Marc Silver

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Goats and Soda
4:38 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 10:25 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
8:40 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 11:24 am

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
6:03 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 11:57 am

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
10:41 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 11:41 am

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
10:15 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 11:00 am

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
6:03 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 7:24 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
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
4:09 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 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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