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A bit chilly? At least you're not a tree.

Well, at least you're not one of these trees at the Hubbard Brooke Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. These trees are pretty cold.

That's because, since 2015, scientists have been putting these particular trees on ice.

All right, everyone, chill! Image from National Science Foundation/YouTube.


Charles Driscoll from Syracuse University and his colleagues are interested in how severe ice storms affect forests. There haven't actually been a lot of studies about this. But the scientists had a problem: Ice storms aren't exactly the most predictable or consistent things in nature. You can't schedule it ahead of time, after all.

So rather than wait for nature to provide a convenient ice storm, they decided to create their own.

Let's kick some ice! Image from National Science Foundation/YouTube.

Turns out there isn't an off-the-shelf forest-freezer though, so the scientists had to invent one. It looks a bit like a cross between a snowmobile and a firetruck. It uses hoses and pumps to suck up water from a nearby brook and blasts it 100 feet into the air, where the water turns into a fine freezing mist.

Of course, it only works if the air temperature is already below freezing, but overall, the effect is like putting the forest in a big wet freezer says Driscoll. "Experimentally, it worked out quite well."

The scientists have 10 roughly basketball-court-sized forest plots. Some are left alone. Others get a quarter, half, or three-quarters of an inch of ice, which allows the scientists to test different sizes of storm. For reference, half-an-inch of ice would be a pretty big storm. Three-quarters would be an epic one.

The team did a first round of freezing in early 2016. If all goes as expected, they'll do another round in January or February of 2017 and one in 2018.

"Thats the plan, assuming Mother Nature cooperates," says Driscoll.

This could help Driscoll and his team predict what the future holds for forests like this one.

What killed the dinosaurs? The ice age! Image from National Science Foundation/YouTube.

The scientists hope to get a holistic view of how a forest responds to big ice storms. They're looking at a ton of variables — how many branches are snapped off by the ice, for instance, and does all that dead wood makes wildfires more likely during other parts of the year? Are the trees growing differently? What about the birds? What about the insects? The scientists are studying all of that, both during the winter as well as the following seasons too.

"We make those measurements throughout the year," says Driscoll.

They're going to watch for both short- and long-term effects and use that information to build scientific models that can help predict how forests will respond to future storms.

My editor says I have to apologize for the Mr. Freeze puns. Image from National Science Foundation/YouTube.

This information might be good to know, since big ice storms might actually become more common in the future. We know climate change is already affecting weather patterns, and it may even be causing more of those polar vortexes that keep hitting Europe and the Northeast U.S.

It's pretty neat to see such an ambitious experiment.

"I think it's a good example of exciting experimental science," says Driscoll. They've got a lot of work ahead of them, but the results will hopefully be illuminating. "We're looking forward to seeing how the forest responds."

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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