Marc Silver

So who does drink the most soda in the world, anyway?

Like mother, like son.

Lucas Zutt is the 10-year-old son of journalist Donatella Lorch, who frequently contributes to Goats and Soda. They've lived in Kathmandu since June 2013.

Lucas shared his impressions of the earthquake with NPR after it struck. And now he's made a video.

"How well do today's schools prepare for tomorrow's world?"

That's the question in a new report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This group administers the Program for International Student Assessment to 15-year-olds in 75 countries. The goal is to find out whether they can use their math and science knowledge to answer a series of questions that measure skills needed for young people to make a contribution to the economy.

In just two days, Liberia will celebrate what seemed an impossible dream last summer: the end of its Ebola outbreak.

Saturday, May 9 will mark the 42nd day of no new Ebola cases in the country. A person with Ebola typically shows symptoms within 21 days of exposure. But the World Health Organization adds an extra 21 days for extra caution before declaring that an outbreak has ended. So on Saturday, WHO officials and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will announce that Liberia is Ebola-free.

The interviewer asks the fresh-faced young woman named Irene: "What do you do here in this village?"

"I am a prostitute," she says.

Have you ever had an "aha" moment? Suddenly, it becomes clear you have to make a change in your life, and you actually go ahead and do it.

Safeena Husain, 43, has had three "aha" moments. She ran away from home in India to an ashram. She let her fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages to plot a new career in the U.S. And she found her true calling after a soul-shaking encounter in a Himalayan village.

The term "living legend" is tossed around so much that it really doesn't have much sway.

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

A funny thing happened at the 12th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship last week in Oxford, England.

At this global gathering of activists and change-makers, where conversation often centered on poverty, disease and disaster, there was a session called What's So Funny? The Role of Comedy in Social Change.

What do you call someone who runs a successful business that aims to make the world a better place? A CEO with a conscience? A do-good bottom-liner?

At the Skoll World Forum this week in Oxford, England, the preferred term is social entrepreneur. In fact, the conference is completely devoted to the idea — and promoting its rising stars.

Young entrepreneurs are invited to join veterans for workshops, talks and confabs. Awards are given for "social entrepreneurship."

It seems like a simple goal: All kids should go to primary school.

People began talking about it in the 1960s. And they kept talking about it. "Everyone thought it was pretty doable; it wasn't too big of a deal," recalls Aaron Benavot, director of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

But for lots of reasons — cutbacks on government spending, no schoolhouse within an easy commute — it just wasn't happening. So in 2000, 164 nations got together and pledged "Education For All" by 2015.

It's hard to think about Yemen in a hopeful way. In fact, the country seems like the very definition of hopelessness.

Oh, those goats? I got them from Amazon!

The online giant is testing out a "Home Services" line. You can get a TV mounted on your wall. You can find a plumber. And you can rent a herd of goats to chomp on unwanted vegetation in your yard.

This Easter, you can toast the Bunny with the newest jelly bean flavor from industry giant Jelly Belly: champagne. (Don't get your hopes up — the champagne bean is alcohol-free.)

"An epidemic is one of the few catastrophes that could set the world back drastically in the next few decades," Bill Gates warns in an essay he wrote for the March 18 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In the article, titled "The Next Epidemic — Lessons From Ebola," he says the Ebola epidemic is a "wake-up call."

You sure don't want to get tuberculosis. You'll cough a lot, maybe cough up blood, have fever, chills and chest pain. But most cases of the bacterial disease are curable after taking the two first-line drugs for four to six months.

Newspapers around the world have reported that elephant was to be served at a $1 million birthday party for Robert Mugabe, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, held on Saturday.

Joe Biden and John Travolta don't seem to know when they're getting too close for comfort.

Last week, the vice president went up to Stephanie Carter, the wife of the newly named secretary of defense, and put his hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear. She did not look at all amused.

President Obama gave a shoutout to the beauty of the "backwaters of Kerala" when he visited India last month.

In Berlin, David Hermlin is a 14-year-old who wants to be a star — and is well on his way. He plays drums and guitar, dances and sings. He performs with his father's jazz orchestra. He even writes songs.

But Hermlin has another life as well — as a global activist.

Here at Goats and Soda, we can't resist a good story about goats. (See our story about how you know if your goat is happy.) The same goes for soda.

It's a scary time to be an altruistic American abroad. The death of Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Ariz., is a sobering reminder of just how dangerous the world can be for aid workers.

Mueller had a big place in her heart for displaced Syrians. She'd worked with the Danish Refugee Council and other nonprofits.

On Jan. 15, 15-year-olds around the world took a stand. Their goal was to make the world a better place 15 years from now by getting rid of poverty and disease. They shared their worries and their dreams with leaders around the world as part of the newly launched "action/2015" effort, supported by the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit group that the rock star Bono founded.

If you want to be a pessimist about the shape the world's in, just turn on the news. It seems as if we're living in an age of terrorism, war, refugees, hostages and natural disasters.

The Google doodle for Kenya today shows a white-haired man at a table in a primary school, earnestly writing a classroom exercise. The kids behind him grin as if to say, "He is kind of old to be a first-grader."

Well, yes, he is! In 2004, Kimani Maruge went to school for the first time at age 84. Monday marks the 11th anniversary of his first day at school. The Guinness Book of Records says he's the oldest person to enroll in primary school. And who am I to argue?

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