Saint Louis Zoo Wins 2017 Readers’ Choice for Best U.S. Zoo!

We asked a panel of family travel and zoological park experts to nominate their 20 favorite facilities across the United States (all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums), and for the last four weeks, readers have been voting for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Zoo are as follows:

  1. Saint Louis Zoo – St. Louis
  2. Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – Omaha
  3. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson
  4. Fort Worth Zoo – Fort Worth
  5. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden – Columbia, S.C.
  6. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs
  7. San Diego Zoo – San Diego
  8. Brookfield Zoo – Chicago
  9. Audubon Zoo – New Orleans
  10. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – Cleveland

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Katie Dillon (La Jolla Mom), Debra Erickson (International Zoo Educators Association), Kyle McCarthy (Family Travel Forum), Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids) and Alan Sironen (Zoo Consultants International) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of American zoos.

Other nominees included the Bronx Zoo, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Denver Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Houston Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Phoenix Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo.

Congratulations to all 10 USA TODAY winners.

“This is what lucky looks like.”

I was in a terrible accident in 2008 because I wasn’t paying attention (either playing with the radio, looking at my phone or GPS; I really can’t remember).   Although I have had 20 surgeries, my face has been rebuilt, I’ve lost an eye and was in a coma, I still say,  “This is what lucky looks like.”
I am so grateful that I did not hurt anyone else and I’m alive to tell my story and to make sure no one has to go through what I have or worse. Now I am hoping to start a motivational speaking tour to let people know that the more distractions you add while driving, the higher you risk your life, and others’ lives.
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Scientists Say the Clock of Aging May Be Reversible


At the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., scientists are trying to get time to run backward.

Biological time, that is. In the first attempt to reverse aging by reprogramming the genome, they have rejuvenated the organs of mice and lengthened their life spans by 30 percent. The technique, which requires genetic engineering, cannot be applied directly to people, but the achievement points toward better understanding of human aging and the possibility of rejuvenating human tissues by other means.

The Salk team’s discovery, reported in the Thursday issue of the journal Cell, is “novel and exciting,” said Jan Vijg, an expert on aging at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Leonard Guarente, who studies the biology of aging at M.I.T., said, “This is huge,” citing the novelty of the finding and the opportunity it creates to slow down, if not reverse, aging. “It’s a pretty remarkable finding, and if it holds up it could be quite important in the history of aging research,” Dr. Guarente said.

The finding is based on the heterodox idea that aging is not irreversible and that an animal’s biological clock can in principle be wound back to a more youthful state.

Why Did No One Tell Modern Cars Owners This New Policy?

New policy for cars running headlights all day

Missouri: Why Did No One Tell Modern Cars Owners This New Policy?

This is the trick your auto insurer does not want you to know. If your car has anti-lock brakes, day-time running lights, or air bags — you qualify for a discount. If you qualify for 2 or 3 of these discounts, the savings are extremely high. Also, there is a select group of insurers that will give a discount for zero DWIs.

To find the lowest rate is simple. To get the biggest savings, compare rates from our vast network of agents (in your area).

  • During November — 3,683 U.S. drivers have trusted this to get extreme insurance discounts
  • Recent survey shows that the average driver may save $859 a year by finding the right insurer
    • Consumer Fed has warned that 45% of major insurers unfairly hike up loyal customers’ rates just to maximize profits – insurers call it “price optimization.”

Centenarian’s advice won’t steer you wrong

2016_12-02_rar_blog_centenarians-advice-wont-steer-you-wrong-01Mary E. Cooper, 101, sits behind the wheel of her 2005 Hyundai in front of the North Michigan Park Recreation Center in Northeast Washington, DC on Aug. 9, 2012. Cooper often visits the recreation center to socialize and play cards with friends. (PHOTO BY COURTLAND MILLOY/TWP)

On her 101st birthday last week, Mary E. Cooper took me for a ride in her car. I am often flabbergasted by the way elderly people drive, and I couldn’t imagine someone born in 1911 being on the loose in Washington traffic.

I just had to see how she rolled.

