FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weekly Reading: Decaying Dams, African Air Travel, CREAM, Happiness, Nirvana and the Rangers, and Work-Life Balance

One of Africa's Biggest Dams is Falling Apart
Fresh water stands to increasingly become the world's most valuable commodity.  It's easy to cluck one's tongue at the inability of third-world african nations to maintain their infrastructure but as the article points out, dams are notoriously difficult and expensive to maintain (the US itself has done a horrible job with its own dam infrastructure).  

What English Speaks Don't Get About the Meaning of Happiness
Understanding different cultural conceptions of what 'happiness' means is a powerful too for every FAO or foreign affairs professional.  One must constantly keep in mind that the American idea of happiness is VERY different from other nation's ideas of happiness.  This article unpacks these ideas as well as just baseline differences in what the word 'happy' means in different languages.

Malagasy Navy participates in CUTLASS EXPRESS 2016
Madagascar sends its first ship abroad since 1978.  Good article on the strides being made by the Navy here.

Turns out UPENN puts out a very thorough think tank ranking . You can download the 16MB report here.

Evidently Madagascar has a think tank.  And evidently it's a good one (top 60 in Africa) according to UPENN's recent report.  Best of all, the think tank shares it's name with the WU-TANG hit 'Cash Rules Everything Around Me' which I wrote about recently here.

It is difficult to describe the dysfunction and dilapidation of some third-world airlines.  There are things, circumstances, smells and sights that you could never have imagined.  My quarterly flight to Comoros is always an exercise in restraint and self-meditation.  The sights and smells aboard said flight inspired me to pen a poem last year, entitled Ode to VapoRub.

Global Incident Map  
Cool little open source map that collates reports across a variety of issues.  Also pretty scary--go to their 'non-terror aviation incidents'.

What Ivy League students are reading that you aren’t
So many snarky fill-in-the-blank answers one could respond with here...but altogether an interesting look article--particularly for my fellow english majors.

The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero
The unlikely story of former Nirvana and Soundgarden guitarist Jason Everman's salvation that came by dropping his guitar and picking up an M4...kind of.  This is a throwback article from about three years ago that I came across again a few weeks back.  Mandatory reading for an punk-rocker or head stomper.

Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, or Friends: Pick 3
Such a great article.  These five things have to be things that every I suggest pairing this article with a great one from QZ.com that came out last year: How successful people work less—and get more done--the basic gist of is that productivity falls considerably when the workweek exceeds 50 hours.

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