GOOD

This British Man's Facebook Updates About Swimming Across The Atlantic Ocean Are Required Reading

Ben Hooper faces sub-zero temperatures, and the challenge of eating 12,000 calories a day, all in the name of sport

Earlier this month, 38-year-old British man Ben Hooper walked into the waves on a beach in Dakar, Senegal. Donning a wetsuit designed to be invisible to sharks, Hooper set out to accomplish something no human has before: swimming across the Atlantic Ocean.

Hooper plans to swim up to 10 hours each day, resting on a support boat at night, to complete the nearly 2,000-mile journey from West Africa to Brazil. He is currently 18 days into the trek, which is raising money for homelessness prevention, orphan protections, cancer care, and for Hooper’s son, who suffers from a kidney disease. Guinness World Records is monitoring the effort.


You can track Hooper’s progress on his website, but we highly recommend following along on his Facebook page, where he posts daily updates that read like tortured sailor poems. Swimming across the Atlantic sounds excruciating.

[Also see: Atlantic swim a brutal challenge for the body]

Hooper started with more straightforward dispatches, seemingly written by someone else. But by Day Five, Hooper took the account’s reins and began blessing the world with staccato meanderings about Captain Nigel, food rations, weather conditions, and colorful descriptions of the “angry sea.”

On Day Six, Hooper swam past an oil drilling platform, which he called a “scary monster!” and expressed his desire for “Scooby snax.”

On Day Nine, Hooper battled a live moth infestation in his left ear, which prompted him to ask the philosophical question, “What aversions do Atlantic moths have against right ears?”

One can only imagine what Leif Erikson might’ve tweeted during his 11th-century journey from Greenland to Canada.

Sports
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet