Little pinecones Christmas trees

Pinecone Christmas Trees

inspired by Scissors and Spoons

Supplies

  • Pinecones
  • Green spray paint
  • Old wine corks
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Miniature wooden stars

Directions

  1. Spray paint the outer edges of the pinecone with green spray paint. Make it look like a real tree by leaving the inside brown. Let the paint dry.
  2. Cut a wine cork in half and hot glue it to the bottom of the pinecone. Let the glue dry.
  3. Hot glue the star to the top. Let it dry. Then enjoy!

All female protection team for Duchess of Cornwall

An all-female protection team flank British royal the Duchess of Cornwall, formerly known as Camilla Parker-Bowles, during a trip to the United Arab Emirates. The visit was part of a Middle Eastern tour with husband Prince Charles, as they visited Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

They were protected by a group of women dressed in the traditional hijab and abayas.

 The five are members of the UAE’s presidential guard, which includes a total of 50 women. The group protecting the Duchess are all between the ages of 29 and 30 and are highly skilled in martial arts training and combat techniques. Shaima, Nisreen and Hannan have even climbed Mount Everest.

Each woman has unidentified weapons hiding in her ensemble, ready to protect the Duchess.

camilia-duchess-cornwall-emirati-female-protection-team

Generous man cleans homeless persons’ clothes for a week

A laundromat owner spent every night for a week washing 1,000 pounds of homeless people’s laundry.

Samuel-Van-De-Cruze-Laundromat-cleaning-for-homeless

As a former social worker, Samuel Van De Cruze already knew about many of the challenges the homeless face. He also realized his new business could offer immediate help.

As an Easter gift to the community, he decided to pick up the laundry from the shelter near his building, each evening that week, and wash, dry, and fold it overnight, returning it by seven o’clock each of the following mornings.

Van De Cruz figures he saved the families money, and gave them clean clothes—and the free time to help them find a job, go to classes, or look for a permanent home.

Best ever chocolate brownies recipe

baked-brownie

Ingredients:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will become like a cake.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Free food for homeless people at Indian restaurant

Minu Pauline is the owner of ’’Pappadavada’, a famous restaurant in Kochi in India. One day, she saw a homeless woman eating leftover food from a trashcan. Pauline couldn’t help but feel moved by the site of this woman’s plight, and realized that she had to do something.

So she decided to put a fridge full of food right on the street for those who need it. The fridge is open 24/7, and anyone can take a free meal from it. Pauline adds 78-80 new meals there every day. Other local restaurants and people who care about the homeless also regularly fill the fridge up with food.

public-street-fridge-for-homeless-india

Fake milk splatter

april fools pranks fake milk on keyboard

For this prank, you’ll need:

– white glue, aka elmer’s glue

– a piece of glass, or any smooth surface

– soap, or any lubricant (cooking spray, etc.)

– knife

Instructions:

  • Your surface can be any smooth surface, like a piece of glass. Now take a your choice of lubricant (bar soap for me), and cover the surface.
    This makes the removal easier later.
  • With the surface ready, take a bottle of white glue and pour your milk splatter.
    You want to squirt out a nice thick layer of glue, that way it is easier to peel it off after it dries.april fools pranks fake milk on keyboard2
  • Now let it dry for a good 6 to 12 hours.
  • Once the glue dries, take a knife or anything with a sharp edge, and poke the edges around.
    After the thin strips are free, it should be easy to peel off the whole thing off your surface.
  • Now with your milk splatter in hand, you can place it on anything you want without harming anything.
    Try distracting your victim to the kitchen, then place the fake milk splatter on his/her laptop, and wait for some reaction!
    Enjoy!

Foundation gives dying people their last wish

Based in the Netherlands, the “Ambulance Wish Foundation helps to bring peace to people in their final days by granting them their last wish. It was founded by Mr Veldboer, who is an ambulance driver himself. The foundation employs a fleet of custom-built ambulances and always has highly trained medical staff on hand for emergencies.

Some of the dying people they help want to visit a touristic place or see exotic animals. But many just want to enjoy sunshine at the beach or go back to their home for a few hours.

Here are some of their granted wishes:

dying wish 1 “To see the sun set on the ocean one last time.”

dying wish 2“To enjoy a delicious ice-cream cone.”

dying wish 5“To be at my granddaughter’s wedding.”

dying wish 3“To say goodbye to the giraffe I took care of at the zoo where I worked.”

dying wish 4“To see the dolphins playing.”

dying wish 6“To see my favorite Rembrandt painting one last time.”

