Sir David Attenborough

Recently David Attenborough — the soothing British narrator of every nature documentary ever who is also a devoted advocate for the nature he loves to speak so soothingly about — delivered an impassioned interview on 60 Minutes in which he described climate change as "a crime humanity has committed against the planet."

Attenborough is one of the world's most influential environmental advocates. In the interview, which follows the release of the Netflix documentary A Life on Our Planet and his memoir, Life on Air, Attenborough expressed his acute fears that all of his efforts have been for naught.

David Attenborough Young David Attenborough Young

"It isn't that I enjoy saying: 'Doom, doom, doom,'" he said in the interview. "On the contrary, I'd much rather [say]: 'Enjoy, take thrill, excitement, pleasure, joy, joy, joy, joy.' But if you've got any sense of responsibility, you can't do that."

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Culture Feature

9 Celebrities Who Need to Get Vaccinated (for Our Mental Health)

As COVID vaccines start to roll out, we're hoping these famous people don't hesitate to get immunized.

On Wednesday Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen received his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and said that he felt "euphoric."

Frankly, we felt the same way. At 81 years old McKellen is in a high-risk category for a severe case of COVID. Knowing that the beloved actor and gay rights activist is on his way to immunity is one small anxiety we can remove from the heaping pile of fear and tragedy that has been growing since March.

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Culture Feature

How Did 94-Year-Old David Attenborough Beat Jennifer Aniston's Record on Instagram?

An aging naturalist got to a million followers faster than America's A-list sweetheart.

How many 94-year-olds do you follow on Instagram?

If the answer is less than one, then you are not one of the 4.7 million people who have already followed David Attenborough since he joined the platform last week.

Even more impressive, it took the acclaimed naturalist and television presented just 4 hours and 44 minutes to reach 1 million followers. That's the fastest anyone has gotten that many followers—a full 32 minutes faster than Jennifer Aniston achieved the same feat back in October of 2019—and she inaugurated her account with a full reunion photo of the Friends cast.

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CULTURE

Gisele Bündchen, Pharrell Williams, and 10 Other Celebrities Fighting Climate Change

Billie Eilish, Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more are all speaking out against the existential challenge of our time.

There's a lot of hypocrisy to many celebrities' purported support of climate change.

Much of their activism is just big talk, and many fail to use their wealth and power where it actually could make a difference, instead just showing their faces and airing their support for the climate movement when it's convenient, failing to spark legitimate large-scale change.

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TV News

Who's to Blame in the Slapfight That Pushed Kourtney to Quit KUWTK?

In the season premiere of Keeping up With the Kardashians Kim's criticism of Kourtney finally pushed things too far

These days it's hard to imagine anyone getting mad at another person for staying home sick.

The best reason to get mad at someone during the coronavirus pandemic is that they refuse to stay home. But that wasn't the case last September, when the Kardashian family's usual tension and in-fighting escalated to physical blows between Kourtney and Kim.

It was around the time Kylie Jenner was scheduled to have a major moment at the Balmain Spring 2020 fashion show in Paris. As the season premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians documents, Kylie was planning to represent Kylie Cosmetics at the event—and was in the process of planning out looks for the models—when she became violently ill. According to posts made to Twitter and Instagram, Kylie had a case of strep throat that was so bad she was bleeding from the mouth and had to be hospitalized, with Kylie later tweeting, "It was the sickest I've ever been."

But apparently Kim Kardashian West was not convinced of her half-sister's illness, and she was not concerned for the well-being of all the models and attendees that Kylie could have infected—we used to be so careless pre-2020! She felt strongly that she and Khloé were the only sisters who knew the value of hard work, and she let Kourtney know that she and Kylie were letting down the family, stating matter-of-factly, "You don't care about stuff" and, "If I were on my deathbed, I would still show up." Cool...

Kim & Kourtney's Feud Gets Physical: "KUWTK" Katch-Up (S18, E1) | E! www.youtube.com

This is not the first time that Kim, 39, has directed this kind of criticism at her older sister—the infamous fight over the Christmas photo shoot was much the same—but it was apparently the last straw for Kourtney, 40, who interrupted Kim to say, "You act like I don't do sh*t … You have this narrative in your mind—" which is when Kim cut her off. Kourtney continued trying to mount a defense while Kim interjected with her criticism until Kourtney finally came out with, "I will literally f*ck you up" and quickly showed that it was not an empty threat.

The exchange of slaps, kicks, punches, and digging fingernails has to be seen to be fully appreciated—though footage of kangaroos fighting in the wild will get you 90% of the way there.

In the aftermath of the fight airing on national TV, Kourtney all but officially confirmed that she will not be returning to the show. It's always sad to see a family business falling apart over this kind of sibling drama—even if the family business was to constantly be on the brink of falling apart over sibling drama—but the question remains, whose fault was it?

Actually, never mind, it was Kim's. Without a doubt. Good for her that she's a hard worker—and she has actually done some impressive things in recent years—but her attitude that her siblings are supposed to live according to her standards, and that she knows better than they do about their own health, is insufferable—especially from a younger sister. Kourtney should not have flown off the handle, but Kim should have seen that she was striking a nerve and backed off rather than escalating it—and actually slapping her sister across the face with a lot more force than Kourtney managed.

Kangaroo Boxing Fight | Life Story | BBC Earth www.youtube.com

In a series of tweets on the incident, Kourtney said, "It's trash #KUWTK." And when another user suggested that the fight had been the motivation she needed to finally leave the show—after previously deciding to cut way down on her involvement—Kourtney responded, "It is from our darker moments where growth happens." Grammar aside, it would be nice if she followed through this time and we no longer have to see this kind of drama without the soothing tones of David Attenborough's narration to reassure us that the kangaroos will be okay.

