Three border collies tear through a charred Chilean forest with backpacks full of seeds

February 15, 2018 by  
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Over 1.4 million acres were burned in Chile in 2017, in the country’s worst wildfire season in history. According to Mother Nature Network , the fire left in its wake a ravaged landscape, but a furry team led by Francisca Torres, a dog trainer who also runs the dog -oriented community, Pewos , came to the rescue. She outfitted three border collies with backpacks filled with seeds , and sent then dashing through the forest. Das, Olivia, and Summer will melt your heart. As they careen through the forest sporting seed-filled backpacks, seeds trickle out; the humans behind the mission hope the spilled seeds will sprout and grow, reviving the forest. For the animals , it’s just a chance to frolic and have fun, according to Torres, their owner. Related: Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico’s deadly earthquake (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Feliz dia madre tierra ?? Posted by Pewos on Sunday, May 14, 2017 Das is the oldest at six, and she leads the way with her pups, Summer and Olivia, both two-years-old. The dogs earn treats as they wait for their backpacks to be filled with more seeds, when they come back to their handlers, and at the end of the day’s work. They can cover up to 18 miles, spreading over 20 pounds of future plants, according to Mother Nature Network. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on Thursday, April 20, 2017 Torres launched the effort in March 2017, and went back to the forest regularly over six months. Her sister, Constanza Torres, also helped; the two women pay for the native seeds , backpacks, and trips to the forest and plan to start the project up again soon. Torres told Mother Nature Network, “We have seen many results in flora and fauna coming back to the burned forest!” (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on  Friday, March 31, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Posted by Pewos on  Friday, March 31, 2017 Francisca Torres told Mother Nature Network they specifically use border collies because they are super smart. When they’re not reviving forests, the dogs work with sheep and in disc and obedience training. Via Mother Nature Network Images via Depositphotos

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Three border collies tear through a charred Chilean forest with backpacks full of seeds

Student ditches cramped dorm to live large in a self-built tiny house

February 15, 2018 by  
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Although tiny home living may not be for everyone, there is one group who is certainly taking advantage of the minimal living trend – college students. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to stay in a cramped, closet-like dorm room, one ambitious college student named Bradley took his living situation into his own hands by building his own 230-square-feet abode, aptly named Rolling Quarters. After spending a year paying for on campus housing, Bradley decided it was time to build his own home, something that would give him his own personal space and designed to his taste. “Right out of high school I went and paid a year’s worth of rent and decided that wasn’t for me,” he said in an interview with Living Big In A Tiny House . “So I moved back home to save some money and pay for it all in cash to build it.” Related: Two college students build a tiny home for under $500 After purchasing a 27-foot-long trailer, he looked to Craigslist to find materials he could repurpose into his new home. A few things like the vinyl siding were bought new, but the total price of the project came in just under $15,000. Bradley’s self-built tiny home on wheels is just 230 square feet, but packs a large punch in terms of living space. The entrance of the home is through a lovely wooden deck with two rocking chairs set up to enjoy the surrounding wooded lot. The interior space has a comfy, cabin-like atmosphere with wooden flooring and wood-planked ceiling. The living space, which is air-conditioned, is at the heart of the home, with a medium sized pull-out sofa and tv, and a small nook for a desk. The kitchen, although compact, is incredibly efficient and conceals a number of space-saving and storage features. Additional storage is tucked under the stairs that lead up to the sleeping loft. Although Bradley now lives off campus, that doesn’t mean that his social life was affected. In fact, the ambitious student has had up to 25 guests in his home and even occasionally rents out Rolling Quarters on Airbnb . + Rolling Quarters Instagram Via Apartment Therapy Images via Rolling Quarters Instagram and Airbnb. Video via Living Big in a Tiny House Just 25 people hanging out comfortably in a tiny house. #saystheguywiththelofttohimself #tinyhouse #bradthebuilder #thow #tinyhouseonwheels #diythow #tinyhousemovement #diytinyhouse #minimalist #minimalism A post shared by Rolling Quarters Tiny House (@rolling_quarters_tinyhouse) on Oct 7, 2017 at 7:37am PDT

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Student ditches cramped dorm to live large in a self-built tiny house

Chernobyl’s abandoned dogs create their own exclusion zone community

February 6, 2018 by  
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If you ever happen to visit Chernobyl , you might run across one of the around 300 stray dogs that reside there. After the 1986 disaster, residents weren’t allowed to bring their pets away with them, and many dogs were left behind. Today, their descendants still roam the area, and while their life isn’t easy, The Guardian reports they are “a playful example of global kindness and cooperation.” Around 300 stray dogs reside in the 2,600 square kilometer – or around 1,004 square mile – exclusion zone at Chernobyl in Ukraine . The Chernobyl Prayer, an oral history of the time, talks about “dogs howling, trying to get on the buses. Mongrels, alsatians. The soldiers were pushing them out again, kicking them. They ran after the buses for ages.” Soldiers went in to shoot the abandoned animals ; The Guardian reports some heartbroken families pinned notes on their doors asking the squads not to kill their pets. Related: China is building a giant solar plant at Chernobyl Some dogs did survive, and it’s their descendants who live there today. Their lives are short and hard – with “increased levels of radiation in their fur” and a diminished life expectancy. Many of the animals don’t live past six years old, according to The Guardian. But here’s where the hope comes in: guards have created small huts for dogs residing near checkpoints. United States nonprofit organization Clean Futures Fund put up three veterinary clinics nearby – one is inside the plant. They’re vaccinating and neutering the dogs, and handle emergencies. You can read more about their work and donate here . Chernobyl tour company Solo East Travel guide Nadezhda Starodub told The Guardian visitors love the animals, and she does, too. There are no rules against touching them, and she just asks visitors to use the same common sense they would around strays. The dogs have come to serve as unofficial Chernobyl mascots. Via The Guardian Images courtesy of Solo East Travel

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Chernobyl’s abandoned dogs create their own exclusion zone community

The fearless dog who refused to leave his goats during the Santa Rosa wildfire

October 17, 2017 by  
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It would seem that dogs, in addition to being man’s, are also best friends with goats and deer. Odin, a loyal, headstrong Great Pyrenees who guards his owner’s goat herd, refused to leave their side even when fierce wildfires bore down around his home in Sonoma County, California . “Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats after nightfall when he takes over the close watch from his sister Tessa,” wrote Roland Tembo Hendel, Odin’s owner. “I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried.” Thankfully, even though buildings around their location burned to the ground, Odin and his goats survived and were even joined by a few adopted baby deer. Around 10:30, Hendel began to smell smoke at his property. About a half hour later, Hendel and his family caught their first glimpse of flames coming into their valley. After Hendel and his family gathered their other dogs and cat into the vehicle, they had to depart without Odin, who refused to leave his goats . “Cars behind us on Mark West Springs Road were pouring flames out of the windows as they roared down the road,” said Hendel of the scene. “Later that morning when we had outrun the fires I cried, sure that I had sentenced Odie to death, along with our precious family of bottle-raised goats.” Related: Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico’s deadly earthquake Hendel and his family were thrilled to return and find their animal companions alive and well. Although every nearby structure had been destroyed, Odin kept his flock safe from harm. “Eight goats came running to see us and get cuddles and kisses. Dixon has a burn on his back the size of a nickel. Other than that they are perfectly fine,” said Hendel. Odin received minor injuries from the fire. The baby deer that joined the herd found both shelter and clean water with the help of their new canine papa. “Odin has lived up to his namesake,” wrote Hendel. “Pray for him and his charges. He is our inspiration. If he can be so fearless in this maelstrom, surely so can we.” Hendel and his family are raising funds, half of every dollar for a replacement trailer for Odin and his goats and half for the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Center . After the trailer has been paid for, all of the proceeds will go to SCWRC. Donations can be made here. Via Treehugger Images via  Roland Tembo Hendel/Facebook

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The fearless dog who refused to leave his goats during the Santa Rosa wildfire

