Aspen is a common name for certain tree species. These species are called aspens: Populus adenopoda – Chinese aspen Populus davidiana – Korean aspen Populus grandidentata – Bigtooth aspen Populus sieboldii – Japanese aspen Populus tremula – Eurasian aspen Populus tremuloides – Quaking aspen or trembling aspen Aspen trees are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high-altitude areas such as mountains or high plains, they are all medium-sized deciduous trees reaching 15–30 m tall. In North America, it is referred to as Quaking Aspen or Trembling Aspen because the leaves "quake" or tremble in the wind; this is due to their flattened petioles which reduces aerodynamic drag on branches. Aspens grow in environments that are otherwise dominated by coniferous tree species, which are lacking other large deciduous tree species. Aspens have evolved several adaptations. One is the flattened leaf petiole, which reduces aerodynamic drag during high winds and decreases the likelihood of trunk or branch damage.

Dropping leaves in the winter helps to prevent damage from heavy winter snow. Additionally, the bark is photosynthetic, meaning that growth is still possible after the leaves have been dropped; the bark contains lenticels that serve as pores for gas exchange. Aspens are aided by the rhizomatic nature of their root systems. Most aspens grow in large clonal colonies, derived from a single seedling, spread by means of root suckers; each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived. In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. For this reason, it is considered to be an indicator of ancient woodlands. One such colony in Utah, given the nickname of "Pando", is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it the oldest living colony of aspens; some aspen colonies become large with time, spreading about 1 m per year covering many hectares. They are able to survive forest fires, because the roots are below the heat of the fire, new sprouts appear after the fire burns out.

The high stem turnover rate combined with the clonal growth leads to proliferation in aspen colonies. The high stem turnover regime supports a diverse herbaceous understory. Aspens do not thrive in the shade, it is difficult for seedlings to grow in an mature aspen stand. Fire indirectly benefits aspen trees, since it allows the saplings to flourish in open sunlight in the burned landscape, devoid of other competing tree species. Aspens have increased in popularity as a forestry cultivation species because of their fast growth rate and ability to regenerate from sprouts; this lowers the cost of reforestation after harvesting since no sowing is required. Aspen populations have been declining in some areas; this may be due to several different factors, such as climate change, which exacerbates drought and modifies precipitation patterns. Recruitment failure from herbivory or grazing prevents new trees from coming up. Additionally, successional replacement by conifers due to fire suppression alters forest diversity and creates conditions where aspen may be at less of an advantage.

Sudden aspen death is occurring more as a result of drought stress. In contrast with many trees, aspen bark is base-rich, meaning aspens are important hosts for bryophytes and act as food plants for the larvae of butterfly species—see List of Lepidoptera that feed on poplars. Young aspen bark is an important seasonal forage for the European hare and other animals in early spring. Aspen is a preferred food of the European beaver. Elk and moose not only eat the leaves but strip the bark with their front teeth. Aspen wood is white and soft, but strong, has low flammability, it has a number of uses, notably for making matches and paper where its low flammability makes it safer to use than most other woods. Shredded aspen wood is used for stuffing, sometimes called excelsior. Aspen flakes are the most common species of wood used to make oriented strand boards, it is a popular animal bedding, since it lacks the phenols associated with pine and juniper, which are thought to cause respiratory system ailments in some animals.

Heat-treated aspen is a popular material for the interiors of saunas. While standing trees sometimes tend to rot from the heart outward, the dry timber weathers well, becoming silvery-grey and resistant to rotting and warping, has traditionally been used for rural construction in the northwestern regions of Russia. Fox, Linda E. Tackaberry, Pascal Drouin, Yves Bergeron, Robert L. Bradley, Hughes B. Massicotte, Han Chen. "Microbial community structure of soils under four productivity classes of aspen forests in Northern British Columbia". Ecoscience 20:264–275. Doi:10.2980/20-3-3611. Aspen Information Resource, U. K. Quaking Aspen Forests of the Colorado Plateau Bioimages: Populus grandidentata bigtooth aspen Aspen Research Bibliography Aspen Photo Gallery Aspen Compounds, Medicinal Benefits and Uses Loyola Medicine: Aspen Dosage, Interaction and Side Effects Steens Aspen

