“Fly”

Prague, Czech Republic (Photo: Peter Georg Kozdon, 20.05.2018)

The housefly (Musca domestica) is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha. It is believed to have evolved in the Cenozoic Era, possibly in the Middle East, and has spread all over the world as a commensal of humans. It is the most common fly species found in houses. Adults are gray to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. They have red eyes, set farther apart in the slightly larger female.

The female housefly usually mates only once and stores the sperm for later use. She lays batches of about 100 eggs on decaying organic matter such as food wastecarrion, or feces. These soon hatch into legless white larvae, known as maggots. After two to five days of development, these metamorphose into reddish-brown pupae, about 8 millimetres (38 inch) long. Adult flies normally live for two to four weeks, but can hibernate during the winter. The adults feed on a variety of liquid or semi-liquid substances, as well as solid materials which have been softened by their saliva. They can carry pathogens on their bodies and in their feces, contaminate food, and contribute to the transfer of food-borne illnesses, while, in numbers, they can be physically annoying. For these reasons, they are considered pests.

In literature

The Impertinent Insect is a group of five fables, sometimes ascribed to Aesop, concerning an insect, in one version a fly, which puffs itself up to seem important. In the Biblical fourth plague of Egyptflies represent death and decay, while the Philistine god Beelzebub‘s name may mean “lord of the flies”. In Greek mythologyMyiagros was a god who chased away flies during the sacrifices to Zeus and Athena; Zeus sent a fly to bite Pegasus, causing Bellerophon to fall back to Earth when he attempted to ride the winged steed to Mount Olympus. In the traditional Navajo religion, Big Fly is an important spirit being.

William Blake‘s 1794 poem “The Fly”, part of his collection Songs of Experience, deals with the insect’s mortality, subject to uncontrollable circumstances, just like humans. Emily Dickinson‘s 1855 poem “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” speaks of flies in the context of death. In William Golding‘s 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, the fly is, however, a symbol of the children involved.

Ogden Nash‘s humorous two-line 1942 poem “God in His wisdom made the fly/And then forgot to tell us why.” indicates the debate about the value of biodiversity, given that even those considered by humans as pests have their place in the world’s ecosystems.

(Quelle: Wikipedia)

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The appearance of insects, including flies, is an inseparable sign of the arrival of warmer days. This year, I think I’m going even to liking flies too, if only it means the end of winter, and the resulting reduction in colds and illnesses caused by viruses

“Torturer”

Bardejov, Słovakia (Photo: Gosia Sachse, 18.08.2017 r.)

Bardejov is a historic small Slovak town, whose square is inscribed on the UNESCO list. It is considered the most beautiful town in Slovakia with rich culture and magnificent architecture. Bardejov is also known as the Hangman’s Town, because, according to legend, there was once an executioner’s school here. Today in the old town we can see a statue of the Hangman, who guards the town and dispenses justice.

They say that the prince who ruled in medieval Bardejov issued a special decree that all dishonesty and thievery would be punished by death. The executioner in Bardejov was a well-known and respected person. It was believed that his authority came from God, in church he sat in a special bench near the altar.

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Nowadays, the word “executioner” has a singular pejorative meaning. For victims of domestic violence in particular, the mere evocation of the image of their executioner in their minds causes various anxiety feelings. In this context the billboard slogan “Love each other mom and dad”, promoted by SYCHAR, which has flooded Polish cities in recent days, sounds like a slap in the face of the victims of domestic violence. The emotional manipulation that has been perpetrated in this billboard action is striking. For years, child psychologists have been making a clear diagnosis: for the proper development of a child, love and a sense of security are essential. These two things cannot be provided by a person who uses violence. It doesn’t matter, if it is a physical, psychological, financial, emotional or any other art of violence. Let us protect ourselves and our youngest children and run away from violent people as far as we can.

“A woman’s body”

Rosengarten, Werda, Germany (Photo: Gosia Sachse vel Głowacka, 16.07.2016)

woman is an adult female human. The term woman may also refer to a girl (a female child or adolescent). The plural women is sometimes used for female humans regardless of age, as in phrases such as “women’s rights.”

Typically, a woman has two X chromosomes and is capable of pregnancy and giving birth from puberty until menopause. Female anatomy, as distinguished from male anatomy, includes the fallopian tubesovariesuterusvulvabreastsSkene’s glands, and Bartholin’s glands. The adult female pelvis is wider than the male’s, the hips are generally broader, and women have significantly less facial and other body hair. On average, women are shorter and less muscular than men.