Ai Weiwei installs huge fences in New York City to challenge Trumps border control measures

October 17, 2017 by  
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Ai Weiwei continues to address the refugee crisis through his latest multi-site, multi-media exhibition in New York City . In a campaign against Donald Trump’s border-control measures, the famous Chinese artist and human-rights activist has enclosed spaces throughout New York with gigantic security fences . The project, titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, includes a huge golden cage placed in Central Park, and a fence-like enclosure embedded within the Washington Square Arch. In 2016, Weiwei traveled to 23 countries and visited over 40 refugee camps while filming his documentary Human Flow . He chose a proverb from Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall as the title for this new piece, which continues to explore the theme of borders. Related: Ai Weiwei Uses 1.2 Million LEGO Bricks to Portray 176 Political Prisoners and Exiles The artist worked with New York charity the Public Art Fund to create temporary structures in three locations in New York City. Funded through Kickstarter, the project aims to provoke and further the discussion about Trump’s plans to tighten immigration controls. The large circular gold structure, titled Gilded Cage, was installed on the Doris C Freedman Plaza, just a few minutes away from Trump Tower . The second installation is embedded in the Washington Square Arch as a mirrored passageway in the shape of two joined human figures. In Queens, Weiwei wrapped the Unisphere in Corona Park in mesh netting to create a low-lying fence. The exhibition will run until 11 February 2018, and it also includes several smaller interventions scattered throughout the city. + Ai Weiwei Photos by Jason Wyche via Public Art Fund, NY

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Ai Weiwei installs huge fences in New York City to challenge Trumps border control measures

More than 50% of New York Citys public schools now have gardens

October 17, 2017 by  
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There’s a food revolution brewing in over half of New York City’s public schools, and it’s not slowing down. Thanks to the local nonprofit GrowNYC , The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and Grow to Learn , five boroughs have been established to set up sustainable gardens in public schools. There are now at least 700 gardens across the city, and teachers are witnessing a myriad of changes in the kids who are spending more time outdoors and less time in a “traditional” classroom setting. From container gardens to bottle planters in the classrooms, teachers and the kids are getting creative to grow produce at their schools. Arielle Hartman, School Gardens Coordinator with GrowNYC, said, “I’ve seen teachers grow plants in soda bottles and old shoes or in projector carts with fluorescent lights.” Some of the most popular vegetables and fruit that are being grown include tomatoes , cucumbers, lettuce, eggplant, mint, collard greens, and herbs. At some schools, grapes and strawberries are cultivated, as well. The benefits of school gardening extend beyond the children learning about where their food comes from — which is an important lesson. For many kids, the gardens exist as a place of respite and contemplation. Rodale’s Organic Life reports, “Schools are using these green spaces not only as teaching tools and hands-on laboratories for math and science, they’ve also become arenas for social and emotional growth, particularly for students who may not do well in the traditional classroom environment, as well as serving as a respite for teachers and administrators.” As a result of improved emotional well-being among the student body, teachers are witnessing a reduction in behavioral issues . Julie Walsh, Assistant Director at GrowNYC, said, “Behavioral issues are dramatically reduced when kids are exposed to nature and to this kind of real sensory and experimental learning that the natural world offers.” Research presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition supports this observation. It noted that green schoolyards — which are bursting with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables — provide children, families and their communities a “healthy environment ” for relaxation and play. Related: The Garden School is a New Green-Roofed Learning Facility for China Walsh says that by partnering with agencies, such as the Parks Department and the Department of Education, the challenge of introducing gardens into schools was made much easier. “Historically, one of the challenges for successful and sustainable school garden models has been a lack of coordination,” said Walsh. “If you try to do this in a vacuum, you run into bureaucratic impediments. By partnering […], we’re able to help schools run the gauntlet with these agencies so they don’t run into obstacles.” Other schools can easily implement a garden by partnering with the Grow to Learn program. Registered schools can attend free workshops that cover a number of relevant topics, and schools are eligible to receive free garden materials, access to an online resource library and garden network and the tools to apply for mini-grant funding to start or expand a school garden. The future of school gardens is only limited by the creativity of the teachers, parents, administrators, and students. As long as all involved are willing to work together, public school gardens can flourish across the entire city — and perhaps, the entire nation. GrowNYC , + Grow to Learn Via Rodale’s Organic Life Images via  Pinterest , Arielle Hartman, Grow to Learn, Pixabay

