In a tiny corner of western Poland a forest of about 400 pine trees grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of their trunks – all bent northward. Surrounded by a larger forest of straight growing pine trees this collection of curved trees, or “Crooked Forest,” is a mystery.

Planted around 1930, the trees managed to grow for seven to 10 years before getting held down, in what is understood to have been human mechanical intervention. Though why exactly the original tree farmers wanted so many crooked trees is unknown.

McQueen experimented with a range of dark and Gothic themes, so for Halloween the Alexander McQueen fashion house has released a video that plays with these themes in a unique and beautifully symmetrical way–using a variety of McQueen’s signature silk scarves.

 

“Big Money” by Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgle. They made a giant 20:1 replica of a 50 cent Euro coin. They then placed the coin next to large objects and photographed them together, making the objects look like tiny toy replicas. (via)

 

Tablets like the iPad will outnumber classroom computers within 5 years, a new survey says.

The survey asked 25 educational technology directors to describe their schools’ current and predicted use of tablets. All 25 were already using the iPad in the classroom. (No Android-based tablets are currently in use.) The deployment of iPads will be so thorough, it has been suggested, that it threatens to make obsolete the practice of lugging around textbooks…

In a recent interview with The Daily, James Peak, an educational consultant for Mindshapes, a London-based developer of educational apps, called the iPad the “single most significant innovation” in the classroom yet, and one that is “literally the best thing you can use” to help students learn more efficiently.

 

Cramming for midterms? Don’t bother, if you live in Miami. The Miami-Dade County school district, the fourth-largest in the country, has decided to make midterms and finals optional.

YouTube has finally made its crowd-sourced documentary Life in a Day available for viewing on its website.

The ambitious Ridley Scott-produced, Kevin Macdonald-directed project features 90 minutes of footage whittled down from 4,500 hours sent in by thousands of people who answered the filmmakers’ call to record their lives as it unfolded over the course of single day: July 24, 2010.

The resulting compilation made the rounds on the festival circuit before “finally coming home to YouTube.”

Subtitles are available in over 20 languages. A DVD of the film is also available for purchase via the Life in a Day YouTube channel.

Polaroid’s newest camera: the Z340!

It’s like an old school Polaroid mashed up with a ZINK digital printer — that means it prints inkless prints that are smudge & tear proof.

Unlike the original Polaroid, the print doesn’t pop out instantly. You select which photos you want printed.

Polaroid’s Z340 Camera – Old School Body, ZINK Insides 

 

My soul will find yours.

It is really disturbing and most surprising that the enemies, despite their being in the wrong, are united, and you despite your being in the right, are divided.
That’s the thing you never expect about grieving, what a competition  it is.

Once you have forgiven, don’t look back. Do not linger on the hurt, do not relive the offense, and do not reconsider the blame. Let it go. That is when you have truly reached a state of forgiveness and opened the door to happiness.

An old Italian gentleman lived alone in New  Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. Wish you were her to dig the plots for me, like old times. Miss you. Love,  Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,  Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried.  Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.  That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.  Love you, Vinnie.

“You know, I thought about that a lot these last couple of years,” She says in a choked voice. “About who was there for you. Who held your hand while you grieved for all that you’d lost?”
“That was one of the saddest things about people—their most important thoughts and feelings often went unspoken and barely understood.”
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo)
“I like people with depth, I like people with emotion, I like people with a strong mind, an interesting mind, a twisted mind, and also someone that can make me smile.”

Abbey Lee Kershaw

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Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are twice as likely to be living on the streetsthan other Americans, a new study found.

The study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs says that from October 2009 to September 2010, an astounding 144,842 veterans were homeless for at least one night.

“This is unacceptable and we’re committed to fixing the problem,” a Housing and Urban Development spokesman said.

The problem is most rampant in California, which leads the country with 25 percent of the homeless veteran population.

The hacker collective known as Anonymous released a video statement recently, warning Los Zetas — one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels — that it would release identities of its collaborators and names of its money-laundering fronts if the syndicate did not return a kidnapped member of the group to his home.

The alleged accomplices are taxi drivers, journalists, and police officers — referred to in the video as “police-zetas” — who Anonymous claims are working with the cartel, or against “honest authorities like the army and the navy.”

“We can´t defend ourselves with a weapon,” the statement goes on to say, “but if we can do this with their cars, houses, bars, brothels and everything else in their possession…It won´t be difficult. We all know who they are and where they are.”

The video appears to set November 4th as the last date for compliance with the ultimatum.

Austin-based global intelligence company Stratfor warns that Anonymous may be in over its head, and any publication of names would “most certainly” result in bloodshed.

The Zetas have a well-documented history of attacking online critics.

However, retired DEA international operations chief Mike Vigil calls the statement “a gutsy move,” and says the Zetas should take Anonymous seriously. “By publishing the names, they identify them to rivals,” he says, “and trust me, they will go after them.”

I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people. Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.

Heartwarming Tearjerker: Redditor bbilbay asked the Reddit community if they would be so kind as to cheer up his daughter and her best friend, who had recently been diagnosed with leukemia, by photoshopping “something pretty or fun” into the background of this photo of them together.

The outpouring, to say the least, has been incredibleamazingbreathtaking,phenomenaland so much more.

First Look: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie | EW.com

Coming to you in both 3D and black and white.

Yes! Although I’ve seen something big like this looming for a while now, Lana Del Rey has now officially signed on with Interscope Records. According to Billboard, Del Rey is Interscope’s newest signee, and the label will release her ‘first’ album early next year (in January). Her new single “Born to Die” is due to premiere next month, and a music video has already been shot with Yoann Lemoine, who helmed Katy Perry’s brilliant “Teenage Dream” visual, Taylor Swift’s “Back to December”, and Yelle’s “Ce Jeu”. Mark my words. Lana Del Rey will be huge.

