Archive for August, 2010

25 Very Frank Blog Posts by Women Who Have Had Abortions

Abortion exists as one of the most controversial sociopolitical issues in the world today, with so many different opinions bombarding the airwaves and the internet it frequently seems overwhelming. As with many exceedingly divisive issues, individuals and organizations on either side of the debate tend to see things in black-and-white terms and talking points. Because of this sadly phenomenon, the real experiences of women who have experienced abortions go overlooked in favor of tired sound bites. These raw, honest blog posts reflect the real stories of those who opted for 1 or more of the different procedures for terminating a pregnancy. The real stories that often end up marginalized, pushed to the side because many believe that alarmist rhetoric and name-calling make for more effective measures of persuading the public. The real stories that add a much-needed humanism to what has transmogrified into a largely faceless debate. Considering an average of 1 in 3 women has an abortion, this certainly means a lot of voices getting drowned out. This article uses the preferred terms each movement uses to describe itself – “pro-choice” and “pro-life” – in order to avoid as much bias as something penned by a fallible, flawed human possibly can. It seeks out women who find relief and women who find regret, attempting to reflect diverse motivations, situations and reactions. It does not expect to change anyone’s mind in either direction, nor does it seek to support anything other than individual visitors coming to their own personal conclusions. All it does is compile the stories publicly available on the subject of abortion experiences in order to portray the different perspectives. Readers must decide for themselves where they stand on this divisive issue, though they ought to at minimum respect these brave, open women’s privacy and refrain from harassing them in any way, shape or form. They have frankly discussed their most intimate of actions with the hope of educating the world on their points of view. While such a public forum frequently invites unwelcome insults and threats no matter the subject matter, MSNDegree.com does not advocate anything less than courteous disagreement. The beautiful First Amendment protects free speech and allows individuals to disagree and debate – but both sides should do so rationally and politely. Do not let civil debate die unceremoniously in the wake of talking heads (and not the awesome kind behind Stop Making Sense) and propaganda posters. 1.) “My abortion experience” at LoveEmmalina.com Emma made the decision to terminate a pregnancy at 16, as she feared for her life and the life of the fetus. The father abused her physically, mentally and emotionally, and given their young age and exceedingly unhealthy connection she and her mother did not feel as if giving birth stood as the responsible choice. Years later, Emma still believes that she made the right decision for herself. 2.) “How it all went down” at Abortion Blog Anyone curious about abortions using prescribed buccal medication should read over this detailed account about the procedure. There are some physiological side effects, though every woman’s experience will probably have a few differences. The author recounts the story of her abortion with a blend of curiosity, frankness and a small dash of irreverence. She provides a very open, clear glimpse into what this particular method generally feels like. 3.) “Not Guilty” at Un-Expecting The entirety of the Un-Expecting blog details the mixed emotions and physical stresses that come before and after the decision to have an abortion. Here, the author discusses how she resigned her Christian faith with her choice to terminate a pregnancy for which she did not feel ready. Many tend to see the issue as purely black-and-white rather than shades of grey, but this posting peers into one of the more overlooked perspectives out there. 4.) “In With the New” at My Abortion & Related Incidents All of My Abortion & Related Incidents covers the before, during and after of one particular procedure. All the emotions and physical side effects get covered here, and the author does admit to struggling with both. However, she ultimately felt as if the decision she made – though she experiences pangs of sadness on occasion – stood as the one that best suited her needs and wants at the time. 5.) “A Positive Experience?” at Experience Project A mother of 2, as both a student and a woman living separately from her partner, did not feel as if the family could afford another child. Even if they had decided to take the adoption route, there is still the matter of prenatal care to consider. The anonymous blogger felt as if too many abortion stories emphasized the negative, and dispels misconception that all of them end in heartbreak and hand-wringing. 6.) “I regret MY abortion” at my testimony Abortion experiences differ from woman to woman. Some feel relief, others regret – and many end up in a milieu of both. Nicole chose to terminate a pregnancy due to an abusive relationship that caused her to fear for herself and her unborn child. Afterwards, though, she began to suffer from waves of guilt and doubt. Solace came in the form of Christian counseling, where she ultimately felt forgiven. 7.) “Patient Stories” at National Abortion Federation Every Wednesday, the NAF posts up stories from a wide variety of women who have undergone different abortion procedures. Written in their own words, they cover a broad variety of circumstances, motivations and emotions. Given the organization’s pro-choice beliefs, the accounts mainly attempt to de-stigmatize the decision to terminate a pregnancy. All of them feel as if the decisions they made proved the right one for their needs. 8.) “My Abortion and Coming of Age as a Feminist, 1970-1975” at Open Salon Reproductive rights has always been one of the main cornerstones of the feminist movement, and this very open account discusses how the abortion experience led one woman to embrace its tenets. This mother of 2 suffered from a crumbling marriage and unreliable birth control, finding herself pregnant at a time when termination was still largely illegal. She states that she remains “glad [she] did it, but [she is] still so unspeakably sorry that [she] had to.” 9.) “My Abortion Story” at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee Sarah Mae found herself pregnant at the age of 16, and 13 years later opens up about the emotional trials she underwent before and after the procedure. Exhibiting signs of post-traumatic stress later on in life, she turned towards counseling at a local clinic. The choice to embrace the Christian faith and ask for spiritual forgiveness ended up the most healing route for her personally. 10.) “Guest Post: An abortion story” at The Hand Mirror Written in the third person, this anonymous guest post presents the story of a 15-year-old who became pregnant as a result of date rape. Because both the sex and the resulting fertilization were entirely nonconsensual, the young woman’s mother and doctor felt that carrying the fetus to term was the healthiest choice. Being a minor, she could not legally act upon her pro-life leanings when the time came to sign the consent forms. The experience inspired her to take on a career teaching very young children – her way of emotionally making peace with the events. 