind of amazing is what happened next. The relevant part starts at 44:30.

Basically, Sapolsky expected the troop to return to normal, with the remaining male baboons sliding into the roles of the alphas who had died.

But that didn't happen.

Instead, the surviving male baboons were like...

And the females were like...

So they just decided, as a group, to chill the heck out...

...and spend a lot more time grooming and feeding one another rather than beating each other up, and just generally be more respectful of one another.

Each time a new baboon joined the troop and tried to be a violent, aggressive jerkweed, the existing members of the troop shut it down.

They developed a culture.

(SFW!)

A culture that was different than 99% of all other baboon troops, and contrary to everything we thought we knew about them.

So where does that leave us men?

(Men!)

Well, we're told that we're programmed to be just like monkeys.

(The majesty!)

That it's burned into our DNA. That the only way to get to the top is to be violent, aggressive, and dominant.

(No, sir, you can't upgrade to business class with a bunch of expired Chuck E. Cheese's tickets.)

But it turns out that monkeys might not even be like monkeys.

(Though chasing those giant pelican-y things sure seems like a good time).

Not like we think they are, anyway.

Not necessarily.

And no, one case study doesn't "prove" that nurture is more important than nature or vice versa.

(That's not how science works, yo.)

But it does prove that we're not fated to behave any one certain way. We're not.

And it suggests that culture might be just as important, if not more important, than biology.

Which is great news.

Because culture, unlike biology, can change.

More
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

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Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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