Women scientists

12 badass scientists(STEM : Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

“Everywhere you look, odds appear stacked against women in STEM. Young male scientists receive up to twice as much funding as their female counterparts in Boston’s biomedical research institutions, a global research hub. Only 30% of the world’s researchers are women, and women hold fewer than 25% of STEM jobs in the US. In fact, one recent survey found 67% of Europeans and 93% of Chinese respondents don’t even believe women have the skills to do science — and Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Tim Hunt thinks women cause ‘trouble’ in the lab.

But take a look at the above portrait, which was taken by photographer Bret Hartman at the TED Fellows Retreat in Pacific Grove, California in August 2015. These 12 scientists represent a range of disciplines — from astrophysics, biology, genetics, archaeology, medicine, glaciology, data science and more — and represent 5 countries around the world. They also happen to all be women. And while a portrait like this one shouldn’t be extraordinary in 2015, it sadly is — highlighting a very real, very large gender gap in the sciences.”

To read a short profile on each of these inspiring scientists, check out Karen Eng’s article at http://bit.ly

Meet the peanut-turtle!

This turtle (a red-eared slider) was found wandering the St. Louis area in 1993 with a six-pack ring trapped around his mid-section.

Due to the constriction of his shell, some of Peanut’s internal organs (his lungs, in particular) failed to grow properly. He was an easy pray for predators so he could not be released into nature.

turtle Peanut 6 packHe has become the official mascot for Missouri’s Department of Transportation and Department of Conservation’s anti-littering effort, a program called No MOre Trash.

This is what Peanut looks like now:

turtle Peanut 6 pack 2Whether it’s turtles in six-pack rings or squirrels in yogurt containers, what happens to our trash and how we dispose of it matters.

Here are a few other common household items to watch out for: any fishing line, or plastic lines, because animals can get tangledin them, not just in the water, but also birds or squirrels. And be mindful of balloons when they pop outside. Birds and other animals may ingest them and die.

Every little effort counts ! Remember to cut up plastic packaging in small pieces when you put them in the bin, and avoid using plastic bags or balloons.

More here: Upworthy-Peanut story

Woman chief in Mawali, Africa, bans child marriages and send the kids back to school

Child marriages annuled Malawi

As Malawi’s Nyasa Times reports, in April, the African nation Malawi raised the minimum age of marriage to 18 years old. One might wonder, however, “What about the legions of underage children who were legally wed before the law took effect?

Well, one of the regional chiefs in Malawi – an elder woman who goes by the name Inkosi Kachindamoto – annulled the marriages of more than 300 youth in her district and sent them back to school.

In addition, she fired several village heads who had sanctioned the unions.

Child advocates around the world cheered on the effort to encourage girl education and abolish early marriages as soon as the news circulated.

Knowing the value education has in helping to empower citizens and strengthen the mind, the Senior chief terminated 330 marriages, of which 175 were girl-wives and 155 were boy-fathers. Those chldren were sent to school instead.

Said 18-year-old Malawian Memory Banda to The Guardian:

“Marriage is often the end for girls like me. But if our leaders will invest in us and give us the chance to be educated, we will become women who create a better society for everyone.”

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com

Native American women fighting for their culture

“Native Americans represent just one per cent of the US population and some languages have only one speaker left. Now a new generation is fighting to preserve the culture.” In an excellent piece in Marie Claire magazine, you can meet a few of the women leading that fight, including 22-year-old Sage Honga, pictured here, who wants to encourage young people to leave the reservation, get an education, and then return home to make a difference in the community: “My tribe, the Hualapai people, is so small that I want to be a role model to show my community and youth that it is possible to come off our land and do big things.”

Another woman featured, 30-year-old Evereta Thinn, a member of the Diné or Navajo tribe, aspires to open a language and cultural immersion school for young people. She explains, “Knowing who you are as a Native, know the teachings from your elders and engraining them as you go out into the modern world is how you maintain that balance… once the language fades, the culture will slowly start to go too. If the younger generations cannot speak the language, how will they be equipped to make decisions on policies and protect our tribes in the future?”

You can read more about Sage, Evereta, and other Native American women fighting to preserve their culture on Marie Claire here.

Toys representing handicapped children

The “Toy Like Me” campaign have asked to have more toys representing children with handicaps or disablilities. That way those kids ca, have dolls and characters they can relate to in a positive way, which is good for their image.

toys handicap

This is a recent message from the Playmobil Company in the UK:

“We always take on board a lot of feedback from children and fans across the world and design our toys to reflect this. The “Toy Like Me” campaign has been inspiring for us – we’ve listened to our audience and are delighted to offer our full support.

