this & that: drowning in links edition
I hope you're good & rested up:
- A train derailment on the Ngaoundere-Yaounde route in Cameroon killed at least five people on Saturday.
- One for the annals of bureaucratic moves destined to be completely ineffectual: Somalia's Transitional Federal Government has banned its soldiers from carrying illegal weapons in Mogadishu.
- You, too, can ask Charles Taylor's prosecutor a question!
- There's a banana plant disease sweeping across Africa, and that's really bad.
- Nokia launches mobile phone banking for the poor.
- Kenyan children keep coming to school during holidays in order to get a meal.
- McSweeney's takes on myths & facts in the health care debate. My favorite, with love to all the Brits out there: "MYTH: People in Britain are deeply unhappy with their socialized medicine system, which ours will become. FACT: People in Britain are deeply unhappy with everything. It is their only source of happiness."
- Speaking of, The Grumpy Brit weighs in on the poverty porn debate.
- Speaking of the health care debate, I joined a Facebook group this weekend that is fighting another attempt to turn the U.S. of A. into a worker's paradise: 1 Million Strong Against our SOCIALIST Fire Departments (You should definitely check out the "pre-existing conditions" thread.)
- Speaking of crazy, apparently we all need to be afraid of..Americorps.
- Four years after Katrina, this incredible meditation on race, class, & eccentricity is worth revisiting.
- Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s eulogy for his father was pitch-perfect.
- Here's a lovely note from Peggy Noonan on the relationship between the Kennedy and Reagan families. She doesn't mention that she probably wrote the speech.
- That students write more than did previous generations does not mean they write better. I'm sorry, but Stanford undergraduates are not a random sample.
- As everyone in Austin knows, it really was a freakishly hot summer.
- There's not a thing wrong with praying to be spared from the H1N1 flu. But, boy, am I glad I wasn't on this flight.