Seemingly Harmless Things That Can Get You Banned from Disney World

The happiest place on earth seems to have gotten a little less happy and a lot more restrictive as time has passed. The unfortunate part is that we have humanity as a whole to thank for this as people tend to think that rules don’t apply to them at times and decide to do what they want. No matter the reason this is why even the most fun-filled place of all time has been cracking down on what will and won’t be allowed in their parks. These six seemingly harmless things can easily get you booted out without so much as a warning if you decide to blatantly break the rules.

Bringing Wrapped Gifts 

Thanks to the heightened level of paranoia in this country, which unfortunately has been earned, Disney park employees have to check everything that comes into the park. This means that if you have wrapped presents you don’t want opened, leave them at home.

Bringing Folding Chairs

This used to be allowed but since it’s a huge liability if someone decides to get bent out of shape and reenact the latest WWE episode it’s not longer allowed. There are plenty of places to sit in Disney parks but when standing in line it’s understandable that a person’s feet or legs can get tired. Find a suitable place to sit while you wait, that’s the best that can be offered.

Running

This is prohibited to avoid any lawsuits from bumps, bruises, sprains, broken bones, etc. The park doesn’t want to be liable for any injuries that occur on its grounds and thus if you are caught running from place to place then you might be warned or asked to leave. Granted, there’s a lot to see. But plan ahead of time and make sure you have enough days to see what you want. Or prioritize.

Balloon Possession

The big concern about these comes from the Animal Kingdom and the havoc that a balloon could cause if brought into the enclosures. For one, the popping of a balloon could spook an animal and cause them to hurt someone else or themselves. Second, the balloons could inadvertently be released and consumed or in some way harm the animals. This rule goes for straws and drink lids too.

Questionable Tattoos

So long as your tattoo doesn’t pose any seriously questionable content tattoos are actually kind of impossible to ban. Plus as long as it’s covered, if it is offensive, then no one’s going to say anything. But if you happen to have a tattoo that’s in any way offensive, and especially if you have one that showcases anything owned by Disney, then you might be asked to leave.

Adults Dressing in Costumes

No one over 14 is allowed to dress up in a costume in Disneyland parks. This could have something to do with taking away the attention from the paid employees that are seen walking around the park. It could be that Disney doesn’t want someone else gaining all the attention or taking away that experience from their performers. Sorry folks, keep it at the convention.

Petition calls for Confederate Monument To Be Replaced By Statue Of Snooty The Manatee

Get ready for a Snooty statue. Say goodbye to a Confederate monument.

A petition in Bradenton, Fla., is calling for a memorial to Confederate veterans to be replaced with a statue of beloved Snooty the manatee, who died in a tragic tank accident at the weekend only days after celebrating his 69th birthday.

Local media reports that thousands have signed the petition, which is the brainchild of local resident Anthony Pusateri.

“Snooty the Manatee has been a symbol of Bradenton, Fla., for almost 70 years. He suddenly passed away on July 23, 2017 and was the oldest living Manatee on record in the world,” Pusateri wrote on Change.org.

“Subsequently, there is a Confederate memorial statue that stands directly in front of the old courthouse just blocks away from the aquarium where Snooty resided. To honor Snooty’s legacy as a positive icon in Bradenton, I propose that the negative symbol of racism and oppression that is the Confederate monument be relocated and replaced with a statue of Snooty the Manatee,” he added.

According to the Bradenton Herald, Pusateri created the petition on Sunday evening after hearing the news of Snooty’s death. He said he also previously heard someone calling for the Confederate statue to be removed.

“Why not do two birds with one stone?” Pusateri told the paper.

Pusateri told the paper that when he gets 2,000 signatures, he will submit it for consideration by the city and the county. Early on Tuesday morning, there were almost 3,500 signatures.

He noted that he’s not calling for the Confederate monument, which stands next to the Manatee County courthouse, to be destroyed. Instead, it would be moved and replaced by one in honor of Snooty, who was Bradenton’s official mascot.

Snooty died at the South Florida Museum aquarium, reported local TV station WFLA, in what aquarium officials called a “simply a heartbreaking accident” in which he became trapped in a hatch door and drowned.

