power of imagination

This is probably one of the best TED talks i have ever seen. “Our imagination can be used as a tool for breaking through borders. In our minds we can be anything and we can do anything. It’s believing in those dreams and facing the fears which allow us to live our lives beyond our limits.”

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Will you support me?

I have made a commitment to do a 50km charity walk on 14 September to fundraise for RedR UK, a humanitarian capacity building organization. My aim is to walk 50km in max 8 hours and raise at least 10GBP for each kilometer (so – at least 500GBP in total).

You can donate through my Just Giving page here – http://www.justgiving.com/Sandra-Martinsone

By donating at least 5GBP you will also have a chance to win a very personal gift from me, so it’s a really good deal! 😉

Be generous. Support.

Thank you!

Rīga – kafijotāju paradīze?!

Esot Rīgā, mani visbiežāk apmeklētākie objekti ir kafejnīcas un grāmatveikali. Lai nu kas, bet kafejnīcas rīdziniekus lutina un pēdējo gadu laikā sadzimušas kā sēnes pēc lietus. Turklāt, katrai ir sava rozīnīte un īpašā atmosfēra, tāpēc var lieliski iztikt bez populāro lielo ķēžu piedāvājuma. La Kanna Tērbatas ielā, Kuuka Kafe Grēcinieku ielā (īpaši iesaku tiem, La Kannakam gribas ar kādu parunāties; pļāpīgāku apkalpotāju būtu diezgan neiespējami atrast 🙂 ), vecais labais Emihls Gustavs ar vienreizējām šokolādīgām piedevām pie kafijas, Kuukotava protams ar feinajām smalkmaizītēm, un Ze Donats uz Valdemāra ielas ar kolosālakajiem ‘dounatiem’ un Sweetday cafe Vecrīgas sirdī ar mājīgo atmosfēru.  Dēļ šīm kafejnīcām vien ir vērts pāris dienas pavadīt Rīgā un to nesteidzīgi pabaudīt, izgaršot; un tā laiski iečilot, satiekoties ar draudzenēm. Zinu, ka man vēl ir daudzas nenotestētas vietas, taču lai tā jaunatklāšana notiek tā pamazām un dabiski….

Bet, ja kāds var ko īpaši jauku ieteikt, lūdzu! 🙂

Ziedonis

Nekur citur man nekad negribas tik ļoti palasīt Ziedoni kā tad, kad esmu Latvijas mājās. Un šoreiz manī pametīgi aizķērās šīs rindas.

“Ir saule, debesis,
un maize abrā rūgst,
un bērni dzimst –
nekā jau nepietrūkst.
Bet skaidri jūti,
Pirmais sniegs, kad snieg,
Ka nepietrūkst,
bet arī nepietiek.
Jo tas, kas dabūts,
it nekur nav liekams.
un tas, kas liekams,
ir tik nepietiekams.
Un tad, kad zvaigzne krīt,
tā it kā iekož:
viss nepaliekošs ir
un nepietiekošs.”

counting Olympic medals

Last two days have been absolutely amazing for Latvia: our beach volleyball team (Pļaviņš and Smediņš) won

bronze and BMX cyclist Maris Strombers won gold!!!

Maris Strombergs

For someone in UK or China this obviously would seem like nothing special as these countries are collecting several medals each day.  USA, which has received almost 100 medals (!) so far, makes me even somewhat feel as if Latvia has been terribly under-performing.

However, if you really look at the results, the truth is:

  • those countries which invest a lot of money (disregarding if they can or cant afford; f.e., China vs GB) in sports and nurturing of future Olympic medalists, also get good results; UK is spending around 100 million GBP per year to support Olympics and para-Olympics athletes!
  • it has become more than clear that GB team had a great comparative advantage over other sportsmen because of having massive number of GB supporters around.

Therefore, in my opinion, the real talents and real champions are those, who manage to win despite coming from a small country (or with less financial/ prep support for Olympics) and without thousands of cheering supporters. Moreover, i think, the table of absolute number of medals per country is misleading; check this table of medals per capita – this one shows that the value of 1 Grenadian champion is greater than the value of almost 100 US champions.

Cheers to Latvian Olympic champions! I’m proud of you.