Another Leftist-Free Story That’s Sure To Warm Your Heart (Video)

The ‘Incredible’ Thing An 8-Year-Old Boy Did For A Soldier Will Be Remembered For A ‘Lifetime’ – The Blaze

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Like most 8-year-olds, Myles Eckert was already dreaming up ways he could spend a $20 bill he had just discovered laying in a Cracker Barrel parking lot earlier this month.

“I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” the child recounted to CBS News.

That’s because Eckert saw Lt. Col. Frank Dailey enter the restaurant. The man in uniform changed his mind.

Why?

“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Eckert explained to CBS.

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So, instead of purchasing something for himself, Eckert did something very different on Feb. 7. Something Dailey says he will remember for “a lifetime.”

The 8-year-old boy wrapped the $20 bill in a note he had authored to the solider.

“Dear Soldier – my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now,” the note said. “I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”

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Eckert’s father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert, had been killed in Iraq when he was only a few weeks old. The 8-year-old can only think of what he was like.

“I imagine him as a really nice person and somebody that would be really fun,” he told CBS News.

That February day, Eckert even asked his mother to go visit his father.

“He wanted to go see his dad,” said his mother Tiffany. “And he wanted to go by himself that day.”

She took a photograph of her son visiting his father’s grave.

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Dailey, touched by the Eckert’s gesture, said he looks at the note he received each day.

“It’s incredible being recognized in such a manner,” he said, adding that the child’s simple gift has provided him “a lifetime of direction.”

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Incredible Photos Of Australia’s Wide Ranging Weather Make It Look Like An Alien Planet

It’s A Different World Down Under: Incredible Photos Of Australia’s Wide Ranging Weather Make It Look Like An Alien Planet – Daily Mail

This incredible series of photographs showcases nature at its deadliest and most beautiful.

The collection was put together by the Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, who invited photographers to send in their best best weather pictures.

And they responded with a staggering selection of natural history shots including lightning bolts, fire tornadoes and even that rarest phenomenon in Australia – snow.

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A Roll cloud over Warrnambool, south-west Victoria, photographed by Robin Sharrock – the calendar’s January photo

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Cumulonimbus cloud behind a canola crop near Mullaley, central New South Wales – the February photo

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Aurora Australis and a roll cloud over Contos Beach, south of Margaret River, Western Australia – the calendar’s March photo

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January shows a roll cloud taken over Warrnambool in south-west Victoria.

Photographer Robin Sharrock looked out his window one morning to see the giant tube shaped cloud which was forming ahead of a thunderstorm.

He said: “I just looked up in the sky and said ‘Holy crap. What the hell is that?’ I was absolutely gobsmacked.

It was absolutely the most astounding thing I’ve ever seen. It was this great big thing that I hadn’t ever seen before. It was right above my house, right overhead.”

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A condensation trail cuts through a cloud with virga at Echunga, in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia – the April photograph

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A giant waterspout over Bateman’s Bay, as seen from Maloneyís Beach, New South Wales – the calendar’s May photo

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Floodwaters awaken a desert river near Sturts Meadow, New South Wales, flowing towards Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) – the calendar’s June photo

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Colin Legg shot the Southern Lights, also now as the Aurora Australis, which is March’s featured photo.

Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, the multi-coloured displays of light are rarely seen on the Australian mainland.

The pink, red, purple and green colours of auroras occur when high-powered, charged particles erupted from the sun collide with molecules such as oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere.

Colin, a geologist from Perth, said: ‘Everything has to line up. You have to have the coronal hole or solar flare, the moon less than half, clear weather, and you need Australia on the right side of the earth.

‘I actually got all the variations, first of all orange and yellow, then I got some green at the bottom, and then I got pinks and purples, and then at the very end I got red.

‘That’s why it’s so incredible to chase, because the chances of seeing that amazing colour in the sky is such a reward.’

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Thunder in the morning: Storm clouds gather over Mount Isa in north-west Queensland – the July photo

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This red, circular sky formation is a complex lenticular cloud near Spreyton, northern Tasmania – the August photo calendar

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Snow covers Joe Rocks Road, Bungendore, in Australian Capital Territory – the calendar’s September photograph

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Shorty Westlin captured the intimidating waterspout on Maloney’s Beach in New South Wales with his shot taking May in the calendar.

Waterspouts occur on the coast when cool, humid air is warmed as it passes over warm waters, and rises.

