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Willy Wonka Style “Golden Ticket Hunt” For Candy Factory Launched

Liz L

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Everyone loves contests, especially if there’s some money involved and David “Candyman” Klein has created the perfect contest for all citizens of the United States.

Klein is the founder of The Jelly Belly Jelly beans and Tricky Treasures, and his contest wants you to get out of your house to win some money. All you have to do is join his ‘golden ticket’ hunt. Go to familiar places in your state/region, and find the lucky ‘Golden Ticket’ disguised as necklaces in various secret locations. 

Finding each treasure hunt guarantees you about $5,000, so get ready to go hunting. However, that’s not all – you also have a golden chance to win another prize, which is the key to one of Klein’s candy factories.

Yes, we know what you’re thinking and you’re not wrong- the story does sound familiar. The hunt takes the form and plot of famous film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

If you’ve seen the classic film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” you know how the story works.

In the film, Willy Wonka is looking for someone to take over his business in his standard Chocolate Factory. He met with five kids that had initially won the ‘Golden Ticket,’ hunt, and one of them was a special boy named Charlie.

Wonka offered a lifetime supply of sweets to anyone that will win, and to win, the kids had to stay until the end of his tour of the factory. The kids loved candy, so you can imagine that the prize really meant a lot to them. 

In a plot twist, every kid that tried to eat or eat a lot of the sweets during the tour experienced a series of weird events- every kid except Charlie. At this point, we’re just going to assume you know what happened next.

However, unlike in the movie or novel, adults can join the ‘Golden Ticket’ search. 

If the contest excites you and you think you stand a chance of winning, you only need to pay a token of $49.99 to join the contest. This token will help in narrowing down your search area, so you know exactly where to look for the Golden ticket necklace. 

Note that each state in the United States can only accommodate 1,000 participants, so you have to hurry up even if you have the clue to the Golden ticket’s location already. 

If you come out victorious and find the Golden ticket, you can claim the cash prize, or get a chance to search for what Klein calls the ‘The Ultimate Treasure.’ According to him, this treasure is the key to one of his candy factories. Other benefits include all-expenses-paid trips and free education in a candy-making university. 

The time for the treasure hunt has come upon us. Are you ready to rumble?

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Seeing a Very Unusual Killer Whale

Sarrah M

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People who go whale watching know that they might not even be able to see any whales during their trips. While most people hope to at least see something, they’ll often catch a few glimpses of the whales, and that will be all. Most whale watching trips will last for several hours as a result. 

Getting a good look at any whale at all can be special, given how big the ocean is and the fact that these animals do not swim close to the land. Getting videos of animals in general can be challenging, since animals do not sit still and can be tough to film. The videos that people do capture can have poor lighting conditions or levels of focus. When people are able to create a decent video of a rare animal, it’s an event worth celebrating. 

Recently, people were able to record a video featuring a white orca. There aren’t a lot of white orcas in the world at all, so getting even one of them on camera is very special. 

Animals that naturally have less pigmentation than other members of their species can be very vulnerable as a result. They won’t have as much ultraviolet protection, for one thing, and this can be a problem for all animals. However, to make matters worse, it’s much easier for natural predators to see these animals because of their pigmentation levels. These animals just won’t always last for very long in their natural habitats.

However, some of them still manage to survive to adulthood. People are sometimes even able to see them, and share the experience with other. This was the case for Dennis Rogers, a boat captain. 

He was traveling with graduate student Stephanie Hayes, who studies at the prestigious University of Alaska. They were off of the coastal areas in the southeastern parts of Alaska. 

Stephanie Hayes is active on Instagram, and she posted about seeing an active orca pod when they were hunting. This pod has been identified as the Transient Killer Whale group, or the Canadian Bigg’s pod. People also refer to them using the number ‘T046.’

Some of these orcas were fairly difficult to see. However, one of them was actually very clearly visible, since it had such low pigmentation levels. Stephanie Hayes certainly knows how special this is.

She knows that many researchers will not see a single animal like this throughout their careers. Captain Rogers would agree with this, since he has been sailing locally for a total of forty-five years, and he still never encountered any white orcas like this. He actually does not have the pink eyes that a lot of people associate with the condition. 

This orca is only two years old, so he’s young. His condition is known as leucism. Relatively simple genetic mutations can lead to leucism. These mutations are random, but they seem to be more common in inbred animal populations. This sort of thing might be a problem with a lot of orcas, because they travel across long distances and they’re not in contact with many members of their species at any given time. 

The fact that this orca is in a pod in the first place is positive. When whales mature, they often do not stay with their families. Orcas like this can sometimes have a difficult time finding new pods as adults. He’ll also probably have a difficult time hunting seals, because it will be so easy for them to see him. A total of eight orcas like him have been officially recorded, but he may be one of the fortunate ones. 

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Funny

Anti-Mask Businessman Spends COVID-Relief Funds on a LAMBORGHINI!

