Houses with roof trees

House_For_Trees_07 Devised by Vietnam's Vo Trong Nghia Architects as a response to the nation's rapid development: "only .25 percent of the land in Ho Chi Minh City is covered in vegetation," writes Wired's Margaret Rhodes. House_For_Trees_01

The new life of dead trees

Dani Tinker, with the National Wildlife Federation, on the wonderful weird things growing in that felled log out back.

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Wonderful 1970s educational documentaries

Robin Lehman is an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who created a beautiful collection of 1970s educational films for young (and old) people, including "Wings and Things" about flight (clip above). Below, a clip from "Ocean Life." DVD collections of Lehman's films are available from Phoenix Learning Group. (via toys and techniques)

Integrating the great outdoors

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Black and hispanic Americans are chronically underrepresented in their use of the National Park System. Geographer Carolyn Finney is trying to change that.

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The Opal's Fire

Opals, a rainbow of fire locked in rock, are among the most wonderful of nature’s gifts. Maggie Koerth-Baker returns with the light truth about weird silica.

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The Honey Hunters of Nepal

Photo: Andrew Newey.


Photo: Andrew Newey.

Here's a stunning series of images by photographer Andrew Newey of Nepalese honey hunters. Newey spent two weeks among the Gurung ethnic group in central Nepal, documenting their traditional beekeeping practices.

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Video of bison running out of Yellowstone ≠ "OMG supervolcano eruption"

[Video Link] There's a video going around that shows a long line of bison trotting down a road in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. Some people are pointing to this as a sign that the animals are hightailing it out of the park because the Yellowstone volcano is about to blow its top. But in the video above, Yellowstone Park Public Affairs Chief Al Nash explains that the bison and other animals are simply migrating to a lower elevation where they can find food, which they do every year in the dead of winter.

My takeaway from this video was a reminder that I have a box of mouth-watering Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars in my kitchen cabinet.

You are invited to Iowa to witness the dance of the prairie chickens

Come to Kellerton, Iowa this Saturday (just off I-35, near the Missouri border) and you can watch prairie chickens engage in elaborate mating dances. The action starts just before dawn and the chickens will probably be, *ahem*, spent by 9:30 am.

Snow leopard takes down a sheep

Check out this series of photos from India's Hemis National Park, where photographer Adam Riley watch a snow leopard stalk and hunt a pack of sheep. The real awesome part of these photos: Getting a look at just how effective that spotted camouflage can be. In a few shots, the leopard all but disappears against a background of rocky outcroppings.

Frog vocalization considered awesome

(via Seanan McGuire)

Friendly seals off the coast of England

"We've been visiting here for the last six years to say hello to the seal pups and we've never had this much interaction before," writes Jason Neilus, of a visit to the Farne Islands. "They were everywhere and all over us!!!! After a nightmare drive there with the worst traffic coupled with the imminent arrival of the St. Jude storm we didn't think this trip was going to be worth the effort but once again the seals made every second worthwhile." [Video Link via Arboath]

When ice attacks

This incredible video shot at Izatys Resort at Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota shows an "ice shove," where currents, winds, or temperature differences push chunks of lake ice onto land like a drifting iceberg. (via karenstan, thanks Sean Ness!)

And here is a CNN story from last year about this phenomena destroying homes in the Minnesota region. (Thanks, Jason!)

One of the last known photos of the Formosan Clouded Leopard is a picture of a vest

It's a nice-looking vest, but it does make a rather strong point about humans' role in animal extinctions. The Formosan Clouded Leopard was one of the animals declared extinct in 2013.

Penguins chasing a butterfly

[Video Link via Arbroath]

Venomous crustacean discovered

Dr Bjoern von Reumont: "This is the first time we have seen venom being used in crustaceans and the study adds a new major animal group to the roster of known venomous animals. Venoms are especially common in three of the four major groups of arthropods, such as insects. Crustaceans, however, are a glaring exception to the rule." [BBC]