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Daughter With Cerebral Palsy Becomes Instagram-Famous After Mom Secretly Posts Her Photos Online

Kelly Taylor

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Finley Smallwood from Eastvale, California, a four-year-old daughter to Josh and Christina Smallwood, has become an online sensation with over 112,000 followers on a social media network, Instagram. Finley became so popular on social media due to her efforts to raise awareness of what it feels like growing up with cerebral palsy by donning stylish outfits. Christina, her mom, launched the Instagram campaign secretly without informing her husband or friends, and it quickly went viral, attracting all and sundry from across the globe.

When Josh and Christina found out that their only option to having a baby is domestic abortion, their journey to meeting Finley started. Unfortunately, her mother bled on her brain during birth by a C-section emergency that resulted in the damaging of young Finley’s brain. After staying in the hospital for five weeks and distressing her parents a great deal, she was released only to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a tender age of 15 months. Since then, she has undergone a series of surgeries due to her condition, but her parents have been very supportive and remained positive about it.

The Cerebral Palsy diagnosis

Finley’s parents were warned that their child might develop certain disabilities growing up. The doctors told them that she may develop a condition that will affect her movement, motor skills, and muscle tone. But, their love for their only child kept them inspired, giving her what the world couldn’t offer – true love. In an interview with Barcroft TV, Christina said that she fell in love with her daughter the first day she saw her in an incubator.

The life-changing moment is what inspired Christina to scour the internet thoroughly looking for fellow moms who were going through the same ordeal. Although there weren’t many stories to write home about, she came across one mother who had a son with a more severe case of cerebral palsy. Since the mom was a huge advocate for her son’s condition, Christina thought it will be a good idea to share with the world what it is like to bring up a child with cerebral palsy by starting an Instagram account called FIFI + MOM along with a blog to complement the experience.

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Causes and symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy refers to health disorders that affect the body balance, movement, and posture. CP, sometimes referred to as brain paralysis, is often caused by abnormal brain development or damage to some parts of the brain controlling motor activity. The first symptoms that appear in early childhood include difficulty in crawling, sitting, walking, or even rolling over.

The severity of the symptoms varies from mild to profound. Furthermore, cerebral palsy may involve muscle stiffness, uncontrolled body movements, poor muscle tone, and other problems that affect the body posture, walking, swallowing, and speech. Most people with cerebral palsy exhibit normal or above average levels of intelligence. However, their ability to communicate hinders their capacity to express the intelligence. Finley’s condition is mild and hasn’t affected much of her ability to lead a normal life, apart from movement and muscle tone.

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Cute

Zookeepers Set Up Camera And Capture Pregnant Rhino Giving Birth Without Any Assistance

Renee Yates

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For a whopping sixteen months, Asha carried her baby in her womb. Asha, a rare greater one-horned rhinoceros, lives at the Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England. Luckily, her labor and delivery were much quicker than the gestational period was for her baby Rhino to come into the world.

After only about 20 minutes of labor, Asha successfully delivered a healthy male calf in the early morning hours on May 3, 2018, at her home at the Chester Zoo. The staff at the zoo were able to capture Asha’s labor and delivery on video. The mama had an easy delivery on the floor of her enclosure and did not require assistance from the staff as she labored and brought her 132-pound baby boy. Once he is fully grown, Asha’s son will balloon to an eye-popping two tons plus in weight!

Guests of the Chester Zoo were excited to visit the little rhino and his mama in their exhibit. Asha’s baby is named Akeno which means “beautiful sunrise.” Along with his birth, Akeno’s first steps were also caught on tape along with snuggles with his 11-year-old mother Asha. They are a hit at the zoo and seem to be getting along well.

