Canadians Crowdfunded $3 Million to Save Pristine Land from Development

Hey, people in the U.S.: take the time to read this article and maybe we can follow the lead of our neighbors to the north on this, okay?

It’s always incredibly depressing to see untouched, pristine wilderness get purchased and developed by huge, wealthy corporations. Which is why people in Canada decided to take a stand to save 2,000 acres of beautiful coastline in British Columbia.

A crowdfunding effort raised $3 million to purchase the area of coastal wilderness in the Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia. The land is virtually untouched and citizens knew they only had one shot to make this work.

The crowdfunding was organized by the B.C. Parks Foundation, a group that works to protect natural landscapes. Logging companies and developers expressed interest in buying the gorgeous land after it was put up for sale by a private owner.

This crowdfunding effort wasn’t just a couple of wealthy people chipping in, either. Average Canadians paid $10 or $15 here and there to contribute to saving the 2,000 acres – and clearly it worked!

The B.C. Parks Foundation will make the land a protected park for all to enjoy.

Dear Park Supporters, You did it! Your love for British Columbia and beautiful places like Princess Louisa Inlet has…

Posted by BC Parks Foundation on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The organization wrote a letter expressing its gratitude to all the people who donated money.

“Dear Park Supporters,

You did it! Your love for British Columbia and beautiful places like Princess Louisa Inlet has done something miraculous. In just a few short months, you have raised $3 million to protect a jewel in B.C’.s coast.

We still have to finalize the sale with the vendor (now September 3rd), and there are more steps to come, but in donating the funds you have scaled a substantial peak on this amazing expedition.

We know people want to keep B.C. beautiful, and we know our parks are the core of our identity. They are our cathedrals, our towers, our pyramids; the wonders of our world. But we couldn’t have predicted such a fabulous outpouring in such a short time from so many different people and places. We are in a state of awe and gratitude.

We will keep you posted when the deal is finalized. Any funds that continue to come in will be put in our Parks Bank to protect more areas in Princess Louisa and British Columbia.

With our deepest appreciation and admiration,

Ross Beaty, Board Chair
Andy Day, CEO”

Well done! More of this throughout the entire world, please!

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The “Punxsutawney Phil” of Maine Predicts an Early Winter

All hail Passy Pete!

For the last four years, a lobster in Belfast, Maine, has correctly predicted whether summer would continue or winter would arrive early for her yearly visit.

His name is Passy Pete, and he forecasts the future by choosing between two scrolls – one that predicts six more weeks of summer (he’s kind of the anti-Punxsutawney Phil), and one that says winter is coming (soon).

For the first three years, Passy said we had six more weeks of summer to enjoy the warmth (and he was correct!). He also guessed (???) correctly in 2018 that an early winter was on the horizon.

He says the same for 2019, so maybe you can go ahead and swap out your closet.

It falls to Belfast baron Dave Crabiel to read from the scroll chosen by the lobster.

“Friends of Belfast, on this second day of September – Labor Day in the year 2019 – it’s in your best interest to collect your coats, tell your sister to return the ones you lent her, tell Cathy, the harbormaster, to remove the boats, and everyone get ready for winter.”

The crowd groaned at the news.

Crabiel and the other Belfast business owners came up with the idea when they noticed how steeply tourism dropped off after the July 4th holiday.

“While Belfast is a great community year-round, we certainly do see an increase in business in the summer with the tourists. So we thought, what if there was an anti-groundhog, somebody who could predict a longer summer, rather than predicting winter?”

It seems to be working; crowds gather to see the crustacean choose a scroll. As long as he keeps picking right, I imagine his legend will increase and more people will descend on Belfast to watch him do his magic every year.

Crabiel hopes the same.

“All four years up to this point he’s been accurate. So I don’t know – we’ll see. It’s not the result we wanted.”

A longer summer means more travelers, and more business for the town, of course, but what can you do? The lobster has spoken.

If you want to see the ceremony in action, check out this video:

As for Pete, he’s returned to the bay each year no matter which scroll he chooses, so you can’t pick your bone with him.

Take it up with Mother Nature, I guess. Or just get out your coats, gather some firewood, and settle in.

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Check out These ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Pooches Behind ‘Beware of Dog’ Signs

Be careful around these doggos because they’re obviously vicious killers who will take no mercy on your sorry soul.

And they’re behind those “Beware of Dog” signs for a reason, as you’ll see shortly. You might end up losing a finger or even your whole arm if you try to approach them, so KEEP YOUR DISTANCE.

Good luck.

