this & that
- Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba gets off on charges of embezzling $500,000 from the Zambian state because there's no evidence that money came from the state. I wonder from where else Mr. Chiluba might have acquired that cash?
- How long before Lake Kivu explodes and kills everybody on its edges? Nobody knows, but everybody agrees it's a real danger. (Also, Guardian? There are WAY more people living in Goma than the old official estimate of 250,000. That number was extrapolated from the last census - taken in 1982 - sometime during the war, but a simple ride through town and the camps makes it clear that there are at least 500,000 people living there. Please, please fact-check your Africa stories!)
- "Somali pirates find 7 bodies, blame Egyptians"
- Airdropping Food: a Practical Guide
- USAID still lacks an administrator: here's a good explanation as to why. I'm among those who think that Paul Farmer not becoming the administrator is a good thing; he wouldn't have been able to accomplish nearly as much from inside AID as he can in a more flexible role. But for goodness sakes, they've got to appoint somebody, and soon.
- FERPA kills an undergraduate's shot at love.
- The NYT explains game theory and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita to the masses. (It should be noted that we here at Texas in Africa are decidedly not buyers into the game theory juggernaut, although the whole "Somali pirates as rational actors" thing may force us to reconsider. I still believe that good qualitative work is important and that you can't know much that's useful about a real-world political behavior if you only do math. BdM essentially proves this in his work; he may not do qualitative work, but he spends a heck of a lot of time interviewing those who do.)
- Drinking Fiji water means you are supporting a dictatorial regime. In a manner of speaking.
- Chris Blattman reviews Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's memoir and finds it to be...not horrible.