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Uplifting

Rhino Poacher Meets a Poetic Fate, Complete with Elephants, Lions, and Revenge

If this isn’t justice, I don’t know what is.

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wildlife

Greed is a hell of a drug.

Greed is what makes a wealthy man and addicted man.  It’s the idea that you can never have enough, no matter the consequences to the world around you.

Don’t get me wrong: Winning and achieving are great, but there are costs to be considered.

For wildlife poachers, the reward is dirty money…and lots of it.  Items such as rhinoceros horns can go for as much as $60k per kilo – an amount that makes cocaine look like over-the-counter DayQuil in comparison.

Of course, the reason for this enormous price tag is the rarity of the item, with poachers having nearly caused the extinction of several species of Rhinoceros over the course of the last few decades.

But, as Jeff Goldblum famously says in the 90’s blockbuster Jurassic Park, “life finds a way”.

One poacher in Africa has learned that lesson the very hard way.

Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said.

The incident happened after the man entered the park with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement released Friday.

His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party led by Kruger’s regional manager, Don English, set out to recover the body. Rangers scoured on foot and police flew over the area, but due to failing light, it could not be found.

The poacher likely didn’t deserve such dignity, but the search went on.

The search resumed Thursday morning and, with the help of added field rangers, what was left of his body was discovered.

“Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants,” the statement said.

Black Rhino populations are on the rise, however, having hit a low point of around 2,400 animals in the mid-90’s.

The latest estimates put their numbers closer to 5,000 in 2019.

Uplifting

5th Graders Successfully Lobby Local Gov’t for Sasquatch Sanctuary

While there may not be much evidence that the “refuge” status of Grays Harbor County was totally necessary, we have to admit that proposing legislation that created a “Sasquatch Sanctuary” looks pretty cool on a resumé. 

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As far as pre-teen schooling goes, we all know the popularity rank of all the major classes:

  1.  Gym Class
  2. Art Class
  3. Everything Else
  4. Math

And right smack dab in the middle of “Everything Else” lies social studies, (or maybe civics in some parts of the country):  The half history/half politics class that mostly taught us about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the Louisiana Purchase and the Trail of Tears.

In the Pacific Northwest, however, one 5th grade class took their schoolwork out into the real world to protect a maybe real creature.

As a result of a rather unique project, a class of fifth graders in Washington State successfully lobbied their local government to declare their county a “Sasquatch protection and refuge area.” The crytpozoological civics lesson was reportedly the work of students at Lincoln Elementary School in the city of Holquiam. According to their teacher, Andrea Andrews, the youngsters were initially tasked with researching the famed cryptid and determining “if Bigfoot was real and hadn’t been discovered yet, or that it was just a big bear and people had misidentified it.” This sparked something of a healthy debate within the class with opinions on the issue largely being split down the middle.

And..

Upon coming to a consensus, the class put together a proposal which argued that there is evidence supporting “the notion that Sasquatch exists” and, since sightings are scant at best, it is “likely an endangered species” that needs protection. Much to the subsequent surprise of the students, when resolution 2022-037 came before the Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners at a meeting last month, officials opted to unanimously pass the proposal and decreed that the county is now a “Sasquatch protection and refuge area.” Stressing to her students that they had “changed the world in a little way” via their Bigfoot project, Andrews hopes that they will carry the civics lesson “into the rest of their lives.”

While there may not be much evidence that the “refuge” status of Grays Harbor County was totally necessary, we have to admit that proposing legislation that created a “Sasquatch Sanctuary” looks pretty cool on a resumé.

As far as pre-teen schooling goes, we all know the popularity rank of all the major classes:  Gym Class Art Class Everything Else Math And right smack dab in the middle of “Everything Else” lies social studies, (or maybe civics in some parts of the country):  The half history/half politics class that mostly taught us about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the Louisiana Purchase and the Trail of Tears. In the Pacific Northwest, however, one 5th grade class took their schoolwork out into the real world to protect a maybe real creature. As a result of a rather unique project, a class of fifth graders in Washington State successfully lobbied their local government to declare their county a “Sasquatch protection and refuge area.” The crytpozoological civics lesson was reportedly the work of students at Lincoln Elementary School in the city of Holquiam. According to their teacher, Andrea Andrews, the youngsters were initially tasked with researching the famed cryptid and determining “if Bigfoot was real and hadn’t been discovered yet, or that it was just a big bear and people had misidentified it.” This sparked something of a healthy debate within the class with opinions on the issue largely being split down the middle. And.. Upon coming to a consensus, the class put together a proposal which argued that there is evidence supporting “the notion that Sasquatch exists” and, since sightings are scant at best, it is “likely an endangered species” that needs protection. Much to the subsequent surprise of the students, when resolution 2022-037 came before the Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners at a meeting last month, officials opted to unanimously pass the proposal and decreed that the county is now a “Sasquatch protection and refuge area.” Stressing to her students that they had “changed the world in a little way”…