Sarrah M

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is like little else that the world has ever seen. Not since the Spanish Flu has the entire planet been beholden to such a dark and dreadful virus. Incredibly contagious and deadly in those of at-risk populations, one of the leading ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing a facial covering. Unfortunately, facial coverings such as N95 masks have become politicized due in large part to the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. David Hines is a businessman from Florida who followed the President’s lead when it came to not wearing a face mask. What’s more, the businessman from Florida used COVID relief funds for something truly unsettling.

As more than 5 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the United States, Americans around the country are struggling to make ends meet. The government put together a series of deductions and relief programs largely targeted at high-income earners. David Hines owns and operates his business out of Miami-Dade County in Florida, one of the worst-hit counties for COVID-19 in recent weeks. Hines decided to continue not wearing a mask in his personal life even as he received more than $4 million in funding relief from the Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program. The PPP funds had been allocated for the benefit of businesses that were at risk of laying off their employees.

When Mr. Hines received his $4 million loan through the PPP, the anti-mask businessman decided to spend the funds on his own personal expenses. One of the expenses that Hines felt obligated to purchase was a $318,497 Lamborghini. Hines purchase was broadcast across the nation when he was pulled over and issued a citation while driving the vehicle. The story would quickly go viral before joining masses of other high-income earners found to be abusing the PPP funds. Hines is far from the only offender but he is one of the worst and most blatant abusers of the emergency funds available. Hines’ story doesn’t end there as it continues with crazy purchases, outright lies, and an abundance of fraud.

At the time of this writing, there have been more than 19.7 million documented cases of COVID-19 with an additional 728k deaths. The United States of America currently leads the world in confirmed cases and confirmed deaths. As President Trump continues to bolster people like Mr. David Hines and the rest of the anti-mask wearing crowd, it is expected that these numbers will continue to rise until an actionable vaccine can safely rise. Now, the question remains, will President Trump push back a real vaccine in order to prop up some sort of HCQ alternative?

While nobody expected a global pandemic to render the world incapacitated, there is a silver lining ahead. There have been reports of significant progress in the production of a working COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine in conjunction with success stories like New Zealand can help you to breathe a little easier at night. Unless you have COVID-19. Thankfully, free testing has begun to become more commonplace around the world. Search your local government pages to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.

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Culture

The White Honduran Bats Look Like Tiny Camping Cotton Balls

Danielle S

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Adorable and fascinating, this cute species of bats is known by many names. They have been called the Honduran Whit Bat, the Caribbean Tent Making Bats, the Cotton Ball Bats, and the Camping Bats. These tiny fluffy pure white bats make use of their natural jungle habitat and fashion adorable structures to protect them from the elements and from predators. They are found naturally in the lush and tropical rainforests found in the farthest eastern regions of Honduras primarily. They also have habitats in northern Nicaragua, as well as isolated parts of both Costa Rica and Panama. 


During the daylight hours when they need to roost and sleep these crafty little bats create tens to sleep in. They find their favorite plant, the heliconia, and turn the leaves into little tents. They pull the leaves by cutting slits into the leaves with their teeth. This made the leaves fold downward and inward slightly and creates a little tent-like structure that is the perfect size for these tiny fuzzballs. The bats can make a solo sleeping tent but most often they will be found snuggled together in groups of 5 or more and some larger groups can number as many as 15-20 inside a single leaf!


Their natural tents are perfectly designed to shield them from the hot tropical sun while also doing a good job and shielding them from the worst of the tropical rains that fall. The bats are careful about where they make their nests and always try to find heliconia leaves far enough off the ground so possums, snakes, and other ground-dwelling predators can’t reach them.  The tents are also designed so the bats are shielded from above, which protects them from the prying eyes of owls and hawks flying overhead. These adorable bats eat mostly fruit and occasionally seeds and some insects so they are often found near fruit trees, which means they don’t have to venture far from their protective tents to find food.


These bats are adorably tiny at only around 1.5–1.9 inches long in most cases. Their diminutive size means that most only weighs 0.18–0.21 oz. However, number two on the list of the smallest bats in the world.  The number one award goes to absolutely tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, that only reaches a length of 1.1 to 1.3 inches and weight that barely tips the scale at 0.071 oz!


There are several amazing features that set these bats apart from their more well-known relatives. First is the pure white fuzzy fur coats they all have. Scientists believe this is a type of counter camouflage as the bright sun shines down and makes them almost disappear in the glare of the sun off the tropical foliage. They also have markedly orange skin that is most noticeable on their face and nose. Their small size is also believed to be an evolutionary adaptation that helps them hide and appear more like a fuzzy flower or uninteresting clump of mold rather than a tasty treat. 


While these absolutely adorable bats are not officially considered to be endangered, they are currently noted as being ‘near-threatened’. The primary threat facing them is rainforest destruction which is destroying their natural habitat and making it harder for them to hide, survive, and reproduce. Their homes are vanishing at a pretty rapid rate. The best way to help these little bats have a fighting chance for survival though is to learn more about rainforest habitats and deforestation and to fight for safer and more environmentally sound processes that protect the natural habitats of amazing animals like the Honduran White Bats. 

