From coffee bean to carbon atom. I really like this one. I can remember when I thought all single-celled organisms were more or less the same size. Not so... if an amoeba was a blue whale, bacteria would be dogs and cats and rats and mice, more or less. (And viruses, hey, would be insects.)
Is Bosnia doomed? I should blog about this over at the Fistful. Meanwhile, readers who find this sort of thing interesting will find this interesting.
An Atlantic article about an interesting town in Azerbaijan. There was a little bit of this in Yerevan -- Iranian kids coming up there to party, type of thing -- but not nearly as much.
I had never heard of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative before I started researching this Congo trip. But, wow, they have a blog and everything. Unfortunately, it's not clear if they're actually doing any good yet. Still, props for trying -- someone should be doing this, and one has to start somewhere.
The World Bank Development blog and Vox are the sorts of places I go to once or twice a month, to skim. Most of the stuff there isn't for me, but occasionally a piece turns up like this one. It's not a world-shaking insight, but I'd say it's correct, relevant, and useful -- which is not bad for two pages long.
There's no particular reason to link to this article, except that I think it showcases a number of tropes pretty well. The first sentence of the third paragraph, for instance, includes the words "languishing" and "infected" -- which, right there, tell you what kind of article this is going to be.
Also, there was a line that made me laugh out loud. Can you spot it? It's near the end. It is --
"The writer lives and works in Los Angeles".
Really, there needs to be a name for this sort of thing. We have Keyboard Commandos and such -- I'm talking about a word for what they do. The act of recommending, from a safe distance, that other people commit large-scale acts of violence.
Also, "languishing" = weak = bad, strong is good; infected is bad, pure is good. So we have a writer who wants Israel to be pure and strong, who hearkens back to a glorious past when the country fearlessly inflicted efficient violence on its foes, and is exhorting ends-justify-the-means mass violence against a despised ethnic group to restore the nation's security. Is it just me, or is it a little odd to see this sort of language being deployed so unselfconsciously here?
And then this one is just something nice to look at.