In the right conditions, such as during stormy weather, the vigorously rising air can converge and tighten into a jaw-dropping spinning column.

Shorty, from Canberra, said: ‘Everyone else had a view of it on the water, but from where I was, it looks like it’s on land and coming in.’

While waterspouts are not generally as violent as tornadoes and usually break down soon after crossing the coast, they can be a serious threat to boaters.

The incredible calendar is produced by the not-for-profit Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. More details are available here.

It also features a terrifying fire tornado which was taken in Alice Springs by filmmaker Chris Tangey and a dazzling lightning storm in Perth.

The images selected for the calendar represent each state and territory and aim to promote a broader understanding of the science of meteorology.

More than 700 submissions were received in total for the hotly-contested photography competition, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year.

Click here to buy the calendar.

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A fiery ‘willy willy’ – or tornado – pulls red-orange braids of fire into the air near Mount Conner, Northern Territory – the calendar’s October photo

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Lightning between the Perth suburbs of Beachborough and Caversham – the November photo for the calendar

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A double rainbow and supernumerary rainbow span the Melbourne suburb of West Brunswick soon after the passage of a storm front – the December photo

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Incredible: Pack Of Wolves Act Like Playful Beagles Around Wildlife Photographer (Pictures / Video)

Kissing With Wolves: Incredible Moment Photographer Is Jumped By A Pack Of Gigantic Grays Who Then Nuzzle Him – Daily Mail

They are known as some of the wildest predators in the animal kingdom.

But you wouldn’t think it watching this video.

In a bizarre clip that is both heart-warming and strange, five grey wolves kiss and cuddle a photographer – who is happy to join the pile of love.

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The pack starts by circling each other and wild life photographer Monty Sloan on a lake-side green at the Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana.

Mr Sloan is poised to take a picture but it seems he cannot resist returning the sharp-fanged animals’ affection.

Alarmingly, in the Park’s description of the pack, they explain that they are ‘very friendly’ to their prey – but sources insist this was a moment of genuine affection.

‘Wolves do not growl or snarl at their prey,’ the guide explains, ‘It would be like a human getting angry at an ice cream cone he or she was about to eat! Wolves who are hunting look very excited and happy, even “friendly”.’

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But tumbling around on the floor, these animals show no sign of cunning.

They climb on each other to lick his face and nuzzle his head.

Incredibly, the fearless animal lover kisses them back.

Eventually the group roll onto the floor, where the snuggling continues.

Mr Sloan juggles the excitable hounds with his camera as he flounders underneath the doting pile.

The scenes completely contradict normal behavior for the carnivorous breed, which feeds off mammals.

Unlike their cousins – dogs – these animals are instinctively wild, with a strict code of conduct based on hierarchy within their pack.

There is one line of rank for males and one for females.

The alpha male and female lead their packs.

Second in command is the beta male or female.

At the bottom is the omega wolf – a scapegoat.

Although there are leaders and weaklings, it is not always survival of the fittest. It is always the hungriest that gets to eat first, not necessarily the biggest.

Working together, they ensure each member has a role to play and none are neglected.

Contrary to popular belief, wild wolves are not dangerous.

Naturally afraid of humans, they scarper in an instant, making them ‘safe’.

However, domesticated wolves and hybrid breeds are notoriously violent as they have lost their fear.

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Check Out The Incredible Paintings That Are Often Mistaken For Photographs

Picture-Perfect! These Incredible Portraits Are Detailed Paintings Which Take Up To Three Months To Complete And Are Often Mistaken For Photographs – Daily Mail

At first glance, these fascinating images look like an incredibly detailed collection of photographs.

However, they are in fact stunning paintings by talented artist Craig Wylie.

Mr Wylie can spend up to three months grafting away on each of his masterpieces.

His portraits capture the tiniest details from his subject’s face, from the dimples in their cheeks to any wrinkles around the eyes.

Using just pencils, oil paints and charcoal, he creates his works of art on large canvasses – the largest he has done measured 6.5ft by 9.8ft.

Mr Wylie used his talents to paint a portrait of double gold Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.

The opportunity came about after the painter won the BP Portrait Prize – an annual portraiture competition held by the National Portrait Gallery – in 2008.

Mr Wylie, 39, who lives in London, said: ‘Kelly was pleased with my portrait of her.

‘Initially though, she was a little daunted by the size and level of detail of it, as anyone would be looking at an image that size of themselves.