Throughout human history, traditional gender roles have often defined and limited women’s activities and opportunities; many religious doctrines stipulate certain rules for women. With restrictions loosening during the 20th century in many societies, women have gained access to careers beyond the traditional homemaker, and the ability to pursue higher education. Violence against women, whether within families or in communities, has a long history and is primarily committed by men. Some women are denied reproductive rights. The movements and ideologies of feminism have a shared goal of achieving gender equality.

Trans women have a male sex assignment at birth that does not align with their gender identity, while intersex women were born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical notions of female biology.

For centuries, women’s bodies were used to make politics. There have been attempts to convince us that we as women:

  • we are less intelligent. And then Agnodike was born – the first known female gynecologist (4th century BC), Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Josephine Cochrane (invented and patented the world’s first dishwasher in 1886), Stephanie Kwolek (an outstanding chemist of Polish origin. She headed a team which in 1965 developed kevlar – a polymer extremely resistant to stretching. Thanks to its properties, it is used in the production of, among others, bulletproof vests and protective helmets, as well as fiber optic cables, motorcycles, bicycles, sails, skis, kayaks or tennis rackets), Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (French physician and virologist specializing in retrovirus research. In 1983, she and Luke Montagnier discovered the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome virus, HIV. She also identified this virus as the cause of AIDS. For these achievements she and Luke Montagnier received the Nobel Prize in 2008.), Maria Zakrzewska (1828 – 1902. She was the first woman in history to gain a doctor title in medicine.), Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749. She was a physicist and mathematician, one of the greatest minds of the 18th century. She is considered the co-author of the principle of conservation of energy.), Margaret Hamilton (b. 1936. computer scientist and software engineer who led the development of the onboard system for the Apollo space program, NASA’s mission to the moon. She is famously pictured standing by a printout of the Apollo spacecraft flight guidance code, which she devised, mostly writing and supervising herself. Hamilton was 33 years old at the time.), Williamina Fleming (1857-1911. She was an astronomer and co-author of the star catalog. In 9 years she catalogued over 10,000 objects, several hundred of which she independently discovered.), Emma Noether (1882-1935. Albert Einstein considered her the most important woman in the history of mathematics and repeatedly sought her advice on his research.)
  • we are not good enough to make politics. And then Margaret Thatcher became a British Prime Minister. And in January 2021, Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States of America
  • we are incapable of strategic thinking. And Poland, under the leadership of male “strategists”, disappeared from the map of Europz for 123 years thanks to Tsarina Catherine II
  • banking and making money is a man’s job. And the year 1992 came, when Hanna Gronkiewicz-Walz became the Presidency of the National Bank of Poland for the next 9 years.

(Quelle: Wikipdia, https://www.crazynauka.pl)

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Following the barbaric verdict of the Polish dummy Constitutional Tribunal depriving Polish women of their right to self-determination about themselves and their lives, I have a short message for all those who passionately try to decide how the others should live: FUCK OFF TO YOUR OWN LIFE AND DON’T STEP IN YOUR DIRTY SHOES WHERE NOBODY INVITES YOU!!!

“Human/fish conversation”

Artist: Edeltraut Göpfert, Passau, Germany (Photo: Monika Saczynska, 28.11.2019)

The sculpture is located in Ludwigstraße at the height of the Rupprecht bookstore. Initially, a fountain was planned here, which would have sprayed the water several meters into the air. However, the owners of the houses, who feared the noise of the water splashing onto the pavement, did not like this idea very much. Instead of a fountain, it was therefore decided to go for the “work of art with water” variant. The fountain was installed in the same year after a competition held in 2007. The work, made of granite and bronze, shows the relief of three fish jumping out of the water and a thoughtful man.

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Recent months, apart from the fear of COVID-19 infection, have revealed one thing, and that is how easy it is to lose one’s sense of security, one’s life’s possessions, and how much interpersonal relation mean, relations with neighbors who have helped many of us during the forced quarantine. Those who had never cared to build lasting interpersonal ties suddenly began to feel lonely, and pubs that had been bustling with life died screaming with empty tables. Let’s take care of each other – also of the other inhabitants of our planet, if we don’t want to wake up in a reality in which our only audience will be constructions made of metal, reinforced concrete or glass.

