Marc Silver

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Goats and Soda
1:46 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

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

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 eco-tours.
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation

So 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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Goats and Soda
3:09 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
2:06 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Dreams Of Hope And Happiness In Turbulent Yemen

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
4:08 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

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

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

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

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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The Salt
2:30 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
11:28 am
Mon March 30, 2015

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

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

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

"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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Goats and Soda
10:41 am
Tue March 24, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
2:45 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
5:38 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
9:40 am
Thu February 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sun February 15, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
11:54 am
Fri February 13, 2015

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

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
11:15 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Kayla Mueller's Death Underscores Risks For Aid Workers Abroad

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

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

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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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Just Your Typical Teenagers Helping To Fight World Poverty

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.

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

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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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
5:09 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
7:03 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Will The Taliban Attack Make Parents Afraid To Send Kids To School?

These Pakistani children go to a makeshift school in a clay house, located in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Last week, the Taliban attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing more than 140 people, most of them schoolchildren.

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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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