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California Couple Taking A Break From Quarantine Wowed By Encounter With Friendly Whale

Every year millions of people go out on boat tours for a chance to see whales. But a couple from coastal California out on their boat for fun had the experience of a whale coming by to say hello.

“He is the cutest,” the camera records the woman on a boat saying as the gentle humpback circled their boat, occasionally spraying water 10 feet into the air. And the considerate whale kept social distance the whole time he, or she, we can’t really tell from the video, was visiting with the humans.

The Newport Beach, California couple decided to take a break from quarantine last April 26 by taking a ride on their boat just off the nearby post. They had a drone to take overhead video of any encounters with whales on their trip. And it turned out that a 40-ton humpback whale that day was also interested in human interaction.

Humpback whales love to travel. During the height of summer, they will visit northerly locations like the Gulf of Alaska or the chilly waters off the coast of Maine. During the winter, they seek out warmer waters closer to the equator in places like the Gulf of California off the coast of Baja California and the western states of Mexico. In April, they are usually making their way back up the Pacific coast past the US state of California.

It’s a good thing this whale was friendly. Humpback whales can stretch out from 48 to 62 feet. That’s as long as a bus. Adult humpback whales typically weigh 40 tons. That’s more than twice as much as a loaded bus and 10 tons more than a fire engine. Their pectoral fins, the humpback whale’s equivalent of “pec muscles,” can grow 16 feet long.

Humpback whales have light bellies, dark backs, pleats on their throats, and two tiny humps in front of their tail fins, giving them the name “humpback.” And they love to sing.

The songs of the humpback whales are almost magical. Humpback whale songs can travel as far as 10,000 miles through the ocean without losing their intensity. These songs consist of hours of complex howls, moans, cries, and other sounds. Its possible that humpbacks sing their songs as a form of entertainment, but they may also serve as a kind of personals column for attracting mates, and it is known that humpback calves sing to communicate with their mothers.

Mother humpbacks nurse their young for a full year. A humpback continues growing until about the age of 10. Mothers and young often swim together, touching their fins in what seems to be a gesture of affection.

Humpback whales are carnivorous, but not in a way that humans would find threatening. They feed on krill, which are tiny shrimp, plankton, and small fish.

Humpback whales generally display a benign attitude toward humans, but there are times whale watchers need to be cautious. Humpbacks can use their enormous tail fin, called a fluke, not just for powerful swimming through water but also sometimes to leap completely out of it.

Weighing nearly seven times as much as a school bus, humpbacks leaping out of the water make a huge splash. Scientists don’t know whether this action removes barnacles and other pests on the whale’s skin or whales just do it for fun. Either way, boaters need to station themselves at a safe distance to avoid capsizing their craft.

Humpbacks can also flap their fins as if they were about to fly. That’s usually a sign to enjoy whale watching from a safe distance.

Not everyone has a whale encounter like the lucky couple from Newport News last April. But if you venture into the right waters at the right time of year, you just may have your once in a lifetime moment with the ocean’s majestic humpback whales.

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Stroke Survivor Launches Pandemic Pet Project, Draws Adorable Portraits For Rescue Groups!

Amanda J

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At the beginning of 2020, we really didn’t know what the world had waiting for us. By the time that March rolled around, the entirety of the planet was consumed by discussions surrounding the coronavirus as well as its impact. Over a full year later, with almost 90 million confirmed infections, the pandemic has become part and parcel of our daily life’s experience. With that being said, one resident from California did his best to make the pandemic as productive and pleasant as possible for rescue animals around California.

Ed Attanasio was the owner and operator of a small advertising agency in San Jose. As a local artist, Ed had seen his work featured at the Kaleid Gallery where he performed as an artist-in-residence. Ed was known at the time for his eclectic drawings and unique caricature work, something that would put him on the radar of a family friend during the quarantine. 

At the time that the pandemic shut everything down, Ed recognized that he was pretty much going to be locked down and furloughed for the remainder of quarantine. After sitting on his hands for a while, Ed would receive a phone call from a friend that changed everything. The family friend had been quarantining with their own family while struggling to keep their kids entertained. Ed offered to send some artwork over and the friend was more than happy to take him up on the offer. 