“Arthur Rubinstein Monument”

Project author: Marcel Szytenchelm, Łódź, Poland (photo: Gosia Sachse, 26.01.2013)

The Artur Rubinstein monument is a part of the Gallery of Great Lodz citizens, which since 1999 has been adorning Piotrkowska Street with bronze outdoor sculptures standing on sidewalks, commemorating famous people associated with Lodz.

The monument was unveiled on 23 September 2000 on the occasion of the World Meeting of Lodz citizens. The author of the project is Marcel Szytenchelm. The monument was placed in front of the tenement house at 78 Piotrkowska Street, where once lived a famous pianist.

The bronze cast figure shows Arthur Rubinstein in a tailcoat, sitting at the piano, whose hands are supported by the keyboard. The raised flap of the instrument resembles a bird’s wing. Next to it, there is a cello key.

Artur Rubinstein’s family protested against the placement of the monument. On behalf of his family, the artist’s daughter Eva Rubinstein sent letters of protest to the City Hall of Lodz and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, claiming that the form of the monument and its low artistic value offends the artist’s memory. Eva Rubinstein, due to the presence of the monument, refused to come to Lodz for 6 years to celebrate her father. Among the artists and music circles in Lodz, the sculpture also caused numerous controversies. There are plans to remove the existing monument and place in its place a more artistically valuable work dedicated to the same artist.

Originally, after inserting a coin into the mechanism hidden inside the monument, the device randomly played Chopin’s Concerto in F minor, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B flat minor, Chopin’s Waltz in C sharp minor or Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat major. However, after interventions by Sony BMG, which demanded royalties for the played pieces, the piano went silent.

(Quelle: Wikipedia)

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20.12.2020 marks the 28th anniversary of the death of an outstanding Polish pianist of Jewish origin.

Arthur Rubinstein lost almost his entire family to the Germans in World War II. As a sign of protest against German crimes, he never performed any concerts in Germany or the GDR. In 1945, during the ceremony of signing the United Nations Charter, in the absence of the Polish flag, he expressed his indignation and ostentatiously played Mazurka Dąbrowski. He preceded the performance with words:

In this room, where great nations gathered to make this world a better place, I do not see the flag of Poland behind which this cruel war was waged.

and he added:

So now I will play the Polish national anthem.

Art, music and patriotism have no nationality, ethnic origin, skin color, sexual orientation or religion. You can love and consider the country you live in as your homeland, take care of the good of the community and come from a completely different country. You can create beautiful music or art, which in the country of origin is not found in the audience, but outside its borders is sought after. All of us, regardless of where we come from, are one genre. Supporting each other we will achieve much more. Let’s not forget about it especially in these difficult times. All the most beautiful things for the upcoming holidays and stay healthy in the New Year.

“Women’s hell”

Berlin Wall, fragment of the mural “Women’s Hell”, Berlin, Germany
(photo: Ewa Czwartacka-Roman, 31.10.2020)

This mural was created on the initiative of feminist organisations on a fragment of the Berlin Wall as an expression of opposition to the judgment of the Polish Constitutional Court of 22.10.2020, which tightened the rules of abortion and the penalization of women who want to have an abortion.

All-Poland Women’s Strike

Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet (the All-Poland Women’s Strike), is a women’s rights social movement in Poland, established in September 2016. It was set up in protest against the rejection by the Sejm of the Polish Parliament of the bill “Save Women”, which was considered by the Sejm in parallel to the project “Stop to Abortion”. The movement was responsible for the organization of Black Monday, a protest action that took place simultaneously in 147 Polish cities, towns and villages.

Structure and key people

In October 2017, Marta Lempart was head of All-Poland Women’s Strike.While OSK was a key organiser of the September 2016 Black Protests, the protests themselves were decentralised. Klementyna Suchanow was one of OSK’s leaders who proposed the 26 October “walk” to the house of de facto leader of Poland Jarosław Kaczyński, which turned into a 10,000-person protest. Suchanow described the tactics for the continuation of the protests as decentralised, up to grassroots initiatives and creativity.

Suchanow stated in October 2020 that OSK was not a political party, but that some members, aimed at becoming members of Sejm, the Polish lower house of parliament, and that Katarzyna Kotula [pl] of OSK was already a member of Sejm.

