Why whale activists hope you watch, ahem ... adult videos ... this month.

7 of the 13 great whale species are endangered or vulnerable. But nearly one-third of all the data transferred across the Internet is content for, ah, adults ... if you know what I mean.

If you think these figures are completely irrelevant to each other, well, you'd be wrong — at least during the month of February (or for someone who's conducting very niche research).


Photo by Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images.

Because here's the thing: Although the complex, systemic problems facing whale populations across the globe can be overwhelming (I'll get to those in a moment), there's a simple, free, and (dare I say) fun way you can help save the whales this very moment.

Adult entertainment. XXX content. "Hanky panky" videos. Whatever you want to call it, yes — watching porn can help save the whales.

Thanks to adult content website Pornhub (I would link here, but ... you know), supporters can, um ... enjoy themselves ... and fund whale conservation efforts at the same time.

Now that's a win-win.

Seeing as World Whale Day is Feb. 13, 2016, Pornhub launched its Save the Whales campaign (that link is safe to open at work, I swear), which runs now through the end of the month. For every 2,000 videos viewed on the site through Feb. 29, Pornhub will donate 1 cent to the Moclips Cetological Society, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to researching and protecting whales.

“We’re doing this specifically because it’s a brand-new way for us to lend a hand in terms of supporting causes that might not have a large enough platform behind them,” the site's vice president, Corey Price, told BuzzFeed News.

His company is aiming to raise $30,000 from the campaign ... yes, that's 6 billion video views. Wowza. (Is it hot in here, or is it just me?)

“This initiative allows us to demonstrate our sincerity and integrity when it comes to helping out one of the planet’s most sacred populations of creatures — especially with what’s been going on in the U.K. as of late with sperm whales washing ashore mysteriously — these animals need help.”
— Corey Price, to BuzzFeed News

This thing that happened in the U.K. he speaks of is pretty awful — three whales washed ashore on a beach in Eastern England in January, just days after the same thing happened in other areas of Europe. Yeah, not good.

Someone graffitied "mans fault" on one of those poor whales in England. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

We don't have the best track record when it comes to treating our whale friends fairly.

Commercial whaling, although illegal, is still happening, lethal "scientific" whaling is unnecessary, and climate change (again, caused by us) means whales' habitats have been affected tremendously in recent decades.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

We could be doing so much better.

This can be your way of lending a helping hand (er, you get my drift) for sea creatures that desperately need our help.

Hey, and if this isn't your preferred method of philanthropy — to each his own — you can always learn more about how to help on the Moclips Cetological Society's website. (I doubt you'll find as fun of an option to give back, but you can try.)

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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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