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More than 50% of New York Citys public schools now have gardens

IKEA is offering furniture for pets – and it’s adorable

October 10, 2017 by  
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It’s here – the modern, inexpensive pet furniture of your dreams. IKEA is now selling furniture and accessories for dogs and cats , and they’re just as well-designed and affordable as the company’s furniture for humans. From a cute cat house to a cozy dog bed, you’ll drool over the Swedish giant’s pet collection . Pets are members of the family to many people, and IKEA said they were inspired by that sentiment to create the LURVIG – Swedish for ‘hairy’ – line of pet furniture. They got a little input from veterinarians to design their pet collection “so you and your pet can enjoy your home together.” LURVIG “covers all the bases of our shared life with pets indoors and out.” Related: Light-filled home for book lovers and their cute cats is built of recycled materials Pets can snuggle in on IKEA’s $49.99 pet bed , which looks like a mini couch for a cat or dog. There’s a $19.99 pet blanket , to minimize fur on the couch or car seat. The most expensive item in the new collection is a $54.98 cat house on legs that comes with a pad inside. A cheaper $5.99 cat house can even be incorporated with human furniture – it fits inside the open squares of a KALLAX shelf unit. There are also several inexpensive accessories that would be ideal for someone getting their first pet, including food and water bowls ranging from $0.79 to $4.99 and a $7.99 water dispenser. There’s a $4.99 litter tray, and $3.99 brush. IKEA is also offering several different dog leashes, with reflective, retractable, and anti-shock options – and even a cat leash if you have aspirations of grandeur. An IKEA spokesperson told Mashable the LURVIG collection had its pilot launch the beginning of October in five countries: the United States, Canada, France, Japan, and Portugal. You can check out the entire collection here . + IKEA Pets Via Mashable Images via IKEA

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IKEA is offering furniture for pets – and it’s adorable

Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico’s deadly earthquake

September 25, 2017 by  
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A 7.1 magnitude earthquake recently rocked Mexico , and in Mexico City , 15 dogs came to the rescue. But few are quite as beloved as Frida, a 7-year-old Labrador who achieved Twitter fame. The Internet at first thought she’d found 52 people after the earthquake, and while that figure isn’t correct – she’s found 52 over the course of her whole career – it’s hard not to fall in love with a rescue dog in blue boots and goggles. Hit the jump to hear more about her tale. Frida is part of the Mexican navy’s Canine Unit. According to the Los Angeles Times, she has helped to find 52 people after disasters over the course of her career – 12 of whom have been alive. Around two weeks ago, she detected the body of a police officer following an earthquake in Oaxaca. Now she’s on the hunt for people in Mexico City, after a 7.1 earthquake killed at least 300 people across five states in Mexico. According to Al Jazeera , rescue operations halted on Saturday following a new aftershock. Related: 12 comfort dogs dispatched to grief-stricken Orlando Su valiosa ayuda y amor por el ser humano, hacen que de su máximo esfuerzo para salvar vidas #perrosrescatistas pic.twitter.com/jpidngFREV — SEMAR México (@SEMAR_mx) September 21, 2017 Frida, who’s named after famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, has been searching for people after suiting up in a harness, protective goggles, and boots on her four paws. She was sent to the Enrique Rebsamen school last Tuesday, where other emergency workers found 25 people dead and 11 alive. Her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, said usually two other Belgian Malinois dogs, Evil and Echo, enter collapsed structures first, since they’re younger than Frida, each at a year-and-a-half old. If they detect someone, Frida goes in to confirm the find, typically taking no more than 20 minutes. According to Salinas, the dogs clue in rescue workers they might have found signs of life by barking. The dogs have had to hunt in spaces under 20 inches high. They’ve been able to crawl into places deeper than human rescue workers. Ella es #Frida , #OrgulloNaval que ha logrado salvar 52 vidas en distinto desastres naturales a nivel Nacional e Internacional pic.twitter.com/icYKDofDd7 — SEMAR México (@SEMAR_mx) September 13, 2017 Frida doesn’t just come to the rescue in Mexico. Salinas said Frida also helped after an April earthquake in Ecuador last year. Via the Los Angeles Times and Gizmodo Images via screenshot ( 1 , 2 )

