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5 Curiously Shaped Forests

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Google Maps

Most forests aren't shaped like anything much. Natural blobs, usually. Squares, perhaps, if they were designed by architects or urban planners. But these forests are forests with a purpose.

1. A Heart

In 1995, Janet Howes died from heart failure at the age of 50. Her heartbroken widower, Winston, decided to pay tribute to his wife by planting a forest of 6,000 oak trees, leaving a heart-shaped meadow in the middle. Situated in the middle of a six-acre field near Gloucestershire, England, the massive love letter remained a secret until a hot air balloonist spied it from the air a few years ago.

2. Minnesota

Someone must be a really proud Minnesotan. In Lake of the Woods County, there lies a massive forest shaped exactly like the North Star State. After an article on the oddly shaped woods ran on Minneapolis’ City Pages site, a commenter replied with the backstory:

"I was a forester in northern Minnesota for some time and I can tell you this. This is state forest land, managed by DNR Division of Forestry. The state employs foresters to design timber harvests to meet many objectives including ecological and economic ones. The forester who designed this timber sale is a veteran at his craft and created this boundary line without the use of gps [sic], but with map and compass instead. The forest type is jack pine, which is an early successional species that colonizes sites after a major disturbance and needs full sun to thrive. This species occurs in fire dependent forests.  Modern timber sales mimic the effect of fire in these landscapes. As such this large opening was created to encourage it's [sic] regeneration. Loggers are contractors of the landowners/land managers, and as such do not have discretion as to the layout of the harvest or other design features. They perform the contract. This forester must have an artistic side.”

3. A Guitar

Across the globe, another romantic husband in mourning wanted to do something big to memorialize his wife, who suffered a cerebral aneurysm while pregnant and died at the age of 25. Graciela Yraizoz loved the guitar, so her husband plotted out a replica on their Argentinian farm that stretches nearly 2/3 of a mile long. The outline is made mostly of cypress trees, while the “strings” are formed by blue eucalyptus.

4. The word "Studebaker"

There’s a Studebaker in this forest near South Bend, Indiana—and I don’t mean a car. It’s been there since 1937, when the company planted 5,000 pine trees at their proving grounds. The park is apparently publicly accessible now, with signs on the ground helpfully explaining which group of trees is which letter.

5. A Swastika

A forest about 60 miles north of Berlin used to reveal a terrible secret every fall. It seems a Nazi sympathizer once planted a cluster of larch trees in the shape of a swastika. When the trees turned yellow every fall, they stood out against the evergreen forest, showcasing their message of hate. Once the trees were discovered, Brandenburg state authorities removed some in the hopes of disrupting the design. They eventually grew back, and in 2000, the larch trees were cut down entirely.

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Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
The Covers of Jack Kerouac's Classic Titles Are Getting a Makeover
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press
Tom Etherington, Penguin Press

Readers have been enjoying classic Jack Kerouac books like The Dharma Bums and On the Road for decades, but starting this August the novels will have a new look. Several abstract covers have been unveiled as part of Penguin’s "Great Kerouac" series, according to design website It’s Nice That.

The vibrant covers, designed by Tom Etherington of Penguin Press, feature the works of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline. The artwork is intended to capture “the experience of reading Kerouac” rather than illustrating a particular scene or character, Etherington told It’s Nice That. Indeed, abstract styles of artwork seem a fitting match for Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose”—a writing style that was influenced by improvisational jazz music.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Dharma Bums, which was published just one year after On the Road. The Great Kerouac series will be available for purchase on August 2.

[h/t It's Nice That]

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Apple
Here's a Preview of the 70 New Emojis Coming to Your iPhone
Apple
Apple

Get ready to add a whole new set of symbols to your emoji vocabulary. As CNN reports, Apple has released a sneak peak of some of the 70 new emojis coming to iOS in late 2018.

In February 2018, the Unicode Consortium announced the latest additions to their official emoji database. Software makers have since been working on customizing the designs for their own operating systems, and now iPhone and iPad users are getting a preview of what the new emojis will look like on their devices.

One of the most highly anticipated new symbols is the redhead emoji, something people have been demanding for a while. A curly haired option, another popular request, will be added to the line-up, as will gray-hair and bald emoji choices. Each of the new hair types can be added to the classic face emoji regardless of gender, but when it comes to specific characters like the bride or the jogger emojis, users will be limited to the same hair options they had before.

If Apple users ever want to express their inner superhero, two new super characters, a man and woman, will let them do so. They will also have new "smiley" symbols to choose from, like a party emoji, a sad eyes emoji, and a frozen emoji.

In the food category you have a head of lettuce and a mango, and for dessert, a cupcake and a mooncake—a festive Chinese pastry. New animals include a peacock, a kangaroo, and a lobster. The lobster emoji stirred some controversy in February when Mainers noticed the Unicode version was missing a set of legs. The design was quickly revised, and Apple's version is also anatomically correct.

These images just show a small sample of the emojis that will be included in an iOS update planned for later in 2018. Users will have to wait to see the final designs for other the symbols on the list.

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

New Apple emojis.
Apple

[h/t CNN]

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