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Opinion

Retirees Increasingly Ditching the Mortgage to Live on Cruise Ships

Sailing the seven seas in your seventies really does sound like serendipity. 

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Every now and then, a very unorthodox idea gets more than a few people scratching their heads and a movement is born.  This might just be the case with cruise ship retirements in the 21st century.

As it turns out, living nearly full-time on a cruise ship is far less expensive than one might imagine, especially when you start to compare the cost of living at home with the all-inclusive situation at sea.  And so much so that an increasing number of retirees are setting sail as opposed to settling down.

Serial cruiser and author Lee Wachtstetter, for instance, wrote a much-read memoir about living on cruise ships for 12 years after her husband died. Farschman, meanwhile, chronicles his sea-faring ventures on his blog — facilitated by on-board WiFi that’s “become so much more reliable, though sadly not necessarily more affordable,” he said.

Upgraded connectivity has also allowed semi-retired cruisers to be based at sea while still working. “The WiFi on most vessels is now strong enough for Zooms,” said Tara Bruce, a consultant and creative brand manager at Goodwin Investment Advisory Services, a Woodstock, Georgia-based financial advisory firm that helps folks retiring at sea.

In many ways, retiring on a cruise ship makes a lot of sense. Stereotypes aside, cruising has always appealed to older travelers. In fact, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, one-third of the 28.5 million people who took a cruise in 2018 were over 60 years old — and more than 50% were over 50 years old.

What’s more, cruise ships offer many of the essential elements seniors need to thrive: organized activities, a decent level of medical care and, most crucially, a built-in community of like-minded travelers.

And that’s not all:

“With cruising, you cover all of your living expenses — food, housing, entertainment — in one place,” said Bruce. Although pricing on luxury liners can inch towards $250 per day, “we’ve seen folks get costs down to $89 per day, which is far cheaper than assisted care or other kinds of senior living.”

Repeat cruisers like Farschman are also eligible for on-board credits towards premium meals, drinks, spas and other activities that can easily reach “hundreds of dollars per voyage,” Farschman said.

When you say it like that, sailing the seven seas in your seventies really does sound like serendipity.

Every now and then, a very unorthodox idea gets more than a few people scratching their heads and a movement is born.  This might just be the case with cruise ship retirements in the 21st century. As it turns out, living nearly full-time on a cruise ship is far less expensive than one might imagine, especially when you start to compare the cost of living at home with the all-inclusive situation at sea.  And so much so that an increasing number of retirees are setting sail as opposed to settling down. Serial cruiser and author Lee Wachtstetter, for instance, wrote a much-read memoir about living on cruise ships for 12 years after her husband died. Farschman, meanwhile, chronicles his sea-faring ventures on his blog — facilitated by on-board WiFi that’s “become so much more reliable, though sadly not necessarily more affordable,” he said. Upgraded connectivity has also allowed semi-retired cruisers to be based at sea while still working. “The WiFi on most vessels is now strong enough for Zooms,” said Tara Bruce, a consultant and creative brand manager at Goodwin Investment Advisory Services, a Woodstock, Georgia-based financial advisory firm that helps folks retiring at sea. In many ways, retiring on a cruise ship makes a lot of sense. Stereotypes aside, cruising has always appealed to older travelers. In fact, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, one-third of the 28.5 million people who took a cruise in 2018 were over 60 years old — and more than 50% were over 50 years old. What’s more, cruise ships offer many of the essential elements seniors need to thrive: organized activities, a decent level of medical care and, most crucially, a built-in community of like-minded travelers. And that’s not all: “With cruising, you cover all of your living expenses — food, housing,…

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