The world’s best peppercorn comes from a volcanic valley in central Africa — Quartz

The Penja pepper, grown in the volcanic soil of the eastern Cameroon, may soon become the country’s newest cash crop. Production of the peppercorn—grown in the Penja Valley and known for its bright, lingering flavor—has increased in response to growing demand from Michelin-starred chefs and upscale restaurants around the world. Production increased more than fifteen-fold…

via The world’s best peppercorn comes from a volcanic valley in central Africa — Quartz

The hermeneutics of wonkery

Luke Savage

I spend a lot of my time reading through policy papers from various think tanks and have reached one overriding conclusion: more than anything else, it’s how things are measured and represented that ultimately determines how we think about them.

Across the political spectrum, papers that analyze issues like poverty and climate change in exquisite detail contain virtually all of their substance in their initial premises – not in their subsequent analyses.

For example, if you’re studying poverty it matters more what you understand “poverty” to be in the first place than it does what the empirical details are. How do you measure and represent it? Against what ultimate standards do you set your data against? How you answer these questions will define the contours of your conclusions more than anything else.

Yet in today’s world, most mainstream policy thinking understands itself to be essentially technical. This is the…

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The black people in the Middle of Nowhere: The lost community of Amber Valley, AB

Kenny Edwards was only trying to buy a few tins of chewing tobacco at an Oklahoma store, but within seconds he could see that he was unnerving the clerks behind the counter. It was around 1946 in a state still in the grip of segregationist Jim Crow laws. Hospitals, lunch counters and drinking fountains were…

via The black people in the Middle of Nowhere: The lost community of Amber Valley, AB — National Post – Top Stories

Larry Wilmore proved just how uncomfortable white people still are with race — Quartz

This year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner made one thing clear: sometimes it’s good to feel uncomfortable. Measured by that standard alone, the remarks from US president Barack Obama and Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore surely exceeded expectations. Obama set the tone for what was an at times painfully funny—if not completely incisive—roast of the presidential…

via Larry Wilmore proved just how uncomfortable white people still are with race — Quartz