This Arbor Day, Let’s Appreciate the Trees

Today is Arbor Day, a time to appreciate and plant the trees that give our planet clean air, fresh water and the vibrant life we enjoy each moment. Global deforestation continues to run rampant – with much of it happening in the air-giving rain forests of the world – but each day we can make a difference with our buying choices and by raising awareness so important to the preservation of trees.

Here are five articles from our archives that highlight the plight and the beauty of the forested world.

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The Most Special Trees In The World Captured By One Photographer On a Mission

All trees are special, but photographer Beth Moon has been on a journey to collect the most unique examples. Her search for the world’s most famous, unique, gigantic, and oldest trees has covered the globe and resulted in an incredible series of black and white images. Explore more here.

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A Visualization of the Earth’s Oldest Trees

Speaking of special trees, Michael Paukner has created an exceptional look at the world’s oldest. To keep many of these ancient trees safe, their exact locations are kept secret.

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Henrique Oliveira’s Incredible Tree Sculptures

We’re big fans of the work of Henrique Oliveira, his signature sculptures channel the forms of trees on a grand scale, while using a material created from them – scrap bits of plywood. He sources the natural resource from the streets of Brazil – a hot spot for deforestation. See how this artist is reusing this precious wood product here.

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Could Drones Plant Billions of Trees Around the World to Combat Deforestation?

Drones get a lot of bad press, but here’s an idea that is downright inspiring. An international team is planning to use drones to replant forests a billion trees at a time. Read our article on the concept and let us know if you think it will work.

Tree Sculptures

Living Tree Sculptures

Making art from trees doesn’t have to do them any harm. For years artists have been working with nature to create living tree sculptures (or ‘tree shaping’). They slowly form trees into bizarre and beautiful shapes using techniques like grafting and espalier. See more examples here.

See more of our articles about trees, from art to conservation, here.

Surprising: The US is Only 4 Presidents Old

Viewed from the year 2015, the founding of the United States seems like a distant piece of history, but from the right perspective it wasn’t long ago at all. Take this little tidbit of information: the US is only as old as four President’s lives.

When Barak Obama was born (1961), Herbert Hoover was still alive (1874 – 1964). When Hoover was born, Andrew Johnson was still living (1808 – 1875). When Johnson was born John Adams was still alive (1735 – 1826). And there you have it. With just the overlapping lives of four presidents we reach the Founding Fathers of the United States. Pretty amazing.

Which NBA Teams Share the Ball More Evenly?

The 2015 NBA playoffs kicked off this last weekend (in case you didn’t notice your feeds blowing up about it). The Visual News team’s loyalties lie all over the country—from Los Angeles, to Colorado, to New York—but we all like a good game. But while basketball is all about sharing the glory, it isn’t necessarily about sharing the ball. Our good friend (and talented designer) Shane Keaney created this infographic to give us a look at how well each NBA playoff team shares the ball. Does a more even share distribution influence how well the teams perform? We’ll find out this year. 

In Honor of Record Store Day, Here’s a Roundup of Our Favorite Vinyl Art

It’s Record Store Day tomorrow, and we’re big fans of vinyl. (Luckily, we’re not the only ones.) Sales are increasing, and both old and new albums are finding a second life in vinyl form.

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While records make beautiful sounds—sometimes they make even more beautiful art. In honor of tomorrow’s holiday, here’s a roundup of our favorite vinyl-inspired art. 

Is College Drinking on the Decline? The Latest Freshmen Say “Yes”

College drinking is on the decline, and it’s been that way for the past decade. That’s according to “The American Freshman: National Norms” reports from UCLA (CIRP/HERI). It found that over the last 10 years entering freshman consistently reported less and less drinking, with the number of students reporting “frequent” or “occasional” beer, wine and spirits drinking dropping by a sizable 25%. Students also reported a large decline in partying, with a growing share saying they didn’t party at all.

Antibiotic Resistance is Growing, And So is Doctors’ Concern

The discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century was a modern day miracle. Once common diseases like tuberculosis were nearly eradicated from the developed world in very short order, contributing hugely to the quality of life we enjoy today. But the wonder drugs are losing their power.

California’s Worst Drought in History: The Breakdown

The last three years have left California facing a historic drought. This month, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented mandate: Californians must reduce water use by 25%—or the state may face dire consequences. What factors are contributing to this drought?

Who is Most Likely to Die of Alcohol Poisoning? Middle-Aged People

For many people, the term binge drinking conjures up visions of wild frat parties filled with poor youthful decisions. But if you look at what age group is most at risk from alcohol poisoning, the majority of deaths are actually happening to middle aged people between 45 and 54 – a staggering 34% of total alcohol poisoning deaths.

Should Businesses Be Required to Serve Same-Sex Couples? Americans Weigh In.

Last month Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a religious freedom law allowing businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples on religious grounds. While supporters say the law protects religious liberty for everyone, critics were quick to point out that the law would easily allow businesses to discriminate, with many people recalling “separate but equal” laws that were used to disenfranchise blacks from everyday rights until the 1960s.

Happy National Beer Day! Here are the States That Drink the Most

If there’s one holiday to remember, it’s National Beer Day. And just so you don’t somehow miss it, here’s a hint: it’s April 7th, and that’s today!

In honor of this celebration of America’s exceptionally well rounded (and growing) brewing tradition, we asked the question: which State would celebrate the best? While we don’t know numbers for this exact day, we tapped into a study by industry trade publisher Beer Marketeers Insights and found the ten states that consume the most beer on an annual basis. Who topped off the list? The Roughrider State, North Dakota, with a per capita beer consumption of 43.3 gallons per year. Do the math and that’s about 77 six-packs per person!