What we’re reading: Data power tools, warnings from a microcredit pioneer, Senate obstructionism, antimatter close to home, and more

A look at what catches our staffers’ attention when we’re not busily putting out reports:

A Wrong Turn In Microcredit (Yunus Center)-- Nobel prize winner and managing director of Grameen Bank Mohammad Yunus on the dangers of loan sharking through commercialization of microcredit and the need for government to enact and enforce consumer protections—Dory Rand, President

Vertical Urban Theme Parks (Arch Daily)– Perhaps not particularly realistic or practical, but nonetheless, an interesting concept for moving theme parks from the suburban fringe to downtown.  Plus, cool illustrations!—Geoff Smith, Senior Vice President

The new power of the press (The Financial Times)—John Lloyd details the decline of media and why it’s never been more influential. —Tom Feltner, Vice President

Strict Obstructionist (The Atlantic)—A look at Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) innovative use of parliamentary rules to block pretty much everything Democrats put forward—and how the Tea Party insurgence might threaten that strategy.—Katie Buitrago, Policy and Communications Associate

Senior Research and Project Associate Sarah Duda was so enthralled by these three stories, she couldn’t decide which one to highlight:

Google Refine—A new, free “power tool” for working with messy data, cleaning it up, and transforming it from one format into another that has data geeks everywhere buzzing with excitement.

NASA's Fermi Catches Thunderstorms Hurling Antimatter into Space—Apparently thunderstorms send off beams of antimatter. Maybe that’s what killed all those birds en masse.

Historic Aerials—A vault of aerial photographs from over the years.

 

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