Annie Reneau

I've never been a gardener. I love the idea, but my history of killing plants isn't terribly inspiring. However, this year is different. I am doggedly determined to grow all the things because I will not allow 2020 to defeat me.

Is there a better symbol of hope than a garden? Planting a seed means you believe the future is imminent. Watching a sprout emerge from the soil and grow into a flourishing plant means life goes on. In addition, reaping the fruits and veggies of your efforts and giving thanks for the bounty that nature provides is perhaps the most basic, fundamental human act I can think of.

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Jane Goodall has had a long and storied career, studying and working with primates for six decades. She is best known for her work with chimpanzees, and it's largely thanks to her field research that we understand as much as we do about their behavior and intelligence.

Goodall has undoubtedly had many notable experiences in her career, but there was one moment caught on video that highlights her extraordinary connection with these animals.

Wounda was a chimpanzee rescued from the bushmeat trade, and when she was brought to the Jane Goodall Institute's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, she was half the weight she should have been and near death. (In fact, that's what "Wounda" means—"close to death.")

But thanks to Dr. Rebeca Atencia and the staff at Tchimpounga, Wounda recovered. After rehabilitation, chimps can't go back and live in the wild, but Tchimpounga has some sanctuary islands set aside for rehabbed chimps to live in the forest, safe from attacks and poachers. Wounda was taken to Tchindzoulou island to live with more than a dozen other chimps that had already been released there.

Goodall herself was not part of Wounda's rehabilitation, but she accompanied the team when it came time to release Wounda. She reassured Wounda with a soft voice and kind words on the way to the island, and the two connected immediately, despite it being the first day they met. And when Wounda was released, her expression of gratitude and affection, not only to Dr. Atencia but to Goodall herself, was a sight to behold.

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Have you ever been part of a group project and had the overwhelming urge to punch one of your partners?

Of course you have. We all have. Even those of us who aren't prone to violence can understand the urge. In fact, we're all engaged a big group project right now called The Coronavirus Pandemic, and there are whole lot of people in the U.S. group who are just begging for a smackdown. Still think the virus is a "hoax"? Thwap. Wearing your mask as a chin diaper instead of covering your mouth and nose? Whpsh. Toting your AR-15 to the state capitol to threaten public officials because they insist on trying to protect public health? TKO time.

Apparently, those of us who are feeling a bit punchy these days are in good company. A new study has found that octopuses occasionally punch fish that they cooperatively hunt with, seemingly just because they feel like it. Though it's not clear exactly why they do it, scientists say it doesn't appear to be an act of aggression. Some think that they might do it out of "spite" or to influence better hunting behavior.

In other words, Mr. Octopus is hunting along with some annoying group of fish until he's finally like, "Dude, you're bugging the crap out of me. Stop it." Thwack. Or "Dude, you're fudging everything up. Knock it off." Thwack.

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via YouTube

Thailand rescue worker Mana Srivate was off-duty and on a road trip when he was called into action late Sunday. He was sent to a desolate road in the eastern province of Chanthaburi, Thailand to help an injured man and a baby elephant.

A family of elephants were crossing the road when the baby was struck by a motorcyclist, Anan Cherdsoongnern, 53.

When Srivate and fellow rescue workers arrived on the scene, several workers came to the aid of the downed motorcyclist, so he got to work on reviving the unconscious elephant.

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