If you know what's good for you, you know trees are awesome.

They give us OXYGEN to breathe. And survive. The Amazon alone gives us up to 20% of our oxygen.

We also know many trees get chopped every year.

"Every year nearly 900,000,000 trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills." — EPA

But we don't always know when it happens in real time. Now Global Forest Watch is fixing that — with an app.

Here's how it works.


You can get tree-clearing alerts for certain forest areas.

And you get to pick that forest area! You do it on the Global Forest Watch map, and there's a "how-to" here.

Why? Because seeing is sometimes believing. Understanding the massive number of trees that are being cut down in real time — perhaps in your own area — really brings the massive damage that we're doing to the environment home. But that's not all.

You can see geo-tagged stories about tree-clearing. That's right. Stories.

Global Forest Watch has a bunch of them here, but it's a little cooler to just go to their map directly and check off "User Stories" under "People."

Eureka! You can read user-submitted stories about deforestation on the map now. (Those links are a hint!)

If you're super-interested, you can also check off to see stories from Mongabay or Earth Journalism Network.

If you have a tree story, submit one! Why?

We need to know about more than just the numbers.

It's easy to shrug off statistics, but stories make us feel things and help to make the theoretical, abstract problem of deforestation a real problem happening on our Earth, in our country, and sometimes in our backyards.

The more we know, the more we can act to stop it, even as ordinary civilians.

To find out more about what you can do, sign up for Global Forest Watch's newsletter or check out their FAQs.

And now, without further ado, here's the video about the app.

[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/84801381?color=ffffff&title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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