11.) “Irene Vilar, Abortion Addict Speaks” at The Huffington Post Author Irene Vilar penned a highly controversial book bearing her soul and discussing the high she felt getting pregnant 15 times and subsequently terminating each one. Hers is certainly an extreme case that does not reflect on most women who have experienced abortions. Due to psychological torments by an unstable mother, dysfunctional marriage to a man 34 years her senior and general neuroses, Vilar protested the concept of forced sterilization by becoming addicted to the power that abortion granted her. Today, she remains steadfastly pro-choice – although urging responsible decision making rather than repeating her abuse of the available resources. 12.) “Dear Morphined Out, Baby-Free Me:” at What to Expect When You’re Aborting This blogger uses pitch-black humor (and what some may consider harsh language) to ferry her through the stressful task of deciding to undergo the abortion procedure. In this post, she offers a pep talk for her future self and sends reassurance across time as a means of squelching any misgivings. The entire blog outlines the preparations she takes in order to care for herself afterwards as well as advice for anyone considering making that particular choice. 13.) “Her name is Hannah” at Moral Outcry Pro-life activist Cathy Harris dedicated herself to the Bound4Life organization because of her firsthand experience with aborting an unwanted pregnancy. For years the choice never bothered her, but mounting guilt and regrets eventually led her to her current position. 14.) “The Moral of My Abortion Story” at AspenBaker’s Blog Exhale founder Aspen Baker said that the decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy left her feeling incredibly alone. Not wanting others to suffer the same fate, she pieced together a “Pro-Voice” community that seeks to find common ground between women, men, the pro-choice and the pro-life rather than pushes divisive rhetoric. Like this article, she hopes to provide a nonjudgmental forum for individuals to discuss both positive and negative experiences without the fear of insult and shame. 15.) “Why Abortion Was My Only ‘Choice’: My Abortion (Part 1)” at MidwestFeminist.com Part 2 of this story has yet to materialize, but Part 1 still summarizes the decision-making process for one particular woman. She thought of the procedure as the only decision she could possibly make. Not only were she and her husband financially incapable of caring for a child, the fact that she had been drinking a fair amount during the first 7 weeks when she did not even realize she was pregnant posed a severe health risk. In addition, pregnancy prevented her from taking the strong medications necessary to alleviate her severe migraines. Although she and her husband do entertain the thought of becoming parents someday, at the time of conception they completely lacked the resources to bring one to term. 16.) “my story” at imnotsorry Over time, this woman’s abortion became a source of pride for her – pride in her ability to make independent, informed decisions and pride in not marrying a man who ultimately proved the wrong fit simply because he had impregnated her. She believes that the experience helped her grow into the happy life with her husband and unborn (as of this writing) child she enjoys today. 17.) I Had An Abortion – The Biggest Mistake of My Life” at Letters From The Womb This blogger’s choice to terminate her unwanted pregnancy ultimately resulted in a negative experience. In spite of her pro-life opinions, she panicked and allowed her boyfriend to talk her into having an abortion. Although they are still together, this young woman cannot stand her life with him and blames the procedure for her having to seek psychological therapy – including antidepressants. She carries on with the yoke of guilt on her shoulders. 18.) “Medical abortion: my story” at In media res In a series of 9 blog posts starting in February of 2008, one woman chronicled the story of her abortion and the physical trials she underwent when opting for the medical procedure rather than the surgical. She decided to take that particular option for “economic, cultural, interpersonal, and familial” reasons, and remains thankful that America allows her to make a choice for herself. 19.) “I Had An Abortion” at Finding Summer Unapologetic and confrontational, blogger Summer – a married mother of 3 – does not feel the need to justify her decision to abort a pregnancy to anyone. She does not offer many details regarding her motivation, but felt as if the procedure was no more painful nor major than a routine doctor’s appointment. 20.) “What’s the connection between abortion and careers?” at Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk had 2 abortions because she thought that having children would derail her career ambitions. Later on in life, she went on to give birth twice without causing any real professional damage. She looks at the issue without any moral or religious or ethical lenses, but rather reflects upon what abortion means for the modern career woman. Ultimately, she comes to the conclusion that terminating a pregnancy and carrying a child to term are both extremely difficult choices, each with their own unique set of circumstances and consequences. 21.) “My Abortion Experience” at HubPages In this HubPages blog post, the author recounts in great detail what it felt like to undergo an abortion for financial and personal reasons. The experience traumatized her, and she eventually caved into guilt and turned to religion to assuage it. She blames Planned Parenthood and the doctors, believing that coercion played a role in the decision-making process. 22.) “Choices” at Angie the Anti-Theist Blogger Angie Jackson received national attention when she liveblogged her abortion on Twitter. News of her pregnancy triggered “suicidal depression & panic attacks,” and she made the choice to terminate it because she did not possess the resources to care for 2 children. 1, for her, was enough. Jackson found the decision a relief rather than a regret. 23.) “my experience of medical abortion” at My abortion – feelings and facts Although her abortion brought her and her boyfriend closer together, the author of this blog posts does not wish to ever have to go through the procedure again. The decision to terminate the pregnancy came about because she felt as if, at 24, her life with a job she despised and general quarterlife disarray was not conducive to parenthood. Because she found the procedure physically trying, she hopes that her next pregnancy will be a welcome one. 24.) “Abortion: Holding Life and Death” at Blog o’ Gnosis Anne Hill identifies as both pro-choice and pro-life, having experienced “3 live births, 2 abortions, 1 miscarriage. 2 children adopted as teenagers” in addition to bearing witness to a plethora of other stories. She looks at abortion from a spiritual angle, never once faulting anyone for undergoing the procedure, and believes that life begins at conception. However, she does not denounce a terminated pregnancy as abortion and fully supports the idea of choice. Read up on her very unique perspective synthesizing the beliefs of two very separate movements. 25.) “My Abortion Story” at momaroo This pro-choice blogger opted to terminate an unwanted pregnancy at 8 weeks because she did not want childcare to get in the way of her college education. She actually looks back at the experience and states outright, “I don’t know, and will never know, if I made the right decision.” Regardless, though, she has come to terms with the fact that she did have an abortion and cannot take it back. One of the most polarizing issues today, abortion debates rarely ever take real experiences into consideration. Hypotheticals and talking points end up at the center of most debates, with the actual stories capable of changing minds and nurturing deep thought shunted to the sidelines. With so many women having undergone the positives and the negatives of abortion, anyone hoping to formulate a cogent opinion on the matter should read through what all they have to say on the matter.

