- What do we really know about microfinance? Here’s a summary. Clifnotes: it’s complicated, but people in poor countries act a lot like people in rich countries.
- The difference between you and the average other person in the world? 4.74 degrees.
- Kiva starts doing what we thought they were doing all along by creating Kiva Zip; its new (actual) one-to-one lending platform (like Zidisha).
- EAT, LEARN, MOVE – three awesome 1 minute travel videos.
- Hayley’s post (with some great photos) on her trip to Loropeni, a UNESCO world heritage site here in Burkina.
- A brief bio of the new Burkinabé ambassador to the US.
- Digitizing a West-African written language (already on the iPhone!)
- American politics have seemed remarkably partisan to me over the past few years, but I have often read that it only seems more partisan, and that party politics has always been a bitter affair. Then I saw the graph in this post by Nate Silver, where according to the DW-Nominate score, we have seen the most extreme liberal/conservative positions, as well as the largest short-term shifts between them in at least the past 80 years (earlier data was not presented). Party affiliation aside, this data scares me.
- Democracy Journal’s book review of Poor Economics, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. It sounds fascinating, and covers exactly where a lot of my interest lies in development work.
- David Damberger explains why Engineers Without Borders admits its failures in development (and even creates an annual Failure Report).
- Reusing fecal waste for fuel in Ghana.
- The top Twitter trends of the year – #egypt was the top hashtag.
- A pretty good summary of why it’s so hard to get a cheeseburger around here.