Video screenshot, Shedd Aquarium on Twitter

Kids, we know it's stressful right now, so Yr Wonkette is going to make an effort to keep you supplied with frequent reminders that there's more going on in the world right now than pestilence and fear. Keep things in perspective: The coronavirus outbreak is a serious problem, worthy of serious attention, but we're not all gonna die. And there are lots of helpers for us to look for, too, as Mr Rogers liked to remind us. And that's why we'll be bringing you a bunch of short posts on nice things as often as we can ā€” a spray of nice times droplets, as it were.

Let's start with this here news from the Windy City of Chicago, so named because the Beach Boys wrote their 1967 hit "Windy" there, about a gal with gas, whose eyes flash at the sound of lies like the one we just told.


The Shedd Aquarium, which is not named for the spread, has had to close because of the outbreak, but the animals are all still there of course. The staff figured the flightless dinosaur descendants might enjoy getting out of their enclosure for a bit on Sunday. Here's Wellington, a male rockhopper penguin, getting a gander at some fishies from the Amazon region, including some black-barred silver dollars that perhaps looked appetizing.

The Chicago Tribune notes that other fish in the "Amazon Rising" exhibit may have found the sight of Wellington enriching too, because that's nature for you: "One of the species he's eyeing is the red-bellied piranha."

In a statement, the aquarium explained that if you gotta close, you may as well let some of the residents get some "enrichment":

Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals, introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors.

Most of Chicago's museums and zoos are now closed, but don't go looking for the fish from the aquarium to be allowed to swim through the U-Boat at the Museum of Science and Industry. On the other hand, a bunch of Night at the Museum sequels seem entirely likely.

Also too, the nice-times penguin tweet inspired at least some fake (but harmless) news, like people recycling a 2012 photo of a baby elephant visiting a sea lion at the Oregon Zoo in Portland and pretending it just happened. Maybe there'll be another such visit, but yeesh, people are dopes.

This is from 2012, kids.

But get ready for more real cuteness, since the Shedd Aquarium replied to a Twitter person that caretakers are "planning even more creative activities for the penguins and other animals."

We're rooting for cephalopods recreating that Seurat painting at the Art Institute.

[Chicago Tribune / Shedd Aquarium on Twitter / HuffPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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