1. Run! They’re going to maul you!

Beware of the dog from AnimalsBeingDerps

2. Look at that vicious killer.

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#keepout #bewareofdog

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3. Took a while to find this little guy.

View this post on Instagram

#dogchow #dog #cuidadoconelperro #bewareofdog

A post shared by Jesus Castaño (@superchucho1982) on

4. He might just want some pets.

Beware of dog! from pics

5. Awwwww. Wait, he’s vicious!

Beware

6. Definitely false advertising

7. He looks like a real monster.

Beware of Dog from aww

8. He just wants to play!

9. OMG, this might be the best one.

10. Get a load of this fella.

Beware of the dog from aww

11. A trained killer, no doubt about it.

Beware of Dog! (Because she is soooo vicious!) from pugs

12. Adorable, but a quiet predator.

13. Scaring all the people in the neighborhood.

14. Barely making it through the door.

15. This one is too scary.

BEWARE of DOG from aww

Terrifying junkyard dogs, all of ’em.

Do you have a pooch that’s as vicious as these dogs? Share a pic in the comments!

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A Giant Raft of Pumice Floating in the Pacific Ocean Might Help Heal the Great Barrier Reef

If you don’t know, pumice is a volcanic rock that is light enough to float. A raft of pumice as big as Manhattan is drifting in the Pacific Ocean, and it could be bringing healing marine organisms as it heads toward the Great Barrier Reef.

The famous reef has been heavily damaged by several recent bleaching events that scientists believe were much more severe than usual because of climate change. Coral bleaching is when environmental factors like temperature stress the coral so much that it expels the algae it symbiotically cohabitates with. That algae is the coral’s food, and without it, it can’t eat. It also loses its color, which is why the phenomenon is called bleaching.

Bleaching doesn’t automatically kill coral, but it does make it very, very vulnerable, and corals often die after bleaching events.

Photo Credit: Acropora, CC BY-SA 3.0

Back to the raft!

Crabs, corals and tons of microorganisms have made their homes on the enormous pumice raft. If it reaches the reef, these animals could help replenish its loss of marine life.

The rock is from an underwater volcano that erupted near Tonga. It was discovered by Australian sailors days after the eruption, according to NASA Earth Observatory.

Photo Credit: NASA

The sailors on their way to Vanuatu on the ROAM catamaran described finding volcanic rocks in various sizes floating together. The collection of rock was so dense that it hid the ocean.

They made a video to show the phenomenon.

Pumice is filled with holes and cavities, and it floats much like icebergs – with only 10% visible on top of the water.

Over the next ten months, the pumice raft will float toward Australia’s ailing reef, hopefully bringing along a much-needed infusion of marine life.

Report of Volcanic Rubble Slick dangerous to vessels.Catamaran ROAM sailing to Fiji encountered volcanicrocks…

Posted by Sail Surf ROAM on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Queensland University of Technology professor Scott Bryan, who specializes in geology and geochemistry, estimates the rock raft is moving at a speed of six to 19 miles a day, driven primarily by ocean currents as well as waves and wind.

He has seen events like this one happening before. The beneficial part is how the trillions of pieces of rock can redistribute sea animals. However, there is also the risk of introducing invasive species to new environments.

While the crabs and other mobile animals can easily hop from the raft onto reefs and find new homes, corals have more of a challenge.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Coral needs to reach a reproductive age so they can spawn and release larvae into the Great Barrier Reef. If the pumice raft reaches the reef, then gets water logged enough to sink, the coral can easily begin to grow and create a new part of the reef, complete with all the animals that sank too.

Because of the marine heat waves of 2016 and 2017 and the ensuing bleaching, many of the world’s great reefs began to die; the Great Barrier Reef lost approximately half of its coral, and much more is in danger. The presence and direction of this new pumice raft is good news. Let’s hope it makes it far enough to help.

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People are No Longer Allowed to Swim with Dolphins in New Zealand

If your bucket list includes swimming with “wild” dolphins, well…you’ll have to do it somewhere other than in New Zealand.

Bottlenose dolphins are intelligent, social creatures that can be found in most of the world’s waters, and because they’re keen to interact across species lines, many people want to experience their friendliness firsthand.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation, though, says that people are “loving the dolphins too much,” and that the amount and duration of close encounters is harming the species as a whole.

This new rule, which bans swimming with dolphins, went into effect on July 1, 2019, and applies to all commercial operators around the Bay of Islands. The laws also require operators to restrict viewing and interaction time to no more than 20 minutes per trip, and closes off certain areas around Tapeka Point and Roberton Island.

Additionally, operators may only interact with dolphins in the morning or in the afternoon, but not both, so the dolphins have at least half a day to themselves.

