Your Guide To Bike To Work Day, Which Is TOMORROW: Gothamist

My leg’s been doing this weird twitchy thing and this crazy weather has been too unpredictable are no longer valid excuses to forgo commuting by bike tomorrow. Not only is it supposed to be a pleasant 72 degrees, but tomorrow is officially Bike to Work Day. If the convenience, fresh air, and life-enhancing exercise isn’t enough to coax you out of your transit rut, maybe free food, coffee, and a party on Brooklyn’s waterfront will do the trick.

From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Transportation Alternatives will host fueling stations at seven different bike commuting hotspots, and will be serving free iced coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, Vita Coco (yeah whatever you’ll drink it), and food from KIND and Cabot cheese. You’ll also have an opportunity to become a TA member and get bike lights and reflective decals.

via Your Guide To Bike To Work Day, Which Is TOMORROW: Gothamist.

AmeriCorps Helped Fulfill a Childhood Dream

A Lifetime Of Service

Today’s guest post comes from Jen Rudolph, Program Animal Specialist at Rhode Island Zoological Society

On January 1, 2008, after a very difficult time in my life, I woke up and made a promise to myself that I would find a way to change the world for the better.  Of course, this is an overwhelming goal if you look at all the world’s problems but if you can identify one problem at a time, like any other task, it becomes possible.

For me, working in corporate America, specifically for a retailer whose main goal was to produce more “stuff”, I began to realize that I had stopped listening to that little voice inside me that had always looked to nature for comfort.  I began my search for opportunities at one of the places I would go as a child to connect with animals, my local zoo.

When I went to…

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Rise of Radical Jihadists Setback for Syria

Nervana

Omar-al-Farouk-Brigade

This image of the Omar al-Farouq brigade was taken from the group’s website; Syrian Sunni rebel Khalid al-Hamad, who mutilated a corpse, is a member of the brigade.

I wrote this piece for  Al-Monitor, look forward to your comments.

The recent gruesome video of a Syrian rebel soldier, Khalid al-Hamad, mutilating a corpse has triggered shock and outrage, fueling a tense debate over the wisdom of supporting the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. While some consider the video as the ultimate proof that backing the rebels is a bad idea, others view the radicalization and increasing brutality of the armed opposition as a direct result of the weak Western response and US dithering. This later opinion is based on the assumption that an early and decisive intervention in support of the moderate factions of the Syrian rebels would have marginalized the radicals and reduced their recruiting abilities.

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www.german-foreign-policy.com German “think tank” favors Drones and Skynet?

The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) is propagating in favor of the deployment of combat drones. The influential think tank, headquartered in Berlin, has published an opinion poll indicating that more than two-thirds of the German population are in favor of using Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles or UCAVs in warfare. The results of this poll can be found in the current edition of “Internationale Politik,” the journal published by the DGAP. The journal extensively treats the subject – with an unambiguous tenor: UCAV development is characterized as an “enormous technological leap” that the German armed forces cannot evade. The authors consider the construction of combat drones, which, based on artificial intelligence can quasi “autonomously” carry out killer functions without human intervention, to be a “logical consequence.” The PR campaign, launched by the DGAP, accords with the German government’s intention to increase the reliance on UCAVs in future wars.

via www.german-foreign-policy.com.

With hardline Islamic militants gone from Somali capital, a mystical branch blooms again

Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam, is having a major comeback since al-Shabab, an armed militant Islamic group, was pushed out of Somalias capital in August 2011. The Sunni insurgents had banned Sufis from gathering and prevented them from worshipping. Sufi sheiks, or elders, were attacked, graves of their saints were desecrated and rituals and celebrations became rare or secretly performed.

via With hardline Islamic militants gone from Somali capital, a mystical branch blooms again.