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When He Tweeted This Picture Of Oysters, He Probably Wasn't Expecting This Sort Of Response

Steve Vilnit works for a fishery department in Maryland. Not the sort of work you typically associate with social media. But a photo he tweeted showing what oysters do to the water they live in got a massive response. And it even became a fun and teachable moment.

When He Tweeted This Picture Of Oysters, He Probably Wasn't Expecting This Sort Of Response

People were like, Whaaaaa...


Some were thinking, What sort of wizardry IS THIS!?

Others were kinda grossed out.

But Steve was there with some pearls of wisdom.

As the photo made its rounds, the curiosity grew stronger. These folks had never really considered WTF they've been eating all this time.

Zinc boosts our immune health and does a lot of other cool stuff. Protein is an essential component of every cell in our bodies and helps us with tissue repair. Here's a list of some of the other health benefits of oysters.

As it turns out, oysters really are a "Best Choice" for sustainable seafood. But you definitely want to be mindful of where they come from.

Then the conversation dove a little deeper.

And Steve was swimming right alongside 'em.

The more the questions poured in, the more I started to look at oysters with, well, endearment.

Here's an article supporting that claim. And while I'm sure there's plenty more to learn (and plenty I'll never understand), we do know that oysters are effective for water denitrification. Too much nitrogen makes aquatic plants grow too big, too fast. That can be dangerous for fish and other underwater creatures.

As for us terrestrial types, beyond the general unsightliness and inconvenience of algae infestations, excess nitrogen in our drinking water can slow the movement of oxygen in our bloodstreams, which is particularly bad for pregnant ladies, babies, and young livestock.

Finally, when the questioning got a little beyond Steve's expertise, he did exactly what he was supposed to do: BE HONEST.

(I'll follow Steve's lead here and not even try.)

Today, I have a much deeper respect for the power of the oyster and its role in the environment. And I'm obviously not the only one.

That said, I'm really craving some oysters. And next time I'm in Maryland, I'll know who to call for a trip to the raw bar.

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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