Marc Silver



Mon March 2, 2015
Goats and Soda

Elephant On The Menu? It's Not Just A Birthday Dish For Robert Mugabe

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 2:00 pm

An African elephant in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park is a draw for tourists.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Newspapers around the world have reported that elephant was to be served at a $1 million birthday party for Robert Mugabe, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, held on Saturday.

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Wed February 25, 2015
Goats and Soda

Global Rules Of Greeting Vary, But Biden And Travolta Get No Support

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:25 am

Vice President Joe Biden was criticized for coming up from behind and getting too close to Stephanie Carter at her husband's swearing-in ceremony as secretary of defense.
Evan Vucci AP

Joe Biden and John Travolta don't seem to know when they're getting too close for comfort.

Last week, the vice president went up to Stephanie Carter, the wife of the newly named secretary of defense, and put his hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear. She did not look at all amused.

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Thu February 19, 2015
Goats and Soda

India's Kerala Has It All: Beauty, Bananas, Long Life, Girl Power

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 12:24 pm

Wilbur Sargunaraj tours the backwaters of Kerala, India.
Wilbur Sargunaraj

President Obama gave a shoutout to the beauty of the "backwaters of Kerala" when he visited India last month.

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Sun February 15, 2015
Goats and Soda

He's Half-Kenyan And Half-German. And He Believes 'We're All The Same'

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:57 pm

David Hermlin is a singer, dancer, musician and songwriter — oh, and a global activist, too. Sample lyric: "I will fight for my dream, and I will never give up."
Courtesy of David Hermlin

In Berlin, David Hermlin is a 14-year-old who wants to be a star — and is well on his way. He plays drums and guitar, dances and sings. He performs with his father's jazz orchestra. He even writes songs.

But Hermlin has another life as well — as a global activist.

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Fri February 13, 2015
Goats and Soda

Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It's Easy To Pick Up

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 12:41 pm

You want that soda bottle. But it may not be because you crave soda. It might just be that you love the idea of wrapping your fingers around its enticing shape.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. (See our story about how you know if your goat is happy.) The same goes for soda.

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Wed February 11, 2015
Goats and Soda

Kayla Mueller's Death Underscores Risks For Aid Workers Abroad

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:00 pm

Random violence in Syria makes it a dangerous place for aid workers. This month, members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent transported Syrians from a rebel area to a part of Aleppo controlled by the Assad regime.
Baraa Al-Halabi AFP/Getty Images

It's a scary time to be an altruistic American abroad. The death of Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Ariz., is a sobering reminder of just how dangerous the world can be for aid workers.

Mueller had a big place in her heart for displaced Syrians. She'd worked with the Danish Refugee Council and other nonprofits.

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Sat January 31, 2015
Goats and Soda

Just Your Typical Teenagers Helping To Fight World Poverty

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 8:24 am

They're members of the global-minded teens club: (left to right) Toluwanimi Sola-Adeyemi of Lagos, Chloe McGill of Seattle and Emine Arcasoy of Chapel Hill.
Courtesy of Tolu Sola-Adeyemi, Chloe McGill and Emine Arcasoy.

On Jan. 15, 15-year-olds around the world took a stand. Their goal was to make the world a better place 15 years from now by getting rid of poverty and disease. They shared their worries and their dreams with leaders around the world as part of the newly launched "action/2015" effort, supported by the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit group that the rock star Bono founded.

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Wed January 21, 2015
Goats and Soda

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

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:52 am

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

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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Mon January 12, 2015
Goats and Soda

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

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 7:13 pm

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

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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Sun January 4, 2015
Goats and Soda

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

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:50 pm

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

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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Tue December 23, 2014
Goats and Soda

In The Village: Wilbur Goes Home

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:50 pm

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.

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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Sun December 21, 2014
Goats and Soda

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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Thu December 18, 2014
Goats and Soda

Death Comes In Many Different Ways. And Some Are A Bit Surprising

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:55 am

A vigil is held against violence in Cali, Colombia. The country has seen some 1,090 homicides this year.
Luis Robayo AFP/Getty Images

We're living longer.

And cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases aren't taking quite as much of a toll as they did a couple of decades ago.

But that doesn't mean we're immortal.

Road accidents, suicide, chronic kidney disease, alcohol-related diseases ... these are a few of the topics to discuss after looking at a new country-by-country analysis of causes of death by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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Sun December 14, 2014
Goats and Soda

How Can You Tell If Your Goat Is Happy? Now We Know!

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 2:28 pm

A goat peeks its head through a wall in Dakar, Senegal.
Claire Harbage for NPR

Goats are having a moment, and we're not just saying that because our blog is called Goats and Soda.

There are nearly 900 million goats in the world today, up from 600 million in 1990. The reason for this goat spurt is the growing popularity of goat cheese, goat milk and goat meat.

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Sat December 13, 2014
Goats and Soda

A Michel Du Cille Disciple Remembers His Late, Great Boss

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 4:18 pm

A boy lies on a mattress on the floor of Redemption Hospital, a holding center for Ebola patients in Monrovia, Liberia.
Michel du Cille The Washington Post/Getty Images

The friends and colleagues of Michel du Cille are in shock. They simply can't believe that the photographer with the deep voice and the gentle soul is gone. He died on Dec. 11 of an apparent heart attack while covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia for the Washington Post.

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