The staff at the well-visited zoo have been working towards keeping beautiful animals like Asha and baby Akeno together and better protected. One-horned rhinos are one-horned rhinos that are endangered at this point in a critical way and the staff is hoping the miraculous birth will not only attract visitors to the zoo but will draw attention to their work on this front. Animals like Asha and baby Akeno are the object of hunters who illegally poach them to be able to obtain their horns and sell them. There is a market for them as they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. A hunter can sell a single horn on the Asian black market for around $65,000 United States dollars. Even more offensive is the fact that wealthy hunters simply want the horns to hang on their walls and show off to friends as a status symbol of wealth and popularity.

According to a staff member of the Chester Zoo, not long ago there were less than 200 greater one-horned rhinoceros in the wild.

“They were hunted almost to extinction. Just in time steps were taken to protect them. Now there are about 2,600, but they still face threats in India and Nepal… it’s important we do all we can to stop their numbers going down to critical levels again.”

As the staff and many others work hard to fight against the illegally poaching of these beautiful animals, Asha and Akeno, who appears like he is dressed in a dark gray suit of armor, are enjoying their stay at the zoo and the many delighted visitors they come into contact with each day. The birth of Akeno on video has drawn more new visitors to the Chester Zoo and everyone seems to be happy with this new situation.

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Cute

A Successful Dinner Party is Brought Together by a Garfield Cat

Renee Yates

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When it comes to throwing a party, there is a lot to keep in mind. While most people like to think about the food, the guests, and the setting, there are several other key issues to address as well. This story comes from a land were cat lovers are trying to throw the ultimate dinner party. Sure, there are plenty of people out there who love cats. Cats are meant to be pets and they are incredibly popular, just like dogs. On the other hand, this mother was looking for a very specific type of cat. 

This mother has two young children who are absolutely obsessed with the cat known as Garfield. This cat is known for his mysterious stories and has been the focus of books, movies, and TV shows. One of the best-known facts about Garfield is that he has an innate love for all things lasagna. Therefore, this mother decided to go the extra mile for her children. She went out looking for a cat who looked like Garfield to complete the dinner party. Of course, the focus of the party was going to be lasagna; however, a cat that looked like Garfield would help to bring everything together. In the eyes of many, this could end up being the best Saturday night ever.

The mother went out on her search. She posted about her search for Garfield on International Cat Day. She tried to search everywhere looking for an orange cat that would suit her purposes. It turns out that a cat who looks like Garfield is a bit hard to find. Therefore, she became desperate. She decided to make a public sign that would announce her intent to the world.

On the sign, she wrote that she would only need to borrow the cat for a day or two at most. She knew that many cats already had owners and expressed her intent to bring the cat back after the party was finished. She probably didn’t know the attention the post was going to receive when she first put up the flyer about Garfield. The flyer read like a “help wanted” sign! She stated clearly that she only wanted to borrow an orange cat for a day or two at most. She mentioned the need to have a Garfield cat to eat lasagna with her family, including her children. She stated that she would make sure the cat was healthy and not require the cat to eat the lasagna if not desired. 

She even mentioned that she did NOT want to keep the cat! She mentioned that she even might sound a bit crazy but was really only desperate! The post was so funny and heartwarming that it was shared online. For sure, the post ended up going viral. Suddenly, it worked! There was a great Garfield cat that showed up to the house on Saturday night. This Garfield even brought along some cupcakes with orange icing! Without a doubt, the kids were thrilled. They all sat down for dinner and Garfield ate his own food instead. The family got time to play with Garfield after dinner until it was time for him to go home. It turns out, this Garfield already has a happy home.

This Garfield belongs to a medical student located in Oklahoma City. His willingness to donate Garfield certainly deserves to be praised. What a heartwarming story about someone who was willing to go the extra mile to make a family happy on a Saturday evening. Isn’t Garfield the best?

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Amazing

Why More People Are Finding Snakes Hiding in Their Toilet

Shannon Jackson

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Sitting down on the toilet and then realizing there is a snake in there. It’s a scene from a horror movie and can be anyone’s worst fear. Snakes hiding in toilets are becoming more and more common.

