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What most people have missed about the poaching of Cecil the lion: There's someone else to blame.

The lion killer doesn't deserve all the blame.

By now, you may have heard about the killing of Cecil, a popular lion in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.

All GIFs from "Jimmy Kimmel Live."


Cecil was killed by American dentist, poacher, and narcissistic primate Walter James Palmer.

Palmer is no stranger to poaching, though he wouldn't call it that. "I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt," Palmer told CBS News.

"Legal hunt"? Here's what local officials had to say about Palmer's "professional guides":

"In this case, both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt."

The story has spread quickly and angrily across the web.

And Palmer has, for a moment, become one of the most detested people on earth. But not just by those you'd expect, like conservationists.

People who don't expressly take issue with hunting are upset by this story, including folks like Jimmy Kimmel, whose July 28 monologue included an emotional denouncement of Palmer and, presumably, other hunters without a purpose.

"But if you're some a-hole dentist who wants a lion's head above the fireplace in his man cave so his douchebag buddies can gather around it and drink Scotch and tell him how awesome he is, that's just vomitus."
— Jimmy Kimmel

Even life-long hunters are up in arms over the unsportsmanlike killing.

Via minnpost.com commenter Rachel Kahler (emphasis added).

In an interview with ThinkProgress, hunter and author Jonny Miles called what happened "an abomination" because of how Palmer and his guides carried out the purely trophy killing:

“On the specifics of the hunt, with baiting, with using lights, and also killing a lion that has a pride — all of it just adds up to an incredibly unethical, unscrupulous way of going about this. ... Hunting shouldn't be about ego. It should be the opposite. It should be about awe at the natural world."

But should blame rest squarely on Palmer's sadistic shoulders?

Sure, if he were even remotely concerned with the most basic ethical code of hunting, he wouldn't be preying on a protected, soon-to-be endangered animal to begin with. But one man's bloodlust doesn't explain why the opportunity to kill Cecil was ever presented to him.

Time magazine's Nash Jenkins writes:

"Zimbabwe was once celebrated as the 'breadbasket of Africa,' whose fertile earth supplied the world with abundant tobacco, corn and wheat. Today, 76% of its rural population lives in abject poverty, dependent on foreign food aid and desperate measures — like the poaching of the wildlife ... or rendering assistance to those who want to hunt or poach."

Jenkins points out that 80% of Zimbabwe's safari wildlife population died between 2000 and 2003. He blames notorious kleptocrat President Robert Mugabe, whose land reforms in 2000 gutted property rights, transferred plots to his cronies, and essentially negated the country's once-robust wildlife regulations.

All that said, Walter James Palmer is, as Kimmel eloquently puts it, an "a-hole."

And while he may not be the only one, he is without question a criminal.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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