A Thank You Letter To My Parakeets

A Thank You Letter To My Parakeets

Thanks for always being there, you little weirdos.
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Dearest Dip and Dot (the roundest of little fluffs),

Even though it has been six years since you left me, baby Dot, and just over a year since you passed away, Dipsy, I still think of you and miss you. I had a slew of names ready for when I got you first, Dip, but when your little sister came along I knew exactly how I'd re-name you both. Nothing other than my favorite ice-cream would have worked. Especially seeing people connect the two names together and laugh at the idea.

You two lightened my day knowing I could just come over after a particularly long day and that we could sit next to each other on the balcony. Peacefully looking over the pond or watching the bees float through flowers, knowing that I'd be comforted by your rustling next to me.

I laughed the other day when I rewatched the video of you preening, Dip. Watched you grow to twice your size, essentially a feathery loofah, and then shaking your stress away before returning to a reasonable size. I still watch those videos to help me when I get down or need to laugh for a minute. Its comforting to hear your baby chirps in the background. Thank you for that.

Dot, you passed away when we both were so young and still hadn't learned what death meant, your four years to my fourteen. I learned about loss when I held you that day after school in the vet's office. You looked even smaller at peace than I thought possible when you were alive. I imprinted your feet and wings in ceramic. But holding that was never the same as when I held you.

And thank you, Dip, for being by my side for ten full years. People, friends wondered how I could consider that a little bird was my best friend. And at the risk of sounding like a wacky bird-lady (which face it, I was) it's because you pushed me through every hardship I faced in my most formative years. We went through the aftermath of transferring to a new elementary school, pre-pubescent tragedies of the mind and gossiping about high school-level drama.

I always like to think that you saw me off to college, and then knew that it would be alright for you to pass on. Aai and Baba were with me that weekend in UCLA when the vet called and said that you died. I never cried like that before. But I also loved very few like I loved you and Dot.

Aai told me that day that I could cry; it was good to. But just to remember that when Dot passed away, when you passed away, that somewhere in the world a baby bird was just born.

I guess, I just wanted to thank you crazy loons. For teaching me the hardest and the sweetest lessons in life: about loss and how you always have a good force around you — no matter how small they may seem.

I love you and I miss you. So do Aai and Baba. But we know you're consuming lettuce and millet seeds by the thousands somewhere good.

Your much taller friend,

Jui

Cover Image Credit: Jui Sarwate

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Hey, Bored Sports Fans, There Are Plenty Of Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained This Season

When sports get boring, you have to create your own fun.

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It's not always easy being a sports fan. We have to deal with the offseason, sports analysts (who consistently think they know more than fans and athletes do), player injuries, and days going by during the season when our team isn't even playing. It's frustrating, to say the least, and sometimes it can get boring, too.

However, if you're a bored sports fan and want to change this, here's an example of what you can do.

First, go on Instagram and find Tom Brady's page. Once you're there go into the comments of a recent post and type in the following: "Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT." Submit your comment, and prepare to be amazed.

I guarantee that the responses you get will be as entertaining as they will be horrifying. Firstly, given that this is Tom Brady's account, many of his fans will relentlessly attack you. They'll call you names, make comments about your family (who they know nothing about), degrade your looks, and characterize you using every available synonym for "stupid" that exists. There are a few good Samaritans who will refrain from using profanity but will still explain to you why you're incorrect based on statistics, intangibles (such as leadership and likeability), and of course, their "expert" opinion.

Now, if you're lucky, a few brave souls who agree with your comment will come to your defense. They will defend both you and Aaron Rodgers as if you are family. A back-and-forth will occur, and an all-out war of words will take place. You should make it out alive, and hopefully much more entertained.

This concept can be applied to virtually any sports team or player, and the result should be relatively similar. Here are some more comments that should help to keep your nights occupied:

1. Lebron James's Instagram

Go to Lebron James's Instagram page and comment either: "Kobe Bryant is the GOAT" or "Michael Jordan is the GOAT." This can be done interchangeably if you go on either Michael or Kobe's account instead.

2. The Yankees' Instagram

Go to the Yankees' Instagram account and comment: "The Red Socks are better." Although I have to warn you, this comment might get you thrown out of New York.

3. Conor McGregor's Instagram

Go to Conor McGregor's Instagram account and comment: "Khabib Nurmagomedov is better."

4. Michigan State's College Football Instagram

Go to Michigan State's College Football Instagram account and comment: "Ohio State is better."

5. The Houston Rockets's Instagram

Go to the Houston Rockets's Instagram account and comment: "The Warriors are Better."

The list goes on.

Now, while this article is suggesting ways that you can start an online sports argument, I am in no way implying that you should actually go do this. Chances are you might get your feelings hurt and unnecessarily make others angry. So do not participate in any of this — unless of course, you are extremely bored.

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