He was listed as the World’s Oldest Manatee in Captivity in the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition, the station said, and was believed to be the oldest living manatee in the world.

Sean Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resignedThe New York Times reports he told President Trump he didn’t agree with his pick for a new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. According to The Times,the president asked Spicer to remain in the position, but Spicer stepped down any way.

President Trump announced earlier Friday morning that he had chosen Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, to lead White House communications. Axios reports Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was also surprised by the pick.

There’s been speculation for weeks that Spicer was looking for a replacement for himself, so his resignation wasn’t a total shock. However, he was reportedly looking to move to a different White House position, so abruptly resigning was a bigger move than expected.

The people of Twitter had a field day with the news, speculating on what Spicer would do next and making fun of his stint as press secretary.

Some were also sad at the prospect of losing Melissa McCarthy’s impersonations of Spicer.

But, others came to his defense… kind of.

We’re One Step Closer to The Rock Running for President in 2020

The first official campaign committee in support of a Dwayne Johnson presidency, “Run The Rock 2020,” was filed with the Federal Election Committee on Sunday, because why the hell not, right?

In today’s carnivalesque political atmosphere, the actor/WWE superstar/part-time meme isn’t as unlikely of a candidate as he might appear at first blush.

The concept of a Rock presidency first entered the public discourse after he appeared on the cover of GQ’s June 2017 issue, with an accompanying interview that made Johnson seem like a likable, genuine guy- and maybe even a viable candidate.

During the interview, Johnson called a presidential bid a “real possibility.” The article went on to discuss his boundary-transcending appeal, due to both his ethnic ambiguity and his evident charisma.

In the magazine, the article ran with the headline: “Vote The Rock.” Online, the header reads: “Dwayne Johnson for President!” Subtle stuff.

But nonetheless, the suggestion was pretty tongue-in-cheek, and was treated as such. Johnson appeared on SNL in late May and “announced his candidacy” with Tom Hanks by his side.

Sunday, however, marked the first official step towards Dwayne “The President” Johnson when a man named Kenton Tilford filed with the FEC. Tilford listed himself as both the Custodian of Records and the Treasurer of the committee on the Statement of Organization, a form that is required “if total contributions received or total expenditures made exceed, or are expected to exceed, $50,000 in any calendar year,” according to the FEC website, although committees can still register without that expectation.

News of the campaign committee’s creation received some amused support from Trump opponents.

Johnson himself has yet to respond to the committee’s establishment or the surrounding buzz, but if he were to move forward with a presidential campaign, his next step would be to file his Statement of Candidacy with the FEC. Whether or not he’ll step into the political ring remains to be seen.

Tilford’s Twitter bio lists him as the founder of Run The Rock 2020. The campaign committee also has its own Twitter account and a website that I signed up for twice but couldn’t access because it said my email addresses weren’t authorized.

But if you’re interested in updates on the committee and don’t mind refreshing your browser a lot, you can smell what Run The Rock 2020 is cooking here.

NYT, Reddit, Kickstarter Are All Suffering a DDoS Attack Right Now

On Wednesday morning, several major sites, including Reddit, Kickstarter and the New York Times went down from an apparent Direct Denial of Service attack.

After a few minutes, some of the sites, like Reddit, appear to have recovered, but Twitter users report that more and more sites are going down. The DDoS attack comes one day after the Petya ransomware attack held computers hostage across the world, including in the U.S., although the two events do not immediately appear to be connected.

Right now, nytimes.com currently displays an “Error 503: Maximum threads for service reached,” one of the common error prompts when a DDoS attack takes down a site. At some point on Wednesday morning, a similar error showed on Reddit, Kickstarter, Github, The Guardian, and other sites.

The NYTGuardian, Github and Reddit have not acknowledged the attack on their public twitter feeds yet. Reddit appears to have recovered, but the New York Timeshas been up and down when I checked it while writing this story. There is precedent for this kind of widespread DDoS attack: in October of last year, a massive onslaught of hacked Internet of Things devices powered a DDoS attack that took down Reddit, Twitter, Spotify, and dozens of other sites by knocking out a single DNS (Domain Name Service) provider that services many websites on the net. While DYN recovered, some of the sites were offline for hours.