It didn’t take long for Ed to find his muse at the other end of his pen. Ed began doodling and before he knew it, Ed was drawing unique cartoonish portraits of pets belonging to his friend. Attanasio sent the pictures over whereupon they were received quite well by the family. One of the children said, “This is abstract art. Ed is like Picasso!”

And that was that.

Word quickly began to spread about Ed’s affinity and talent for caricature work. Soon Ed was thinking of using the momentum and attention to help others. Ed said, “I should turn this into a charity model. Why not?” Ed went on to say that he had always believed in supporting children and pets as they are among our most vulnerable. Ed said, “Kids and pets have always been my causes.”

After finding a receptive crowd for his work, Ed would go on to launch the Pandemic Pet Project on Facebook as a charity initiative. Ed would offer to compose Post-it Note Portraits of pets for customers from anywhere in the world. Ed asked for donations in lieu of payments and he has since drawn more than 900 portraits. Through his work, Ed has created llamas, blind raccoons, ferrets, birds, snakes, cats, and dogs. Ed said, “There was supposed to be a two-pet limit but I am a pushover.” 

Of course, Ed has been well rewarded for his efforts. At the time of this writing, Ed has personally helped to raise more than $40k for the Pandemic Pet Project to help shelters and at-risk pets all around the country. His work was well received and warmly embraced by a man from Bend, OR, who was so satisfied with his pet’s portrait that he donated $1,000 to the Pandemic Pet Project. 

As Ed continues to work on amazing portraits for his happy clients, the Pandemic Pet Project is pushing forward and into the future as one of the brightest spots of 2020. Ed says of his portraits, “I am always thinking that I want them to look different. Different color (combinations) shapes, different ears, different noses — It’s original art.”

Ed had previously worked as a journalist and stand-up comedian until he was afflicted by a stroke in 2009 at the age of 50. Ed weighed 350lbs at the time and has since focused on turning his health around, too. Since 2009, Ed has lost more than 120lbs and his new mindset was matching his rejuvenated body.

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Cleaning Out The Attic? Look To See If You Have These Valuable Items

Sarrah M

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Most households in the U.S. have a collection of stuff that’s been bought over the years, whether it’s music, clothing, toys or books and just about everything else. However, something happens after an item reaches 30 years from when it was first sold. A couple of those products actually become extremely valuable. Call it nostalgia or collectability or plain old silliness, Americans have a serious connection to their past with things, and this list of valuable throwaways proves the case. You might even find one or two you had yourself growing up.

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Honest Man Bikes 3 miles to Return Lost Wallet

Sarrah M

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Losing a wallet can be absolutely anxiety-ridden and frustrating. Most people don’t realize their wallet is gone until long after it has been lost, usually hours after the fact. By then, the imagine, every credit card in the wallet has been used and they will be lucky to head off the damage if they can get a hold of their financial accounts services beforehand. However, for one mother in Hawaii, that was not the case. Instead, her wallet was personally returned to her.

Chloe Marino was a having a typical challenging day, trying to manage her 5-month old as well as get groceries in a hurry when she was at her local market in Kahului. The Foodland grocery provides their shoppers grocery carts like most markets, and Chloe had stuffed hers in the cart as she was loading food and goods to purchase and take home. Unfortunately, while she was unloading the cart to her car, she forgot her wallet in the process. However, the sharp eye of the local security guard, Aina Townsend, saved the day.

Townsend happened to see the wallet in the shopping cart left behind before anyone was able grab it. He protected it until his workday was over, and then he got on his bike. The wallet had Chloe’s information and home address, and he knew where the location was based on her data. So, traveling on his personal bike, he covered 3 miles to get to her home. He knew what it was like to lose a wallet himself, so Townsend wanted to make sure this one got back to its owner safe and sound. As he told the news later on, it just felt like the right thing to do.

When Chloe and her husband answered the door and realized what Townsend had done for them, they were floored. The effort in travel and just making sure everything was protected completely surprised them. Chloe still had no idea her wallet had been missing earlier in the day until Townsend showed up and handed it back to her. She had never met him before, had no connection to the security guard, and has noted repeatedly how Townsend went more than the extra mile for a total stranger.