Coordination Council

On 1 November 2020, in response to the widespread demands of the October 2020 protests that extended beyond anger against an abortion-related ruling, OSK established a Consultative Council inspired by the Belarusian Coordination Council that had earlier been created in August 2020 during the 2020 Belarusian protests.

History

2016–2017: Creation and early protests

Black Monday protest in Wrocław, 3 October 2016

All-Poland Women’s Strike was created as one of the groups organising the September 2016 Black Protests against proposed legislation that would have tightened abortion law. The protests brought together 100,000 protests who marched in 143 villages, towns and cities in Poland. Together with Argentinian women’s rights activists, OSK helped launch the International Women’s Strike together with women from 28 other countries in 2017.

2017–present: Repression and continued protests

On 4 October 2017, following protests organised by OSK, police raided the offices of the Women’s Rights Centre and Baba in WarsawGdańskŁódź and Zielona Góra. The raids were interpreted as intimidation. Marta Lempart, head of OSK, described the raids as “abuse of power” that disurpted the women’s work by the confiscation of computers and documents. The police spent nine hours in the office of Baba removing files. Strajk Kobiet booth at Woodstock Festival Poland in 2017

In July 2020, the Polish government considered withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention that aims to prevent violence against women and domestic violence. Two thousand women protested in front of the Ordo Iuris headquarters. Marta Lempart described the government’s attitude to women’s rights, stating, “This government has been laughing in the faces of victims of gender violence for years.” Marchers with a “women’s hell” hashtag and the OSK red lightning symbol on a banner, protesting on 24 October 2020 in Gdańsk.

October 2020 protests[edit]

OSK was one of the coordinators of the October 2020 Polish protests that followed the 22 October 2020 Constitutional Tribunal‘s ruling banning the most commonly used of the three cases allowing a small number of legal abortions in Poland. On 27 October, on behalf of OSK and proposals from citizens, stated that the aims of the protests included a return to the rule of law:

On 28 October 2020, Klementyna Suchanow of OSK stated that the initial involvement of OSK in the protests was to defend women’s own rights, not to remove the government. She stated that the aims of the protests had expanded based on comments, slogans and wide discussions with people who had joined the protests.

Suchanow, who had been injured by police during protests in earlier years, leading to a spinal operation, interpreted a speech by Jarosław Kaczyński as a refusal to withdraw the Constitutional Tribunal ruling and an encouragement of escalation of violence.

The President of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska, after a disgraceful verdict condemning Polish women to unimaginable suffering in case of pregnancy and defects of the fetus*, took refuge in the Przyłębski Villa in Berlin, where her husband is an ambassador on a daily basis.

After the activists of the “Dziewuchy Berlin” organization found her home, regular protests began at the Przyłębski’s house. The neighbors – broadly understood, because on quite a large area – received leaflets in which the organizers from the “Dziewuchy Berlin” collective apologize for the obstacles and explain their causes – who the addressee is, starting from the CT pacification and backstage placing her at the head of the dummy by the Law and Justice party, and ending with the essence, that is, that she set the fuse on fire and ran to the “peaceful haven in Berlin open to the world”

*according to the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 22.10.2020, the provision of the law allowing for the removal of pregnancy in the case of severe damage to the fetus is inconsistent with the Polish Constitution.

(Quelle: Wikipedia, red. Ewa Wanat)

Below is the English language version:

