Marc Silver

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Goats and Soda
8:06 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Feeling Gloomy? Maybe Things On Earth Aren't As Bad As You Think

Michael Elliott poses with a group of children during a trip to Segou, Mali. One reason for his optimistic outlook is the dramatic drop in deaths of children under age 5.
Courtesy of ONE

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:52 am

If you want to be a pessimist about the shape the world's in, just turn on the news. It seems as if we're living in an age of terrorism, war, refugees, hostages and natural disasters.

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Goats and Soda
3:45 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The World's Oldest First-Grader Is Honored By A Google Doodle

Kimani Maruge became a first-grader at age 84. The Google doodle shows him in his school uniform.
Courtesy of Google

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 6:13 pm

The Google doodle for Kenya today shows a white-haired man at a table in a primary school, earnestly writing a classroom exercise. The kids behind him grin as if to say, "He is kind of old to be a first-grader."

Well, yes, he is! In 2004, Kimani Maruge went to school for the first time at age 84. Monday marks the 11th anniversary of his first day at school. The Guinness Book of Records says he's the oldest person to enroll in primary school. And who am I to argue?

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Goats and Soda
4:31 am
Sun January 4, 2015

If You Shouldn't Call It The Third World, What Should You Call It?

The question of what to call "the developing world" is a developing debate.
Jing Wei for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:50 pm

Our blog was born in 2014, and I'll let you in on a little secret: We had a really hard time coming up with our name. (See: "Why Goats? Why Soda?")

But that naming struggle was nothing compared with figuring out what to call the parts of the world we cover. Third World? Developing world? Global south? Low- and middle-income countries?

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Goats and Soda
9:36 am
Tue December 23, 2014

In The Village: Wilbur Goes Home

Wilbur Sargunaraj visits a small house with a thatched roof, a medium-sized house and a "gigantic mansion" in his father's village.
Produced by Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR, John W. Poole and Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 3:50 pm

If a guy wearing pajama pants and a necktie and sunglasses rang your doorbell and asked to make a video of your home, you'd probably slam the door so fast you'd shatter his lenses.

That's not what happened when Wilbur Sargunaraj went calling on various homeowners in his father's home village in the Tirunelveli district in southern India.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It's Harder Than You Think

The photographer thought it was a goat. The photo editor thought it was a goat. Sure looked like a goat to the author of this post. It turns out to be a sheep, in Dakar, Senegal.
Claire Harbage for NPR

So perhaps you noticed a post I wrote last weekend about how you know if your goat is happy. Yes, scientists do study that.

The story had a cute picture of a goat at the top, taken by a photographer in Dakar, Senegal. The farmer told the photographer that the animal was his "goatie." And to our untutored eyes, it looked like a goat.

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