Best of the Moment
Michael Hobbes | Pacific Standard | 12th September 2013
Most people live on less than $1 a day. The problems ought to be fixable, but where to begin? "Just when you think you’ve got the right narrative, another one comes bursting out of the footnotes. It’s the informality. No, it’s the taxes. No, it’s the mining companies. Does Zambia need better schools? Debt relief? Microfinance? Nicer mining companies? Better laws? Stronger enforcement? Yes. All of them. And all at the same time"
Adam Satariano | Bloomberg | 11th September 2013
Case study of the global economy at work. Next-generation iPhones are made in China while the software is still being finalised in California. Then, with the software loaded, they are shipped quietly to seven main warehouses around the world, ready for the public unveiling. A Boeing 777 can carry 450,000 iPhones, and costs $242,000 to charter for the direct flight from China to to FedEx's hub in Memphis, Tennessee. "It's like a movie premiere"
Brendan Borrell | Nature | 11th September 2013
Young scientist working in the Philippines retraces the footsteps of zoologist Edward Taylor, who worked there almost a century ago — and finds more than he bargained for. Taylor "was a racist curmudgeon beset by paranoia — possibly a result of his mysterious double life as a spy for the US government. He had amassed no shortage of enemies by the time he died in 1978". And he may well have been a plagiarist too
Brendan Buhler | Modern Farmer | 12th September 2013
"Ethically speaking, we should all be eating roadkill. The animal was not raised for meat, it was not killed for meat; it is just simply and accidentally meat — manna from minivans. Practical, culinary and even legal considerations make it hard for many to imagine cooking our vehicular accidents, but that needn’t be the case. If the roadkill is fresh, perhaps hit on a cold day and ideally a large animal, it is as safe as any game"
Caroline Moorehead | Intelligent Life | 12th September 2013
Letters found in a Paris flea market recount a love story between a German soldier and a French secretary during the occupation of France. "Leather, cotton and wool had all but vanished. The clacking of wooden soles on Parisian cobbles was becoming the defining sound of occupation. But Johann had access to luxuries. A relationship between occupied and occupier, complicated, perilous, seductive, was starting to ensnare them all"
Thought for the day:
"The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvellously" — Henry Kissinger