Watch this gorilla use sign language to warn humans about their impact on the earth.

You remember Koko the gorilla, right?

Koko was born in the '70s at the San Francisco Zoo. Francine (Penny) Patterson, then a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford, started studying young Koko's linguistics capabilities and eventually taught her a rudimentary version of sign language.


Image via Noé ONG/YouTube.

Over the years, Koko has become a gorilla celebrity and spokes-ape for global conservation efforts. She adopted a kitten (several, actually), helped sell an award-winning children's book, befriended a ton of celebrities, and Dr. Patterson went on to start the Gorilla Foundation.

At 44 years old, Koko is still thriving. And spokes-ape-ing.

In this video compilation created by Noé Conservation and produced for the 2015 COP21 climate change meeting outside Paris, Koko is shown signing directly to the public. (Note: Koko was coached for this and followed a script, and the video is heavily edited to portray her as able to comprehend these issues. While she may be extraordinarily intelligent and talented, gorillas do not understand environmentalism.)

In the video, Koko tells us she loves people, and she loves the Earth.

All GIFs via Noé ONG/YouTube.

But then the tone of her message changes.

But, Koko! I thought we were friends...

And Koko ends her message with a gorilla-sized request.

Here is this gorilla — kind, tender, and clearly intelligent — asking not just her handlers, but all of us to clean up our act. Whether it's protecting biodiversity (like rare gorilla species), stopping poachers, limiting deforestation, or any of the myriad of issues gorillas and other endangered species face.

Koko would do it herself, but she can't ... at least not until the (increasingly likely) gorilla uprising happens. So, for now, she's doing what good friends (human and gorilla alike) do best: Call each other out on their b.s.

She's right. We need to fix Earth. We need to help Earth. Right this second.

Nearly 200 nations answered Koko's call at December's COP21 meeting on climate change.

196 nations adopted an agreement that set the ambitious goal of curbing the world's rise in average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. Since studies show we may already be halfway there, this agreement couldn't have come at a better time.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, Foreign Affairs Minister and President-designate of COP21 Laurent Fabius, and France's President Francois Hollande celebrate after the adoption of the climate pact. Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.

Each country's government still needs to seal the deal. But if they don't, they'll have to deal with millions of angry citizens, and one gorilla who's had it up to here with their inaction.

What's the sign for, "Finish the job or sleep with one eye open, world leaders?"

Got a minute? Watch Koko's message in its entirety.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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