GOOD

Whales have made their way into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is our piece de resistance of just how disgusting humans have made this planet. The patch sits in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere between California and Hawaii. It's home to 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, weighting 88,000 tons. Plastic nets, fishing rope, and plastic bottles have accumulated into a sort of sea landfill. It's one of five ocean gyres (a spot where rotating currents allow marine debris to accumulate), and it's also the world's largest accumulation of plastic waste.

Scientists have known about the five gyres of the world for a while, but haven't studied their impact on marine life. Why would they? The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an oceanic desert, meaning very few fish and mammals live there. Now, we're getting a better glimpse at how our empty Starbucks cups and plastic bags can mess with marine life. Whales have been spotted interacting with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


Researchers from the Ocean Cleanup Foundation (a non-profit working to remove plastic from the seas using technology) noticed a total of 14 whales, making it the first time whales were spotted in the patch. A total of two baleen whales, three beaked whales, four sperm whales, and five other cetaceans were spotted. This included a mother and her calf. Some of the plastics were close to where the whales were swimming, putting the whales in danger. Their findings were published in Marine Biodiversity.

RELATED: Whales' migration patterns can be tracked by their songs, researchers claim

Researchers spotted the whales in October 2016 while counting ocean plastics, making the whale sighting unexpected. "[T]his oceanic garbage patch is within what is called 'oligotrophic waters', which are believed to host a limited number of animals," study author Julia Reisser, from the University of Western Australia, told Newsweek. "Our observations indicate that this plastic pollution hotspot is either home or an important migration corridor for many marine vertebrates, including whales."



The presence of the trash put the whales in danger, making their swim anything but a harmless frolic. "For the first time, we found proof of whales and dolphins in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which means it's highly likely they are eating or getting tangled in the huge amount of plastic in the area," one of the scientists, Chandra Salgado Kent, wrote in The Conversation.

90% of all trash floating in the ocean is plastic. It's not just disgusting, it's also dangerous to marine life. They can ingest them or become entangled in them. Recently, several whales have been found with massive amounts of trash inside their stomachs. This March, a Culver's beaked whale was found in the Philippines with 88 pounds inside its belly. Last December, a sperm whale was found in Indonesia that had ingested a whopping 1,000 pieces of plastic.

RELATED: New study finds whales might be our best defense against climate change

Hopefully, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will shrink in size. A cleanup is currently underway. A 10-foot screen is utilizing the sea currents to passively collect plastics, including microplastics.




The less trash in the ocean means the less there is for whales and other marine life to eat. While we can't go back in time to clean up the mess, we can fix things in the present and future.

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Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

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Culture
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

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