Obvious Conclusion: The rumors were true: $10 million, an E! television extravaganza, and 72 days later, Kim Kardashian has confirmed to Ryan Seacrest that she will file for divorce from husband Kris Humphries.

Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Kim K has listed the date of separation as today, according to TMZ.

The New York Post estimated that the Kardashian empire and wedding show producer Ryan Seacrest managed to rake in some $18 million from the short-lived matrimony.

This is Kim’s second failed marriage — she was previously hitched to music producer Damon Thomas. Meanwhile, same-sex marriage is destroying the sanctity of blah blah blah.

Milestone: Danica May Camacho, born just before midnight last night at Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila, was symbolically chosen by the United Nations to represent the seven billionth baby born on Earth.

Though the UN named October 31st Seven Billion Day, some groups questioned the accuracy of the estimate, saying the seven billionth baby will more likely be born next year.

Matej Gaspar of Croatia and the family of 12-year-old Adnan Nevic of Bosnia Herzogovina — the fifth and sixth billionth babies, respectively — have voiced complaints that the UN celebrated their births, only to ignore them in the years since.

“We saw Kofi Annan as almost like a godfather to him,” says Jasminko, Adnan’s father. “He held me up when I was two days old but since then we have heard nothing from them.”

Weather changes mean more dead zones for Lake Erie
The lake has the highest levels of phosphorous contamination in 40 years, creating ideal conditions for algae blooms.

Tune in Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EST for a live panel discussion from Washington, D.C., part of the 2011 GreenGov Symposium. Dr. Heidi Cullen, MNN Board of Advisors member and director of communications and senior research scientist for Climate Central, will moderate a discussion featuring members of the Obama administration who will discuss clean power, energy security, green fleets and more.

Do you have a question for the panel? Submit your question today at contact@mnn.com and please tell us your first name and location.

Tune in here!

With Halloween here, I thought I would share 10 scary things about how we eat in America. Who needs ghosts, ghouls and monsters for a fright when you have these statistics?

1. More than 1 billion tons of pesticide products are used each year in the United States alone, many of which are directly sprayed on our food. Pesticides have been linked to a variety of cancers and higher rates of birth defects.
2. Americans spend more than $100 billion on fast food each year.
3. The average teenage boy in the U.S. gets 10 percent of his daily calories from soda.
4. We now have more than double the rate of obesity in American children compared to the 1970s.
5. Obesity increased in 16 states last year and didn’t decrease in any state.
6. Another 2.6 people fell below the poverty level last year. This often directly affects their ability to buy healthy food.
8. We consume an average of 156 pounds of sugar every year.
9. Up to 10 billion donuts are consumed each year in the U.S. alone.
10. Genetically modified foods are found in up to 80 percent of our packaged foods in the U.S. A Russian study concluded that after three generations of eating GM feed, hamsters lost their ability to reproduce and some even had a rare disorder of hair growing in their mouths. I find that disturbing.
Let’s work towards better stats in the coming year with lower pesticide use, lower obesity rates, less dependence on fast foods and sugary foods, and better labeling for GMOs in our food supply.

don’t read too deeply into the things I say. you might drown.

fool me once shame on you. fool my best friend and you’re dead meat.

Everyone has the heartbreak that shapes them in a way that they could never go back to the innocence that they had before. – Zooey Deschanel

 

I absolutely love the begining of winter. The scarves, the blankets, leafless trees, seeing your breath in the morning, curling up with a book or headphones when you get home, faux fur coats, gloves, apple crumble, cold being as excuse to cuddle, big socks and how everything’s just that bit more romantic. Really does make me happy.

 

Being cold and distant isn’t necessarily something negative. When you become distant, you usually are protecting the people around you, but you’re also protecting yourself from loss as well. When you seclude and bury yourself alone amongst the thousands of people you are surrounded by, you will never really experience a deep, sad disappointment the way you do with other people. Loneliness also brings great sadness, but sometimes it’s a painless way to live. Having deep, metaphysical conversations with yourself will often bring out your inner genius, having questions to many answers, writing, reading, never interacting with people. But at the same time, it is slow, painless suicide. Your mind has no space to go explore, communicate, or talk.. It will slowly breakdown and self-destruct. Night is a safehouse as I try to escape the daylight.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”

— Elijah Wood 

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

— e.e. cummings

Live every day like you’re Glen Coco.

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We were both music-obsessed, each in our own way. If we didn’t entirely understand the other person’s obsession, it didn’t matter, because we understood our own.

just because somebody hurt us once you don’t have to permanently delete them from your phone book. things change. people grow.

We spend much of our lives practicing our social skills and we’ve been conditioned, in some ways, to think that there’s a time and a place for everything we could possibly want to say. We’re concerned about how others might react if we let them know how we feel in what we perceive as the wrong context. So we hold it all in. And, as a result, we will never say the wrong thing at the wrong time—we will never have moments of awkwardness. We can avoid those moments that can seem devastating when they happen…

But we also miss out on the chance to connect with people. We miss out on the chance to tell others how they’ve affected our lives. We miss out on the chance that they might feel the same way about us. There are so many things that we choose to keep to ourselves; things that we’re sometimes dying to share with others and… I don’t know, I just think that it’s a tragedy that we choose not to. And I think it’s a tragedy that this choice is almost a knee-jerk reaction because we live in a society where we prefer to be ignorant if the truth doesn’t confirm something we already want to hear.

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Introducing the coolest relative of a jellyfish, the By-the-wind Sailor (Velella velella). The deep blue body of the creature rests on the top of the ocean with its tentacles hanging down below to catch its plankton prey. On top is the Sailor’s characteristic stiff sail which behaves much the way a sail of the ship does.

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