The Top 35 Medical Waste and Disposal Blogs

Medical disposal and waste have become a concern for the healthcare industry because lax regulations in the US may contribute to the spread of infections and diseases. Unlike European countries, the regulations for disposing of medical waste is mandated by the state, not the federal government. This leaves many holes in the policies for proper medical disposal since the laws and procedures range from lenient to completely absent. Top Blogs and Articles for Medical Waste and Disposal While there are few blogs that directly or indirectly track medical waste and disposal, there are many articles on the web that demonstrate the various standards for states and individual hospitals on the subject.
    1. Medical Waste Online : This up-to-date blog is one of the best online resources for learning about medical waste and disposal. 2. Assessing the Hidden Problem of Medical Waste Disposal : Learn about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and their stance to improve regulations for getting rid of medical waste. 3. Medical Field Considers Eco-Friendly Ways : This article discusses the smart things medical waste companies are doing for their network of hospitals and clinics that are helping the environment and cutting down on costs. 4. FDA Establishes Guidelines on Drug Disposal : This article talks about the FDA rules for the public to dispose of medicine and drugs that have no distinct directions on packaging. 5. Recycling X-Ray Film Program : Understand recycling x-ray film, which is one of the latest ways hospitals and clinics are cutting down on waste. 6. VA Launches Pilot Program Cost Effective Medical Waste Disposal : This article talks about a new program from a Houston-based company that provides an affordable, proper medical disposal program for in and out patient VA hospitals. 7. FDA Law Blog – DEA Seeks Comments on Controlled Substances : This article discusses the Controlled Substances Act and its effect on long term patients and facilities that usually throw pills in the trash or flush them. 8. What is Bio Medical Waste? : Learn how bio medical waste differs from other clincal and hospital”trash.”. 9. Medical Waste – A Growing Concern : This blog entry talks about medical waste management. Check out the comments box for thought-provoking insight from those in the field. 10. Med Assure Services : This is one of the true medical disposal blogs out there and aims to educate on the subject. 11. Objectives of Hospital Waste Management : What’s the point of sorting hospital waste management? Well, the welfare of our health and the planet. Read more on the topic here. 12. Know About the Disposal of Expired Drugs : Proper disposal of expired drugs in the household is also a growing problem. Learn how to get rid of items the right way with this helpful article. 13. Definitely of Hospital Waste : Hospital waste is an important subject within the disposal debate because it can contain hazardous materials. Learn more by reading this article. 14. Medical Waste, Disposable Risks Multiply : This interesting article discusses new ways hospitals and clinics are going about age-old procedures to cut down on waste and reuse what they can. 15. Medical Disposal Systems : Recycling in the Twin Cities is easy, even for medical waste thanks to this nifty site. 16. Hospital Waste Management Procedures : If you’re looking for ways for your hospital or clinic to properly manage what goes in the garbage, you’ll love this article. 17. Medical Waste – A Rising Challenge for the Healthcare Industry : Why is it a problem? Because the amount of garbage the healthcare industry throws out is in the billions. Read what is being done about the situation here. 18. EP Catheters Recycling Imagine every catheter that comes out of a hospital being recycled. That’s a lot less waste and it’s what this company offers. 19. Seminole Medical and Infectious Waste Disposal : Check out this comprehensive list of proper waste disposal facilitators in Florida. 20. Healthcare Waste : The World Health Organization brings us this amazing and informative site on hospital waste management. 21. Hospital Waste Fact Sheet : A brilliant, go-to guide for learning about hospital waste and the best methods for various supplies. 22. Medical Waste Solutions : This company will do the dirty work for you, but their website provides a great resource for learning what items are accepted by facilities such as this. 23. X-Ray Medical Film Recycling : X-rays are now being recycled. Read about the process at this site. 24. How is Medical Waste Disposed Of? : How does it all go down? Learn the protocol for getting rid of medical waste. 25. Curing the Problem of Discarding Pills : Think flushing your old pills down the toilet is the way to go? Think again after reading this article. 26. Medical Waste Disposal : A concise article that explains the basics and facts of medical waste disposal. 27. Hospital Waste Disposal Systems and Technology : Can we use technology to help manage medical waste? Certainly, and here’s how it’s being done. 28. Disposal of Expired Medication Samples : What can a clinic do with those loads of medication samples that expire? Find out with this informative blog post. 29. How Does Hospital Waste Management Help the Environment : Waste management at hospitals and clinics helps the planet in major ways since so much is discarded daily. 30. Proper Drug Disposal Promotes Healthier Living Environment : Tips on how to sort and dispose of your over-the-counter and prescription medications. 31. Medical Waste Regulations : This informative article is a must-read for those learning about medical waste. Read about the medical Waste Tracking Act and the EPA’s role in the disposal process. 32. Improper Disposal of Medical Waste Brings Fines : Read how some states are laying down the law, which includes hefty fines (to the tune of $39,000) to major hospitals like Boston Medical Center. 33. US Medical Waste Management Market : This article published in July 2010 talks about the rise of medical waste in the US and what companies are doing to meet the demand. 34. Sharps Repurposes Medical Waste : Read how this innovative company is cutting down on the trash discarded by clinics and hospitals. 35. About Medical Waste Disposal Laboratories : This brief article discusses the types of medical waste and delves into biohazardous waste disposal.
Environmentalists and those concerned with the health of the US are pushing for federal laws that strictly enforce the way medical waste is disposed of in this country.