We are in the planning stages to release a PLAYMOBIL set which will include characters with disabilities, with part of the profits to be donated to a charity hand-selected by “Toy Like Me”. And moving forward, we will be looking into including more characters with disabilities in our ranges.

We receive a lot of positive comments from guardians of deaf and disabled children on how well our toys stimulate their learning and creativity, so we are thrilled to be able to champion their representation in the toy box.”

Playmobil handicap

 

Bullied “dancing man” is to have the party of a lifetime with Pharrell Williams and Moby

A man who was mocked for dancing, with his picture uploaded online, will be the center of a VIP dance party with nearly 2,000 women – thanks to the internet.

Someone posted a split-screen image to an online forum, with one side showing a picture of the man dancing, the other with him standing there looking down at the ground. The poster captioned it “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

That’s when an online group of women in LA decided they wanted to reach out to the so-called “Dancing Man.” One of the women, known as Cassandra, tweeted out the picture asking for help identifying the man, saying the group of women wanted to throw him a special dance party.

Several hours later, someone tweeted them a picture of what appeared to be Dancing Man. Cassandra wrote she was able to get a message to him online, and he sent a photo to confirm his identity  and his real name, Sean. He also said he’d gladly accept their invitation to a dance party.

“My conversation with Sean has restored my faith in humanity,” Cassandra wrote. “Despite this cruel attempt to shame an innocent man, at the end of our talk, he said ‘Big-hearted people far outweight the small minded, every day of the week.”

The search for Dancing Man quickly went viral online, with many people joining the effort to help fund the party or offer services. Musician Moby tweeted he would DJ the party for free. And even pop star Pharell tweeted him and said he would attempt the party.

dancing-man

Because I am a girl… I deserve an education!

This is what Michelle Obama has to say about this program:

“Right now, 62 million girls across the globe are not in school. These girls are our future doctors, teachers, and entrepreneurs – they are the dreamers and visionaries who could change the world as we know it if they just had the chance to get the education they need.

This issue is personal for me, because I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. And I refuse to just sit back and accept the barriers that keep them from realizing their boundless promise.

That is why I am thrilled to announce that we’re expanding our efforts to “Let Girls Learn” with a new, community-focused girls’ education initiative across the globe. Through this new effort, we’ll be collaborating with the Peace Corps to support hundreds of new community projects – from building school libraries to creating girls’ technology camps – to help girls go to school and stay in school.”

via Because I Am A Girl on Vimeo.

Blind man sees his wife with bionic eye

After being fitted with a “bionic eye,” a blind man has been able to see his wife again for the first time in a decade, and they are both pretty overwhelmed…

The device needs further adjustment alongside some physical therapy. However, Mr Zderad can already see things like human forms and outlines of objects in intermittent flashes, and is even able to see his own reflection as a silhouette. He will probably never be able to see the details of faces, but he will be able to navigate his way around without a cane, which is a big boost to his quality of life.

“What an exciting, emotional thing to say:  ‘Yes, that is my wife,’” Zderad said. “I am grateful they made this as much about the person as the technology.”

via Mayo Clinic patient’s first impressions with bionic eye – YouTube.

‘I Can’t Breathe’ – Congressman’s tribute to Eric Garner

Wednesday night, a grand jury in New York City refused to indict police officers in the killing of Eric Garner, a man who died after officers used an illegal chokehold on him. The decision set off protests across the country.Some in Congress have already expressed their solidarity with Garner.

Hank Johnson, the sponsor of legislation to curb police militarization, made a moving tribute to Garner, including the phrase, “I can’t breathe” between each statement—the phrase  Eric Garner said as he was being strangled, and which has since become a rallying cry for protesters.

▶ WATCH: ‘I Can’t Breathe’ – Congressman’s Incredible Tribute to Eric Garner on House Floor – YouTube.

Here’s the full text of Johnson’s tribute:

“Black men and boys killed by police.

I can’t breathe.

Impunity for the killers—no justice, no peace.

I can’t breathe.

Militarized police met peaceful protesters on their knees.

I can’t breathe.

Weapons of war—a show of force on our streets.

I can’t breathe.

Disenfranchised youth driven to violence as speech.

I can’t breathe.

Cynical media think this makes great TV.

I can’t breathe.

This cowardly Congress afraid of losing our seats.

I can’t breathe.

Half-hearted reform when there’s more that we need.

I can’t breathe.

