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The Average American Hasn’t Made a Single New Friend in 5 Years, Study Shows



Average American Hasn't Made a Friend in 5 Years
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Do you ever find it difficult to make new friends? Perhaps, for whatever reason, you can’t break out of your bubble, making it nearly impossible to make a decent social connection with someone else?

If so, you’re far from alone.

According to a new poll, the average American hasn’t made a single new friend in five years.

The new research casts a grim light on the prevailing social situation in the United States, where about 45 percent of adults said it’s too hard to befriend someone new.

The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Evite, looked at the social lives of 2,000 Americans and showed that 42 percent of those interviewed said that they are too shy or introverted to befriend others.

The study also found that many adults face a peak in their popularity around the young age of 23. For 36 percent of Americans, that peak arrives even earlier, before the age of 21.

And those polled have many perceived reasons for being unable to break out of shells and into new social situations or social groups.

Many respondents cited their alienation from the “bar scene” or their belief that most people already have pre-formed friendship circles—a self-fulfilling prophecy that seals off the potential to make a profound social connection with strangers.

Others also cited their commitment to their families (29 percent), a lack of hobbies where they can meet new people (28 percent), and having to move to a new city (21 percent) as reasons for struggling to make new friends.

Yet this isn’t due to Americans not wanting new friends. About 45 percent of American adults expressed their eagerness to make new friends and that they would go out of their way to do so—if only they had an idea of how.

In terms of adults’ typical number of friends, that number is pretty small and averages out to about 16.

Most of those friends—about eight—are friends that they like, but don’t typically spend time with one-on-one. Three of the 16 are so-called “friends for life”—friendships often dating back to high school, and five are those they are quite fond of and would like to hang out with one-on-one.

Nearly half of those surveyed said that they have remained friends with many of their peers from high school, and 31 percent noted that they still have friends from college.

Yet 82 percent said that they see lasting friendships as hard to find, while 63 percent said that moving was a common reason for losing touch with former friends.

Most cited work as the best way to meet friends, followed by high school, college, and the neighborhood in which they grew up.

In a society as individualistic as the United States, it’s almost obvious that many have lost a sense of community or simply have never felt it beyond work, school, church and family.

However, it’s never too late in life to form profound bonds with others—be it in a book club, a film screening, an informal party, a music scene, or even a few drinks and games of pool at the bar.

As the study shows, many of the factors blocking our ability to make new friends are in our own heads—and there’s no reason why we can’t shed our inhibitions, form diverse relationships, and break out of isolation, especially if we’re mindful of the fact that many “strangers” are simply friends whom we’ve never met.

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Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida



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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son



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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter



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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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