This Artist Is More Than Unique – She`s Talented.

Dried Floral Art

Polish artist Elżbieta Wodała uses one life, now gone, to breath new life into unique works of art. Her \’paintings\” are made by glueing together different types of creates elegant “paintings” by gluing together different kinds of dried seeds, leaves, petals and many other plant parts she finds in nature, parks, gardens, forests and meadows.


In which BBC News abandons all pretence of fact checking

BBC Watch

On the morning of January 29th a Palestinian man named Mohammed Mubarak opened fire on an Israeli army position near the community of Ateret on route 465 in the Mateh Binyamin district. The soldiers returned fire and Mubarak was shot and killed. It incident Ateret alater emerged that he had earlier fired at passing civilian vehicles before attacking the army post. 

Later in the day, a report on the incident titled “Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank” appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website. Readers of that headline are of course given no clue as to the fact that Mubarak shot at soldiers and civilians before he was killed.

The report itself opens in the usual ‘last-first’ BBC reporting style, with no less typical use of scare quotes around the word terrorist.

“A Palestinian man has been shot dead by Israeli troops in the…

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Uttarayan , Kite Festival in Ahmedabad


gujarat-ahmedabad-kites-on-saleColorful tissue paper kites were being sold everywhere in Ahmedabad soon after we arrived.  The anticipation of the two day holiday, January 14-15, was building.


These men are preparing the string by rubbing it with the pink substance made of minuscule crushed glass. Why you might ask?  The kite festival is an competitive event where kite fliers have bragging rights for the year if their kite is last in the sky. Yes, “kiters” use their string to cut the  string of  the competition.

item4.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.patang-the-kite-hamid-shaikh-looks-upLittle boys dream of the day they, too, will be in the competition.


Little girls run through the streets to collect the fallen  kites.


The most coveted spot for kite gazing is the roof of one of the ancient wooden houses just inside the walls of the city in a section called The Pols. Lying on your back in the center grass of one of the huge…

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Bombing Iran: Tough Tasks for Israeli Intelligence


Commentary: Bombing Iran: Tough Tasks for Israeli Intelligence | The National Interest.

January 30, 2014

Historically, Israel’s intelligence services have played a vital role—both direct and indirect—in making decisions of war and peace.

In 1954, Israeli intelligence persuaded then Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon to approve of an attempt to sabotage the Anglo-Egyptian agreement concerning British withdrawal from the Suez Canal. And there would have been no air strikes on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and the Syrian reactor in 2007 if not for the information collected by Israel’s intelligence services.

Not only are the three current intelligence chiefs (Aviv Kochavi of military intelligence [Aman], Tamir Pardo of Mossad, and Yoram Cohen of Shin Bet) among the key individuals tasked with collecting and presenting information related to an Israeli military operation against Iran’s nuclear program, they are also part of the inner circle of advisors to Prime…

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Another Environmental Lie Exposed: Bees Are Thriving

PA Pundits - International

caruba_alan20080111By Alan Caruba ~AA - Bees

I cannot say it strong enough. Do not believe the lies that environmental groups, particularly those that receive millions from liberal foundations and from members who never question the “science” they claim to justify massive scare campaigns.

One such organization is Friends of the Earth (FOE) and its latest claim is that bees are dying all over the world as the result of the use of pesticides in agriculture and by people protecting their gardens.  It is a lie.

The attack on the use of pesticides began in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” that claimed that their use posed a threat to human life. She said “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.”

The problem with her opinion is that humanity cannot…

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

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Benedict Brogan
Dave v The Tory irreconcilables
Good morning. It is a measure of how used we have become to Tory infighting that yesterday’s shambles in the Commons gets negligible play this morning. It makes the front of the Guardian, and that’s about it. It doesn’t figure on the BBC main R4 bulletin. A result for David Cameron then, who will be relieved that the latest display of his political weakness hasn’t made waves. But he will know that yesterday’s rebellion by 86 Tories is a long-term disaster. Fraser Nelson nails it in his column, arguing that the relentless campaign by the band of Tories who want Mr Cameron to fail, even at the cost of returning to opposition, are Ed Miliband’s ‘single best chance of success’. The argument is building momentum. The Telegraph made it earlier in the week, the Spectator too. Voice are being raised to point out the terrible damage being done to the Conservatives by the behaviour of some MPs, the so-called irreconcilables. Consider some of the headlines: ‘PM rescued by Labour’ in the Mail, Cameron ‘running scared of own MPs over immigration’ in the Mirror, Cameron ‘left bruised’ in the Times, ‘Fury at PM on migrant vote fudge’ in the Sun. The damage manifests itself in a number of ways. The most obvious is disunity. The party loses when it appears divided and at war with itself. But there is a separate credibility issue. Mr Cameron has been guilty in the past of letting his rhetoric run away from his ability to deliver. But those pressing him to be tougher with the EU are equally capable of political over-optimism. Dominic Raab, for example, fresh from his amendment success last night, claimed that with a Conservative majority, it would have been possible to get the change through. Really? The legal advice wouldn’t have been different; the responsibilities and realities of being in office would, I fear, quickly crush his optimism.

The irreconcilables are beyond reason. They have Mr Cameron on the ropes and are going for the KO. They will pound away, using every opportunity they can. The weeks after the Euro elections will be terrible. Those I spoke to last night were up front about their intentions. “We have a case on Europe, he doesn’t. We need to shift him away from his unquestioning compliance with Brussels. And we will,” one says. Downing Street’s operation – ‘rank incompetence’, according to the Mail’s leader – has shown itself incapable to controlling its own side. The legacy of Mr Cameron’s indifference to his backbenchers cannot be overcome. What do they do? They could try harder to mobilise the silent majority who want to win in 2015. They could persuade those sitting on scant majorities to point out that the irreconcilables often are sitting on plush majorities and can afford to cause trouble. But I suspect it is hard to persuade them to stand up when, on yesterday’s showing, Mr Cameron is more likely to roll over.


