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They may feel, think, and smile just like us. But it doesn't mean they're happy.

The more I learn, the more I appreciate how amazing these animals are.

They may feel, think, and smile just like us. But it doesn't mean they're happy.

Let's get the sad part out of the way first.

SeaWorld keeps a lot of dolphins in captivity. And then it uses them to make money — er, I mean, entertain and "educate" guests.


Listen, I get why a whole bunch of us have been to SeaWorld. I'm looking at the picture. It's cool. But while this may *seem* like a fun show to watch — jumping dolphins! trainers! exciting music! — it's probably not a super fun show for the dolphins.

And more importantly, it's not a fun life.

SeaWorld receives its fair share of criticism about the conditions under which the dolphins and other marine animals live. But even if their conditions aren't that bad, we still shouldn't allow dolphins to be held in captivity. Why? Because dolphins are very special and unique creatures.

They have been studied for years to observe how similar to humans they really are. And in one particularly fun study, the results were telling.

Some scientists set out to prove that dolphins were *actually* intelligent using ... bubbles.

In this case, the experiment was pretty simple. Scientists created a bubble machine and put it underwater to see how the dolphins would react to it. They were scared of the bubbles at first...


...then curious.

(Side note, I love the way dolphins appear to smile.)

Finally, they got excited to play with their new toy.

They flipped bubbles with their tails. They swam through the circles. They even used their voices to change the shape of the bubbles!

They played for HOURS, creating new ways to play. They even taught each other how to interact with the machine.

They are sorta like humans that way.

The scientists found that they don't play for functional reasons (like hunting for food). They do it because playing is fun and it helps them learn. They played with bubbles the same way kids play with Legos.

It turns out, their emotional capacity is like ours.

And that's the important part. Even though we can't quantify their intelligence, we can prove that they have similar capacities to us.

That's why it's heartbreaking to see them captured and placed in cages for our amusement. SeaWorld, I'm looking at you.

I don't wanna live in a cage for no reason other than to entertain humans. And dolphins shouldn't have to either. Many other countries either expressly prohibit keeping dolphins in captivity or make it so difficult that it's rarely done. It's about time we get on board with that, wouldn't you agree?

Check out the video below to watch this really cool study and see how amazing dolphins really are.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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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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