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.

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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.

Elevators in One World Trade Center Feature a Virtual Journey Through 500 Years of NYC’s Skyline

Riding the elevator to the top of the new One World Trade Center isn’t like any other ride – and that’s not just because it’s tall. Inside the five special elevators servicing the rooftop observation deck is a time-lapse video simulation that compresses 500 years of New York City’s skyline into the time it takes to reach the 102nd floor. The journey takes less than a minute and travels from swampy, tree covered Manhattan island, to the bustling skyscraper filled Big Apple we know today.

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. 

Why Tax Law Screws Actors, Screenwriters & Directors

Unless you’re getting a seriously fat tax return, April 15th isn’t your favorite day. But if you’re an actor, screenwriter or director, tax day can especially hurt. The US tax code disproportionately penalizes these careers in some unique ways while often giving others a miss, or at least not hitting so hard.

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.

Late for the Plane? Tokyo’s Narita Airport Installed Intuitive Running Track Directions

You’ve probably been there before. You’re running late for a flight and the last thing you want to do is stop and read the confusing plethora of signs hanging overhead. That’s a stress inducing situation, but Tokyo’s Narita Airport may have the solution: the recently opened Terminal 3 has intuitive directions on a floor inspired by a running track.

“When the time arrives for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, we look forward to seeing people from all around the world having fun walking on these blue tracks,” say the designers at PARTY. The smart new floor is so inspiring however, it might actually make you want to run.

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?