I Hate Movies Like 'Jaws'

I Hate Movies Like 'Jaws'

Sharks are friends, not foes!
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Everyone has seen Jaws at least once in their lifetime, it’s like a cult classic at this point. I remember the first time I watched, I made my older brother watch it with me so I wouldn’t be as scared.

Even so, I ended up hiding my face for most of the movie anyway. Yeah, I’m a coward when it comes to scary movies, I admit it. My terror that first time is a bit ironic considering I’m now in college to become a shark biologist. As a future marine conservationist, however, I’m pretty much obligated to tell you that movies like Jaws are extremely harmful to conservation efforts.

People are already afraid of sharks, and fear sells. Just look at all the movies that have come out since Jaws. Films like 47 Meters Down, The Reef, The Shallows, and the newest one coming soon, The Meg. Good movies, sure, but they only contribute to a culture that already inherently fears and hates sharks.

Because of films like these, people are less motivated to conserve shark species that are on the endangered list, less motivated to protect habitats where they live, and less motivated to fund programs to help save them.

A lot of people think we don’t need shark research, that we already know a lot about them. In reality, we actually know very little. For example, only 40 Greenland sharks have ever been seen alive, and all of them were adults. A juvenile has never been seen, and the species was only discovered as recently as the late 1900’s. There is still much to learn about other species as well, and new species are being discovered all the time.

I feel like if people knew more about sharks they might be more inclined to try and save them. For example, you know those soulless empty black pits all the Great Whites in the movies have? Great Whites eyes are actually a deep, royal blue around the black iris. Honestly, they’re very pretty. And Nurse Sharks, called the couch potato of the sea, literally sleep in cuddle piles of up to 40 individuals. If that’s not super cute I don’t know what is (or maybe I’m just a shark nerd idk).

So that’s why I dislike movies like Jaws and 47 Meters Down. They give a false impression of sharks as vicious man-eaters that will eat you if you even step foot in the water, when in reality they’re just really lazy predators that would usually rather eat a seal flipper than anything even remotely human. Save the sharks!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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25 Reasons Getting a Dog in Your 20's is a Smart Idea

In honor of National Puppy Day!
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Life in your twenties is a wonderful time. You're finally free from your parents tight leash (pun intended) and starting to discover who you are. However, not every night can be a wild adventure filled with a drunken story you'll discuss 20 years later. Some nights are just meant to be spent relaxing...but instead of being alone, why not have a companion with you? A fluffy, crazy, ball of fun companion that is.

As many people know thanks to social media, today is National Puppy Day. Long story short, it's the day where Instagram junkies and take pictures of their furry friends and post them to social media. This day may only come once a year, but the love of a dog lasts a lifetime. People say having a dog in college is nuts, but honestly is it?

Meet Cooper, he's my year old Golden Retriever and honestly the biggest pain and joy in my life. A lot of people laugh at the idea of having an 83 pound dog living inside an apartment but he makes everyday so much better. So many people out there already have dogs in college and are loving it. Having a dog in college is actually one of the smarter things a college kid can do. Seriously, Here's 25 reasons why everyone in their 20's should get a dog.

1. For starters...look at that face.

(Enough said right there)

2. Who needs school? After getting the dog you learn life's biggest lesson; responsibility.

3. They sleep almost half the day so you don't have to be worried about leaving them at home. And let's be real, naps with your pup are way better than naps with anyone else.

4. They teach you how to save and budget your money (food, toys, supplies, treats). It's like Finance 302, but for dog lovers.

5.They keep you in shape since you have to walk them several times a day.

6. They are better wingmen...or women then any of your human friends.

7. They love being around other people, so a party is a fun place for them to roam.

8. Everyone loves dogs so you know they'll be welcomed almost everywhere you go.

9. They are excellent listeners. They listen to the issues everyone else is tired of hearing, and never pass judgment on your questionable moralistic debates.

10. Treats are their kryptonite. Teaching them obedience is easier than you think.

11. They are perfect drinking buddies.

12. They love the outdoors, so they great for hunting and playing Frisbee on your quad.

13. They are great to grab and hug when you get dumped. Or any other time for that matter.

14. They grow up as you do, changing as the tides in your life change.

15. Celebrating their birthday is almost as exciting as celebrating your own.

16. They get you ready for kids...which should be a long ways away. But nonetheless, you are prepared for all things menacing.

17. They're the perfect excused to get out of that awful relationship.

18.They won't complain when you want to be lazy...in fact they'll join you. Dog cuddles = the best cuddles.

19. No judgement is ever passed for the many problematic circumstances they witness, they are ALWAYS excited to see you.

20. They're perfect for asking someone a certain question.

21. Hell, if you're lucky enough, they might even be apart of the wedding.

22. They love playing with your kids.

23. They get more and more regal with age.

24. As that time begins to approach, you'll treasure every minute you have with them.

25. And when the time comes to finally say goodbye, you will realize the bond you have with something greater then yourself.

But most of all...you have gained a life long friend with millions of memories that will last for a lifetime.

So to those pet owners in college who have already began the process of that bond, congrats on making the right decision.

And to those who haven't, what are you waiting for? Go out and make a friend for life.

Happy National Puppy Day!!




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To The First School Pony I Ever Rode, And Still Love

Although its been around 9 years since I've ridden Change, I still remember all he taught me.

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Here's some background. It was my 4th birthday that started my love for horses. My parents and I lived in this house that had an acre plot of land, perfect for the best birthday parties. This birthday party, in particular, consisted of ponies.

My father rented one of those party organizations to bring a few ponies for my friends and me to ride, and that very day I said to my father, "I want to ride horses!" And the rest was history.

I started and still to this day ride at Level Green Riding School, a barn that became a second home to me at a young age. My first lesson, at the age of 6, was on this magical little pony, who now barely reaches my hips, Change. He was this fiery little pony who had some attitude but was incredibly patient with the young students.

I took my first few weeks of lessons on him and continued to on and off ride him for about two years after. Although we did little real work other than walk, trot, canter, then finally 18-inch jumping, I learned a lot from him.

So to my buddy Change,

Selena Spezio, 2009

Thank you for helping me grow my love for riding. Because of you, I have continued to pursue my passion for the sport. I have kept with it, even when I felt like a failure. There would be times when I felt horrible about a lesson, but because of you I keep with it and understand that there is always room for improvement.

Thanks to you, I understand that the horse is never to blame, but that I should reevaluate my position, attitude or technique to better my relationship with the horse I am on. The love I have for these animals stems from the small connection my young kind had with you.

I learned how to be humble. The little things we accomplished together, like my first time ever posting, where I looked like I was attached to a pole just standing up and sitting down, was a big moment, but I know it only happened because you helped me out. Image if I was on a wild pony who had an attitude and was out of control, those big moments would have come a lot harder.

The first time we jumped, oh what a joy. Although it was a small pile of poles at first, I felt free. I really saw what it was like to have a simple connection with a being.

Change, you taught me control, composure, and to have a great attitude no matter what. Those times when you were having a bad day and the first time you tried to buck me off, instead of being in fear, I just laughed and kicked you along.

You taught me the fun of this sport, and for that, I thank you with all my heart.

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