More cities should try out this floating apple orchard thing New York's got going on.

New York City isn't exactly known for its plethora of free space. So how'd an apple orchard just ... appear?

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

While land might be at a premium, it turns out there's plenty of space in the East River.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.


Established in 2016 by artist Mary Mattingly, this awesome garden is built on top of an old construction barge.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.

The project, known as "Swale," was sponsored by two nonprofits, the New York Foundation for the Arts and A Blade of Grass. The new orchard is a partnership with Strongbow Cider.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

Instead of hauling sand to construction sites, the barge now gives New Yorkers a chance to pick their own food.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

For the rest of the summer, it'll be hanging out in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan.

Visitors can forage for fruits, vegetables, and apparently, pianos.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

The farm has a garden, aquaponics area, and an apple orchard. It's open to the public, though people might have to wait their turn to board, and it also includes workshops and edible/medicinal plant tours.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.

Swale’s free for people who visit.

It's about challenging our notions of where we grow food.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

"At its heart, Swale is a call to action," said Mattingly on the project's website. "It asks us to reconsider our food systems, to confirm our belief in food as a human right and to pave pathways to create public food in public space."

A lot of us have no idea where our food actually comes from, especially if we live in a city.

We don't see the costs either: the farmer's time, the gas it took to drive it here, the packaging it came in — these are largely invisible.

By putting the garden front and center, Swale hopes to make people rethink how our cities eat.

Learn more about the project in the a video of the project below:

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

I worked as a substitute teacher in my early 20s, almost exclusively in middle schools and high schools—my age of specialty. Once, I accepted a two-day subbing assignment in a first grade classroom. Only once. Halfway through the first day, as the kids ate lunch in the cafeteria, I sat at the teacher's desk in an exhausted daze. Teaching little kids was a completely different animal than teaching big kids. While adorable, they had so many needs and so little attention span. It was like herding a bunch of flies that constantly needed to go potty.

Trying to herd those flies virtually during a pandemic is too much to even fathom.

So the real-time story that mom and writer Stephanie Lucianovic shared on Twitter of what happened when her son's second grade teacher dropped from the class Zoom call was not the least bit surprising. Hilariously entertaining, but not surprising.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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