Marc Silver

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1:31pm

Wed April 22, 2015
The Salt

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:00 pm

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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1:28pm

Mon April 20, 2015
Goats and Soda

Mr. Toilet And Mr. Condom Think Jokes Will Save The World

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 8:47 pm

They don't call him Mr. Toilet for nothing! On a cold and windy November day, Jack Sim visited NPR and gladly struck a pose on his favorite appliance. Note: This toilet was not hooked up.
Ryan Kellman and John W. Poole NPR

A funny thing happened at the 12th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship last week in Oxford, England.

At this global gathering of activists and change-makers, where conversation often centered on poverty, disease and disaster, there was a session called What's So Funny? The Role of Comedy in Social Change.

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1:46pm

Fri April 17, 2015
Goats and Soda

Yes, You Can Help The World And Make Money At The Same Time

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:05 pm

A woman cultivates seaweed off the coast of Madagascar to counter overfishing. She's working with Blue Ventures, a business that supports its conservation projects by giving ecotours.
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation

What do you call someone who runs a successful business that aims to make the world a better place? A CEO with a conscience? A do-good bottom-liner?

At the Skoll World Forum this week in Oxford, England, the preferred term is social entrepreneur. In fact, the conference is completely devoted to the idea — and promoting its rising stars.

Young entrepreneurs are invited to join veterans for workshops, talks and confabs. Awards are given for "social entrepreneurship."

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3:49pm

Thu April 9, 2015
Goats and Soda

Dear World, Your Grade For Educating Your Children Is ...

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:19 pm

India is definitely making progress in getting more kids into school. This facility is in Bhubaneswar.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

It seems like a simple goal: All kids should go to primary school.

People began talking about it in the 1960s. And they kept talking about it. "Everyone thought it was pretty doable; it wasn't too big of a deal," recalls Aaron Benavot, director of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

But for lots of reasons — cutbacks on government spending, no schoolhouse within an easy commute — it just wasn't happening. So in 2000, 164 nations got together and pledged "Education For All" by 2015.

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2:42pm

Wed April 8, 2015
Goats and Soda

Dreams Of Hope And Happiness In Turbulent Yemen

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 6:00 pm

These kids are Yemenis without a home. Fighting between government and rebel forces caused their families to flee to a refugee camp in Aden, where the youngsters find time for fun.
Stephanie Sinclair/VII

It's hard to think about Yemen in a hopeful way. In fact, the country seems like the very definition of hopelessness.

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4:08pm

Mon April 6, 2015
Goats and Soda

Go Ahead, Little Goat, Eat Some Poison Ivy. It Won't Hurt A Bit

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 2:56 pm

OK, so technically this goat is eating just plain ivy. But poison ivy is definitely on the menu.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Oh, those goats? I got them from Amazon!

The online giant is testing out a "Home Services" line. You can get a TV mounted on your wall. You can find a plumber. And you can rent a herd of goats to chomp on unwanted vegetation in your yard.

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2:30pm

Fri April 3, 2015
The Salt

You'll Get No Alcoholic Kick From Champagne-Flavored Jelly Beans

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:42 pm

Jelly Belly has developed a champagne-flavored bean, but don't expect an alcoholic kick from this candy.
Jelly Belly

This Easter, you can toast the Bunny with the newest jelly bean flavor from industry giant Jelly Belly: champagne. (Don't get your hopes up — the champagne bean is alcohol-free.)

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11:28am

Mon March 30, 2015
Goats and Soda

Bill Gates Tells The World: Get Ready For The Next Epidemic

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 6:29 pm

Health workers suit up for Ebola duty in Monrovia, Liberia.
John W. Poole/NPR

"An epidemic is one of the few catastrophes that could set the world back drastically in the next few decades," Bill Gates warns in an essay he wrote for the March 18 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In the article, titled "The Next Epidemic — Lessons From Ebola," he says the Ebola epidemic is a "wake-up call."

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10:41am

Tue March 24, 2015
Goats and Soda

TB Patients That The World Writes Off Are Getting Cured In Peru

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 9:23 am

Maria Carmen Castro, 46, of Lima, Peru, is a survivor of MDR-TB — multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Partners In Health treated her and loaned her money to open a small store. "Because of my TB and thanks to God and Partners In Health, now I have my own business," she says.
Jason Beaubien NPR

You sure don't want to get tuberculosis. You'll cough a lot, maybe cough up blood, have fever, chills and chest pain. But most cases of the bacterial disease are curable after taking the two first-line drugs for four to six months.

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2:45pm

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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5:38pm

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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9:40am

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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7:03am

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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12:13pm

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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11:44am

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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