GOOD

This Tree Produces Forty Types of Fruit

The living, edible art of Sam Van Aken's grafted stone fruit experiment

Sam Van Aken courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Art

A few years ago, Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University, found an orchard near Geneva, New York that had many varieties of fruit growing on its property, but which because of financial hardship, was about to close. Van Aken stepped in and bought the orchard, and set to making a tree. Through a process called “chip grafting” (taking a sliver of a tree that includes the bud, taping it into a cut in the tree, and then letting it heal over the winter), Van Aken created a beautiful Franken-tree that grows 40 varieties of apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries (and maybe almonds).


An added bonus: The tree looks like an ordinary fruit tree until it blossoms in the spring, at which time it becomes an awesome Technicolor dream-tree. The whole process takes about six years, but for Van Aken, the results have birthed as much meaning as it does fruit.

“As an artwork, what it does is it interrupts and transforms the everyday,” Van Aken said in a Ted Talk earlier this year. “By taking all of these heirloom, antique, and native species, grafting them onto the Trees of 40 Fruit, and then placing them throughout the country, in some small way, I’m creating my own type of diversity and preservation.”

So far, 16 of Van Aken’s trees have been grafted throughout the world.

Articles
via

Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading
Business