The Department of Conservation made the decision after several different studies have shown that too much interaction with humans can affect the dolphins’ resting and feeding behaviors. One study, published in 2010, found that dolphins get extremely stressed out when touched or even approached by humans – and that it could cause psychological problems that prevent them from resting, feeding, and nurturing their young.

Research has also uncovered the sad fact that calf mortality rate is rising toward 75% in some populations, which would be the highest anyone has seen anywhere (even in captivity).

With the number of dolphins in the Bay of Islands in a drastic decline (over a 66% decrease since 1999), the government of New Zealand felt as if it was their duty to act on their behalf.

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“We had an up-close encounter with dolphins…”🐬⁠ ⁠ Yes, we love our cheeky dolphins in the Bay and they often come up close to play with the boat! It’s a gorgeous way to experience these creatures without climbing through crowds of tourists.⁠ ⁠ Read more of this review here:⁠ ⁠ “We have just enjoyed the most fabulous trip with Barefoot. The sail, the team Luke and Rachel, the catamaran and the food and drink were all first class.⁠ ⁠ 🌴We were very well looked after as we sailed to Moturua Island. ⁠ ⁠ We had an up close encounter with dolphins as an added bonus, entirely of the dolphins choice. The scenery and the knowledge the staff have of the area made it both stunning and informative. ⁠ ⁠ The trip was superb value for money. We highly recommend this trip!”⁠ ⁠ Thank you so much for sharing your day with us and for choosing our experience. It was so much fun to see you relaxing and enjoying yourselves thoroughly! ⁠ ⁠ – Rachael and Luke⁠ ⁠ #barefootsailingadventures #sailingnz #sailingbayofislands # #bayofislandsnz #bayofislandsweddings #newzealandtravel

A post shared by Barefoot Sailing Adventures (@barefootsailingadventuresnz) on

Hopefully the actions will help the existing dolphins live happier, more natural lives, and maybe, in time, encourage more offspring and growing pods for everyone to enjoy.

I love dolphins as much as the next person, but if they’re not as big on people as they’ve seemed, then I say give them their space.

As a fellow introvert, I can definitely relate.

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10 Facts That Just Might Send You Down a Long Rabbit Hole

There’s almost nothing more exciting than learning about new subjects and then doing a DEEEEP dive into them. It could be history, science, sports, pop culture, politics, etc.

It’s all fair game! And with the Internet, we literally have all the information in the world at our fingertips. That’s why Wikipedia was invented, right? So don’t waste that special opportunity!

Here are 10 facts that might pique your interest and send you down a path of new knowledge.

1. Now, that’s loud!

Photo Credit: did you know?

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2. Trailblazers

Photo Credit: did you know?

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3. Do you have this condition?

Photo Credit: did you know?

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4. Public Enemy #1

Photo Credit: did you know?

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5. Grimalkin

Photo Credit: did you know?

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6. Good use of resources

Photo Credit: did you know?

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7. Give it a shot!

Photo Credit: did you know?

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8. This is so bizarre

Photo Credit: did you know?

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9. Super Women

Photo Credit: did you know?

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10. Yes! Books rule!

Photo Credit: did you know?

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What do you think? You a little more motivated to learn about some new topics after looking over those facts?

I know I am!

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15 Stunning Gardens Around the World You Might Want to Visit

If you’re a garden lover, take note of these spots. Like to take long strolls through acres of plants in absolute silence? My personal favorite place to do this is at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. The grounds are so spectacular that I can literally spend hours there just walking around.

Here are 15 gardens around the world that you might want to seek out if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

1. Jardin Majorelle — Marrakech, Morocco

2. Allan Gardens Conservatory — Toronto, Canada

3. The Ruth Bancroft Garden — Walnut Creek, California

4. Longwood Gardens — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

5. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation — Dumfries, Scotland

6. Jardim Botânico — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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"Meu coração, sem direção Voando só por voar Sem saber onde chegar Sonhando em te encontrar E as estrelas Que hoje eu descobri No seu olhar As estrelas vão me guiar Se eu não te amasse tanto assim Talvez perdesse os sonhos Dentro de mim E vivesse na escuridão Se eu não te amasse tanto assim Talvez não visse flores Por onde eu vim Dentro do meu coração" #thanksgod🙏  #prewedding #gratidao #behappy😊 #errejota #rj #riodejaneiro #rio #riosunset #visitrio #destinorj #arpoador #instabrasil #lovetotravel #melhoresdestinos #travel #instariodejaneiro #jardimbotanico #ipanemabeach #riolovers #cidademaravilhosa #natureza #brasil🇧🇷 #southamerica #instalike #instaphoto #voegoloficial #instagram #instalove #instatravel @davisantosfotografia

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7. Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca — Oaxaca, Mexico

8. Le Château de Villandry — Loire Valley, France

9. Hortus Botanicus — Amsterdam, The Netherlands

10. The Butchart Gardens — British Columbia, Canada

11. Lotusland — Santa Barbara, California

12. Arctic-Alpine Botanic Garden — Tromsø, Norway

13. The New York Botanical Garden — New York City

14. Kenroku-en — Kanazawa, Japan

15. Les Jardins de Marqueyssac — Dordogne, France

Those places all look pretty spectacular, don’t they?

