My reading list

My lack of a television and a slim selection of print reading material has led me to find other ways of staying connected to what is going on in the reast of the world. These were some of the interesting things that I read about this past week.

DEVELOPMENT

The AIDG blog presents an interesting graphic on the interaction of the latest craze for ethanol and its consequent negative impact on world food supplies in The Ethanol Effect and Global Hunger.

Mozambique is ranked in the top 20! It’s a shame that the ranking is on the annual UNDP Human Development Index report. Mozambique is ranked 17 in the listing of the bottom 22 countries in the report.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has its share of critics. The New York Times explores a deficiency that is the core of the agency’s responsibility: disbursing foreign aid to developing countries. Read more at U.S. Agency’s Slow Pace Endangers Foreign Aid.

PUBLIC HEALTH

The cholera outbreak in Mozambique continues with the latest report [pt] stating that 519 people are infected and seven people have died. I wrote about the American embassy’s response to the outbreak here. Also in infectious diseases, Uganda’s latest outbreak of ebola has left 19-21 people dead.

A large part of the country’s low ranking on the HDI is the lack of access to proper health care. One company in India is hoping to change the way that people in rural areas receive medical care. Read more about their Rural Healthcare in a Box.

Discussion of climate change and its effects on infectious diseases stirred controversy at this week’s UN summit in Bali. Scientists agree to disagree about the possibility of global warming leading to the spread of infectious diseases.

LIFE

One unanticipated effect of living abroad is the lack of access to many Web sites such as Pandora due to geographic IP address restrictions. I learned about a site called thesixtyone through Lifehacker to find new music and build playlists. Tres cool.

I also learned about BoomShuffle. The site not only allows you to build playlists, but allow build playlists with friends. I’m guessing that it can become the next big procrastination after Scrabulous.

Now I am about to reveal myself to be a big dork, but I really like office supplies. Particularly Post-It Notes (no trademark infringement intended) So this cool new Scotch Restickable Adhesive Glue Stick is practically the best thing since sliced bread. This glue stick allows you to make Post-Its out of anything.

Having a brainstorming session? Trying to tackle the next big problem? These Creative Thinking Hacks might help get those ideas flowing.

Just in time to mitigate the effects of overeating that accompanies the holidays, learn about 15 foods that are “negative calories” at Negative Calorie Foods: 15 Foods That Actually Burn More Calories Than They Contain.

More proof why I love reading the style section can be found in this week’s New York Times Magazine’s cover story, 7th Annual Year in Ideas. Check out innovative ideas from wirelessly recharging electronics to learning about nature’s game of rock, paper, and scissors.

Oh, the places I wish I could go listed on The 53 Places to Go in 2008. I already have a head start because I am starting in Mozambique. Maybe I will see all 53…

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