Just thinking about the despair that this breeds.

I can’t breathe.

Black lives matter. Hear my pleas.

I can’t breathe.

Muslim prayer in American national cathedral

Muslim prayer in American cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral, considered the United States’ “national prayer house,” hosted a Muslim service Friday, the first such event in the sanctuary’s history.

Muslim prayer rugs were laid and “the Arabic call to prayer echoed among the vaulted stone arches,” which the dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, called “a beautiful sacred language in a beautiful sacred space,” according to The Washington Post.

Welcoming the worshipers, director of liturgy Rev. Canon Gina Gilland Campbell said, “Salaam, shalom, peace. You are all so very welcome here.” She also used the occasion to issue an impassioned call for interfaith understanding, saying, “Let us stretch our hearts and let us seek to deepen mercy for we worship the same God.”

Christian and Muslim leaders also spoke about the need for religious dialogue and harmony, including South Africa’s Muslim Ambassador to the U.S. Ebhraim Rasool, co-organizer of the event. Rasool used the sermon, or Khutba, to call for the protection of Christians in the Middle East, as well as greater Muslim tolerance for other religions, saying: “I think that we must return to the Muslim prophetic tradition in which the Prophet, may peace be upon him, invited Christians to his own mosque that he established in Medina – and said to them, you can pray here.”

Islam is the third-largest religion in the United States, behind Christianity and Judaism, and with at least 2.6 million adherents, constitutes approximately 0.8% of the country’s population.

 

Banksy filmed live

▶ Banksy filmed live by The Sunday Times – YouTube.

Here are some extracts from his interview:

“I still paint graffiti because I genuinely think the side of a canal is a more interesting place to have art than a museum. And the fact of the matter is, if you exhibit in a gallery you have to compete against Rembrandt, but if you paint down an alley you only have to compete against a dustbin. I guess it’s the art equivalent of hanging around with fat people to make yourself look thin.”

“I did art at school but I never pursued it any further. I have a large collection of famous art at home, but they’re all fakes. I make them myself. If I like a picture I grab a photo, project it up and paint it. Sometimes I change the colours to fit with the curtains. I do it partly because I’m tight and partly because if the Basquiats and Picassos in the sitting room were real I’d be too scared to ever leave the house.

“I recommend graffiti to anyone, for no other reason than a trip across town is never boring — you’re always on the lookout for new spots and what you can do on them. Likewise, if you ever get bored going round a museum, the interest level ramps up substantially when you smuggle in your own piece under a coat and glue it up somewhere.”

“I don’t make as much money as people think. The commercial galleries that have held exhibitions of my paintings are nothing to do with me. And I certainly don’t see money from the T-shirts, mugs and greeting cards. My lawyer calls me ‘the most infringed artist alive’ and wants me to do something about it. But if you’ve built a reputation on having a casual attitude towards property ownership, it seems a bit bad-mannered to kick off about copyright law.”

Urban fairies and their little doors around town…

In the little American town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, exists a secret world that very few people are aware of. -fairy-clipart-1If you look carefully around town, you’ll notice itty bitty doors placed on the side of buildings. They are urban fairy houses…

Jonathan B. Wright, children’s books author, started creating little fairy doors in his home in 1993 for his own children (two daughters). Then in 2005, the first little door appeared in a public place in his city, and many others followed.

CottageDoorTHUMB bookshop CottageDoorTHUMB green CottageDoorTHUMB home CottageDoorTHUMB libraryCottageDoorTHUMBred shoes

They can be on the side of a real-size door, in a side street, inside a shop, on any place really (a restaurant, a school, a public library…). Sometimes they are outside, right in the middle of a wall, and sometimes you stumble upon them as you are looking up a fairytale book in the town library!

CottageDoorTHUMB wall

CottageDoor library

If you walk around this town you may pass them by without noticing them.

cottage-door-passerby

Some people have installed a fairy house door in their own home or garden. We don’t know if any fairies have set up houses there…

CottageDoorTHUMBchild

CottageDoortree

You can use this link to find out more about Jonathan Wright and the fairy doors of Ann Arbor:

http://urban-fairies.com/locationspages/

A dying wish to say goodbye… to her horse

Sheila Marsh’s dying wish was to say goodbye to the horse she loved for 25 years. Staff at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan wheeled her bed to the car park. Nurse Gail Taylor explains what happened next: “The horse, Bronwen, walked steadily towards Sheila. Sheila gently called to Bronwen and the horse bent down tenderly and kissed her on the cheek as they said their last goodbyes.” Sheila passed away hours later.
dying horse farewell

Queen Elisabeth gives Angelina Jolie medal

Jolie receiving DCMG

Ms. Angelina Jolie was received by The Queen when Her Majesty presented her with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.