The latest story making the headlines is from Mike Green in North Carolina, who says he has pulled six snakes out of his toilet in the past four years. This is not the only example. Country singer Brett Eldredge recently shared that he walked in the bathroom where he was staying on vacation in the Bahamas and found a snake in the toilet bowl. There are plenty of stories of pythons hiding out in toilets in Australia.

There is a reason why this is happening. A former plumber and curator of reptiles at the Los Angeles Zoo is sharing the reason. He says that snakes are sleek animals and it’s easy for them to fit into tight spaces in their current environment. Snakes feel more at home when they are in a dark, tight space. When they get into a pipe, they feel good about it and it’s easy to navigate through the sewer system and then find their way up the pipes into someone’s toilet. Snakes get in through the ventilation pipes on the roof. Since the bathroom plumbing is usually connected through the ventilation pipes the snake slithers its way through the system and into the bathroom. It’s easy for snakes to slither up anything that will lead them to the roof, such as a tree. If you have a tree that is close to your roof and the ventilation pipe then it can increase your chances of having a snake in the bathroom

If you are wondering what to do if a snake gets in your toilet, know that flushing it away won’t work. If you do find a snake in your toilet then call animal control. Animal control can help you get rid of the snake but can also identify the snake. While the good news is that most snakes are harmless, there is a chance you could have a dangerous one. Don’t be a hero and handle it yourself, just in case it is dangerous.

If you want to avoid snakes in your toilet, there are simple things you can do. Find a way to make sure the ventilation is covered but that it is still able to do the job it is intended to do. By having some sort of block, such as wire covering and mesh, it not only prevents snakes from getting in but also other pests, like rats. You can also install a roof vent hood. These hoods help protect the venting and keep any creepy pests out. Who would have thought that you actually needed to take care of issues on the roof in order to prevent snakes from slithering through the pipes? If you are truly worried then you can invest in a multi-flap that fits over the toilet pipe and allows waste and water to exit but keeps critters out.

Keep in mind if you live in an area that is prone to snakes then this issue may be more common and you may already know how to deal with it. Many snakes that find their way into a toilet are not native to the area where they were found. It’s likely they escaped or were let free by their owners that no longer wanted them and they choose your pipes as a nest. Many snakes aren’t able to survive in the main sewer pipe for very long since there can be relatively low temperatures below the ground where pipes are located, making it unlikely that they actually set up their home in a main sewer line.

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Amazing

Pigeons With Small Hats are Showing up in Nevada

Shannon Jackson

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It’s not uncommon to see a lot of weird things walking down some streets in Nevada. However, you may have thought your eyes were playing a trick on you when you saw a pigeon that was wearing a small sombrero or cowboy hat. While you may think it was just one of those dessert mirages, it’s not.

There have been sightings of a pigeon wearing a sombrero in Reno and then a number of pigeons in Las Vegas wearing cowboy hats. The city manager of Reno thought it was just adorable and funny. However, she was in for a rude awakening when she shared the pigeons on social media and then was attacked by animal rights activists. One of the Las Vegas pigeons that had a tiny hat glued to its head died. Activists are working to get the word out that regardless of how cute a pigeon with a hat on his head looks, it’s not a laughing matter.

The pigeons in Las Vegas were being spotted in mid-December. While the pigeons weren’t all wearing the same hat, the proximity of the sightings had many people believing it was the same group of people or one person that was responsible. The Internet was exploding with these pictures and there were even people getting tattoos of the cowboy pigeon. These people had a serious commitment to something funny but may be feeling a bit of regret when they learn the practice of gluing hats on pigeons is cruel.

