Magnificent solar-powered 'supertrees' are the highlight of Singapore's new 250-acre eco-tourism project
via Gardens By the Bay

Singapore's National Parks Board has created a 250-acre oasis as apart of a redevelopment by the city-state to attract ecotourism to the area.

Gardens By The Bay is home to two biodomes — the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome — that combine to be the size of four football fields and showcase 220,000 plants form all over planet Earth.

But the main attraction has to be 18 supertrees that rise between 80 to 160 feet high and have a wide variety of ferns and tropical flowers that climb its mechanical outsides.


The trees feature photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy to power the eco-park and they also act as air exhausts for the Energy Centre and Cooled Conservatories.

via Gardens By the Bay

During the day, the trees' massive canopies provide share for park-goers and at night they light up to create beautiful media displays that light up the sky.

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via Gardens by the Bay


via Gardens by the Bay

Park-goers can walk among the treetops on catwalks that rise 70 feet above ground or take in panoramic views of the Gardens and the Marina Bay skyline from an observation bar.

Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, said the project showcases "what we can do to bring the world of plants to all Singaporeans."

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The new development isn't just a tribute to the world's biodiversity, it also focuses on Singapore's ethnic makeup. Visitors and pursue Colonial, Malay, Indian, and Chinese-themed gardens and learn about how the plants played a part in Singapore's history.

Gardens By the Bay is a great example of a country creating a commercial enterprise that brings in tourism that's also a celebration of the environment. The more we learn to appreciate the beauty and bounty of the Earth's natural environment, the more likely people will be to protect it.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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