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Heroes

Why it's absolutely fine that sea levels are rising and I'm totally not panicking at all.

Just look at some nice ocean pictures and remain calm like me.

Hi. So ... nothing to worry about here but ... scientists have discovered that sea levels are rising faster than they have in 2,800 years.

I know, I know. I know that sounds really bad, but it's fine. It's fine. Really. I'm not worried about it. It's just the fate of the planet and humankind, but I'm not — you know, it's just — just don't worry about it. It's fine.

First of all, I mean, come on, "faster than they have in 2,800 years" yeah, sure that sounds like an impressive observation, but psht — 2,800 years isn't even that long. It's only what ... ? 28 centuries? Come on! Just 28 centuries. That's ... like ... nothing.


Plus, OK, it's not like those scientists are even 100% positive about that number. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the scientists are only hypothesizing it to be true with, like, 95% certainty.

95%? That's nothing! Right? I only trust scientists who are 100% certain about their findings. Or else I'd be totally panicking over this news, you know, like totally panicking. Which I'm not. Like — I'm definitely not. Shut up, I'm not panicking at all, OK?

Like, if you had a 95% chance of winning the lottery, would you even play? I wouldn't. That's not even ... oh God ... no reason to panic...

OK. OK. Yes. Let's just ... look at this ocean picture. Just a nice ... calm ... serene ocean picture.

Photo by Manu Schwendener/Unsplash.

Just a nice ... rapidly rising, warming, globally threatening ocean... Oh — oh no — no, this isn't working.

OK. Let's just look at the facts. This new study, which was published Monday, says that sea level rise in the 20th century was "extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries."

Which, again, right, yeah. That's not horrifying or cause for any panic at all or anything — I'm not panicking, you're panicking.

I, for one, am definitelynot frozen with fear at the implications of a drowning planet that will no longer be able to sustain human life. Nope. Not me. Haha. Hahahahahahaha! Haha! Hah.

The study also shows that, from 1900 to 2000, sea levels rose about 1.4 millimeters per year, while the current rate of rise, according to data from NASA, is about 3.4 millimeters per year.

Which is fine. Totally fine! Just fine! You can swim, right?

Hey, it's a good thing nothing else is rapidly increasing — like my heart rate or my general sense of dread. Steady as a rock, totally not panicking right now. That's me.

Here, maybe another ocean photo will help:

Just take deep breaths and look out at the sunset over this gorgeous, (also criminally over-polluted by the way) ocean. Photo by Sam Wheeler/Unsplash.

But let's just say, you know, hypothetically, that these "scientists" with their "data" and "studies" and "advanced degrees" are right about this....

...what would actually happen?

If sea levels continue to rise, a lot of us would be in some very real danger.

But that's just — you know — hypothetically speaking, of course, because everything is fine. Everything is gonna be just ... fine.

In Bangladesh, for example, research shows that rising sea levels could displace 20 million people there in the coming decades.

But I mean, come on, 20 million people? Pfft — that's it? 20 million people is like — so, OK, it's not — nothing. But it's only like ... 1,098 Madison Square Gardens worth of people. Only ... OK, wow, yeah ... that's a lot of — is it hot in here or is it just me? I'm sweating a lot all of a sudden.

But, it's not like it's going to affect us,right? I mean, okay, except for the entire east coast of the United States. Where (again, totally not freaking out here, but) scientists have predicted that rising sea levels and changing ocean temperatures are likely to worsen winter storms and contribute to more extreme weather conditions.

That's fine! I live in New York and no one here ever complains about winter storms or extreme weather conditions or not being able to take the subway or order takeout. We love winter storms more than we love pizza!

Oh man — the denial factor is wearing off a little bit. Ooohhhh boy.

No one is bothered by this! This is a totally IDEAL SITUATION. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

No, seriously, is it like reallyhot in here?

There's also Florida. Just ... yeah. Florida. Large portions of which are projected to be — um, hah, yeah — underwater by 2025. But don't worry about that! That's nine whole years away! So much can happen in nine years. I mean you could make like 12 new "Fast and Furious" movies in that much time.

Oh man. My mouth is so dry. You ever get that feeling?

The point is this: Oh — who am I kidding? — EVERYONE PANIC.

GET TO HIGHER GROUND!

GET GRANDMA IN A RAFT!

THIS ISN'T FUNNY ANYMORE, PEOPLE, WE ONLY HAVE 20 YEARS TO STOCK UP ON CANNED GOODS AND LEARN HOW TO GROW GILLS SO WE CAN BREATHE UNDERWATER.

OH MAN.

Oh ... God.

OK.

Deep breaths.

In and out.

Ocean. Just keep looking at the ocean. Photo by Oliver & Hen Pritchard-Barrett/Unsplash.

You know what? I — I actually feel a little better now.

Here's the thing, folks. This latest report is an almost comically horrifying indicator of the completely cataclysmic and looming problem of climate change. It is.

This data is yet another sign, in the already long list of signs, showing that the need for sweeping climate reform is immediate and urgent.

So, yes, there is totally something to be worried about here.

Especially when you consider that, as the conditions of climate change get worse, it will feed into what's known as a positive feedback loop: Ice melts, seas rise, and the whole system begins to spiral out of control faster and faster. So fast that we won't be able to stop it, and it'll just keep getting worse and worse, and I'll start to wonder if maybe growing gills isn't something I thought of in a moment of panic but an actual survival strategy I might need to invest in.

This is alarming stuff. If you aren't already freaked out about climate change, you probably should be.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which flooded in 2015 due to abnormally high tides and rising sea levels. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

The good news is there's never been a better time to be involved. And our country is (just sort of) beginning to take some real action.

The White House's current climate change plan boasts some helpful goals, like increasing clean energy use 30% by 2030. It's not a lot, but it's something.

It's also an election year. 2016 could very well decide the future of the climate, given that the candidates' beliefs on climate change range from "It's the number one thing threatening our nation" to "It isn't real."

Now, more than ever, is the right time to learn what you can do to help. We're all in this together. Do what feels right to you. Recycle. Call your congressman. Vote.

If you don't want to do any of that, I would suggest moving to a landlocked state at some point in the next few years. I hear Nebraska is lovely.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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