FILM

12 Nature Documentaries to Celebrate Earth Day (Without Going Outside)

April 22nd is Earth Day, which means it's time appreciate the beauty of nature (from the safety of your home)

Netflix

It's Earth Day!

That special time of year when we take some time to appreciate Mother Earth in all her splendor, and it would be so nice to get out into the sunlight and enjoy some nature. But it's a trap! Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your best bet of not catching/spreading the coronavirus is to stay indoors. So whether you're fully quarantined or just practicing social distancing, these nature documentaries can remind you of the outside world without risking any contact with other people.

Dancing With the Birds

Dancing with the Birds

Netflix

Is there anything that defines the beauty of nature more than birdsong? The sound of twittering and chirping filling the trees can make even an urban landscape feel connected with nature. But singing is just one of the ways that birds have of seducing each other as the weather changes. The birds-of-paradise that live in New Guinea and parts of Australia prefer a different kind of performance. With brilliant jumping, twisting displays of iridescent plumage, they dance for the future of the species. And for the future of your species, you will stay inside and watch them do it. Dancing With the Birds is also the only documentary on this list that your cat is likely to enjoy as much as you will.

Moving Art

Moving Art

Netflix

Oh wait, forgot about flowers. Flowers are the defining beauty of springtime, and in "Flowers" episode of Moving Art you can watch every variety and color of flower grow, bloom, follow the sun, and sway in the wind—almost like you were actually outside! The soothing imagery and wordless orchestral soundtrack make for great background viewing while you count out squares of toilet paper to make sure your roommate isn't exceeding their ration.

Planet Earth

Planet Earth

BBC

If you haven't seen Planet Earth, you've been missing out. There's nothing outside your door that could compete with this collection of some of the most spectacular sights in the natural world, all narrated by the incomparable baritone of David Attenborough (because we aren't heathens, and Sigourney Weaver can't say "water.") Until recently it was streaming on Netflix, but now you have to pay for it, so...

Our Planet

Our Pla

Netflix

Our Planet is Netflix's answer to Planet Earth, complete with spectacular sights and David Attenborough's narration. It's almost as amazing as the BBC classic, and it won't cost you anything but a Netflix subscription

Koyaanisqatsi

koyaanisqatsi

Koyaanisqatsi

In the Hopi language, koyaanisqatsi means life out of balance, so you can probably guess that the entire film is just 86 minutes of nature imagery juxtaposed with surreal scenes of urban life and destructive industry set to a score by Philip Glass—duh. The only word spoken in the entire film is the title, repeatedly chanted in a voice that sounds like it's summoning dark spirits to bring on the end times. If quarantine has you in a particularly apocalyptic mood and really hating human civilization, then Koyaanisqatsi is the perfect way to celebrate our long-suffering planet.

Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell with a bear

Grizzly Man

The story of Timothy Treadwell is a cautionary tale on the dangers of underestimating a deadly threat—and of going outside. For 13 summers Treadwell camped in the wilds of Alaska and convinced himself that he could hang out and pal around with giant Kodiak bears without issue. Without giving away Grizzly Man's tragic twist ending (he's eaten by bears), you can count on this documentary to remind you of the majesty and wonder of nature while also making you thankful that you live indoors.

Blue Planet

Blue Planet

BBC

Imagine living in the dark depths of the ocean where strange creatures with glowing appendages subsist off thermal vents and nutrients that descend from the sunlit waters above, and they never have to wash their hands. Blue Planet is a documentary series that explores every aspect of life in and around the seas. Episode two, "The Deep" is particularly beautiful and eerie, and invites you to imagine the isolation of an angler fish that may go its entire life without seeing another angler fish.

Chasing Coral

Chasing Coral

Netflix

Chasing Coral would normally be a pretty depressing documentary. It follows a team of researchers documenting the disappearance of the world's vital coral reefs as a result of human industry. But if there is a silver lining to the current pandemic, it's that the reduction of human activity is mitigating the pollution and damage that we usually unleash upon the Earth's fragile ecosystems. If dolphins have started swimming in the suddenly pristine canals of Venice, then maybe some of the world's endangered coral will also see some benefit from this break humanity is taking.

Madagascar

madagascar

BBC

Remember international travel? People used to get on planes and fly all over the world to see exotic locales and experience natural wonders unlike anything they could see at home. Well forget about all that, because it's gone. The closest thing in our new reality is sitting really close to your TV while Madagascar (the documentary, not the cartoon) plays. And maybe you can smear some banana on the screen to pretend you're feeding the lemurs.

The Universe

The Universe

Netflix

It might seem strange to think of distant space as a part of "nature," but just as the moon pulls at the oceans, when we examine the workings of the universe we discover the interconnectedness of all things and gain perspective on the scale of human struggle. Also, imagine if you were out in space right now—no way you would get infected! The Universe is an ideal escape from the world.

Encounters at the End of the World

encounters at the end of the world

IFC Center

If it seems like the COVID-19 virus has turned the world into a barren waste, Encounters at the End of the World is a good reminder that there is an entire continent that remains completely unaffected—largely because it was already a barren waste. This exploration of the inhabitants and landscapes of Antarctica is the work of Werner Herzog, whose moody philosophical musings are the perfect narration for the end of the world.

Ghosts of the Mountains

snow leopard

Netflix

Snow leopards are rarely seen by human eyes. They live in remote mountain climates and maintain solitary existences cut off even from other snow leopards. In other words, they are masters of social distancing. Watch Ghosts of the Mountains and be like the snow leopards.