Top 50 Blogs for Marathoners

To the uninitiated, it may seem as if the world of long-distance runners is a strange sort of club. The athletes use words like”bonk” and talk lovingly about blisters and speak openly of avoiding diarrhea on long runs. They train obsessively and run what seems like way too many marathons in a short amount of time in order to join a club called the”Marathon Maniacs.” In fact, some of them may seem like maniacs due to their seemingly insane devotion to the sport of running. But then you start to take a closer look. Through these 50 excellent blogs by and for marathoners, a picture emerges. It’s a picture of a full-time college student who runs to stay fit, a single working mom who runs to relieve stress, an ultramarathoner whose weekend isn’t complete without some sort of long distance race, and a man who took up running to regain his youth and found a passion instead. Read these 50 top blogs for marathoners and be inspired by the courage, persistence, and honesty these people display. General Marathon Blogs These blogs contain general references about marathons, training, strategies, news, and running gear.
    1. Marathon Training Schedule Blog : Marius Bakken blogs about his approach to the marathon training schedule. He offers a 100-day marathon training plan. 2. Marathon and Beyond : Runners share funny, crazy, and inspirational stories on this entertaining blog. 3. Dean’s Blog : Dean Karanazes is a well-known ultra-long-distance runner and a consistent blogger for Runner’s World. He posts many tips on strategy and training on his blog. 4. On and Off the Track : Trainer, coach, and sports scientist Steve Magness discusses running issues on his blog. The site has a rich collection of previous articles. 5. See Corey Run : Corey Irwin is an experienced runner, excellent athlete, and running coach. She posts on running topics such as sports nutrition, marathon training, the mental aspects of running, cooking, and news from the world of track and field. 6. Running Advice : Get marathon news and training tips from Coach Joe English on this blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re running your first or your 50th marathon, you’ll be able to get a lot out of this blog. 7. Pheppidations : Massachusetts communications expert Steve Walker has been sharing his thoughts about distance running since 1998. Don’t miss this experienced marathoner’s podcast. 8. Half Marathon Running : This informative blog provides lots of great tips for training for and completing a half marathon race. 9. RW Daily : This is a blog by the editors of Runner’s World that combines viewpoints on running with product reviews and news from the world of running. 10. Coach Jenny Hadfield : Jenny Hadfield has written several books on marathoning, and she has a master’s degree in exercise science. She uses her experience as a certified coach and personal trainer. She writes about running for many different publications. 11. Ann’s Running Commentary : Ann writes for the”Washington Running Report” and other running publications. She loves to write about her own runs as well as those of others. 12. Best Running Tips This is a great site if you’re looking for a place to find reviews of running gear, clothing, and other runner’s necessities. 13. Marathon Rookie Marathon Training Blog Brad Boughman provides articles, tips, inspiration, and guidance for anyone who wants to train for a marathon on his blog. 14. 26Point2Medals This interesting blog showcases the medals that are given as prizes in different marathons around the world. There are many beautiful photos. 15. ZBSports : ZBSports is a blog devoted to educating the public about the best in running apparel and shoes. 16. Endurance Planet : Endurance Planet is a great site for anyone who loves marathoning and distance running. Here, you can find videos, inspiring posts, and articles, as well an awesome podcast. 17. The Final Sprint : Marathon runners are just one of the groups featured on the podcasts here at The Final Sprint. You’ll love the interviews with other athletes as well as the articles.
Marathon Communities and Blogs These community running websites have links to hundreds of member blogs and websites.
    18. Cool Running : Runners of all ability levels gather at Cool Running to talk about their favorite hobby. See other people’s marathon training plans, nutrition, diets, and strategies. 19. MarathonGuide : MarathonGuide.com is a great community website for runners of all ability levels to get together and discuss race tips, strategies, and inside information. 20. Active.com : Active.com is packed with great articles and resources for athletes in all sports. The running section contains a calendar that lets you know when races will be held in your area and around the country. 21. Nike Running : Many runners enjoy networking at Nike Running.com. You can also sign up free to get training tools and see a guide to running shoes. 22. Running Healthy Living Community : The popular weight loss website Sparkpeople hosts this community that has over 79 teams and over 93,000 members who have one thing in common: being seriously interested in running. 23. Complete Running : Here are links to over 1,700 member running blogs. Connect to bloggers that match your interest by location, preferred distance, and other criteria. 24.  Daily Mile : The Daily Mile is an extremely popular website that serious runners use to log their miles. You can also log your participation in other sports such as weightlifting, cycling, or walking.
Local Marathon Blogs On these blogs, you’ll find references to specific marathons as well as running in specific cities.