“Dear citizens of Thielallee, dear fellow citizens, As you could see, your quiet, beautiful surroundings have changed in recent days into a place of loud protests and gatherings. You are probably wondering what this is about. We feel obliged to explain this to you. The case concerns your neighbors, the couple of Julia and Andrzej Przyłębski, who lived at number 79. Mr. Przyłębski has been the Polish ambassador to Germany for over four years. As a faithful ally of the ruling Polish right-wing-populist formation, he bears responsibility for the constant state of crisis in Polish-German relations. He has spoken out many times in a provocative and aggressive manner, which has contributed to the fact that both the friendship between the two countries and the difficult process of historical reconciliation are still encountering serious obstacles. However, it is not the reason for our presence in your neighbourhood. We mean his wife, Julia Przyłębska. In 2015, immediately after the right-wing populist party Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, took power, the process of destroying the independent justice system began. A very important link in the judicial system of control over lawmakers was the Constitutional Tribunal, which had the power to overrule unconstitutional laws and regulations. As a court of key importance to democracy, it became the object of a hostile, illegal takeover. With the help of legal tricks and illegal judicial appointments, soon the chair of the president of the TK was filled by an incompetent but loyal to the government judge, Julia Przyłębska, who was unknown to anyone before. She fulfilled her task. The Tribunal ceased to function properly as a supervisory body. The government is free to enact unconstitutional laws, and the average citizen has lost the support of the body that has so far defended his fundamental rights. One of these rights was taken away from the Polish people as a result of a very controversial verdict of that tribunal a few days ago. It was the right to terminate the pregnancy if a serious defect in the fetus was found. The tribunal suddenly annulled the law, which had lasted for over 25 years, when all major political forces in Poland made a difficult compromise. Millions of Polish women and men took to the streets in protest against this decision, despite the raging pandemic in our country. For over a week now, protests, gatherings and strikes have been taking place all over the country, as well as beyond its borders, against this inhuman, undemocratic verdict. The country has found itself in a state of dangerous confrontation between its citizens and an aggressive, ultra-conservative ruling formation that is increasingly resorting to threats of open violence in its defense. Julia Przyłębska set the powder keg on fire and immediately evacuated to Berlin. We cannot accept that the destroyer of democracy in our country lives peacefully outside its borders, in our common metropolis, open to the world. We, the proud citizens of Berlin, will not let “bloody Julia” continue to lead a comfortable, luxurious life in Germany while our homeland, set on fire by her, stands in flames. We therefore found her previously kept secret residence in Dahlem in order to regularly remind her of her deeds. As much as we are sorry to have disturbed your peace, we hope that we can count on your solidarity and understanding as our fellow citizens. We will make every effort to leave the place of our protests in order every time. We also hope that one day you will want to join us in an act of solidarity. Our gatherings are open and many Germans participate in them. After all, we are concerned about universal values: women’s rights, human rights and justice, directly threatened in one of the countries of our common European Union by Julia Przyłêbska’s actions.

With respect, Dziewuchy Berlin”.

The leaflets were distributed to many houses, service points, stores and an Italian restaurant where the ambassador is sometimes present. They were received with interest.

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Polish women say: “Enough”!

“Křemílek a Vochomůrka”

Sculptor: Filip Kubeš, Frymburg, Czech Republic (Photo: Gosia Sachse, 20.05.2018)

Pohádky z mechu a kapradí (English: The Tales of Moss and Fern) is a Czechoslovakian animated children’s television series produced from 1968 to 1979. The series focuses on the adventures of two forest people named Křemílek and Vochomůrka, often dealing with certain problems. It was made by Bratři v triku.

The series first premiered on Czechoslovak Television on October 6, 1968. The first season was shot in black and white, with the remainder of the series being shot in color. Due to its success, a second season spanning 13 episodes was produced in 1970.

In 2014, Česká televize announced plans to colorize the first season by 2017. However, only the first 7 episodes were colorized and shown during 2018, with a 16:9 format being added as well.

(Quelle: Wikipedia)

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Once upon a time, low-growing people, commonly known as dwarves, who ruled others, aroused sympathy. And today?

“Four musicians from Prague”

Praga, Carol Bridge (fot. Gosia Sachse)

We know very well that music works on us. It can put you in a good mood and lead to tears, calm you down or act on your nerves. But it not only resonates with our mood. It is also an “amplifier” of the message in films, advertisements, etc.

Researchers from the University of Southern California have decided to check out what makes music work for us like this and not differently. They used machine learning.

A prelude to artificial intelligence

It started with collecting material for testing. Scientists needed songs – sad and cheerful. To do so, they searched online music services and discussion forums to find songs marked “sad” and “cheerful” or their synonyms. They wanted to reduce the likelihood that the participants of the survey knew the songs earlier, so they decided to pick out niche songs with a small number of plays from the web.

Score of emotion

The songs were presented to a group of 100 people. Some of the participants were connected to the apparatus testing brain activity, others had their pulse and skin conduction tested (dermal-galvanic reaction – testing changes in skin electrical resistance under the influence of sweat).

Additionally, the songs were analyzed second by second for 74 properties like dynamics, timbre, harmony and rhythm.

All these data were used to train machine learning models. Their task was to find the relationship between the content of the work and the physiological response of the body, and more precisely to determine which of the several dozen properties should be observed to predict the reaction of the body. This would allow to predict how a given piece of work will affect the person who listens to it.

