Boston Marathon, here I come!

you go!

Fit and Feminist

boston-confirmationIf you follow many runners on social media, you’ve probably noticed a lot of them posting photos like this lately.  I was no exception.  I literally did the excited baby dance when Brian sent me a photo of the envelope.  (I’m so glad no one was around me at work at the time.)  And when I got home later that night and opened the envelope?  Goosebumps, over my whole damn body.

And of course I immediately posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook. Then I re-arranged my inspirational materials on my fridge and posted a photo of that. And then I sat there and stared at it while sipping a glass of wine.  It’s been there for two days now and every time I walk past the fridge, I stop and gaze at it for a few seconds.

I keep thinking that if this is how I’m feeling with…

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The Real Power | Silvia Writes

This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The club was not up to code (one exit, no alarms, no fire sprinkles, flammable soundproofing materials in a place not designed for pyrotechnics) because that’s how things are done when money is paid under the table.Add to this a slow emergency response and hospitals unable to accommodate patients, add to this a prime minister who has been indicted on charges of tax evasion and money laundering, among other things (and who didn’t survive a no-confidence vote), and there is a huge problem.So, Romanians took to the streets in every major city.As a result the prime minister resigned — a good first step, but is it enough? My heart says no, but I’ve been gone for so long. I don’t really know how real reform would look like in Romania. However, I do remember the 1989  revolution when the Romanian people toppled a dictator.So, people do have the power. The real power. They just forget how to use it until an unfortunate event brings them together.

Source: The Real Power | Silvia Writes

ISIS, Russia, and Egypt


What really happened to Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 over Sinai a few days ago? Forget it. The fatal crash does not matter any more. Regardless of what truly did or did not happen to the Russian plane, the prevailing theory is that ISIS planted a bomb that led to the plane crash, and this has entered and stuck in the global mindset.

Communications and “chatter,” allegedly uncovered by British intelligence, followed by Britain suspending all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh has been enough to cement this possibility within the global consciousness. Britain and the United States have offered no evidence, however, as it is too late for a drawn out inquiry. Perception has won the day and Islamic State (IS) has secured a major psychological victory.

The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt has gained a prestigious reputation. It is now portrayed in global media as an upgraded, sophisticated terror…

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ISIS, Russia, and Egypt | Nervana

Regardless of all this speculation, in fact, whether or not the Russian plane crash was indeed caused by a terror attack, it is more paramount for Egypt to turn this tragic event to its advantage. The Islamic State should not be allowed to establish its dream state by targeting domestic planes. If the terror group resorted already to such tactics, then is a potential sign of weakness hiding under the evil glamour of terror. The group has failed to clinch a state in Egypt, and it may have resorted to bombing planes just to maintain a deceptive perception of existence.Therefore, the Egyptian authority must work harder to project this weak side of IS, and enhance its counter-terrorism abilities. Airport security may need substantial updates, but other aspects of fighting IS must also be considered.This Russian tragedy might have been Egypt’s version of 9/11. Egypt should project itself as a responsible country that need support, not a reckless state that is hiding its own wrongdoing. Bomb or not, Egypt must prevail against terrorism in these circumstances.

Source: ISIS, Russia, and Egypt | Nervana

The hidden origins of the Syrian civil war



Still from the video below, allegedly from the early days of the Syrian uprising and showing unarmed riot police being shot at, and hit, from gunfire from the protesters’ side.

Jonathan Marshall writes:

[…] A Violent Start

The city of Dara’a, near the Jordanian border, was the epicenter of protests that triggered Syria’s civil war in 2011. Anti-government sentiment had been growing due to a recent influx of angry and desperate families dispossessed by what one expert called “the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.”

In early March 2011, police in the city arrested and severely beat several high school students for painting anti-government graffiti on a wall. No doubt inspired by the Arab Spring, protesters gathered at a local mosque and began to march for political rights and an end to corruption, chanting…

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