It’s the first Franco-British Summit for four years today. Francois Hollande and David Cameron will answer questions at a morning press conference at Brize Norton airfield (James Kirkup will be particularly pleased), and the French President might fear that the British will be less bashful than the French when it comes to asking about his private life. Ever the diplomat, Dave has made no arrangement for wives or partners to attend. But there is a serious side to this all too: Dave needs some friends, and fast, if he is to get any meaningful concessions in his attempted renegotiation with the EU. As the FT’s leader points out, “The British prime minister’s European strategy, in which he has invested significant political capital, requires him to win the support of other EU leaders for an as yet largely unspecified package of reforms. He needs the support of the French president. He cannot just rely, as he has been doing, on the backing of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel.” In other words, the comparisons of Mr Hollande and Ed Miliband, amusing as they may be, could be counter-productive. The FT pointedly reminds Dave: “Mr Hollande may have the worst poll ratings of any president of the Fifth Republic. But he will not be leaving the Elysée Palace before May 2017.”


It’s the final day of the annual Telegraph charity appeal. If you use your mobile to text the word TELEGRAPH to 70660, you will be donating £5 to the appeal, to be shared equally between the three charities – Chicks, Cure International UK and the Not Forgotten Association. For full terms and conditions, and details of the charities, go to

HOW THE LIB DEMS HAVE (MIS)HANDLED THE RENNARD AFFAIR We’ve got a first look at some ITV News/Comres polling about the Rennard affair. And they don’t make for pleasant reading for the Lib Dems: only 13% think that the party has handled the allegations of sexual harassment against Lord Rennard well, while a 33% margin think that Nick Clegg’s handling of the allegations shows that he lacks authority over his party. Not that the public thinks that other parties are much better: 59% think that the allegations of sexual harassment against Lord Rennard and other politicians show that women still face prejudice when trying to enter politics. Only 17% disagree.


Nick Clegg used his slot on Call Clegg yesterday to denounce plans for a law banning smoking in cars as illiberal. The Deputy PM said: “I am quite an old-fashioned liberal. I don’t think you should legislate unless you think it is going to make a difference. I don’t see how this is going to be enforced so families speeding along the M4 and mum or dad is smoking, how on earth are you going to properly enforce it?”


Reforms to voting in the Labour leadership election (as well as to funding arrangements from the trade unions) will take five years to complete, the FT reports. Draft reforms are to be presented to Labour’s “National Executive Committee” next week before the special conference on March 1. Dan Hodges explains that Ed Miliband’s reforms are “going to strengthen the hand of the trade union bosses who won him the leadership.”


Lord Tebbit isn’t happy. The Tory grandee says it’s “entirely inappropriate” for Cindy Butts, the IPCC’s commissioner for Yorkshire and the North East, to decide whether to launch an inquiry into the police forces’ violent clashes with miners at the “Battle of Orgreave” in 1984-85. Miss Butts spent three years working as a parliamentary researcher for two Labour MPs.spent three years working as a parliamentary researcher for two Labour MPs. We argue that “The IPCC must avoid being used as a sort of “truth and reconciliation” body by people with a political agenda.”


No wonder some Tories are so keen to push through middle-class tax cuts. The IFS yesterday released figures showing who has lost out most since the crash. A childless couple earning a combined £67,592 before tax a year, for instance, will have seen their incomes fall in real terms by 8.7 per cent since 2007/8.


If Ed Balls can give the impression of having a lot on his mind at the moment, perhaps he’s just thinking about how to master the piano. According to his wife Yvette Cooper, Mr Balls has now taken to piano-playing as the kids are getting ready for school: “the shouting now includes shouting at the kids, shouting at myself and shouting at Ed because he is playing the piano and why is he not helping to find the swimming kit?”

The Morning Briefing email is edited by Tim Wigmore. Follow Tim on Twitter


Just because it’s Friday:

@chhcalling: Stealing windows is very intricate. It’s panes-taking work:


In the Telegraph

Fraser Nelson – The Tories’ loop of vengeance could sink their election hopes

Dan Hodges – Ed Miliband’s trade union reforms aren’t a loosening of control. They’re a power grab

Jeremy Warner – Argentina is no danger to the world – but the eurozone is

Telegraph View – There is no need for a ‘Battle of Orgreave’ inquiry

Best of the rest

Financial Times leader – An entente that is not very cordiale

Philip Collins in The Times – Empty Dave won’t be offering us any ideas

Daily Mail leader – Cameron’s showpiece Bill ends in a fiasco

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian – Giving 16-year-olds the vote can be Labour’s Great Reform Act


Today Anglo-French Summit

Today David Cameron gives a full press conference after 226 days

These Two are Winning the Internet in their Sleep



Last November, long-time blogger and mother of three, Jessica Shyba, visited an animal shelter with her kids in search of a puppy.

It was there, tucked between two siblings in the backyard of the Santa Cruz SPCA, that they saw him. Although the 7-week-old pup was the shyest of the group, he bounded instantly into her son Beau’s lap as soon as he entered their pen. They took Theo home that day.

After two days of crating—and crying—Theo decided to snuggle next to Beau during one of his afternoon naps and they’ve been napping together ever since. Posting portraits of the two napping on Instagram with the hashtag #theoandbeau was an instant hit and Shyba has seen her Instagram account explode in popularity as she approaches 315,000 followers at the time of this posting.

The surge in popularity has earned Shyba a book deal with Feiwel & Friends

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