It turned out, for example, that the tone (i.e. the intensity of medium and high frequencies), volume and clarity of rhythm in sad songs affect brain activity. Hue, complexity, clarity of rhythm and predictability of tone are correlated with heart rate changes.

Solo on the listener

Researchers hope that their work in the future will allow them to create powerful models of machine learning capable of predicting how a piece of music will affect our psyche and what reactions it will cause in our body. Practical applications? Music composed with a specific listener in mind, tailored to his or her liking, music suggestively evoking specific emotions, and finally music as a support for psychotherapy.

(Quelle: https://www.sztucznainteligencja.org.pl/)

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Let’s support street virtuosos who often delight us with their work. Thanks to them, among others, the world is not so bad. In memory of Genek Loska (*08.01.1975 – † 09.09.2020).

Genek Loska (Pińczów 2013). Quelle: Wikipedia

A short biography of Genek can be found under the link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gienek_Loska

“A straw dress or straw from shoes?”

IMG_2579Artist/Designer: Katrin Belen, modell: Magdalena Baryła (Photo: Evela Art, 09.2019)

The above creation was created as a result of the bet between artist Katrin Belen’s with her acquaintance farmer regarding the fact that the straw which he ownes can also a great material for making a dress. The bet was about chocolate, which, according to the designer, tasted delicious during the photo shoot. The straw used to create the dress returned to its rightful owner after the photo shoot.

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Straw is an agricultural byproduct consisting of the dry stalks of cereal plants after the grain and chaff have been removed. It makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. It has a number of different uses, including fuel, livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and basket making.

Straw is usually gathered and stored in a straw bale, which is a bale, or bundle, of straw tightly bound with twine, wire, or string. Straw bales may be square, rectangular, or round, and can be very large, depending on the type of baler used.

Current and historic uses of straw include:

  • Animal feed
  • Basketry
  • Bedding: humans or livestock
    • The straw-filled mattress, also known as a palliasse, is still used in many parts of the world.
    • It is commonly used as bedding for ruminants and horses. It may be used as bedding and food for small animals, but this often leads to injuries to mouth, nose and eyes as straw is quite sharp.
  • Biofuels
  • Biogas
  • Biomass
  • Construction material:
    • In many parts of the world, straw is used to bind clay and concrete.              A mixture of clay and straw, known as cob, can be used as a building material. There are many recipes for making cob.
    • When baled, straw has moderate insulation characteristics (about R-1.5/inch according to Oak Ridge National Lab and Forest Product Lab testing). It can be used, alone or in a post-and-beam construction, to build straw bale houses. When bales are used to build or insulate buildings, the straw bales are commonly finished with earthen plaster. The plastered walls provide some thermal mass, compressive and ductile structural strength, and acceptable fire resistance as well as thermal resistance (insulation), somewhat in excess of North American building code. Straw is an abundant agricultural waste product, and requires little energy to bale and transport for construction. For these reasons, straw bale construction is gaining popularity as part of passive solar and other renewable energy projects.[2]
    • Composite lumber: Wheat straw can be used as a fibrous filler combined with polymers to produce composite lumber.[3]
    • Enviroboard can be made from straw.
    • Strawblocks are strawbales that have been recompressed to the density of woodblocks, for compact cargo container shipment, or for straw-bale construction of load-bearing walls that support roof-loads, such as a “living” or green roofs.
  • Crafts
  • Construction site sediment control
  • Hats
  • Horticulture
    • Straw is used in cucumber houses and for mushroom growing.
    • In Japan, certain trees are wrapped with straw to protect them from the effects of a hard winter as well as to use them as a trap for parasite insects.
    • It is also used in ponds to reduce algae by changing the nutrient ratios in the water.
    • The soil under strawberries is covered with straw to protect the ripe berries from dirt, and straw is also used to cover the plants during winter to prevent the cold from killing them.
    • Straw also makes an excellent mulch.
  • Packaging
    • Straw is resistant to being crushed and therefore makes a good packing material. A company in France makes a straw mat sealed in thin plastic sheets.
    • Straw envelopes for wine bottles have become rarer, but are still to be found at some wine merchants.
    • Wheat straw is also used in compostable food packaging such as compostable plates. Packaging made from wheat straw can be certified compostable and will biodegrade in a commercial composting environment.[11]
  • Paper
    Straw can be pulped to make paper.[12]
  • Rope
    • Rope made from straw was used by thatchers, in the packaging industry and even in iron foundries.
  • Shoes
  • Targets
    • Heavy gauge straw rope is coiled and sewn tightly together to make archery targets. This is no longer done entirely by hand, but is partially mechanised. Sometimes a paper or plastic target is set up in front of straw bales, which serve to support the target and provide a safe backdrop.
  • Thatching
    • Thatching uses straw, reed or similar materials to make a waterproof, lightweight roof with good insulation properties. Straw for this purpose (often wheat straw) is grown specially and harvested using a reaper-binder.

