We lose the equivalent of nearly a football field worth of forest every second.

Community leader Luiz Lopes gives a tour of illegal logging near his town in Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Seriously.


We lose between 46,000-58,000 square miles of forest every year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. If you do the math, that's about 48 regulation football fields every minute.

Well over a billion people rely on forests for food and shelter. But unsustainable logging, clear-cutting, and other man-made activities are threatening our forests like never before.

The good news is that people are actively pushing back. There are major reforestation projects underway, and in some places, like Washington state in the U.S., logging companies are required to replant any areas they harvest. But a couple of workers or volunteers with shovels and backpacks just aren't going to beat fleets of chainsaws and bulldozers.

To save our forests, it's time to go high tech. Like, "flying aerial cannons" high tech.

[rebelmouse-image 19530526 dam="1" original_size="480x270" caption=""Hello!" GIF from Info Biocarbon/YouTube." expand=1]"Hello!" GIF from Info Biocarbon/YouTube.

One company, BioCarbon Engineering, wants to use flying drones to plant trees.

BioCarbon's system uses two drones. The first is shaped like a small airplane and reads the land, scanning for obstacles and picking out the best places to plant trees. The drone then feeds this information to a bulky helicopter-like drone that flies over the areas, firing pre-germinated seedlings into the soil.

Image from  Info Biocarbon/YouTube.

Their goal is to plant a billion trees a year. And they might be able to do it.

"We're firing at one a second, which means a pair of operators will be able to plant nearly 100,000 trees per day — 60 teams like this will get us to a billion trees a year," BioCarbon Engineering's CEO Lauren Fletcher told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[rebelmouse-image 19530528 dam="1" original_size="750x391" caption="Image from Info Biocarbon/YouTube." expand=1]Image from Info Biocarbon/YouTube.

The system can work 10 times faster than human hands and is cheaper than hiring laborers, according to Dr. Susan Graham, the company's CTO. It can also reach places that'd be impossible for people to get to safely. For example, the company has been testing their drones over land abandoned by coal mines in Australia.

Now that tests are looking good, the company is currently accepting customer contracts.

We desperately need our forests, and this could help balance out human impact on the world.

Forests are a vital part of our planet and provide innumerable value to both individuals and humanity as a whole. They capture carbon and provide food and shelter to both people and animals. To fix deforestation, we should consider not only good old elbow grease and local efforts, but high tech approaches as well.

And I don't really see how you could get much more high-tech than this.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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