This story is developing…

Do Not Use These Recalled Fireworks Next Week

Each year, tens of thousands of people are injured in fireworks accidents. While these incidents can occur when someone is ill-trained in setting off the brightly colored explosives, they can also be the result of defective products, such as the 36,000 TNT Red, White, & Blue Smoke fireworks now under recall. 

American Promotional Events recalled 36,100 TNT Red, White, & Blue Smoke fireworks that can explode unexpectedly after being lit, posing burn and injury hazards to consumers.

According to a notice posted with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recalled fireworks have been linked to three people suffering burn injuries. No property damage has been reported.

The pyrotechnic devices, which make smoke when lit, were sold from May 2017 to June 2017 at Albertsons, Kroger, Meijer, Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers in Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The fireworks — which can be identified by the UPC number 027736036561 — came in a bag containing one red, one blue and one white canisters.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fireworks and contact America Promotional Events for a full refund at 800-243-1189 or via email at info@tntfireworks.com.

The recall comes on the same day that the CPSC held its annual fireworks safety demonstration, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

The CPSC’s demonstration included setting off several fireworks explosions mirrored after scenarios that have killed or seriously injured Americans.

“Seemingly simple safety tips can really avoid injuries when using fireworks,” Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the CPSC, said during the demonstration.

Some of the steps to a safer celebration from the CPSC include:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them

According to the CPSC’s annual fireworks report released earlier this week, in 2016 four people died and more than 11,000 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.

On average, 230 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday, the CPSC notes.

Of these fireworks-related injuries, 69% involved burns. Additionally, 33% of all fireworks injuries occur on the hands, 28% to the heads, faces, and ears, and 18% on the legs.

As for the products associated with these injuries, the CPSC estimates that 900 emergency department-treated injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.

Another 1,300 were related to firecrackers. Of these, 47% were associated with small firecrackers, an estimated 4% with illegal firecrackers, and an estimated 49% with firecrackers for which there was no specific information.

Trump Administration Drops Protections For Whales, Turtles

Seemingly overshadowed by a new lawsuit against the president, a dismal approving rating, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions denying Russian collusion in the 2016 election, the Trump administration ditched a rule on Monday aimed at protecting endangered whales and sea turtles on the West Coast from mile-long gill nets meant to catch swordfish.

The National Marine Fisheries Service’s ruling is one of the administration’s first moves in targeting protections of threatened species, the Associated Press reported. Gill net fishing is banned in most of the world’s high seas. That includes the U.S., with the exception of the West Coast swordfish drift gill net fishery.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council proposed the rule in 2015 with the support of conservationists, regulators, and fishermen. Meant to protect whales, dolphins, and turtles that live in the waters off the West Coast, the rule would have closed gill net fisheries for up to two years if a combination of whales, turtles or dolphins were killed or injured by the nets.

But the NMFS decided that the rule was unnecessary given the apparent success of alternative measures used by the fishing industry in recent years, such as underwater sound systems designed to warn off whales and larger escape openings near the tops of the nets to give the animals a better chance at escaping.

“The bottom line is this is a fishery that’s worked hard to reduce its impact,” Michael Milstein, a spokesman with the federal fisheries service, told the AP.

Others, however, remain skeptical of the supposed strides made by the alternative measures. Dr. Geoff Shester, the California campaign director for Oceana, told Vocativ that the government should be incentivizing more efficient, and sustainable technology, such as deep-set buoy gear. This echoed a similar sentiment expressed in a September 2015 letter from three senators when the rule was first proposed.

National Geographic is Sharing Photos of Endangered Species This Summer to Help Save Their Lives

Photo Ark—one of National Geographic‘s many prized projects—has teamed up with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America to present a cute, cuddly, and critical campaign. Aptly titled #SaveTogether, the movement calls attention to species whose futures are uncertain.

The #SaveTogether campaign relies on a combination of social media and good, old-fashioned signage to educate and engage the public. Today, it kicks off with a “digital billboard takeover” in Times Square. Now through summer, a special photo station will remain in the iconic tourist attraction. Inside the booth, visitors can take a selfie with an image shot by Joel Sartore, the founder of Photo Ark. Once snapped, these photos will appear on one of Times Square’s famous billboards.

