Marc Silver

Goats and Soda
9:06 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 11:52 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
4:45 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 7:13 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
5:31 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 7:50 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
10:36 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 4:50 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
7:03 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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Goats and Soda
11:50 am
Thu December 18, 2014

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
5:39 am
Sun December 14, 2014

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sat December 13, 2014

A Michel Du Cille Disciple Remembers His Late, Great Boss

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
10:47 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Wilbur Goes To Work: New, Very First-Class Video On Village Life

Wilbur Sargunaraj introduces us a barber in his father's home village in India.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:48 pm

Last week, Wilbur Sargunaraj took NPR by storm with not one, but two video premieres. The YouTube star was taking pump baths, drinking Goli soda and — to the dismay of some readers — dunking a chicken in water.

If you missed that wild ride, no worries. Wilbur is back!

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Goats and Soda
11:12 am
Wed December 3, 2014

World Premiere Videos: Wilbur Dunks A Chicken, Digs Into Indian Food

Wilbur Sargunaraj sings and dances about village life in India.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:43 pm

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Goats and Soda
10:42 am
Thu November 20, 2014

An NPR Photographer Looks Ebola In The Eye

Baby Sesay, a traditional healer in Sierra Leone, treated a child who later died, apparently of Ebola, and then became sick herself and went to a care center. As this photo was taken, her body seized up and she nearly collapsed.
David P Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:06 pm

Her eyes met the camera. She was there. And yet she wasn't there.

That's how NPR photographer David Gilkey remembers the moment last Saturday when he took a picture of Baby Sesay, a 45-year-old traditional healer in the village of Royail in Sierra Leone.

Sesay had tried to cure a sick little boy. The boy died, likely of Ebola. Then Sesay herself fell ill. She had come to a community care center a few hours earlier, walking in under her own power, to be tested for the virus.

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Take The Plunge Into World Toilet Day

Wilbur Sargunaraj "How to Use An Eastern Toilet" from YouTube
Wilbur World Wide

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 10:15 am

Today is a day to celebrate the wonders of the toilet — and to make a commitment to bringing toilets to all those in need. In case you're wondering, there are 2.5 billion people who are toiletless.

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Goats and Soda
2:23 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Will A Sting, A Court Award And A Protest Help Stop Global Sex Trafficking?

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:36 pm

This month, reports have come out that Laurie Holden, an actress from The Walking Dead TV show, had volunteered to be part of a sting in Colombia to entrap a local trafficker who sold girls as young as 12 into sex slavery. (Holden's job was to keep the girls distracted while the sting honchos were paying – and secretly filming — the trafficker.)

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Shots - Health News
2:32 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Cancer Plus Chemo Might Put Your Job At Risk

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:47 pm

Imagine that you've just been told you have cancer. The good news is that it's early stage. Still, your doctor believes a course of chemotherapy would boost your survival odds.

Then this week you read the headline, "Chemo for breast cancer increases unemployment risk."

What are you supposed to do now?

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The Salt
5:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

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

Cherry Belle radishes grow superfast.
John Trainor Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:39 am

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. (True story: The polar vortex killed my fall kale crop!)

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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