Skins (American TV series)

Skins is an American teen drama that premiered on January 17, 2011, on MTV in the United States. It is a remake of the original UK show of the same name; as with the UK series, the American version features a cast of young writers. The series generated controversy in the United States over its sexual content, in which several advertisers withdrew and there were some accusations of child pornography since most of its cast members were under the age of 18. On June 9, 2011, MTV announced that they would not renew Skins for a second season, with a statement that "Skins is a global television phenomenon that did not connect with a U. S. audience as much as we had hoped. We admire the work that the series creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for MTV, appreciate the core audience that embraced it." The characters in the American version are the same as those in the UK version, although some first names have been changed and all last names have been changed except for Michelle Richardson. The biggest change comes in the form of new character Tea Marvelli, a lesbian cheerleader who replaces the UK character Maxxie Oliver.

James Newman as Tony Schneider Tony begins the season as the leader of the group, but as his relationship with Michelle starts to crumble due to cheating on her with Tea, his popularity and power within the group crumbles as well. He ends the series with the realization that his friends Stanley, his sister Eura mean more to him than he thought. Rachel Thevenard as Michelle RichardsonIn the beginning of the season Michelle is in a relationship with Tony, which causes her to act like she enjoys the role of the good-looking girlfriend and ignore her real feelings. Upon discovery of Tony's affair, she struggles to find herself and confides in Stanley, in love with her for as long as he can remember, she concludes the season choosing Stanley over Tony realizing what is best for her. Daniel Flaherty as Stanley Lucerne Stanley is lazy and insecure, is overshadowed by Tony, his best friend and role model. Stanley begins to find his voice in "Stanley", when he brings up the courage to stand up to his father, so demanding and self-centered that he drives away Stanley's mother.

Stanley spends much of the season in love with Michelle, but soon finds himself torn between his feelings for her and Cadie. In the end Stanley chooses Michelle. Sofia Black D'Elia as Tea Marvelli Tea is confident, at times confused about who she is. Tea is a lesbian, but soon finds herself questioning her sexuality by sleeping with Tony on two separate occasions; when Michelle finds out, her friendship with Michelle and relationship with Tony are broken off. At the end she chooses Betty, a girl, trying to start a relationship with her for most of the season. Ron Mustafaa as Abbud Siddiqui Abbud is a caring person, he is in love with Tea for half of the season, spends the remaining few episodes with feelings for Daisy, with whom he has started a "friends with benefits" type of relationship. Abbud is best friends with Chris, who he takes in after his parents desert him and Tina is forced to leave town. Jesse Carere as Chris Collins Chris is the party animal of the group, he is loud, at a lot of times, either drunk or high on either weed or some type of pill.

After his mom abandons for good with nothing more than $1,000, Chris finds hospitality with Tina, who he starts up a relationship with, Abbud. Britne Oldford as Cadie Campbell Cadie is bipolar, depressed and anorexic, she begins the season with strong feelings for Stanley, but loses interest. She finds a boyfriend midway through the season, ends it with feelings for Stanley, but chooses to let him go for Michelle, knowing it is what is best for him. Camille Cresencia-Mills as Daisy Valero Daisy is the one who has to fix everyone else's problems, she gets fed up with everybody, tells everybody to stop asking her for help. Her mother left her, she lives with her father and younger sister, Deedee, she has dreams of becoming a professional. She becomes friends with benefits with Abbud. Eleanor Zichy as Eura Schneider Eura is Tony's younger sister, does not speak, she enjoys partying and drinking, Tony helps her sneak in and out of the house. The audience does not hear her voice until the season finale.