    25. The Roving Runner : Brian Fidelman explores New York City from a runner’s perspective, posting about the New York City Marathon at certain times of the year. 26. Boston Marathon Blog : On the Boston Marathon blog at the Boston Globe, you can keep track of all the happenings surrounding one of the world’s most famous marathons. 27. …miles to go before I sleep… : TZ (Trail Zombie) is a member of the Marathon Maniacs and loves to write about his runs in the Oklahoma park system. 28. Mrs. Duffy’s Marathon Blog : Mrs. Duffy is a 35-year-old New Yorker who calls herself a “fat chick” but she is a veteran marathon runner who can keep a 10-minute mile pace.
Marathoners With Special Challenges These people undertake their marathon journey with unique conditions or parameters that make their blogs especially interesting.
    29. The Barefoot Runner : “Barefoot Rick” has run over 16,000 miles barefoot since October 2003. He chronicles his journey on this blog. Running marathons and other races barefoot is part of what he considers to be his Christian mission. 30. Balls On The Table : Balls On The Table is the blog of Zab, a man who is running for “Cru,” a friend’s baby who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. Cru died just before he turned five months old. 31. The Fruitarian : Michael Arnstein is a self-described “fruitarian” who runs ultra-long-distance races and eats a diet almost entirely composed of low-fat fruit and vegetables. 32. Maddog Marathon Blog : John “Maddog” Wallace holds the world record for marathons, having run over 330 marathons in 103 countries around the world. He’s run on 7 continents, in every country in Europe, every state in the USA, and every Canadian province.
Marathon Blogs By Men
    33. 26.2 Quest : Tim Wilson blogs about his race training as he works toward his second marathon. He has lost over 90 pounds in two years. 34. The Puerto Rican Kenyan : The “Puerto Rican Kenyan” is a marathoner who has been seriously training since 2007. He has a time under 3 hours and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon. 35. Adventures of A Marathoner : “Midpack Runner” is a graduate student who has a goal of running in the Boston Marathon. 36. Jokach’s Marathon Training Blog : An “average” working father from Pennsylvania chronicles his marathon training on this blog. His blog is listed on the “Top 100 Running Sites.” 37. The Kenyan Way : Sean Wade has been a professional runner for over 20 years, and is currently the fastest runner in the world in his category. In fact, the Road Runners Club of America named him their 2006 Male Runner of the Year. 38. There Are No Limits : Wyatt, a 36-year-old man from Colorado, has found success in ultramarathons. He writes about his races and offers others inspiration. 39. Half Fast : Ian writes about running with a distinct sense of humor that will leave readers laughing and encouraged in their own running. 40. Got Lactate? : ExSoccerGuy loves to write about his races and about the great gear that helps him get through them.
Marathon Blogs By Women
    41. Run Pigtails : Van Phan is a physician assistant from Washington who started out as a marathon runner and worked her way up to ultramarathons. 42. Run Like A Mother : Dimity and Sarah blog about their adventures as moms who love to run. Their blog developed into a book as well. 43. Frayed Laces : This graduate student from Hawaii loves training for and running in marathons. Even though she was set back by a 2007 pelvic stress fracture, she has recovered to run many races since. 44. The Chic Runner : Danica is a twentysomething graduate student from Southern California who loves to run and write about running. 45. Marathon Mama : Kristina Pinto is “Marathon Mama;” she blogs for every woman who uses long-distance running as a way to escape from the stresses of daily life. 46. Mother, Runner, Nurse : Mother, Runner, Nurse is a blog by Sarah, a divorced mother who balances her home life with her nursing career and her running habit. 47. Run Like A Girl, And Mean It! : This Southern girl is a 3rd grade teacher in Alabama who spends her free time helping her parents and training for marathons. She is a serious runner, having won the Pensacola marathon in 2006. 48. Tired Mama Running : “Tired Mama” is a Colorado native who has three cute kids and one serious running habit. She named her blog because she is tired, and she is a mom who runs. 49. Girl In Motion: A Running Odyssey : Flo Karp is a 48-year-old who began running from scratch in February 2007 and got hooked. She ran her first marathon on October 12, 2008. 50. Mom vs. Marathon : Kerrie is a mom who aspires to running a marathon as well as writing a novel. Visit her blog to check up on her progress.

10 Worst Places in the World to Live If You’re a Woman

Violence, rape and little or no education is a fact of life for many women all over the globe. While the feminist movement took off in parts of the Western world, many women are still treated as second class citizens. Many endure violent daily events and manage to persevere and take care of their children in hopes of a better tomorrow.
  • Haiti. 75% of women in Haiti give birth at home. If that weren’t enough to deal with, AIDS is rampant and women are threatened by gangs of men whose only purpose is to hunt victims to rape. Many women have taken to the hills above Port au Prince just to stay safe as they try to work as street vendors. To make this trek, female street vendors usually end up spending a large portion of their profits to travel to safe territory to work. Girls as young as 11 and 12 years old turn to prostitution to help support their families since education for females in Haiti is non-existent in some areas. Nearly 50% of Haitian will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.