“The good thing about me, I’m still very alert and know what’s happening around me,” Cooper said.

Of course she’d say that. When it comes to self-assessment of driving ability, nobody talks a better game than an elderly person. To hear the elderly tell it, the older they get, the better they drive. Anything to keep from giving up those car keys.

A study published in the September issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention found that 85 percent of Maryland drivers ages 65 to 91 rated their road skills as “excellent” or “good.” None thought of themselves as “poor” drivers, even if they had been in a crash.

 Cooper, it turns out, was not exaggerating. She’s a good driver, wears a seat belt, checks the mirrors and approaches intersections with extra caution.

Emotional support duck owner: ‘Everybody loved him’

As Daniel the emotional support duck basks in international fame, owner Carla Fitzgerald is a little surprised at the attention but says it’s well-deserved.

“It’s just weird how a little six-pound duck could cause such an uproar, you know?” Fitzgerald, 37, said with a laugh. “It’s crazy, in a very good way, and I’m very happy it’s in a good way. But what’s not to love about him? He’s a happy little guy, and he makes other people happy. He makes me happy.”

Daniel’s 15 minutes of fame began Sunday afternoon when Asheville author Mark Essig, on a short flight from Charlotte to Asheville, encountered the little fellow waddling up the aisle and started tweeting about him.




Car travel with a dog is likely a foregone conclusion if you count yourself among the roughly 60 percent of Americans who view the family dog as a bona fide family member. Anticipating his travel needs and thoughtfully preparing for them can help divert problems on a road trip with your dog before they happen. We’re here to help with handy tips for traveling by car with your beloved canine, brimful of advice for the most dogged road warrior and the novice alike. We want to help make traveling with your dog a smooth sailing success.


Your dog needs proper I.D. at home and when he travels with you. Redundant systems are a good thing: put critical information on his I.D. tags and personalize his dog collar with his name and your cell phone number. And microchipping your dog is always an excellent backup strategy. The idea that he’d bolt at a rest area (or at the beach or on a forested trail) is unthinkable. Best to be prepared: identifying your pet improves the likelihood of his safe return home to you should the unthinkable happen.

Quick Tip: Travel with Your Dog’s Photo
Always travel with a photo of your dog in case you need to make posters or fliers. And bring a copy of his vaccination records and a certificate of health if you’re crossing state lines with him; consult your veterinarian for these documents.

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Should You Allow Your Dog in Your Bed?

By Wyatt Myers | Medically reviewed by Jennifer Garcia, DVM2016_09-09_ppllc_blog_should-you-allow-your-dog-in-your-bed-01

Plenty of people share their beds with their pets. But is this really a good habit? Here’s how to ensure your bed doesn’t turn into the dog bed.

A growing number of Americans spend their nights snuggled up with their dogs. In fact, a recent survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 42 percent of all dog owners allow their pooches to sleep in the bed with them at night.

And it’s easy to understand why many pet owners do this. “Dogs add companionship if you are single or in a bad relationship,” says Susan Nelson, DVM, a clinical associate professor at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “They provide extra warmth on a cold night. They evoke a sense of security, especially for children who are scared of the dark. They give an added sense of safety from potential intruders. It may also create a greater bond between you and your dog. Let’s face it: It’s hard to beat a warm, furry bundle of unconditional love.”

92-Year-Old Owner Credits Chihuahua with Saving Her Life

2016_09-07_PPLLC_BLOG_Chihuahua Saves 92-Year-Old Ladies Life-01Sassy is a life-saver!

When 92-year-old Marie Alexander fell in her yard, the plucky little Chihuahua did what she could to summon help for the Inverness, Florida, woman.

It’s a good thing the dog “follows me everywhere,” according to Alexander, who fell checking her mail a couple of weeks ago.

“When I went to step up on a walkway, my foot twisted and I just fell backwards,” she tells ABC Action News, who reported the story.

A fence and shrubs surrounded the property, so no one could see Alexander laying on the ground, unable to get up. Sassy wasn’t about to just sit there in her owner’s time of need. Instead, for five hours she attempted to bark down cars in the hot temperatures.