Do you have a favorite garden that didn’t make the list? Share in the comments!

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15 Photos of Cats That Shouldn’t Have Messed with Bees

These poor kitties really should’ve known better than to mess with bees.

You’ll see what I mean as you scroll through these photos.

A whole lot of swelling going on!

1. Not pleased

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

2. Mom?

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

3. Sad

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

4. Bigfoot

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

5. All swelled up

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

6. Uh oh

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

7. Gigantor

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

8. Awwwww

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

9. Oh no!

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

10. Trying to be cool with it

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

11. OMG

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

12. Wait, what?

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

13. Freaky Deaky

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

14. I need help

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

15. See that tear in her eye?

Photo Credit: Sad and Useless

Those pics are kind of sad, aren’t they?

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An Extremely Rare Two-Headed Baby Turtle Was Found on a South Carolina Beach

This sure is a strange sighting.

If you’re reading that headline and thinking to yourself “there’s no way a two-headed turtle could be anything other than weird,” well, this little turtle would like you to hold its beer.

I mean, if it drank beer and it was of age to imbibe, I mean.

Because even though the hatchling has two heads, it’s as cute as a button.

Posted by Jayme Davidson Lopko on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The little guy (guys?) was spotted and filmed by the Sea Turtle Patrol on Hilton Head Island. They were checking out a loggerhead turtle nest, when the strange hatchling caught their eye.

Cause, duh.

They gave him two names – Squirt and Crush (of Nemo fame) – and documented his (their?) existence before setting him free to make his way to the sea.

Posted by Jayme Davidson Lopko on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The baby was struggle to crawl with its oddly shaped shell, but since the group doesn’t collect turtles, but merely observes and monitors the populations, the scientists didn’t keep it (them?).

Posted by Jayme Davidson Lopko on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sadly, the survival rate even for healthy hatchlings is pretty low – only 1 in 1,000 green sea turtles survives to adulthood – so Squirt and Crash are definitely facing an uphill battle.

Sea Turtle Patrol wrote about the find on Facebook.

We often find many strange things when we inventory sea turtle nests. Yesterday I found this twin two-headed hatchling….

Posted by Jayme Davidson Lopko on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

“Sea Turtle Patrol follows rules set by the State Department of Natural Resources which calls for us to protect the nests and turtles but to also allow as natural a process as possible. We do not take hatchlings off the beach to raise or rehabilitate. This little guy is on his own just like his brothers and sisters that came from the nest and like they have been doing for millions of years. Good luck and safe travels special guy!”

Posted by Jayme Davidson Lopko on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

It’s super cool that we get to see something like this exist, even if it’s just for a moment, but it would be so hard to just let him go, knowing things probably won’t turn out well.

Would you be able to do it? I guess some people are just conservationists at heart!

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The Reason Why Fresh-Cut Grass Smells so Nice Is Actually Kind of Dark

Those of us who grew up in suburbia probably have a lot of positive associations with the smell of fresh-cut grass. It’s summer, we’re playing outside, our dads are home on the weekends – maybe all of the above. Even now, catching a whiff may cause us to stop, take a deep breath, and smile.

But what if I told you the smell is the result of thousands of blades of grass in distress, working fervently to heal themselves without rot setting in before it’s too late.

Yeah. Makes you think about that whole vegan thing, doesn’t it?

It turns out that when leafy green plants are harmed, they release organic compounds known as green leaf volatiles that help form new cells that heal wounds faster, prevent bacterial infection and fungal growth (sort of like plant antibiotics), and produce compounds that prevent further damage.

They also can serve as distress signals, which some believe leads to questions about a form of language meant to warn others about potential harm.

While some of these emissions help oxygenate the atmosphere, others could pollute the air by contributing to photochemical smog in urban areas – really, the jury is out on that.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take this as one more reason to stop mowing the lawn and just let my “bee garden” take over naturally.

My neighbors can object until they’re blue in the face; I have SCIENCE on my side.

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