  • Papau New Guinea. Here women only receive an education until the fifth grade and then enter the work force. Women are four times as likely to have HIV as men. It is nearly impossible for women in Papau New Guinea to achieve financial independence due to lack of education. While the legal age for a female to be married in the country is 16, in most rural villages menstruation will suffice for making a young girl fit for marriage. In 2004, the UN released a report that said 21% of girls between the ages of 15-19 are widowed, divorced or married. According to Amnesty International about 150 women per year are executed for accusation of practicing witchcraft.


  • Domestic Republic of Congo. Deemed one of the most dangerous places in the world for women to live, the Congo has years of civil unrest under its belt, making it a haven for violence and rape against women. Women were on the front lines of warfare for decades. Torture and rape were common tactics used on women. Even after the war, rape has reached dramatic proportions and puts women at high risk for HIV. Health centers provided by non-profit agencies are usually days away and the only way to get there is on foot. If traveling at night, women are at risk of being kidnaped and forced to serve as sex and domestic slaves Ages range from 4 to 80, resulting in 19% of the female population being infected with HIV.


  • Juarez. Juarez recently made headlines after the distress of the city inspired designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte. The sisters and designers traveled through Texas for inspiration and stumbled upon Juarez. While other cities and countries on this list are well-known for their violence against women, the happenings in Juarez seem to slip from the headlines. Since the early ‘90s, thousands of women have been murdered with dead bodies turning up on road sides or in vacant lots. Research done by authors, film makers and journalists have turned up links between local establishments, organized crime and local law enforcement. Within the first four days of January 2010, 37 women were murdered.


  • Darfur. While women in other areas of the Sudan have made great strides, Darfur has fallen by the wayside. Women walk miles each day to gather food and water for their children, regularly risking being kidnaped and enslaved. Husbands seldom protect all of their wives (which is common in Darfur) and usually stick to the elder wife, leaving the others to fend for themselves. At night, women in Darfur stick to safe huts that are hidden among the jungle. Areas like sanitation are improving, but there’s still a mass need for medical and legal services to give women help to create their own livelihoods.


  • Niger. Women are abused by their husbands in Niger and never prosecuted. This can cause some women to leave their homes and due to lack of education, these women usually turn to prostitution to make a living. Abuse is also common by fathers and brothers, as are rape and humiliation. When reaching out to the authorities, women are often blamed for the actions of men. Hospitals do treat injured women, but never record the reasons for the injury. Arranged marriages are common, so if a woman tells her parents of abuse in her own marriage, it is often seen as an insult towards the parents.


  • Mali Genital mutilation is the norm in Mali. In the eyes of the lawn, women in Mali are seen as equals, but in reality they take a backseat as citizens. Girls receive schooling until the age of 12, but in the school year of 2005-06, only 49% of girls attended primary school. Girls can legally marry at the age of 18, but marriage with the consent of a parent is legal at 15. These laws are not enforced and arranged marriages happen for girls as young as 9 years old. Many are forced to give birth at a young age, resulting in mass complications and often, death for the girl. While there are laws against rape, men are seldom convicted of the crime. Spousal rape is still legal.


  • Iraq. Iraq once held a high literacy rate for women. After the U.S. invasion, parents are afraid to send their young girls resulting in little education throughout the country. Kidnap and rape is common even for young girls, as well as adult women. Women who worked before the war now stay home for the same reason. Hunger is at an all-time high in this Arab country and overall, women’s rights have drastically decreased since 2003. Worst of all, Iraq’s backwards laws have caused oppression throughout the country, creating a population of women who are unaware of their rights. In Afghanistan, a woman dies every half hour due to complications during child birth.


  • Sierra Leone. In the Sierra Leone only 24% of women are literate. On average, women live to be 43 in this country and one in eight women die during childbirth. Just a few years after the end of civil warfare, women in the Sierra Leone struggle with violence and rape more than any other women in the world.. Women deal with rape in a major way, so much so that after becoming victims of rape, men in the villages will mock them. This often leads to the woman becoming undesired and left by her husband. The same goes for women who have children from rape. Some are even rejected by their family members. While legislation for women’s rights in Sierra Leone has been passed, it is seldom enforced and persecuting perpetrators is practically non-existent .


  • Nepal. In Nepal, women are married off and have children as early as 14 and 15 years old. This contributes to a large number of women dying in childbirth due to lack of proper medical care. Sex traffickers are rampant in Nepal and are often the answer for a girl who is not married by the time she’s 18 or so. Like other countries on our list of worst places in the world to live if you’re a woman, allegedly practicing witchcraft is enough to have women tormented in the streets. Women are labeled “boskis” for no concrete reason which means witch and face severe discrimination. Guerilla groups force women to participate due to civil war between Maoist and government rebels.


  • While the United Nations and non-profit agencies continue to battle women’s rights around the world, there are some areas where battling violence and looking over your shoulder as you attempt to gather food and drinkable water is a way of life.

