Heroes

We're putting this forest on fast-forward to learn what Earth will feel like in 100 years.

The plan is to give us a flash forward look at the Earth's future.

We're putting this forest on fast-forward to learn what Earth will feel like in 100 years.

We've all been there — stuck in a cyclical conversation about some random hypothetical situation we can't actually imagine.

"If we can return to talking about the social media plan." "Please, David. David, no. David. DAVID. NO." Photo from iStock.

And then some blessed person shouts from the back of the meeting room and says, "Well, why don't we just go see for ourselves?"


Why spend all this time arguing about how something's going to go down when we can just go do it?

That "let's just go see for ourselves" attitude is why I love this weird forest experiment happening right now in New Hampshire.

Talking about climate change feels a lot like that awful meeting: We've nailed down a lot of the big questions about climate change — like where it's coming from — but a lot of the little things aren't as clear. And arguing about it can get ... tedious. It feels like a huge, insurmountable problem we can't quite grasp or tackle completely.

But at the Hubbard Brooke experimental forest in New Hampshire, a group of scientists are embracing the "let's go check it out" attitude.

Scientists are putting electric heaters in a small patch of forest to see what a warmer world will actually be like.

It's called the Climate Change Across Seasons Experiment and is being run by Professor Pamela Templer.

The idea is fairly simple: The scientists are putting electrical cables under about 6,000 square feet of forest soil. When they're turned on, the cables work kind of like a big electric blanket, warming the soil by about 9 degrees. That's not enough to bake anything or cause any real damage, but it does mimic what the average temperature of Earth may be like a hundred years from now.

They've been doing this since 2012, and they've found some interesting effects already.

In the heat, the trees as a whole are filtering less carbon from the air. Their roots also take up less nitrogen from the soil, which is actually changing the soil composition and might have domino effects further down the line.

From a scientific point of view, this could help us predict what'll happen to America's forests as a whole in 100 years.

This isn't just a cool experiment, though. It's also a refreshing moment of cutting through hypotheticals.

Science often thrives on careful discussion and consideration, but it's awesome to see people stepping away from hypothetical arguments and actually trying things out. It's freedom.

And we all know how that feels:

Photo from iStock.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."