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Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico’s deadly earthquake

Woman’s lost engagement ring found rooted to a carrot – 13 years later

August 18, 2017 by  
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Watch while you weed , or you may lose a ring. Gloves can help, not only to prevent contact with soil-borne infections and bacteria, but also to keep prized possessions on your person. Mary Grams of Alberta, Canada learned this the hard way. 13 years ago, Grams, 84, lost her diamond engagement ring, a family heirloom since 1951, whilst working in her garden. “I didn’t tell [my husband], even, because I thought for sure he’d give me heck or something,” said Grams. Fortunately, her lost treasure reemerged from the dirty depths, thanks to a carrot , the most charismatic of root vegetables, which had grown through the ring. Although Grams has since moved on from the plot where her ring was lost, her family stayed on the farm . The ring was rediscovered by Colleen Daley, Gram’s daughter-in-law, while she was out harvesting carrots with her dog Billy. “I knew it had to belong to either grandma or my mother-in-law,” said Daley, “because no other women have lived on that farm.” Although Gram’s husband died five years ago, shortly after their 60th wedding anniversary, she imagines that he would have appreciated this peculiar turn of events. “I’m going to wear it because it still fits,” she said. Related: HOW TO: Extend the Shelf Life of Root Vegetables by Storing Them in Sand Not only are carrots great finders of lost relics, but they are also very adaptable and can grow around objects. Gardeners can utilize this special feature of the root vegetable by planting carrots within an underground mold , designed to shape the carrots growth. Think of it as the subterranean version of the cubed watermelon . Head over to NPR to see the extraordinary image of the ring wrapped around a carrot . Via NPR Images via Liz West/Flickr , Shira Gal/Flickr , and Nate Steiner/Flickr

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Woman’s lost engagement ring found rooted to a carrot – 13 years later

Dogs raised for meat in South Korea to get forever homes in the US

January 10, 2017 by  
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A group of dogs raised for meat in South Korea are getting a new lease on life. Humane Society International (HSI) has rescued 10 dogs from a dog meat farm located about 55 miles away from Seoul. The dogs, which were raised in filthy, rusty cages for eventual consumption by humans, will be placed in forever homes throughout the US. HSI says it will take time and money to move all 200 animals off the farm, and you can help. Six months of vaccinations, medical examinations, and negotiations later, HSI has finally been able to start removing dogs from the horrifying meat factory farm. It will take a few weeks for them to ship out all the animals, as airlines will only take so many dogs per flight. Dogs like Demi, a labrador mix puppy, will journey to United States shelters and be offered for adoption. Related: Help move hundreds of chimpanzees from labs to a safe haven in Georgia HSI campaign manager Andrew Plumbly told Reuters, “As soon as they’re ready for adoption, we find that there are line-ups of people – literally people would line up at shelters – in the U.S. to adopt these dogs because people are so engaged by their sad and compelling stories.” The dogs lived in harsh, disgusting conditions. They were only fed once per day and waste collected under their rusty cages. This dog meat farm is the sixth HSI has worked to shutter in the country since 2015, but they estimate there are around 17,000 such farms left in South Korea, even as Reuters reports dog consumption is declining in the country. Up to two million dogs are still killed and consumed in South Korea each year, according to HSI. If you’d like to help them in their goal of shutting down the dog meat industry – including finding better livelihoods for dog meat farmers and caring for rescued animals – you can donate here . + Humane Society International Via Reuters Images via Humane Society International Facebook

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Dogs raised for meat in South Korea to get forever homes in the US

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