Ali Kazmi as Abbud's uncle Anastasia Phillips as Tina Nolan, a school teacher David Reale as Dave, a schoolteacher. Randall Blaine Morris as Betty, a love interest for Tea Natalie Brown as Cadie's 41-year-old mother, a former model Paulino Nunes as Marco Marvelli, Tea's father Tony Sims as Jason Morrison, a friend of Chris Collins The pilot episode is an shot-for-shot remake of its UK counterpart, but the U. S. show deviates from the UK show's plot in subsequent episodes. Elsley said he was first approached on making a U. S. adaptation by MTV's Liz Tony DiSanto. Elsley said that at the time he didn't feel that a U. S. version would work. Several network and cable channels approached Elsley about a North American adaptation. Elsley said "at that end of that time it seemed clear that MTV had the clearest vision." He added " were missing a commitment to the core values of the show. Which is to say that MTV is t

Shadia Mansour

Not to be confused with Shazia Manzoor. Shadia Mansour known as "the first lady of Arabic hip hop" is a British Palestinian singer and MC who sings and raps in Arabic and English. Much of her music focuses on Middle East politics. Mansour was born in London in 1985, her parents are Christian Palestinians from Haifa and Nazareth. She grew up in the UK and spent summers visiting relatives in Haifa and Nazareth, including her cousin, Juliano Mer-Khamis. Influenced by Arabic performers such as Fairouz, Umm Kulthum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Mansour began singing at Palestinian protest rallies as a child and she became known in London's Palestinian community for performing classical Arab songs of protest at an early age, she went on to study performing arts before beginning her career as an MC. Mansour began rapping in 2003 and has gained recognition in the Middle East and the United States for her own songs and collaborations with other artists, she performs wearing a traditional Palestinian thawb and has said that she considers herself to be part of a "musical intifada" against the occupation of Palestine and oppression of women.

Mansour's first single, "Al Kufiya Arabiya", featured rapper M-1 of dead prez and lyrics emphasizing the kufiya's role as a symbol of Arab nationalism. The song was written when Mansour discovered an American made blue-and-white colored Arab scarf with Stars of David on it. Mansour introduced her song on stage in New York: "You can take my falafel and hummus, but don’t fucking touch my keffiyeh". Mansour has recorded music with producer Johnny "Juice" Rosado of Public Enemy and was featured on Chuck D's website She has collaborated with artists like Iraqi rappers Lowkey and Narcy, Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. Mansour has toured with Existence is Resistance, an organization supporting hip-hop shows in Palestine, is part of the "Arab League" of Hip Hop, a collection of performers who share views on the Middle East. Mansour's political raps have criticized Israel's occupation of Palestine as well as Israel's role in the Gaza War which began in 2008. Mansour said, "My music sometimes sounds hostile.

It's my anger coming out and it's resistance. It's non-violent resistance." Mansour's early work emphatically supported the Palestinian resistance movement with what Rolling Stone called a "hardcore stance on Palestinian nationalism". Over time her views evolved to appreciate more of the complexity in the region, her music came to reflect that. In 2007 Mansour called for Fatah to stop fighting. In 2008 Mansour's track "Kulun'Andun Dababat” included Tamer and Suhell Nafar from an Israel-based Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. While challenging Israel's policies, Mansour takes a stand against gender stereotyping of women both in hip-hop culture and Palestinian society, she has refused to perform to gender-separated audiences. Mansour's music has been challenged by conservatives within Palestine, Mansour has addressed that opposition to her music in her lyrics, she tried to change her voice to sound more like male MCs, but over time Mansour has developed her own style as a female MC while rejecting the sexualization of women in hip-hop.

Mansour performs in a traditional Palestinian gown that covers most of her body, notes that she is "kind of old fashioned." Shadia Mansour on Myspace Shadia Mansour on creative freedom in Britain on YouTubeUK Foreign Office short film Cultures of Resistance documentary excerpt featuring Shadia