The Golden States Finally Bans Orca Captivity And Breeding

Seaworld has always faced it’s own measure of controversy, but ever since the debut of the movie Blackfish in 2013 that controversy has been in uproarious.

The film highlighted the deplorable treatment that some orcas face in captivity and in Seawold’s many parks. The documentary eventually caused the marine parks to end it’s orca breeding program and to rethink the ways in which it highlights the orca population. The killer whales still in captivity have been dubbed “the last generation” to be held as such.

However, this week, California governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will end orca breeding and captivity programs in the Golden State once and for all. Beginning next June, killer whales will only be able to be used in educational programs and not for entertainment. They will also not be allowed to propagate. 

Seaworld is trying to rejuvenate it’s image as an organization with conservation as it’s fundamental principle and has decided to stop pure entertainment shows at all it’s marine parks nationwide. They have always conducted research on the preservation of ocean along with beach habitats and have helped in environmental recovery and cleanup programs. But, they are now expected to now bring those efforts to the forefront of their parks.

However, some critics think it’s a little late for such efforts given their orca controversy. Orcas have the second largest brains of any sea mammal and are considered extremely intelligent. Some scientists site frustration at being held captive as a motive for the incident highlighted in Blackfish, in which a killer whale mauled a human trainer at Seaworld.

This may be supported by the fact that there have never been any recorded instances of orcas killing humans in the wild. Activists for the welfare of orcas believe that given their intelligence, size, and deference to humans in the open ocean, the treatment of orcas by Seaworld in the past is simply unforgivable.

What do you think? Let us know!

Lyft Rides To Be Driverless In 5 years

Robots are getting more adept, drones are delivering your Amazon purchases, and now companies like Uber and Lyft are using driverless cars! Welcome to the future, ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be an awesome ride!

 

You might be thinking, “Hey! I took a Lyft just last week and there was definitely a human driver sitting in the driver’s seat! What gives?” Lyft president John Zimmer thinks that driverless vehicles will comprise the majority of his company’s cars in just five years time! He also thinks that car ownership by the average individual will cease being the norm in a mere nine years. Why is he predicting the big change?

One estimate shows cars costing their owners an average of $9,000 a year in various expenses including parking fees, insurance, and repairs. Zimmer thinks that ride-sharing is quickly becoming an alternative to the traditional practice of owning an individual car.

He said, “The car has actually become more like a $9,000 ball and chain that gets dragged through our daily life… The age of young people with driver’s licenses has been steadily decreasing ever since right around when I was born. All told, a millennial today is 30% less likely to buy a car than someone from the previous generation.”

If Zimmer is right, it could mean a solution to many of the problems of modern urban living including lack of parking, traffic congestion, and cost of living. However, not everyone agrees with his rosy prediction.

Professor Timothy Carone of Notre Dame thinks his timescale might be too short. And, he also predicts that driverless cars will have the ability to be driven remotely, should the need arrive, which sounds equally space-agey and cool to us!

Boy With Down Syndrome Makes Winning Touch Down

With the start of school and the beginning of autumn, football season is in high gear. This past Friday was particularly magical for Novi High School in Michigan. During the game against South Lyon East, the Novi team decided to make this game the most important one of one of their peers’ lives.

Robby Heil has been the waterboy for the Novi team for four years, as long as he’s been at the school. He loves football and has always wanted to play, but Robby has Down syndrome. The team considers him one of their own however, and on Friday, they decided to make his dream come true. Head coach Jeff Burnside said, “This is something that we thought we could do to bring some joy, hopefully some outstanding memories.”

In the second quarter, Coach Burnside put Robby into play. As the team had planned, they handed it right to him, and protected him as he sprinted straight for the endzone. He scored! Robby did an excellent touchdown dance, but his teammates were so enthusiastic about congratulating him that it wasn’t caught on tape. Don’t worry – he recreated it on WXYZ’s Sports Cave in the video below!

The team’s gesture was made all the more touching by the fact that Robby’s mother Debbie was watching from the stands. Debbie has been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer and the pair definitely needed the wondrous night that the Novi High School Football team gave them. Debbie told reporters, “I’ve always been proud of him being the waterboy, or as people call him the hydration manager, but this was incredible. He’s Rudy tonight, he’s Rudy.”