In another blow to SeaWorld, the state of California has ruled that they will no longer be able to breed their captive orcas. In a ruling made by the California Coastal Commission, they granted approval for a $100 million (65 million) expansion to the orca tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, which will double the size of the animals current enclosure, butmade this on the key condition that they cease all breeding of the whales.
The decision came after over 600 people gathered both in support and against SeaWorld at a hearing in Long Beach, California, with both sides giving impassioned speeches, according to a report from CNN. While the breeding of orcas in captivity will still be legal in the other 49states of America, the ruling will prohibit the sale, trade, or transfer of all captive whales. This now means that the 11 orcas currently kept at SeaWorld San Diego will be the last in California.
SeaWorld San Diego plan to expandtheir orca exhibit, but will no longer be allowed to breed the whales. Daleen Loest/Shutterstock
The move has obviously beenpraised and celebrated by animal rights groups. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA) spokesperson Ben Williamson said: SeaWorld has admitted that it intended to breed even more orcas to fill the new tanks, but the commission’s action today ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a nonlife of loneliness, deprivation and misery. SeaWorld is a sea circus, and the orcas are its abused elephants.
They are also calling on SeaWorld to stop building new tanks and to send the remaining whales to coastal sanctuaries so that they can have some semblance of a natural life. Opposition to the chain of marine mammal parks has been building since the documentary Blackfish hit the screens in 2013, which detailed the controversy surrounding the captivity of orcas in tanks. It particularly focused on the whale Tilikum, and the psychological and physical damage done to the whale from being in captivity.
Supporters of SeaWorld argue that by keeping the orcas in captivity, they are able to reach and teach large audiences about the importance of conservation and preservation of their wild counterparts. They state that the new enclosurebeing built for the whales, called the Blue World, will create a better life for the whales, of which breeding should be an integral part. Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animals life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane, said SeaWorld.
The backlash from the award-winning documentary has already been felt hard by SeaWorld, with attendance to the park having slumped and profits takinga dive. It seems that the days for keeping orca whales in captivity, at least in California, are now numbered.
Snakes and hats go together like baked-beans and grapes: it’s rare to find one without the other. But when people start putting hats on their snakes, then you know it’s really time to party! There’s even an entire subreddit dedicated to the subculture.
Serpent-cosplay is arguably the first instance of costuming in history…with a twist! A little known fact is that Eve was convinced by a hat-wearing snake to offer the apple to Adam. 6000 years after the Earth’s creation, snakes with hats are shunned no more, and are accepted members of society.
Add your own, or vote on your favorite!
Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/cute-snakes-hats/
It all started when @FigDrewton on Twitter uploaded a photo of Donald Trump with a man bun. The Internet applauded and everyone was happy.
That’s when design crowdsourcing website DesignCrowd decided to host a contest, challenging their community to imagine what other politicians and world leaders might look like with a man bun.
101 submissions were received and some of them were pretty hilarious. Below are some of the Sifter’s personal favourites, but you can see all of the entries on DesignCrowd along with the winners here.
A new lawsuit filed on behalf of several Atheist plaintiffs argues the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. money is unconstitutional, and calls for the government to get rid of it.
Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow filed the lawsuit Monday in Akron, Ohio. He’d unsuccessfully sued the government at least twice challenging the use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Throughout much of his lawsuit, the word appears as “G-d.”
Newdow claims “In God We Trust” violates the separation of church and state. One plaintiff says his Atheism is “substantially burdened because he is forced to bear on his person a religious statement that causes him to sense his government legitimizing, promoting and reinforcing negative and injurious attitudes not only against Atheists in general, but against him personally.”
The lawsuit represents 41 plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan, including many unnamed parents and children who are atheists or are being raised as atheists. Defendants include Congress, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and various federal agencies.
A message seeking comment was left Wednesday at the office of U.S. attorney for Ohio’s northern district.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
There are performances, and then there are performances.
More specifically, there are performances that you walk away from thinking, “Yeah, cool. Cool concert.”
Then there are the kind of performances that people talk about for years. The kind that makes them run home immediately to kiss their children and pets and tell all their friends how much they truly love them. The kind that makes grown men weep, babies talk, and cats and dogs put away their differences forever.
Aretha Franklin just gave one of those performances.
The ceremony was humming along pretty much pleasantly, when the 73-year-old Franklin stepped up to the mic and busted out a jaw-dropping rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” which King wrote for the singer in 1967.
There once was a time where performances like these were once-in-a-lifetime occurrences, never to be experienced again like they were that very first time. (Yes, Aunt Cindy, I do wish I had been alive to see Country Joe and the Fish at Woodstock. I’m extremely sorry I wasn’t.)
Fortunately, it’s 2015, and there is YouTube.
The performance inspired a lot of feelings among the assembled guests, including…
King losing her mind.
President Obama tearing up…
…and later pumping his fist in triumph.
An entire crowd of fancy, tuxedo people leaping to their feet.
Yep, that’s everything. Everything anybody could want out of anything.
It’s a true must-watch.
I won’t blame you if you don’t watch it. But you’ll be cheating yourself. And Aunt Cindy will never let you live it down. (Yes, yes! I know, Aunt Cindy. My generation will never experience such a sublime a moment of peace and togetherness.)
Please do yourself a favor and go watch it. It’s my New Year’s gift to you and yours.
This is how the Japanese stay warm in the winter, or how you can stay in bed all day! The kotatsu consists of a blanket placed between a low table-frame and table-top, with a heat source placed underneath the blanket. With your legs placed under the blanket, someone wearing traditional Japanese clothing would have warm air come through the bottom of their robes and exit around the neck, heating the whole body.
The origins of the kotatsu can be traced to the 14th century Japanese irori, or cooking hearth. By the 17th century, irori dug into the ground, called hori-gotatsu, resembled a fixed kotatsu. Modern kotatsu, which are moveable, are referred to as oki-gotatsu. Since most Japanese homes have little insulation, kotatsu serve as effective space heaters during the cooler months.
(h/t: Image credits:
Image credits: Hamamatsu Kamera Tsuushin