‘I admit I’m not a great flatterer when it comes to portraits, but Dame Kelly did thank me for doing a good job.’

Mr Wylie tries to sell most of his works once he has completed them, he has previously sold one painting for as much as £30,000.

The skilled painter has been making large head-based portraits for the last six years and many of his subjects are friends.

He works from images on his laptop screen and he says the ability to zoom in to extreme close-ups of the images is crucial.

Working from a computer screen means he can access detail that would normally be available to the naked eye.

Mr Wylie was born in Zimbabwe and studied fine art in South Africa before he moved permanently to the UK in 1998.

The artist added: ‘I painted and drew and was exposed to all kinds of art from a young age.

‘My mother was an artist and she always had art materials knocking about while my brother and I were growing up – we made lots of pretty messes.

‘I only decided to make art my profession after starting a journalism degree and deciding it wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

‘Once I had made the change to a fine arts degree, I gave it everything as I knew how difficult it would be to make it as a painter.

‘And thankfully I have received prizes steadily throughout my career, the last and most notable was the 2008 BP Portrait Award of which I was very proud.’

Mr Wylie is now looking forward to his next solo exhibition which will be held at the Plus One Gallery in Chelsea, London from early April.

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The Incredible Sketches Which Look Just Like Digital Photographs

The Incredible Sketches Which Look Just Like Digital Photographs – Daily Mail

On first glance, these stripped-back images of well-known figures look like beautifully shot photographs.

In fact, each one is an incredibly detailed pencil drawing.

Their astonishing realism is rapidly making their young artist as famous as his subjects – who include Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

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Kelvin Okafur, 27, graduated from Middlesex University in fine art and is now making waves across the country.

His subjects include popular music artists Tinie Tempah, James Morrison and Adele.

He has also picked out tragic figures from actor Heath Ledger to the late King of Jordan, King Hussein – and with each, he tries to evoke an emotion in the viewer.

Finally, he has used friends and colleagues for the impressively accurate images, which look like soft focus digital photos.

Last year, the artist from Tottenham, north London, exhibited at numerous major art galleries and won a clutch of prestigious national awards for his remarkable work.

Each of his pieces takes around 80-100 hours to complete, over approximately three weeks in the studio.

Mr. Okafor creates each piece only in black and white – using graphite pencils, charcoal, black coloured pencil and sometimes grey pastels.

Yet he believes that the range of tone, shade and texture is almost endless.

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He draws on a combination of life and photographs, working on his art for up to 15 hours a day.

He admits he is ‘passionate about precision’.

‘I aspire to create art as vivid as eyes could see,’ the artist writes on his blog.

‘I want my drawings to prompt an emotional response, making viewers feel as though they are looking at a real live subject.

Mr Okafor describes the pencil as ‘a humble instrument’, but says this is part of its appeal.

‘I’ve always been creative, but fell in love with using pencils in particular.

‘It amazed me, that with only one shade of lead, you can create so many tones and textures, and almost create the illusion of colour.

‘It was only when my images started to create a buzz with other Middlesex University students that I realised their impact.’

He was selected as one of the top two pieces of work at Cork Street Gallery’s Winter Show in 2012 and recently won the Catherine Petitgas Visitors’ Choice Prize, part of the National Open Art Competition.

His work is currently on display at the The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair at the London Science Museum, until February 3.

Before starting a piece, Mr Okafor spends a few days analysing a photo, concentrating first on the subject’s eyes, which are central to his works’ impact.

His pieces are now selling for on average £8,000-£10,000, depending on the scale.

‘The attention I’m receiving is surreal and hasn’t really sunk in yet,’ he added.

‘I’m usually sheltered from it in my studio as I continue to build my portfolio, but I’m really humbled and honoured that so many people appreciate my work.

‘I hope to have my own gallery in the future.’

He has now had more than 50 commissions, and the dedicated artist cites his role models as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo – because they not only mastered the arts but branched out into other fields including engineering, poetry, science and maths.

Twitter users describe his work as ‘incredible’, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘astounding’.

The talented artist is gaining a large following and has made videos showing the evolution of his work, to illustrate just how each one is created.

Even so, the extent of his skill is truly breathtaking.

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Can You Spot The ‘Invisible Animal’? Incredible Images Show Nature’s Disappearing Act When Predators Are Near

Can You Spot The ‘Invisible Animal’? Incredible Images Show Nature’s Disappearing Act When Predators Are Near – Daily Mail

Whether they are hunters or the hunted, these cunning animals are all masters of disguise who can fool even the most beady-eyed passer by into believing they are not there.