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Straw can be the material used by artists. At the same time, there is a negative connotation in Polish, such as “straw from shoes”. It means a lack of intelligence and good manners. Colloquially speaking, straw sticks out of the shoes of those who do not understand “Art” by the great A and are trying to keep down the great artists, as well as wise and educated people, to their own, only understandable level. In recent days, we have been able to observe such a verbal attack from the lips of one of the deputies of the ruling party on the artist Janusz Gajos – a famous prominent Polish theatre and film actor, professor of theatrical arts and doctor honoris causa of the Łódź Film School, winner of many prestigious awards and distinctions. There would be nothing surprising about it if it wasn’t for the fact that the epithets that this lady gave the artist de facto perfectly describe her and have nothing to do with the aforementioned actor.

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Katrin Belen (age 36) – has lived in Germany for 8 years, where she works as a physiotherapist. She has been designing artistic creations for 2 years. In 80% they are made from recycled materials. Her creations are on the covers of magazines, music scenes and are used in music videos. Katrin also runs a fashion show in Pepe TV for the Polish community. Her creations can be seen at fashion shows or various events. She cooperates with the best photographers from Poland and Germany. At the moment she is in the process of creating new great creations for companies and fashion magazines. The artist is open to cooperation and new challenges related to the created fashion art.

“The Sitting boar”

DSCF0110Sculptor: Martin Mayer, Munich, Germany (Photo: Gosia Sachse, 02.05.2017)

The Sitting boar sculpture is a popular sculpture that sits just outside the German Hunting and Fishing Museum, in front of a church on Neuhauser Strasse. It is supposed to attract visitors to the Museum. It’s another one of those bronze statues that locals and tourists like to rub supposedly for good luck.

The boar is perched on a pedestal and its snout has become shiny from all the caressing. The bronze boar by Martin Mayer has been sitting in front of the house since 1976, and in 1982 it was joined by Claus Nageler’s bronze statue of a catfish.

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In January this year, scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) sent an open letter to the Prime Minister of Poland, in which they called for withdrawal of the decision on the shooting of feral pigs and implementation of actions aimed at the actual mechanism of spreading the virus causing ASF disease in pigs. According to specialists from the Polish Academy of Sciences, in order to achieve the goal of stopping the ASF epidemic in Poland, “it is urgently necessary to abandon the apparent and costly action, which is the mass shooting of feral pigs. Experts from the State Veterinary Institute in Puławy indicate that all new outbreaks of swine virus infection in Poland are the result of virus transmission by humans”.

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On 12.07.2020, a populist, a representative of the ruling party, not adhering to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, blathering one citizen against another,            a dependent person who is only a pen in the hands of the ruling party, which ridicules his country in the international arena, was re-elected as President of the Republic of Poland. The disease called xenophobia, homophobia or, to put it plainly, hatred of one to another, which is currently taking place in Poland, has again been established. The re-election of the current President did not take place honestly, the elections were partly falsified – which does not change the fact that, despite the election protests, he will most likely the President of Poland for the next 5 years. Shortly after the election, the campaign started against those who voted for him (mainly farmers from Podkarpacie, people who are poorly educated and therefore easy to manipulate). However, maybe it would be worthwhile – like scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences appealing to stop shooting wild boars – to look for the real reason that poorly educated people support populists en masse and direct actions there. These reasons are relatively simple: the lack of interest on the part of the intelligentsia, which also includes (at least in part) politicians, the needs and matters that the village lives in, this poor, uneducated, often hindered. Those who manage to look from the heights of national politics at the needs of the Kowalskis and Nowaks from the village of Wąchock and to activate these people and give them tools that will enable them to fulfil their needs – they will win.