This honour was awarded her in recognition of Angelina Jolie’s campaigning against sexual violence in war zones. Angelina Jolie is a United Nation special envoy. She is also the best-paid American actress, famous for her role as Lara Croft.

Angelina Jolie’s husband, actor Brad Pitt, and their six children, went to Buckingham palce with her and met the Queen too.

Kurdish women fighters against IS

kurdish women fighters

“We either die or win. No fighter is leaving,” Esmat al-Sheikh, leader of the Kobani Defence Authority, told Reuters. “The world is watching, just watching and leaving these monsters to kill everyone, even children…but we will fight to the end with what weapons we have.”

Some people have more motivation than others. Those people include women. A very large percentage of the YPG fighters are  women. (YPG: the Kurdish People’s Protection Units)

I asked her about YPG’s women’s wing, the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), and the women fighters coming from Turkey. She said Kurdish women were as equally involved in defense affairs as in social services. “We have set up training camps for women in all three cantons. Women are active in all fronts,” she said. “Of the first 20 martyrs we had when IS attacked Kobani, 10 were women. Last year, of our 700 YPG martyrs, 200 were women…”

I reminded Nimet of the legends we hear of IS militants fearing to encounter women fighters. She replied, “This is not a myth but reality. I personally met IS fighters face-to-face. They believe they won’t go to paradise if they are killed by women. That is why they flee when they see women fighters.”

From The AlterNet

Scotland votes NO to independence

Scotland NO

Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters said no to independence.

The Yes camp has had some victories, including in Glasgow and Dundee, but not enough to secure victory overall.

Talks will now begin on giving more powers to Scotland.

Pro-UK Alistair Darling says Scotland has “chosen unity over division”

After weeks of campaigning across the country, Scottish voters made their decision yesterday by answering yes or no to the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

It was the first time people aged 16 and 17 were allowed to vote in a UK referendum.

85% of people registered turned up to vote – a record high for an election or referendum.

The final margin of victory for the pro-UK Better Together campaign was 55% to 45%.

Scotland has been part of the UK for more than 300 years, so the vote was a huge moment for the country.

MPs from the three main political parties in Westminster say – even with a NO vote the result will mean big changes across the UK.

The leader of the ‘Yes’ campaign, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has accepted defeat and called on Westminster to deliver on their promise of more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, says he’s congratulated Alistair Darling, who is the leader of pro-UK Better Together campaign.

from CBBC Newsround

Deer crossing Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

▶ WATCH: Deer Crossing Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco | Deer Running Across The Golden Gate Bridge – YouTube.

SAUSALITO , California. — Two northbound deer briefly stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge Friday night as they made a run for the hills of Marin County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The deer, reported at 5:24 p.m., appear to have entered the bridge from the south.

more-deer.jpg
The two deer brought traffic to a halt in three lanes of traffic.

Drivers appeared to have slowed behind the animals, leaving the lanes clear in front of them.

“They pretty much created their own traffic break,” police officer Barclay said, noting that northbound traffic tends to be backed up and slower around 5:30 p.m. anyway.

“That could be what saved the deer from getting hurt,” he added. “If it was lighter traffic the cars would have been moving faster.”

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Barack Obama visits Stonehenge in England

Barack Obama in Stonehenge visit on return from NATO summit – BBC News

President Obama at Stonehenge The President made an unannounced visit to Stonehenge on his journey back to Washington

US President Barack Obama paid a visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the NATO summit in Newport.

The White House said that the presidential helicopter Marine One made an unannounced stop at Boscombe Down Airbase, Wiltshire before his motorcade drove to the ancient monument.

The president was then given a guided tour by curator Heather Sebire.

English Heritage, which manages the site, said it was “an honour” to host the president.

General manager of Stonehenge, Kate Davies said: “His office told us the president was very interested to see the iconic monument for himself.

“Every day people from all over the world make the trip to the ancient stones but this visit was a particularly special one.”

Ms Sebire said Mr Obama “was fascinated by the story of the stones, what we know about them and the mysteries that have yet to be solved.

“He described the atmosphere around the stones as ‘really special’ and his visit to Stonehenge as ‘a highlight of my tour’.

“It was a beautiful still evening and it was a privilege to show the US president around this unique monument which continues to inspire and intrigue people.”