    The 50 Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting

    Ever wish your grandparents or parents ever wrote a journal of their lives? For more and more families, this is now a reality with the advancement of the internet. Loads of sites offer individuals free blogs to be maintained and updated as the writer wishes. As a result, many grandparents have turned to blogging, as well as reading blogs for people just like them. In the above spirit, below are the 50 best blogs by and about grandparenting. By grandmothers, grandfathers, retired people, experts, and more, you are sure to understand an important member of the family like never before. Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting by a Group Two or more grandparents write about tips, daily life, and more in their blogs.
      1. GaGa Sisterhood :This is a social network for enthusiastic, creative, caring women who indulge in the joy of being grandmothers. With “bonding, bragging, and benefits” it is a must read for grandparents. Popular posts include “7 Ways to Say Congratulations, You’re Going to be Grandparents” and “Another Ponytail Donated to Love.” 2. Grandparents TLC : The title and purpose of the blog is to provide Technology to help Loving grandparents Connect with grandchildren. Shayne and Tanda author this blog and even offer others the opportunity to write a guest post. Videos, tips, and more are shared often. 3. The Nana Blogs : Grandparents from all over the web can stop here for a blogging community just for them. Simply visit the Sign Up page to begin. You can also read the blogs of other grandparents. 4. Mommy Life : With twelve children, Barbara’s family is way more than a bunch. Since 2005, she has written over 6,000 entries, you can read her stories or narrow them down by category. Her picks include baby stuff, safety, movies, books, and so much more. 5. Sharp Session : This is one of the official blogs from the AARP. It contains the latest news surrounding retired persons, along with many other tips for those over 65. Best of all, you don’t have to be a member to read. 6. Elder Exercise : If you are over 50 and want to exercise more, this is the blog for you. Six different people have registered and share their exercises on a regular basis. Check them out, or join in. 7. Grammology : Two generations of women collaborate to give the straight-up, no-nonsense wisdom of “Gramma.” Linda and Dorothy write on issues of the day including parenting and work. A recent entry was on Sarah Ferguson and lessons learned. 8. Adult Education Blog : An eclectic blog that covers a wide array of topics from the perspective of seniors who want to educate the newest generation. From healthy living, to having “the talk” with your grandchildren, lots of interesting topics are covered.
    Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting by Grandmother The mothers of parents of children have loads to say in these blogs.
      9. Nanahood : Teresa was voted “most likely to never marry” by her high school. Over 30 years and five children later, she is now a grandmother. Her blog focuses on the second part of motherhood: Nanahood. Regular entries include Wordless Wednesday and Thursday Thoughts. 10. Grandma Stories : This blog is for and about new grandmas and grandpas, as well as stories for and about more experienced grandparents. The blogger discusses both her grandchildren and adult children in the blog. Tags include activities, recipes, gifts, and the good old-fashioned story. 11. Nana’s Corner : Nana has been married for 37 years and has two grandchildren with another on the way. A high school teacher with a retired husband, Nana is on her way to retirement herself. Recent entries are on fun summer activities. 12. Grandma Ideas : Visit here for the blog of the “Digi-Granny.” Her love of technology will have you guessing she is years younger. However, her photo gallery and stories show the love only a grandmother could. 13. Play With Me Nana! : Connie named her blog after one of the first sentences her grandchild said. Now at seven, he is still playing games with his grandma, along with the second grandchild. One of the latest entries was on Clay Day. 14. Going to Googoo’s : Glenda is a Christian mother of two and grandmother to two grandchildren. She also writes about sewing, coupons, and baking. She recently announced the expectancy of her third grandchild, so expect more blogging. 15. Grandma’s Briefs : Lisa is a laid-off newspaper writer and editor looking for a way to keep her writing muscle flexed. She doesn’t mind her love of rocking chairs, socks, and being called “grandma.” Interesting entries include topics such as “9 Things I’ve Kept for the Grandkids.” 16. A Grandparent’s Voice : Pamela is a mother, grandmother, and writer. She writes about finding your voice as a grandmother, along with other things. One of the latest entries was on being patiently perfect. 17. Grandma Henke : She retired from a 25 year career as the director of a non-profit agency that assists people with developmental disabilities. With 17 grandchildren, she has laughed and cried her way through many experiences. Read the latest on her blog. 18. Grand Nana – Parenting the Second Time ‘Round : From Massachusetts, GN is a 50 something grandmother raising a nine year old grandson. She is also a computer geek, a lover of good food, and more. Although she has gone a few months without posting, her poetry and short stories are inspiring.
    Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting by a Grandfather These granddads also have loads to write about.
      19. Square Sunshine : Martin shares the thoughts and observations of a grandfather. It is a standout choice for the impressive photography he takes and shares. Get tips for both with a visit. 20. Vigilant Grandpa : This blogger believes in holding the tiny hand for as long as you can while being vigilant. With hundreds of entries just this year alone, make time for Michael’s blog. Deals, politics, and more are discussed. 21. A Blog by James Curran : Although James doesn’t blog often on his grandchildren, there are still lots of them. Focusing mostly on politics, he is from Canada. The “33 Grandparent’s Rights” entry is worth the visit alone. 22. Grandparents and The Law : Visit here for another blog on the rights of grandparents. It is sponsored by the Grandparent Case Law Monitor. There hasn’t been a new entry in a while, but there are loads of archived case reports. 23. Dying Man’s Daily Journal : At 52, Bill was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He later began this blog for himself, his granddaughter, and anyone else who may be going through the same thing. Must reads include his story and the spirit within him. 24. Boomers : Brent Green is a marketing consultant who specializes in the “boomer” generation. He provides opinions, analyses, and commentary for news media. Categories range from advertising to health to travel.
    Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting by an Individual They may or may not be grandparents but still have lots to say about it.
      25. Grandparents and Grandparenting : Susan Adcox is your expert from About.com on Grandparenting. The blog offers fun activities, grandparent’s rights, and much more. Must reads include an entry for new grandparents and classic outdoor games. 26. Living on the Other Side of the Hill : From Kentucky, Judy is a retired lady who enjoys writing about it. As a former state employee, she loves to travel, read and meet new people. She also has a blog on Southern cooking. 27. The Retirement Chronicles : A retired woman chronicles family, marriage, gardening, birds, and photography all in one place. Daily observations are given with humor and heart. A good choice if you want to be you for a while instead of “grandma.” 28. Liam’s Grandma or Maggie in Real Life : She splits her time between Rochester and Detroit. Her time in each place depends on a variety of factors including hormones, kids, grandchild, husband, and hair on any given day. Categories range from baby exchange to work life. 29. My Elderly Space : “Yada and Yoda” dedicate their blog to the elderly and the joy and wisdom they can bring to those surrounding them, even grandchildren. With loads of tips on living a full, healthy life for seniors, it is a good stop. A recent entry was even on how to live to 100. 30. The Boomer Blog : Seven bloggers stop in to write about life as part of the boomer generation. The blog is sponsored by Fleishman-Hillard, a public relations firm. Categories include beauty, health, finances, marketing, and more. 31. The New Old Age : From “The New York Times,” this blog focuses on children whose parents are over 80. Jane Gross is the author of “Families with Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions.” Medical policy, Social Security, and more are written about. 32. Parenting Grown Children : This blog is also entitled “what Dr. Spock forgot to tell us.” With the continued parenting of adult children in mind, the myths of clear sailing are dispersed. Be sure to read the “notes to self” on the left. 33. A Nana’s Journey : This blogger believes that life is sometimes terrible and sometimes tender. With both in mind, she writes about being a wife, woman, mother, grandmother, and much more. She is also proud to be Canadian and writes about that as well.
    Specialty Best Blogs By and About Grandparenting These blogs cover a certain aspect of grandparenting.
      34. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren : Karen raised her granddaughters for seven years before they went back to live with their mother. In addition to the entire story, she also writes about how everyone is doing now. A recent post even showed how to use Skype with the kids. 35. LDS Nana : This grandmother is also a Mormon. Part of AskMormon, she often addresses issues on both religion and Grandparenting. Choose from one of informative posts or read the latest. 36. Quilting Ranny : Both quilting and grandparenting are the choice subjects of this blog. This grandmother is raising her three grandchildren while in search of the perfect quilt. Updates and pictures of both are featured. 37. Gramma’s Quilting Room : Judy is another grandma who enjoys quilting. From Washington State, she also discusses family, friends, dogs, chickens, books, and more. Tips for everything and daily life are often discussed. 38. Ellouisestory : She has been a professional storyteller for the last 20 years. Her stories are for everyone including seniors, adults, youth, and families. Visit the blog to get tips for your own storytelling. 39. Finding Direction: The Wind Vane Chronicles : Dee Andrews, Esq. is a lawyer and also a grandmother. Her blog focuses on finding direction during this stage of life. Recent entries have been on “The Boat.” 40. Nutmeg Notes : Natural Mother is mother to five and “Nandy” to four. She is a homemaker and writer who is “desperate to see the footsteps of Jesus before me.” Read about all in the blog. 41. Chin Hairs Are Nothing But Stray Eyelids : Jan is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In addition to being a grandmother, she is also an event planner. She also blogs on travel, Broadway, and reading. 42. Nona Nita’s Grandparenting Blog : She lives in Long Island where she teaches ESL and Social Studies at a high school. Her blog focuses on giving the children and grandchildren both roots and wings. Choose from loads of posts on education and product reviews. 43. Grandma’s Little Pearls : Both wisdom and grandchildren are the subject of the pearls in this blog. Shelley finds a variety of kid tested and approved activities to enrich the lives of both children and adults. Lasting memories and more are shared often. 44. The Domestic Episodes of a Rodeo Princess : This grandmother focuses neither on princesses or rodeos. Her grandsons often take center stage, along with updates on daily life.
    Best Blogs To Make the Most of Grandparenting These blogs have loads of tips for your grandparenting, finances, free time, and more.
      45. Ann Tucker : She is “that garage selling, internet blogging, Googling Granny.” If you need help with anything from working an iPhone to selling something on eBay, she can help. A recent entry was on the timelessness of Monopoly. 46. Nana Finds : This is the blog for grandparents looking to save money. Nana finds ways to save money and gives both information and tips. Recent posts are on free credit reports and ten easy de-stressors. 47. Women’s Home Activities : Get creative ideas to do at home yourself, with friends, or the grandkids here. Categories include around the home, educational, gardening, and more. A recent entry was on a lesson in life. 48. Financial Intimacy : Helga is a member of the American Society on Aging and created “A Wife’s Guide to Intimacy” two years before she was widowed. This is an excellent choice for grandmothers who are single and need someone of their own age giving financial advice. Blog entries also contain topics for married couples. 49. Grandloving : The authors of this blog are a mother, daughter in law, and father team. Connection ideas are a useful tool for brining families together. You can also choose entries such as a new grandbaby or long distance love. 50. Surrogate Grandparenting : This site was launched as a unique experiment in creating families. It is for families with children of all ages whose grandparents are unable to be in their lives and surrogates who want to fill in. Blog posts are on the goings on of the lives of participants.
    Remember to use caution when visiting the above 50 best blogs by and about grandparenting. Although they are good for a read, caution should be used when contacting anyone over the internet as everything is done anonymously and without penalties.