When the pigeons were first spotted, the staff at Lofty Hopes, an animal rescue, wanted to track down the pigeons in order to try and remove the hats. Since the pigeons were all spotted wearing the hats for several days, the staff determined the hats were glued to their heads. The staff then worked on trapping the pigeons but it wasn’t an easy task. The staff named the pigeons in order for them to be easy to track. They went by Cluck Norris, CoolamityJane, and Billie the Pidge. Eventually, Cluck Norris and Billie the Pidge were caught and the volunteers and staff members could take a look at the damage that was done. At first, Billie allowed them to work on removing the hat. As the volunteers got to work, it was clear how much glue there was and how much damage was caused to the bird. Cluck allowed them to do the same thing and for him, the damage was even worse. The staff at Lofty Hopes later shared on Instagram that Billie the Pidge had died from an undetected illness. The staff shared that the hat could have interfered with the pigeon being able to dislodge small insects that gathered under it. Pigeons are active groomers and they don’t just groom themselves but also others in the flocks. Since pigeons have an extremely fragile respiratory system, the fumes from the glue could have contributed to slowly poisoning the bird. There are a number of things that could have gone wrong thanks to this prank.

Lofty Hopes is now working on tracking down the sombrero bird in Reno. The city manager is also doing her part to spread the word about the birds. She said while it is fun, it’s still inhumane and the birds are suffering. She said she doesn’t want the same thing to happen here with Billie dying. In the meantime, Lofty Hopes is still working on finding Coolamity Jane. They have kept a close eye on her but haven’t been able to trap her. The goal is to get the hat off as quickly as possible.

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Culture

A Florida High School First: Dissecting Synthetic Frogs

Renee Yates

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Dissecting frogs has been part of the curriculum for high school students in the United States since the 1920’s. It’s an essential part of a Biology requirement because it offers a hands-on learning experience for students in animal anatomy. J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida has just tapped into a new synthetic option that might just save students from the dubious and grossly controversial dissecting practice. 

Why Dissecting is Controversial?  

Dissecting animals in the classroom is controversial for a number of reasons, but the education validity of this practice is what is being called into question more than anything else. If it is really important for educational purposes, why have so many schools already chosen to rely on alternative methods to fulfill the requirements?  

Here’s an overview of the key points to consider.  

Unethical.  

Dissecting frogs and other animals is controversial because of animal welfare concerns. Students are uncomfortable with the requirement, but the process has caused concerns that it encourages callousness toward animals. An estimated 20 million animals are used for dissection every year in the United States. Those are animals that are used once in a classroom setting and then discarded as waste.  

Alternatives.  

Eighteen states now allow students to choose dissection alternatives without penalty. The earliest forms of alternative legislation date to 2000 with the Illinois’ Dissection Alternatives Act, but there are other laws on the books that allow alternatives. Dissecting alternatives now include computer programs, life-life models, and high-quality videos. So, it’s no longer strictly essential for students to dissect animals.  

Cost.  

The cost of dissecting “real” animal cadavers is much higher than alternative options. The cost for animal dissection has been estimated at $6,850 over five years, compared with the $900 for a site license for Digital Frog 2.5. For those schools and teachers who still prefer a more “real-life” experience for students, there’s now the SynFrog, a synthetic frog that was designed by SynDaver as an alternative to dissecting “real” animals.  

What About the SynFrog?  

The SynFrog is the latest synthetic alternative to frog dissection, spearheaded by PETA in partnership with SynDaver. These synthetic frogs are priced at $150 per frog, and they are reusable. The students at J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida became the first students to use the synthetic frogs as a viable solution to the gross and controversial “real” frogs.  The high school students have been offered this opportunity through a partnership with SynDaver

Education is always important, but the SynFrog demonstrates that there are ways to accomplish the goals of education without unnecessary destruction and cruelty to animals. These synthetic frogs are designed to be as “life-like” as possible, with a synthetic skeleton, organs, skin, muscles, and even a reproductive system to mimic the real deal—minus the gore, guts, and discarded critters at the end of the lesson.  

Perhaps instead, teachers can reiterate the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm,” as they offer alternatives for learning with synthetic learning options.   

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