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.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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