Chloe’s husband, Gray, was so moved by it, he put the story on Facebook, giving full credit to Townsend for his bike ride and how it embodied an Aloha spirit Hawaiians espouse as an ideal. The local community was so amazed and impressed by Townsend’s efforts and behavior, they triggered a GoFundMe account to give the young guard a really big Christmas present, a car of his own. Townsend was completely humbled by the efforts and the fund drive. For him, a car would be like scoring the big winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. Beyond just transportation for himself, a car would mean wheels to help is family out as well. Yet even with all the thanks, Townsend’s humility still comes through. He doesn’t believe he did anything special aside from just doing right by the owner of the wallet getting it back to her safe and sound.

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One Twin Went To Space For a Year, When He Came Back The Changes Were Compelling

Sarrah M

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Science loves twins. The ability to take one twin as a placebo and the other as the change factor works incredibly well since the twins are practically identical physically. No surprise, science goes bananas studying all the differences that can occur. That’s what happened with the Kelly twins, when Scott and Mark both became astronauts. Scientists decided to send one into space to study what physical changes happened — they were not disappointed with their findings…

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Dominique Rousselle: A Guardian Angel for Thai Stray Dogs

Jolie

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Dominique Rousselle, a Canadian tourist, travels to Thailand to help stray dogs. Rousselle rides his green bicycle through Rama IV Road and small alleys to feed stray dogs. He carries two large bags of dog food on his bicycle to feed Thai Strays in the Lumpini Park area. 

People who do not know Rousselle or have not seen him before often see him as a tourist who loves feeding homeless dogs. However, for those who live in the Lumpini Park area and near Rama IV Road think of him as a guardian angel for dogs. Most people also call him the leader of the pack. 

According to Sunee Saetae, a housewife who lives near Rama IV Road said that Rousselle is a compassionate man. His love for homeless dogs is unprecedented – said Saetae.  She has also been taking care of stray dogs for nearly two decades – and had never seen a foreigner so dedicated and devoted to caring for animals. 

Who is Dominque Rousselle? 

Dominque Rousselle was born in 1957 in Paris, France. He moved to Toronto with his mother around in 1995. He is 63 years old retired teacher who travels to Thailand every year for one month to shelter and feed stray dogs. 

Although he is a Canadian citizen, he loves dogs and takes care of them. He has volunteered for the Toronto Human Society in Canada where he provides shelter to sick dogs. In simple words, he helps find dogs a new home. In Thailand, he works as a volunteer to help stray dogs and educate people to take care of homeless dogs. 

Rousselle is caring for Thai dogs for a decade now. He started rescuing dogs in Toronto and provided them with shelter and food. Over time, his love, fondness, and compassion for stray dogs grew, and that’s why he devotes his free time to help abandoned dogs. 

Rousselle Pays from His own Pocket 

For nearly a decade, Dominique Rousselle has been spending money from his own pocket to help poor dogs. He would even pay for the food, medicine, and other essential when he would bring dogs to the organization where he volunteered.

In Thailand, people often see him bringing chicken and cutting it into smaller pieces to feed hungry stray dogs. He takes care of dogs in bad condition, but most often, he realizes that feeding is not enough. That’s why he also buys medicine for dogs to treat their health conditions. Rousselle said that he treats at least 40 dogs daily. 

Dogs are in better health when they receive primary care. Rousselle takes sick dogs to the veterinarian, buys medicine, and other stuff from his own pocket. If a dog needs proper treatment, he takes it to Sukhumvit Veterinarians, a dog clinic located on Sukhumvit SOI 51. 

Moreover, Rousselle pays around $270 that equates 10,000 baht for the stray dogs to travel with him on the plane. Rousselle said that he spends $5,000 on each trip to Thailand to shelter, feed, and neuter, and treat stray dogs. 

Final Words 

Taking care of dogs and other animals is a great act, and everyone needs to learn from Dominique Rousselle who at the age of 63 pays from his own pocket to shelter, feed, and treat stray dogs in Thailand. Rousselle is indeed an inspiration for all those who love animals, but ignore these poor animals when they need them the most. 

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