If you can’t make it to bustling New York City, however, you can still participate. In zoos, museums, and other public spaces across the country, portraits of animals in need—including a Sumatran tiger, an African white-backed vulture, and a pair of Citron-crested cockatoos—have begun to pop up. If you spot one of these National Geographic photos, you’re invited to snap a selfie with it and share it on social media with the hashtag #SaveTogether. Once tagged, you can see your selfie on the National Geographic website.

On a mission to bring awareness to endangered animals, Joel Sartore has photographed over 6,500 vulnerable species for Photo Ark. In addition to acting as an important record of each species’ existence, the photos aim to “inspire action through education and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.” If you’d like to find out more about how you can get involved with the project (in addition to snapping a selfie, of course), you can check out the project’s page.

Sneak a peek at some of the endangered species featured in #SaveTogether, a campaign by National Geographic’s Photo Ark.

Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii)
Critically endangered, fewer than 15,000 left in the wild Photographed at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus)
Critically endangered, fewer than 270,000 left in the wild Photographed at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Cleveland, Ohio
Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

Ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora)
Critically endangered, fewer than 800 left in the wild Photographed at the Turtle Conservancy in Ojai, California Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

Red wolf (Canis rufus)
Critically endangered, fewer than 150 left in the wild Photographed at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota)
Critically endangered, fewer than 5,000 left in the wild Photographed at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles, California Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

Fiji banded iguana (Brachylophus fasciatus)
Endangered, fewer than 8,000 left in the wild
Photographed at the Houston Zoo in Houston, Texas
Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)
Endangered, fewer than 2,000 left in the wild
Photographed at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska
Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)
Endangered, fewer than 500 left in the wild
Photographed at the Toronto Zoo in Toronto Canada
Support the Photo Ark and projects working to help save species at PhotoArk.org and join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether.

These National Geographic photos can be found on billboards across the country.

Can Drugs Actually Be Good for Your Health?

Many consider drugs to be one of the primary catalysts for some of the world’s best art, music and cultural development. Typically it’s because they stimulate our minds to work in ways we never thought possible, and enhance the positive feelings at a party, making it seem more fun. And their role in America’s peace and love movement of the ’60s is simply undeniable. In short: Drugs, man—a lot of people love ‘em.

Drugs, and their impact on our lives, are a lot more nuanced than a casual bong rip and a ride to the 7-Eleven for some chimichangas (glorious as they are). If you have a headache, you take a laboratory-engineered pill that helps it go away. You’re depressed? Take some Zoloft, bud! You’re anxious? Xanax! Can’t sleep? No problem! Take a couple Lunestas and call me in the morning. Oh, your dick ain’t working right? One word: Viagra!

But what about the party stuff? The illicit substances that you have to get from a street pharmacist instead of a regular one. Weed may be getting more legal by the minute thanks to its medically-proven benefits (and well, the sheer amount of money that can be made from a legalized marijuana industry), but mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, and are far from being available in a legit way. Do they have any medicinal merit?

Believe it or not, according to science—some of them do! Teams of scientists and researchers from all over the world have spent extensive amounts of time thoroughly testing and experimenting with all sorts of drugs, and as it turns out, some of them are more useful than their ability to make us crave tacos at 3 in the morning.

Cannabis

Whether or not you’re a big smoker is pretty inconsequential to some of the incredible breakthroughs we’ve seen in medical marijuana over the last couple decades. We’ve known about its power to help ease the side effects of chemotherapy for a few decades now, but studies on the drug have come an incredibly long way in just the last few years.

Studies have demonstrated that marijuana and its extracts can drastically reduce the effects of epileptic seizures. One study tested 162 patients over 12 weeks with an extract that was 99% cannabinoids (aka: the stuff that doesn’t get you stoned). The study found that 36.5% of patients noted a reduction in seizures that either rivaled or beat the current medication they were taking, and 2% became completely seizure-free. If you want to see something less technically scientific, and more anecdotal, this video is both baffling and extremely powerful.

