Feeling good about your own energy and stamina in splitting and piling all that wood for the winter. Well, don't get too impressed by your own firewood prowess until you consider these Herculean efforts.
When it comes to unusual, and creative, uses of wood, you have to hand it to the Finns. It seems that their culture causes their mental juices to flow naturally to wood as a first solution for just about everything you can think of...and some that you never would. Such as a chapel of... silence.
Time magazine chose the "Great Housing Rebound of 2012" but I vote for the rising support for "forest restoration" and specifically, the story of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative in northern Arizona.