Some hide under lily pads, some dissolve into the bark of a tree while others slip seamlessly into the snow, either to hide from a hungry predator or silently stalk an unwitting prey.

But the one thing from which they cannot hide is the all-seeing camera lens of photographer Art Wolfe.

He has spent over 35 years roaming the deserts of Africa, the rainforests of South America, the mountains of the United States and snow plains of Canada to capture wildlife at its most invisible.


It’s white in front of you! A willow ptarmigan in winter plumage, hidden on a brushy slope near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The animals are trying their utmost to fool predators but that’s not enough to deceive international photographer Art Wolfe

He has travelled through every continent in the world in tireless pursuit of more subjects for his chef-d’oeuvre ‘Vanishing Act’ that dates back to the 1980s.

Art said: ‘Throughout my career as a nature photographer, I have challenged myself to present new perspectives on well-documented subjects.

‘Like most of my projects this collection has been a long time in the making.

‘Finding and filming animals on location is an exhilarating and painstaking process. I’m still adding to the project even now.

‘Conventional wildlife photography calls for isolating the subject by selective focus, this way the animal is clearly defined.


Having a giraffe: A Giraffe in Transvaal, South Africa. Wolfe’s 35-year career has spanned every continent as he has followed his passion for the environment


ee the wolf from the trees: A wolf peering out from behind a tree trunk in an autumn Montana forest


Eye spy: A spectacled caiman in Llanos, Venezuela. Wolfe works to make it visually challenging to the viewer by using depth of field, scale and placement and confusing the subject


Cunning tricks: A Great Horned Owl uses colour in its plumage to disappear in a temperate forest in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, left, while an American Pika performs a vanishing act in the Cascade Range of Washington, right


Leaf me alone: A Mealy or Blue-crowned parrot disappears like just another leaf in the lush Central American rainforest, Chan Chich, Belize

‘Photographers always want to show off their subject. And yet, is this really the way an animal is viewed by the human eye? Not quite.

‘We don’t have the isolating abilities that a telephoto lens provides. On most occasions an animal remains somewhat concealed by the clutter of its natural habitat-a necessity of survival for both predator and prey.

‘I have basically employed three different photographic approaches and purposely worked to enhance the difficulty to find the camouflaged subject-as difficult as it is in the wild to see animals that do not want to be seen.


Snake eyes: A horned adder matches the colour of the sand in the Namib Desert, Namibia, where they bury themselves using a swimming motion to disappear beneath the hot surface


Can you spot me? A Leopard conceals herself in vegetation at the base of a tree in Kruger National Park, Transvaal, South Africa


Rock and hole: A gyrfalcon at their nest built on a cliff, left, and a California Ground Squirrel blends in with its rocky environment, right


Bark and hide: A Great Gray Owl positions itself in front of a similar pattern to take advantage of his camouflage in Oregon, United States

‘Since it is impossible to capture all the distractions to the senses of an entire landscape in a photo, I worked to make it visually challenging by using depth of field, scale and placement and confusing the subject.’

Art is also a successful book publisher and television producer. He has published at least one book a year since 1989.

The 61-year-old from Seattle said: ‘It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.’


Invisible: A male Spotted Deer disappears among sun-dappled vegetation in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, India


Stop monkeying around: A family of Japanese Macaques disappear amid their rocky habitat on Honshu Island, Japan


I’m white over here! White-tailed Ptarmigan in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada


The long grass: An Impala hiding in vegetation in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, Africa


A sandy place to hide: A cheetah cub disguised against the Kalahari Desert, South Africa


Water good place to hide: A Common Snipe, well hidden in the shoreline vegetation of a Minnesota stream


Painstaking: Mr Wolfe, right, says finding and filming animals on location, such as this wandering tattler chick in Wrangell-Saint Ellias National Park, left, is ‘an exhilarating and painstaking process’


Out of sight hawk: A nighthawk resting on rocks where it blends into its surroundings in eastern Washington


Snow way I’ll be spotted here: A coyote camouflaged in the surrounding brush at the edge of a snow dusted field, Washington State, USA


Precarious perch: Two Klipspringers camouflaged against a rocky outcrop in Chobe, Botswana


Branching out: A well-concealed blue dacnis takes a rest in foliage in Panama

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