Studies also show marijuana can significantly reduce or even prevent completely the psychological symptoms of PTSD and depression. While the claims have only been tested in mice, the results are extremely positive. In the PTSD trial, researchers found that administering cannabinoids after a traumatic event stimulated changes in the brain centers that are in charge of storing traumatic memories. In the depression study, scientists found that mice that were chronically stressed or suffering from anxiety also suffered a shortage of endocannabinoids (which affect cognition, emotion and behavior). After receiving cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid levels in the mice were restored, thereby alleviating at least some of the symptoms of depression.

And, of course, recent studies have indicated that marijuana can not only alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment, but that cannabinoids can actually kill cancer cells. They were so conclusive, the National Cancer Institute actually changed the information on its website to reflect the results of the studies.

DMT

DMT is a naturally-occurring psychedelic compound that people generally smoke. Recreationally speaking, the high is short, super potent, and is generally described as a kind of out-of-body experience with intense hallucinogenic visions. People who’ve taken it say it’s like being momentarily transported to another dimension.

However, DMT and Ayahuasca (a brew containing DMT used in ancient Amazonian healing and enlightenment rituals for centuries), are more than just party drugs. South American shamans would administer the drug to people because not only was it rumored to have tremendous potential to heal, but also because it was believed to be a gateway to the spiritual world. In fact, it is known to South America’s indigenous peoples as “the teacher plant.”

Medicinally, DMT helps people conquer their addiction problems. In one study, a small group of 12 people struggling with a variety of different types of substance abuse issues took Ayahuasca over the span of six months. At the end of the six months, respondents reported using less tobacco, booze and cocaine, but their cannabis and opiate use stayed the same.

DMT and Ayahuasca have also recently raised a lot of eyebrows for their effect on depression. Though legitimate clinical research studies are still in their infancy, there are a couple of very convincing reports that note the drug’s ability to drastically reduce the effects of depression, even weeks after it is consumed.

Mushrooms

If you talk to people about their recreational drug preferences, ‘shrooms are probably the first or second one on everyone’s list. Known for its psychedelic, mood-altering effects, studies on mushrooms have found that the psychoactive drug in them, psilocybin, actually prompts psychological growth.

John Hopkins School of Medicine researchers gave the drug to 18 volunteers who participated in five eight-hour sessions where they were given the drug in varying doses in order to determine what its effects would be. Each of the 18 volunteers was college-educated, and all believed in spiritual experiences (although only 78% participated in “religious activities”).

Though the sample size was admittedly small, 94% of the people who participated in a follow up survey conducted 14 months after the first study said it was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives. More so, their friends, colleagues and family members (awkward) reported that the experience had made their ‘shroom-tripping friends kinder and happier.

Other studies have concluded that psilocybin succeeds where conventional depression medication falls short. Their study included 12 volunteers diagnosed with chronic depression (an average of 17.8 years), none of whom had responded well to standard medications. Within just one week of receiving an oral dose of psilocybin, the patience reported a strong improvement in their symptoms. Within three months, five of the volunteers—nearly half—were in complete remission.

MDMA

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, known more colloquially as Molly, Mandy or Ecstasy, was first synthesized in 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck. Since its first “discovery,” people have been absolutely fascinated with and blown away by MDMA’s effect on the human psyche.

Of the MDMA studies conducted over the years, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that the drug works wonders to alleviate the effects of both PTSD and severe, untreatable depression. While there is an array of PTSD studies from which to select, the information is pretty similar: Give people MDMA and they don’t just feel better, they get better.

One study noted that after just three MDMA sessions, 85% of participants no longer had any PTSD symptoms whatsoever. And after a 3.5-year follow up, many of those participants dramatically reduced and even stopped taking their PTSD medications completely.

Ketamine

While ketamine is used primarily for anaesthetic purposes, it is also a massive party drug that people take because not only is it a muscle relaxer and painkiller, but it provides a euphoric, sometimes even mild hallucinatory experience, even in lower dosages. People report feeling fuzzy, tingly and a dissociative-but-aware, near-out-of-body experience while on the drug.

Over the years, Ketamine has found a massive following in the psychiatric community for its medicinal uses. Ketamine has been used to treat otherwise untreatable bouts of clinical chronic depression in some patients, and has even been used successfully to inhibit suicidal thoughts in others.