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Entertainment

A Kitten and a Dragon

Liz L

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Pets that were rescued very recently often struggle with anxiety. They’re in an unfamiliar place, even if it’s a safe place. It won’t feel like home for them for a little while, even if their new family members are very friendly and welcoming to them. When those cats or dogs also have to go to the veterinarian’s office, it can make things even tougher for them. 

It’s hard enough for most people to go to the general practitioner’s office for a completely normal checkup, and all of them know exactly what’s going on and why. Explaining the process of going to a physician to a child is very difficult. Dog and cat owners usually have to just find some way to distract their pets, who obviously can never truly understand why they’re going anywhere. 

Ponyo is a rescued young kitten who was just as one would expect under the circumstances. He was adopted into the local Smart family when they were just walking outside. Ponyo was completely alone at the time, and he was probably terrified. 

It’s odd to see a kitten alone like that, since such very young kittens have not usually been separated from their mothers for very long. However, regardless of what actually happened with her, none of the members of the family were able to find her. They chose to take care of Ponyo instead, giving him a safe and clean home in the process. 

They may never know what would have happened with Ponyo otherwise, since it isn’t clear if he was a kitten from a family of stray cats or not. It’s certainly possible, since there are a lot of cats like that at the moment. 

The family knew that Ponyo would still have a hard time adjusting to everything, and they were able to get him a plush toy that looks like a green dragon. Ponyo never wanted to go anywhere without the little dragon from that point onward, and his owners tried to make that happen whenever they could. 

Ponyo was being taken to feline medical professionals in order to get safely neutered. It’s often recommended that cat owners get that procedure out of the way as early as they can. The little dragon actually went with Ponyo during this process, making everything that much easier for the little cat. 

The dragon was inside the cat carrier on the way there, which sounds simple enough. However, it actually went a little bit further than that. The plush toy actually stayed with Ponyo in the organization’s kennel in order to help the kitten stay calm. The highly-trained staff members knew that this would work, and it did. 

In fact, that medical staff members were able to set the dragon toy next to Ponyo during the operation itself. When Ponyo was actually resting, they were sure to place the dragon right next to him. There was really no reason not to do so, since the dragon was not going to interfere with hygiene or cause any other issues at any point throughout the procedure or afterward.

People in the medical field are starting to understand just how important it is to relieve stress, and this is the case for all animals. They know that anxiety can really cause problems for everyone, and they want to make things a lot better for all of their patients. People now know that this is true for cats and dogs as well as people. They also know that these animals need toys, just like humans do today. A simple plush toy can really help a frightened little kitten. 

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Want Better Behaved Children? Get a Dog!

Sarrah M

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For dog owners, our little furry friends are the most adorable members of the family. Every dog has a different personality which can add a tremendous amount of charm and joy to our daily lives. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that Rex provides a positive influence on children.

Every child needs to know how to have healthy interactions with dogs and all animals. However, children who own a dog learn these safety lessons quickly and at a young age. While most dogs are friendly, like people, some have different nuances and triggers, since every dog’s background and experiences are different.

Therefore, it is important to ensure children keep a safe distance around unknown animals. Once children feel comfortable enough to work with an animal, their personalities can blossom and shine.

Conducted by the University of Western Australia with the Telethon Kids Institute, the study focused on children between the ages of 2 and 5 and found that the participants with dogs at home had a reduced likelihood of peer and conduct problems. The study also showed that these children had increased pro-social behaviors like cooperating and sharing.

The irony of this situation is that humans do not share much with dogs, other than a love of life, so the fact that pro-social behaviors are impacted is remarkable. The researchers also analyzed the amount of time the children played with the dogs. They believe there is a direct correlation between time with their dog and social development.

Previous research found that pets are helpful for school-aged children. However, new evidence suggests that benefits begin as soon as early childhood. Even just having a dog present in the room helps child development tremendously.

Researchers knew dog ownership provided some level of benefit to children but were surprised to find that the presence of a family dog was associated with positive emotions and behaviors. It is common knowledge that a dog can do wonders for the human mood, but science now exists to back up the claim.

The study was thorough as researchers worked with 1,646 parents using a survey. This step revealed that households with a dog guaranteed a 30-to-40% decrease in childhood issues with fellow children. That means dogs could be an excellent solution to peer-to-peer bullying.

In preschoolers, prosocial behavior increased by 74% by playing with or walking their dogs three times per week. This proves that it does not take a significant amount of time to have a major impact. Due to walking and playing, dogs also provide a boost in physical health. Walking dogs move children from in front of the television outside for physical activity. Dogs could be an excellent strategy to achieve this goal.

If you have been unsure as to whether getting a dog is the right move for your family, this research may help you decide. It is important to note that having a dog is a major responsibility and the best way to maximize development is to ensure your dog is well cared for and happy. Think of having a dog as a fuzzy, cute child, especially when opting for a puppy.

In addition to the physical and mental benefits of owning a dog, they also help reduce stress. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and Purdue University in the 1980s found that petting dogs help to lower your blood pressure.

If you are considering getting a dog, there are so many benefits to you and your family. Visit a shelter and see if you have a connection with any of the dogs. While browsing, you may end up meeting your new best friend!

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