At this point—probably because of the drug’s availability to clinical doctors—there is a massive library of studies that question whether or not ketamine is a viable option for people suffering depression, and the answer is typically a resounding yes.

In trial after trial, doctors report that in low dosages, ketamine is extremely effective in treating severe depression, and that its side effects are few, but its results are great. There’s even an entire “Ketamine Advocacy Network.” Go figure.

LSD

For literal decades, people have claimed lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a miracle substance that’s healthy for the body and mind. Of course, everybody knows that’s not always true.

Nevertheless, everyone from the CIA to clinical psychologists have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to study the sometimes mystifying effects of LSD, particularly on the human brain.

Most recently, a study by Swiss scientists tested 12 terminally ill patients who were, for all intents and purposes, about to kick the bucket. The participants in the study universally found that higher dosages of LSD helped them cope with their circumstances and had profound positive effects on their anxiety.

In a story from The New York Times about LSD’s resurgence as a therapeutic medical treatment, the leading doctor on the study, Peter Gasser, put the results into perspective quite plainly: “Their anxiety went down and stayed down.”

Peyote

Ahhhh, peyote. Native Americans have prescribed it for everything from tooth pain to spiritual enlightenment, and while that may sound more than a little ridiculous, there’s research to back it up. Harvard researcher Dr. John Halpern is a popular source to discuss the effects of peyote on the human psyche for medicinal effects because he has spent quite a large amount of time studying and researching it.

In a 2005 study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Halpern found that not only did his team find zero evidence that the Native Americans whom he studied had any neurocognitive issues from their life-long use of the drug, but that they even outperformed the average on several sections of the Rand Mental Health Inventory tests (typically used to diagnose psychological problems and determine mental health).

Halpern has also studied peyote’s power to fight against more serious addictions to things like alcohol and even heroin, and saw positive results. Of course, it’s just one of many studies that have concluded that peyote (and its naturally occurring alkaloid, mescaline) do help in the treatment of addiction.

Peyote is one of those drugs that hasn’t been studied too in-depth by American medical organizations, so there aren’t a lot of widely available studies or clinical trials. However, there are plenty of outside sources that talk scientifically about the physical health benefits of peyote as a pain reliever. Applied directly to the afflicted area in a solve (usually made from bees wax), or ingested orally in lower doses, people find it to be a powerful inhibitor of things like joint pain, toothaches and muscle aches.

Manatees Officially Swim Away From ‘Endangered’ Status

Dire environmental reports are seemingly everywhere, but today, there’s a bit of good news: The roly-poly West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) is doing so well that the species is no longer considered endangered.

Significant increases in manatee population numbers and noted improvements to the animals’ habitats convinced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to downgrade manatees’ status from endangered to threatened, as defined by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), FWS representatives announced online today (March 31) in a statement.

Both subspecies of the West Indian manatee — the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and the Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) — will retain federal protections, as will the animals’ vulnerable Florida habitats, according to the FWS ruling.

Florida manatees were listed as endangered in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, and officials added the Antillean manatee to the listing in 1970, the ruling reported.

While the manatees’ revised status represents improvement in their prospects, a threatened species is still considered to be at risk, as it is “likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” according to the Endangered Species Act.

Conservation efforts by local governments, industries, businesses and private citizens contributed to the manatees’ recovery, though challenges remain, FWS representatives warned.

Minimizing manatee interactions with boats, which are frequently lethal to the animals, will be a priority for FWS in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard and with coastal communities in Florida, the representatives added. Additional initiatives will regulate water pollution and the use of fishing gear in manatee habitats, and monitor the manatees’ access to warm natural springs, which could help the animals survive winter cold snaps, FWS representatives said.

The FWS estimated that about 6,300 Antillean manatees live in the wild, in an area ranging from the Mexican Gulf Coast to northern Brazil and the Caribbean, while an estimated 6,620 T. manatus latirostris individuals call Florida home.

“Today, we both recognize the significant progress we have made in conserving manatee populations while reaffirming our commitment to continuing this species’ recovery and success throughout its range,” Jim Kurth, acting director of the FWS, said in the statement.